Written by Kat Villain (www.katvillain.com)
Perfumery is to the nose is the way music is to the ears and poetry is to the mind. It is a harmonious composition that transports the individual into dimensions beyond the day-to-day life. It alters, manipulates, and coerces the mind and its emotions into a more balanced state. Through its subtle aspects, it alters one’s scent, invariably transforming what one is exuding, through this bodily intake of a plants aromatic exhales.
These emanations of plants are its life force, spirited. Natural perfumery takes advantage of these essential oils that rest inside of the plant, gently coercing its aroma’s out through distillation results in the aroma preserved. Each inborn character of a plant can then be used to usher out that same response within us. A perfumer blends various proportions of these personalities, alchemizing a scent wholly new, not found in the natural world, as it is an amalgamation of various botanicals of the world, near and far. This new scent used on the body forms present moment memories, titillates emotions, and works deep within the most primitive reaches of the brain. Unlocking the limbic system, they often sway stuck memories into present moment liberation of choice, releasing habit and unleashing awareness.
Perfumery uses high concentrations of essential oils. As our skin drinks in anything that touches it, these organic essences enter our biome altering our physicality and the scents it lets off. Natural scents also work to alter another persons subconscious perception of the individual that is scented. It’s subversive, manipulative, yet in such a beautiful and magical way, for it is the most abstract art there is, the art of the ethers. Thus to use these scents is to work with spirit through the Earth, awakening the aspect of ourselves that lives beyond time and space by virtue of its movement into and out of materiality.
Synethetic scents created in the lab have incongruous effects upon us. Many side effects are a weakened sense of smell, headaches, nausea, and the feeling that something isn’t “right”. Dissected plant parts are isolated and fixed in this way so a scent remains unchanged between anyone that uses it. They are cheap, contain chemicals preservatives so they stick to the skin and don’t spoil, and are reliable for consumerism. When mass marketing something, this is done to make money and to keep the product shelf stable. But it has detriment upon us. The body cannot respond to it by having a dialogue with the scent for it is rigid, mechanical, and the body is always changing. The organism knows this and is why so many have to stop using these synthetic perfumes.
Natural perfumery is one of the first ways that we began to use plants. It was an invocation to the gods and goddesses, fairies and nymphs, and the Earth below our feet as a thankfulness for each and every day that humans were blessed with. A return to natural essences in perfumery is a returning to our Earth, a remembering of our humanity, and a rekindling of our gratitude for life and its bounty. Plants are aromatic presents of life force. They want to be utilized by us, for their biological compatibility to us, as humans, is no mistake. Nothing in nature is by accident, to use her plants is to accept Nature’s gifts.