Enfleurage Encens - Esprit de la Nature
- A Duo of Rare Enfleurage Powders
- Jasmine Tobacco Flower
- Oriental Lily
This is a special offering of Be-en-Foret's enfleurage incense powders, Both Lily and Jasmine Tobacco are included. They come in small amber vials, just enough to take you to the fields fresh flowers upon her land. To understand how precious and unique these are, take moment to read her article (at the link above) This article also comes with every enfleurage duo. To use , sprinkle a small dusting of the power upon an Electric Incense Heater set at a low temp (90) , enjoy ....
“Oriental Lily Enfleurage”
Ingredients: A variety of fragrant Lilies from my Garden enfleuraged into African Bush Candle resin/wax.
The African Bush Candle (Sarcocaulon patersonii) plant produces a resinous wax skin to protect itself from the extreme heat of the desert. After the plant dies, the empty skin is left behind and collected by local hunter gathers. The skin has the subtle scents of amber, caramel, vanilla, and resin, all which are also part of the Lily Flower's scent song. This fragrance profile makes African Bush Candle a perfect substance in which to capture the breath of Lilies.
Lily flowers have ancient roots which predate the ice age. Fragrant, edible, medicinal and perennial, no flower is more steeped in history, except perhaps the rose, than the Lily. To the Greeks Lily was "The flower of all flowers". The heavy floral, smooth sweet resin, vanilla, honeyed smell of Lilies flowers was one of the first flower fragrances on earth to be turned into perfume. The fragrant and medicinal properties of "Oil of Lilies" was renown through the ancient world. The "Oil of Lilies" was a maceration of lilies, spices and myrrh. The best "Oil of Lilies" was considered to be the one that smelt most like lilies. There is evidence of "Oil of Lilies" production on a mass scale in Egypt, Cypress and Syria starting in 4000BC. Today, there are absolutely no commercial productions of real Lily flower extracts. A fragrance that was omnipresent in the ancient world has vanished from our lives.
But Lily is a hardy survivor. Lily can survive in temperatures down to −34.4 °C (−30°F) and is an independent, self pollinatinor. Characteristics that have led her to being able to spread across the globe The cultivation of lilies must be extremely old because the plants are not only fragrant but the bulbs are edible. The flavor of the bulbs is excellent. They have a natural sweetness that intensifies as you cook them. Sautéed they are crunchy and sweet, a bit like water chestnuts. I have grown lilies in my gardens for many years. They are a strong feminine presence, deeply rooted in the earth, with their sturdy stems, large, fleshy flowers and strong, divine fragrance that increases in the evening and is born on the night winds. It is one of my favorite nocturnal rituals to gather lilies in the moonlight.
Lily is the flower of the great goddesses Inanna, Isthar, Isis, Juno, Hera, Sophia and all the fragmented goddess of the feminine Christian trinity: Lilith/Eve/Mary. The scepter of the goddess/queen in Crete was surmounted by a lily. Lily is also the flower symbol for a host of minor goddesses associated with the moon, night, sexual independence and rebirth: Britomartis/ Diktynna, Artemis, Diana, Persephone and Susana (which means Lily in Hebrew). Lilies presence in so many cultures as a symbol for women and rebirth, coupled with Lily's use as women's medicine, speaks to her prehistoric origins as an important plant in the women's mystery traditions. Passed along through oral tradition from mother to daughter, grandmother to granddaughter, teacher to student, the women's mystery traditions were symbolic teachings that taught women both practical medical and how to work with the energy of emotion, attune themselves to the dimension of dreams, portents and visions.
Some of Lilies medicinal properties are that the root removes tumors of the uterus testicles and breasts, stops uterine bleeding and moves lymph. The distilled water of lily flower lessens anxiety, stops coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath. An oil maceration of the flowers lifts anxiety and insomnia, relieves muscle pain and heals damaged skin. "Oil of lilies" was an important ingredient in many ancient recipes for pessaries. Pessaries are devices or compound substances that are inserted into the vagina to help support a prolapsed uterus or act as a barrier method of birth control. "Oil of Lilies" helped cure, hardening of the womb, ulcers and masses of the uterus. Lily flowers were considered a check on menstruation and there is no doubt with the amount of myrrh in the formula, that the "Oil of Lilies" would have a contraceptive effect. Myrrh was a known contraceptive at the time, Soanus of Ephesus, a Greek physician who was an expert on gynecology and midwifery wrote that when used in a pessary, myrrh oil would work as an abortifacient, preventing the implantation of fertilized eggs. There a few formulas for "Oils of Lilies" that survive in the writings of the Greeks where it was know as "Susinon". The manufacturing process Of Susinon was long and complex. The most important ingredient was time.
Dioscorides’ susinon- lilies 1,000 (x2) ; balanos (date seed) oil 4,226 kg ; sweet flag 2,354 kg ; myrrh 140 g ; fragrant wine ; cardamom 1,530 kg ; cardamom 37 g (x3) ; best myrrh 270 g (x3) ;crocus 37 g (x 3) ; cinnamon 281 g (x3) ; honey ; salt
Pliny’s susinum- lilies ; oil of behen nut (date seed oil) ; sweet flag ; myrrh ; saffron ; (crocus) ; cinnamon ; honey
But Just who is this nature spirit we call "Lily" that has traveled through time with humans through the last ice age and what is at the root of our relationship with her? Lilies bulbs are subterranean buds. Bulbs are perennial, persisting for years. The most significant difference between bushes and bulb plants is their tolerance to adverse conditions. Lilies have contractile roots and can pull themselves down deeper in the soil when stimulated by the heat of a fire, drought, bitter wind or ice. Lily can wait a long time underground to emerge when conditions improve. She are not just sitting under ground waiting to bloom she is managing her space for growth and expansion through subtle movements. All Lilies can reproduce by scales that grow as layers on their bulbs and some produce little bulblets that form on their stems which look like seeds. Lily don't need pollinators but she does like to have help loosening the soil around her mother bulb and dispersing her scales and bulblets. It is believed that even before the full development of agriculture, human's relationship with edible roots and tubers had shifted from predation to mutual benefit.
There has been more and more evidence that Earth was struck by a meteorite or asteroid 12,800 years ago. The results of the impact had global consequences including climate change, and contributing to the extinction of many species of large animals that our ancestors hunted for food. Immediately after the extinction of the mammoth, birch forests replaced the grasslands and an era of significant fire began as well as long term cooling. The main food source for humans died, the large animals, but Lily would have survived tucked under an insulating layer of soil.
After a long winter, around the spring equinox, I can only imagine the feeling of our hungry ancestors seeing the lily flowers rise from the earth knowing there was a delicious, edible tuber below. Growing at the perimeters of the glaciers, the fields of glorious, six petaled flowers, seen from afar, must have appeared as stars, like a terrestrial milky way. The breath of thousands of plants filling the warming, night air with the beckoning scent of spring. Truly, Lily would have appeared the incarnation of a living Mother goddess.
Lily called to our ancestors to dance a co-operative dance. Flowering plants developed 250 and 140 million years ago. They have had time to learn how to attract and work with earth's other inhabitants. The digging of subterranean plant parts was traditionally a female responsibility in indigenous cultures and was particularly important in ancient European. Digging would have given the plant loose soil to spread, better moisture capacity soil, better environment for seed growth. Women replanted the smaller bulblets and bulb scales; they tilled the soil to facilitate the growth of the new plants, weeded non-desired plants, and they scattered the seeds contained within the dried seed pods to enhance reproduction. The extreme importance of roots in the hunter gatherer groups is reflected in their inclusion in lunar calendars, in special often full moon, ceremonies that honored these ethnobotanically important plants, and in their mention in the mythologies. The connection with the moon is important on many levels. One of which is that after the full moon the root growth of plants increases as the light of the moon wanes.
The celebration of spring, renewal and Lily's return is the stories of Isthar, Ianna, Isis, Juno, Hera, Persphone and Mary. The Minoan civilization on Crete was one of the last ancient Mother Goddess cultures of which we have record. When She sat on her throne lilies grew at her feet and her priestesses offered her lily bouquets and garlands. At night, under the full moon, barefoot, ritual dances would take place on the lily fields watched over by the goddess. A dance of flowers but also one of roots. As the fragrant breath of thousands of lilies filled the air, the flowers they were gathered by the dancers for use in perfumes and potions. Just as dancers gathered then, I gather now. Under the moonlight, Lily still sings her song of enchantment. A thread of fragrance wafting through the ages, inviting us to partake of the Earth's bounty and join together with her in the dance of life.
"Tobacco Flower Spirit" Enfleurage
Tobacco Flower Spirit incense is the result of capturing the breath of thousands of Nicotiana alata/Jasmine Tobacco flowers The flowers were night gathered under the changing phases of the moon for three months. It is the most true to life aromatic material that I have ever made.
Humans and tobacco plants have an ancient history. Tobacco has been used by humans for thousands of years to mediate between the physical and spiritual worlds. Ancient tobacco pipes often have human or animal faces looking directly into the smoker’s eyes, as if to convey an important message to that person. Tobacco helps us to connect to the spirit dimensions and, in return, we cultivate Tobacco. I believe that the tobacco species plants are one of the most conscious plants in the world. Tobacco is keenly aware of its environment and thereby us. Plants have more genes in their genome for perception of their environment than most animals. Over the millennium, Tobacco has developed various flower shapes, sizes and colors to adapt to pollinators in the systems where they live.
An impressive example of Tobacco's exquisite sensitivity to its environment, is that in only a weeks time, Tobacco can change its flowers from opening during the night to opening during the day. The plants do this in order to change their pollinators from Hawkmoths to hummingbirds. This change is in reaction to an infestation of Hawkmoth caterpillars. Tobacco will happily give some of its leaves in exchange for pollination but will not sacrifice itself to its main pollinator, the Hawkmoth. Not only does Tobacco change its flowers opening time from Night to Day but the day time flowers are a different size and don't have the same odor. The first tobacco plant in a group of plants that switches its flowering time also, starts to signal the other tobacco plants in the area. Soon they are all changing in solidarity.
Every person that I have ever known to grow tobacco plants has become infatuated with them, myself included. I started with Nicotiana rustica, the strong tobacco used in ceremonies. Within a few years I had a half dozen different species. Six years ago, I was gifted with a dozen Nicotiana alata/Jasmine Tobacco plants. The smell of smoking tobacco flowers is very herbaceous but the smell of Jasmine Tobacco well.....it was love at first whiff! Didn't matter that Jasmine Tobacco's nicotine content was next to nothing, her heavy, fragrant breath was just as addictive. Last summer I grew sixty plants in the garden next to my cabin. As darkness descended she lifted her head and wove a thick web of fragrance.
Every other night, I would wait until darkness descended and then go out, under the gloaming of the moon or with a flashlight, to harvest the perfumed flowers. I have been experimenting with capturing the breath of flowers in resins, waxes and fats for a number of years. This ancient art is called enfleurage. I place the flowers, face down directly on the resin for two days and then change flowers with fresh ones. I did this all summer in the warm, breezy nights of the North. This enfleurage holds not only the fragrance of the flowers but of fluttering moths, moon shadows and moments of infinite delight..