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"My personal approach to blending is far different from that of others. To me these gorgeous fragrances are very much alive. They are the life given essences uniting God and the flowers; God and the animals to whom he gave a fragrance. As I join the precious oils together in a blend, it is exactly like calling together a group of my dear friends for a charming evening of fun and relaxation. It is a joy for me to behold them link hands and become as one divine entity which, I know, will bring happiness to others."
--from Galaxy of Scents: The Ancient Art of Perfume Making, by Mary Lynne

How to Begin Your Alchemical and Sensual Journey

Imagine... you are gently traveling back in time or maybe just walking into a virgin rain forest carrying just the bare essentials to live for a while with the indigenous and not so primitive tribe. First you notice you are surrounding by the scents of living plants, animals, and waterfalls. In fact, you could do this in almost any country you just have to slip away from the tourists and go deeper into the woods or jungle.

Well in a real sense this is what happens whenever you become involved with essential oils. They are an ancient source of inspiration and very directly get us in touch with our roots (and plants, and flowers, and trees, and citrus fruits, and more.) You could also create a sacred space in your home full of plants with a soaking tub and dozens of exotic, earthy, spicy, floral, woody essential oils.

Essential oils (EO's) are representatives of the plant world that can help us communicate with our inherent nature. Aspects of our inherent being that have been lost or pushed out of consciousness by the stress of the daily grind or nearly erased in our society. Sensory experience and feeling is nothing you get from or is masked by the flood of desensitizing synthetic scents.

I like to travel and discover how indigenous cultures use fragrance in their magical, spiritual, and social rituals. It's also unsettling sometimes to observe how unnaturally I'm desensitized from nature, how bodily dissociated I am from plants, life-force, and healing; how my senses of smell & touch have become lessened, and how detuned I've become to the natural world.

For many of us steeped in aromas, it represents a relatively safe way of messing with our own psyches, getting in touch again with our most fundamental senses.

Often when I'm working with the oils, a familiar smell will transport me for a moment to the place I first or last experienced it. Green oak moss absolute reminds me I need to get back to Trinidad in Northern California, where I walk in the redwoods and ferns near the ocean. Night Jasmine reminds me of the eight years I spent in Fiji. Ylang ylang reminds me of the years I spent treasure hunting in the Philippines. Patchouli of the last conversation I had with Pranato, the manager of our factory and distillery in Nang, Java, Indonesia..?. Bulgarian rose, of sitting on my grandmother's lap, being rocked to sleep on her porch. And my favorite, gardenia--of the first birthday party I was invited to.

Given individuals' variations in responding to specific smells it is unlikely that anybody's response to a single essential oil let alone a complex blend of oils works equally for everybody.

Sometimes when I'm working on a blend especially for some one I know well I can almost feel what it is they're looking for from their blend. It's like a tugging at the back of my mind that says go ahead add a little more Roman Chamomile for Ross, it will help relieve some of the pressure he is always under. In my experience, the chamomiles always helps me to let go a little, feel I've done all I could I'm not going to beat myself over the head, and gladly accept the help others are offering.

The key to sense the psychological (emotional-sexual) effect of any of the oils lies in allowing their energetic influence to touch you via your sophisticated yet primitive olafactory .?, just for the moment, at a deeper place in your body- mind. You've probably heard the phrase that the wine has a very heady _____? it's because the taster feels it there. It's the same way with essential oils they resonate with places in your body and psyche.

Some of us explore all the aromatherapy paths and use our own body-minds like an alchemical lab to see how we respond to the oils. We are in love and maybe even a little addicted with wafting aromas that initiate simultaneous processes and powerful synergies that includes a reconnection with nature, a stirring of emotions, physical amusements, and perhaps even a change in consciousness.

You will____? Improve/restore your sense of smell is mostly accomplished through working with essential oils over time. It is the same talent you develop in cooking or tasting good wines.

If my dog, or other non-humans could talk he would confirm that each individual has it's own distinct odor, a chemical signature, and a specific preference. The other day walking him in the woods near my house I had an inspiration for a new fragrance I was struggling with. Somehow thinking about her in this quite tree covered place I could smell her and new exactly what her blend needed. She loved to hike and so I added just a touch of fir.

Explore a number of resources for maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle. Shaman/new holistic science improve the flow of native biological information through the psychosomatic networks of the body-mind.

One of our distillers insists on using a copper distiller and always points out the importance of having the tubing make a 3 complete circles as it runs through the water. Another has his whole family offer a puja, a Hindu prayer and ceremony before beginning each distillation, and yet another is always quoting from the bible. Does all this make for better quality oil? Certainly, they believe so, and I've never had a bad batch from any of them that was not excellent, if not perfectly distilled.

I used to grow Gardenia's and often remarked that when I turned off the fan the sense of stillness in the room was remarkable. So when I read suggestions in Mary Lynne's book to blend when the air was still, which she accomplished by filling the room with plants, preferably in a place part enclosed. I moved our lab underneath the house and moved all my plants down there. Did it make a difference? All I can say is--the proof is in the tasting. You'll have to tell us, but I know I much more enjoy working there.

Also, I agree with her of not using alcohol in our blends. I can't rationally really explain why I tend not to use alcohol except to say in our experience it tends to really change the "nose" of the oils dramatically. Also there is a great deal of concern amongst the more esoteric or alchemical perfumers that feel alcohol actually kills or takes the life out of blend. Mary Lynne wrote "Let me tell you this, alcohol does not preserve fragrance, it pickles it!" We believe to get the greatest experience from a perfume or elixir you need to allow it to sink into your skin and mingle with your own unique chemistry. Alcohol tends to make them lift off your skin.

To take the next alchemical leap and to acknowledge the existence of auras, energy fields, chakras, unseen Ayurvedic doshas and Chinese Chi and meridians-- well that's for you to feel into.

The notion that there is an underlying energy that animates your body-mind is not a far step if you realize your body and nervous system is one big electrical field. The expansion and contraction that pumps your blood and fluids is generated by two oppositely charged ions that cause electrons to flow through the fibrous bands that permeate.[ed: what the heck does this have to do with heart pump?]

We haven't found a reliable way to test you for these alchemical influences over the Internet. We must therefore take a more intuitive and rational approach and rely on:

? Your own native sense of what you are attracted to via the perfumes and scents you prefer to be associated and ? Discovering something about your basic constitutional typing to help you to tune into your basic emotional/sexual needs.

Again, we repeat: we believe the true rewards of pure essential aromas are discovered in a gradual change of lifestyle in which your own health can be supported by what smells you choose to live with and breathe. Just like you might support your physical emotional needs by choosing to eat organic foods, taking vitamins, or finding a way to enjoy regular exercise, yoga or meditation.

And does the alchemical process play a role in all this? I hope so. Likewise all Alchemists worth their weight in gold are very practical. When you get ready to put together your precious (see Essential Prosperity) essential oil lab or place you play visit your essential oils here are some ideas mentioned in this section..?:

Still air Radiant floor and air registers at floor level Plants (Essential Plants) Full spectrum light Temp controlled Vanity cabinet from lumber yard.

I like to see my oil (not have them hiiden behind a mirror or door so I chose from IKEA 'Stripa shelf' 31?" lacquered wood shelves that have a nice lip that holds the oils or a book open and cost $6.95 or shelving, see Ikea.

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