Time Travel and Necromancy: the easy way.

Time Travel and Necromancy: the easy way.

No, I haven’t gone over to the Dark Side with Dr Who. Chance would be a fine thing. I’ve been following my nose as a part of a project that is as much intuitive as it is nebulous, and I’m hoping to share a snippet of some of my discoveries. After all, one of the items on my bio on Twitter and elsewhere is Explorer and while I think most people reading this blog don’t expect me to disappear into jungles wearing a pith helmet and a goofy smile and not reappear for months or years, I do the Explorer thing in a very different way. I explore inner worlds.

When I say, following my nose, I do mean literally. I’ve been exploring the world of the sense of smell. I’ve hung round department stores, come home often with a dozen little smelling strips (which make delightful book marks, by the way), visited perfume shops, and bought blind on line. I can honestly say I have no real clear idea of what I’m doing. Or really, why. But there’s been some extraordinary results.

First one I’d like to share concerns a perfume from The Library of Fragrance. http://thelibraryoffragrance.com/collections/all?page=1 They have created a sort of physical data base of all sorts of extraordinary scents: everything from almond or apple blossom to wet garden or whisky tobacco. I’ve been given some and have bought a few others; they’re relatively inexpensive and light cologne type fragrances. Singly, some are a little thin, or depth-less, but the beauty is you can mix and match and create something quite different by using two or more at a time. Now, I’ve managed to recreate a now-unavailable perfume Amber from L’Occitane by mixing Amber with Thunderstorm; it’s as close as makes no difference when the original is gone from sale. The Library was having a sale a few weeks ago and my daughter and I pooled our resources and bought one each. I bought Iris http://thelibraryoffragrance.com/products/iris but when mine arrived I got a shock because it brought a ghost with it.

A kindly ghost, I must add. The scent is quite hard to describe, but it conjured someone I admired hugely as a child and who I wished I had known better as an adult. Until I sprayed Iris on me, I hadn’t know that somehow, it had been her scent. I imagine it was a mixture of things, but it immediately brought to mind my headmistress from my infants’ school, who I stayed in touch with by letter until I was 23, when she passed away unexpectedly. Looking back, I know she had had a difficult life that it’s hard for a 21st century young woman to understand; not only had she lived through WW2, she would have also lived through the radical changes before that, and the changing world that meant that when she began her teaching career, it was accepted that a female teacher would quit if she married (it was once enforced as were dozens of other things we now look at with horror). So Iris was as if she had just walked through the room; it gave me great comfort and encouragement. It’s a perfume of quiet elegance and self-deprecating strength; not exactly floral either, but with a 1920’s feel to it that’s unlike anything else. 

The next perfume was one of sheer time travel. When I was 14, I went to France on an exchange programme. On one afternoon, we were let loose in the centre of Angers, and I found myself in the market. One of the stalls was selling joss sticks and perfumes and I haggled for several items. I came away with a hair clip, a joss stick holder and a tiny bottle of deep, dark resinous looking perfume that later I was not allowed to wear at home because my mum loathed it. I loved it, and though it was very different to the kind of scent you’d imagine an English school girl wearing, it was something that had drawn me. Of course, once it was gone (lost or finished, I do not recall) I had no name for it and could never find anything like it again. Then, part of my foraging on Amazon brought this to my nets: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00V37SSF8?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00 Opening it was like stepping back forty or so years. I imagine my mother will still hate it.

Not all exploring is nice. I have had one experience recently with the scents I have been trying and it continues to haunt and upset me, because I cannot get the scent out of my mind and it’s a horrible one, truly horrible. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00UD2NKKW?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00 I had been trying to find a version of amber I also remember from my teens. But this was not it. It brought to mind a person who isn’t dead but might as well be; not a complete scent but a note created by all sorts of things, and like with Iris, it was as if someone gone from my life had walked through my room. Needless to say, I had to use other scents to exorcise this memory.

I am hoping that this form of exploration will be a way of examining both memories and imagination in a manner that is quite different. It might not suit everyone but it’s been an interesting experience so far.

(For other posts of fragrance please click here  here  here or here

Meditating With Aromatics ~ A Unique Interactive Project That Grows

Meditating with Aromatics ~ a unique interactive project that grows

Over the last year I have published a number of meditations that use fragrance as a starting point and the intention has been to write an entire book of them. After much thought I decided that I would start by making the meditations available during the process of writing the book and publishing it in stages.

There’s a few good reasons for this. The first is that it gives me a greater incentive to write them. The second is subtler. Making a book available during its creation rather than when it is a finished
product would normally be the very last thing I’d ever do but this is
different.

It’s different because I want the readers to be involved in the creation. How often have you read a book and wished to ask the writer to do something different? Ask for instructions to be clearer or more detailed? Or make a personal request? This time you can.

Meditating with Aromatics is a work in progress that you can help shape as it is written. You can request that I write a meditation for a fragrant substance that has special power for you. You can suggest scents I may not have considered. You can try them out and let me know what would work better for you.

I have made the booklet free to download from Lulu, but as they have no stats counter for free downloads, all I ask is that if you do
download it, you let me know that you have done so, and that if you pass the link to others, they let me know if they have. That way I have a good idea of the scale of my readers and their reach. I’d also be delighted if people bought the paper copy. I am actually very proud of how it looks and feels. Each time I update it, a new
revision will be created until the final product is completed but
it’s not going to break the bank at this stage to buy a copy. I am
smugly delighted with my cover design showing a beautiful English
garden in full summer glory.

So buy or download, pass it on to anyone who meditates, and let me know what YOU want. There aren’t many books that are truly written for the reader’s benefit, so take advantage of this and get involved. I’d also be immensely grateful if you would repost, Facebook, blog, tweet and retweet and mention whenever you feel it’s appropriate because reaching the people who might benefit from this project is going to be as interactive as the writing of the book itself. Thank you all in advance.

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/meditating-with-aromatics/15734841