February 13, 2009

Perfume and Love

Much love to you, this chilly February weekend, who are reading this. May you be happy, healthy, free, and live with ease.

The perfume to express this important branch of love, agape, as equanimity and elemental compassion for all, might be a calming one rather than anything very rich and strange or exciting. I see it as one that connects us to the security and peace of childhood, or Nature, such as a simple rose or jasmine soli-flore, or the scent of citrus or melon, or the clean skin scent of white musk, or the comfort of vanilla, perhaps combined with some ozonic/marine elements.

This kind of love is not the same as our understanding of the essence of romance and passion that is the primary focus of Valentine's Day, that of Eros. Still, let's not forget we are constantly living in a world that requires all the forms of love, and we will most likely experience them all only as fully as we keep them in the forefront of our awareness, and not let ourselves get too distracted away from them.

The kind of love that can be complicated and difficult is sometimes the very one that has the power to melt the complacent, frozen heart within us. Here is one of my favorite quotes, from Kafka (for Valentine's Day, substituting the concept of love for that of art -- it works perfectly that way too):

If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skull, why then do we read? So that it shall make us happy? Good God, we should also be happy if we had no books, and such books as make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. But what we must have are those books which come upon us like ill fortune, and distress us deeply, like the death of one we love better than ourselves; like suicide. A book must be an ice-axe to break the sea frozen inside us.

As it is with art and books, so it is with some loves. Our complacency is overturned and our compassion and maturity awakened, because it demands we learn enough to understand ourselves and the Other. Some forms of love are the essence and fuel of peace, and some are the force of necessary change in life and character.

As far as this relates to perfume, it is a powerful personal accessory in our emotional relationships with others. We all are familiar with the concept of its seductive and glamorizing aspects. The person wearing it takes on the reflected glory of the sensual experience of inhaling a beautiful composition, it wafts up into a person's head and then settles into the heart and mind. Being someone who chooses perfume or experiments with different ones more to satisfy private interests, it's important to remain aware that perfume may become a trigger, a memory in the heart of the next person who loves us, or is simply just beside us. Let's not forget that power of perfume as we make our choices. So consider how your perfume(s) will evoke memories. The balance of all the kinds of love in your life, easy or difficult, where ever and however they may manifest themselves will be connected to you by others through your scents. That's basically what they are for, and most often what they were well-designed to do.

Mystery link for the purposes of credit to above photo here.
An extra diversion, some beautiful animals with Valentine heart shaped markings here.


Trish/Pikake said...

Love, smells, fragrance, memories, they are so complex and beautiful. Your piece is lovely and thought provoking.

What cute animals BTW....thanks for those too.

chayaruchama said...

Ah, beloved girl.

Right you are- so many forms of love, and ALL of them DESPERATELY needed, in our world.
None to be turned away.

Love the animals...don't I always ?

Lucy said...

Trish/Pikake -- yes, it's all about the love isn't it? I hope we get to meet in NYC soon...

C/I, dear creature, of course the animals are the very best of all! Tho I think they have very different tastes in what smells good to them...

Trish/Pikake said...

Looks like NYC in August. May or may not coincide with a sniffa event. But I will make my own! LOL

I am wanting to go to http://www.enfleurage.com/index.html
have you been?

We'll have to make up a (manageable) itinerary :-)


Lucy said...

Yes, Trish, I have been to Enfleurage. A very tiny store but everything in it is very high quality, a good place to get materials to make up some things of your own. There are so many places downtown to go to try perfumes and related fragrance things. I will be very pleased to meet you for a perfume outing (provided it is a weekend day, I do work and most of these places are not open all that late)...very exciting!

Trish/Pikake said...

Yay! We will make something work :-)

I have to relax about it a bit since it's not until August. I was reading about the gardenia pomade on her site and there is talk of it over on POL right now. Must. Stay. Calm. LOL.

Patyka is another place I'd like to go.

I have In Fiore to look forward to when I go to SF in March. I just posted about their lovely jasmine scent called Maia. It's a line you'd probably be interested in if you haven't heard of them already.


Sugao said...

Just trying to get the word out on my new line of natural home-brewed perfumes. Please check out my website, the Anosmic Perfumery.