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Jade Censer

"Burning incense
climbs the jade altarIncense in Chinese temple
I hold an invitation
to a golden palace ceremony."

--from The Clouds Float North by Yu Xuanji, 842-872

In creating the Jade Censer Perfume I drew upon a number of aromatic materials that were an integral part of the grand incense tradition of China. The purpose of the composition was to create a feeling of the rich aromatic essences wafting from the elegant incense burners of ancient Chinese Temples. The fragrance of smoldering resins, precious woods, aromatic spices and herbs has a distinct charm that naturally diverts ones attention into a quiet and serene place where the division between the seen and unseen worlds begins to disintegrate. For hundreds of years the incense compounders of China drew upon a refined palette of natural botanicals including aloeswood, sandalwood, cloves, cinnamon, patchouli, star anise and frankincense to create blends that would enhance the contemplative experience and for this reason they have been included in the Jade Censer Perfume.

"The beauteous girl, weary of needlework, quiet is plunged in a long dream. The parrot in the golden cage doth shout that it is time the tea to brew. The lustrous windows with the musky moon like open palace-mirrors look; The room abounds with fumes of sandalwood and all kinds of imperial scents. From the cups made of amber is poured out the slippery dew from the lotus.
The banisters of glass, the cool zephyr enjoy flapped by the willow trees. In the stream-spanning kiosk, the curtains everywhere all at one time do wave. In the vermilion tower the blinds the maidens roll, for they have made the night’s toilette."

from Hung Lou Meng by Cao Xueqin


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