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Adoration

Beauty of colour and of form is limited in its showing; it is a fixed quality of existence, whereas fragrance is volatile, ethereal as the breathing of life. So in all religious ceremonies frankincense and myrrh play a prominent part. There is something spirituelle in redolence. When the delicious perfume of the sakura quickens the morning air, as the sun in its course rises to illumine first the isles of the Far East, few sensations are more serenely exhilarating than to inhale, as it were, the very breath of beauteous day.

--from Bushido, The Soul of Japan: An Exposition of Japanese Thought by Inazō Nitobe

 

We classify Adoration as a  "sacred" perfume. These are perfumes that have, as part of their recipe, ingredients that have at one time or another in recorded history, been associated with the religious or spiritual beliefs and practices of peoples living in different parts of the world. Most of our written history regarding such special aromatics is confined to the more well known traditions of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism etc. There are many communities that do not have written histories and to them aromatic plants used in various forms of incense, ointments, unguents, garlands etc were no less precious. All of humankind has loved perfume in one form or another to express their love of that hidden essence of life which is not visible to the outer eyes yet is felt as imminently present in those special moments when one is quiet and still and not distracted by the pressing demands of everyday existence.

 

In this perfume recipe I have selected some of the most well known essences, ones that have been revered in both East and West i.e. sandalwood, blue lotus, white water lily, rose, agarwood and frankincense. The stories behind each one of them is one that can occupy many enjoyable hours but and hopefully this recipe will inspire such a literary exploration.

 

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