Category Archives: Botanical Perfumery

Theory U application to olfactory education, aromatherapy and perfumery

Smell is our most ancient sense, and it is in direct connection with our limbic system. This means that smells are capable of reaching the deepest centers of our memory, our emotions and also the regulation of some fundamental functions of our organism, such as hormones.

Certainly perfumes and aromas form a language that we can compare to that of colors and other forms of expression, such as music; we possess the innate ability to ‘think using perfumes’ and to find in them a possibility of expression.

Through the use of aromas we have in hand the ‘colors’ with which we can evoke interior states of mind, memories and our current needs. During the workshop of botanical perfumery in which we use Otto Scharmers’ Theory U to facilitate the creative process, people go through this path in a sensory and sensitive way.

Let’s see how we can go through a path of sensory consciousness with Theory U:

1- co-starting: each participant expresses his/her present moment, wishes and intentions for the workshop; a space is created in which it is possible to ‘look at with new eyes’, i.e. free of judgement about oneself and the others;

2- co-feeling: the exploration of a certain number of essences allows to explore the sensory ‘field’, with aromas coming from the italian terroir and from all over the world. From this point of view aromatherapy and perfumery enables a way of “rooting our awareness” regarding to territory, selecting familiar raw material, but also allowing an extension of perceptive knowledge  sniffing at smells of distant places, which may have been collected at different parts of the world.

This said, the sensory horizon broadens and with it also the possibilities of expression do expand; a new consciousness is born about sensory contexts that are often known only through images and stories. The enlargement of the expressive possibilities always corresponds to an enlargement of consciousness of the self – if I find myself in resonance with a tropical flower of which existence I did not even know about, I will ponder about what inspires me in that never smelled perfume, I will find myself discovering a quality of mine that I did not know before (i.e. I find a ‘mirror’ I didn’t know existed), maybe I will start to have more interest in its place of provenance, in people from that land and their culture, to better understand the perfume I just got to know.

3- presencing: the process of smell occurs in silence, and giving oneself the space and time to be able to collect all of the necessary ‘smell-information’. Not only are the essences being sniffed at but also ‘listened to’ in an active meditation process, which means following the intent and letting themselves be guided by the sense and keeping anchored by the emerging self-perception.

intelligenza emotiva corpo

4- crystallizing: from this sensory and consciousness exploration some olfactory associations are born in a spontaneous way,  combinations ‘speak’ to the person according to what he/her appreciates. In this way prototyping naturally occurs, without steady rules, being left to the persons’ sensibility to choose.

5- prototyping: the person ‘creates its perfume’, i.e. he/she creates his/her own personal synergy, evaluating it personally and asking eventually some comparison; at the end of its personal creative process each person shares its finished work with the group, getting as a feedback a mirroring response in form of colors, inspirations, drawings. It is often incredible how ‘perfect’ the mirroring is, restoring to the person senses and images that she/he had used and perceived during the creation of the perfume. Thus, the person creates a self portrait in an olfactory mode, ‘painting’ about him/herself while feeling at ease.

The olfactory intelligence’ is a form of creative consciousness accessible to everyone. It is a form of consciousness that is able to facillitate self-consciousness and creativity, giving voice to the expressive needs of self in each human being. The ‘product’ of such creativity is subsequently used eveyday, and as such it is a transitory product, not intended to last forever, but rather being meant to make the present moment easier.

By creating a formula, the person may also subsequently recreate the perfume – the sensory part in this is transient, while the formula lasts ‘forever’(the formula is the formal architecture that can be interpreted because clearly the choice of the essences has also a psychoaromatic sense).

For more information on Theory U: www.presencing.org

 

Cristina’s passion for Perfumes and Spices

Today I propose to you an interview with Cristina, a journalist, who participated in the Online Course of Aromatherapy and Perfumery on Spices– She tells us about her experience, and her discoveries “in the spicy world”.

– Dear Cristina, how did you start your journey before arriving at my scented Course on Spices?

I almost knew spices by name and mostly as flavorings, and did not know that essential oils of spices  existed. Now I have started to use them, beginning with a little fear because I am hypersensitive to everything and I always need to  find “my” doses. One day, walking around the house, I felt the scent of cinnamon everywhere, as if I had put into the diffuser. And I was thinking of mixing the powdered spices to see what fragrance they recall together, before working on essential oils. To my own surprise, I feel I need not be hasty in creating perfumes, and I need to let spices “talk to me” for a while.

– What questions did you have before signin up, and what do you think about the course, now that you have followed the entire training?

The online courses are often considered inferior to presential courses, but in reality I have become increasingly convinced that the online course is not the little brother of the coursein presence. Of course, the olfactory experience can be transmitted online only intuitively, and the energy and synergy of the group is always stimulating. But doing an online course – especially enjoying the lessons, as I did, in the silence of the night – can mean a more concentrated listening. This allows you to take in all the intensity of some messages you want to convey.

When, for example, you exhorts the aspiring perfumer, if you pass me the expression, to try and to be a little artis, and to put in place the subtle alchemy of essences and scents that only through a clever use of intuition can create a work of art. Or that  it can happen to create a fragrance that we do not like but that others appreciate. It gives a thrill to think about how much truth and beauty are enclosed in this concept. Becoming capable of accommodating emotional and perceptive diversity of others, to be more open to others… If the process of creating a perfume can lead to this, that a great teacher is the scent!

Curcuma zedoaria | Corso di Aromaterapia e Ayurveda

– What are your favorite spices, and what do you do now with spices after completing the course?

After listening to one of the lessons I went immediately to buy turmeric and saffron. Mrs. Patrizia of Tea Time Trieste gave me an Iranian saffron. I can’t explain what happened inside me when I put the jar in my canvas bag, pulling on the string … it’s as if it was an initiation. Not to mention the wonderful smell of warm and golden turmeric, with which I now use for making infusions. I drink also ​​pure Arabic coffee flavored with cardamom. The aroma of cardamom is very special, I also bought the essential oil. Another day I bought the ginger, to try green tea with ginger and coriander, which has a wonderful scent. It makes me think of rosemary and incense, something mystical and mysterious .

– What insights did you have along the way?

I thought the work of preparation behind the course, the generosity with which you offer your whole experience, the sweetness with which you encourage your students to start down the road of creating perfumes, learning to face and overcome difficulties. When one enrolls in a course, one often expects to receive receive receive. As for me everything is always connected, what I received was also an enrichment for my job, for my writing. I am beginning to use the words as if they were spices and essential oils …

– How do you feel now?

Sometimes I say, “Good morning, you finally woke up.” I came up with a dream of a few years ago I was in a room full of shelves with countless bottles of glass, in which there was a colored liquid, red, green, blue, etc., and at one point, whenI passed by them, all began to vibrate in unison. It is just the feeling I have now.

– What inner meaning you caught in the study of natural scents?

The perfumer Emilio Raccagni interviewed by you, said natural scent “is a world full of sensitivity” . It is true, I found out following your training, and it was a revelation. Expand your olfactory horizon means to expand your mental  and intellectual horizon. Talking with the language of perfumes, I would say that this course seems an invitation to perceive in every experience of life its base note, its middle note and its top note. Three notes that, of course, there are also in your training.

***

You can read more interviews here:

Natural perfumes for natural and emotional cosmetics with Emilio Raccagni

Perfumes of the Bible: Using ancient essential oils in massage, with Rosanna Bonardi

The witches of Spices with Patrizia Orlando

Coriander, or Coriandrum sativum, in Aromatherapy and Ayurveda

Coriander is a seed of a nice scented plant, which has always been known in Ayurveda for its beneficial properties. It is distilled from the Coriander seeds: essential oil scent remininds of lemon or citronella … and it’s it, Coriander, which seems to have inspired the use of carnival confetti!

Olio essenziale di Coriandolo in Aromaterapia, Coriander essential oil

This spice (above in one of the images of Koehler) has ancient roots, and we can find traces of its use in Egypt, in Greece, and it is mentioned in the Bible, in the texts of Exodus and Numbers.

In Ayurveda it is considered pungent and bitter, and having cooling effect. It is often used for its carminative and diuretic properties.

The use of coriander infusion is useful to people with digestive problems.

The essential oil extracted from the seeds has many properties, including :

– Tonic and stimulant;

– Euphoric;

– Bactericidal;

– Analgesic;

and therefore it can be a valuable aid, diluted in a vegetable oil, for local applications in case of:

– Arthritis;

-Weak digestion, flatulence;

– Fatigue, nervous exhaustion.

There is also a distillation of the leaves of coriander, which contain different chemical components, in fact it has different properties, ie it is a sedative and anti-inflammatory. This distillation is rare to find, so when you buy the essential oil of coriander, it will always be one of the seeds.

Its olfactory profile is varied , with sweet, spicy, some reminiscent of lime background, and bitter and a “rounding” bitter sweet aspect that mitigates its power base.

Its stimulating properties for the nervous system make it suitable also in small doses in massage, and in self massage of the feet in the morning, to begin the day with energy.

Warning: it smells very intense,use it carefully!

Curry recipes contain Coriander, and there are hundreds of recipes Eastern and Middle Eastern containing it.

A book inspired by this beautiful spice is “Damascus, taste of a city” written by Marie Fadel and Rafik Scham.

Damascus, Coriander essential oil and Aromatherapy

 

Happy reading … and happy carnival with Coriander (in Italy carnival confetti are known as “carnival corianders”) !