eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sandalwood Again ["come with us now on a journey through time and space..."]

A couple of years ago, I very accidentally happened into some very vintage sandalwood oil. I'd bought a cute mini flask, green, corrugated glass, that I had plans to fill with something special. When it arrived, it was already full of liquid. A dab on my hand and a few long inhalations told me that this was sandalwood oil. Very old, probably from the 60s or 70s. It was, as I like to call it, the cosmic motherlode, and I love to imagine who used to own it and what his or her life was like at the time.

Silver Factory hijinks.

While my life is more The Mighty Boosh than Doctor Who (thankfully, yet regrettably), every once in awhile, I like to revisit the past and bring out that little flask. It now resides in a lovely deerskin medicine bag given to me by my beautiful friend and employer, Angela Shore, who creates spectacular oils for her brand Jiva-Apoha. Today was one of those blessed days. I put a dab of vintage on one hand, and a dab of Angela's sigh-inducing sandalwood she obtained from India last year, on the other hand. As per usual, I called in my husband to be the sniff-tester, and I took note of his reactions [he is a very gifted savant fragrance critic- I guess creativity is creativity, no matter how you slice, dice or roll it].

First, the vintage. Seventeen sniffs later, he said, "Powerful. Ripe, almost skunky. Dirty leather and dusty sex. Easy Rider with twice the drugs." That's a lot of drugs.

Lord Hopper on his low-rider.

Then, Angela's sandalwood. He measured his words more carefully this time."Gentler. Sweet. Godly."

Siddhartha under the Bodhi tree.

I totally agree. And do the scents represent the times from whence they came? Absolutely. And they are both wildly attractive to the point of obsession, as far as I'm concerned. They are both gifts from the earth, and when they're gone, there will be no more that is exactly the same.  So in the meantime, I will treasure every drop and allow myself to occasionally experience the sublime nature of real, precious sandalwood-- not the fragrance industry's estimation of what it should smell like. And the best part? The unleashing of my husband's unwitting genius in distilling the essence of fragrance in very few, pithy and mostly hilarious words. I often find the best inspiration to write about my own passions in the people and places that orbit in galaxies far, far away from fragrance. Even if they happen to sleep next to me at night.

Crimping for the greater good

5 comments:

  1. Longtime reader, first-time commenter. You just made my day with the Boosh references and picture--I've been meaning to pull out the dvds for a rewatch for some time now :) Also, these sandalwood oils sound divine-I'll have to look into the Jive Apoha site now.

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    1. Dude, if you love The Boosh, you're in my club. 1st rule about my club, is that we constantly chatter about my club. 2nd rule, we take copious naps. 3rd rule, we sniff the good natural essences, then blab some more.

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    2. Oh and PS: Chapati, Chapati, Chapati Basmati

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  2. OH, sandlewood and the 70s! I was a teenager in the 70s and two friends, my poodle Pepe and myself took the year before college to travel North America in a camper. It was very popular back then. I carried with me my favorite sandlewood oil and musk oil. That was so much fun!

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    1. I also cherish the memories of traveling-- with The Grateful Dead, with my boyfriend at the time just on a 2 week road trip from Chicago to Hwy 1 in Cali, down to Mexico and back. No particular aim. The sights, sounds and especially the smells, have really stayed with me. Sandalwood is the smell of Freedom! That might be why I love Jiva-Apoha MUKTI so much- it means Freedom, and it's Nag Champa scent. It feels like it represents decades upon decades of struggle, bliss, knowledge, enlightenment- all rolled up into one perfect fragrance.

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