The Sainted Scents of Midwinter 2013 have been inspired by the wealth of myth, magic, whimsy and symbolism that I have long enjoyed within the stories of the saints.
Saint Bega of Bees botanical perfume
St. Bega was a 9th century Irish virgin saint. She was said to have sailed away across the sea to British shores, standing upon a piece of sod wearing only a holy bracelet, when her chastity was threatened by a Northern king!
(What a beautiful visual!)
She is credited with later establishing a convent in Bees, Northumberland.
A pilgrim’s path called St. Bega’s Way can be walked in her honor, today.
The botanical perfume Saint Bega of Bees was blended with the essential oils of Frankincense, Scotch Pine, Agarwood, Black Currant, and Cistus.
Saint Christina the Astonishing
The story of the life of St. Christina the Astonishing, a flying saint who lived in Liège in the 12th century, reflects, in my opinion, the wild woman archetype, as written about extensively by Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes. So it will probably come as no surprise to say her contemporaries did not treat her, nor did they write about her, very kindly.
It was said of her that she once died and came back to life. That she spent a great deal of time perched in trees, that she liked to swim in icy rivers and fly around on windmills, and that she found her fellow humans to be — stinky.
( Eeks! I do hope this scent meets with her approval!)
Christina’s life was documented in the 13th century in a book “The Life of Saint Christina the Astonishing” by Thomas de Cantimpré who writes “Her body was so sensitive and light that she walked on dizzy heights and, like a sparrow, hung suspended from the topmost branches of the loftiest trees” though Christina’s story is far more enjoyable when sung by Nick Cave in the eponymous song, Christina the Astonishing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KygSpvCd_o
The unisex botanical perfume, Christina the Astonishing was created with the essential oils of Ambergris, Clove, Neroli, Liquidambar, Black Cumin and Cedar.
Both of the Sainted Scents come in a bejeweled, gold painted 6ml bottle, as pictured above.
And I have blended both of my Sainted Scents to contain at least one aromatic ingredient that was deemed sacred/ holy in the Saint’s own lifetime. I consciously created them both to evoke churchy, musty, old, and mysterious. But — in a sexy way! And I hope you will like them.
The Sainted Scents will also come with my handmade print, “Mary Magdalen Cutting off Her Hair” inspired by a French medieval monastic text c. 11-12th century. The lino print is on plain brown paper, in burgundy ink, and will be included with Sainted Scent perfume orders while supplies last. The print can also be purchased separately, here.
For further reading on the lives of the virgin saints, pick up Giselle Potter’s delightful book, “Lucy’s Eyes and Margaret’s Dragon.”