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Author Topic: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual  (Read 3387 times)

Sefiru

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Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« on: October 17, 2016, 07:13:49 pm »
So, I don't usually use a lot of scents in my spiritual practice, or my personal life for that matter; I just can't stand most scented products (incense, essential oils, candles, what-have-you).

I recently discovered, much to my surprise, an exception, when my mom brought some of it back from vacation: Swiss Stone Pine, locally called Arvenholz. (I then asked her to get me some on her next trip.)

This is probably the one smell in the world that I would deliberately use in my personal space. It's somewhere between regular pine and sandalwood ... which is weird, because I detest sandalwood. :confused: I guess it's also kind of ancestor-honoring, since the tree comes from the region my family is from.

Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?

Redfaery

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2016, 07:48:55 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;197610
So, I don't usually use a lot of scents in my spiritual practice, or my personal life for that matter; I just can't stand most scented products (incense, essential oils, candles, what-have-you).

I recently discovered, much to my surprise, an exception, when my mom brought some of it back from vacation: Swiss Stone Pine, locally called Arvenholz. (I then asked her to get me some on her next trip.)

This is probably the one smell in the world that I would deliberately use in my personal space. It's somewhere between regular pine and sandalwood ... which is weird, because I detest sandalwood. :confused: I guess it's also kind of ancestor-honoring, since the tree comes from the region my family is from.

Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?

I use perfume as a devotional act, since there are specific scents I associate with My Lady Saraswati, and wearing them reminds me of Her. My favorite is a perfume from Deconstructing Eden that's named after Saraswati. It's lotus and honey, with ginger and sandalwood.
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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2016, 05:38:26 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;197610

Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?


I use traditional Orthodox church incense (frankincense tears infused with scents and burned on charcoal) and usually go for the 'Byzantine' or 'Athonite' varieties. I love the ritual of lighting it and the effects of the smoke, but I'll be the first to admit it can be expensive and time-consuming, so I save it for Sundays and feasts. For daily devotions I use incense sticks - either Maroma Fern & Moss or Anne Stokes Oak King (white sage). I've given up on other brands and scents.
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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2016, 09:03:21 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;197610


Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?

 
I am very sensitive to smells. I can't abide any perfume or other piercing odours, they give me migraines. I was afraid I'd get migraine from smoke or incense too but fortunately I haven't had a problem with it yet.
I have always loved the smell of musk and its earthy primal scent ties in perfect with my devotions to Cernunos.
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Dusk

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2016, 12:03:26 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;197610

Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?

 
While I always disliked most mainstream perfumes, I have had a lot of luck with indie perfume oils. Unlike perfume sprays, they rarely give me headaches and they often smell less artificial, and I love collecting them. Appreciating my senses, including smell, feels like a small but important part of my spirituality to me.

My favorite brands include Sixteen92, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab (BPAL), and Alkemia. BPAL and Conjure Oils have many spiritual- and deity-themed scents which I find wonderful. Because indie samples are affordable (usually $2-4 each, less if you buy secondhand), last a long time, and I've been collecting for years, I have... a lot.

Some of my favorite scents are BPAL Antikythera Mechanism (dark vanilla, woods, and pipe tobacco), Sixteen92 Salem (spicy atmospheric autumnal incense), Sixteen92 Tituba (gingerbread, beeswax, and resins), Sixteen92 Mercy Lewis (creamy tea, sugared almond, and rosehips), Alkemia As Dark Things are Meant to be Loved (sweet, dark, and resinous), and Solstice Scents' Riverside Hayride (pressed apples, carnation, and dirt - surprisingly beautiful and wearable).

My least favorite scents are anything with lilac, baby power, or anything that smells like most laundry detergent, which gives me an awful headache.
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Elding

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2016, 07:08:39 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;197610
Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?

I have a sharp sense of smell and I detest concentrated stuff like most perfumes and incense. I prefer herbs and plants if I wish to scent something - wormwood is one of my favorites, it smells divine when burned, sort of like white sage but with a more bitter undertone. Most people don't seem to care for it much, but I do. Pine needles smell good when burned as well, and licorice root when boiled in water. Lavender, I find, is best when simply dried.

If we're talking about my favorite smell anywhere, though, rather than just the stuff that can be used for practice... morbidly enough, that would have to be the smell of death. It seems that whenever I'm near something that die, be it an animal or a person, there's this... sweet, fresh scent in the air that very much remind me of apples. I'm guessing it is the smell of some sort of feel-good hormone... there's apparently a few of those released en-masse during the seconds of death. That's probably why it is my favorite scent - it's like this little reminder that maybe, just maybe, the unpleasant, horrifying times of fear and/or sickness that led up to the persons (or animal's) death, ended with something better for them. It's got some bittersweet memories attached to it for me.

My least favorite smell? Hospitals and homes for the elderly, hands down. It smells like detergent and other people's diseases. Mainstream perfumes and cigarettes (though not pipe smoke) are close seconds for sure, blech!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2016, 07:09:53 pm by Elding »
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Yei

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2016, 07:35:38 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;197610
So, I don't usually use a lot of scents in my spiritual practice, or my personal life for that matter; I just can't stand most scented products (incense, essential oils, candles, what-have-you).

I recently discovered, much to my surprise, an exception, when my mom brought some of it back from vacation: Swiss Stone Pine, locally called Arvenholz. (I then asked her to get me some on her next trip.)

This is probably the one smell in the world that I would deliberately use in my personal space. It's somewhere between regular pine and sandalwood ... which is weird, because I detest sandalwood. :confused: I guess it's also kind of ancestor-honoring, since the tree comes from the region my family is from.

Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?

 
I must be quite unusual as I actually really like most perfumes and incense. Which is fortunate because scent is actually a very important part of the offerings. I'm not sure which ones are my favourites, although copal is definitely on top. I also like frangipani, vanilla, frankincense,  musk, sandalwood, all other scents really. I actually can't name one I don't like, though I haven't smelled most of them.

From other sources however, I am much more picky. I don't like smells like Tobacco, or anything that smells too industrial. And while a little bit of cleaners smells ok, it can easily become overwhelming.

Eastling

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2016, 11:25:20 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;197610
Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?

 
I've gotten the sense that incense attracts the attention of my Powers, so I use it a lot in ritual. Fortunately, I'm pretty tolerant of a lot of incense, including the cheap stick incense sold at the corner convenience store (although every so often I hit a brand or scent that bothers me). There's a little rack there frequently selling stuff with strange, amusing, and inexplicable names like "Butt Naked" and "What it do?" that I sometimes buy to amuse myself. Unfortunately, I'm bad at figuring out what the actual scents involved in those are...

For my main weekly ritual (which is loosely Jewish in structure and originally given to me by Lilith), though, I use good resin incense--usually a combination of myrrh and frankincense.

My personal favorite scent is probably amber--there's a rich, not-quite-honey-like vitality to it that I adore.

I used to collect BPAL, which has been mentioned above, but it's a little too expensive for me to keep up with now. I do still have some bottles left over of it; I've been using a scent called Caliban in some recent practice of drawing down/channeling a syncretic Power I think of as Aidoneus Mystes, an intersection of Dionysos and Hades. I would really like to explore more, but like I said, money is an object.
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Jenett

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2016, 02:34:48 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;197610

Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?

 
I am a Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab user, with quite the collection of things now. I don't use a lot of them heavily in specific ritual or magical practice, but I do use several specific scents for 'evocation of the self I want to become more like' as part of a quieter personal practice.

(Which is sometimes a little tricky: a lot of florals smell lovely on me, and this is not the me I wish to project to the world necessarily.)

Stick incense is also part of my trad's ritual practice, when I do the ritual bit that requires the stick, I pick based on goal of the ritual, and usually have a couple of mildish broadly useful sticks on hand.
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Aisling

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2016, 07:57:15 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;197610
Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?


I use scents in a way that's similar to what Jennett has described.  I choose them as a way of focusing on some particular aspect that needs attention or as a way of honoring a specific part of my path.  

My absolute favorite to wear for spiritual purposes is Inis perfume mixed with a drop of lavender oil. The combination, for me, has a very pleasant sense of liminality about it.  Favorites for ritual incense - balsam, cinnamon, and dragonsblood.
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Sefiru

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2016, 09:13:13 pm »
Quote from: Yei;197657
I must be quite unusual as I actually really like most perfumes and incense. Which is fortunate because scent is actually a very important part of the offerings. I'm not sure which ones are my favourites, although copal is definitely on top. I also like frangipani, vanilla, frankincense,  musk, sandalwood, all other scents really. I actually can't name one I don't like, though I haven't smelled most of them.

From other sources however, I am much more picky. I don't like smells like Tobacco, or anything that smells too industrial. And while a little bit of cleaners smells ok, it can easily become overwhelming.

 
As a reconstructionist, do you stick to scents that originate in Mexico in offerings? Or do you use ones from other parts of the world?

For those who like blends of various scents: do you choose them based on the overall effect, or for the individual ingredients?

Aisling

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2016, 09:29:27 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;197690
For those who like blends of various scents: do you choose them based on the overall effect, or for the individual ingredients?


For me, it's a combination of things: Are the individual ingredients compatible as far as both the scent and energy? Are the proportions of those ingredients in a good balance? What is the synergy of the final product like?  For wearable scents, how do these play with body chemistry?
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Yei

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2016, 05:26:37 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;197690
As a reconstructionist, do you stick to scents that originate in Mexico in offerings? Or do you use ones from other parts of the world?

 
I do prioritise scents from Mesoamerica, such as Copal and Vanilla. However, I do not rely on them exclusively, as the important part of an incense offering is the pleasant smell, and other incenses still produce enjoyable scents, even if they are unfamiliar. Besides, maybe the gods like variety.

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2016, 07:45:10 pm »
Quote from: Sefiru;197610
So, I don't usually use a lot of scents in my spiritual practice, or my personal life for that matter; I just can't stand most scented products (incense, essential oils, candles, what-have-you).

I recently discovered, much to my surprise, an exception, when my mom brought some of it back from vacation: Swiss Stone Pine, locally called Arvenholz. (I then asked her to get me some on her next trip.)

This is probably the one smell in the world that I would deliberately use in my personal space. It's somewhere between regular pine and sandalwood ... which is weird, because I detest sandalwood. :confused: I guess it's also kind of ancestor-honoring, since the tree comes from the region my family is from.

Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?

 

I have a super sensitive sense of smell (stronger every day since I quit smoking woo hoo) and my husband has asthma triggered by perfume and dust.  He does really well with natural scents and this is what works for us:

I wear straight patchouli oil and have worn it alone for at least 12 years.  It smells like home to me-rich earthy and warm.  But it has to be 100% pure essential oil (from lotus preferably or aura cacia)

At night we run lavender and peppermint on our shoulders, knees and chest.

We have some yummy candles and burn oils.... actually everything we have right now is patchouli 🙈  

Oh and amber! Love amber

Merlick

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Re: Scents: Favorite, least favorite, and unusual
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2016, 07:37:33 am »
Quote from: Sefiru;197610
Do you have a favorite or least-favorite scent? Do you use any unusual or obscure scents?

 
I often use scented candles or oils in ritual. My favorite one is blue spruce, but I also like sandalwood or white musk. Sometimes I also use nag champa incense sticks. They're especially good for meditation.

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