Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Liquid Fume

Frankincense, originally uploaded by galeriacores3.

Smoke is the origin of perfume: an ancient ritual of burning resins to create and purify mental space and exalt one’s soul to connect to the divine. By fire and alchemy physical matter (resins, spices) transform into spirit through smoke.

Burning loose incense is one of my most favourite ways to experience and enjoy fragrance. There’s something magical about the transformation of golden frankincense tears into smoke. Sparks fly when the charcoal is lit on fire, and that’s just the beginning of the excitement. Once the heat takes over the charcoal, a few precious resinous tears are placed on the ember. At first, they just rest quietly with their majestic dusted gold appearance. But soon enough, they can’t stand the heat any longer and begin to sweat their perfect aroma into the air, which turns from invisible vapours in the first few moments into smoldering smoke the next.

Frankincense has a way of affecting the human mind, coaxing it into relaxation and a meditative state of consciousness. The mere act of burning incense connects one to different elements of nature: fire, wood, metal. It gives me a sense of connection to my ancestors, the deserts of the Middle East and ancient rituals that were meant to bring people closer to themselves and closer to the gods. When I burn incense, a fransformation occurs in front of my eyes, taking over my space with its smoky perfume that is at once balsamic, sweet, woody, resinous, fresh and calming. All that remains to do is to let go and devote oneself to the experience this ancient perfume

With Liquid Fume I tried to create a perfume that captures the experience of burning incense, within the liquid medium of grain spirits. Without any matches or charcoal and real smoke, I tried to bring a sensation of warmth, dryness and the rich, resinous balsamaic odour of burning frankincense. I tried to imagine the most dense incense condensed in a bottle, with the warmth of embers and the dripping honey of melted frankincense tears… This is what I hope Liquid Fume will be for you.

Frankincense is of course the core of this perfume. But other notes were added for bringing out different qualities of an incense burning ritual: Virginian cedarwood and guiacwood were chosen for their smokiness, liquidamber for its molden-gold sweetness, helicrysum and labdanum absolutes for their rich, sweet honeyed and resinous qualities, and sweet orange to brighten everything up and remind us of the fresh, almost citrusy aspects of frankincense.

Top notes:
Sweet Orange, Virginian Cedarwood, Copaiba Balsam

Heart notes:
Liquidambar, Guiacwood, Atlas Cedarwood

Base notes:
Golden Frankincense, Labdanum, Helicrysum Absolute

Liquid Fume one-of-a-kind perfume is available on or via Etsy.

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