Today the most amazing gift arrived in the mail from a beautiful and thoughtful friend,
a book titled Four Elements, Reflections on Nature by John O'Donohue. I fell in love with it the moment that I opened to the first page. The Forward was written by Pat O'Donahue, the author's brother. The first sentence reads:
"As we journey from the womb of the sea with our gaze of longing fixed on the stars, we have stopped off this earth for a short spell of belonging."
These gorgeous words went into the center of my heart and filled my breath with joy. This sentence beautifully sets the tone for the rest of Mr. O'Donahue's poetic book. I am now savoring each page like a piece of exquisite dark chocolate. Mr. O'Donohue writes of the elements, nature, folklore and even mermaids!
"One of the most amazing shapes that water takes is that of the ocean. The presence of an ocean is so huge that it resembles the divine, its constant movement and soundings signal a powerful inner life".
In my recent walks along the waters edge, I have been appreciating all of the amazing secrets and gifts that the ocean has for us if we are willing to take the time to sit with them and listen to their stories. I have been photographing these treasures at my kitchen window in the new light of Spring. I gathered these specimens at the end of Springs Fireplace road and the bay beaches of Amagansett, creating little vignettes of these magnificent life forms.
The following excerpt is from Mr. O'Donohue's chapter titled 'The Ocean As Immense Divinity'.
I love his description of the sea and the seashore.
"One of the most ancient conversations on the planet is that between sea and seashore. This conversation is a sublime metaphor for expectation. The land is trapped where it is. It can never move anywhere. This zen-like stillness and thereness of the land makes it vulnerable; it cannot get out of the way. But the ocean has a fluency, it can travel anywhere, even deeper into its own self."
Thank you my beautiful friend for this perfect gift.
Today my heart skipped a beat as I saw this beautiful purple crocus peek out from under the leaves. I photographed it in the afternoon light. The presence of this beauty reassured me that Spring has indeed arrived and that from now on, more beautiful colorful flowers would appear in many different shapes, sizes, and fragrances.
Over the winter, I created many scents that I recently poured into sample vials that are now for sale. These precious perfumes have been melding for quite a while. My Pink lotus and Vanilla perfume took me two years to get to the point where I was happy. I also created a Hay and Rose liquid perfume, and Pear and Pink Lotus. These are just a few. Within each recipe I use between nine to fifteen botanicals. These liquid perfumes are created in very limited quantities.
I have recently completed several custom scents for clients in different parts of the country, mostly in the form of solids. I love how the process unfolds as I work with each botanical and explore how they behave with other oils, concretes and absolutes. There is a beauty to the alchemy of matching botanicals to the desires of the client. The most popular combinations this winter have included Cistus, Lemongrass and Chinese Rose.
In honor of Spring, I am now working on a Saffron and Ylang Ylang perfume. The Saffron is from India and the Ylang Ylang is from Madagascar. The stigmas, or threads are what are dried and used for the spice saffron.
These threads come from a variety of crocus known as Crocus cartwrightianus, believed to be a native to Asia and Crete. It is also a member of the Iris family (Iridaceae). It is one of the most costly spices in the world. In perfumery, it has a rich buttery flat scent and is a deep red color that is employed as a top note. Combined with the Ylang Ylang, it tells a new and curious story, about a far away and exotic place. The two together compliment one another and now I will explore new combinations to see how I can translate this into something beautiful to wear.