The Hermit ~ A TAROT inspired natural fragrance by Esscentual Alchemy ~ review Monica Skye Miller

Perfumer Amanda Feeley’s words:

The Hermit to me means, quiet and silent contemplation, listening to your innermost self, and meditating on what you need to learn.  Turning to communication with the natural world around us to find replenishment.

How did you choose the ingredients for The Hermit?

The way the ingredients for The Hermit, and all of my tarot perfumes have been chosen, was really quite inspired.  I knew from reading, Mandy Aftel’s book, “Essence and Alchemy”, that in the early 19th century, the Englishman George William Septimus Piesse discovered a way to classify scents. Similar to music he used “top notes”, “middle notes” and “base notes”. He called this an “odophone”.

Then one day while corresponding with the Gaian Tarot Circle, and doing some astrological/tarot research, I stumbled upon a chart for the original Golden Dawn tone correspondences for the major arcana, which Wang indicates were taken directly from the notebook of Alan Bennett, teacher of both Dion Fortune (Violet Firth) and Crowley.

I thought, I wonder what would happen if you combined the two concepts?  Could you give each major arcana card, a musical tone, and take the notes from the odophone, and make a perfume?  If you did, would it “smell” like the corresponding card?  I got extremely excited!  And I gathered the info, and then wrote all the notes down with each card.  So for the Hermit, he is an “F” tone.  I took all the “F” botanicals, and wrote them down together.  Then I decided how much of each one to put in, and then waited.  That’s the hard part for me, waiting to see if my idea works out after aging in the bottle.  In the meantime, I got in touch with Joanna Powell Colbert, the creator of The Gaian Tarot deck, and told her my idea, and asked her if she would be open to me using her artwork with the perfumes?  She said that she was honored that I would consider asking, which was a big thrill for me!  I offered to send her the perfumes when each one was complete, so that she could try them out, and see if they “smell like their card.” 

Once the first ones were done, which were The World, The Builder (who is The Emperor), and The Hermit, in that order, I sent them off to Joanna. 

I waited, very nervously, and when they arrived she emailed me to let me know.  I gave her a couple of days, and then emailed back to ask if she had had an opportunity to try them, and how did they smell?  She emailed me back, and said “I’m keeping them in my tarot bag with my cards.  They smell just like the card!  It’s amazing!”  I was thrilled, needless to say!!!

How might the Hermit perfume be beneficial to the wearer?

I think The Hermit would be beneficial for anyone who feels like they might need some direction, and wants to hear their inner voice’s direction on which way to go.  If you feel like you need to slow down and get in touch with your surroundings, and reconnect with the natural world around you, I think the Hermit is the perfume to help you do that.

Which other Tarot Archetypes can you tell us about…fragrantly?

The Moon is the most recent offering from the Muses.  Joanna told me, that The Moon is her favorite out of all of the perfumes thus far.  As to what will come next, I never really know which ones are going to need to be created.  The Muses are in charge of that :D   Though Death and The Sun have caught my eye recently, so perhaps it will be their time soon.

Monica: I really like the powdery gentleness of the HERMIT fragrance by Amanda Feeley. The listed notes are: Benzoin, Castoreum, Hyrax, Ambergris, Civet, Tuberose, Jonquil tincture.

O my goodness. Whenever I think I “know” something Amanda turns me on my head. I thought I hated animal notes in fragrance but here we are with 4 in one perfume! AND I love Queen of Punk by Esscentual Alchemy which has a powerful civet note. I “hate” benzoin too. Here I do not. the HERMIT is powdery, soft, floral and lovely. Go Amanda!!!

 Poem copyright Magnolia May Polley 2011

The Hermit

Cedar planks lead us
Through light and dark
And very green passages.
The smell of water and all that is alive
Surrounds and embraces…
This place is not new.
Except for to us.
The sound of a wild coast line crashes
As pine, spruce, cedar and moss
And flickering light-
Create memories laced with happiness..
A love that is now knotted into the fabric of our being.
Warm water drips down our bodies
As we give in.
One cloth bathing you and bathing me.
The heat makes the fragrance of old wood new.
The consummation of this place
Comes as we consume each other.
Tonight I am the bride of the hermit.

 Disclosure:The Hermit Gaian Tarot Image is used with the Generous and Kind Permission of Joanna Powell Colbert. The HERMIT is an all natural fragrance. Perfume Pharmer received free sample vials.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Katlyn 09/05/2011 at 4:58 pm

Fascinating ideas…Joanna is an old friend , i love her work too.

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