An incense for celebrating or remembering summer.
The fragrance of newly mown hay
mingled with the sweet earthy
green scents of the fields of summer...
- Aged Meliot, Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis)- wild harvested
- Aged Sweet Grass (Heirochloe odorata)- cultivated in my garden
- Sweetly cured Nicotian rutica and tabacum and extract- plants cultivated in my garden
- Mastic resin (Pistacia lentiscus)- the finest from Greece
- Sandalwood-Hawaiian (Santalum paniculatum)-sustainable harvested
12-13 pastilles lovingly made and packed in a nest of Sweet Grass in an Amber Glass Jar.
Be's incense is unique, I believe in all the world.... They are not just to fill your space with scent, but they are invitations to enter her forest, to hear her scent stories so carefully and sustainably told. Each is a journey into a season, a forgotten wild place, an old legend filled with aromatic wisdom. Please gently heat these hand-rolled pastilles on the Golden Lotus to appreciate all the lovely botanicals. It is best to “listen” to Be’s incense and take a moment to enjoy the journey.
From Be-en-Foret, our green woman...
Melilotus and Sweetgrass have an ancient history around the world as aphrodisiacs and medicines for the soul. Their sweet scent recognized as "newly-mown hay" is known in the scientific world as the chemical compound "coumarin". The fact that coumarin scent in plants increases with proper storage and age undoubtedly has contributed to its special status as an incense ingredient used in sacrifice and ritual by the ancient cultures around the world. They have been used as strewing herbs in the temple and bedroom from time immemorial. Melilotus and sweetgrass also contain compounds (alpha and beta - asarone) with similar chemical structures to the entheogen ecstasy.
Melilotus literally "Honeyed Lotus" plays a pivotal role in ancient Egyptian mythology. The crown of Egypt was represented in different ways, but one of the most famous is that of a Melilotus Garland or trefoil Crown of Osiris. You can imagine how pleasant the person smelled who wore a crown braided out of dried Melilotus combined with the many other fragrances the ancient Egyptians used on their bodies, hair, and clothes. It was the smell of a king who was a god. In ancient Egypt, there was a heavy emphasis placed on fertility as the defining nature of a man or a woman. One of the reasons that Set hated Osiris was that Osiris fathered a son with Set's sister-wife Nephthys, who had been thought to be barren. Nephthys was socially shamed for not being able to bear children. The story goes that Nephthys wanted to prove that she was fertile, so she got Osiris drunk, brought him to her chambers and seduced him. Osiris's garland of Melilotus fell off during their passionate lovemaking. Later, when Set found Nephthys deeply sleeping among the rumpled sheets, the flowered crown on the floor beside the bed, he knew who the flowers belonged to and he began to plan Osiris death. This story is an allegory on many levels and a metaphor for the ecology of Egypt. In "The story of Isis and Osiris", Plutarch writes " The outermost parts of the land beside the mountains and bordering on the sea the Egyptians call Depths...Whenever then, the Nile overflows and with abounding waters, spreads far away, they call this the Union of Osiris and Nephthys, which is proved by the up springing of the plants, Among these is the Melilotus"
There is a charming love poem by the ancient Chinese poet Chuci (3rd-2nd century BC) having to do with his unrequited feelings that mention melilotus along with other fragrant botanicals
"North I go, drawn by my flying dragon,
Steering my course to the Dong-ting lake.
My sail is of fig-leaves, Melilotus my rigging,
An iris my flag pole, my banner of orchids.
Gazing at the distant Cen-yang mooring,
I waft my magic across the Great River.
The stream runs fast through the stony shallows,
And my flying dragon wings swiftly above it.
The pain is more lasting if faithless.
She broke her tryst,
She told me she had not the time."
In The Americas, Sweet Grass is considered the hair of Mother Earth and is traditionally used by Indigenous peoples as part of the smudging ceremony using the four sacred plants: Tobacco to open the way to the spirit world, Sage and Cedar to chase away any bad spirits and Sweet Grass to call the good spirits. Sweet Grass is also used in the tradition of "Deer Medicine" which addresses spiritual pain and teaches to use the power of gentleness to touch the hearts and minds of wounded beings who are trying to keep us at bay. That sweet grass teaches kindness because it bends without breaking.
The functions that Melilotus and Sweetgrass have in Gaia's system is related to their uses as physical and spiritual medicine. Both appear after the damage has been done to the land and it needs healing loving energy. The Natives of the Great Plains of North America believe that Sweetgrass was the first plant to cover the earth. Melilotus and Sweetgrass can blanket the land and remove salinity and stabilize the soil, increase its nutrient content and improve the soils physical properties. Melilotus and Sweetgrass can protect the human heart from blood clots by thinning the blood and increase the flow of blood to the genitals by decreasing vascular congestion as well as improving the body's terrain by maintaining balance and providing immune cells through the lymph system.
Tobacco is the drum beat of the world for me particularly in ritual work. I have never been a cigarette smoker but I often use small quantities of tobacco in ritual especially when gathering plants. I started using tobacco because it has been used as an offering to the nature spirits in the indigenous cultures in the Americas for thousands of years. I use both the cured leaves and flowers. In the forest it is magick. I inhale its sweet herbaceous fragrance, offer some of the smoke to the plants and the world slips a little. I hear and smell what I think of as the heartbeat of the world. Contact with the plant spirits becomes much easier. I find the fragrance of something like tobacco underlies much of the complex scent songs of landscape and forest. I include tobacco in this blend because its dream making scent is what underlies the fragrance of the fields on warm summer nights.
Mastic is here to represent the fresh fragrance of field mints and the wild bee balms that punctuate the scentscape by releasing their camphorous and minty scents for a long time after you walk over them or lay upon them. Mastic resin is also traditionally used to connect with the metaphysical background of the world.
Sandalwood is included to add a rich woody note that helps to tie the blend together and adds to the relaxation and spiritual qualities of the other ingredients.