As Thanksgiving approaches and I find myself in that space between Frankenstein and Frankincense my thoughts turn to creating warmth. Even here on the coast of Carolina, living in my beloved, drafty old beach house with little insulation, the damp cold seeps up thru creaky wooden floorboards and into the bones. During these days I spend extra time taking baths, lighting candles, burning incense and wrapping fingers around warm cups of tea. I spend a little more time in meditation and prayer and I turn to those precious oils, woods and resins that support me during these colder, darker days.
In November and December I am always drawn to the predictable favorites: Frankincense and Myrrh (they are more powerful when blended together). Sandalwood, Cedar and Cardamom. Sandalwood is a year round favorite for me. I use it in skincare as well as in the botanical fragrances. As a fragrance, I love it on its own. I remember years ago, standing in a bookstore, I picked up a book that had recently been published by Pattie Boyd. Pattie, a model married to Beatle, George Harrison, and then later married to musician Eric Clapton. She wrote about her life in a book entitled "Wonderful Tonight" Standing in that bookstore I turned to a random page and read:
George was sexy, good looking, witty and famous - an irresistible combination. He had never used aftershave in the past but since we had come back from India he had taken to wearing sandalwood oil, which I imagined was to attract other women.
I could easily bath in a pure, true Sandalwood Oil. It is rich, woody, sweet and smooth. It pulls energy upward. Of these Sandalwoods, the most recognized is the Sandalwood Oil from Mysore, India. Due to over-harvesting, mismanagement and illegal poaching this oil has become nearly extinct. Yet there is hope as awareness expands.
The good news is that this near tragedy created a new industry in other regions for cultivating various species of Sandalwood using more sustainable practices Sandalwood, an exquisitely fragrant and praiseworthy tree, like the majestic elephant, has been nearly loved to death. May your usage of Sandalwood be mindful, and may you be present in the magnificence of every application.
Various species of Sandalwood include Hawaiian, New Caledonian, and the very special Sandalwood from the Tamil Nadu Region in India (expect to pay $100 for 10 ml).
Also a plantation grown Sandalwood from Australia that is said to be reminiscent of the Mysore which goes for $13- $16 for 20-30 drops. I just ordered a precious Tamil Nadu, 5ml which typically runs from $45-$90
In the space between and always....
May your usage of Sandalwood be mindful, and may you be present in the magnificence of every application.