The sense of smell is our most powerful sense.
Some smells trigger childhood memories, while others trigger trauma response.
Smell can connect us to a moment in time, a place, a person, and especially a plant.
There are many ways that we can work with the Spirit of a plant through smell, from burning herbs to infusing essential oils into your practice.
The most important part of infusing these tools into your sacred workings, whether they be for medicinal use or for ritual workings, is to work with the pure plants themselves.
In a recent class I took on Perfume, Mythology, and Consciousness with master perfumer Marc A. Hudson of Nerfertem Perfume Co., Marc gave a beautiful example of the importance of working with pure plant versus using a synthetic fragrance, stating that the "plant has absorbed the cosmic frequencies from Sun, Moon, and Stars" while the synthetic formulations are quite literally a "violation of the spirit."
I think that this philosophy can be truly felt when comparing, for example, pure essential oils to a synthetic fragrance oil. When smelling a synthetic fragrance we typically know right off the bat - the smell is an assault to our senses, often bringing on allergies, headaches, nausea, and overwhelm. However, when we smell a pure essential oil of Neroli we are instantly uplifted and feel truly harmonized by the scent.
When we work with the pure, unadulterated plant, we are transformed. Our consciousness rises to meet the consciousness of the plant. This is where true healing takes place.
In my practice, I take great care in making sure my offerings are made with pure plant. From harvesting the native herbs myself, to sourcing high quality base and essential oils, and blending scents to hit just the right note, purity is important. When we partake in a botanical infusion of any kind we are also partaking in the Spirit of the plant itself, and that Spirit deserves the utmost honor and respect.
On the topic of essential oils, I do want to address a note on Safety. When we work with this pure volatile plant Spirit, there is a lot of energy held in a single drop. Therefore, it is incredibly important to show respect to this power. If you chose to work with essential oils, always do so with care - dilute your oils into a carrier oil, such as jojoba or olive, and never (I mean NEVER) ingest essential oils. While some oils, such as clove, are safe to use topically within the mouth, essential oils can be extremely difficult for the stomach + liver to process, and can cause long-term health damage.
There is a lot of misinformation out there about the safety of essential oils from Multi-Level Marketing companies that are just out to make a dime, so I highly recommend doing your own research outside of what these companies (and yes, outside of even this advice that I give you here) to make your own informed decision. Your health + wellbeing is your own personal prerogative, and that's a beautiful thing.