The MYSTICS collection was inspired by two factors; a lifelong fascination with Ancient History (particularly as it relates to art and especially perfumery), and the incredible array of aromatic ingredients used and incorporated in spiritual practices and cultural traditions all over the world. Such ingredients have aroused a deep sense of wonder in human beings, often causing us to feel an inexplicable connection to the great mysteries through our sensory impressions and our personal journeys of discovery.
Even now, incense and certain fragrances can inspire a powerful sense of mystical accord, leading us back in time to ancient civilisations by way of scented pathways that we somehow recognise and love.
Rare and precious botanical substances have always, it seems, infused our eternal search for meaning, and powerfully influenced our intense desire for communion with the Divine. Fragrant jewels such as Frankincense, Myrrh, Copal, Benzoin, Styrax, Pitch, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Agarwood, Cypress, Spikenard, Galbanum and other highly aromatic substances have been revered, deemed holy, inexplicably enabling access to higher states of consciousness and a consecrated sense of being.
Rare and expensive materials deemed ‘temple scents’ have been harvested, dried, traded, imported and typically pulverised for use in a variety of applications, often involving elaborate, ritualised processes to supercharge the end-product with intentionally mystical and magical properties.
Perfumers working within some cultural traditions blended the fragrant material into unguents (solid forms of waxy perfume), others crafted temple incense, or infused the aromatics in oil for anointing. Some traditions burned or heated the raw materials during religious rituals and in worship.
In some instances, unguents were melted or dissolved and worn on the body, and other rites involved wet compounds that were shaped into small cakes or pills, dried and matured for burning on charcoal or ash in braziers. Often the braziers were placed on altars and in sacred spaces as offerings to the Creator, to God, to Great Spirit, to the many Deities of some religions, to ancestors, nature spirits, to the Supreme Being, to the Holy Messengers, to Enlightened teachers and Gurus, to Gods and Goddesses alike.
Universally, it seems, there is an accompanying sense of purification, of healing, santicification and protection bound to the majority of ritual practices of incense in all its forms.
Here, in the Mystics perfume collection, I have mainly focused on featuring olfactory expressions of Frankincense and Myrrh, sourcing a wide selection of extraordinary treasures; small-batch distillations and absolutes from specialist artisans in Canada, Oman, India, North and South America as well as Australia.
The Mystics are unadorned, titled in very plain English, and presented with minimalist packaging.
This ‘austerity’ choice was shaped by my desire to creatively speak from within my own cultural location. I wanted to respectfully engage with the imagined ancient civilisations in my inquiry, and limit my reflections on the elaborate artistry of so many cultural traditions entirely within the integrity of the juice.
These are my offerings.
– Teone Reinthal ©2021
photo TR©2012 New Delhi