Gail Adrian came to my attention when she signed up for my Tarot newsletter. What woman on earth could ignore that sig line: Gail Adrian, Fragranceur®! I was incredibly impressed, and immediately went to visit her site. I had so much fun roaming there, and always intended to have a fragrance made specifically for me. I just placed an order for the High Priestess and the Hermit, and cannot wait until they get here! I also signed up for her newsletter, which allowed me to be one of the first people to hear about her new Arcana© Perfume line.
So far, Gail has developed perfumes for The High Priestess, The Hermit, Death, Judgment, the Ace of Wands, the Two of Wands, the Four of Wands, the Six of Wands, the Three of Cups, the Seven of Swords, the Five of Pentacles, the Knight of Cups, the Queen of Swords, and the Quest (an Archetypal scent for all Knights). Gail lists the energy of each card, along with the ingredients. How she came to determine what these would be ... I am going to let her tell you that herself.
Before I do that, however, I am going to talk for a minute about other things of importance on Gail's site (GailAdrian.com). I thoroughly enjoyed reading her "Perfumer's Journal", where she discusses some of the more esoteric aspects of her work. Her friends section truly represents the esoteric beliefs that form the foundation for Gail's life ... and it doesn't hurt that she lists the site of someone that I consider to be a true gift to the Tarot world - Mr. Robert M. Place (TheAlchemicalEgg.com)."Ethereal Journey" shows the heart and soul of Gail's work, and is well worth reading.
Gail's product lines include Astrological Perfumes, Chakra Blends, Botanical blends, and crèmes & elixirs. Her services include Reintegration Energy Sessions, Hair Design and Cosmetology, and Herbal and Aromatherapy. She also holds Natural Perfume Workshops and New to Full Moon Sessions.
I am most interested in hearing how Gail sees the Arcana© Perfumes as more than scent that we put on in the morning as a part of an unconscious "routine". How are they part of ritual and ceremony? How are they part of honoring ourselves, and the energy in our lives? How do they help us draw the energy that we need into our lives? Inquiring minds want to know!
The podium now belongs to Gail.
I once read a quote from the Dalai Lama which stated that “Everything we do matters.” That simple statement infuses every single action we take with dignity and value and reminds us to be conscious and aware every second. When we believe and treat everything we do as a sacred act, we allow ourselves to live at a deeper, more fulfilled level. Whether it is creating a meal, answering the phone, going about our daily activities or wearing perfume, this dedication to knowing that all our actions carry meaning and grace beyond the immediate elevates us from the rote to ritual.
The ability to remember that every single human action reverberates throughout the fabric of time and space gives us the freedom and opportunity to live life with more fascination and satisfaction.
Perfume originated as a conduit to higher realms. Using the techniques of the divination found in Astrology, Tarot, I Ching, etc, correspondences in the world of aromatic essences allow us to mirror the greater forces that shape our lives.
Conscious use of perfume is the embodiment of the maxim: “As Above, So Below.”
Wearing florals to attract love and affection, Cumin to gain a solid warrior’s skill or Musk Seed for fanning the flames of sexual desire are ancient practices linking object to archetype.
Trust and Surrender
We are all unique. The human experience is a brilliant, multi-colored spectrum that extends infinitely beyond our physical sight.
In the Arcana© Collection of perfumes dedicated to the Tarot, I use Tarot as a daily mirror of my condition both mundane and subtle. One of the most liberating tools at my disposal is my method of choosing the card for the day: I limit myself to one card every morning. I shuffle the deck until a card literally turns itself over, jumps out of the deck, or in some way presents itself to me.
While sounding simple, this is hardly the case. It is always tempting to slip into intellectual skepticism. Because Tarot is a tool for developing intuitive acumen, I recommend reserving intellectual judgments and instead, concentrate on the feelings, hunches and strong internal messages stimulated by the emerged card.
Journaling the Daily Card
Once the card has presented itself, I begin to journal about it. Initially, I draw upon my own studies and intuitive connections for that card on a purely abstract level. I do not even attempt to correlate the card to my present life and circumstances. I just write, with my non-dominant hand, about what I see: The elemental correspondence, the symbols contained within the card, the colors, shapes, and individual objects shown on the card. Then I attempt to put a historical perspective to the images on the deck. This is deck specific and it is always preferable to be intimately familiar with the culture of your chosen reading deck. At the very end, if necessary, I refer to books that deal specifically with the deck I have chosen. It is always interesting to go back to this journal entry at the end of the day and compare what I have written down with how the day played.
Perfume, a Gentle Guide
After my Journaling, I create a perfume that reflects the energetics, elements, mythic symbolism and astrological correspondences of the day’s card. As a botanical perfumer, I like to use additional materials for aesthetics and elegance. However, when creating metaphysical perfume, I am always very careful not to compromise the power of any one perfume in favor of a more “commercial” scent. This would compromise the integrity of the entire process.
It is equally important to be educated in aromatic correspondences as well remaining connected to one’s own inner teacher. Some of the various ways in which I might build a perfume would be to create a scent that illustrates:
- The elemental dignities (Earth absolute, Water Flowers or scents that suggest elements)
- The Mythic correspondences as expressed in specific ingredients (Pomegranate, Narcissus)
- The ancient materials that have been accepted as representative of specific aspects of any one card (Cypress = Death, Saffron = Sun).
While always including a basic formula that includes historically accepted metaphysical materials, I always include any intuitive aromatic urges. It is in these unusual correspondences that serendipitous perfumes are created.
The very nature of art is intuitive. Perfume is ethereal in its expression. It comes from the subtle realm of the creative plane. It evaporates back into the ether. By mating Tarot and Aromatics, a gentle direct link to infinite consciousness is forged.
Solve et Coagula, Gail Adrian
As you can see, taking the Archetypal Energy of the Tarot into the world of fragrance opens up a world of possibilities! I hope that you have enjoyed this journey into the world of fragrance, and are as excited as I am about the places that it can take us.
You can find Bonnie's website here.