Monday, January 11, 2021

Mermade Magickal Arts: Incense Blends


I have a confession. I have been remiss in my fragrant blogging duties by not telling you about my latest obsession that 2020 brought me: artisan loose incense. Between some handmade loose incense from Blood Moon Botanica, Forest & Fjord, and Nocturne Alchemy, I was slowly collecting various forms of it. I enjoyed it on the charcoal disks in the traditional burners but when I stumbled upon Mermade Magickal Arts a whole new world opened up. I purchased their Golden Lotus electric incense heater ($60) and started collecting my little obsessive heart out. 

Winter Wreath ($16) is composed of Scotch pine, fir balsam resin and needles, Utah juniper, and Red Thuja Cedar oil. Burning this one on the incense heater released a highly fragrant conifer forest right into my bedroom. It is exactly like the first night you bring that fresh Douglas fir home for Christmas to decorate and illuminate. The sticky sweet needles and resins are a revel of evergreen lushness with hints of camphor and turpentine that sparkle like aldehydes. When burning the tail end does speak of bark and soft heart wood. This is Christmas in a container.

I love how juicy and bright the incense is in this. Inhaling it straight from the jar is like a Christmas dream.

The Mothers ($22) was created as an homage to the ancient mothers of Yuletide. It was made "using a technique to produce a rough and wild-looking incense to hearken back to the Paleolithic era not only in its fragrance but in it's visual and tactile effects." It does indeed look wild and sacred. I burned this on the Winter Solstice evening outdoors on a charcoal tab. Its perfume was primitive and wildly beautiful. The evergreens and woods took precedence but the pungent herbs could be detected as well. It is a weaving of wildcrafted plants such as: balsam fir, juniper berries, spruce, hemlock, cedar, mugwort, tree mosses, pinyon pine, poplar, and elderberries to name a few threads in this tapestry of scent. 

Demeter ($16.75) was the first loose incense blend I had picked up from Mermade. I burned it with regularity. I take only a tiny amount, maybe a 1/4 or 1/2 a teaspoon full, and place it in the tin cup that goes in the warmer. I set the warmer at a middle temperature and slowly increase it as the various herbs, woods, resins and such burn and melt until the scent is finished offering its bounty. I love Demeter. It is an earthy and woody autumnal blend that highlights some truly lovely frankincense. It is a cornucopia of Black Oman frankincense, opoponax (sweet myrrh), crimson kua myrrh, labdanum, Peru balsam, Greek sage, garden sage, juniper wood, storax, and gratitude.

Santuary ($16) is a home blessing incense blend that houses copal blanco, copal negro, Maydi and Sacra frankincense, Breu Claro, Greek sage, palo santo, poplar and fir balsam. The sage and white copal are highlighted the most for me initially. They have that herbal smoky quality with a green edge that inspires cleansing and protective thoughts. This does feel like a ritual incense for burning after a good house scrubbing and airing.

Fortuna ($16) is a glowing blend that is meant to be an offering to lady luck. This blend of Kaffir lime leaves, Chinese anise seed pods, lemon verbena, galangal root, Saigon cinnamon, bitter orange oil, petitgrain oil, green frankincense, Carterii frankincense, and rose petals with s sprinkling of gold leaf and topped with a fresh bay leaf to be tucked into a wallet or pocket for prosperity. I burned this one on a charcoal disk outdoors and rather loved the citrusy tones that merged with the frankincense and spice. I look forward to burning this in the New Year on my electric burner. 

Pan's Earth Pastilles ($24) are small cakes of incense  packed in vetiver roots. These cakes are made with Pan's Earth oil, agarwood, and fragrant resins. These were created to be used on the Golden Lotus heater. I am in love with the rustic feel of these pebbles and inhaling from the container is pure bliss. I feel like I am on the Wild Hunt, nimble as a dryad when I huff these. These pastilles are a pleasure to burn. The agarwood is deep and dusky, beautifully fragrant. These might be my favorite incense yet.

Incense Comfits ($29) are individual drops of labdanum coated with fine resins. Seven comfits come candy wrapped in gold foil and are to be used on the electric burner. Comfit ingredients include: raw labdanum resin from Crete, black frankincense, Yemeni myrrh, caramel benzoin, agarwood and oud, and black currant absolute. I have not burned these yet because I know they will be a rare treat. I am a labdanum fiend and want to save these for special occasions. 

Sunpati ($18.00) is a quiet mind incense composed of rhododendron anthopogon leaves and flowers, linden leaves, flowers and essential oil, and Lawudo incense blend. This one is mild and softly floral. It wafts about the bedroom like a ghost that dwells in a wild meadow. Perfect for spring or times when serenity aches to be created.

Sugarplums ($16.75) are: "Hand-cut triangles of Honey Frankincense, Cocoa Absolute, and Carmel Benzoin, laced with Saigon Cinnamon and delicious spices, and dusted with a sparkling sugar of ground White Pine resin." If Pan's Pastilles were one of my favorites then this one is second. These rock-like chunks emit a sticky sweet incense delight that smells indulgent and other-worldly. Definitely one to buy more of when the opportunity arises. 

I have since picked up a few more incense goodies from Mermade Magickal Arts and will be doing so for a long time to come. The best way to stay abreast of limited incense blend releases is via their Facebook page. When I see something debuting I will pop on over and pick it up on the website. 

Do you like loose incense? Do you use a charcoal burner? Have you heard of electric incense warmers? 

Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 Bucket List and Goals

Happy New Year!

One of my favorite feelings is the fresh bloom of a new year. Yesterday I spent the day opening the windows, sweeping the floor and mopping with lemons, vinegar and oils. I shooed negativity out the front door and welcomed in happy moments, good health and peace. Today I will be cooking black eyed peas, mustard greens and pork for good fortune, prosperity and good health. I also sat down and made my annual bucket list.

This was last year's list:

2020 Bucket List Things I Did Do:
- Walk the neighborhood a few times a week 
- Begin some raised beds
- Bake those cinnamon rolls
- Many moments in front of the flickering fireplace
- Swim in the pool as often as possible
- Three random acts of kindness
- St. Augustine with the family (ended up with just Adam but we will go back one day with girls)

Things I Did Not Do:
- Take the girls to a play or concert (COVID)
- Plan a trip to Discovery Cove (too much money)
- Watch a show at the Garden Theater (had tickets but then COVID)
- Brew fire cider tonic (will try again this year)
- Visit Merritt Island bird sanctuary (still want to try this)
- Build a chicken coop (on this list for this year)

2021 Bucket List:

- Birds of Prey in Maitland
- Juniper Springs
- A weekend in Daytona Beach
- Bioluminescent kayaking in Titusville
- Mead Botanical Gardens
- Watch two meteor showers
- Bake meat pies
- Buy a large gnome
- Finish Lindsey's quilt
- Create a plant journey book
- Plant a spring garden
- Chicken coop
- Plant 2 rose bushes and a holly
- Track bird sightings
- Lose weight
- Brew fire cider tonic

I tried to make my new list COVID friendly with mostly outdoor or home-based things to do or see. I have a feeling it will be sticking around for a while.

I also would like to decrease wax and perfume purchases. My goal is to get my wax stash down to one three-drawer bin instead of the three bins I currently have. I want to keep my reading game strong. I would also like to focus more on my health this year.

What would you like to do this year? Do you make goals? Are you making resolutions?

I am wishing you and yours abundant good health, magical moments in nature, prosperity and security, as well as your heart's desire.