It is not necessary to import aromatics from Asia, or to buy and consume industrial products, for getting an idea of Asian perfumery arts. The fragrant nature of our immediate surrounding itself offers us the possibility for such an adventure.
The first step to approach the fragrant world is to sharpen one’s own olfactory sensitivity.
Select aesthetical practices from Asian cultures help with ideas of how to achieve this sensory ‚grounding‘. The following step-by-step instruction is an invitation to become familiar with local aesthetics from Eastern Asia, and to open up for the fragrant world.
Beyond getting an idea of the fragrant world, the following practice – if done regularly – will let you experience beneficial effects on physical and mental health. Expressed poetically, you will experience ‚whiffs from the fragrant Paradise‘ (according to Asian notions), or simply relaxation and joy!
1. Set your intention. Choose which landscape, which surrounding, which nature area, or which plant or part of a plant or refined perfumery good you want to discover in regards to its fragrant character, and on which day.
2. Don’t use any body perfume, and try to avoid as many scent additives as possible on that day, such as scented soap, scented washing powder, scented cremes and lotions, as well as all kinds of smokes and drugs.
3. Leave behind everything that distracts you, such as your mobile phone, music, and work papers.
4. Forget all expectations, open up for the present sensory experience.
5. Take time, slow down.
6. Close your eyes, and breathe in the air. How and where do you feel the fragrant air? Which olfactory character do you notice? Does it change?
7. Deepen your attention. Also feel the tactile quality of the air. Is it humid, warmed up by sunlight or glowing charcoal, swirled up by wind, purified by rain?
8. Take note of the fragrance‘ source. Use all your senses. Listen to the surrounding, welcome its visual appearance, possibly taste it (if you are sure about its safety!!).
9. Observe your feelings. Does the fragrance arouse any special emotional tuning in you?
10. Observe your intuitive thoughts. Which images, ideas and stories does the fragrance evoke in you? Are they related to earlier experiences in your life? Or could you give expression to their kind and quality by the help of poetry or painting?