Monday, September 13, 2021

Blue Tansy

Blue Tansy

We have Blue Tansy growing in front of our casita here in the high desert, just next to the lilac bush. I didn't realize what the plant was until a few weeks ago when it finally gave is one little bunch of flowers. As you can see in the photo, the little flowers are a bright, deep yellow hue and the foliage is similar to yarrow with its fern-like soft, green leaves.

I remember reading about it when I studied aromatherapy and the "blue" oils, but never delved into it much as a perfumer because I perceived the earthy scent was too medicinal. Fast forward from the mid nineties to this moment, when my blending skills have gotten much better, I can indeed imagine using it in a perfume.

The blue tansy flower, Tanacetum annuum, is part of the chamomile family, originating in the Mediterranean but now grown and cultivated in Morocco. The reason it goes by the name "blue" tansy is due to the compound chamazulene, which as the name implies, is blue. The essential oil is said to be calming to the skin and helps us feel grounded and relaxed. Very important attributes for these rather wild times we migrating.

During the steam distillation process the chamazulene compounds turns a beautiful deep blue hue.

As I work on bringing back the aromatherapy synergies I was making in the 90's, I look forward to working with this very special essence. Some of its attributes includes:

1. Assisting with inflammation due to these compounds:

  • Chamazulene
  • Sabinene
  • Camphor
  • Myrcene
  • Pinene

The word "inflammation" refers to an abundance of heat, usually revealing itself as redness and swelling of the skin as well as the emotions. Consider the words "in flame", referring to fire and the color red, now consider how this oil is blue, thus when applied swelling and redness may be diminished.

2. Emotional Support

Aromatherapy books refer to this oil as aiding in providing a sense of relaxation and grounding. 

3. Respiration

There is evidence that Blue Tansy is anti-bacterial and helpful with congestion and support of the respiratory system.

4. Moisture

As mentioned above, consider the heavenly blue hue of this mighty oil as a clue to how it can be used. Blue, like water, provides moisture, thus where there is dryness, bring in the water.

5. Antihistamine

Since evidence exists that blue tansy reduces nasal congestion, the oil has been used in blends as an antihistamine. Here in New Mexico, as the chamisa begins its flowering season, this will be one of my go to essences to diffuse and put a few drops into a bowl of warm water for a steam inhalations. Consider that when we do steam inhalations we get the affect of providing moisture to our lungs and the skin, while assisting our lungs and providing emotional support.

5. Insect Repellant

For those of you, who like me, prefer to keep insects away, there is evidence that blue tansy oil can aid in keeping some insects, like mosquitos, away.

I plan on ordering a kilo of this essential oil directly from the distiller, if you are interested in participating in the order be sure to send me a note to: roxana @

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Smell like an Egyptian

Exploring the Olfactive History of Ancient Egyptian Culture
with Dora Goldsmith

The olfactory landscape of ancient Egypt is like no other, revealing aspects of a culture where no boundaries existed with perfume, medicine & food. By examining the written sources left by the ancient Egyptians, we are able to dive deep into various aspects of this olfactory rich civilization.


In these fascinating series of classes, we will embark on a practical and mystical journey into the very heart of a civilization based on scent.

Egyptologist Dora Goldsmith will decipher texts for us as we study Egypt through multiple dynasties, exploring a panorama of scents and rituals from sacred temples, personal gardens and the afterlife.

A wonderful sensorial journey through ancient Egypt

"If you are interested in the history of the ancient Egyptians, alchemy, aromatherapy, herbalism and science, or are just curious, then this experiential course is a must! Egyptologist Dora Goldsmith takes you on a sensory journey of everyday life in ancient Egypt where you will not only enhance your knowledge of the rituals and ceremonies of this historically significant time, but also experience the unique scents associated with it. I would highly recommend buying the scent kits to accompany the course modules, which Dora has meticulously researched and prepared, as they will enhance your learning. It was only through making the perfumes myself that I truly appreciated this magnificent civilisation."

~ Paula M on May 10, 2021

Read more & grab your spot

The SCENTS of EGYPT WORKSHOP SERIES is a comprehensive certificate program, taking place over seven weeks via LIVE* Zoom sessions with Egyptologist Dora Goldsmith.

Each class in this workshop series offers three hours, including live instruction with handouts and a dedicated hour for Q&A.

Aromatherapy practitioners receive: 3 NAHA CE credits per class.

Join us for individual classes or the entire series

Unguent Cones
Temple Smells
Garden Scents
Scents of Lovemaking
Scents of Mummification & the Afterlife
Hknw, Meaning JOY

BONUS Class: June 6th, 2021: Smellscapes



Still not sure is this is for you?

Join us for this FREE* class on
June 6th, 2021


In this two-hour lecture, we will go on a smellwalk in an ancient Egyptian city to uncover hidden realities unexperienced and unimagined.

The tour invites us to reorient our senses, so that visualization becomes passive and olfaction becomes active. Through focusing on the sense of smell we gain a new perspective on the ancient Egyptians’ interaction with their environment.

*Use coupon code: smellwalk06


Dora Goldsmith is an Egyptologist whose research focuses on the sense of smell in ancient Egypt. Based on the written sources, Dora investigates the ancient Egyptians' perception of the world through the sense of smell and recreates their smellscape. Her published works include the concept of stench in ancient Egypt (2019), the scents of mummification (2019) and the smellscape of ancient Egyptian cities (2020).

Dora gives lectures and workshops around the world accompanied by her scent reconstructions, where the long-lost world of the ancient Egyptians comes back to life through your nose. Two of her scent reconstructions, the Mendesian and the scent of mummification, have been exhibited in museums around the world.


Ancient Egypt Lives Again!

"If you've ever wanted to gain deep insight into the rich and complex culture of dynastic Egypt, this series of courses led by the brilliant, trail-blazing scholar, Dora Goldsmith, is an absolute must. Through seven, perfectly organized classes, the layered, and intertwining concepts surrounding scent in life, and in death, are fully explored. The creation and use of perfumes, incense, as well as flowers and food, are all illuminated via images, and beautiful ancient Egyptian texts. You also have the option of buying scent kits which are specialized for each class. (I ordered the Unguent and Aphrodisiac kits and I love them!) Do not miss this amazing opportunity!"

~ Kevin on April 25, 2021

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Dark is Rising

I re-listened to the Dark is Rising, one of the novels in Susan Cooper's series from the 1970’s. The story feels so familiar with the current timeline we've been living. I also recognize that the dark has reared its head many times through existence on this earthy plane.

Here's a quote from Susan Cooper that I found on her website:

"There were two things about that childhood that helped to turn me into a writer of fantasy. Since we weren’t allowed out after dark (every house in England was blacked out at night, to be invisible to the bombers) and there was no television, I read everything I could find, from fairy stories to Dickens. And since every air-raid was a reminder that an enemy was trying to kill us, I developed a very strong sense of us and them, good and evil, the Light and the Dark."


I've been contemplating the origins of the Twelfth Night with elder legends of the Wild Hunt. There is Odin, the horned God Cernunnos and his more modern archetype Herne the Hunter from Shakespeare.

From the matriarchy we have Holda, a complex archetype, often called the White Lady because of her white hair. She is the wise crone, who can embody the triple Goddess similar to Hecates. Holda, also called Holde, is a sky goddess who rides the wind, and a female leader of the Wild Hunt.


The symbolism of horns often represents that primal, raw power of nature, often referenced as the uncontrollable wild magic of nature.

In Coopers book Greenwitch, the "Wild Magic is equal in strength to both the Dark and the Light, but that it stands apart and is unaffected by either.”

This evening of the Twelfth Night represents the time of the wild hunt, we can use this energetic imprint to go deep within, access our shadow self, lurking at the fringes of our unconscious and releasing those demons out into the dark night.

A few associated perfumes for anointing: Q for the power of the Oak, where Herne is said to reside, Figure 1: Noir,  Figure 5: Bois, La Dame Blanche and Terrestre.

In related news, GreenWitch will be back shortly.