More Poem Than Perfume: Green Wood Body Incense Oil, Mermade Magickal Arts
Review by Marla
Lately, as I’ve been sampling more lines by indie American perfumers, I’ve been discovering what might be an actual genre- for now I’ll call them Perfumes of Place. They are not perfumes per se, they are not “pretty”, but they evoke, very clearly, a particular place. In this sense they are truly soulful scents, and have a strong effect on my emotions and the imagery that runs through my brain while I’m wearing them. Olympic Orchids’ Olympic Rainforest is in this category. And now I’ve discovered Green Wood by Katlyn Breene at Mermade Magickal Arts.
I’ve been connected to Katlyn for several years through the incense-making group on Yahoo! . She’s been making marvelous incense in the American style for many years and is quite famous in those circles. (I’m talking REAL incense here, not the dangerous street drugs that are being labeled “bath salts” or “incense”.) A few years ago, she had the idea to translate her incense into wearable oils. So she wasn’t thinking “perfumes” in the fashion sense. She was going back to the old meaning of perfume, which was of course, intertwined with sacred incense in many parts of the world. She now has a line of this wearable incense.
Green Wood is inspired by Celtic traditions. Fir balsam dominates, underscored by warm labdanum and vetiver, with Omani frankincense to provide piquant counterpoint. Green Wood is really about the ancient forests of the Celtic lands, before the Clearances. It’s amazingly evocative, and even though I’m wearing it in the tropics, I feel like I’m back in Scotland before any English had set foot there. More poem than perfume, and beautiful work!
Greenwood is available for $20 through the Mermade Magickal Arts website:
Painting by Katlyn Breene, photo by Marla Robb