Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Memories of...

The Summer of Love 1967

It was July 8, 1967, my 16th Birthday. Times were simpler, then, and less was definitely more: less deodorant, more BO, less dating and more sex, less fighting and more peace, less sobriety and more booze, less school and more skipping out to the park to hang out with friends.

Canada’s 100th Birthday was the day before on July 7th (also my sister’s 15th Birthday) so we, as a country, were celebrating our Centennial.

Punch Buggies were all the rage. These uncomfortable squishy Beetles soon became the centre of a game in which we stuffed as many smelly teenagers as we could into the belly of the beast – arms and legs sticking out of the windows and faces smooshed up against the windows.

The mini skirt and hot pants were in vogue. This is when ‘quack skirts’ came into being; I won’t say any more lest young people be reading this post.

Round-rimmed granny glasses and granny dresses with their plain lines and paisley patterns were at the other end of the scale.

Placards, with psychedelic scrawl, bearing the words “Free Love”, “Peace, Brothers & Sisters”, and my all-time favourite, “Make Love Not War” were plastered all over the news and TV media.

The music was great that summer… ‘We’re happy together’ was ‘our song’ as was ‘Brown-eyed Girl’. Of course my boy-friend changed that to ‘green-eyed girl’ just for me. No wonder I loved him so much…

‘If you’re going to San Francisco…’. I really wanted to go; it sounded free and romantic. Still haven’t been there.

Memories of the acrid smell of maryjane, unwashed bodies, and cheap Patchouli Oil has lingered for years in the minds of many.

The Summer of Patchouli Love 2011
And now another beautiful summer coming, loving the warmth, the smells, the sounds, the sights, and turning sixty; being fully matured and participating in a challenge such as this; doing what I love and am passionate about – Natural Perfumery.

I found Patchouli again, years ago, when I took my first Aromatherapy course. I loved it. It is an amazing aroma of deep complexity with notes of green leaves, depths of the forest floor, over-ripe fruit, and robust floral scents.

Patchouli is steam-distilled from the leaves and can come from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Sumatra and Java. The colour of the essential oil is tan to brown. It has a strong, earthy, smoky, spicy, leathery, and musky scent with a persistent and tenacious odour. The viscosity is medium, the Odour Intensity is 5/10, and the Evaporation Rate is 100 (along with Sandalwood). Patchouli is a base note and in some cases, you can still detect the scent for months to come.  

Therapeutically, it’s indicated for nervous exhaustion and stress. It’s great for skin issues such as dandruff, eczema, fungal infections, wounds, aging skin, and wrinkles. It is from the ‘woody’ or, as I put it, ‘woodsy’ Aroma Group. Found as a base note in many Chypre and Oriental formulae, it can be use in many other formulae where you want a strong, earthy base note.

Spiritually, the key words are, “Heal the Past” as it stimulates vigor, reasonableness, and farsightedness. This beautiful essential oil helps us connect to Mother Earth Gaia and heal past issues. Patchouli ages beautifully and anyone who uses it in their skin-care routine will, as well.

© 2011 Lyn E. Ayre, Ph.D.

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