Let’s explore the roots of this ancient rose festival, how the Romans memorialised their dead with aromatic flowers, and how vestiges of the Rosalia exists today.
Category: Day of the Dead
Rebozo de Luto: the Aromatic Mourning Shawl of Mexico
There are many ways people mark time when it comes to death, but one of the most elegant is the rebozo de luto or the perfumed mourning shawls.
Spooktacular Fragrance Pairings for Halloween: 2020 Edition
The year was 2015, Obama was still the US president, most of us had never heard of a ‘coronavirus’, no one thought Brexit was really going to happen, JK Rowling hadn’t lost her damn mind, and it was the last time HALLOWEEN FELL ON A SATURDAY! It was the year I started this project, which…
More Spooktacular Fragrance Pairings for Halloween
Spooky season has descended upon us once again and with it the age-old quest for the perfect Halloween costume. Personally, I’ve been oscillating between Dolly Parton and Pugsley Addams this year. That’s right boys, get you a girl who can pull off both Dolly and Pugsley! All this mulling has led me back to one…
Scented Prayers: Copal & the Day of the Dead
With the success of movies like Coco and The Book of Life, along with the popularity of children’s books like The Dead Family Diaz, it is clear that the English speaking world is more familiar than ever with Día de Muertos (aka Day of the Dead). Overall I think this is a good thing. Latin American…
Turning the Bones Part II: Endangered Customs
This is Part II of our two-part look at Famadihana. Read Part I here While forces have been at work for some time trying to kill the lively and joyous practice of Famadihana, they have done little to dampen the practice in the highlands; what may prove the death nail, however, is the pneumonic plague.
Turning the Bones Part I: Dance with the Perfumed Dead
Places have souls; you experience them through their scents. What does Madagascar’s soul smell like? Mango and lemon chutney, recently plucked limes and papaya, fresh green coffee pods, and newly ground cocoa powder. It’s in homemade cinnamon-infused rum mixed with coconut milk (a Punch Coco), carved Rosewood figures rubbed with nutty Baobab oil, wild ylang-ylang…
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