Of perfumes & gods: Olibanum in a flask

[~ 10 minutes]

Listening to: Irfan, In the gardens of Armida

{Spanish version can be read here}

Fire has fascinated us since the dawn of time.

Metamorphosis are cooked on a slow heat, ideas flare like flames in the darkness, love smoulders like embers. The gods quietly hover above the flame.

As a rule, plants rarely engage in prolonged affairs with fire. Whereas the inhabitants of the ancient mineral kingdom can usually survive its touch, plants —like any living being— cannot resist the fiery onslaught for too long: it’s too extreme, too violent. Life succumbs to the flames’ embrace in a smoky sigh.

Yet sometimes a strange alchemy occurs. In some cases, destruction may become liberation, and the soul pulsing inside vegetable matter is set free. Fire becomes the threshold through which the substance being burnt is transmuted — from matter, to spirit. Everything becomes smoke, and the essence revealed therein emerges imbued with mysterious powers that are both divine, and perfumed. Continue reading