I never really thought I would devote an entire blog post to flowers, but, here we are. And it’s not because I think talking about flowers is basic and boring and obvious. Although, that might be what you think about flowers, initially. But it’s more because this topic is so powerful and profound for me, I’m quite intimidated to tackle the subject. It honestly took me a really long time to choose my featured image for this article. It had to be just right. And no words or images can really convey the magic of flowers and why I need them in my life. But, in this article, I’m going to try to explain.
The featured image I chose is a very specific color of pink. And over the years, I have come to believe that this particular shade of pink is actually the color of my soul. So, when I see this color, especially in nature (but even in a T-Mobile commercial), it’s like my spirit awakens. I feel aligned immediately and I just know who I am. From seeing pink!
IT’S THE SMELL THAT GETS ME
I am inspired to write this post because this is the time of year when the black locust trees blossom. And every year, I feel a bit frenzied because I know I only have a short window of time. They blossom for what seems like only days. And when I walk outside, if any black locust tree is within a few hundred feet, the smell transports me. Let me see if I can describe the smell.
Nope. I can’t.
Ok, I’ll try.
It’s like sweet grapes, and lilacs, and hyacinths all got together and exposed their glorious goddess armpits. Their fragrance takes me to a technicolor paradise of lush comfort and balmy air, where angelic beings tend to the land and take care of me and my body.
It smells like purple, if purple had a scent.
A black-locust-laced breeze is reminiscent of Aphrodite’s perfume. Like, if you knew her personally, and called her Adie, and were standing next to her at a party. She would be wearing a floral tube top sundress, her wavy locks piled high and loose on top of her head. And she would have just the right amount of jewelry, with that dewy skin glow that we all long for. And standing beside her at the party, you could like, smell her. She would smell like black locust blossoms.
I often go out of my way, stepping off the trail and wrestling through brambles to grab a whiff. Black locust trees are very tall. And even though the blossoms dangle like sexy chandelier earrings, they are often quite unreachable for whiffing. I typically have to wait until they fall off of their limbs in order to bury my nose in a few petals. So, I inhale the open air as deeply as I can when the trees are in bloom. And I go scavenging like a fiend when I see the flowers have started to hit land. They wilt as soon as you take them inside, so it’s best to just appreciate them in their natural habitat and leave them be.
SPEAKING OF APHRODITE
I recently read Goddesses in Everywoman by Jean Shinoda Bolen (MUST READ!). The book details seven archetypal goddesses and explains how these archetypes manifest in real women. There is a corresponding book on gods which I can’t wait to read as well. And as I was reading the book, I was trying to decipher which goddess I felt most aligned with. As a badass, strong-minded woman, I definitely felt drawn to Artemis and a few others. But I asked my partner what he thought, because he had also read the book years ago. And without a single note of hesitation he said, Aphrodite.
At first I fought the idea. I’m not sure why, however, because last time I checked, Aphrodite is pretty bangin’. Still, at first I wasn’t so sure. But the more I reflected on this idea, the more I realized that Adie and I share a ton in common.
I’m an artist and beauty is always, always, always in the front, middle, and back of my mind. And Aphrodite and beauty go together like Oreos and milk.
Aphrodite is also sensuous. I always thought all women loved indulging in delicious beauty routines and savoring the upkeep of their appearance. But I know for a fact that’s not true. You have to have at least some Aphrodite in your archetypal fibers in order to enjoy this kind of thing, and not all women do. (And that’s okay!)
When preparing meals, I see it as an art form and want to perfect the final plate as best I can. Cooking and eating are sensuous acts for me as well, like a dance between nourishment and pleasure. And Aphrodite is ALLL about pleasure and relishing every delicious moment.
And I always try to fill everything with love. I love love. I have been in love with love since birth.
“She was associated with doves, those billing and cooing lovebirds, and swans, noted for their beauty and pairing; with flowers, especially roses, traditionally the gift of lovers; with sweet fragrances and fruits, especially golden apples and sensual, passion-red pomegranates…”Jean Shinoda Bolen, Goddesses in Everywoman
LEANING INTO VULNERABILITY
I think why I resisted the thought of “being” Aphrodite, is because to me, she comes across as “less strong” and more vulnerable. Why I at first thought that was a bad thing I’m not sure. Vulnerability is a beautiful thing and is actually representative of a person’s strength. Not to brag, but I’m super good at being vulnerable. I think. I mean, I’m open and stuff. Anyway, moving on…
Like a flower, Aphrodite takes one’s breath away with her radiance. But she’s not forceful in any way, she’s just full of light and beauty. Flowers have that power to inspire awe without action. They are just being themselves, but a glance in their direction can uplift and heal in a moment.
Flowers are some of the most delicate creatures on Earth. If you even touch a silky petal with your grubby fingertips, it can leave a stain behind (I bruise easily). Once flowers are cut, they die within only a few days (Okay, luckily I haven’t experienced that yet). If the temperature is not quite right, they are displeased and wilt (I’m always too hot or too cold). Sorry, this is the last time I’ll compare myself to a flower and/or a goddess, I swear. But seriously, the three of us have like freaky similarities. Flowers, like me, are sensitive and complex. A bit temperamental, but generous if comfortable. #same
I talk more about my sensitivity to temperature and heat, among other things, in my article LEARNING TO LOVE SUMMER.
Ok, there you go. I’ll end the comparisons now. I’m Aphrodite and she is me. No big deal. I am like a beautiful flower and a radiant goddess all in one, but whatever. We probably don’t need to expand on it any further. I mean, I really haven’t even put much thought into it, actually.
DON’T JUST WALK ON BY
Flowers can move you in powerful ways, but only if you take the time to stop and admire.
Truly, how many of you go out of your way, step off the trail, to smell a flower? I hope lots of you! But I’m guessing not all of you. I will crouch, or reach, or add a few hundred steps to my walk, for just one inhale. And when I take in the sweet fragrance of delicate, flowery breath, I feel truly changed in that moment. Yes, I know, flowers can’t like, solve all of my problems. And smelling them won’t heal my deep-seated wounds in an instant. But, why are we on this Earth if not to experience such wondrous awe? How easily we forget to put our shit down and just breathe in some magic.
Flowers generously offer themselves up to us. Their fragrance is free and their beauty is very apparent. We don’t have to search for anything or solve any riddles. Take flowers at face value. They are in fact as incredibly amazing as they appear.
If you have never gone out of your way to sniff a flo-flo, please give it a try. Who cares if people are watching? Maybe you’ll inspire them to do the same. I often want to just be alone for my floxygen (#amazingmadeupword) sessions. But when that is not possible, it doesn’t stop me. The benefits far outweigh the sheepish embarrassments. And my soul, and nose, and heart, and vulva thank me for it.
VULVAS AND FLOWERS
Notice I’m saying “vulva” and not “vagina.” I recently watched an episode of Goop Lab where they brought in sex experts in female pleasure. And the sexpert clarified that the vagina is simply the birth canal. The vulva is the entire package (inner/outer lips, vagina, cervix, ovaries, all of it).
Read my article about artist Georgia O’Keeffe’s super vulva-forward paintings, GEORGIA O’KEEFFE’S FEMININE FLOWERS.
I don’t know about you, but when I am feeling insecure and/or ashamed about my vulva situation (for whatever reason), comparing them to flowers makes me feel like a goddess. Look at these gorgeous images. Our V’s are individual, and fragrant, and delicate, and complex, and mysterious, just like flowers. If Mother Nature created flowers, and flowers are beautiful and perfect. And our V’s are basically human flowers. Then A + B = our V’s are beautiful and perfect, just like flowers.
I also speak more about vagina/vulva shame in my articles, ATTEMPTING TO MAKE PEACE WITH MY PERIOD, ASKING FOR WHAT WE WANT IN THE BEDROOM, and WHY IS TALKING ABOUT FEMALE MASTURBATION SO TABOO? Look for them!!
MY TOP FLORAL PERFUME FAVORITES
Since flowers and floral scents uplift my soul and instantly awaken my inner Aphrodite, I do often enjoy wearing perfume. Perfume is so personal for a woman. Every one of us has our own specific shade of floral that we are drawn to. And some don’t even like floral perfumes. Maybe you are a vanilla gal, or a musky minx. Or, maybe you like a more unisex and spicy kind of fragrance. All of that is all good and I love all of the variety!
However, since it’s my blog and my article, I’m going to tell you my absolute favorite perfumes. I would love to be that person that wears one, and only one, scent for 35 years and never deviates. It would make me so very French. But, there are just too many delicious smells out there. And I find I like having different scents to choose from based on my mood. However, I do stick to a certain grouping of fragrances and rotate them regularly.
IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER (and definitely not sponsored)
- Library of Flowers Linden Parfum Crema by Margot Elena (this is a fragranced lotion, not a perfume, but I use a small dollop of this stuff on both shoulders and smell like a goddess for a full 24 hours)
- Jo Malone Orange Blossom Cologne
- Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia Cologne (this one is a less sweet and more rose/spicy, but still floral heaven)
- Estee Lauder Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia Eau de Parfum
So, aside from the linden cream, these perfumes are obnoxiously pricey, I know. But honestly, they last a really long time, especially if you use them in a rotation. I’ve had all of these perfumes for at least over a year. And since they are such high quality, you only need two, MAYBE three, spritzes and you are pretty much delicately and appropriately smelly (in the best way ever) for the whole day.
If you enjoy smells and natural healing methods like I do, you might also enjoy my article, MY TOP 8 FAVORITE ESSENTIAL OILS.
Outside in nature enjoying the honeysuckled air.
So, what did you think of this article? I’m dying to know what kind of scents you love. What is your favorite flower? What is your favorite perfume? And I would love to know the way they make you feel!
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Featured photo by Sebastian Campos on Unsplash
Iris photo by Juliette Dickens on Unsplash
Orchid photo by Mette van der Linden on Unsplash