Fragrance is commonly associated with the sense of smell, but at the higher octave of existence has a far more profound influence on how we experience life on earth. The fragrance of love is the essential purity at birth, which is why we enjoy inhaling the sweet innocence of the newborn baby. This pristine state of love has never disappeared; it’s just that we’ve become distanced from its restorative power.
From an early age the fragrance gradually begins to lose its original purity and becomes the odour of self, the demanding and wilful entity that usurps the authentic being of love. The self is the repugnant stench, often apparent in public places where the garbage of the world spills out onto the street. Anyone living in the countryside knows the difference between the inoffensive aroma of fresh manure and the odious mix of chemicals in industrial fertilisers. When I was a child I recall passing a pub and being both intrigued and repulsed by the smell emanating from the place. It wasn’t the waft of the hops in the beer but something intangible that was ingrained in the surrounding atmosphere.
The place of birth is highly significant. The natural scent of the earth in the immediate environment is registered deep within the developing emotional body, and people are often drawn to geographical places which reproduce these original feelings. This is because in the early years, and often at the end of the life, the senses are extremely alert and function in a heightened state of receptivity. In everyone the subconscious impulse is to connect with that which replicates the warmth of the mother love and the security of the womb. At the spiritual octave the impulse is to reunite with the original state of being. The sensual world is an amazing production of creative genius but, try as we might, we’re always separate from the things we love, even the object or person we cherish the most.
Physical lovemaking is as close as we can get to reach another, but usually only for a comparatively short time. However the fragrance of love is an enduring state and a way in which the seemingly impossible union between man and woman can be bridged. For a man there’s nothing to compare with the fragrance of the female, which edifies his consciousness as a quality of pure beauty. Every part of her is a facet of living art and man’s deepest desire is to merge in the flesh with She, for only then is he complete. When man inhales the essence of a woman there’s no doubt that her fragrance is more exquisite than the most aromatic flower. Being in nature or the garden is a natural restorative of our finest energies and unifies the senses in a similar way to physical love. But to me, as a man, nothing compares to the privilege of being able to inhale a woman’s breath, touch her skin and embrace her body in love. To a woman, man emits a masculine fragrance she adores, which communicates his authority and virtue. This fragrance of man is not dependent on physical strength or worldly position, but determined by his power to love.
Everybody on earth in their deepest centre desires to make love; everything else is secondary, since the truth is that we are born to love. Today’s world with its poverty, war and greed exists because people have forgotten how to make love, except to make babies and, in most cases, engage in sex as a palliative to the pain and unhappiness of existence. A man or woman who has turned their back on love sometimes emanates a sterile aroma, rather like a rose that has lost its beautiful scent. But the bouquet of a woman is love, which is always there waiting to be acknowledged and revitalised. She will often use perfume to make herself more attractive to man so as to enhance an aspect of her mystery. However, the more she’s in touch with her love, the less she’s inclined to mask her natural emanation as the female principle. The more a man or woman becomes sensitive to the fragrance of nature, the less the need for artificial enhancement. Woman can be deeply touched by a man’s sensitivity to love when, for example, she sees him inhaling the fragrance of a rose. This communicates to her that there is a deep appreciation of the female principle and the potential for him to reach her in love.
Although the sense of smell is highly acute in human beings, the fragrance of love has no discernable attribute, but is registered at a level of the psyche before life takes form in the senses. What’s not usually perceived is that love is the unified sense of sense, which means it’s the direct experience of all the five senses operating simultaneously. When two bodies make love, the sheer pleasure is a sensual fusion that unites the normally separate senses of sight, touch feeling, smell, taste, and hearing. Another name for this is the mysterious sixth sense, which is no longer differentiated but a unity of being beyond the concepts of time. In an attempt to replicate this source of original love, manufacturers of perfumes and scents busily experiment with exotic fragrances of nature and, more recently, synthetic reproductions with ‘headspace technology’. Recent developments, especially designed to keep pace with ‘high tech noses’, include essence of racing cars, computer hard drives and a claim to have produced the scent of financial papers!
Human beings exist mostly on the edge of themselves, looking outwards towards the hustle and bustle of the objective screen of existence. This lopsided perception of reality produces a fragmented and distorted view of things, which results in being unable to be at peace for any length of time. In fact, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for many to enjoy the natural pleasure of being in a body; the distraction of the times and electronic pulse of the world is too overwhelming. However, there’s always the opportunity to be more still and acknowledging of life, even with the busiest of schedules. But, above all, it’s gratitude to the unknowable One beyond existence that immediately connects the being with the ineffable fragrance of love.