Near the beginning of this summer, I was approached by a friend about collaborating on an incense blend. A retreat in Utah was to host an event focusing on various aspects of wellness. I wanted to give the incense a traditional yoga theme, inspired by the sandalwood heavy blends of India, but also incorporating elements of the flora of the American West, especially its forested and mountainous regions.
Copal and their relatives are often the building blocks of my incense blends at the moment. Especially the members of Bursera, one of the most important sources of incense in the Americas. Copal blanco from Mexico was blended with numerous coniferous tree resins including two species of pine from Utah, spruce, and possibly a Pinus originating Copal from Tulum. Small amounts of other ingredients where finally added to sweeten the background of the base. While I do have other ingredients which would have been local to the setting, I decided against them as they have such heavy, smokey and wintery characteristics.
Halmaddi is an essential ingredient when working with Indian inspired blends, which was further mixed with other exotic exudates. Various herbs and roots bring their green, earthy, herbal qualities without leaving the "burnt leaf" aroma, as their whole forms would. Finished with top-shelf quality propolis...
Next, various dried woods and fragrant herbs needed to be blended as close to a powder as achievable. Sandalwood, birch, lavender, homegrown sweetgrass and others made up this base. Then the final floral and classic incense notes were mixed into the powder, absorbing the essential oils into the mix.
Finally, it was time to combine all of the ingredients. Using so many conifer resins, the mix was difficult to work with. Thus needing to be frozen and then blended numerous times to finally create the proper consistency.
After weeks of experimenting, planning, testing, blending, and creating the illustration for the label, the incense is now complete. A small space was left for the names of those attending the class focusing on natural aromatics.
The blend itself was a pleasure to work with. Maybe what I liked most about creating this blend specifically is that it allowed me to work with different scenery, one which was far removed from my current seaside themes. There is a high probability that I will take what I have learned here and transform this into a "coastal meditation" blend for our shop.
Now, off to my next incense project for the 15th Annual SWFL Peace Day Festival!
August 26, 2022
Find them in our shop here : The Island Octopus Incensarium
Mermaid’s Dawn was originally created under the banner of Ethereal Aroma’s Incense Company in 2018. While there was only one edition of this particular blend, it became one of the most popular and well received. When Melissa and I decided to create a new LLC and house our artistic endeavors under one roof, there were a handful of blends I wished to carry over and brand as standard house blends. Mermaid’s Dawn was one of these, and the upcoming Island Nag Champa (which is a combining of Nag Champa Mediations and Hawaiian Nag Champa) is another. More names will be announced when the time is right.
Plans are coming along for our retail space in southern Florida! After much planning and research, we have realized that we can't do it alone. Having a little extra help from our supporters is essential to making this happen. We hope that you may share our dreams and would like to see us continue on our paths as artists. In addition to continuing our online sales, a physical location in southern Florida will allow us to focus on our artistic endeavors, and provide a larger studio space to create and display new artwork for you. We have endless ideas for new designs, including apparel, tropical flora & fauna-themed artwork, incense blends, and more. Learn more about our plans on our GoFundMe page!
Follow our journey on Patreon! On our page this month, we will be releasing a mermaid-themed coloring page, creating an octopus sticker sheet, sharing some previews of current art projects, and discussing how the business plans are coming along for The Island Octopus retail space!
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