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Living Beauty & Fashion:

The Purity of Scent Memory

Photography by Sarah Elliot
Prop Styling by Rebecca Bartoshesky

Scent is so alluring—it transports us elsewhere, to an intimate time and place of remembrance, evoking a feeling, an inner emotion. Out of the five senses, smell is tied most strongly to our memory and through a partnership with Donna Karan Fragrance I was asked to create an Eyeswoon story about beauty, nature, and femininity in celebration of their new Donna Karan Liquid Cashmere White fragrance, I immediately knew what sensory (dare I say, spiritual?) experiences I had to share.

About 10 years ago, a small group of my nearest and dearest girlfriends would gather monthly for a New Moon circle. A New Moon marks the beginning of a new cycle, a fresh start and an optimal time to plant seeds of transformation. It was a cherished evening to set intentions, share struggles and celebrate our femininity. The ritual was powerful, emotional and transformative, offering a sacred space for us. The connectedness and spiritual channeling was profound between us, and a rooted bond transpired on these symbolic nights (led by my dear friend Mijanou who has since spread her wisdom on her magical site Mystic Mamma). Our blissful celebration looked something like this: we each brought flowers, herbs or an essential oil to the circle. As we gathered around a shallow bowl of bath salts, each of us would speak about anything that moved us…. An expression of gratitude, an energy that we yearned to release, a realization that we were finally able to reveal. As we spoke we offered our flower petals or fragrant element to the salts and upon closing the circle, we each filled a vessel with these powerful and emotionally-imbued salts. The full moon also offered the perfect time to create yet another ritual: a sacred bath to soak in with our salts, a moment of repose for ourselves to remember our intentions!

Life since those swoony nights has gotten infinitely more complicated, frenetic, and certainly less grounded… I may cook and create from dusk to dawn for my family, friends, and for Eyeswoon but when it comes to slowing down and finding a moment for myself, I just can’t find the time. I know, I know, this is a bad excuse—there is always time for you. We all have heard it a billion times, “you need to take care of yourself first in order to be a good wife, a good mama, a creative being…” So why, oh why, do we ignore these tried-and-true rules of living a balanced life?!? So, in order to get back to myself, I decided to indulge in an abundantly hydrating bath of milk to soak within. This was not only an excuse to connect to myself, but also to create beauty through ritual.

In creating these bath salts I took inspiration directly from the exquisite raw elements in the Donna Karan Liquid Cashmere White fragrance: bergamot, lemon, black currant, wild rose, ylang ylang, and vanilla bean. I awoke early and perused the flower market to choose the blooms, even the act of drawing the bath became a quiet interlude of meditation… I engulfed myself in a transcendent sensory experience. While the actual end result of the bath is lovely, it is truly the ritualistic process of taking time and remembrance—rare, quiet moments lost within yourself—that is where true beauty and connectedness are found.

Along with Liquid Cashmere White, the contrasting and dramatically opposed Donna Karan Liquid Cashmere Black evokes mystery. The duality of these fragrances, much like the duality in each of us, makes me swoon! Coming soon…

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