Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Daily Tip - The Okinawa Example

Residents of Okinawa live longer, happier and healthier than any other community on the planet. The secret? They avoid tobacco, have a healthy diet based mainly on vegetables (especially soybeans), fruit, fish rich in Omega 3, they have the habit of eating without going to feel completely full and do physical activities every day, among them gardening, daily walking, traditional dancing. Also, they are disciplined to be optimistic and adaptable, attitude that helps them to reduce stress, and exhibit a strong social integration, especially women :). They have spiritual and cultural interests as well.
From time to time, let's be a little Japanese! :)

My Daily Tip - Drink Water!

It appears that cellulite is largely caused by inadequate intake of water. If you want your skin as smooth as possible, you should drink 8 glasses of water per day. I know it seems hard to remember to drink water, we live in a throbbing rythm. How do we do then? A friend of mine used a tool as simple as it is effective: she put an alarm on the phone that reminds her periodically, with a gurgling sound, that it's time to hydrate.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My List of Natural Perfume Houses - Links



To be continued...

Amber


In fact, amber is not a crystal, but a resin, opaque or transparent, originated from fossil plants. It can sometimes contain insects, whole or fragmented. The colour varies from brown to gold, or it can be artificially coloured yellow-green. We can find it in Romania, Russia, Baltic States, United Kingdom, Poland, Italy, Germany, Myanmar, Dominican Republic.
Energy
Amber is very attached to the Earth energy. It is a stone anchor for higher energies. It has strong healing and purifying virtues, stimulates the body revitalisation. It also purifies the environment and the chakras, absorbing negative energy. It has strong protective effects and connects the Self to higher spiritual reality.
Psychologically
Amber brings stability to life. It is highly motivating, establishes links between goal and our desire to reach it. Its warm and vivacious energy is manifested by a radiant and spontaneous mood, maintaining respect for tradition. In neutralizes suicidal or depressive tendencies.
Mentally
Ambra stimulates the intellect, banishes depression, promotes a positive mental state and a creative expression. It brings balance and patience, encourages decision making, improves memory. Its flexibility removes the opposition.
Emotionally
Amber encourages serenity and increases self-confidence.
Spiritually
Amber promotes altruism and gives wisdom.
Therapeutic Effect
Amber is a powerful purifier. It heals chakras. It gives the body vitality. It has the power to remove evil from the body. It absorbs pain and negative energy. It increases balance and healing ability of the body. It removes stress.
It resonates with the neck area. It cures goiter and other diseases of the neck.
It treates stomach, spleen, kidneys, bladder, liver and gallbladder, it relieves joint pain and strengthen the mucous membranes.
Excellent natural antibiotic elixir form, it contributes to wound healing. It stimulates the navel chakra and facilitates anchoring energy in the body.
Positioning
It must be worn a long time, especially at the wrist or neck, or where else it's needed.
To protect infants or children, the mother is the one who has to wear it.

My Daily Tip


Red wine contains a healthy stimulating flavonoide named resveratrol, a natural substance found in grapes' skin. It can prevent more health issues, among them heart disease, cerebrovascular accident CVA), brain disease and even some forms of cancer.
Gor for the natural red wine, and no more than one glass per day! And if you drink it in your lover's company, it does miracles for your love life too! :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Perfume of the Rose

Subtle, mysterious, the fragrance of the roses and the romance that surrounds them are legendary. For example, Marc Anthony was entertained by Cleopatra, apparently, in a room filled with rose petals, and the sails of her boat were soaked in rose water, so "even the breeze was lovesick".

Around 1300s, Queen Elizabeth of Hungary, whose beauty ritual included huge amounts of rose water, was, at the age of 72 years, able to act as "young" wife of the King of Poland.

At a Persian royal wedding of the eighteenth century, rose petals were floating in the garden's canals filled with rose water as well.

Such a historical waste justifies the power of the roses' fragrance on people.

Part of the mystery is due to the fact that there are actually several types of rose perfume, some roses having a mixture of the main flavours. The seven basic flavours that are found most often in hybrid teas are: rose, nasturtium, iris, violet, apple, lemon and clove. Some other flavours are: fern and moss, hyacinth, orange, oleander, anise, lily, honey, myrhh, wine, marigold, quince, scented geranium, pepper, parsley, clover, raspberry and linseed oil.

Generally, the stronger scented roses are darker in colour and have more petals, or the petals are thicker and softer, as velvet.

Pink and red roses are usually those who could smell "like a rose", while the white or yellow ones resemble iris, nasturtium, violet and lemon.

Roses in shades of orange are usually fruity, iris, nasturtium, violet and clove fragranced.

The word "rose" as fragrance category is confusing and should be replaced by the word "damask". Damask is the scent that is found in the variety Kazanlik (Rosa damascena var. trigintipetala) and is also found in the most highly scented roses.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Rose between Sacred and Profane

"A rose is a perennial plant of the genus Rosa, within the family Rosaceae. There are over 100 species. They form a group of erect shrubs, and climbing or trailing plants, with stems that are often armed with sharp prickles. Flowers are large and showy, in a number of colours from white through yellows and reds. Most species are native to Asia, with smaller numbers native to Europe, North America, and northwest Africa. Species, cultivars and hybrids are all widely grown for their beauty and fragrance. Rose plants range in size from compact, miniature roses, to climbers that can reach 7 meters in height. Species from different parts of the world easily hybridize, which has given rise to the many types of garden roses.


The name rose comes from French, itself from Latin, rosa, which was borrowed from Oscan, from Greek ρόδιόν rhodion (Aeolic υρόδιόν wrodion), from Old Persian wurdi "flower" (cf.Avest. warda, Sogdian ward, Parthian wâr)" (Wikipedia).


This is the official and arid version, in which the unusual beauty of flowers and the divine fragrance, that made the rose the most loved and cultivated plant on Earth, are not really valued.



Legends


Its genesis on Earth was explicated through numerous legends: it was created by Chloris, the goddess of flowers, from an enchanting nymphy's body, all the gods contributing to its birth with a gift (Dionysos - the intoxicating scent, the Three Graces - cheerfulness, brilliance and charm, Ares - the protecting thorns); others say that emerged in the same time with Aphrodytis from the sea foam, covering her as a garland, becoming one of her symbols, or even that it was born from Cupid's smile, and its thorns are his metamorphosed arrows...


It seems that even the Hindu gods had once a little dispute about establishing the most beautiful flower on Earth: Vishnu loved the rose, but Brahma, who never saw a flower like this, preferred the lotus, which he considered to be the flower of perfection and spiritual transcending. At its sight though, Brahma had to admit that no other flower could be more beautiful.


In the Arab tradition, the first rose was brought to life by the sunshine radiance in the Great Garden of Persia, from where expanded on the entire Earth, as a symbol of fertility, beauty and purity.


Even the thorns created controversies, the Romanian legends suggesting that those were Satan's evil work, as an attempt to the perfection of GOD's creation, the flower itself, belief inspired probably by Zarathustra, who said that the rose is the symbol of innocence, and its thorns appeared when the spirit of evil, Ahriman, made his entrance into the world for the first time. The Flower of Saint-Exupery's Little Prince covered herself with thorns to protect her ingenuity and beauty from the bad world...


Their colour also generated many legends. It says that the rose was only white at the beginning and became red in the moment when Jupiter surprised Venus in the act of bathing in a lake surrounded by roses. What came next, nobody could tell... :)


Aisha, prophet Mohamed's wife, is the one who coloured the roses in yellow, as a sign of her infidelity...


One of the most beautiful legend is of Persian origin, and inspired Oscar Wilde in "The Nightingale and the Rose": a nightingale, in love with a white rose, embraced the last so closely that the thorns stabbed her little heart and her blood coloured the rose in red - a symbol of passionate, destructive love.




Symbols

The Rose, as a symbol of both sacred and profane love, expresses probably all the possible overtones of this feeling: romance, passion, sensuality, jealousy, suffering, tragedy, but also purity, the power to transcend the material world, the divine love. It is considered a mystic symbol of the heart, but also the center of the cosmic wheel.

In antiquity, the rose was the funerary flower of women, the Romans used to put crushed flowers on their wives' tombs, as a symbol of a broken heart. There was also a celebration of the entire community to commemorate the ancients' day - the name of this celebration was Rosalia, because the rose was the flower of the spirits; in Romania of our time, this celebration is named Rusaliile and has the same meaning, being inherited from theirs ancestors, the Romans.

Beside the Romans, the Greeks, the Egyptians and the Celts too knew the significance of this flower. At the Celts, for example, a bush of white roses put on the grave of the beloved ones, symbolized the peace and the happiness in the after life.

In Italy, long time ago, the rose was "the flower of proposals": the lover used to scatter rose petals in front of his beloved's house; if the petals were swept away, the proposal was rejected; if the petals were being left in front of the house for the next day, the two were then engaged.

The Church accepted reluctantly the rose among the Christian symbols, because it was also used in the pagan rituals, especially for celebrating the Love Gods. But, because of its thorns, the rose became a symbol of the Passion of Christ, especially the red rose signifies the martyrdom and the life after death. The white rose is dedicated to Virgin Mary, named also ROSA MYSTICA by the Catholics. She is usually represented in the Catholic iconography having a rose on the heart's place. This rose is a symbol for the beauty and purity of Virgin Mary, and the thorns - the suffering endured at the death of Her Son.
There is also a strange significance - confidentiality, secret, silence- which dates back in Roman times. The Romans used to participate to banquets, a good pretext also for secret political meetings where alliances and plots were arranged. At these banquets, the rose played an important role: rose petals were cast everywhere, there was rose water flowing in the fountains and all the guests adorned themselves with roses. There were secret chambers for political meetings, covered with roses. Everything that was discussed there was confidential, so the collocation "sub rosa" (under roses) appeared, with the meaning of SECRET.

In the Christian Middle Age, Pope Leon al IX-lea, in XI century, initiated the ceremony of the golden rose, sent every year to an European monarch as a sign of esteem and reward for his deeds appreciated by the Holy Church.

In Islam, the rose is dedicated to Mohamed and it's the symbol of Paradise, the divine garden; for the mystic Sufism believers, the rose is associated with pleasure, but also with suffering, because of its thorns.

In China, the roses symbolize youth and the four seasons, and in alchemy, the rose is the symbol of the spirit's flourishing.

The Rose in Perfumery



As a consequence of its rich, suave, haunting fragrance, the Rose is one of the most used flowers by the perfumers, the main types being:
- Rosa centifolia, harvested mainly in France, Italy, Egypt, Morocco
- Rosa damascena, being extensively cultivated in Bulgaria (Kazanlik Valley) and Turkey (Isparta region).
In perfumery, this flower is used in almost every creation, from soliflore to chypre and oriental fragrances, and yet the monotony never appears, because of the magical art of the perfumer... In nature, all roses have their own scent, as they have their own inner soul. As well, the floral harmony created by the perfumers gains infinite possibilities... So, the Rose can be sparkling, light, damask, heavy, green, honey-like, spicy, powdery, dark etc.
Here are some wonderful creations, built around the Rose:
  • Paris - Yves Saint Laurent (type floral rose-violette), rose from North Africa, violets, mimosa, rose hips.
  • Baby Doll - Yves Saint Laurent (floral-fruity), wild rose, freesia, lily-of-the-valley, heliotrope, gooseberry, grapefruit, rhubarb.
  • Joy - Jean Patou (floral-jasmin), considered to be the most expensive rose perfume, with May rose and Grasse jasmin, ylang-ylang and tuberose.
  • Diva - Ungaro (chypre-floral), roses from Turcia, tuberose, ylang-ylang, iris.
  • Nahema - Guerlain (oriental-floral), Damask roses, peach, cyclamen, lily.
  • Tresor - Lancome (floral rose-violette), roses, violets, iris, heliotrope.
  • Eternity - Calvin Klein (floral-spicy), roses, violets, lily-of-the-valley, carnations.
  • Rose Absolue - Annick Goutal (floral rose-violette), a bouquet of six different roses: May rose, Bulgarian rose, from Turkey, Damask, Egypt and Morocco.
  • Lumiere - Rochas (floral rose-violette), Damask rose, honeysuckle, a little vanilla sugar, apricot, heliotrope and iris.
  • Desnuda - Ungaro (oriental-floral), chinese rose, cyclamen, iris, freesia, jasmin.
  • Rykiel Rose - Sonia Rykiel (floral-fruity), Bulgarian and Turkish rose, cardamom, lychee, peony, hawthorn, lotus, freesia.
  • Sa Majesté la Rose Sa Majeste La Rose - Serge Lutens (floral-green), Damask rose from Dades Valley in Maroc, camomile, lychee, vanilla absolute.
  • Daliflor - Salvador Dali (floral rose-violette), white rose, Turkish rose, santal.
  • Aqua Allegoria Rosa Magnifica - Guerlain (floral rose-violette), delicate rose ,Florentine iris, hyacinth, violets.
  • Initial - Boucheron (oriental-spicy), Turkish rose, jasmin absolute, patchouli.
  • Sentiment - Escada (floral rose-violette), hyacinth, iris, peach, a predominant note of powdery rose.
  • Hot Couture - Givenchy (oriental-floral), raspberry, rose, magnolia, black pepper, vetyver.
  • Idylle - Guerlain (chypre-floral), Bulgarian rose, peony, lilac, jasmin, lily-of-the-valley.
  • Very Irresistible - Givenchy (floral-fruity), a perfume built with four types of rose (rose centifolia, pivoine, passion and fantasia) and spiced with anise and verbena leaves. It has been reinterpreted several times (Sensual, with vanilla and Liv Tyler rose),Rosa Damascena 2008, Rose Centifolia du Maroc 2009, Eau d'Eteetc.
  • Rose Essentielle - Bulgari (floral rose-violette), rose Ottomane, rose Prelude, immortelle, blackberry, violets, jasmin.
  • L'Heure Bleue - Guerlain (oriental-floral), rose, tuberose, gillyflower, Neroli.

  • Black XS pour elle - Paco Rabanne (floral-fructat), rose Hellebore, black violet, cacao flower, black vanilla.
  • Dolce Vita - Dior (oriental-wood), rosewood, magnolia, lily, cinnamon, vanilla, peach, cardamom.
These are only a few from the multitude of precious perfumes in which you can sense, more suavely or more pregnantly, the olfactory signature of the Rose.
I invite you to (re)discover them and to share your feelings about them or others that you prefer.

Ikebana

Ikebana ("arranged flower") is the Japanese art of flower arrangement, also known as kadō ("the way of flowers").

More than simply putting flowers in a container, ikebana is a disciplined art form in which nature and humanity are brought together. Contrary to the idea of floral arrangement as a collection of multicolored arrangement of blooms, ikebana often emphasizes other areas of the plant, such as its stems and leaves, and draws emphasis toward shape, line, form. Though ikebana is a creative expression, it has certain rules governing its form. The main rule is that all the elements used in construction must be organic, be they branches, leaves, grasses, or flowers (in the modern styles this rule is no longer valid). The artist's intention behind each arrangement is shown through a piece's color combinations, natural shapes, graceful lines, and the usually implied meaning of the arrangement.

Another aspect present in ikebana is its employment of minimalism. That is, an arrangement may consist of only a minimal number of colours (usually three) or even blooms interspersed among stalks and leaves. The structure of a Japanese flower arrangement is based on a scalene triangle delineated by three main points, considered in some schools to symbolize heaven, earth, and man and in others sun, moon, love and earth. The container is a key element of the composition, and various styles of pottery may be used in their construction, according to the artist's intention to give a profound meaning or the style of the arrangement.