Monday, May 13, 2013

I Am Itiel and I Set the Table | Smell Good Spa™

Over the weekend, I read a lengthy article in the Sudan Vision Daily.  The subject matter is incense, so, of course I took a necessary moment to read the article.  Incense is a remarkably impressive ingredient of the human heritage, culture and even psychological state and has been known to humanity ancient time. That opening sentence nudged me to continue to read.  The words, human heritage and ancient time brought a smile to my face, and the childhood memory of the first time I smelled sweet smoke.

Growing up in a bustling metropolis like Philadelphia, I always enjoyed my downtown trips.  Secretly, it was the knowing of without a doubt I would have the pleasure of walking pass a vendor burning incense.  It wasn't just any kind of street vendor.  It was the one always decked out in some type of regal garb, with a look of a true knowing of what they were offering, and that only the people who knew that there wasn't any mystery behind it, but just a pure enjoyment of what they wanted it to be, would buy that offering.  I always wondered: If I look like both the giver and the taker of the sweet offering, why didn't we visit the table.

Today, I am the one setting the table with those sweet offerings.  No longer encumbered by the stigma that many placed on the burning of incense.  I am actually proud to contribute to a part of my culture that has been present since ancient times; Having my daughters prepare incense beside me, as the tradition of the Sudanese women.

This is one of my favorite highlights in the article.  This is what the women do for the bride on her wedding day.  A whole day is devoted to this preparation.

On that day, the women sit down on the ground, each holding a small axe with which they break the sandalwood into equal pieces. Others put on fire a big baking iron sheet on which a reasonable quantity of sugar is cooked until it becomes golden in colour. Yet other women mix different kinds of perfume in a big vessel. The pieces of sandalwood are placed on the molten sugar and mixed together until they stick together and the mixture of perfumes is poured on the sheet and a powdered mixture of aromatic bark and musk is sprayed while the iron sheet is still on fire and, with the rising vapor, the scent diffuses throughout the neighbourhood announcing the wedding.

Yummy, right?  Talk about sweet savor. I would love to visit Sudan just for a wedding day. 

...the incense in the Sudan is of diverse types, purposes, rites and instruments...

The incense I create serve me well in my home, and for different purposes; Honey-me time, family game night, doing-absolutely-nothing moments, "me, myself, and I", and during times of thanksgiving.  

How do our incense serve you?

You can read the article, "Incense - Charm, Ritual, Brisk Trade", in its entirety here.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. 

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