The first roses of the season are in full bloom… in my garden and all over the neighborhood; their scent a intoxicant I willingly abandon myself to. There is a particular blend of longing and joy that scent can evoke… without a word having been spoken, I find myself laid open by this subtle Beauty.

Diane Ackerman, in Natural History of the Senses, says that when Cleopatra first invited Antony to her bed she covered the floor in rose petals a foot and a half deep. Apparently the Romans were so enamored of the rose that they founded Rosalia, an annual holiday to sing her praises (ah! perhaps it’s the Italian in me that so enjoys this luxurious flower).

Still impacted by the sweetness of an online Elemental Ceremony I co-hosted this weekend with my friends Firehawk and Pele, in honor of the element of Air, today I’m struck by the relationship between air and scent. If scent is a kind of nuanced communication delivered by air, it carries a tale we cannot close ourselves off from like we can the stories of our other senses (we can close our eyes or plug our ears indefinitely, but we cannot live without air for more than a few moments). Not that I want to – the scent of new roses in this lovely California Spring is a spirit-reviving tonic and I am most grateful for the Medicine.



  1. Thanks, Amy! And science tells us that, of all flowers, Roses emit the highest frequency.. .. .. no wonder we “feel” loved in their scent, when we receive them as gifts and that they honor and show up around the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s as if Angels of our highest nature show up in Roses.

  2. Fantastic! Thank you Elizabeth – I didn’t know that, but it makes perfect sense.

    And how wonderful that you mention the Virgin Mary. Do you know the Renaissance painting of the Annunciation by Fra Angelico where there are three gold lines inscribed in the air between Mary and the Angel Gabriel, the Messenger who brings God’s Word to impregnate her? I’d been imaging the scent of roses like those mysterious lines of Love that flow between Mary and God, but not really knowing how to convey that sense… thank you for giving me the link!

Leave a Reply