It starts with the sulphuric pungency of mud. The drenched-earth scent of torrential rain, of bursting rivers and overflowing lakes, of drowned lands caught in the maelstrom of primeval storms and tidal floods.
Mitti attar, aged Ruh Khus, Sumatran Patchouli, Mentawai oudh and Haitian vetiver.
Humidity hangs in the air; a tempestuous, monsoonal heat that activates a frenzy of growth… a rainbow of new life. And a million flowers bloom in the shimmering landscape.
Ylang Ylang, Champaca, Pink Lotus, Tuberose and Jasmine (Grandiflora, Sambac and Auriculatum).
Scarlet bursts through the clouds, casting a sequinned veil of wonder across the glistening land as day fades to night. The hill fires touch the sky, their golden sparks of radiance rise to meet the stars.
Italian Bergamot, Japanese Yuzu, Pink Peppercorn, Labdanum, Birch tar, Ambrette Seed, Sandalwood (Santalum Album and Spicatum).
The cycle begins again.
Life. Nature. Power.
There’s a whole esoteric treatise written inside each bottle of MANA. The short synopsis is that this a strangely beautiful and very heavy floral elixir about freedom. It is a fluid book that speaks about breaking free of oppressive forms of social control. It encourages the release of one’s thinking from the sense that we don’t fit. Or belong.
The purpose of such a text persuades us to dissolve all notions that our bodies are somehow less than perfect. It encourages transcendence from cultural dogma about race, gender, age, shape, status and sexualities. It urges us to ignore morality codes and instead to dance to the beat of our ancient drums.
MANA is the friable soil of life, the truly filthy, dirty, dank pulse of fathomless underground lakes and hidden places. It roars beneath our feet, and churns and burns beyond our control. This scent drags us back into cosmic timeless chaos, reconnecting us to a renewed state of being alive. It is a doorway into the great mystery.
Mana is the nectar-scent of the most ancient goddess. It is heft, and raw form. This scent lives in our blood. It is the ritually smoked blessings of our ancestry, our will to live. It belongs to our bones.
Mana is the inherited gift of our human power.
* For culturally respectful purposes, in relation to creating a perfume named MANA, (a concept held as sacred within Polynesian culture) I acknowledge that I received my whakapapa from my Aunties and Great Aunties – dating back many generations. My mother and her family are Norfolk Islanders. My great grandmother was a Nga Puhi woman from New Zealand/Hokianga. Her husband, my great grandfather was a Norfolk Islander, descended from Pitcairn Islanders born of Tahitian women and British sailors who traveled there on HMS The Bounty.