Every Dussehra, Indians celebrate Ravanna’s defeat at the hands of Lord Rama. The fragrance of the Agarbathi is a powerful sensory accompaniment to our Dussehra festivities, and invokes a prayerful sense of peace. This Dussehra we’d like to introduce you to five heavenly incenses, whose unique fragrances beg to be experienced first-hand: Jasmine, Champak, Sandalwood, Amber, Masala and Cinnamon. Each scent has its own therapeutic and mood-enhancing properties, and contributes to the spirit of Dussehra.
- The word Jasmine, some say, comes from the Persian Yasmine which means ‘a gift from God’. The scent of jasmine epitomises the powerful, almost spiritual impact that aromas have on our overall well-being. Jasmine is known to calm the nerves, and centre one’s spirit. It encourages a meditative state, and is perfect for the pooja ceremony, which is when devotees give praise either through song or silent prayer.
- The flowers of the Champak or Magnolia tree exude a rich, almost intoxicating scent. The Champak’s “haunting” perfume is an indelible part of Hindu rituals of worship, especially on occasions like Dussehra. This scintillating aroma stokes the fires of festivity and conviviality.
- Ah, Sandalwood, that most hallowed of substances. A staple ingredient of many Ayurvedic remedies, the Sandalwood tree has a woodsy, sharp aroma and powerful antibacterial properties. Its scent is a ubiquitous part of religious ceremonies and special occasions. Given its capacity to fight ailments of different kinds, the scent of Sandalwood has a strangely metaphorical significance during festivals like Dussehra, which commemorates Lord Rama’s vanquishing of King Ravana.
- Amber, a resin or glue-like substance secreted by trees, goes by names like ‘Tiger’s Soul’, ‘Petrified Light’ and ‘Tears of the Sun’. Having hardened over time, chunks of Amber are solid enough to craft jewellery out of, but are malleable enough to yield perfumed oil. Cheerful, warm, and soothing, Amber is redolent of sun-warm wood and brings the peace of the forests and its dwellers—the rishis—to bear on all auspicious occasions. This Dussehra, treat yourself to Amber’s gentle, golden aroma as you celebrate.
- Sweet Cinnamon, which is a popular breath freshener and digestive, also has powerful medicinal properties. For example, studies show that cinnamon tea is a useful antidote to high-blood sugar, and is a potent anti-diabetic. The spicy, aromatic tang of Cinnamon incense or essential oil brightens and purifies the atmosphere and infuses the festival season with a blessed sense of contentment.
- Masala, which literally means ‘spice blend’, is a key ingredient in Indian cooking. An invigorating mix, masalas are supposed to stimulate the taste buds and one’s appetite. This festive season, celebrate the Indian zest for the spiritual and celebrate in royal style with Cycle’s Dussehra Masala Agarbatties. The pack comes in a majestic rosewood packaging that is perfect for gifting.
Gather all these fragrances around you, and have a truly exalted Dussehra!