Image Source: VSCO/Image by eiramesorarnaiz

“A bit of fragrance always clings to the hand that gives roses.” – Chinese Proverb

Breathing in the scent of rose, I am transported back to my Grandad’s garden; a 3-year-old girl eagerly smashing up delicate rose petals from his rambling bush to make perfume for my Nanna. He sits with me and tells me how my great-grandfather grew this bush from one tiny seed, and how precious the rose is to our family.

From learning to make herbal tinctures and antiseptic balms, to eating the petals of the flower, my Grandad transported me into a whole new world, and I came to realized how potent this flower was to my family. It seems quite apt too that my Nan’s maiden name was Rose, and whenever she walked past me, her heady perfume took me on a unique journey; beauty and aroma radiated from her every pore.

As I grow older, I’m in my thirty-sixth year now; I smile each time the rose comes up for me in my daily rituals. Every morning and evening I use rose oil as part of my daily skincare routine, many of my perfumes have a rose undertone, and the spells I put out into the world often have rose in them.

The rose has become a trigger smell for me too. It can create a feeling of complete exuberance or utter sadness, depending on the circumstances, but I feel safe in the knowledge that whatever it brings up for me is meant to be something I must learn at that moment. The reminder to be present, slow down, and to take a step back has been the ever-nurturing lesson this perennial has taught me.

Just before Grandad passed, the rose in the back garden took on a life of her own, spreading across the whole garden (as a rambler does), and blooming for what seemed like a million times. Keen to make sure this part of my family history is kept, I used what Grandad had taught me and carefully took cuttings. I’m happy to report they’ve now bloomed to be mini shoots which I’m sure Grandad has had some role to play as he watches over us with Nan. I was extremely close to her, and we spoke every day. I still haven’t fully gotten over her passing, but whenever I need her, she shows up. I can smell the roses following me round nurturing my soul, letting me know everything is going to be ok.

A Sunday Bath Ritual

Magical hamper of provisions:

Palo Santo smudge sticks/Sage/whatever herb you like to use to cleanse

A white candle

Your favorite incense and music

A couple of handfuls of bath salts

Rose petals (preferably fresh not dried) and rose oil

Rose quartz, quartz and amethyst crystals—the amethyst I use for anxiety but use whatever feels right for you and make sure it is water safe!

Your favorite body lotion

Ritual steps:

1) Start by cleansing your space and yourself with whatever herb you have chosen making sure to take a few deep breaths, concentrating on grounding yourself.

2) Light the candle and incense, and put on some music to create a feeling of calm while you start to run your bath.

3) While the tub is running, mindfully add your salts, crystals, rose oil and petals giving thanks for whatever has come up for you this week, for the lessons you have learned.

4) Get into the bath and take a moment to see how you are feeling. Close your eyes, acknowledging anything that comes up, and then watch it pass by like clouds in the sky.

5) Enjoy your bath time! When I do this ritual, I like to repeat a mantra to myself or listen to a meditation that I feel I may need at that moment; do whatever works for you to help you relax and be. Let whatever you have put in your bath work its magic.

6) Once you are finished, drain the water and feel it wash away the trials and tribulations of the week. I like to air dry myself and then put on my rose body lotion, again giving thanks. Don’t forget to blow out your candle (health and safety).

7) Lastly, I take the rose petals used in my bath out into nature to give back to the earth.

Jolanda Baldwinson is a support worker and carer living in Dorset, South-West England. She identifies as a Pagan Eclectic Witch with a passion for Reiki, crystals, and nature. Her passions include her dog Lulu, cat Jogi, mindfulness, meditation, mental health, as well as anything that involves getting out and about experiencing the new. Oh, and getting her hands very dirty. @messyjojo

Grief, eh? The weirdest of beasts. And also, the grand facilitator of so much magic. Case in point; May 2018, a wedding in London, and the meeting of minds, hearts and two really really tall women. Rosa Hoskins makes it hard not to be immediately captivated. She’s warm, she’s present, she’s funny, and she wears her emotions as easily as your fave pair of slouchy jeans and perfect white tee.

When you’ve lost a parent, gravitating towards kindred spirits happens often and instantaneously. It’s as if your bodies know before your minds do that you should be in each others presence.

Suffice to say we became fast and firm friends, recorded a podcast together pretty soon after meeting (she graciously agreed to be my first interview) and went deep. Real deep. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I enjoyed having it. It’s not a straightforward listen in many ways, and yet in Rosa’s hands, trauma and pain become wonderfully legible. Check out her blog for more magic. Oh, and if it resonates, please do leave a review on iTunes ( Thank you!

                          Image Source: VSCO/Image by papabear

If these blooms could talk I think they’d say, “we want to be cosmic and earthy!” That’s what I felt today when meditating on a fat orchid that’s half magenta, half white, yin, yang, JOYOUS. Espousing these multifaceted emotional characteristics into a day is the goal. Always.

It’s now October and the last few weeks have been a hodgepodge of writing, travel and a podcast that I’m very excited about sharing with you in the coming week. I always feel hopeful about this time of the year; it feels abundant, it feels prosperous. All the qualities I associate with strength. And with strength, comes potency and a curvy litheness of soul.

The oil that helps me and hopefully you persist in this embodied lane is patchouli. When you smell it or wear it, you get to hit parts of the brain that release endorphins and interact with receptors in cells, which make you feel all of the aforementioned juiciness. Forget musty hippie connations (or embrace them), patchouli is the oil of love and digging deep. The raucousness of emotions provoked by it (ya’ll love it, or ya’ll hate it) can therapeutically address imbalances of Kapha (lethargy and sluggishness) according to the ancient traditions of Ayurvedic medicine. With an affinity to the earth, patchouli taps into our inherent primordial energy. So cosmic and earthy? Hell yeah.

Blends beautifully with: Geranium, Bergamot, Vetiver, Rose, and Vanilla.

Image Source: VSCO/Image by willemdouven

Hey hey, aroma souls! It’s September. Finally. I actually couldn’t be happier that the ninth month of the year is here. The impending change of season and the chance to strengthen a connection with myself and the Earth is palpably exciting whenever it comes around as viscerally as it feels right now (more on that later this month).

With that in mind, I’ve concocted a blend that will support a change in all the pie charts spinning around in your precious life. Personally, when I want to be more present in my days, I’ll meditate for a few minutes before anointing (well who else is gonna think I’m a QUEEN if I don’t) my body with my blend, and then charge wholeheartedly out into the day or night; oils have a unique way of giving you a big dose of oomph!

Ninth Month Blend

• Cedarwood, 20 drops
• Fennel, 8 drops
• Bergamot, 19 drops
• Geranium, 10 drops
• 60ml carrier oil of your choice (I love the neutrality of grapeseed oil as a carrier)

Blend the oils into your chosen carrier oil and massage wherever you fancy, paying special attention to the back of the neck, behind the ears, jawline, and chest. If you’re confused about the essential-oil-to-carrier-oil dilution, have a read of this piece I wrote recently for British Vogue which explains it pretty simply! Would love to know if you make this blend and how you feel on it too…


                         Image Source: VSCO/Image by ivantrejo

In a unique olfactory study at the University of Chicago, 57- to 85-year-olds who had difficulty identifying the universally renowned smells of orange, leather, peppermint, rose and fish were twice as likely to be at risk of developing dementia within five years versus those who could quickly and accurately identify the odours. But why? Scientists have speculated that early signs of memory decline might start in our brain’s odour recognition region before they even show up in the brain cortex (the part responsible for thinking, perceiving, producing and understanding language). With no olfactory training offered up in the study’s conclusion, we think it’d be a fun idea to regularly have a sniff of The Big Five and get your scent training on!