I struggle. I struggle a lot with mental issues - they even keep me from writing, which is my joy, truly. Y'all probably noticed it took me quite a while to get back to this blog after dear Laura passed. And it wasn't just that, although I did have a hard time moving past it, and I'm still not fully over it. I miss her dearly. But shortly after that, I started spiraling into a rather deep depression, which combined with my anxiety and PTSD, and all the junk life was throwing at me, seemed to go on for quite a while. I'm slowly climbing my way out of the pit now, but it's not easy.
And honestly, when I'm struggling with these issues, there's not much that gives me ease. Scent is truly one of those things, and for me, music. It gives me the ability to take some deep breaths and get out of my own head, and tell myself, I'm OKAY. It's going to be okay.
So, all that said, I thought I might offer up some ideas, and I asked others what soothes them.
The biggest point to make, though, I think, is that scent, and what makes us feel better in scent, is intensely personal, and varies so widely from person to person. My aromatherapist friend, Rain, says that a lot of folks associate pine with Christmas (or Yule), and for her pine is death - she's literally severely allergic to it, and so for her Christmas is scotch tape and paper and MINT. So that's a great example of how personal scent actually is. Therefore, I'm going to reiterate that these are merely suggestions.
Now that I've beleaguered that point, I'll give you a list of notes that I love and then some particular suggestions, both from me, and my NA Tent family!
What started all of this, for me, was in the fall of 2015, Nocturne Alchemy had their Halloween Part 1 release, and sent out samples of Bastet Halloween 2016. This was actually part of the permanent catalogue (PC), at that time in the VA section under the All Hallows' Eve heading. Every year they put out a Halloween perfume in the PC for the following year, so it's always available, and that year they put out a matching pair, so both Bastet and Anubis were released, and the sample I got was instantly loved, and upgraded to a full bottle. It's become such a comfort scent to me, and has pulled me through some very dark days. I realized that I found myself reaching for it constantly when I was at my lowest points.
Notes that I really love when I'm down or anxious are sandalwood, frankincense, copal. So resins, they feel like a nice warm hug. I find the NA oudh absolutely sublime for this, too. And there's something very comforting about Nocturne Alchemy's ambers, too. That kind of falls in between two categories for me, as I also like fresh, clean scents, or herbal scents, and the ambers can be very fresh, and also resinous. I love sage, chamomile, patchouli, citrus, and occasionally lavender from the fresh/herbal/medicinal/clean category. Citrus can be such an uplifting note (or notes!) when you need your day brightened. I also find NA nag champa,or incense heavy blends, soothing.
But a lot of times it's sort of a gut instinct/strong scent memory that makes you feel like you're wearing scent armor. Rain mentioned that she loves her Eternal Ankh Anniversary during such times.
So a little list of possible scent suggestions.
From the SLs, Hessonite, Ember, Santal Ombre, Patchouli Ombre, Santalum, Pyramid Santalum, Frankincense Ombre, and even the new Oud Ombre. Eternal Ankh Anniversary, Eternal Egypt Anniversary are others to consider, if you find vanillas to be your "blanket" you might like Crystal, Crystalline, Kobalt, etcetera from that line. I really love the OP line, it gives me a boost of confidence and the incense is incredibly settling for me, particularly OP Baba, because of the nag champa and black musk - musks are a power scent type for me. I forgot to mention I like myrrh also as a comforting resin, so definitely Myrrh Ombre, one of my first purchases!
From the PCs, I cannot recommend the OM NAs enough. Temple NA, Eternity, and Balance in particular, although I should really try Khet, as it sounds lovely. Gabriel from the 7 section has both frankincense and myrrh. I like to layer Raphael, as I find it clean and fresh, with Santalum. The Royal Amber section is a veritable treasure trove of comfort scents, particularly Bastet Amber, Sekhmet Amber, Thoth Amber, Temple Amber, and Sky Amber. I'm wanting to add Priestess Amber to my collection, as all of the sandalwoods and amber sound like an amazing combination and I've been lucky enough to smell Rain's bottle and fallen in love. I have a full bottle of Black Frankincense from the Desecrated Tomb section that I find absolutely heavenly, and it layers well with so many SLs - and the Prehistoric collection, too, for that matter, but that's for my LC suggestion list. There's also a veritable treasure trove in the Eternals, but I will say for me the biggest one is Eternal Egypt. It's become just such a signature scent for me. I
Another set of oils to consider are the NA Purpose Oils, which can be found offsite at The Blackest Rose. I have Protection, and I find it absolutely fantastic, but I really want to get Strength and Guidance.
Now, there's also several LC (limited, seasonal collections) perfumes that I absolutely adore for these purposes, which have been occasionally brought back as Resurgence, but you could put out an "ISO" (in search of) in the NAVA Marketplace or Indie Perfume Lovers groups on Facebook. For me Horus Haven 2 is a warm hug of a scent. I also really love Polter-Guests, it's got that herbal/clean thing going on. And I always, always reach for my Holiday Egyptian Frankincense for layering. There's a whole treasure trove in the Prehistorics, Pteranodon is fantastic for adding sandalwood to any perfume, and of course I love Cryolophosaurus for the patch and amber. Camarasaurus from last year has become a huge favorite of mine, because copal just makes me feel like myself again. I'm going to go ahead and mention NA oudh, the Icons. I find their oudh to be so gloriously beautiful, and the ones I own are Egyptian Temple Oudh, Labyrinth, and of course my beloved Copal Oudh. Phantasm Kiss from the 2016 Halloween release is so good, I bought 2 bottles of it, and I wear it alone and layered with other perfumes to boost my spirits. There was a series of Dream Bottles that came out with the winter collection the year I started collecting NA, and it taught me that I could, indeed, wear and love lavender, so I'll mention the Blue Egypt and Dead Can Sleep Dream Bottles. There was a sandalwood as well, which I totally regret not nabbing! But although those were pretty exclusive and hard to find, you can still find the original Dead Can Sleep and Blue Egypt in the PC section.
I'm going to close this by giving you various suggestions from my Tent family. But I also wrote and asked if the NA crew had any suggestions for you, and Freja said she would recommend OM NA: Balance, Crystalline, and the Purpose Oil: Inner Love (which is also one of my friend Rain's favorites!). Suggestions from fans include Lavender Santalum, Pink Grapefruit Frankincense, Moonstone, Holiday Egyptian Sandalwood, Myrrh and White Amber from the LC Holiday 2017 Collection, OP Set (huuuuge fan of OP Set so I second this motion!), Santalum, OM NA Eternity, Orange and Sandalwood Vanilla which is an LC Holiday scent and SO comforting!...from my lovely friend Heather - Santal Ombre, Ember, Pteranodon, Protection, Speaking with Spirits! So, some great suggestions there, and definitely worth hunting down, I particularly had forgotten about Speaking With Spirits, and would add from that same LC Halloween 2017 collection, when I'm really struggling with sleeping, Sleep Elixir is absolutely divine. I can't wear it without falling asleep in minutes.
So, really there's a wide range of possibilities here, but just know, whatever makes you feel most comforted in a scent will really help you when you feel down. I forgot something that I should have mentioned, I also like peppermint for uplifting, and two LCs I absolutely adore are Victorian Candy Cane Crystalline and Bastet's Pink Snow. I'll close with a quote from the Eagles: