… I didn’t go.
After all my faff about awaiting a long weekend away and really needing a change etc it didn’t happen. Not worth explaining why.
But I now can’t write about the things I did or the perfume shop I found that sounds amazing or what I ate and saw.
Instead, at least, I caved and bought a decant of Kilian Dark Lord (as compensation) for silly money and which will show up from the US at some point (got it from Surrender to Chance and I damn well will be writing about that once I’ve had a chance to sample it on skin).
Then, I went to the nearby fancy grocery shop (because there was no food in the house as we’d run it down) and went to town.
And then I reminded myself I had an acupuncture appointment late this week and that’s what you’re getting today: the pleasures of needles and moxa.
If that makes you twitchy there’s only a small bit about the needles. The big thing is the moxa, which is stuff made from mugwort leaves that is burned near or on acupuncture meridians and points.
Meridians in Chinese medicine refer to ‘paths through which the life energy known as qi flow’. Stop rolling your eyes. It’s been used for thousands of years and even Western medicine acknowledges that acupuncture has effects.
But anyway. Moxa.
Mugwort is in the Artemisia family (which is in the daisy family).
The stuff is dried and ground and made into cones or sticks like fat incense.
One of the points in acupuncture of moxa is that it can be used to warm a needle or an area (moxibustion), helping to stimulate … things.
My acupuncturist likes to use moxa on needles on my lower belly. It’s really lovely to have your belly warmed up. I am frequently told that I need heating up (so eat stuff like cinnamon etc that is warming).
But what does moxa smell like, which is the key question here. Welllll … some people think it resembles marijuana. But that’s not what I get. Rather, it definitely smells smoky and resinous, but I get something a bit darker than MJ.
If you’ve never experienced acupuncture, the needles are small and sharp and the pinch with insertion is only momentary. My acupuncturist likes to wiggle them initially to make sure they are positioned correctly (ie, ‘do you feel that? Yes, of course, I feel that’).
If my digestion is misbehaving it’s a needle on a point about an inch below my naval and then the moxa on that.
So, back to the moxa smell. To me, it speaks of something ancient. There’s an incense aspect but there’s more to it than that. A sense of something otherworldly. It’s dark and dense, something that a very old church would smell of. So, maybe incense plus a birch tar and a bit of leather, cold stone and oddly honey and hay. A smell conjured by a magical practitioner.
I love the aftermath of being moxa’d and smelling just that little bit weird out in the world. No one has ever commented on it but I have gotten a few weird looks in the local bakery.
Artemisia shows up in perfume as a bitter and green note, it seems. I looked up which fragrances have it and it’s a fair number, but including Amouage Memoir Man, l’Artisan Fou d’Absinthe (which having read the notes I’m now quite curious about), a couple of Penhaligons, and a load of mainstream stuff (it seems to pop up a fair bit in Calvin Klein perfumes).
So, does that make you want to run out and find an acupuncturist to moxa you? Or not… Anyway, let us know — and what you think of the idea of moxa.
Pics from Pexels