Home to over 3,000 flowering plants, Sri Lanka is a paradise for lovers of exotic aromas. From the deep, fruity fragrances of tropical blooms to the sweet essence of freshly peeled cinnamon bark, these enticing fragrances have the power to evoke intense emotions and treasured memories.
This month Hi!! Offers suggestions to help you make your wedding ceremony 'extra-fragrant', with magical scented moments to remind you of that special day forever.
All set? Close your eyes, take a deep breath and prepare to take in the exquisite bouquets of Sri Lanka.
The Scented Bride
Imagine you're in a tropical rain forest, asleep on a soft pillow filled with the sweet-smelling Mesua flower (nagkesar). Strange as it may seem, the aromatic stamens of Sri Lanka's national tree were once used to stuff pillows and cushions for bridal beds. Its large white flowers are valued for their fragrance in perfumery, incense, soap, candles and essential oils.
The prettiest things you can wear on your wedding day are happiness and confidence, but why not splash out and dab on the intoxicating fragrance based on the remarkable 'Queen of the Night' cactus flower (kadupul). One of the rarest flowers in the world – the plant only blossoms once a year on midsummer's night, closing again in the morning sun – this legendary flower of the Nagas (mythical half-serpent, half-human beings) yields a floral woody scent that will linger on your skin all day long.
The Scented Groom
It's no wonder that Sri Lankan cinnamon oils and scents embody the exotic beauty of the tropical island. Cinnamon is one of the world's oldest spices, and the country is the world's largest producer of essential oils of cinnamon bark and cinnamon leaf. As a scent it is spicy, strong and earthy and – like sandalwood, patchouli and rosewood – it's commonly associated with masculinity and feelings of boldness and adventure.
Conjuring up images of coastal forests and sea breezes, Ratna Sri Lankan Oud Oil by 'The Perfumist' is a dark, rich, opaque resin used in perfumes. Although unisex, there are woody oriental fragrances for men which combine herbal, saffron, nutmeg and citrus notes with undertones of coffee, smoke, leather, ginger and cedar.
A Fragrance Inspired by Sri Lanka
The luxury French perfume brand 'Boucheron Paris' was so inspired by Sri Lanka that it produced Santal de Kandy. Created for both men and women, this distinguished scent is a spicy, woody and floral composition and features top notes of warm black pepper, fresh cardamom and bergamot (a citrus fruit), powdery violet petals, jasmine and styrax resin, plus a dry-down of cedar and patchouli.
A Scented Wedding Table
Finally, why not have a cluster of romantic scented candles as a fragrant centrepiece for your wedding? The most sensual and symbolically romantic candle is rose-scented, followed by jasmine which was traditionally used to relax the body before intimacy. Woody scented candles with notes of cinnamon, orange and pepper together, with your own fragrance, will fill your room with its own unique bridal story.
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