It has been a thin line between love and hate when it comes to Spikenard and my nose. When I began my aromatherapy training, Nard was one of several dozen oils I was required to learn and use in a clinical setting treating clients for insomnia, headaches or anxiety. Thing is, I hated the scent and I mean like, I lost my appetite kind of hate. Like a stinky Valerian kind of way, which coincidentally resembles Spikenard. I learned about the oil, its applications and then I stored the bottle away. A decade later when I was finding better distillations and in the ungentarii game, selling formulas and essential oils, I pulled Spikenard out again and discovered I enjoyed the oil. Aging it out some took some of the cat nip profile out of the oil. I found the oil under Nard, as it was apt to be called in 1925 when consulting Parry’s Cyclopedia of Perfumery to add some historical context to Spikenard, which is extensive. According to Pliny, it was customary to pour Spikenard perfumed oil over the feet of guests as an honor. His formula for Ungentum Nardinum was an odd one, appearing more like a foot fungal formula than an honored fragrant urgent for guests. Maybe that what it really was.
Spikenard, then known as Indian Nard
Juncus, species of Andropogon
Costus, Root of Saussurea Lappa
Amomum, fruit of the Amomum Cardamomum
Myrrh, Commiphora erthroea
Balm, Oleo Resin Commiphora Opobalsamum
Malabathrum, leaves of the Cinnamomum Tamala
Omphacium, expressed oil from unripe olives
Balaninum, possibly the seeds of Balanites Egyptiiaca
Spikenard was undoubtedly used in India early on. It was considered precious and the scent was enjoyed as both perfume and as a hair wash when combined with Patchouli, Vetiver and Artemesia. And Nepalese Spikenard has always been considered true Spikenard. Our beautiful amber colored Spikenard is aged from 2010 which is slightly self indulgent as I prefer it carefully aged for perfumery use as well as for meditation and grounding tools. It is a helpful oil for anti fungal and anti inflammatory applications. Spikenard blends with woody oils. Frankincense lifts it and Juniper cohabits well with Spikenard.
Suggested uses: Blend with Frankincense, Juniper or frankincense in botanical perfumery blends. Can be used in aromatherapy to help with anxiety and sleep. Also is benefits an anti fungal blend.