Tonight we taking a fragrant journey back in time.
We also have a gift to give away.
Are you spending too much on perfume? Here is a scented tale for you.
The Oil in the Alabaster Box
There are many faiths in this world. There are also many myths and legends. It’s up to you to find the truth on your fragrant journey. Let’s step back in time.
Tonight we are time-travelling to the Middle East, to a village called al-Eizariya, west of the Jordan River, in Palestine.
We are visiting with a woman living on the boundaries of her culture. She has recently met a man. She believes him to be her spiritual guide. He is surrounded by men at a dinner party. She is uninvited and has to make her way past the guests to be able to offer her teacher a scented gift. The gift is spikenard oil, a costly perfume ingredient which at this volume, a Roman litra*, costs the equivalent of spending a year’s salary on a scent; a scent so potent that the home where this story takes place becomes filled with fragrant air.
The room grew still
As she made her way to Isa
She stumbles through the tears that made her blind
She felt such pain
Some spoke in anger
Heard folks whisper
There’s no place here for her kind
Still on she came
Through the shame that flushed her face
Until at last, she knelt before his feet
And though she spoke no words
Everything she said was heard
As she poured her love for the master
From her box of alabaster
Don’t be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And I dry them with my hair
You weren’t there the night He found me
You did not feel what I felt
When he wrapped his love all around me and
You don’t know the cost of the oil
In my alabaster box
– lyrics: Janice Sjostran
for chanteuse Cece Winans
Judas the accountant thought this money would have been better spent feeding the poor. Nevertheless the teacher accepted this gift from a woman’s heart.
The Prophet Isa looked at her with a smile “your deed will never be forgotten. Your story will be told throughout all the lands and for all time and in ways you have never even dreamed of“.
Little could she have imagined that one day the story of her alabaster box would be told on the World Wide Web.
* a Roman litra ~ 327 grams
Album Version – Cece Winans – The Alabaster Box
A more melodic version.
Brie in New York has made some spikenard foot oil especially for this post. If you would like to encounter this scent and look after your own or your loved one’s feet please leave a comment below in English, Arabic, Jawi, Bahasa Melayu, or any language that suits you.
If you are tech savy then any of these actions will also enter you into the draw for the bottle of spikenard / nardin foot oil.
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The gift recipient will be announced on Sunday 31st March and mailed to you, wherever you are in the universe, on Tuesday.
Spikenard, jatamansi, nardin or nard originates in India and Nepal, high in the Himalayas. The root of the plant is the source for one of the rarest and most precious oils.
Brie would like to say that she is not a professional perfumer. This is an interest for her. She blends with the best of intentions, carefully choosing oils for their healing properties as well as for the enjoyment of smelling. Brie says that spikenard is quite tenacious and challenging to work with as in her experience it takes over the blend (similar to tea tree oil).