Saturday, June 07, 2008

Fragrance in Marriage
(Note: This article is intended for married women.)

How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice! Song of Songs 4:10

Pleasing is the fragrance of your perfumes, your name is like perfume poured out. No wonder the maidens love you! Song of Songs 1:3

In the book, The Five Sense of Romantic Love, the author uses a lovely phrase:
"...a refreshing breeze of cleanliness, care, and fragrance." Isn't that a pretty thought?

Do you have special memories of a perfume used by your mother or a favorite female relative? How about a cologne used by your father? Do you remember your own first perfume? A whiff of lovely scent is one of the most powerful ways to stir memories. We have but to open a drawer where a loved one's sachet lies, and we instantly think of all the wonderful things we love about them.

Using an alluring aroma wisely can be a great way to build romantic and loving memories with your husband. (The woman in Song of Songs enjoyed her husband's fragrance as well and the same principles of cleanliness and pleasant scent apply to our dear hubs, as well. But, since this blog is for women, we'll concentrate on our part of the aura.)

If you read through Song of Songs, you get the idea that the husband and wife were careful to keep their person clean and fresh (including intimate areas), and, on top of that, they chose perfumes to delight the other spouse. This becomes extra important, I think, in hot weather, as you age, during certain seasons of womanhood, etc. Women at midlife, when hormones are fluctuating as rapidly as during puberty and hot flashes cause extra perspiration, often find that it's more challenging to stay fresh.

Here are some thoughts on using fragrance to delight our husbands:

1) Study what the Bible has to say about aromas, fragrances, etc. Note how fragrance is often used as an image to teach us about spiritual things: Christians are the aroma of Christ; the prayers of the saints come up before God like incense, etc. Also take note of how fragrance is used in its literal sense, particularly in Song of Songs. Think of what "aroma" you'd like to project, both from your heart and literally.
2) Learn the best ways to keep your lingerie dainty and clean. Tuck a sachet or an empty, open perfume bottle in your lingerie drawer. Change this as the scent fades away. Even a perfume card torn from a magazine will add fragrance to your unmentionables. Be especially careful to make sure bras are fresh.
3) Learn the best ways to keep yourself bathed and clean, particularly when it comes to our intimate hygiene. In the old days, women made use of frequent douching. Doctors discourage this now, because it can lead to infections. Discuss with your physician and make your best health decision. If you have a problem with feminine odor, it is especially important to talk with your physician. Sometimes, there are little physical concerns that need to be cleared up in order to stay fresh. Also, certain chemical changes may create odors, and your doctor can explain how to handle this if you are not already aware. Don't let embarrassment stop you from seeking medical help. Doctors generally take a very practical attitude toward the body and its various functions and are not offended when you discuss sensitive matters.
Study and make your best health decision concerning the products that are designed to help us stay fresh and clean, particularly with regard to feminine areas. You probably already have your favorite shampoo, soap, body wash, intimate products, etc., but it doesn't hurt to investigate what's new now and again.
4) What kind of scent does your husband respond to? Does he prefer a natural clean scent, a floral perfume, a spicy perfume, etc. Sometimes, what appeals to us may not be the same perfume that appeals to our husbands. We can wear what makes us feel good in certain situations but use hubby's favorite scent for special times together. Note: Your husband's tastes may change as he moves through ages and stages. So, take note. My husband recently surprised me by complimenting a perfume I had not worn in a while. He hadn't noticed it in the past, but, for some reason, it suddenly seemed very pleasant to him. So, keep current with your husband's likes.
5) With perfume, you often get what you pay for. Inexpensive scents from places like Bath and Body Works can be fun, but it's also great to have a bottle of a fine perfume on hand. Save up or ask for it as a present. It doesn't have to be the most expensive perfume ever made, just something of good quality.
6) Perfume doesn't last forever. You can prolong its life by placing it in the fridge, but only to a certain extent. Use what you have!
7) Here's a tip from the Five Sense of Love: (About the couple in Song of Songs) Fragrance was in the room and in the air all around them. Lovemaking is all about atmosphere and fragrance is a key element in setting the right mood. How is the ambiance in your bedroom? Been lighting any scented candles lately? How about the bed itself -- the sheets, the pillows, the bedspread, are they clean and fresh?"
My note: Some hubbies like candles, some don't. If your husband isn't big on them, there are other ways to scent a room. Try a perfume ring on a lamp or place a drop of perfume on a light bulb before lighting it. Spray a whiff of perfume on the sheets.
8) Perfumes and scents can be a concern for people with allergies. Be considerate about where you wear scent, especially if you use a heavier perfume. If you hubby is the one who is allergic to perfumes, all is not lost. You can concentrate on freshness and cleanliness.
9) Don't forget about the freshness and cleanliness of your mouth. In Song of Songs, both the husband and the wife found their spouse's breath to be pleasant. Attend to dental hygiene. Make regular visits to the dentist. Floss! Floss not only when you've just been to the dentist and its on your mind; make it a habit! If you need and enjoy them, keep breath mints on hand.
10) Remember, some scents leave an unpleasant taste on the body. This is not an issue except in intimate settings. Be creative about where you place scents or use scents that do have a pleasant and safe taste. You don't want to enhance one sense at the expense of another.


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