Enlightening Lotus

Enlightening Lotus. You are teaching us that our human transformation, from the common world to a higher state of purity and wisdom  is possible. You are deeply rooted in the mud, but your leaves and beautiful fragrant flowers emerge from the pond majestically unstained. Hinduism considers you as a holy flower and the teachings of the Buddha are summarized in his auspicious Lotus Sutra, making you one of the prominent symbol of both religions.

A beautiful lotus flower bud near my home in Shanghai.
A beautiful lotus flower bud near my home in Shanghai.

The Lotus is native to tropical Asia. This amazing aquatic plant can live for more than a thousand years and its seeds can also germinate after that long time, if well-preserved. Besides their inherent beauty, the flowers have this unique property to regulate their temperature to attract pollinating insects during the cooler nights or in the midst of a torrid summer afternoon. The large leaves have super-hydrophobic and self-cleaning properties, aka “Lotus Effect”, that inspired many recent innovations in diverse fields such as aerospace and engineered body wear.

The plant is very versatile in its uses as food. The lotus rhizomes are common dishes throughout Asia and represent a good source of vitamins and minerals. The seeds are usually boiled and sweetened to blend in various watery desserts, or ground as a paste used in the traditional Chinese moon cakes and other rice pastries. The fragrant flowers are used as ingredients for tisanes and the leaves to wrap and preserve fine dishes.

The subtle aromatic essence of the lotus needs to be extracted by chemical solvents. in this process, the dried flowers are ground homogeneously and mixed with a solvent such as CO2 or hexane for a defined maceration time. After filtration of impurities, the solvent is then evaporated at a defined temperature and pressure, and eventually only the pure reddish lotus essential oil remains. This oil is widely used in aromatherapy and perfumery.

Lotus essential oil can be found in numerous flowery fragrances for women today. Some noses have placed this fragrant note at the center of their creation, such as L’Eau d’Issey Lotus from Issey Miyake. The Japanese house uses the lotus note in various concentrations in nearly all of its fragrances for men and women. A recent declination of the legendary Mitsouko, Fleur de Lotus from Guerlain is worth a try, even if it is apparently not as long-lasting as the original jewel. Love to Kiss from Victoria’s Secret is an easy to wear body mist that gets consistently nice reviews and will add even more passion to your nights.

The unisex Un Jardin sur le Nil from Hermes is a fascinating fruity and floral composition with a noticeable lotus note.  Young men can try the light and fresh  Eau par Kenzo pour Homme which combines lotus with Japanese yuzu and pepper; a good choice as a  summer late-afternoon fragrance. Bvlgari Man of the Italian house of  Bvlgari is a light estival oriental-woody  fragrance with a lotus heart note, for the more mature gentlemen.

To finish this post, I would like to send you my friends this lotus Mantra, for you to find your inner peace and love:     “Om Mani Padme Hum“.

Lotus flower, om symbol and mantra 'om mani padme hum' (PiXXart Photography / Fotolia)
Lotus flower, om symbol and mantra ‘om mani padme hum’ (PiXXart Photography / Fotolia)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply