Meadow of Dusk is one of the aphrodisiac recipes in our "Seafoam" series, in which we attempt to queer the traditional aphrodisiac. We cordially invite you to embark on our odyssey of love— where crew members across species interact with one another in transforming adventures of various forms. Keep a loving eye on our blog as we update experimentation and taste testing of the recipes.
And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies,
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroidered all with leaves of myrtle;
- From The Passionate Shepherd to His Love by Christopher Marlowe
This aphrodisiac was conceived as a more gentle and elusive cousin of the popularized idea of "Bed of Roses" described above, which is similar in the sense that it too evokes the image of scattered petals and comfort, but one which is limited to physical and romantic love and consummation that implies imminent sacrifice (thorns). Meadowsweet, a flower that has been one of the most popular strewing herbs — herbs that were scattered over the floors of dwelling spaces for perfuming, disinfecting, insect repelling purposes in Europe during the Middle Ages —, is symbolic of trust, comfort, safety and maturation for every breath and step that the person takes with another within the same space, love that need not be limited to the bed. Strewing herbs also contrast with potpourri, which too consist of fresh or dried fragrant plants, but is often in a bowl or a pouch, more contained, static and enduring. On the other hand, strewing herb is an action as much as it is a noun, of perfuming and marking the space yet without strict boundaries, creating an all-encompassing, embodied yet ephemeral sculpture in space.
Drying is a slow process that settles in the liminal space between life and decay, that momentarily captures the olfactory essence of the flowers in their fragile petals.
Such perfume is further released into the air as the petals are crumbled under the feet of those who dance, which too is an emphasis on the process and temporality in developing love, perhaps even more so than the consummation of love itself.
Meadow of Dusk consists of several whimsical and dainty flowers.
Meadowsweet symbolizes beauty, happiness and peace; it has anti-inflammatory effect which renders it a helpful treatment for heartburns. Often used as strewing herb (kamerkruid in Dutch), the area blessed with these little fluffs of the flower is considered to be "protected" from all harms.
Honeysuckle is also a flower known for its sweet smell, and is symbolic of devoted affection and the bond of love.
Lavender is known as the best herb to induce relaxation and promote trust. It is also often tucked in pillow covers to help alleviate stress and induce sleep.
Geranium is symbolic of secretive and sweet love and joy. Slightly reminiscent of roses, but greener in its scent, it does not miss the charm, romance and youth.
Cowslip has a delicate apricot smell; its flower meaning is "grace that moves hearts".
Mallow, with its musky smell, and flower meaning that is "consumed by love", adds a down-to-earth, animalistic undertone to the ethereal ephemerality of it all.
Red flowering currant's small, fuschia floral bells emit a scent like a cross between sage and currant fruits. It symbolizes protection, compassion, feeling safe, transformation, and moving on from deep-seated fears.
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