Olfactory Allies and Fragrant Talismans for Leo Season

This article was originally posted August 1st 2023 as part of our Olfactory Allies and Fragrant Talismans newsletter series, which highlights correlations between astrological transits and fragrant plant matter. View the full newsletter here.

Cinnamon · St. John’s Wort · Agarwood · Saffron · Olibanum · Bay Laurel

The Sun began its ingress into Leo on July 22nd, where it will languor until the 23rd of August. Adversely, Venus, ruler of the sensual world, began its retrograded course just moments before; a difficult transit that will have us grappling with the pleasure sectors in our lives into September.

Venus calls us toward pleasure—as she recedes into the sign of the solar lion, she invites us to take a step back with her for a better picture of what makes our lives feel full, fecund, and lush, as well as the moving parts that require some revisiting on our journey toward exaltation. With fixed sign Leo’s acute awareness and embodiment of the Self at play, this might look like allowing ourselves to step into our own with confidence and to consider the myriad ways in which we shine, taking stock of who or what fans our flames and basks in our radiance versus what dulls our glow and seeks to snuff it out.

Though this retrograde might have us feeling wary of its lessons, bold and boisterous Leo’s heart of gold beats with enough passion and assurance to move us securely through its transit. Leo knows what beauty they bring into the world, and will dapple the path ahead with a molten sunlight as we revisit and rework how to feel witnessed, recognized, and uplifted. 

As with every celestial passage, we present you with botanical extracts curated to the archetype of the season as informed by occult, astrological, herbal, and metaphysical texts. Use this fiery retrograde transit to review which sectors of your life are most impacted, and work with the Sun’s fragrant acolytes to cast away Venus’ shadow and return into Leo’s warm embrace.

St John’s Wort

Five-pointed and sunny St. John’s Wort recalls the sun’s warming rays and can act as a natural mood-booster, melting away melancholy with its herbal actions as well as a solar aroma of herb-laden pastoral summerscapes.


More commonly known as Frankincense, this molten resin has been lauded as biblical gold and is celebrated not only for its molten cent of sweet sap, sun, and spice, but for its skin-healing topical properties as well.

Bay Laurel

Sacred to the sun god Apollo, this noble herb  presents a strong, spicy-sweet odour that ignites the senses. In various folk practices, Bay is used to call forth protection, abundance, and triumph over envious detractors.


Saffron's pistils are worth their weight in gold, producing a honeyed, spiced, and leathery-scented extract. An ancient and revered aphrodisiac and natural pigment, Saffron continues to be used to perfume the most sumptuous of fragrances and dishes.


Beyond its blood and body warming properties, seductive cinnamon can be used to anoint oneself when calling forth prosperity or seeking to entice onlookers and admirers.


Precious agarwood, or ‘oud’, is one of the most luxurious ingredients used in perfumery, and requires a distinguished palate in order to fully appreciate its rich, pungent aroma and unapologetically bold character.


As creativity is but one of the major themes at play whilethe Solar Lion reigns over us, we encourage you to expand on how you incorporate plant-based energetics in your life. Sumptuous Saffron can be used to flavour a sweet confection, while Cinnamon can be ground into your favourite warm beverage or lightly infused into a massage oil. Keep a Bay leaf in your wallet for good fortune, or incorporate resins like Frankincense into your skincare routine.  Finally, find and tend to what grows around you locally; what bright, bold blossoms peek through the cracks in the road or line your path., gorged on sun and the sweet summer air.

Wishing you all the glorious, golden unfurling of summertime that you deserve. Thank you for keeping us aglow; we’re grateful for you, and are honoured to help make you shine in any way we can.



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