"Paula is the kind of person I would dream about in fairy tales. She is the woman who talks to the butterflies, to the plants, to the wind and to the mountains. A modern day Pocahontas. I met Paula at the very end of my day at Mercado Sagrado. She was perched up high on the side of the house in this wooden enclave that you walk up to. With all of her products splayed out, I felt like I was really going to see this sage or medicine woman. She was so kind and allowed us to sample her utterly unique and complex blends + potions. I told her I would love to do a story about her and she responded with such excitement. While we were corresponding, she invited me to her monarch butterfly releasing party at her home in Malibu Canyon. She has been caring for and now releasing her fourth generation. How could I say no?
I decided to bring a friend because I wanted someone to also acknowledge this woman's undeniable ability to communicate with nature. After driving up high into the hills, passing sheer cliffs and large sycamores, we arrive at her house. It's quiet. So quiet. We are immediately greeted by her daughter, Lila Polaris, who is dressed up in a fairy costume. She's like the bouncer of the party, but with glittery wings on her back. She asks us who we are and we respond saying that we are friends with her mother. We walk up to the side of the house (that is overlooking this huge valley) and see Paula dressed in this beautiful red dress. We see a tent and peek inside to find an entire family of about twenty butterflies. My friend goes in first. She is surrounded. They are so friendly. She put some fruit juice on her fingers and fed them like a new mother. Paula and I join her in the tent and she shows us one of the last chrysalis' that is still unhatched. It reminds me of page 12 in the book Be Here Now by Ram Dass. It talks about metamorphosis and the inevitable process we all go through to transform and evolve into something else. We are where we are but we must know that it is not forever.
After feeding the butterflies we head down to her studio, which is full of instruments, paintings and even a little tea set for her daughter to make her own concoctions. This is the kind of place we dream about as children. We start trying products, one of which is this amazing new medicinal honey she developed. I have never tried honey like this before. She makes all of her products by hand. I can tell that each and every one is made with incredible attention and care. Toward the end of the party it was time to release the butterflies. I picked mine out from Paula's hand and she said, "wish them luck on their first flight". I whispered the words "go for it" to my little butterfly. A couple seconds later I could feel this light push from it's legs on my hands like a springboard and it was off, fluttering into the sky. I will never forget that moment.
Thanks to Paula I started to listen to the subtle voices of nature. All the plants, animals, trees, water, mountains, and other natural forces are always speaking. Can we quiet ourselves enough to listen? "
Q+A with Paula from Scents of Awe
Q: Why did you start your company?
A: I began formulating products for myself during my pregnancy when I learned the startling facts of dermal absorption rates, and the higher levels of toxicity that impact the body and the developing fetus through skin absorption. When we come into contact with a chemical on our skin, we literally drink it through the porous surface of our skin, and in turn the substances have direct access into our bloodstream, bypassing the body's defenses of the digestive and liver detoxification systems. What you put onto your skin has a greater impact on your health than what you put in our mouth. This awareness brought me to a place of simplification, and set me on a quest to further discover what I could create for my family that would in turn be beneficial, medicinal, and deliver the most pure and harmonizing effects through internal and external application. A vivid highlight of this discovery was learning about essential oils, and when pure and unadulterated, they can have incredibly medicinal effects. The birth of my offerings came through these channels of discovery. After working with chronically and terminally ill children through a non-profit music program I developed for many years (M4tK: Music 4 the Kids), I became so much more aware of our current corporate for-profit medical paradigm, and through entering that realm I discovered just how deep the dysfunction goes. This process of awakening fueled my passion for educating and empowering the children and their families through understanding the power of belief systems and root causes of chronic conditions, and to help inspire them to take their health back into their hands. It was through this process that led me further and further down the wormhole of wellness and taught me more and more of how far we, as a social super-organism, have departed from the natural flow of being. It was through this research that I began taking my food, my skincare, and my spirt back from the pre-packaged products into the hand-made high-vibe creations. In a desire to extend what has been revealed to me, Scents Of Awe was born as an offering of products that have been created with the intention to educate and assist others with their re-connection to ancient spirit-body medicines, and guide them back to Nature on the cellular-spiritual level.
Q: How did you come up with you logo and what does it symbolize?
A: I spent a decade traveling- writing and recording my journey through visual art books, poetry, and song. What fascinated me most was the universal- the commonalities of what we call the super-organism of the human species. I have always been fascinated with investigating universal symbols. Throughout my adult life I have been continuously drawn in by Carl Jung's work, which identifies universal languages we speak through sound and imagery.
The logo came through a series of sketch meditations. The triangle symbolizes manifestation, harmony, illumination, and ascension into the spirit world, as well as a foundation for the purifying process of inner alchemy, always distilling the essence into the highest form of matter...... The inner circle contains the yin/yang balancing aspect, and the image is also S O A woven all together... The plant essences (scents) guided me closer to the Isis archetype: the Goddess of the Earth, Medicine, Wisdom, Motherhood, and Magic, and she is known for using her powers for the benefit of the people. All my life I have experienced vivid dreams of flying, and winged animals and insects have always influence my life as guides of transformation. The wings of Isis remind me of this calling and also feel protective of the sacredness of the alchemical process. They hold the space and guide the way for the journey of Awe to remain vital and innocent, and for this work to extend to all who may benefit from it.
Q: Out of all of your products what is your favorite and why?
A: It's hard to choose a favorite, but it may be a 3 way tie between Rose Immortal, Firefly Creme, and Dream Creme. My body craves them, and I look forward to the deep relaxation Dream Creme and Rose Immortal bring to my bedtime ritual, as well as the luxurious feeling I get when I am absorbing the Firefly Creme in the morning.
Q: What inspires you to create?
A: Immersing my spirit in Nature, being in a state of Awe, and the desire to connect and facilitate that feeling for others through communion with the essences.
Q: What is one product you carry that anyone can benefit from?
A: Dream Creme - I love the ritual of massaging our feet before bed, it brings our attention to this often neglected area, and promotes circulation as well as relieving pressure points in the feet, while stimulating detox through the nerve endings that are connected to every organ in the body. It's a lovely connection ritual for mother and child, as well as partners, and even for oneself.
Q: Who are you wellness heroes?
A: Lynne McTaggart, Vandana Shiva, Sayer Ji, Bruce Lipton, Chris Kresser, Mijanou Montealegre aka Mystic Mamma, Michael Pollen & Dr. Mercola.
Q: What is always on your grocery list?
A: hemp seeds, avocados, coconut wraps, cilantro, grass fed raw butter, raw goat milk for my milk kefir , baby arugula from our neighbors biodynamic farm (One Gun Ranch), chia seeds and vanilla beans.
Q: Why do you choose to make your products by hand versus having someone else do it?
A: It comes down to trust and transparency for me. In making my own products by hand I am in control of every part of the process, and know exactly what it is that I am creating and offering to others. This deeply intimate process is very important to me, and in the event that my company grows beyond my capacity to produce the products entirely by myself, it will be of utmost importance to find the most clean and pure energy alchemists to assist with that expansion. For now, I blend in small batches by hand.
Q: Where/what is your sanctuary?
A: My studio where I blend is one of my favorite sanctuaries, I feel deeply held by the womb of the canyon where I live, and the waterfall beside the studio reminds me of the ancient ones and the indigenous Chumash tribe who lived and seeded this sacred land with their love and reverence.
Q: Best way to handle stress?
A: One of my favorite ways to decompress is watching Monarch caterpillars munch their leaves and move about their milkweed. It brings me back to such a sweet space of innocence and bliss. Meditation and breath work is always a good way to ground my experience. Soaking in a medicinal bath is also incredibly relaxing for me, the time spent in that cocoon can be very grounding and simultaneously expansive which helps with stress reduction and organizing my intentions.
Q: Who inspires you the most and why?
A: My daughter Lila Polaris. She is my investment in the future of all humanity, everything I have to give and contribute to this world can be seen in the reflection of her eyes.
Q: Favorite album to get you through the day?
A: Anouar Brahem : Le Pas Due Chat Noir
Q: Who would you love to meet?
Bill Drayton - founder of Ashoka: a revolutionary platform that finds and funds social entrepreneurs worldwide. He has been a hero of mine for many years; I learned of his revolutionary work while reading the book "How to Change the World".
Vandana Shiva - I had the chance to meet her recently but the timing coincided with my Monarch Butterfly Release gathering- so I am looking forward to another opportunity.
Q: Best advice you ever received?
A: Inner Peace is World Peace. The reminder to be mindful in every moment and as conscious as possible. Everything we think and do is broadcasted out and received and responded to by the inter-connected web of being that we are all a living part of. It is a humbling fact, and one I am inspired and committed to live up to and continuously evolve.
Q: What is your grand vision/ future for Scents of Awe?
A: I see the brand expanding into the rapidly evolving market of wellness and consumer empowerment. I visualize the products being interwoven into the fabric of what is now being created through greater access to the indigenous wisdom and scientific revelations, as well as the distillation and aggregation of this incredible body of knowledge that is now being made available to the masses through the diligent work of high-vibrational beings. I am open to expanding into what it has been called to be, and I am committed to this path of discovery and co-evolution through cultivating a platform of passion and inspiration to all who desire to empower themselves and their loved ones into taking their health into their own hands through nature-reconnection, and healing one another from the heart on a global scale.