I know, here I am featuring another mountain-inspired pottery piece already. But this little beauty was too sweet not to. I received this Palo Santo/Incense burner by CBE Ceramics before I ordered the Mountain mug I shared by Pitch Pine Pottery. However, I wanted to experience burning the Palo Santo before sharing my thoughts.This mini-mountain showed up in a search for incense burners and it was so special and imaginative, that I had to have it. Of course, not wanting form to outweigh function, I needed to look up what Palo Santo was exactly, first. The owner of CBE Ceramics, Cate Be, provides such information: “In Spanish, Palo Santo translates to “Holy Wood”. It is part of the citrus family and has sweet notes of pine, mint and lemon. It is enjoyed by many for its energetically cleansing and healing properties similar to Sage and Cedar. It creates a pleasant, fresh smoke that works well in keeping away mosquitoes and other flying insects which is one of the primary. uses for the people who live in Ecuador and Peru. It provides an uplifting scent that raises your vibration in preparation for meditation and allows for a deeper connection to the Source of all creation. It is also said that Palo Santo enhances creativity and brings good fortune to those who are open to its magic.”
I promise I haven’t gone too bohemian free spirit on you, though I was easily willing to try out this age-old practice. But first, the form:The mountaintop is a reddish brown glaze with darker little slashes of texture forming radial lines climbing up the exterior. That hand-carved crescent moon on the dish sold it for me. Such a sweet hidden surprise nestled in milky green sage porcelain with a glossy glaze. It measures 3.5″ wide and 2.5″ tall with a curved space for the Palo Santo wood in the side and a small opening at the top for releasing smoke. An earthy color palette with mountain and moon motif? Resistance was futile. My mini version cost $30, shipped for $9 and was packed with love. CBE currently has a couple larger mountain burners available for $45. Now, the function: Cate generously included a stick of Palo Santo wood to get me started. It took a few attempts of relighting for the wood to ignite, almost like tending a campfire. There is no smoky campfire smell though, nothing as strong as that. The wood remains lit a few minutes as the smoke flows out the top of the mountain. Watching it curl and rise is especially satisfying. And the scent! Not sure how well I can describe it other than it’s incredibly fresh. I’m used to fragrance oil interpretations of woody scents (and love them) but Palo Santo is the real deal. It’s what I imagine hiking through mountainous forests would smell like. Cool and shady grasses, wafting breezes of fresh outdoor air and bundles of dry wood. The citrus oils emerge as the wood self-extinguishes. (No need to worry about the flame, once covered by the mountain housing, it will extinguish as the smoke fades). Incense users will enjoy this, but it doesn’t give off scent as strongly.
Fascinated by Cate’s Instagram pottery making videos, she creates pieces inspired by her natural surroundings in the Pacific Northwest, including jewelry and mugs designed with moons and mushrooms; her stately carved Redwoods are a favorite. One downside to the order was the lack of an available Paypal payment option. But included was the most thoughtful handwritten note I’ve received from any vendor, dried cuttings from her garden, and a pink quartz crystal for “loving energy.” How sweet is that?I’m gratified that I stepped out of my usual wax melt routine and took a chance on this original handmade pottery. While I can’t attest to the cleansing of my energy, experiencing the scent is refreshing and uplifting. I’m ordering more Palo Santo in some scented varieties, and have also tried cone incense in the burner, but with mixed results. The cone bottoms need cut down so they don’t get snuffed by the mountain top. Enjoyed mostly in the mornings as I sip my coffee, it ushers a calming, reflective ritual start to my day.
Have you made any new-to-you discoveries lately?