Tag Archives: love

The 5 Most Romantic Herbs of All Time

via our disenchanted souls

Herbs and flowers are close to our hearts. They carry a collective folklore from the earliest days. Naturally, many herbs have been traditionally connected to love and romance. Some were used as love charms or written about in the greatest poetry. Some resemble lover’s knots and inspired romantic rituals that last till today. Here are some of my favorite romantic herbs+their uses:

1. Honeysuckle. What could be more romantic than an herb whose sweet scent comes out under moonlight? Honeysuckle is a climbing vine and when planted it forms knots and bows around walls and fences. Even the flowers resemble two lovers intertwined. Some benefits of honeysuckle beside its sweet scent include its powerful antibacterial, antihistamine effects as well as its use in cleansing, cooling, and calming coughs and digestive troubles. Drink a tea of honeysuckle blooms for dreams of love+passion.

2.  Rose. The queen of the flowers. No other flower has been written about in love songs+poetry so much as this. It would take ages to list all the references to the rose in Greek myth, the Bible and other religious writings, Shakespeare’s sonnets, the treatises of the alchemists, and so many more. The red rose is considered the quintessential symbol of love throughout the world. It makes sense that rose petals are good for the HEART and lower cholesterol. They are also anti-inflammatory, mildly laxative, and have sedative powers.

3.  Basil. In Bocaccio’s Decameron, Lisabetta, whose brothers killed her lover, is shown where he is buried in a dream and she plants basil nearby, watering it daily with her tears. Young girls in Italy wore basil sprigs as a sign of availability and Folklore dictates that if a man accepts a basil plant from a woman they will fall in love. Basil is helpful in relieving stress and head colds as well as improving the appetite. In India certain varieties are considered holy and bring spiritual elevation.

dandelion in the sun via blue jay t at tumblr

4. Dandelion. The Rustic Oracle. I remember being a child and plucking up dandelion puffs, blowing the little spikes into the wind. There are various interpretations of this tradition, but all revolve around love. Some say if you blow all the petals away in one breath you will find true love. Others say however many petals remain are the number of children you will have. Whatever it is, it’s a romantic gesture that’s been around for ages. Dandelion is a preventative, tonic herb that is excellent for the liver, kidneys, and overall health of the body. You can drink dandelion coffee daily to reap the endless benefits of this romantic little herb.

5. Patchouli. A known aphrodisiac of the mint family, the Victorians of the 1860’s and the flower children of the 1960’s were all very into this amazing herb, and rightfully so. Rich, earthy, woody, and sweet, it not only masks other smells but it can help beat stress, depression, nausea, and lack of libido. It’s good for dandruff, eczema, acne, and fungal infections, as well as healing burns. The essential oil has been used for centuries as a sensual, “inspiring,” herb. It’s a natural insect repellant too, so it’ll keep the bugs away and the lovers close.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Creme de la Creme: Favorite French Films

Rainy summer days provide the perfect backdrop to cozy up and indulge in the sultry world of French cinema. In her lovely book Entre Nous: A woman’s Guide to Finding her Inner French Girl, Debra Ollivier suggests a few of her favorites, and I’ve taken the liberté of adding in some of my own. So make like the french women do; pour yourself some vintage wine, slip into something comfortable (but stylish too, of course) and let yourself be whisked away to a world of irresistable romance and intrigue with these classics:

Les Mistons via Play it for Me Sam

1. Les Mistons (the brats) directed by François Truffaut, 1957. Truffaut was a pioneer of French New Wave, a style of film that celebrates the little details in life, urging us to see beauty in the seemingly mundane. This is a short film about a group of boys who have a crush on a beautiful young woman and their boyish attempts at winning her attention by making mischief for her and her boyfriend.
2. Amelie directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001. Originally titled The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain, this popular Romantic comedy is full of whimsy and that same New Wave style of Les Mistons. It follows the childhood and early adulthood of the charming Amelie Poulain, the shy and often misunderstood waitress at a local cafe. When she hears about Princess Diana’s demise, she decides to devote her life to doing good and becomes an undercover match maker and guardian angel. Amidst all her caring for others, Amelie gathers the courage and the friendships that lead her own destiny, too.
3. Babette’s Feast directed by Isak Dinesen, 1987. Though this is a Danish film, I include it here because it tells the story of a renowned Parisian chef who moves to Denmark and becomes a housekeeper in the home of a strict Lutheran family. In a shocking meeting of two very different worlds, Babette is forced to tame her exotic cooking skills in exchange for the simple (and bland) ways of her puritanical employers. The twist is when Babette manages to convince her hosts to let her cook a full blown French meal for them, including “Potage à la Tortue” (turtle soup) and rum cake. Ultimately, both sides learn an unexpected lesson about life and living.

Babette’s Feast via Renew Theatres

4. Milou en Mai (Fools in May) directed by Louis Malle, 1990. Set against the backdrop of the revolutionary labor strikes of 1968, this film is about a wealthy family who find themselves reunited in the French countryside for a funeral. At first, the relatives argue about the inheritance while tensions flair for the revolution that threatens their bourgeois way of life. But since the whole country is on strike, the cadaver cannot be buried, and they are forced to remain together in the country. The film explores social and interpersonal issues as the family must face the changing times and reevaluate their priorities.
5. La double vie de Véronique (The Double Life of Veronique) directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1991. Some say that each of us has a twin soul in this world, and that can go for both romantic partners and friendships. This film explores twin flame concept and follows two women from different countries who share a mysterious bond that transcends time and space. It reminds us that “if we’re not living with a truly sensual appreciation of everything around us, we’re not really living at all.” (Debra Ollivier)
For more fabulous French cinema, see Time’s 100 best French films.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: