Have you ever had that experience when you smell something and it triggers a memory that takes you way back when?
Antoinette Goosen, a perfumer in the little town of Rosendal in the Free State, says, “Our sense of smell is processed in the limbic system of our brain. This is the same place that our memories, sensory perception, and emotions are processed, and where hormones are released. That is why we frequently experience an instant emotional response to a familiar fragrance such as favourite foods or perfumes.”
In a little corner of her Angels Café, Antoinette has a perfumery where she weaves her spell into wonderful scents. After suffering from a bout of post-natal depression, she found herself with a rare gift of being able to create perfumes.
“I don’t know how it happens but I know the recipe,” she says. “It seems to channel out of me and I just make the perfume.”
She made her first perfume called Tranquil Moments for a neighbour who was suffering from depression. Her neighbour was so impressed she told Antoinette that she had to share it. So Antoinette left the world of selling commercial property to concentrate on her perfumes.
The perfumes are made from only the best natural sources. “I want them to convey a sense of personal connection to nature, self and each other,” Antoinette says.
The perfumes are created using natural oils, resins and tinctures made from the flowers, leaves, bark and roots of aromatic plants. Antoinette has some of the ingredients of one of her perfumes, Africa Divine, specially made as she could not find what she needed.
“I like using natural perfumes as they are therapeutic,” she says. “They are the natural medicines of nature.”
When I wanted a perfume I asked for Antoinette’s advice. She held my hand, thought for a long moment and then handed me the one she thought would be just right. It’s a solid perfume in a little jar and it’s perfect for me. Whatever magic recipe Antoinette created in this perfume has worked its magic on me.
Where to find Antoinette
Look for Angels Café in Rosendal in the Free State and after a cup of really good coffee and delicious cake try out the perfumes. Make sure you book a table for their famous Sunday lunch too. (072 134 9872)
Contact: Antoinette has her own website www.moodsense.co.za
For ideas on where to stay and what to do in Rosendal, visit www.rosendalinfo.co.za
Words and Pictures: Sue Adams