Leading broadcast journalist Ces Drilon surely knows the way to creative entrepreneurship, be it fashion accessories or her latest line—smudge sticks. It’s always interesting to see where her lifestyle radar points to.
“I learned to make smudge sticks in a natural perfumery class January this year,” she told TheDiarist.ph. “I didn’t want to burn them because they were so beautiful until in March when I felt I really needed to light one to be able to let go of negative feelings and invite more positivity.
“Korina (Sanchez-Roxas) wanted to buy my smudge sticks and so I told her I would make for her and that led me to source the ingredients. She was my first customer.”
Ces recalled the unintended benefit: “Making them for her was also a very healing and uplifting experience for me. Then my son advised me that I was making too many products (even organic fertilizer!) and advised me to focus on smudge sticks. And so that’s how Provenciana began! Now Gian and Rei, my youngest son, are my partners in the small enterprise.” (See Provenciana.com)
Smudging has grown in popularity in the Philippines following the rediscovery of this ancient practice around the world to relieve stress and anxiety the natural way.
The ritual of smudging or sage burning is performed to cleanse our spaces or ourselves of negative energy. It comes at a time when a pandemic-weary world is in dire need of tools to handle stress and anxiety.
Sage, cedar, palo santo and other smudge sticks are lit to release a cleansing smoke to shift energy in a room from negative to positive.
Smudging your space, house or even your workplace is believed to bring an instant flow of clarity.
Provenciana, founded by Drilon, has products derived from local herbs and plants. Its smudge stick combines traditional elements with Philippine ingredients such as turmeric and Manila copal and elemi rosins and resins. Manila copal is derived from the Almaciga tree which is plentiful in Palawan while elemi is derived from the Pili tree.
The thoughtfully composed smudge stick blends these local ingredients with white sage, cedar, palo santo, lavender flowers, blue sage and wild purple sage.
It is ancient aromatherapy that has found current relevance.
Medicinal smokes like burning sage and other herbs are a powerful ritual that indigenous communities have been using since ancient times to clear the negative energy.
Great cultures and religions use incense in worship.
The smoke from herbs are believed to transform spaces evoking spirituality, royalty and peace.