Kadamb (Neolamarckia cadamba) is a large evergreen tree native to South and South-East Asia. It’s in the Rubiaceae family, commonly known as the madder family. Familiar plants in this family are coffee, gardenia, cleavers and woodruff. The aromatic flowers that bloom in May are large, globular and apricot colored and probably gives the tree its other common name, which is burflower tree. This is a fast-growing tree with a large crown, which is why it is used for reforestation projects and windbreaks.
In India, the tree is listed in the ‘Nakshathra Vana’ which is a list of trees that are associated with planetary constellations. Every constellation has a symbolic tree connected to it. Kadamb is the 24th of the 27 trees and is called ‘Shatatarka,’ which means a hundred stars. Kadamb comes under the star sign Aquarius, and it is ruled by Varun, the ‘God of Rains.’ It is believed that the tree of Nakshatra in which the person is born will give them strength and tending the tree will help protect the person during their lifetime. The trees in the Nakshathra were planted together in sacred gardens or groves.
In Hindu mythology, Lord Krishna was supposed to have played his flute sitting under a kadamb tree, which gave the tree its Hindu name Haripriya meaning God’s favorite.
We like the balance that this sacred attar brings to our range of attars. It is less floral and feminine than the tuberose and the rose for example. The first note is somewhat nutty and juicy and as usual with the attars, once I (Cathy) rub a mini-drop onto my skin, the aroma changes mingling with the oils in my skin in the way it is made to. I then get a deepness, a slight smokiness blending with the nuttiness and a strong sweetness, and I am transported to the tree’s soul, and strength.
As I smell the kadamb, I think of the alchemical stage coagulatio and embodiment because it definitely has an anchoring, grounding, embodying energy to it. At the same time, I am present and calm and feel safe. I think I am really going to enjoy using this oil because it draws me in, I can’t stop smelling it and I am sure there is much more to discover. If you work with it, please let us know what it does for you and your soul’s journey.