Song of Solomon speaks volumes to me about my life, now and in the past. This book proclaims God's wisdom in handling the passionate emotions of a man and woman in love. The passionate love Jesus feels for me and I for Him is symbolically apparent throughout these chapters. It's difficult to whittle down my thoughts to just one post, but I'll try. :)
Scented spices are evident in this book. What aromas permeated the environment in the Song of Songs? Do those particular spices have a symbolic context?
Myrrh is described as medicinal, resinous, slightly bitter, dark, sharp, astringent. Myrrh symbolizes devotion or affectionate love for Jesus. Myrrh also was used in preparing a body after death, thus symbolizing suffering and death. Could it be that an intimate relationship requires each party to die to themselves in order to live for the other?
Spikenard has a semi-sweet, musky odor. It is a heavenly fragrance which symbolizes worship and adoration, which emanate from the spirit. Adoring another person, leads to an intimate connection. One aspect of adoration is deep esteem or respect. This relationship is built on knowing a person and respecting who God has created them to be.
Frankincense smells lemony, piney, menthol. "The Hebrew word “frankincense” means “pure or white,” because of the snowcapped mountains of Lebanon where frankincense is grown, as well as the milk-colored drops of aromatic resin that flow from the slashed inner wood of the tree." (Rebecca at the Well Fountain) An intimate, godly relationship is one built on purity. Without purity, there can be no trust.
Henna, from personal experience, smells earthy like grass or soil. "The Hebrew word for 'camphire' (henna) means 'a ransom,' with its root word meaning 'to forgive.'" (Rebecca at the Well Fountain) Forgiveness is essential for any relationship, because offenses are inevitable. Without forgiveness, offenses will build a wall of separation between two hearts.
Saffron smells sweet-peppery, similar to paprika. "It is literally worth its weight in gold because it is the stigmas from which the spice is obtained. Each one is handpicked and placed over a charcoal fire for drying. It takes over 75,000 flowers to make one pound of saffron." (Rebecca at the Well Fountain) A love relationship is costly. Each gives up its own desires to meet the needs and desires of the other. When both willingly give themselves, the relationship blooms gloriously!
Calamus smells buttery, nutty, soft and sweet and signifies moral uprightness with a humble, servant-hearted attitude. (Rebecca at the Well Fountain) There is no greater "turn off" in a relationship then arrogance, and God feels the same way.
For though the Lord is high, yet has He respect to the lowly [bringing them into fellowship with Him]; but the proud and haughty He knows and recognizes [only] at a distance.
Cinnamon, think freshly baked sticky buns! Holiness and consecration are of what cinnamon speaks. Each person set apart for the other, now that's romance!
In researching these scents, I came across a book that was apparently written on the subject, The Fragrance of the Bride by Rebecca Park Totilo. I'd like to read it sometime.