The Oil in the Alabaster Box – Spikenard Giveaway

Alabaster Box

A Guest Post that will be appearing on several blogs today in preparation for the celebration of Easter. Featuring my favourite character from the New Testament, one whose name I share (my Christening name that is).
Today we taking a fragrant journey back in time with Jordan River from The Fragrant Man.

We also have a gift to give away. 🙂 Brie in New York has made some spikenard foot oil especially for this post. If you would like to encounter this scent and look after your own or your loved one’s feet please leave a comment below.

The gift recipient will be announced on Easter Sunday and mailed to you on Tuesday.

Spikenard or nard originates in India and Nepal, high in the Himalayas. The root of the plant is the source for one of the rarest and most precious oils.

Brie would like to say that she is not a professional perfumer. This is an interest for her. She blends with the best of intentions, carefully choosing oils for their healing properties as well as for the enjoyment of smelling. Brie says that spikenard is quite tenacious and challenging to work with as in her experience it takes over the blend (similar to tea tree oil).

Are you spending too much on perfume? Here is a scented tale for you.

The Oil in the Alabaster Box
There are many faiths in this world. There are also many myths and legends. It’s up to you to find the truth on your fragrant journey. Let’s travel to the east this Easter to visit with a woman living on the boundaries of her culture. She has recently met a man. She believes him to be her spiritual guide. He is surrounded by men at a dinner party. She is uninvited and has to make her way past the guests to be able to offer her teacher a scented gift. The gift is spikenard oil, a costly perfume ingredient which at this volume, a Roman litra, costs the equivalent of spending a year’s salary on a scent; a scent so potent that the home where this story takes place becomes filled with fragrant air.


The room grew still
As she made her way to Jesus
She stumbles through the tears that made her blind

She felt such pain
Some spoke in anger
Heard folks whisper
There’s no place here for her kind

Still on she came
Through the shame that flushed her face
Until at last, she knelt before his feet
And though she spoke no words
Everything she said was heard
As she poured her love for the Master
From her box of alabaster

Don’t be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And I dry them with my hair
You weren’t there the night He found me
You did not feel what I felt
When he wrapped his love all around me and
You don’t know the cost of the oil
In my alabaster box

– lyrics: Janice Sjostran
for chanteuse Cece Winans
– an interpretation of Mark 14:3-9

Judas the accountant thought this money would have been better spent feeding the poor. Nevertheless the teacher accepted this gift from a woman’s heart.

Jesus looked at her with a smile “your deed will never be forgotten. Your story will be told throughout all the lands and for all time and in ways you have never even dreamed of“.

Little could she have imagined that one day the story of her alabaster box would be told on the World Wide Web.

– a Roman litra ~ 327 grams

Album Version – Cece Winans – The Alabaster Box
A more melodic version.


I’m guessing that by now you all know who was the person I spoke of in my introduction. Long before I had any connections to the world of perfume, back when I was a child choosing to have a baptism after the fall of communism, my heart chose the name of Magdalene. She was the character from the New Testament I somehow understood the best and felt a connection to. It was only recently I learned she was also the patron saint of perfumers (shame on me for being so slow in learning that information).

Although that is no wonder if she chose such a precious fragrant gift for Jesus. 🙂

Visit other participating blogs for more chances to win. 😉

Australian Perfume Junkies


Scents Memory

The Perfume Dandy

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18 thoughts on “The Oil in the Alabaster Box – Spikenard Giveaway

  1. Suzanne March 22, 2013 at 16:19 Reply

    “Long before I had any connections to the world of perfume, back when I was a child choosing to have a baptism after the fall of communism, my heart chose the name of Magdalene.”

    Oh Ines, I’m not a religious person (at least not in the traditional way), but when I read this line of yours, I got a lump in my throat. That single sentence says so much.


    • Ines March 22, 2013 at 23:01 Reply

      Dear Suzanne, on the possible note of sounding egotistical, I am happy that my writing actually managed to evoke such an emotion.

      On the other hand, I no longer consider myself Catholic in the true sense, I consided myself a believer. But the story of Mary Magdalene holds a special place in my heart, and I plan on reading more about her as soon as I find the time to fit the book among the other I also want to read eagerly.


  2. rosiegreen62 March 22, 2013 at 23:37 Reply

    I never knew Mary Magdalen is the patron saint of perfumers. That is so appropriate. I always loved the story of her washing Jesus’s feet. It is a true act of selfless love.


    • Ines March 25, 2013 at 21:37 Reply

      Rosiegreen, now I feel much better for not knowing for so long. 🙂
      And I agree, it is an act of selfless love.


  3. […] SITES DOING THE SPIKENARD GIVEAWAY! Yes, you can enter at ALL OF THEM! AllIAmARedhead CoolCookStyle ScentsMemory […]


  4. Lauren March 23, 2013 at 06:01 Reply

    Mary Magdalen is the only one of Jesus’ followers to sense that his death is coming soon. the other disciples protest and are not really paying attention at the time of the Passover. I love how Mary expresses her knowledge with her extravagent gift and her flouting of conventions by appearing at a dinner where only Jesus is welcoming.


    • Ines March 25, 2013 at 21:39 Reply

      Lauren, I believe my fascination with Mary Magdalene is in one part due to the fact that I find her the epitome of woman. She seems to encapsulate so many things women are (brave being one of them).


  5. johnoehler March 23, 2013 at 19:08 Reply

    Spikenard is also mentioned in the Old Testament (Exodus) as one of the ingredients in the Oil of Anointment — the formula for this fragrant oil was actually given by God.

    Ines, if you delve into Mary Magdalene, you will probably come across the so-called Gospel of Mary, a Gnostic text from the 5th century in which Jesus kisses Magdalene on the mouth, giving rise to an interpretation that they were “an item,” if not actually wed. It’s just one of the fascinating tidbits that biblical scholars have uncovered about the woman Augustine called “apostle to the apostles.”


    • Ines March 25, 2013 at 22:14 Reply

      John, while studying Swedis at university, I read a novel by a Swedish author (can’t remember her name now) making a quite convincing story out of the relationship between Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
      It has certainly been explored by fiction writers overthe years, and who knows what might have happened 2000 years ago? I certainly wouldn’t mind it if the story were true, quite the contrary.


  6. madamerkf March 24, 2013 at 06:35 Reply

    This whole blog post is touching and beautiful. Thank you,


    • Ines March 25, 2013 at 22:16 Reply

      I agree, Jordan wrote a beautiful post.


    • Jordan River March 26, 2013 at 05:44 Reply

      Madamerkf, the spell checker does not like you, but I do. Am touched too by the story and by your thoughtful comment. Beauty abounds in the fragrant stratosphere.


  7. Marianthi March 24, 2013 at 08:17 Reply

    That was very beautiful. A lovely and very special post!


    • Ines March 25, 2013 at 22:16 Reply

      Thanks Marianthi!


    • Jordan River March 26, 2013 at 05:41 Reply

      Wishing you a very beautiful week and a lovely,mspecial and long long weekend. Thank you for your kind words.


  8. […] of this story have been published in: USA – Scents Memory Croatia – All I Am A Redhead United Kingdom – The Perfumed Dandy New York – Cool Cook Style Sydney – […]


  9. […] Easter and you may have some spare time why not have a little squiz at them. Their names are jumps. AllIAmARedhead CoolCookStyle ScentsMemory […]


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