This article has 2 advertising purposes: product review and faith. 😉
I seldom review a product unless it is for sales and marketing purposes but let’s just say that this product review is nothing of the ordinary that I usually do.
Spikenard Magdalena is a perfume that my fiance’s Dad gave me as one of his presents from his travel to Jerusalem. Ah yes, it is one item in my bucket list that I would love to do someday – to go on a pilgrimage to the holy land, Jerusalem. 🙂
And yet if time comes I won’t be able to do it, I am just extremely grateful God used my fiance’s Dad to be a channel of blessing by giving a memorabilia from God’s chosen land and people.
The perfume comes with a small packet that has details about the origin of the perfume as well as biblical significances of it. And this got me really interested because I know God has a reason why I was given this gift. Thus, the research began.
I have found articles regarding Spikenard and its origin as well as when it was first used and you can read through some of them for an extensive information regarding it. They are the following:
But I will be sharing some details here in this article and first of which was the reason for the name Magdalena. Biblical history has it that it was used by Mary Magdalene to anoint Jesus‘ feet when He was eating at one of the Pharisee’s house. Which will lead us to knowing who is Mary Magdalene in Jesus’ life. It was described that Mary Magdalene was possessed by 7 demons before Jesus cast them all out. And to quote from one of the articles,
“Saved from the terrible power of hell, she gave of her best to Him who had fully emancipated her from demonic possession. When Christ saved her, He liberated the highest virtues of sacrifice, fortitude and courage.”
There were at least 12 times that her name was mentioned in the bible. One of these can be found in Luke 7: 36-50.
Jesus Anointed By A Sinful Woman
One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to have dinner with him, so Jesus went to his home and sat down to eat.[a] 37 When a certain immoral woman from that city heard he was eating there, she brought a beautiful alabaster jar filled with expensive perfume. 38 Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them.
39 When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!”
40 Then Jesus answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.”
“Go ahead, Teacher,” Simon replied.
41 Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—500 pieces of silver[b] to one and 50 pieces to the other. 42 But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?”
43 Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.”
“That’s right,” Jesus said. 44 Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,“Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
47 “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” 48 Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.”
49 The men at the table said among themselves, “Who is this man, that he goes around forgiving sins?”
50 And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
And you can read more about Mary Magdalene here:
And another interesting find, Spikenard was used by the Catholic church to represent St. Joseph. So there goes my fiance’s name again. 😉
But what amazes me the most the first time I used it was that one memory evoked by it – that of my maternal grandmother’s favorite perfume. I can tell with utmost sureness it is the same perfume that she uses. Because every time my grandma would drop by our house and pick us up before going to my mother Protestant church (my Mom and Dad never went to church with us btw but I love them still. *wink*), I can tell that she is in our house already because of the perfume.
The perfume is not musky nor too feminine, flowery or sweet. It smells like classic perfumes. Putting too much can be overpowering tho and just a little will be enough to make you appreciate the scent. But do not wear it if you are using fabric conditioner or a detergent that has a strong scent already. It doesn’t combine well with the perfume’s fragrance.
Just like God, you need not put anything alongside Him. He deserves to be the One and Only. 🙂
Going back to my grandma, just to give you a brief family background, she was born to a Protestant minister. Our great grandfather was one of the pioneers of the Protestant church in our town. My grandfather and my grandmother are very active in their faith. It was from my grandma that I got to know about Our Daily Bread devotion booklet when I was a child like as early as I could read. She reads it every time she wakes up.
Little did I realize that I am now doing the same thing out of my passion in seeking Godly wisdom. I am grateful too that it was through my fiance’s Mom that I got hold of my first ever copy of Our Daily Bread which I am now reading daily when she gave me a pair of shoes from Celine store as a Christmas present last year and Celine gives away copies of Our Daily Bread during the holidays. There is no such thing as coincidence with God, is it? 😉
I really believe that it was one of my grandma’s prayers for us, the future generations, to come before God and worship Him like how they did in the times to come. I know of no other person who prays as passionately as my grandma. The moment she utters the first word in her prayer, tears start to stream down her eyes. And that went on the moment I am a bit old to understand what is happening around me until now that she is 90 years old. Yes, she will be celebrating her 91st birthday this September 5 and my Mom on September 7.
And I can only be grateful to God for sustaining her all throughout these years despite the sacrifices of growing up during the Japanese occupation losing two of her brothers who were enlisted in the military during the war and didn’t receive any news regarding their whereabouts afterwards. I cannot tell what kind of emotional, psychological, physical and spiritual turmoil my grandma and her sister went through at that time worrying everyday if their brothers were killed in the war, were taken as prisoners of war and tortured and an endless wave of possibilities.
Now I understand why her prayers are that heartfelt. I know because that is how I pray too now – I cannot finish uttering my prayer and just find myself in tears – a combination of hope, gratitude and humility amidst failures, setbacks, disappointments, successes, victories and triumphs. But for the greater part of the prayer, I know it was just the overwhelming and amazing fact that our God is the most wonderful thing in this world. She became the “Great Matriarch” of the clan when my grandpa passed away 13 years ago.
My grandpa was a historian, not by profession for he was a farmer, but out of his hobby being a wide reader. I could remember during Sunday school, I would always witness how my grandpa would participate actively in discussions pertaining to biblical idealogies. And he delivers it with such vigor, straightforwardness and passion that I honestly can say other than being a farmer, he’d be good enough to be a court room lawyer. That is, a lawyer of faith, God‘s defender. 😉
When I go back to my hometown this holiday season, I just can’t wait to ask my grandma where she got her perfume. And if she is not using one anymore, I’d be glad to give mine to her as a birthday present. I know she will love it. I only used it once because I intend to preserve it.
And I will tell her this:
“Mama, your prayers were never unanswered. They may not be for the time being, but they will be in His time. For some, God has answered them already.”
I intentionally included the price tag in this photo if ever you are interested to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and take home a Spikenard Magdalena as a memorabilia, you have an idea how much it costs. 🙂