The Shimmering Perfumes of the Shining Ones

(table from Kurt Leland’s Rainbow Body)

The Shimmering Perfumes of the Shining Ones

J.W. Dotson, MD

Fragrant and Radiant Symphony: an enquiry into the wondrous correlation of the healing virtues of Colour, Sound and Perfume, and a consideration of their influence and purpose, Roland Hunt’s 1937 book, is arguably the first published account of the perfume correlations with the seven color rays and seven musical notes.

It is based on teachings by H.P. Blavatsky about the primeval elemental forces of light and electricity that emanate from the sun and manifest through vibrations in the physical worlds, mediated through celestial beings known as Devas.

“All the mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual faculties are influenced by the Occult properties of the scale of causes which emanate from the Hierarchies of the Spiritual Rulers of the planets, and not by the planets themselves. This scale leads the student to perceive in the following order:

  1. colour; 2. sound;
  2. the sound materializes into the spirit of the metals, i.e., the metallic Ele-mentals;
  3. these materialize again into the physical metals;
  4. then the harmonial and vibratory radiant essence passes into the plants, giving them colour and smell, both of which ‘ properties ‘ depend upon the rate of vibration of this energy per unit of time…”

The Secret Doctrine, Blavatsky

Hunt’s book is based on specific color-perfume assignments from his teacher, Ivah Bergh Whitten, as well as experiments with the perfumer Prince Georges Matchabelli : “The flowers absorb these vibrations and through their own particular alchemical processes, and according to their Ray types, radiate or exude their auric vibrations specialized in their colour, perfume, and note.”

He provides a description of a Nature Deva or “Shining One’ as clairvoyantly observed by Whitten:

“… I can best describe as a quiver of one or more colours, a sort of shimmer, seeming to emanate from the “wings,” the skin, the hair, and finally from Its garments. Simultaneously, a blend of exquisite perfumes and soft faint music steal upon the awareness.” These descriptions were greatly expanded upon by other theosophists, most notably Geoffrey Hodson in Kingdom of the Gods as illustrated by Ethylwynne Quail (below).

Finally, Hunt gives an account of spirit visitations where he is greeted and spiritually healed by the projection of scent into his magnetic atmosphere:

“… he has been visited by his Teacher, and on occasion by Shining Ones, Who have focussed his own Ray perfume upon him, spraying the stimulating scent into his magnetic atmosphere… with marvelously toning and exhilarating effect…. The astral projection of the characteristic perfume is a favorite method by which the Great Ones announce Their presence, impending arrival, or departure.”


Geoffrey Hodson, The Kingdom of the Gods, The Theosophical Publishing House, Madras (1953)

Kurt Leland, Rainbow Body: A History of the Western Chakra System from Blavatsky to Brennan, Ibis Press (2016)