When you make a fragrance there are different kinds of smells or scents that are mixed. Some people refer to these as base notes, middle notes, top notes, and bridges. Your base notes are the “foundation” of the fragrance and will last the longest. The other ones are made of ingredients that will evaporate faster while the “bridge” is an ingredient that helps bring out the scent of the other ones—kind of like salt does to food. This is why your perfume or cologne will smell different when you first put it on and a few hours later. This is why “knock-offs” just stink after a while because they don’t have the same “expensive” base required for the genuine, long-lasting original.
The base is what is made of what are called essential oils. It is what you get from flowers or sandalwood after you CRUSH the oil out of it! The beautiful bouquet can only give off that same scent in a perfume after it has been crushed. The beautiful flower can only be used in a sweet aroma after it no longer looks like a flower but has been crushed for its essential oils.
This reminds me of Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, where he talks about all the crushing and striking down and abandoning and persecution he was going through. The flower of ministry was being put into the pestle of trials and ground up for the “essential oil” of the Life of Jesus inside him! Listen to v.10: “We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” Translation: “I am having the life of ME crushed out of me so that the Life of JESUS comes through!” The essential oil that “bled” out Paul was Jesus. This was the base note: that long-lasting fragrance that does not fade away over time. For some of us, we mean to have the long-lasting fragrance of Jesus but unfortunately Jesus was only our “middle” or “top note” and we certainly did not have “the Bridge” of the Holy Spirit. Too often the essential oil that comes out when I am crushed is the essence of “Me”.
Remember that not everything that is crushed gives off a pleasant aroma: ever crush a stink bug??
Pastor Stephen Willoughby
Pastor Steve grew up in Columbia,South America, where his parents served as missionaries for 25 years. After graduating from Capital Bible Seminary, he was invited to serve as Assistant Pastor at FBCP. He has served in that capacity for twenty years before taking on the position of Senior Pastor.