The Scent of Aloha : Pikake

Posted on May 22, 2013 by Leilani Bishop

Leilani Bishop

Those of you that are familiar with my line know that the scent of each flower represented evoke memories of places in my life that have touched, moved and inspired me. I wanted to further touch on the inspirations behind each location. Since I was born and raised in Hawaii, the first flower is 

The PIKAKE flower is shaped like a little white bud. For such a small flower the smell is intoxicating and is super delicate to the touch, especially if you are making Lei's with them. 

 If you have ever been to Hawaii, you know that it is a sensuous experience on many levels.  The air is warm and enveloping, the ocean breeze is in your hair, the combined smell of flowers, fruit and earth fill your head.  When I go home it is as if I am taken back into the womb of the earth, enveloped by the love of the 'aina (land, earth).

My husband and I moved back to the North Shore of Kauai full time for 4 years in 2004, so we could raise our son there for the first years of his life. Upon doing so, I joined a Hula Halau (hula school) that was taught by a Kumu (teacher) that I had known growing up. The Halau danced on a little patch of land abreast of a beach I spent my childhood on.


The feeling of dancing outside with the elements and telling the stories of the land in such a special place was an experience that changed my life and cemented my love of Hawaii forever.

When the word "ALOHA" is sung in a song, it is translated in our Halau by spreading out your hands and hugging into the body as if you are embracing all of life, with love or  "ALOHA".

ALOHA has many meanings and ways it can be used to express emotion, but one of the most common way it is defined, is LOVE. 

The Pikake was declared the "flower of love" by Hawaiian Princess Ka'iulani. As all scent evokes sensory memory, this one in particular brings me to a place of pure …ALOHA. 

Here are some pics of the pikake flower (image 1) and of a Pikake Lei (2), me getting ready for a performance (3) with my sister and waiting to dance (4)… the Halau dancing (5), a view of the sunset from where we danced (6) roadside waterfall (7) and my husband and son :)


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