Why will it all go up in a puff of smoke?

Clearly you like this kind of thing (we do too!), le Futiloscope continues its inspection tour of the best trends for lockdown…you remember we told you early on about smudge sticks, botanicals and druids on social media? Today our guest is Martine Kurz aka @bellaciao_sicilia, who knows a thing or two about this world. Parisian for the last 30 years, journalist at Elle Magazine for the last 25 of those years, she left in 2015 on a whim. “I wanted to live near the essentials: the sea, trees, birds and a bowl of rice. Ending up in Sicily was by chance, I bought a little house by the sea, at the southern tip of the island, on my very first visit.” She now lives in the countryside about 10 km from her first village. “It’s a semi-wild life that leaves me lots of time observe the elements, wildflowers, insects, and animals…Nature has taught me how to become a true swiss knife. I have started to make traditional remedies like oils of St. John’s wort and Borage etc... "


Since last year, under the label Bella Ciao, she has a small production of artisanal smudge sticks, plants to burn that purify your house, that cast light on your aura and that beautify your vibrational energy. Everything is gathered following the cycles of the moon, assembled by hand, “dried by the sun and sea breezes”. Le Futiloscope offered them to all our friends this winter, they smell wonderful (and guys hate them, which is a good sign). Since Martine is generous, and confined on her island for the time being, she has agreed to give us a personal DIY for a purifying little bundle of branches. PLUS, a little course on energetic cleansing, not total superfluous during these moments when good vibes seem rare. Le Futiloscope is making you a little nervous? We promise, as soon as we are in the after-lockdown world, we’ll go back to the same sarcasm that you found so charming in the world before lockdown!


Fumigation consists of burning plants to purify, protect but also to honor a certain place, person or object. It’s a ritual as old as the world and exists in numerous cultures. It’s a good way to “deconfine” your house of its old stagnant energies!

In the countryside or in the city, the main plants are easy to find. You can buy them in pots inexpensively at the florists and they will continue to grow in your windows or on the balcony.

Lavender favors peace and spiritualism. Rosemary favors recuperation, accompanies you during changes and protects your space. Thyme is purifying and chases away melancholy. Mint is an equalizer and clarifies your ideas.

White sage is the best. If not, common sage will serve as well—it chases away the negative and calms anxiety.
Laurel leaves—the kind we put in our cooking—can replace sage. Its anti-bacterial, it’s also calming and eases sleep.

Basil and oregano just because they smell so good…


The plants should be fresh, healthy and dry. You can use several plants together or just one, for example lavender. Regroup the twigs into a bouquet (putting the laurel leaves in the middle), tie the string into a knot at the base and wind the string towards the top to keep the twigs tightly packed. Then re-wind again towards the bottom.
• Use string in natural fibers such as cotton, hemp or linen.
• You can add (or not) a label on the base with an inspirational word, a scribble or a shell.
• Hang it to dry in a dark well-ventilated place for about one month.


• The idea is that the fumes of the plants capture the negative energies and make them disappear. That’s why it is important open the windows before and after a fumigation, even during…By lighting the end of a stick you are showing an intention, or expressing a wish, etc. As soon as the flame takes, you blow it out, while holding the stick over a cup to catch the ashes.
• You push the fumes toward the ground with your hands (traditionally you use a feather) and then you go around the whole house, in the corners of every room, and in front of open closets and important objects (books, clothing, photos). You make the stick “dance” lightly, if not it will go out.
• Fumigation is even more pleasant listening to music, or humming jazz, folk or even mantras…Have fun!
• At the end of the fumigation you thank the plants for their help (frankly Le Futiloscope isn’t sure we can manage that one!)

Right now, Martine is beginning to harvest plants for her smudge sticks, but also for her collection of Dream Pillows, little pouches to slide under our pillows for sweet dreams. She is thinking about making customized smudge sticks, where you can choose the color of the string, add a wish, a charm, etc. You can ask her and see what’s new in MP at @bellaciao_sicilia