Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Color Wheel


When I worked out what I wanted to communicate through Roxana Illuminated Perfume as a brand there was an element of the artistic and creative at the core, since that's my history, or what I like to say "her"story.


So, I choose a color for each perfume, at the time this was a somewhat novel approach. Over the years color has become a bit of a challenge because it involves seeking out crochet thread and matching wax. Sometimes this a fun challenge, sometimes it can be frustrating and prolong the debut of perfumes.


As I work on my wholesale pricing, line sheets and display materials it occurred to me that since each perfume has a color I would bring that quality into the arrangement of glass domes. Thus Martha has made little round circles that go on the bottom of the base for each perfume. By having color instead of a word or cards people won't "pre-judge" the fragrance they are about to experience. This works perfectly here in the perfumery, since I guide individuals through the process at the scent bar. However, it may not work in most retail settings, we shall see. I do realize I've got some pretty outrageous goals for us sentient beings, but what the heck, there's no other path than to keep on pushing the evolutionary possibilities within my brothers and sisters while we are here.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Chocolate Natural Solid Perfumes are back!



As promised, the chocolate natural solid perfumes are back. It's taken quite a lot of experiments but the beast has now been tamed and ready to share. I've been conducting some tests while at the workshop and am happy to share that the general response has been swoons.


At the moment all I've listed on my website are the little samples and the refill tins for the little mini compact, everything else is on its way. All the upcoming new flavors will first be debuted for the "Chocolate of the Month Club" at my Ziibra page.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Come Have a Peek


While in Seattle at the Beyond Aromatics Conference I met with Omri Mor, the founder & CEO of ZIIBRA. Ziibra is a new kind of marketplace which features makers with videos telling their story and an opportunity to subscribe to their offerings. I liked Omri and his vision right away and am here to share my page with you which features a three minute video with footage in the new workspace.



And yes, as you can see from one of the subscription, the chocolates are returning, more on that tomorrow.




Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Green!


Wishing you all a super fine green day from the Santa Monica Mountains! Our neighbor told us this joke today: "What is Irish sunscreen?" Answer is at the bottom of this post.



While my aunt was here visiting from Buenos Aires in the Autumn she brought a portion of the genealogy on my maternal side of the “Gardiner / Meagher O Maher” clan. Although I knew I was part Irish I didn't know exactly where it came from.


Michael Gardiner and Anne Meagher O’ Maher arrived to Argentina in 1854 from Liverpool. Michael and Anne had four children: Patrick, Daniel, James and Anne while in Ireland. Anne was born in Westmeath in 1834.

Anne marries Francisco Perez in La Merced de Buenos Aires, Argentina, they have four children: Francisco, Ana, Honoria and Josefa. Their son Francisco Perez-Gardiner (born Feb. 25, 1882) marries Rosa Groppo (born Dec. 29, 1889) on October 22, 1910.


Notice who the postcard is addressed to, I have a collection of her postcards at the perfumery and have used them quite a bit in my photographs, which you probably noticed.

Francisco and Rosa have seven children: Amelia, Ana, Dora, Francisco, Carlos, Elsa and Jorge.
Their daughter Ana (my grandmother) marries Victor Giusti (my grandfather). Ana and Victor have four children: Martha (my mother), Alfredo, Ali and the baby girl who died while a toddler.

Perfume to illuminate today is the floral, foresty green notes of Hedera helix.



The answer to the joke: "A pub"

Opening image: Photograph of Gwen by Greg Spalenka.


Monday, March 16, 2015

Movie Monday: Sebastião Salgado



A few weeks ago my daughter Eve sent me an e-mail with a link and the words "This looks great!" After watching the trailer I clicked on a link to a Ted Talk that came up directly after which I am sharing just below. I've watched it about four times so far and am so incredibly moved by this mans glorious aesthetic, creativity, talent and most of all commitment to the environment and humanity. It is quite a feat to have all those gifts in one human working together at such a high level. I am in awe and quite humbled.


Here is the trailer for the upcoming film "Salt of the Earth" made by Wim Wenders about Sebastião Salgado. Delicious eye candy, provocative ideas and lots of food for thought....at least for the conscious beings.

Opening photo of Sebastião Salgado found here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Vespertina LookBook


The LookBook for Vespertina is finally here, enjoy! Viewing on some devices and browsers might be tricky, I've had the best results via Chrome on the computer.


Model featured above is Isabelle Howell, photo Greg Spalenka

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Plant Dye Intensive Summary



The plant dye workshop that was originally scheduled for March 1st took place this past Sunday, on March 8th. Lucky for the teacher and attendees it was a fabulously sunny and beautiful day here in the Santa Monica Mountains which added a deeper shade of magic to the whole experience.

Mona, Greg and I arrived at the perfumery early to get things set up. The night before I prepared two things for the day, both based on lavender. The first was a whipped cream cheese and the second was a hand and body balm. For the whipped cream cheese I took one standard block of cream cheese and put it in the food processor with 1 tablespoon Hedcote lavender blossoms (from Ojai), a teaspoon dried Rosemary from our back lot and a few other random herbs that I can't remember...probably sage. I whipped all of together and then put into a glass container for the following morning.

The hand and body butter is something I've been making for a couple years. At some point soon, when I am convinced that it is a fabulous product, it will become available. If any of you fine readers would like a sample tossed into your next order please send me a note.



Back to the workshop...we set up two boiling pots and a large selection of plant material down the hallway next to the perfumery. Meanwhile, inside we set up the other items we would be using and snacks at the lavender colored table within the teaching area.



For our first project we had the option of choosing to dye fabric for a travel bag for our wool wrap or dye a silk scarf. I choose a rectangular silk scarf. The second project was a long wool shawl. Before the dying process Mona took us outside and explained the different colors that the plants might impart to our fabric. There are generalities with plants and colors, but as nature contains wild magick which cannot be tamed, sometimes the color varies. She had fun names for each of the different Eucalyptus leaves, like "Lost Hills" etc. which relates to an exact tree in an area.



We each selected a spot, spread out our fabric and began our compositions, in complete awareness of letting go to the intention of the plant divas. I choose to go for a water color type look for the scarf with colors from my palette, to achieve my desire I used plant materials that printed more in darker brown, umber and mauve hues. This included onion skins and an iron fleur de lis that would add some black.


Once we had all the plant material placed we rolled it all up and tied them with string. Greg's looked like a sushi hand roll, while mine was a super odd shape due to the fleur de lis iron. Once they were rolled and ready we through them into the pot. By the way, a nice benefit of using eucalyptus leaves and other botanicals is that it fills the space with the aromatic molecules, in this case Eucalyptus which made the day feel like we were at a spa.


While our first pieces cooked we each worked on the pocket for our wool shawl and or the travel bag. The pocket for my shawl was made of a few different fabrics including one little piece meant to hang to give it a boho type quality.


Next came the removal and unveiling of first eco printed items. When we pulled them out of the pot they were really hot and steaming, which was tricky when unrolling. Here is a photo of Teresa with hers and one of Monica, leaves and matter included. You will notice how one is more graphic and one more washes of color.


After lunch down at Blue Table we began pulling out our secondary bundles out of the pots. The unveiling of each persons piece was always exciting, producing lots of ou's and  awes.



Above is my wool shawl, freshly unrolled and below folded with pocket exposed.



I'm so grateful to have had Mona come and share her vast knowledge with each of us. It was such a wonder filled day that I wish for every one. Doing these types of activities connects us more deeply to nature and in doing so eases anxiety and increases our relationship with Gaia and other sentient beings on this planet that we share.

Next workshop with Mona will be "Color from the Kitchen" planned for April, details coming soon!