Wednesday, May 15, 2013
It feels like its been one show after another lately. First the SF Artisan Salon in March, followed by the one in Seattle in April and now Spectrum Art Live then finishing up with Fragments on the Summer Solstice in LA. Whew!
At the SF Salon I introduced the first of the series of "Figures" which are part of the Cabinet of Curiosities series, Figure 1: Noir being the most odd of all of them. The plan is to have at least one, possibly three more introduced on the Summer Solstice, June 22nd.
In he meantime I continue to promote Figure 1:Noir and experience the wonders of skin chemistry and how this little oddity will dance different jigs on the outer covering of human vertebrates.
This weekend Greg and I will have a booth at Spectrum Fantastic Art Live, a three-day celebration of the art and artists that bring to life the fantastic worlds of our favorite science fiction, fantasy, and horror books, movies, and comics. Last year this event was great fun and usually extremely interesting to witness the favorite fumes of art fans, over perfumista tribes.
If you are coming to the show make sure to stop by our booth in the Grand Ballroom of Bartle Hall. Greg will have a large canvas print of Figure 1: Noir on display along with a brand new image featuring the luminous Jessica Lough as a Siren.
In the meantime I will get the post about the Seattle show together and upload soon. Greetings from the heartland of America to each of you.
Friday, May 10, 2013
The new perfume lockets are here, these feature a well for a solid perfume tin combined with a resin coated luminescent image. There are currently three face designs: a purple and green honey bee and the new Figure 1: Noir image. I've just listed all the models in the jewelry section of the E-shop.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
This is the landing page for all Figure 1: Noir reviews.
I sent a sampler over to Tom, thinking this fragrance was right up his alley, sure enough, it is. Check it out over at Perfume Posse.
The imaginative and evocative writing of John Reasinger highlights the darker aspect of Figure 1: Noir over at CaFleurBon, which also includes a giveaway. Thus head on over dear tribe, your comments and scent impressions will not be deleted unlike the perfume blog that shall not be mentioned. Enjoy Johns writing, it's a treat.
In both Spanish and English this review come via my compatriot Virginia Blanco on her blog Té de Violetas. I've had the pleasure of spending time with my Argentine sister at both the LA and second SF fragrance salons.
Figure 1: Noir illumination by Greg Spalenka.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Happy May Day! The Gaelic May Day festival known as Beltane (Beltaine) in the western world is here once more. The big seasonal wheel in the sky is at one of the eight spooks of the, the halfway point between the Spring Equinox and the upcoming Summer Solstice on June 21st.
As many of you know I have a special kinship with this ancient Celtic holy day. Today Greg and I will trim one of our oaks in the front slope to create a new pathway to the our blooming native garden. These leaves will be infused and tinctured as an addition to the Q (Quercus) natural perfume.
Each leaf will be meticulously cleaned, dried, mindfully cut with an intention to spread awareness of our california oaks and then placed into organic alcohol based and organic jojoba oil.
In the past I suggested Q for May Day, however, since this festival is about the abundance of nature and Spring flowers it feels like they all work to a greater or lesser degree. Even the new Figure 1: Noir with its deep, earthy, vital soil characteristics.
There are many plants associated with Beltane, including what is termed May Bushes, here's a few bits from Wikipedia.
Flowers and May Bushes
Yellow flowers such as primrose, rowan, hawthorn, gorse, hazel and marsh marigold were set at doorways and windows in 19th century Ireland, Scotland and Mann. Sometimes loose flowers were strewn at the doors and windows and sometimes they would be made into bouquets, garlands or crosses and fastened to them. They would also be fastened to cows and equipment for milking and butter making. It is likely that such flowers were used because they evoked fire. Similar May Day customs are found across Europe.
The May Bush was popular in parts of Ireland until the late 19th century. This was small tree, typically a thorn tree, that would be decorated with bright flowers, ribbons, painted shells, and so forth. There were household May Bushes (which would be set outside each house) and communal May Bushes (which would be set in a public spot or paraded around the neighbourhood). In Dublin and Belfast, May Bushes were brought into town from the countryside and decorated by the whole neighbourhood. Each neighbourhood vied for the most handsome tree and, sometimes, residents of one would try to steal the May Bush of another. This led to the May Bush being outlawed in Victorian times. In some places, it was customary to dance around the May Bush, and at the end of the festivities it was burnt in the bonfire. Thorn trees were seen as special trees and were associated with the sí or fairies. The custom of decorating a May Bush or May Tree was found in many parts of Europe. Frazer believes that such customs are a relic of tree worship and writes: "The intention of these customs is to bring home to the village, and to each house, the blessings which the tree-spirit has in its power to bestow". Sharon MacLeod writes that May Bushes were set outside farmhouses "to encourage and protect the abundance of milk during the summer". Emyr Estyn Evans suggests that the May Bush custom may have come to Ireland from England, because it seemed to be found in areas with strong English influence and because the Irish saw it as unlucky to damage certain thorn trees. However, "lucky" and "unlucky" trees varied by region, and it has been suggested that Beltane was the only time when cutting thorn trees was allowed. The practice of bedecking a May Bush with flowers, ribbons, garlands and coloured shells is found among the Gaelic diaspora, most notably in Newfoundland, and in some Easter traditions on the East Coast of the United States.
May your day be bright and filled with the abundance of Spring Season where ever your dwell!
More May Day related posts at this journal can be found here.
Images: Divinus and the Q illumination by Greg Spalenka
 Hutton, Ronald. The Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain. Oxford University Press, 1996. pp.218-225
Monaghan, Patricia. The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore. Infobase Publishing, 2004. pp.40-43 Danaher, Kevin (1972) The Year in Ireland: Irish Calendar Customs Dublin, Mercier. ISBN 1-85635-093-2 pp. 86–127 Frazer, James George (1922). The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. Chapter 62: The Fire-Festivals of Europe. Frazer, James George (1922). The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. Chapter 10: Relics of Tree Worship in Modern Europe. MacLeod, Sharon Paice. Celtic Myth and Religion. McFarland, 2011. pp.165-166 Evans, Emyr Estyn. Irish Folk Ways. Routledge, 1957. pp.272-274
 Watts, D C. Dictionary of Plant Lore. Academic Press, 2007. p.246
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
The new round bee tins are slowly replacing the honey pots and thus eliminating a little plastic from the shop. My ideal is to find something that will accommodate 5 grams of solid natural perfume, like the honey pot.
The quest continues.
Photo: Lyra Bee Tin
Monday, April 22, 2013
Roxana Illuminated Perfume introduces a curious collection of natural perfume narratives beginning with Figure 1: Noir, a fragrance tailored for those with a passion for patchouli.
From her tool box of artistic disciplines, Roxana illuminates an eccentric curiosity birthed of primordial earth. Figure 1: Noir is an intriguing perfume oddity, deep and resinous with a loamy plume of botanical musk. This first aromatic curiosity features harmonious notes of patchouli, green vetiver, agarwood, Mysore sandalwood, orris and valerian juxtaposed with the pungent tartness of buchu leaf, kewda, black cumin, green cognac and davana. The effect is as intimate and universal as human skin with a wild animalic shadow.
Figure 1: Noir is available as both a liquid and solid perfume in a variety of sizes and formats including a sample set of both for $17.50.
Image 1: Photograph Roxana Villa
Round solid perfume compacts, agarwood, earth and valerian root
Image 2: Photograph Lucy Snowe
Image 3: Illumination Greg Spalenka
Sunday, April 21, 2013
"A garden, where one may enter in and forget the whole world, cannot be made in a week,
nor a month, nor a year; it must be planned for, waited for and loved into being."
~ Ancient Chinese Proverb
Today I am continuing work on the Figure 1: Noir LookBook. Tomorrow is Earth and Honey Bee Awareness Day which will find me at the Backwards Beekeepers booth at Santa Monica College from 3- 5pm, in their brand new Organic Learning Garden.
Here in our native plant woodland garden the sacred white sage (Salvia apiana) is blooming along with many others and the spectacular Matilija poppies (Romneya coulteri) have big bulbs ready to open soon.
Back when we removed all the non native invasive plants from our yard and decided to plant natives we didn't know what we know now. So much learning comes from doing. The reason our native garden has been so challenging is first our own limitations back then of understanding native plants and how they grow. The other two factors which took awhile to figure out is that the front slope besides being clay soil also contains large amounts of fill and some toxins given off by the non native eucalyptus tree roots. Slowly but surely, with determination, the front slope is finally starting to take shape. We still have more planting to do.