Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mythic Worlds 2015

On Wednesday of last week Greg and I hopped on a plane into Seattle, Washington where we were picked up by Julie Baroh of Krab Jab Studios. While driving from the airport to the hotel I noticed that on the floor of the back seat next to me was a portion of one of Virigine Ropars dolls. I hadn't realized that I was going to have the opportunity to see her. The doll above is titled H21.

Virginie, like Greg and I, was one of the fifteen invited artist guests to the Mythic Worlds Convention that was due to take place over the weekend. Virginie and her friends David, Yoann and Claire had arrived extra early from Brittany to teach some classes and explore Seattle a bit.

Meanwhile Greg had an Artist as Brand workshop sponsored by Tara Chang Larson at the Krab Jab studio that took place on Thursday and Friday. Krab Jab is located in the Old Rainer Brewery Building which is now filled with live work lofts and several other types of businesses including an artisan chocolate shop called Frans.

Mythic Worlds, previously called Fairy Con West, felt like a mini version of Comic Con with a very woodland myth vibe. The cosplay was pretty spectacular with many artisan vendors who supplied the crowd with all the items that woodland creatures need for the evening masquerade balls. This fellow above seemed like he was the perfect mascot for my ivy perfume Hedera helix.

Unlike Comic Con, Mythic Worlds is very rooted in music with a Shadow masquerade ball on Friday night, a Light masquerade ball on Saturday night and a concert on Sunday night. During the day the music playing in the exhibit hall was Loreena McKinnett and similarly inspired sounds.

As guests of the event Greg and I each had a booth as well as presentations and a workshop. The class I led on Saturday titled Discovering Scent: Aromatic Energies and the Four Elements. I had a surreal moment at the start of my presentation when I looked out at my audience who was comprised of ladies dressed as fairies. Auspiciously there was a fairy for each element!

Our two booths were side by side and pretty simple, I had brought my two pop up banners with my little domes sit up on the table. We brought the Chiaroscuro banner that is normally in the workshop in Agoura, which serves as a nice backdrop for photos. Julie lent me a some horns to display my lockets which worked perfect in the context of the show.

Greg with one of his favorite models Jessica Lough (Figure 1: Noir).

On Saturday, as I was assembling all the essential oil samples for my presentation, George R.R. Martin (author of Game of Thrones) arrived with his wife Parris. They were headed up to the Cascade Rooms to hear a presentation titled "Why Are Strong Women in Fantasy Still A Surprise?" with Holly Black, Laurell K Hamilton, Charles deLint and Deborah Schneider.

We packed up our booth just as the show ended and zipped to the airport just across the street, but first we had to get a photo with our beautiful and talented friends from Brittany.

Favorite perfumes at the event seemed to be a toss up between Sierra Solid Gold and Q (the tree fragrances) and perhaps Chiaroscuro.

Although I was not able to take photos with my Canon because my battery died I did occasionally breakdown and use the I-phone, hope you enjoyed this little window into a Mythic World.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cabochon Mini Compact

The mini compacts with cabochons have arrived, although not all have been listed yet. Here are a few photos in the meantime.

If there is a specific combination you desire, like Hedera helix solid perfume with Czech glass in peridot green please send me a note. I'm happy to list it for you.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Movie Monday: Oblivion

I've been waiting for what seems like ages for Oblivion to appear on Netflix since I missed it in the theaters. It seems like whenever we sit down to see a movie I crave action/adventure/sci-fi, which luckily Greg and Eve don't seem to mind, too much. The other night when I was whining about Oblivion not being on Netflix, my darling daughter found it at the library. (Side note: Eve is doing her filed work term here in Los Angeles working at the historic Central Library on Fifth Street in downtown LA.)

Oblivion was released in 2013, its based on a beautiful unpublished graphic novel by Joseph Kosinski, who went on the co-write, produce and direct the film.

I was captivated immediately by the visuals, its complete and utter glorious eye candy. The art direction is so seamless that I never questioned the plausibility this the post-apocalyptic landscapes and futuristic design and lifestyle of 2077.

Within the first five minutes I could tell I was going to be happy, and so many scenes reminded me of our artists friends we hang with at Spectrum and Comic Con! Besides the striking visuals the film is superbly acted by Tom Cruise as Jack Harper and Andrea Riseborough (We) as his partner and lover Victoria "Vika" Olsen. Despite these two pretty big components working at a high level the story is just okay, good but not great. The film felt a bit derivative, in the way Harry Potter is derivative, I was willing to let it go because I was extremely captivated and absorbed. There is so much beauty in the dualism of cinematic futurism paired with desolate Earth.

The thing about these type of films is that I can see how this future can easily manifest, particularly with how completely naive the population is and that StarScientific has fusion energy generators in Australia.

The film that Oblivion is most like is probably Moon with Sam Rockwell, but there are also nods to 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Matrix, (specifically Morgan Freeman's character is so very Morpheus-like.) Prometheus, a little Blade Runner and Minority Report. Given that all those films mentioned are some of my favorites it's a no brainer why I liked Oblivion.

What scents would I equate with this film...something cold and metallic (Figure 1:Noir) for the future paired with a bit of Earth (Terrestre) and some conifers with fresh, sweet mountain air (Sierra).

Images courtesy of Film Grab.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Plant Dye Demo ReCap

The plant dye demo on Saturday was great fun. Despite the rain we had a terrific gathering of ladies ranging from devotees of gardening, native plants, the fiber community, Waldorf and artists.

We arrived at the perfumery early to begin organizing elements for the day. Mona began warming the color, I hung the pre-dyed square kerchiefs to make selection more fluid. Although the heating of the dye bath took place in the interior of the space the dye process took place just outside to take advantage of the natural light and avoid clutter of bodies.

During the week I received a message from Mona telling me that in preparation for the class she was going to make herself a special shirt for the day with some of the rose petal printed leaf silks with some of the pink color added.

The lecture was presented within Mitchells Bookshop where there was ample space for all the attendees. Mona explained how natural dyes have a beautiful, long history where each color and plant has a story of its own. She shared how in the modern world, where synthetic dyes dominate, there are rivers in different areas of the planet that will run in different colors depending on what the big, multi-national factory might be dyeing that dye. The result of these types of practices is cities, communities and cultures are then poisoned by the toxic runoff.

With natural dyes we go back to our routes and the vital connection to plants. The process requires much time and patience but has the value supporting agriculture, our environment and handwork. I couldn't help but see the perfect connection to the fine art of botanical perfume.

Mona shared with us her yarn basket which showcases all the different colors obtained from the natural world, except one. We were all asked to guess which one within her basket did not come from nature, do you know which? None of us in attendance guessed correctly.

Besides some biology and psychology of color we also learned a bit of chemistry that not all the dyes are fugitive and thus must be treated with a "mordant" so that the color can adhere to the fabric for washing. This has to do with positive and negative charges between fabric and dye.

After the lecture we walked down the hall, picked up our squares and formed a line. Mona gave suggestions on how to go about dipping our fabric and what might take place depending how various procedures such as moistening in water first or not, dipping only the edges, folding or tying, etc.

Each piece was then hung on a line to dry. The final pieces were as varied as each of the attendees. Here is a photo of Pia (below) as she got ready to leave the byproduct of the day: pink fingers.

The next class in this series will be the day long course where Mona will get into the nitty gritty of the process, share her personal formulas as we dye our very own wool shawl.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Floral Consciousness on Valentine's Day!

“With an increased floral consciousness,
humans will begin to make full use of their ‘light brain’ 
and make more refined and sophisticated use of their ‘smell brain.’
The two are portentously linked.
In fact, they overlap to such an extent that they may be considered inseparable.”
— Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume

Saturday, February 14th from 2pm - 4pm
in Agoura Hills, CA

Experience an olfactory adventure exploring the mythology, history and aromatic properties
of flowers and why they are associated with love, attraction and evolution.

Engage in Roxana’s collection of rare botanical essences, how they are obtained and
experience first hand the ability of flowers to elevate our moods and consciousness.
Inhaling floral bouquets are a inspiring and uplifting way to spend a couple hours on Valentine’s Day.
This unique happening is a way to honor oneself. Please share with a friend and or a beloved.

Aromatic treats will be served.
Each participant will receive a trio of solid perfumes or 15% discount*.

$40 per person / $75 per couple

Roxana Illuminated Perfume
Whizin Market Square, Atrium Building, Mezzanine level
28914 Roadside Dr, unit #219
Agoura Hills, CA 91301

Contact Roxana to reserve your seat:
text/e-mail: roxana <at> or by phone (818) 992-0490

* Discount excludes gift certificates and samples.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Pre-Plant Dye Prep

In preparation for tomorrows plant dye experience Mona has been pre-dying some of the little square kerchiefs which will be dyed a second time to add some magenta hues over the existing color.

I must admit that the pre-dyed silks are pretty cool on their own. I've already fallen in love with a few that I'm not sure if I will be adding magenta to or not, the one with the elemental bee face is currently hanging in the lab space of the perfumery. 

Today I became smitten with this one below in the center that has California lobata oak leaves with another elemental bee/insect type shadow being in the center. Don't worry if you don't see the elementals I see, or see something different. I tend to see, and smell, things that others don't and vice versa.

The ones with just rose leaves are stunning too....and, as stated above, Mona is making more this evening. So many possibilities!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Violet Posey

It's violet season again! My mother Martha has brought me two posies of violets to tincture, she has an abundance of them coming up in her garden. The bouquet on Saturday was rather large and thus I was able to capture lots of photos of the tincturing process which I will share shortly. I went a little overboard taking photos and thus have quote a few to edit. In the meantime here is a little preview.

The scent of these little heart shaped leaved perennials is intoxicating an fresh, green, floral fragrance that was very popular during the Victorian era. Ruled by Venus, the plants are usually found in Northern climes near banks of water and edges of wood. Here in sunny and hot Southern California they do well in gardens with robust soil that are kept moist during their blooming cycle.

Violet flower is not available as an ingredient for the authentic, botanical perfumer. The note can be approximated with Orris root and other flowers, but nothing quite compares to the scent of a fresh bouquet!

Read more about violets in perfume at these posts here at the journal.

These photographs are copyright Roxana Villa, if you wish to use them please contact me.