Monday, October 16, 2017

Movie Monday: Blade Runner 2049


The original Blade Runner is one of my husbands absolute favorite films, he owns every version that has ever been released, including two copies of a few of those. I'm a fan too, but not quite to that extent. My draw to the sequel was mostly curiosity after having seen the trailer and heard the hype amongst our artist friends, along with being a fan of Ridley Scott and Denis Villeneuve. Greg and I both saw the original in the theater back in 1982, it was one of those films like Star Wars and the Matrix that caused a ripple in artistic direction.

"Ryan Gosling plays an LAPD officer heading for an encounter with Harrison Ford’s Deckard in a film whose sheer scale leaves you hyperventilating" ~ The Guardian


Although Santa Fe, New Mexico isn't quite the "movie town" that Los Angeles is, we do have lots of industry people living here which is most likely why we have an awesome new theater called The Violet Crown Cinema located at the Rail Yard, the new arts district.

So, over a week ago now, we purchased our tickets online and headed over to a 10pm showing after making ourselves a delicious meal. Since Santa Fe tends not to be a "late night" we thought the show would be fairly empty, especially since we were the only ones in the theater when we bought our tickets online. To our surprise, by the time the film started the theater was almost filled from teens to the silver hair community like Greg and myself.


Blade Runner 2049 is an extraordinary visual epic, which had me gasping at rich hued landscapes, in fact I had a hard time keeping my convulsive utterances silent. The set design, use of color, sound and music push this lucid dreamscape into new boundaries of cinematic excellence. Even the opening scene with the Columbia picture logo suggests you are entering something visionary in film history.

The story begins thirty years after the first film in wasteland Los Angeles with Ryan Gosling and his very cool futuristic car. Gosling is an LAPD officer named "KD6.3-7" hunting first generation replicants. As I write this it occurs to me that this film , like the first, is going to be more for men than women Although not quite as patriarchal as the first Blade Runner, this futuristic dystopia is very male driven, despite several strong female characters like Lieutenant Joshi played by Robin Wright. My favorite scene is with a female character we encounter working with an insect in what appears to be a tropical forest, this is the only scene with nature and offers some hope due to her very creative power of imagination.


It's pretty amazing to conceive that the first film was based on the simple short story "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" by Phillip K. Dick. Hmmm, could the middle initial in Phillips name be a reference to our protagonist?

Ryan Goslings character K is subjected to a “Post-Trauma Baseline Test” each time he returns from a mission where he responds to specific key words. The test contains a verse from Nabokov's novel "Pale Fire", a nice little piece thrown in to compound the mystery and captivate book nerds.


I couldn't help but remember of Somni-415 of Cloud Atlas throughout this majestic journey into a surreal nightmare that suggests humans and their need for greed and technology have led is down a very dark future. I didn't have a problem with the length of the film, 152 minutes, in fact I was thrilled that the eye candy continued for as long as it did and delighted in the slow pace of the journey.

What fragrances shall we associate with the dystopic worlds of the Blade Runner films, would they be the same or different? Dark, dusty, melancholic and lifeless are some descriptives that come to mind. Blade Runner 2049 references a tree which made me think of frankincense when I saw it onscreen. Since frankincense has a bit of a dusty element in some varieties that could work nicely as a note to build upon. My fragrances featuring frankincense would be Vespertina and Chaparral, which don't quite work. Perhaps Figure 1: Noir, what do you think?

Images: Stolen movie promotional material from various sites on the internet.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Book of Dust


Back in late 2006 or so I had a very simple website that I had put together myself using my newly acquired color palette. The intention of the website was to start an online presence and have some visibility for when I attended my first Sniffapalooza event in February 2007.

The spark of creating "perfume" came when I attended a class with John Steele in Malibu. At the time I was mainly making aromatherapy blends and a few products like herbal salves and salt scrubs. Most of my clients included friends and students of the aromatherapy classes at the Massage School of Santa Monica.

The first perfumes I began constructing were basically aromatherapy blends called "perfumes", as I studied the craft they became much more complex and required a different way of thinking and working with the essences. My very first perfumes were: Q (originally called Quercus), Lyra, Aurora and Sierra. Vespertina arrived in the Summer of 2007 for the San Diego Comic Con followed by Vera introduced at the Ojai Lavender Festival in June 2008.



Todays post is about Lyra, whose story began as a custom perfume for my daughter Eve. This morning Eve sent me this note from The New York Times Instagram page about Phillip Pullman and a continuation to the trilogy His Dark Materials.


"After 17 years, Lyra is back. Lyra Silvertongue, Lyra Belacqua, but really just Lyra: she’s one of those characters in literature — Pip, Emma, Lolita — who’s on first-name terms with her public. After nearly 2 decades, the author of the trilogy “His Dark Materials” is continuing her story. “La Belle Sauvage,” the first volume of Philip Pullman’s next trilogy, “The Book of Dust,” will be published on October 19. The period before publication is a skittish time, particularly when readers’ expectations have had so long to ferment. When @nytmag’s Sophie Elmhirst visited Pullman at his home in September, he said he wasn’t exactly nervous, “but I just don’t know what the reaction will be.” The British author has written 35 books, but Lyra stands out among his protagonists. Over the 3 books — “Northern Lights” (“The Golden Compass” in the U.S.), “The Subtle Knife” and “The Amber Spyglass” — she embarks on a multiverse-crossing quest that becomes a battle against the dark forces of a totalitarian religious government. For a man whose novels are restless, Pullman leads a relatively static life. Every day from roughly 10 until 1, he sits at his desk at home in Oxford and produces 3 pages, longhand. He has written 3 pages a day ever since he started writing. Habit, he’s fond of saying, has written far more books than talent."

Eve and I absolutely adored the trilogy The Golden Compass and are thrilled that Mr. Pullman is continuing the story of Lyra. In fact, I'm going to get the audio versions of the first book and start the series once more.

Greg was a concept designer on the film version, although they ended up cutting most of his work when the producers choose to alter the story. One of my favorite characters in the book was Lee Scoresby, the Texan aëronaut with his dæmon named Hester. Sam Elliot did such a fine job of interpreting Lee in the film.


I'm happy to share that I have ample amounts of Lyra in all three formats here with me. I've slowly been adding perfumes to the website, Lyra is on the top of the list now that this recent development with the story has presented itself.


Read more about Lyra here at the journal.

Photo of Phillip Pullman by Nadav Kander for The New York Times
Classical painting: Music by Thomas Ralph Spence
Perfume photos ©RoxanaVilla

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

In Stock


Here is a list of items currently in stock. As of this moment they are only listed here at the journal and will be sent out via priority mail. If you have any questions and/or are interested in anything listed please contact me via e-mail and I will send you an invoice.

I do plan to start producing perfume again as soon as I have all my tools and raw materials.


_______________________________________________________________________________

AUMBRE

Liquid perfume flacon with rectangular top : 1 available $290
Liquid perfume flacon with round top : 1 available $300
1 gram liquid perfume in vial : 1 available $27 each

Solid perfume samples : 9 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
Solid perfume mini compact : 1 available
  • Engraved diamond pattern in brass $37
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $40
  • NEW floral vine design. $37
_______________________________________________________________________________

AURORA

Solid perfume samples : 7 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
Solid perfume mini compact : 3 available
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver or bronze $35
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $38
  • NEW floral vine design. $35
_______________________________________________________________________________

BLOSSOM

7 gram Eau de Parfum : SOLD OUT

_______________________________________________________________________________

CHAPARRAL

4 gram Eau de Parfum bottle : 2 available $48 each

Solid perfume mini compact : 3 available

  • Engraved diamond pattern in brass $35
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $38
  • NEW floral vine design. $35
_______________________________________________________________________________

CHIAROSCURO

Liquid perfume flacon with rectangular top : 1 available $305

Solid perfume samples : 4 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
Solid perfume mini compact : 2 available
  • Engraved diamond pattern in in brass $37
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $40
  • NEW floral vine design. $37
_______________________________________________________________________________

CIMBALOM

Liquid perfume flacon with rectangular top : 1 available $295

1g liquid perfume in vial : 2 available $30 each

Solid perfume samples : 13 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
Solid perfume mini compact : 1 available
  • Engraved diamond pattern in brass $37
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $40
  • NEW floral vine design $37
_______________________________________________________________________________

FIGURE 1: NOIR

Liquid perfume flacon with rectangular top : 1 available $325

1g Liquid perfume in vial : 2 available $27 each
4g Liquid perfume rectangular bottle : 1 available $102

4g Eau de Parfum Spray : 1 available $50 each
7g Eau de Parfum Spray : 1 available $75 each

Solid perfume samples : 11 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
_______________________________________________________________________________

HEDERA HELIX

4g Liquid perfume rectangular bottle : 1 available $120

Solid perfume samples : 4 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
Solid perfume mini compact : 1 available
  • Engraved diamond pattern in brass $39
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $42
  • NEW floral vine design $39
_______________________________________________________________________________

IMPROMPTU

4g Liquid perfume rectangular bottle : 1 available $100
1g Liquid perfume in glass vial : 1 available $27 each

4g Eau de Parfum Spray : 2 available $48 each

Solid perfume samples : 16 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
Solid perfume mini compacts : 4 available
  • Engraved diamond pattern in brass $35
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $38
  • NEW floral vine design. $35
_______________________________________________________________________________

La DAME BLANCHE

Solid perfume samples : 1 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
_______________________________________________________________________________

LYRA

Liquid perfume flacon with round top: 1 available $290

1g liquid perfume in glass vial : 5 available $25 each

Solid perfume in round compact in brass with pouch: 1 available, $180

Solid perfume samples : 10 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
Solid perfume mini compact : 1 available
  • Engraved diamond pattern in in brass $35
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $38
  • NEW floral vine design. $35
_______________________________________________________________________________

MELLIFERA

1g Liquid perfume in glass vial : 3 available $27 each
4g Liquid perfume in rectangular bottle : 1 available $110

Solid perfume samples : 5 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
Solid perfume mini compacts : 5 available
  • Engraved diamond pattern in brass $35
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $38
  • NEW floral vine design. $35
_______________________________________________________________________________

ROSA

1g Liquid perfume in glass vial : SOLD OUT

Solid perfume in round compact in brass with pouch : 1 available $190
_______________________________________________________________________________

SIERRA

1g Liquid perfume in vial : 1 available $27 each
4g Liquid perfume rectangular bottle : 1 available $110

Solid perfume in round tin : 1 available $52.50

Solid perfume samples : 8 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
Solid perfume mini compact : 1 available
  • Engraved diamond pattern in brass $35
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $38
  • NEW floral vine design. $35
_______________________________________________________________________________

TERRESTRE

Solid perfume in round tin: 1 available $60.90

Solid perfume mini compact : 1 available
  • Engraved diamond pattern in in brass $35
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $38
  • NEW floral vine design. $35
_______________________________________________________________________________

TO BEE

4g Eau de Parfum bottle : 1 available $50
6g Eau de Parfum bottle : 1 available $75

Solid perfume in oval compact in brass with pouch : 1 available $198
_______________________________________________________________________________

VERA

Liquid perfume flacon with round top : 1 available $290

Solid perfume samples : 7 available, combine with other solid perfume samples for a set
Solid perfume mini compact : 3 available
  • Engraved diamond pattern in in brass $35
  • Engraved diamond pattern in silver $38
  • NEW floral vine design. $35
_______________________________________________________________________________

VESPERTINA

4g Liquid perfume rectangular bottle : 1 available $120

Solid perfume in round compact in brass with pouch : 1 available $185

Solid perfume in red bee, oval compact with pouch : 1 available $198

VESPERTINA sketch
4g Liquid perfume rectangular bottle : 2 available $120

_______________________________________________________________________________

JASMINE SAMBAC HYDROSOL

1 ounce hydrosol in amber bottle : 2 available $30
____________________________________________________________________________

There may be a few errors in this list which I apologize for in advance.



Saturday, September 23, 2017

Magic Rocks


There are loads of beautiful crystalline rocks 💎 on the property of our little casita here in the hills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I’m guessing that these stones are what make the soil sparkle and why this mountain range reflects so much light. I thought these might be quartz, pink feldspar or perhaps a combination. However, after posting this on social media this was shared with me.

"All around the flanks of the Ancestral Rockies, groundwater entered the newly deposited basin sediments. These sediments were not composed of pure quartz, but of unaltered, chemically unstable grains of feldspar and iron and magnesium minerals, such as hornblende and biotite. As soon as oxidizing groundwater began to react with these unstable minerals, iron began to move out of the minerals and into adjacent pore spaces, where it formed an insoluble gel of iron oxide. This gel gradually crystallized to the red iron oxide mineral, hematite. Today, this hematite gives the rocks their red color that imparts a red-pink glow to the mountains (especially at sunrise and sunset). Perhaps it was the red hematite that inspired 18th century Spanish explorers to name the mountains “Sangre de Cristo” (Blood of Christ)." ~ Pub.usgs.gov

The Sangre de Cristo Mountains are the southernmost starting point the Rocky Mountains here in northern New Mexico. What a magical place this is!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Santa Fe, New Mexico...Home!


In the span of the last two months so much has happened, you have no idea! It's been a tumultuous ride  emotionally and physically, that that has felt a bit like a roller coaster through hell. Luckily, the hellish part is over for the most part, what remains is a feeling of limbo as we hunt for a home.


As of today, Greg and I are renting a little two story casita in the northern part of Santa Fe called Tesuque. I'm absolutely loving the mountains here in northern Santa Fe with the spectacular sunsets, Pinon tree scented air, starry night skies, short eight minute drive into historic downtown.

Where exactly the perfumery will find its home in Santa Fe is yet to be determined. We are still on the hunt for the perfect space, or at the very least an interim location as I build the brand in this new community. I'm being flexible with the option of the new manifestation of the perfumery starting out like it did in LA, as a studio within our home OR it perhaps in a Live/Work loft space.


In the meantime I'm doing my best to set up shop in this temp space. The challenge is that there isn't much room and the prospect of setting up and moving yet again has little appeal. In the meantime I do have some product boxes and am slowly shipping out items to those who contact me privately via e-mail. Most of my tools and raw materials are in a storage pod, however if there is something you are craving please send me a note and I will see if I have it here or I can make it up for you.


What I am feeling might take place is a entire new product line based on New Mexico in the interim. I have already started making tinctures and infusions as well as obtaining other local materials such as beeswax.


Those of you who have been waiting on classes I ask for your continued patience. I'm updating the Art of Botanical Perfume which will be hosted in a different location and working on live classes. If you are interested in live classes in Los Angeles lets find a space and make that happen!

Although we are still in a limbo state, I am feeling much more grounded, clarified and ready to resume business as usual but in this very enchanted land of New Mexico. I absolutely LOVE it here and am so happy to have made the move.

Friday, July 21, 2017

One foot in front of the other


This journey of moving both the perfumery and our household has been epic! During the entire process I've been listening to a a book series proposed by my daughter Eve. Today, as I was driving from our little woodland house to my moms home in Encino, I realized that most of our personal experiences mimic iconic stories of heros/heroines. We all have characters in our lives that hurtle fire balls at us and a wizard/wizardess or two who come to help us as we attempt to refine ourselves into the wizard/wizardess. Personally I like the image of Galadirel as the powerful force that battles the dark forces with me, but Serafina Pekkala is pretty cool too. I'm sure there are others I could conjure given some extra time. Who do you envision coming to help you or yourself becoming? I really need to go check out the new Wonder Woman movie.


Ah, speaking of fantasy, Greg is currently at Comic Con in San Diego, find him in Artist Alley at table EE-24. He took the Divine Alchemy banner with him along with lots of original art that he has been threatening to burn in a bonfire in New Mexico. If you have always wanted to own one of his vintage original pieces, get it now before the burn!


Speaking of characters, the garage sale was good but a really odd experience due to some of the very eccentric personality traits that descended at the event on Saturday. Ben mentioned that "garage sale people are a different breed", yea, no kidding! Thing is, I go to garage and estate sales hunting for vintage treasures, and I am definitely not part of that breed. However in the end we were able to get rid of things make some bucks to help this journey we are on and also meet lots of my moms neighbors.


Next on the task list is donating items for a tax deduction and/or  listing others on venues such as Craigslist. I began the process of listing items with my four original, vintage Emeco chairs. After taking the photos, writing the listing and putting it up I'm feeling sorta done with selling furniture and other stuff online. I prefer to donate the stuff and move onto teaching about the plants and pure fume. If your interested in the Emeco chairs, keep reading, if not I'll catch ya later with another update soon, probably with dates on live, local classes.

The Emeco chairs are light and extremely cool, Greg and I decided to sell them since we are planning on going for a more classical type style in Santa Fe. While typing out the description I learned quite a bit more about the chairs and the company that have made me fall in love with them again!

The legend of these simple, sturdy, humble chairs begins with its founder Wilton Carlyle Dinges and the creation of the Electrical Machine and Equipment Company (EMECO), still located in Hanover, Pennsylvania.

Originally created in 1944 for US Navy submarines and warships to withstand harsh conditions such as salt water & air as well as an occasional torpedo blast. The story goes that Dinges tested the strength of the chair by tossing them out of a sixth-story window! By using salvaged aluminum, which was plentiful in 1944, Emeco perfected a 77-step proprietary process which yields aluminum three times stronger than steel resulting in a chair so durable that it has an estimated life span of 150 years.

The chair has survived seven decades of the military’s need and now is a fixture in restaurants, hotels, offices and film. Emeco’s all-aluminum chairs and stools come with a lifetime guarantee and tested to withstand 1,700 pounds of weight. Besides the aluminum is completely recyclable.


Images:
Divine Alchemy and Spalenka paintings ©GregSpalenka
Serrafina Pikala screen shot

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Massive Garage / Moving Sale


GARAGE SALE
Saturday and Sunday (July 15 & 16)
8am - 2pm
Come early for best picks and to beat the heat!

16771 Addison Street
Encino, CA

Addison Street is between Balboa Blvd. and Petite Ave., 
Just north of Ventura Blvd., south of the 101 FWY.

Items include:
Vintage and contemporary furniture
Original paintings and prints
Musical instruments
Household Items
Kitchen items
and more!