Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Marriage is a Work of Art

Greg and I are part of a collective art show at the KrabJab Studio in Seattle called Marriage is a Work of Art. We selected Figure 5: Bois as our common theme. Greg created the illumination for the perfume while I re-formulated the fragrance. The exhibit features the 3x5 foot printed image on canvas with wooden slats on the top and bottom. I sent up a sample of the solid perfume with one of my little domes for people to experience the scent while gazing at the beauty of Greg's image.

Here's the artist statement that goes along with the visual image:

"This image represents the union of two souls. Their physical nature like trees are rooted to the ground  while their embrace creates a smoldering essence of love that branches upward manifesting a sacred geometric imprint in the ethers."

and the sentence for the pure fume.

"A weathered and warm embrace from the undergrowth of a mystic forest."

The fragrance as a solid and Eau de Parfum are currently only for sale the perfumery. Both formats will appear online soon or perhaps as a surprise sample in your next order.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Favorites for the New Season

Now that the new season seems much more tangible to those on both coasts, here are some favorite picks for you.

The favorite at the perfumery in Agoura. This is a fresh floral with hints of lilac and honeysuckle. Feminine and light just like the first floral splashes of color as Spring makes her debut. The bouquet includes notes of jasmine, ylang ylang at the heart with sparkling citrus top notes and an amber base.

The wild child of the bunch. Figure 1: Noir is a botanical musk fragrance featuring patchouli with juxtaposed with the pungent tartness of buchu leaf, kewda, black cumin, green cognac and davana. The fragrance grounds you in the dark, earthy aromatherapy of all those roots uplifting you into the splendor of your own magnificence.

For all those Spring babes and moms who would cherish a little pampering with a colorful little packet of sweet treats to sample and wonder on olfactory adventures.

Friday, April 10, 2015

from Endymion by John Keats

April is the national month of Poetry, thus here is one of my all time favorite poems to share with you. If you haven't already noticed, I am rather obsessed with beauty and the film Bright Star by Jane Campion is an exquisite things to behold, made extra special by performances with Ben Whishaw and Abbie Cornish.

from Endymion by John Keats, A Poetic Romance

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er-darkened ways
Made for our searching: yes, in spite of all,
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits. Such the sun, the moon,
Trees old and young, sprouting a shady boon
For simple sheep; and such are daffodils
With the green world they live in; and clear rills
That for themselves a cooling covert make
'Gainst the hot season; the mid forest brake,
Rich with a sprinkling of fair musk-rose blooms:
And such too is the grandeur of the dooms
We have imagined for the mighty dead;
All lovely tales that we have heard or read:
An endless fountain of immortal drink,
Pouring unto us from the heaven's brink.

Nor do we merely feel these essences
For one short hour; no, even as the trees
That whisper round a temple become soon
Dear as the temple's self, so does the moon,
The passion poesy, glories infinite,
Haunt us till they become a cheering light
Unto our souls, and bound to us so fast,
That, whether there be shine, or gloom o'ercast;
They always must be with us, or we die.

Therefore, 'tis with full happiness that I
Will trace the story of Endymion.
The very music of the name has gone
Into my being, and each pleasant scene
Is growing fresh before me as the green
Of our own valleys: so I will begin
Now while I cannot hear the city's din;
Now while the early budders are just new,
And run in mazes of the youngest hue
About old forests; while the willow trails
Its delicate amber; and the dairy pails
Bring home increase of milk. And, as the year
Grows lush in juicy stalks, I'll smoothly steer
My little boat, for many quiet hours,
With streams that deepen freshly into bowers.
Many and many a verse I hope to write,
Before the daisies, vermeil rimm'd and white,
Hide in deep herbage; and ere yet the bees
Hum about globes of clover and sweet peas,
I must be near the middle of my story.
O may no wintry season, bare and hoary,
See it half finish'd: but let Autumn bold,
With universal tinge of sober gold,
Be all about me when I make an end.
And now, at once adventuresome, I send
My herald thought into a wilderness:
There let its trumpet blow, and quickly dress
My uncertain path with green, that I may speed
Easily onward, thorough flowers and weed.

Images are stills from the film Bright Star directed by Jane Campion.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Blessing & The Challenge

The blessing and the challenge I hear most from my customers is that they LOVE all the samples in their set and then can't decide which to go with. Here's an example from todays feedback...

"Wow! Buying this sample pack has only increased my dilemma. They all smell so fantastic. I pick one out as my favorite then smell them all again and another becomes my favorite. They are complex and wonderfully every changing. Really quality fragrances."

The solution to this dilemma is to use the little mini compact or locket necklace so that you can economically swap out different fragrances as your temperament changes.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Honey Harvest

The scent of honey emanating from our two hives has been pretty overwhelming for the last several months. Almost every time we go outside the fragrance of a sweet, slightly salty aroma wafts our way. This enchanting tang is most prevalent in the afternoon when the pacific ocean breezes start to move northward through the canyon. Speaking of canyons, aren't these pictures of two fused combs amazing!

Generally early Spring is a good time to harvest honey because the nectar flow has started and the bees will be able to restock whatever we take easily. The challenge this year was that the top boxes weren't just honey but a mix of brood (baby bees) and honey. In "normal" situations the bees keep their brood nests down below and use the upper boxes for honey. Thus, instead of taking the entire top box off we only took a few frames so as not to disturb their slumbering babes too much. Here's a photo of some crazy comb that was built across two frames. The image I am showing you has empty cells with capped honey cells, but deep within and on the other side it is all capped. I photographed this side because it was much more interesting visually with all the undulating levels. The perfectly capped comb is pretty boring, thus no photos of those.

This seasons crop is dark with rich notes of caramel. I am not entirely clear what imparted that imprint since what has been blooming in our woodland for the last six months has a more camphorous character. The rich, molasses type note might be from our California native everlasting, Pseudognaphalium californicum, although it hasn't bloomed in the woodland since last Spring.

Each frame of completely capped cells contains about 1 gallon of honey. A honey bee gathers nectar from two million flowers for one pound of honey! Although I haven't actually measured the amount of wax from one of those frames will likely be in the ballpark of 5% of the yield. It's pretty amazing to think that such a small amount of beeswax is used to hold so much honey! We are told that the average worker bee makes 1/12th of a tspn of honey in her lifetime. Eight to ten pounds of honey will yield approximately one pound of wax.

Pretty staggering numbers, imagine if humans were that focused!

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Do It in the Dark

Thanks to one of my local fan Peggy, who reminded that today is EarthHour, that once a year happening where we deepen our awareness of the planet we collectively reside on and refrain from lights (including computers and cell phones!) for one hour.

It's pretty interesting that as a species this is so difficult for us to do. This collective, simple action provides a great opportunity to sit in candlelight with a glass of wine, as Peggy suggested to me, and enjoy sixty sacred moments.

The scent related to this experience is Terrestre, crafted in 2009 as an act of honoring Earth. Read more about this earthy, blossoming earth fragrance at this link here at the journal. The illumination that accompanies this aromatic potion was originally created for the Vespertina music album by the Maestro.

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.