Monday, November 24, 2014

Night at the Sensorium: November 2014


The open studio event at the perfumery was deemed Night at the Sensorium due to the abundant sensory delights happening all at one time.


First on the tarmac was Greg's multi media presentation at Mitchells Books, just down the hall from me in the Atrium. He presented 30 years of his art career in 30 minutes with a multi-media presentation followed by a book signing.




Just outside the perfume space, within the atrium, we set up a few tables. One for the cheese, fruit, crackers and our local honey and on the other we had two glass beverage dispensers, one with a special Vermouth rosso with ginger and orange and another with sage water. Off the to side I placed a small spray bottle of Helichrysum hydrosol for spritzing onto the water. The bountiful spread was provided by Gina of Blue Table, which is conveniently located here within the atrium.


Meanwhile, off to the other side door the enchanting Julie Mondin mesmerized everyone with melodies from her glorious concert harp.


Inside the perfumery I stood in back of the glass case answering questions as the attendees inhaled the long row of illuminated perfumes displayed in glass domes.


The garden gate to the apothecary remained closed although easy to view the space within. On the other side, where the teaching and consultorium is located, we placed one of the beautiful, velvety chairs on  top of the violet table with a sign about the Fan Funding.



There was also a platter of fresh lavender obtained from the farmers market that morning and the three new, yet to be released fragrances: Mellifera, Fleurish and Figure 5: Bois.


The event was meant to go from 7:00pm until 9:00pm but lingered on until 12pm! Attendees included a wide range of friends, family, patrons and curious folk who happened to be at the Whizin Market Square that night.


Thank you to all who made it out! We plan to do these events more often and now have a much better idea what to expect and how to orchestrate something of this caliber. For those who missed this event consider visiting on December 13th from 10am to 6pm when the entire Whizin Market Square will be participating in a collective event featuring food, wine, roasted chestnuts, hot cider, entertainment and more!


The photos posted here are from a variety of sources including Ben Neuhart (circle images), Barbara Mitchell, Chiara and Brad Weinman (portrait in front of the display case), Lindsay Turner, Ashley Hackett and a few shots by me.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Movie Monday: Violette


With the perfumery fairly complete and the opening done Greg and I decided to take a movie break last night. We choose the film Violette based on the words: poet, Simone de Beauvoir & french. If I had known that the lead character evokes, as the NPR review states "Exasperating Self-Pity" I probably would have passed.


What drew me in and kept me watching was the beautiful eye candy created from the lighting and costume design, the actors were exceptional as well.

Although I have a copy of Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir, I have yet to read it. After seeing this film and how Simone championed other writers I am going to pull it down from the shelf and begin reading it this week.

"Writing is a lonely job. Having someone who believes in you makes a lot of difference." 
— Stephen King


In searching for material on Anais Nin's role in the women's movement with relation to Simone de Beauvoir I discovered a book that seems like a good fit for fellow females, it's called Hell Hath No Fury: Women’s Letters from the End of the Affair (public library) by Anna Holmes, you can read about it here at BrainPickings.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Open Studio Night is Here!


Join us in celebrating a series of openings November 15 at the Whizin Market Square, 28914 Roadside Dr. Agoura Hills, 91301

1. 6:00-7:00 Mitchells Bookshop Atrium #214 
Book signing and multi-media presentation on the career of visual artist Greg Spalenka. Experience thirty years of his career 
in thirty minutes as well as the hot off the press, "The Art of Greg Spalenka."

2.  7:00-9:00 Roxana Illuminated Perfumer OPEN STUDIO Atrium #219
Come celebrate Roxana's new studio with wine, cheese and raw woodland honey. Experience exclusive new botanical fragrances while listening to melodies on the harp with Julie Mondin. Enjoy this sensorium devoted to the olfactory arts and learn first hand about the natural beauty of the scents of nature. 

3. 7:00-9:00  Chandeliers & Tulips
Opening reception for group show, "An Urban Event" 
including the work of beautifully framed limited edition giclees by Greg Spalenka. This unique space is filled with sophisticated design, style, & fashion. 

Parking is plentiful with lots of great places to eat within the atrium.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Samhain and La Dame Blanche


In August I shared with you how Beth Schreibman Gehring had contacted me about collaborating on an Outlander inspired fragrance. Well here we are at summers end, when the veils between the worlds are thin and mutable with the result of our synergistic result.


I began our project by listening to book one of the series titled Outlander, while driving down to the San Diego Comic Convention with Greg. Once back from the craziness of popular art culture mayhem I quickly made my way through the book and moved on to Dragonfly in Amber, then Voyager and now Drums of Autumn.

As a lover of a really good, well written yarn with fantastical/sci-fi pagan aspects weaved with some romance I have been in heaven. The other aspect, to my surprise, is that Diana Gabaldon is clearly a lover of scent. Each book is abundant with olfactive references of the country side, food, cities, potions and humans, etc.


Feeling blinded and a bit overwhelmed with where to go with the construction of the fragrance, besides the reference to the Guerlain classic L'Heure Bleue, I jotted down some notes and called Beth. She broke down the main scent themes of the series, from her perspective, as being:

  • Herbal (Folklore)
  • Horse
  • Whiskey
  • Tea
  • Ink
  • Blood
From her perspective, Q seemed to encapsulate Outlander really well, particularly Jamie Fraser. 


Initially I thought going in the direction of a classical chypre would work well, given that the original L'Heure Bleue had followed that structure with notes of: aniseed, bergamot, rose, carnation, tuberose, violet, neroli, vanilla, tonka bean, iris, benzoin and musk. Based on the main characters love of whiskey I decided to create the fragrance with the notes listed with elements of whiskey and wood.

Thus, I sorted through my plethora of essences pulling out three chords: Chypre base, Wood #1 and Veggie Musk. To compliment this trio I selected a beautiful, extremely rare vintage Mysore sandalwood, oakmoss, oakwood, patchouli, labdanum, orris root, vetiver, an ancient and very indolic Ecuadorean palo santo, copal from Africa, ambrette seed, hay, beeswax, davana and elemi. Besides the trio of chords I also had a floral triangle of jasmine, rose and tuberose with a "New World" set of coffee, tobacco and bourbon vanilla bean. Bergamot was selected for the top note to create the "Chypre" contrast to the oakmoss, patchouli and labdanum. I added cognac for the whiskey element and clary sage to represent Claire.

For the horse component Beth created a tincture which you can read about directly from her. My contribution in terms of notes was the hay and labdanum mentioned above.

After combining all of these I let the marriage sit to see how all the players would interact. As I was constructing the fragrance it went through several phases from complete enchantment to horror. In the meantime I was on a hunt for a gemstone mentioned in one of the books as an "adamant" and black diamond. Jillian from the crystal shop in the atrium where my workspace is didn't have one and didn't think she could get a hold of a small piece for me. We chatted about other possibilities that might convey the same properties. Meanwhile, I contacted another gal who told me the black diamond was a code name for marcasite.

I ran all this by Beth, who formerly worked in the gemstone business. She informed me that in her past she had actually held a very rare and precious unset black diamond that had been in a safety deposit box since the turn of the century. "The 8 carat gem was solid carbon black, with very small inclusions, valued at tens of thousands of dollars. It came from the estate of one of the oldest families here in town, a DAR type family (Daughters of the American Revolution) who's patriarch was a shipping magnate." Since we didn't have one of these beauties, or even a tiny piece, we settled on sapphires and Beth transmitting the energetics of the adamant into the synergy.


A few days later I received the sparkling blue gemstones and the tincture. The sapphires were dazzling, while the tincture was extremely boozy with an odd iron note. I added half the sapphires to a shot glass with the words "Slainte Mhath!" that was gifted to me at the Outlander booth at Comic Con, the others were saved for the solid edition of the perfume. Next I began weighing and pouring the perfume synergy with some of the tincture and the 190 proof organic, grape alcohol. As I did this I was aware that the scent was not quite what I expected but decided to reserve an opinion until after the fragrance had melded a bit with the tinctures and alcohol. (Slainte Mhath translates as good health.)

After waiting a bit I took a sniff and found the fragrance to be an overly camphorous-resin, thus I went to work on adding essences to neutralize the herbaceous smoke qualities and add more top notes and tuberose. Why tubersose you ask, because traditionally this white floral diva pairs well with camphor.

After more melding the fragrance was still not working and I only had a couple days left! Thus, I choose to do something drastic and start some other synergies that I would then add the resiny/smokey brew too. Ultimately that proved to be a good move, one of the synergies was quite beautiful and worthy of Clair. Meanwhile, Beth was conducting magic via Ohio by infusing the energetics of the black diamond into the potion.


The result is a voluptuous, green floral with notes of violet. Longevity is weak, for my standards, but the fragrance is addicting. I am quite pleased and now have a new favorite. This first edition is quite small, more is in the works as well as a synergy for a solid version. As you can see from the photos, I've already found the blue wax, which synchronistically works perfectly with the associations of L'Heure Bleue, Jamies piercing blue eyes, sapphires and the crossing of water and time.

“It wasn’t yet dawn, and the forest was filled with mist and gray-blue light;
crepuscle, the mysterious half-light that comes at both ends of the day, when
small secret things come out to feed.”
~ Diana Gabaldon, Drums of Autumn


Find samples of La Dame Blanche contained within the trio or six pack set and a 1 gram vial here. The rectangular classic bottle and flacon will be added shortly.

Now that you've taken the time to read all of this please head over to be enchanted by the tale that Beth has spun for you at her Windshere Witch blog, along with your chance to win a sample of La Dame Blanche natural perfume.

Photographs: Roxana Villa, Mystic Current and Desert Mistress illustrations by Greg Spalenka

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fund the Perfumery!


In March I found a great location for my perfumery. Auspiciously things aligned themselves and the glorious space manifested into a work / showroom / teaching space. What is needed now is a helpful boost from all of you to complete it for the November 15th opening celebration. Below you will find some incentives to be one of the founders of the Roxana Illuminated Perfumery, first ever, studio/showroom! If you are new here, read more about me at this link on the website where there are a few more links to delve further.



I am in need of:
1. Counters for the perfume workshop
2. A display case for the showroom
3. Chairs and bench for the teaching space
4. Stools for the display case


1. Glass Display Case
The display case has been found and is currently on layaway, awaiting final payment. The only repair needed is to remove the glass panels that have been adhered to the side of the drawers with silicon.

2. Apothecary Inspired Counters
I've found a local carpenter to make the counters. He met with me last Sunday morning and is on track to create antique apothecary-like counters with installation taking place within the week.

3. Chairs, benches and stools
The chairs and stools are yet to be found. World Market and Overstock have some chairs that are good options.



{HOW TO}

To participate in this event click on the appropriate "DONATE" button for the item you desire if using PayPal. Donations can also be sent as via check or walking the funds into the perfumery as a check, cash or charged via square. Items are secured when funds have been received.

Most of these items being offered have no cards, special wax seals, etc., each item will have a simple label for identification.

If you have suggestions for other rewards not included here please send me a note with your ideas, I am happy to include more.

Please note that this Fan Funding Event will continue to morph and expand as needed, other items will be added soon. Check back often and share with your friends, family and social media platforms.

{ REWARDS }

Donate $1 or more
Receive copious amounts of love from all those who will benefit from having a physical location for a botanical perfumery in Agoura Hills, CA. Besides being an opportunity for a little good dharma your name will be listed on the website and in the shop as one of the supporting founders of the new space.
Estimated delivery: Immediate gratification

Donate $5 or more
Digital Wallpaper
Choose from one of five inspirational images for digital wallpaper.
Estimated delivery beginning November 2014

Donate $10 or more
Digital Wallpaper Bundle
Receive five inspirational images for digital wallpaper.
Estimated delivery beginning November 2014

Donate $20 or more  (only FIVE available)
2014 Summer Harvest of Woodland Honey from our wild feral bees.
Estimated delivery beginning November 2014
Add $5 USD to ship outside the US


Donate $20 or more
Mellifera,  Fleurish or Figure 5: Bois Solid Perfume sample
Receive a sample of the "not yet released" Mellifera, Fleurish or Figure 5: Bois solid perfume.
Estimated delivery beginning November 2014
Add $5 USD to ship outside the US



Since April of this year I have been gathering jasmine sambac flowers from the garden to extract for flowery potions such as tinctures and cold macerations. Some of the other florals that have presented themselves are plumerias and gardenias. The jasmine tincture and infusion goes into many of the fragrances such as Blossom and jasmine perfumes. The cold macerations of gardenia and plumeria are being given away. Please keep in mind that the scent is subtle and does not last for more than one hour on my olive complexion, thus the synergies are offered as a way to enhance and prolong the aromatics.

Donate $30 or more
Tuberose or Plumeria Solid Perfume sample
Receive a sample of the "not yet released" Tuberose or Plumeria solid perfume.
Estimated delivery beginning November 2014
Add $5 USD to ship outside the US

Donate $30 or more
Mellifera, Fleurish and Figure 5: Bois Solid Perfume sample set
Receive a sample set of the "not yet released" Mellifera, Fleurish & Figure 5: Bois solid perfumes.
Estimated delivery beginning November 2014
Add $5 USD to ship outside the US

In the mid nineties when I was first introduced to aromatherapy I created a BayRum cologne using a high proof rum infused with several herbs and spices. Over the years I've continued to make this special potion but have not offered it for sale. I have about half a gallon of the various tinctures going all the way back to the original that have been poured into one large glass container.

Donate $70 or more
BayRum Cologne, limited edition
There is 6 grams by weight of this BayRum cologne within the glass, spray bottle which measures just over 3.25 inches tall x 5/8th's wide with the cap on. According to the supplier the bottle is 1.5 thick and has a capacity: 1oz / 30ml.
Estimated delivery beginning November 2014
Add $5 USD to ship outside the US

While moving items to the new space I discovered several bottles of fragrances that have been gently melding in a dark box. Now seems like the most auspicious time to share them and create space for the new!

Donate $75 or more (only FIVE available)
Vespertina Perfume Sketch
Classic rectangular bottle with 4 grams by weight of a rendition of Vespertina. This perfume was created with many of the same essences as the namesake in our ready-to-ware line however, this version features prominent "lilac" notes which the other does not. The perfume has been poured into a classic, rectangular bottle which is placed in a velveteen pouch, contained in a pillow box with three informational cards. The little bottle measures 7/8 inch wide x 1 3/4 inch high, the capacity of the bottle is 1/6oz (5ml). Four grams is equivalent to about 0.141 oz.
Estimated delivery beginning November 2014
Add $5 USD to ship outside the US

Donate $95 or more (only FIVE available)
Fern Perfume Sketch
The glass vessel contains a floral fern fragrance which was never taken to a finish. The perfume has been poured into a classic, rectangular bottle which is placed in a velveteen pouch, contained in a pillow box with three informational cards. The little bottle measures 7/8 inch wide x 1 3/4 inch high, the capacity of the bottle is 1/6oz (5ml). Four grams is equivalent to about 0.141 oz.
Estimated delivery: November 2014
Add $5 USD to ship outside the US



Donate $100 or more
Mellifera, Fleurish or Figure 5: Bois Solid Perfume in a round tin
Receive a tin containing approximately 8.7 grams, over 0.3 ounces by weight of the creamy natural perfume. The tin measures 1 and 3/8" x 1/2" deep and is placed in a small colored pouch within a cardboard pillow box.
Estimated delivery: Mid to Late November 2014
Add $5 USD to ship outside the US

Donate $150 or more
Tuberose or Plumeria Solid Perfume Perfume Round Tin
Receive a round tin containing approximately 8.7 grams, over 0.3 ounces by weight of the creamy natural perfume. The tin measures 1 and 3/8" x 1/2" deep and is placed in a small colored pouch within a cardboard pillow box.
Estimated delivery: Mid to Late November 2014
Add $5 USD to ship outside the US


Donate $200 or more (only ONE available, possibility of being divided into smaller parcels)
Pikake Infused Body Butter
Four ounces by weight of hand infused body butter, created during the Summer of 2014 with fresh Jasmine sambac flowers (called Pikake in Hawaii) placed on a bed of organic jojoba oil and local beeswax.
Estimated delivery beginning November 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Add $50 for the addition of the Fleurish solid perfume synergy to your Pikake Body Butter


Donate $250 or more (only ONE available, if no one selects this item it will be divided into smaller parcels)
Gardenia Infused Body Butter
Four ounces by weight of hand infused body butter, created during the Summer of 2014 with fresh Gardenia flowers placed on a bed of organic jojoba oil and local beeswax.
Estimated delivery beginning November 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US


Donate $250 or more (only ONE available, if no one selects this item it will be divided into smaller parcels)
Plumeria Infused Body Butter
Four ounces by weight of hand infused body butter, created during the Summer of 2014 with fresh Plumeria flowers placed on a bed of organic jojoba oil and local beeswax.
Estimated delivery beginning November 2014
Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Add $50 for the addition of the Plumeria synergy to the this Body Butter


Adopt a Chair $250 (only SIX available)
The Cocoa Paige Round Back Chairs, currently offered at World Market, have the perfect feel for the perfumery. We will add an engraving of your name to the back on this chair, which means that when you come to visit us or attend a class at the perfumery you will have your very own chair! Included in this reward is a sample set of five solid perfumes of your choice from our current line and/or Mellifera, Fleurish, Figure 5: Bois, Tuberose and Plumeria.

Donate $600 or more
Join Roxana at the perfumery for a 90 minute scent experience touring her palette of rare and exotic botanical treasures. This special sensorium can be offered just for you or a group of friends.
Available: Mid-November 2014

Donate $1200 or more
Join Roxana at the perfumery for a three hour scent experience touring her palette of rare and exotic botanical treasures. This special sensorium can be offered just for you or a group of friends up to four people, includes lunch at the delicious Blue Table within the Whizin Market Square Atrium.
Available: Mid-November 2014


Donate $00 or more (coming soon)
Eau de Parfum sprays in a variety of scents (Page 47 and Chaparral are ready!) and sizes including my new Petit Perfume goblet bottles.

Donate $00 or more
Salt / Coffee Scrub (coming soon)

Donate $00 or more (coming soon)
Salt Scrub

Donate $00 or more
Coffee Salt Scrub (coming soon)

Please share and help make this happen, feel free to use my images when promoting. Isn't my new logo sweet.