Sunday, November 29, 2015


As a gesture of gratitude for your support of handmade, authentic botanical perfume please take 10% discount on any order over $25.  Use the code THX until midnight PST on Monday on the website. Please note I am starting to run out of a few perfumes thus some are only available in specific sizes. If there is something you are looking for but can't find please send me a not and I will double check for you.

Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Flow Hive

Last Sunday morning Greg and I attended a HoneyLove meet up at the Rediscover Center in Venice Beach regarding the Flow Hive. Perhaps you heard about the IndieGogo campaign last year that raised over 12 million dollars for a beehive which miraculously gives you honey by the turn of a knob? I personally received loads of e-mails and facebook messages about this magical device.

What was clear to me and other fellow bee'ks upon seeing the campaign is that there were lots of things that didn't quite make complete sense, particularly in the first video (not the one shown above) and that it was all about honey and very little about bees..

Lots of the concerns I and others were addressed quite succinctly by Faith Landsman (pictured above), a backward beekeeper and medical researcher at UCLA who describes herself as a dilettante. She delivered a fun, very well researched and objective presentation on all aspects of the hive including some of the ethics with the marketing of the campaign.

The lecture began with an introduction by Ceebs, one of the founders of HoneyLove who brought up how the timeline of when humans first started beekeeping has now been pushed back to 9000 years ago by Bee Culture magazine. She then mentioned that the Flow Hive has caused quite a lot of debate in the bee keeping community between those of us who are "bee-centric", the commercial bee keepers and the "newbees" who are fond of the honey on tap without interaction with bees idea.

The other bit of news is that HoneyLove founders Rob and Chelsea, have a new book called Save the Bees. I'll have copies of it at the perfumery shortly, just in time for holiday gift giving.

The power point presentation by Faith included commentary occurring on several online forums regarding the Flow Hive. The most disturbing were the folks who assumed that they would place the unit in their yards and bees would just make deposits of honey into the Flow Hive. Many people who saw the early video on IndieGogo made quite a lot of assumptions based on dis-information coupled with lack of knowledge.

Some of the main concerns of the Flow Hive are:
- Plastic sheets in the honey super affecting bees and sanitation.
- Relationship between bee keeper and bees.
- Brood in the honey super.
- Propolis and thick or crystalized honey clogging the mechanics.

The bee-centric community tends to avoid using plastic (propylene) in the hive, not only because its an environmental hazard but because bees don't tend to like it and its yet another human intrusion on the little creatures.

Holistic bee keeper Jonathan Powell of says:

"But for bees, comb is far more than a tupperware container for somebody else's lunch; it is the tissue and frame of the hive and as such it forms multiple functions. Cells have wall thicknesses of just 0.07mm, and are made from over 300 different chemical components. Wax removes toxins from the honey. The resonant frequency (230-270 Hz) of the comb is matched to the bees' vibration sensors and acts as an information highway between bees on opposite sides of the comb. Bees manage the temperature of the cell rims to optimize transmissions of these messages. Wax holds history and memory via chemical signals put into it by the bees. Its smell and condition aid the bee in managing the hive.  It assists in the ripening and conditioning the honey and is the first line of defense against pathogens. Honey bees are able to recognize the smallest differences in wax composition ... but not polypropylene."

If you hunt around the forums you will notice a pretty thick and heated debate about this new gadget. Within the bee-centric community, where you have  large amounts of people who care about the bees as their primary focus, the concern about the product is evident with the verdict still pending.

After the lecture attendees had the opportunity to check out all the pieces and mechanics of a flow hive brought in by a community member.

Meanwhile here at the happy house I've been extracting beeswax via the crockpot method, so far the results have been quite good but its a heck of a lot of work! More about the technique with photos once the process is complete. In the meantime our home smells like honey 24/7!

Friday, November 20, 2015

What are your favorite FALL Colors in 2015?

FALL officially arrived to Northern hemis-peeps* the day of the Autumnal Equinox,  but to us here in parched Los Angeles the sign posts became obvious this week. Ginkgo biloba, Liquidambar, Lagerstroemia indica (aka crepe/crape myrtle) and the two natives Platanus racemosa (California sycamore) and Vitis californica have been displaying their beautiful cloaks.

The Liquidambars being the most stunning of all. We have a essential oil that comes from the resin of this tree used to create Amber chords for Oriental family perfumes. The scent is warm and deep.

The Pantone Corporation, the supposed authority on color trends, unveiled "The Color of the Year" along with these other hues for the FALL 2015 line up which includes lots of natural, haute-hip hues...

1.) PANTONE 17-0627 Dried Herb
2.) PANTONE 16-0110 Desert Sage
3.) PANTONE 18-4214 Stormy Weather
4.) PANTONE 16-1144 Oak Buff
5.) PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala
6.) PANTONE 18-4726 Biscay Bay
7.) PANTONE 19-4326 Reflecting Pond
8.) PANTONE 15-1340 Cadmium Orange
9.) PANTONE 16-2215 Cashmere Rose
10.) PANTONE 17-3628 Amethyst Orchid

As you all know I have a specific color palette I use for my brand which shows up in the wax seals for my perfumes. I've matched up some of the wax seals on the little pots with some of the Fall 2015 colors in the chart above.

* Yes, I made up a word hemisphere + people + hemis-peeps.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Movie Monday: Suffragettes

After filling orders and tending to customers at the perfumery today Eve and I went over to a tiny theater up the way that was showing the film Suffragettes for limited release in the US to gain Oscar qualification. (Sure is nice having Eve around.)

Based on true events from the late 19th and early 20th century, the movie tells the tale of the early feminist movement in London where women were forced to become foot soldiers in a battle to gain equal rights.

The tale is compelling and although we've seen it before there is a rawness to it that is fresh, likely due to director Sarah Gavron, screenwriter: Abi Morgan and a couple female producers. The all star, epic cast including Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham Carter was phenomenal along with gorgeous sets, lighting and the costumes.

Back row (L-R): Sarah Gavron (director), Helen Pankhurst (great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst), 
Laura Pankhurst (great-great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst), Alison Owen (producer); 
front row (L-R): Abi Morgan (screenwriter), Anne-Marie Duff (actor), Meryl Streep (actor), Carey Mulligan (actor), 
Helena Bonham Carter (actor), Faye Ward (producer).

The costumes!! Let's drool over those a bit shall we....

"Patriarchal power is a problem, even in the hands of women who have lost their connection to matriarchal principals of love, beauty and nature. Sure, there was a female prime minister in England and now have a female running for president in the US, however what we fail to realize is that what we need is balance. "The Aquarian Age is meant to reconcile ancient dichotomies, to integrate male and female energies, and to coordinate heart and mind and right and left hemispheres of the brain. Wherever polarities exist, we have an opportunity to raise consciousness and find a higher perspective from which to view life-a more balanced position, if you will."1 

"Sure, a female president in the US would potentially give some hope to young girls but not when the lady is from a patriarchal tribe and has aligned her self with those outdated systems.  Based on recent events, we still seem to have a way to go don't we? The great thing about films of this sort that are told from a holistic point of view is they get us thinking out of the box and into the circle. We all live together in a very complex system with many points of view, ultimately things change when we are able to shift consciousness. Regrettably the shift does not come easy. In the last Movie Monday post the character Lucy says "Ignorance brings chaos, not knowledge." Indeed. Read more quotes from Lucy here.

Read about the history of the Suffragettes and the women behind the movement by following this link to Bio.

1. Crystalinks blog
Photos: UK film poster, group (via The Guardian), Emmeline Pankhurst Ribbon (via Wikipedia), Annie Kenney and Christabel Pankhurst (via Wikipedia) and assorted stills from varied sources on the internet.

Friday, November 13, 2015

How to Make a Carrot Rosehip Salve

Today, on this blessed Venus Day, we celebrate the root vegetable: carrot. For Jade Shutes 21 Days, 21 Recipes she shares Carrot Rosehip Salve which relates to this post here at the journal Perfume Illuminated: Carrot.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How to Make a Coffee Scrub

Jade Shutes, my aromatherapy teacher, has been doing a series titled 21 days: 21 Recipes and Remedies. I'm here to share with each of you and tag along.

For Day 10 Jade posted how to make an absolutely delicious sounding Coffee scrub that contains infusions of vanilla. Here is the link to my related Perfume Illuminated: Coffee post from a series a done a few years ago here at the journal. I thought I'd offer a class on this at the perfumery so we can all make some handmade, vital plant holiday gifts together. Sound good?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Aromatherapy Chest Rub

I made an aromatherapy chest salve for a friend Sunday night after teaching all day and then delivered at a birthday celebration. The next morning had an email in my inbox from the previous night with these words:

"OMG, Roxana - you are a brilliant genius!! What a complex aroma - mmmm... I am putting it on my throat because that is where I have this never-ending tickle - I feel it really penetrating... And yes, I'll put it on my chest too tonight when I go to bed. Thank you from the bottom of my heart - you are such a sweet angel!"

followed by this: "I slept well, and the crud is leaping out of me this morning!"

I've been meaning to make some aromatherapy items for my line of perfumes for years now. The message feels like a confirmation, thus, if I don't get too hung up on packaging and busy with other tasks I'll some items soon. Let me know if there is something specific you would like in the comments.