Thursday, August 21, 2008

Field of Dreams

In the ballroom of the San Diego Comic Convention this year, Grant Morrison asked the audience, "What stories do you tell yourself?" Indeed!

“A jest's prosperity lies in the ear of him that hears it,
never in the tongue of him who makes it” ~ William Shakespeare

Greg sent me this list below by e-mail and I thought it was worth sharing...enjoy.


Start incorporating these into your mental "playback loop"
then watch how much simpler daily living gets!

1 - The perfect parking spot always finds me

2 - Everything I want is on sale when I want it

3 - I complete my daily to-do list with ease and velocity

4 - The more I spend, the more I make

5 - I love receiving freee stuff!

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™
Image © Greg Spalenka

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

To Bee

On {{{8-8-8}}} at a farewell hula party for some dear friends moving to Hawaii we met a super interesting fellow. Turns out he is a local beekeeper. Greg asked him what he thought was happening to our honey bees. To our surprised he informed us that the fiasco is due to a pesticide called "Gaucho", created by Bayer (yes, Bayer aspirin). In America this information is slowly entering the mainstream news, unlike Europe where the pesticide has already been banned. I so wish America could be visionary like so many other countries. Read more at this link

Aspirin was created in a lab during the 1800's when the active ingredient in white willow bark was discovered as being salicin. History tells us that the Egyptians and Greeks utilized the analgesic white willow for inflammation and pain relief. Typically the tea of willow leaves or chewing of the willow bark were standard remedies. In todays modern pharmacopeia of botanical origin we have white willow available as an extract. Check with your natural practitioner before using an herbal remedy to make sure it does not conflict with other conditions or medications.

In journals of Aromatherapy we have quite a few essential oils listed as analgesics. Even dentists routinely recommend clove for tooth aches.

So, you see, there are many botanical options to pain relief where we can coexist with our valuable pollinator, the honey bee.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™
Image: Bee on textured tile background ©Roxana Villa & Greg Spalenka

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Lineage expanded

Yesterday, after posting the blog entry, my father sent me another photo from Leonildas birthday celebration. This one showcases all the “adult” attendees. Looks like it was a big party!

Also, in yesterdays post I wrote I would share the formula of the birthday solid perfume I set out to create. I think it was the quickest perfume I have ever orchestrated. I began with essences noted in the previous post, however, as I proceeded things shifted. Other essences spoke to me, some whispered, while others shouted.

The story unfolds with a small beaker filled with 11 grams of jojoba oil. Normally I use the unrefined jojoba, however, I am out of the lovely golden hued elixir, so the refined was used instead. To that I added my essences, I began with Labdanum. As I took all the different Labdanums and Jasmines out other essences beckoned. Recently I was given a small vial of Neroli, so a drop of that went in to compliment the Jasmine. When I had finished the composition I inhaled and applied some of the Jojoba blend on my skin. There was a wild, animalic note. Although I rather enjoyed the adventurous terrain the perfume had drifted to, it wasn’t quite the right fit for the day. So, I added Vanilla to smooth out the landscape a bit and a new Patchouli I have just received. I then reapplied and was contented, knowing that the aromatics would change even further once the beeswax was added.

The perfume is interesting and complex. When I took it out to share at the play, everyone responded to it quite enthusiastically. In fact, one of Eve’s friends stated, “OH! This is my favorite of all your perfumes!” For now we call it Birthday Balm:

11 grams of unrefined jojoba oil
2.2 grams of shaved beeswax
Approximately 44 drops total, not each, of the following essences:


Normally I would have chosen to include some of my accords, but, since I knew I would be sharing the ingredients with you all, I decided to keep it simple. Perfume with a Vanilla base, Jasmine heart and citrus top notes are a good start for those starting out on their journey into the world of botanical perfume.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™
Photo above unknown photographer, photo of ceramic pot with shaved beeswax ©Roxana Villa.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


My dad e-mailed me the above photo this morning. It was taken in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 12, 1962. My great grandmother, Leonilda, is surrounded by all her great grandchildren, on her 90th birthday. She holds a little two months old infant in her delicate arms. That little infant is me, supposedly the earliest photo that exists of Roxana on Spaceship Planet Earth.

We are off this morning to go watch my daughter Eve perform in "The Taming of the Shrew" at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum. She has been part of the High School Summer Repertoire and has her first performance today. Afterward we are off to lunch en masse to begin the celebratory day.

I haven't been writing much here at the blog. This morning I realized it is because I am in the thick of the second Artist's Way journey, The Vein of Gold. I write every morning in my journal as well as do a variety of other assigned tasks. All of it combined with the regular workload and new and exciting projects compete for blog time.

What story threads shall I weave together to create a perfume to honor the day? I will begin with something warm and golden for the Leo Sun, Vanilla and Labdanum will work. A little Jasmine sambac because I ADORE it so much and works with the Piscean elements and the feminine. On the top I'll use some pink peppercorn, wild orange and a little fresh ginger. Off to put this botanical perfume together as a solid. I'll give you all the formula once it has been manifested.

Thank you Dad for sending me the picture with your birthday wishes today!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Seeds of Yesterday

“All the flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of yesterday”
~ Unknown

One of the many seeds I have scattered along the path has sprouted. As an independent business owner that’s what we do, distribute those little embryos out into the world. We fertilize with intention that the little seed, we planted with love, will one day mature into a beautiful and fragrant plant.

In due time, with faith, one or more seedlings will appear. It's happened that some finally sprout, yet, take an inordinate amount of earth time to grow. That's when yoga, meditation and all those other little saplings to tend to come in handy. The worst is planting a precious seed in the wrong soil or climate. However, when you get it right, it makes such a difference.

For my birthday, about six years ago, Ben gave me a lovely hibiscus shrub. With care I planted it in the ground once the weather had cooled a bit. I made sure I put it in a wire cage to protect its roots from our ravenous gopher population. That little hibiscus struggled for years. This past spring I put it into a pot to get the hillside ready for all the native plants we are putting in. The hibiscus in the meantime has doubled in size with huge, beautiful blossoms on a daily basis.

A good example of right soil for the right plant. In the meantime, the native plants are quite happy in that same soil with very little watering, no soil amendments, no pesticides and no fertilizers.

The plant kingdom is so generous with its wisdom.

Image above: Roxana’s Seeds©Roxana Villa. The illustration began as a pencil drawing and then slowly developed into the more flushed out idea of the seed packet.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hazel Lunar Month

"I went out to the hazelwood,
Because a fire was in my head,"
~ W. B. Yeats

Today we enter the realm of the Hazel tree in this new Celtic lunar phase. According to the Beth-Luis-Nion calendar the name for Hazel is Coll, the ninth letter in the alphabet referring to “life force within”.
The Hazel tree is associated with wisdom and is one of the sacred nine woods traditionally burned by the Druids at the Beltane fires. The leaves, nut, wood and branches of the tree have been used in magick and herbal remedies. Here in the US we have the American Filbert, Corylus americana, which is native to New England.

In Celtic lore Hazel trees are often found growing at the edge of bodies of water where prophetic powers are bestowed on passer bys, whether human or animal. The Hazel, also referred to as the Tree of Immortal Wisdom, has association to the Feys.

Create a wand out of hazel to call upon the Fey folk. Use hazel wood for divining rods. Carry a sprig a Hazel to protect from from lightening and insure a safe voyage over sea. For the highest magical energetics gather nut, wood or branches of Hazel on the eve of Samhain just when the Sun has set. Create a botanical perfume utilizing the rich, warm nutty notes of Hazelnut C02, Corylus avellana, with wood notes. Hazelnut also exists as a carrier oil with beneficial properties for the skin.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Image © Roxana Villa all rights reserved. Original painting was created for The City of Hope acrylic veils on prepared board.

Monday, August 4, 2008

A Perfume for Lughnasadh

Summer's lease hath all to short a date.
~ William Shakespeare

The Celtic high holiday Lughnasadh is named after the fire god Lugh. Sometimes referred to as Lammas, Lughnasadh marks the celebration of the harvest and the end of summer. Here in the City of Angels this holiday hits a bit early and doesn’t quite align with what is taking place on a tangible level. Perhaps that is why I am tardy writing about it?
This past Friday marked the first day of August as well as first day of the Sun’s descent. The day light now slowly begins to diminish as we move into the dark of winter.

Festivals revolve around the harvest where the Green Man is honored for his cycle of death and rebirth.

The harvest theme is a good place to begin gathering inspiration to create a sacred scent or perfume for Lughnasadh. Fruit, such as berries and vegetables were used at altars. In the botanical perfumers palette we have a few gourmand essences that could work such as; cranberry absolute, hay, wheat and hazelnut. Other materials could be tinctured and infused. Many of the traditional herbs of Lughnasadh are also available in essence: Fenugreek and Frankincense. Herbs which evoke the Sun, Apollo and Fire have an apropos feel: Helichrysum, Cade, and Saffron. Pepper, Orange and Ginger for top notes.

Another theme that would take a completely different direction would be a composition based on the Green Man or John Barleycorn. I would begin this formula with a warm amber accord to represent the sun and the harvest. From there contemplate elements which are most representative of one of the two mentioned gods.

Once you have finished your scent apply it with gratitude in your heart for the abundance in your life.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™