Monday, September 29, 2008

The Dragon's Breath

"We're our own dragons as well as our own heroes,
and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves."
- Tom Robbins

Today marks the autumn festival of Michelmas, one of the ancient holy days that I have a fascination with. I first became conscious of the day when I attended the Michelmas play at my daughters Waldorf school. At the time Eve was only about four years old and having a challenging morning saying goodbye to me. The teacher suggested I stay and come along to see the Michelmas play up the hill put on by the second grade.

The play and festival centers on the brave night St. George who is assisted by the Archangel Michael to conquer the dragon. The story is a metaphor for taming that inner dragon within each of us.

Many of the holidays that begin now focus on light, often referred to as festivals of light. We enter the darker portion of the great seasonal wheel, as nature moves toward inward sleep, humankind is challenged to find the light within and courageously banish the dragon.

So, during these most challenging times of great Maya, we look inward for that most luminous light within which will carry us forward into uncharted waters.

Botanical perfume ingredients that have a dragon-like feel are those associated with fire. Here are a few possibilities: spice, some of the resins, tincture or infusion of dragons blood, amber bases, sulphuric aromas and something with a burnt quality like choya or cade. The spice will help add lift as well as pepper and some citrus.

Read last years post on Michelmas here.
Roxana Illuminated Perfume

Image: "Apocrypha" ©Greg Spalenka, an original painting and avialable as limited edition Giclee print. (I was the model.)

Roxana at Perfume Shrine

Her method of working was referenced as "creating a painting of a perfume": And then the olfactory promise laid out its trap.

These words and more are from the word smither Helg of Perfume Shrine. Take a journey over to her blog where she has written a bit about us and our fragrances.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Solve et coagula

I had discovered,
early in my researches,
that their doctrine was no mere
chemical fantasy,
but a philosophy they applied to the world, to the elements,
and to man himself. - W.B. Yeats

The last batch of the solid perfume samples from the Illuminated News giveaway will go out this morning along with orders. It's been a rather interesting week, definitely a little alchemical transformation going on.

The samples are of the fragrance created on August 16th with the temporary title Birthday Balm. Read about it here at are journal. It is the fastest perfume I have ever crafted. The twenty little samplers have gone off far and wide to all parts of the globe. A few more have been dispersed to friends and those that placed orders this week.

So...what do you think of it?

At the NYC Sniffapalooza Fall Ball I will be debuting solid perfumes as a new addition to the Roxana Illuminated Perfume family. Above is a picture of the current antiqued metal compacts I will be using with one of the handmade, crochet pouches.

Happy Mabon!
I'll be back in a few days with a post about the Fall Equinox
and some thoughts on a Mabon perfume.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sniffapalooza LA & NYC

I will be a presenter at the upcoming Fashion Fragrance Week in Los Angeles and NYC Sniffapalooza Fall Ball. Below are some of the details on both the LA and NYC Sniffa events.

Fashion Fragrance Week in Los Angeles, October 11, 2008

Fragrance lovers and industry specialists from all over will be gathering in LA for the most spectacular event of the season, the ultra-fabulous Fashion Fragrance West! We've added some amazing PERKS, so even if you've already registered, you'll want to keep reading to get the full SCOOP!

Our good friend Ron Robinson of Apothia @ Fred Segal Melrose in LA has teamed up with the leading global fragrance house, Givaudan, and they've put together an incredible interactive, gift-laden morning for Sniffapalooza to celebrate Fashion Week. Then we will continue on an LA fragrance odyssey that includes lunch presentations and visits to Scent Bar and Strange Invisible Perfumes.

Our day will begin Saturday, October 11 at 8:00am with a scrumptious breakfast at Mauro's Cafe, housed in the legendary Fred Segal on Melrose Avenue. The store will be closed to the public at this time, and we will have special entree. Givaudan invites us to discover the secrets of fashion fragrance development and get an intimate look at the latest fragrance trends with their customized trend report, 'NEXT! Come See What's Next', which is usually reserved for industry insiders.

An incredible multi-sensory experience awaits us. Givaudan has created four unique fragrances, designed to match each of four fragrance trends. These scents are customized for Apothia, and they will be exclusively available for us to experience and purchase at this event only.

After Givaudan's presentation, several guest fragrance designers will be announcing their new fragrance launches, and we will be the first to premiere them! Included will be Lisa Hoffman of Lisa Hoffman Beauty, Yosh Han of Yosh Olfactory Sense, Kate Growney of Saffron James Parfum, Sara Horowitz-Thran of Sarah Horowitz Parfum, and Ron Robinson of Apothia.

At about 10am we will adjourn to the beauty floor of Apothia, where we can explore and sniff to our heart's content, and chat with representatives from L'Artisan Parfumeur, Serge Lutens, Mark Birley, Nana De Bary, Parfums Rosine, Aphrodisiac, Dumann, Gendarme, Carnival Wax, Comptoir Sud Pacifique, i Profumi di Firenze, and Diptyque.

In true Apothia style, there are some phenomenal *extras* to be had! With every purchase of $100 or more from the Ron Robinson Boutiques, you will be entered in a drawing to win two special collections of fragrances totaling approximately $1,000. And of course you will leave
with one of the legendary & spectacularly generous Apothia gift bags!

After the exhilarating morning events, at about 12:30, we'll enjoy an elegant lunch at one of LA's premier restaurants, Pane e Vino, where we'll have presentations from cult-favorite perfumer ROXANA VILLA, the dynamic founder of Pacifica, BROOK HARVEY-TAYLOR, and passionate new perfumer KRISTEN MICHELE. Then we'll walk just a short distance to LuckyScent's extraordinary Scent Bar to meet special guests and savor desserts, champagne, and coffee.

We're excited to have Scent Bar collaborate for the first time at our LA Sniffapalooza! Our friends Franco and Adam have worked hard & travelled far to present to us the very finest fragrance the world has to offer in 2008. Here's just a sampling of what's waiting for us at Scent Bar:

U.S. Exclusives - only at Scent Bar:
Sinfonia di Note - 8 heavenly fragrances direct from Italy!
Vero Profumo debut - Three exquisite creations in parfume extrait concentration.

New launches from some of our favorite houses:

Andy Tauer's Vetiver Dance, By Kilian: Prelude to Love, Comme des Garcons for Stephen Jones, Keiko Mecheri new creations, Serge Lutens Serge Noire, complete collection from Czech & Speake, and three secret releases... Franco & Adam can't tell us just yet!

As a special thank you, Sniffapalooza customers are being offered an exclusive $15 credit towards any purchase at Scent Bar on the day of the event! WOW! Credit is only available to Sniffapalooza customers who purchase the $75 full-day admission.

After we sniff ourselves into a frenzy at Scent Bar, we will conclude our fragrance journey in Venice, at the beautifully mysterious Strange Invisible Perfumes, where they're throwing us a fabulous cocktail party with champagne and light refreshments! We'll take home a deluxe gift bag, and we're offered a 15% discount on all purchases. We will also premiere SIP's latest creation, Musc Botanique.

Our fragrant day will wrap up around 7pm. Unfortunately we have just a very few spaces left for this event, and it will completely sell out very soon! If you would like to be a part of this one-in-a-lifetime event, please click here to register.

The registration fee is $75 and includes breakfast, lunch, all refreshments, presentations, gift bags and tons of perks!

Looking forward to sniffing with you all soon in LA!

Fall Ball in NYC, Saturday, October 25 - Sunday, October 26

For those of you who are just joining the Sniffapalooza family, the Sniffapalooza Fall Ball is an entire weekend crammed full of olfactory and multi-sensory experiences. You'll come away from the weekend with new knowledge, new friends, lots of new goodies, and a new perspective
on a fragrant life. There's nothing else like it on the planet.

This year's event will be Saturday, October 25 - Sunday, October 26. As always, Saturday will be our 'uptown' day, and Sunday will be our 'downtown' day. We're still in the creative planning stages, but we've had so many requests to sign up that we thought we'd better get the
registration lines open.

Here's our intinerary-in-progress below, with lots of surprises in the works. Many details will be added which we will update you on in the coming weeks!

Guests we're in the process of scheduling for appearances, & more to come:

Kilian Hennessy of By Kilian; Symine Salimpour of Shiloh Perfume;, Joe Garces of Robert Piguet; Tom Crutchfield of Asprey, Annick Goutal, Etro, & Judith Leiber; Dovanna Pagowski & Chely De Pablos of Acqua di Parma; Shelley Levendos of Donna Karan Collection; Maree Damm of Boucheron; Sandi Burrows of Serge Lutens; Brian Kurtz of L'Artisan Parfumeur; Mary Claire Pedone of Jo Malone; Theresa Dickinson of Creed; John Bain of Van Cleef & Arpel; Geri Verlaque of Chanel; Katy Jourav of Tom Ford; Sonia Ciliberti & Jason Beers of Guerlain; Montgomery Taylor of Ambre de Venezia; Ulrich Lang of Parfums Ulrich Lang; Yosh Han of YOSH Olfactory Sense; Neil Morris of Neil Morris Fragrances; Sarah Barton-King of The Pink Room; Patty Namm of Brandy Perfume; Janna Sheehan of TransEssence; Lee Cuthbert of Intelli-Scents; Avery Gilbert, author of 'What the Nose Knows'; Miryana Babic of i Profumi di Firenze; Adelaide Farah of Beauty Fashion Magazine; Phoebe Ellis of Seven Skies Perfume; Marlen Harrison of, perfumer Roxana Villa of Roxana Illuminated Perfume; Christopher Voigt of; Debra Courtright of Floris of London; Raphaella Brescia of Sniffapalooza Magazine; Salomeh Daley from Memoire Liquide; and Miriam Mirani from Aqaba.


8:15-10:00am The famous Breakfast with speakers and presentations at Bergdorf Goodman
**PLEASE NOTE: Breakfast limited to the first 65 guests to sign up!

10:00am-12:00pm Sniffing time on the beauty floor at BG, meet special guests & presenters from the breakfast, exclusive offers, makeup artists, the BG raffle & those legendary gift bags.

12:30-2:30pm Prix Fixe lunch at Opia Restaurant - Special speakers, party favors! (Registration required)

2:45-4:15pm Sniffing & dessert at Takashimaya, with special guests, presentations, terrific promotions, those amazing cupcakes and mango tea, and goodies to take home.

4:15-5:45pm Sniffing at Henri Bendel, with special guests, the exclusive Sniffapalooza GWP, refreshments, and gifts.

We are pleased to welcome new stores to our day, with scheduling TBD: Bloomingdales, Coach, Sephora & Luckyscent!


10:00-11:30am The famous Brunch & Sniffing at Bond No. 9, meet founder Laurice Rahme, sample new Andy Warhol Lexington Avenue, and gift bags.&nbs p; 15% discount on all purchases.

11:00am-5:00pm Open House sniffing at Le Labo. Meet founders Eddie & Fabrice & have your purchases custom-labeled.

12:00-1:00pm Sniffing at Lafco NY, with sampling, refreshments, special gifts. Meet Creative Team Jon Bresler & Segen Scott. 20% discount on all purchases.

1:00-4:00pm Prix Fixe lunch at Country Cafe, with speakers, party favors, and the incredible Sniffapalooza Magazine raffle!

Two seatings for lunch:

First seating: 1:00-2:30pm
Second seating: 2:30-4:00pm

While the first group is dining, the second seating group will visit L'Artisan Parfumeur right across the street for sampling & treats & an introduction to the new Fleur de Liane. Likewise, for the second seating group.

** Please note that those choosing the second seating will have more time at Bond No.9, Le Labo, and Lafco NY, and we may be adding new stores to the mix as well. If you need to catch a flight or make a train, you should choose the first seating. First seating diners must be seated promptly by 1:00pm.

4:30-6:00pm Prosecco Bellinis & sniffing at Aedes de Venustas. Samples, special guests, exclusive launches & gift bags. Meet creative team Robert & Karl.

We are pleased to welcome new stores to our day, with scheduling TBD: Bloomingdales, Molton Brown, & Sephora!

The rates for Sniffapalooza Fall Ball are as follows:
Saturday, 10/25: $70 covers event & lunch (and maybe a cocktail party!)
Sunday, 10/26: $70 covers event, brunch & lunch

Full weekend: $140 covers events 10/25 & 10/26, lunches both days, the brunch on Sunday, and the BG breakfast (only if you are one of the first 65 people to sign up).

A portion of each registration fee will be donated to a very special charity, with details to follow!

You can register at via PayPal. You will need to log in with your Username and Password to access the “Event Registration” page. If you have questions or need to make other payment arrangements, please contact Karen Adams at

Please remember that if you would like to attend the breakfast at Bergdorf Goodman on Saturday, October 25--- we are limited to 65 seats! You *must* sign up right away as this always fills up within a few days. BG has strict fire code laws and they will not allow more than 65 guests. (Don’t worry if you don’t receive an immediate confirmation from us. We are taking our much-needed family vacations for the next week, and will confirm your seat as soon as we’re back in town!)

If you've attended a Sniffapalooza before, you know what an incredible experience awaits you... If you haven't, you're in for the time of your life!

** Team Karen cannot be responsible for any addictions to Sniffapalooza, or withdrawal symptoms that may result after the event is over. If such symptoms occur, go immediately to the nearest fragrance counter.

We can't wait to see all our old friends again and meet our new ones!
And remember, *accept no imitations* - this is the ONE and ONLY *SNIFFAPALOOZA*!

Viva La Sniffa, Baby!

Karen Dubin - Founder & Director
Karen Adams - Executive Operations Manager

Sniffapalooza Magazine

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Images ©Roxana Villa.

Coyote: the trickster

As I walked back up the street to our little house Tuesday morning there was a Coyote just in front of 8:30am! What is a lone coyote doing out at that time? Normally I see them at dusk or twilight.

In Native American tradition the coyote is referred to as the trickster. He embodies the archetype of the joker, creating much chaos and mischief. In the tarot this is the card of the Fool. Coyote is in many of the Native American creation myths. In one of my books here I found sixteen different stories featuring Coyote, usually as a very powerful and important being. In some cases he is even the creator of the two leggeds: man.

So, like the nemesis, we learn to embrace Coyote medicine and work with it. It is said that the Divine Trickster is here to teach how to work with others to accomplish great things, similar to the teachings of the Vine. Coyote also teaches us to look inside at the wisdom we hold and how to be in the world balancing work and play. Remember, manifestation comes easily when we are enjoying ourselves.

Follow your bliss and doors will open where there were no doors before. ~ Joseph Campbell

A botanical perfume working with the energetics of Coyote medicine would be interesting huh? I'm going to sit with it a bit and see what percolates up. Definitely some citrus for the playful aspect, elemi for shifting energetics and sandalwood for going within and accessing the Divine.
There should also be a since of the "wild" in the animalic quality....mmm labdanum.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Vetiver Dance

Andy Tauer returns to grace us with his presence at the Scent Bar this October. The Saturday, October 4th event is full, however the Friday October 17th slot still has a few openings. Click here to RSVP.

The latest from Tauer Perfumes is "Vetiver Dance", a unisex fragrance focused on Vetiver essential oil. At the event Andy will take us on a tour of how the fragrance manifested, including some of his early rendition.

Andy is a very warm, friendly and entertaining. Check out our journal entry from his presentation last Spring and you will notice how big our smiles are. This is a great opportunity to meet one of the great independent, niche perfumers working today.

Scent Bar
Andy Tauer
Vetiver Dance Review on Perfume Shrine

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Image above is from the Lucky Scent website.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Moving Images

We've put up a new animation on the front page of the website...finally!! I'm just not to sure about the bottle in there, what do you think? I've already advised the web mistress to remove it. Greg mentioned it looked like the shadow side of perfume, yikes!
Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Monday, September 15, 2008

Celtic Tree Month: Vine

Highest of beauty and strongest of effort

Round and round we go, the new Celtic Tree lunar phase is the Vine. We don’t usually think of the Vine being a tree, but, indeed it does contain all the characteristics of our tree friends. The Vine in the long lost alnguage of the Tree Ogham is named Muin, associated with the letter M.

The specific vine being referenced is the Grape Vine which provides us with a plethora of plant parts used. The berries are a source of food and juice. The juice is fermented to create wines and alchoholic beverages. In the botanical perfumers apothecary Grape alcohol is often the main ingredient in liquid perfumes. In herbal folklore the five lobbed, mineral rich leaves of the Vine are used in tea for a variety of ailments or eaten raw in salads. Other uses include making rope or twine from the roots.

In books of symbolism the Grape is often associated with bounty and ensures prosperity. More references site: revelry, immortality, sacrafice, the Christ and Bacchus, the god of wine.

During this lunar phase of the Vine become conscious of your relationships and the manner in which they weave and twist. An appropriate magical activity would be creating a sacred cord with eleven knots. This cord is worn as a belt while creating an important task filled with intention.

The message of the Vine is "teaching & uniting".

One evening, wine sang out with all its soul:
"I send you, Man, dear disinherited,
From my glass prison with its scarlet seals,
A song of sunshine and of brotherhood!"
Charles Baudelaire

Cheers to the Harvest Full Moon in Pisces today, time to reap
what we have sown.

Images: Old engravings touched up and placed on parchment ©Roxana Villa

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Roxana in Sniffapalooza Magazine

The editor of Sniffapalooza Magazine, Raphaella Brescia Barkley, in September began a new series showcasing Natural Perfumers. She interviewed me in the latest issue and published a review of a few of our perfumes. Click this link and scroll down about halfway into the issue where you will find the interview and reviews. Afterwards, journey down to the very bottom of the page to leave your comments about the magazine, the interview, and/or your experience of our perfumes.

The lineup includes profiles and interviews with fellow colleagues from the larger perfume houses to the smaller individual niche perfumers.

Sniffapalooza Magazine

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Image of Perfume bottle illuminated ©Roxana Villa

Friday, September 12, 2008

LYRA: new edition

"I found God within myself and I loved her, I loved her fiercely."
~ Ntozake Shange

To celebrate the latest edition of Lyra, our resident illuminator Greg Spalenka, has created a new image. Although the other image is stunning, one of my personal favorites, she is just not quite the right mood for the delightful dance of floral confection.

The inspiration for Lyra began with a custom perfume created for my daughter Eve (Evangeline). Since I do not replicate custom perfume formulas, I swapped out some essences in the top, middle and base and added new ones.

The tropical headiness of this perfume lies in the melding of Jasmine and Ylang Ylang at the heart. Both these essences are associated with femininity and sensuality. In fact, in aromatherapy circles these essences are considered relaxing, euphoric and strong aphrodisiacs. The word aphrodisiac comes from the name of the Greek Goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite.

The word stressed spelled backwards is desserts.
~ From Botanica Erotica

The sensuous, floral fragrance is reminiscent of Stargazer lilies. Built upon an amber accord, the exotic sweetness of the Jasmine Ylang Ylang heart is lifted with heady citrus notes. The perfume is euphoric and playful uniting us with the delectable sweetness of pure joy.

LYRA Botanical Perfume

Fragrance Family: Floral

There are twenty different essential oils, absolutes and C02 extractions in this perfume. Main notes are: Citrus, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang and Amber.

The liquid perfume is available in a quarter ounce stopper bottle from France, which arrives in it's own couture, hand crochet pouch.

Lyra Image ©Greg Spalenka, other images are old engravings which Roxana has modified and placed onto parchment, and a photo of our Lyra couture pouch ©Roxana Villa.

More information on Lyra

Read Reviews at these links:
Memory and Desire
Ideal Bite
Noteworthy Fragrances
Bath'n Body, Craft Gossip

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"A sniffa...what?"

When I encounter fellow perfume lovers, at dinner parties or events, I ask, "Are you a member of Sniffapalooza?" The response is usually, "A sniffa...what?"

I ask this question because it is a pleasure connecting with other Sniffapalooza members. We are all united by our love of fragrance. For some reason I automatically assume that everyone on the planet that loves fragrance is a member of Sniffapalooza.

Sniffapalooza is an organization which organically grew out of a womans passion for perfume. This passionate lady is Karen Dubin. She would gather several friends and together they would explore the terrain of fragrance at the department stores in NYC. The group grew so large that they formed an organization called Sniffapalooza. The membership is now at 500,000 and growing. Karen Dubin has added Karen as the head of operations, thus we tend to refer to them as The Karens.

Out of a passion for the organization and perfume, member Raphaella Brescia Barkely birthed Sniffapalooza Magazine shortly after the first Los Angeles gathering on February 10, of 2007. It was a pleasure to meet Raphaella in LA that fate filled day. She came up to me and inquired, "Where do I know you from?" Indeed, she looked familiar to me, where did I know her from, NYC art days perhaps? We never quite figured it out, it might just be one of those essence connections that reaches beyond time and matter.

I commend the Karens and Raphaella for their hardwork and following their passion. Niche perfume continues to grow and make its mark on the world of fragrance. These ladies are visionary and they follow their nose, after all The Nose Knows.

Cheers to them and all the fragrant lovers out there!

The Karens will make an appearance at the HBA Global Expo held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. They will be part of a panel discussion with industry experts titled: Building for the New Fragrance Consumer.

The Sniffapalooza Fall Ball takes place October 25th and 26th, tickets are on sale now.

Read more about Sniffapalooza and Raphaella by clicking here.
Sniffapalooza Magazine
The 2008 HBA Global Expo
Sniffapalooza Forum

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Image: Sniffapalooza logo ©Sniffapalooza, Photo of Raphaella, used by permission.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Gift of Prose

I’ve been silently bemoaning the fact that Heather, of the blog Memory and Desire, has gone into a hermetic phase. I find her to be such an exquisite writer and innovative thinker. She blends her skill in the right and left hemispheres beautifully. Artistic, creative thought with high intellect.

If you have not checked out her blog, here is a link: Memory and Desire
Explore the posts and her fantastic resource files on perfumers, classes and suppliers.

At the San Diego Comic Con this year Deepak Chopra was there once again to share his views on the Super Hero, Story and Quantum Physics. Perhaps Heather is like Batman, she has gone down to her cave to replenish and nurture. When she arrives back to our sphere, with all her super powers intact, she will once again dazzle us with her gift of prose.

Image above ©Greg Spalenka

Memory and Desire
Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Friday, September 5, 2008

{ Chocolate }

“Researchers have discovered that chocolate
produced some of the same reactions in the brain as marijuana.

The researchers also discovered other similarities between the two,

but can't remember what they are.”

Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show, August 22

The origins of chocolate begin with the cacao pods of the Mesoamerican tree. The seeds were ground and mixed with other ingredients to create a chocolately drink by the Mayan and Aztec people.

Andy’s recent post about a perfume he made called Aqua Tenebrae reminded me of two Chocolate inspired perfumes I had formulated back in February of the year 2003. It began with one of my aromatherapy students requesting a Vanilla+Chocolate perfume. In the past I had made chocolate themed lip balms, but, not a perfume.

As I sample the two perfumes I am intrigued and may come back to it soon. Both formulas have potential, however, they are much more simplistic than the way I work now. I use the word simplistic because there is very little evolution to the perfumes due to the way they have been constructed. Number one has incredible tenacity and lasted on my skin for more than twelve hours!

The botanical perfumer has a few options available for creating chocolate inspired perfumes. First off there are the cacao pods and or seeds, which can be tinctured or infused. In the lip balms we use to make, we would add cocoa butter and actual chocolate to our beeswax to produce the note. In my palette I have cacao absolute and a C02. The absolute is really dark and viscous (pictured above) compared to the C02 which is white and powdery.

The perfume Andy created, Aqua Tenebrae, was created for a birthday. According to his blog notes the perfume consists of “cacao absolute, dark cistus, patchouli, cinnamon notes, vetiver, complemented by green spices and light rose notes.” When I read this I was intrigued by the combination of Cacao, Cistus and Geranium. One of my versions included Cistus, while the other included essences of Vanilla and Benzoin. Mine however, had no rose at all.

I find it interesting to see how other perfumers combine ingredients. Even more fascinating was to see these two old formulas in the first few pages of my perfume journal. I was much more eclectic in the way I would combine notes.

Read about Andy's formula at the link below and note that he is due back in Los Angeles this October 2008. Most likely he will be making an appearance once again at the Scent Bar.

"Life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you're going to get."
Forrest Gump in "Forrest Gump" (1994)

Images: Cocoa absolute and Candy box illustration titled Star of Knowledge ©Greg Spalenka.

Aqua Tenebras by Andy Tauer
Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Artist's Way

Somewhere around the Autumn of 1998 I decided to read The Artist's Way. The Artist's Way is a tool kit filled with a variety of paths leading to the center of the creative soul. The best-selling author, Julia Cameron, wrote a number of books after her million dollar best seller.

Currently I am reading The Vein of Gold. I find the tasks a bit challenging with all the other items on my daily to do list. For example, one of my new assignments is to walk 20 minutes every day...alone. Greg and I normally take walks up here in the hills daily. We love it and it is one of the reasons we choose this particular house on the edge of the trails into the Santa Monica Mountains. I've started to do my "loner" walks in the early morning, just after Eve ddeparts for school.

The "artist's dates" have been fun. At first it was hard to come up with things to do. Now I've gotten the hang of it. A few weeks ago I decided to redo the bulletin board, which led to a bit of a revamp of the studio utilizing the colors of my essence work. I feel content, euphoric, energized and focused in my creative space now. Amazing what such a simple change can do.

Another task I am still working on is creating a creative cluster group. Many of the friends I have sought out to include in this group are not available until September. One of them asked
"What's an artist's date? Does it mean I get to go on dates with artists?" He-he, no, well sort means you take your inner artist out for some creative play time.

The image above is a detail from my newly vamped bulletin board, featuring many of my "dusty" colors. My essence is illuminated by twilight. The colors, which are featured at Roxana Illuminated Perfume resonate with the season of Summer and are a bit muted. We kid around that the colors have a layer of dust.

The Artist's Way
Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Feeling the Energy

I have a little blurb in the July issue of Illustration Magazine. This publication comes out of Japan. The little feature is in the news from foreign illustrators' pages.

We were all excited to peruse the magazine when it arrived, as we adore Japanese culture and illustration. During art school days this was one of the magazines that we would all check out on a monthly basis for its excellent worldwide coverage of the field.

For those that do not read Japanese, like me, the editor was kind enough to e-mail me the translation. She apologized for the translation from one language (culture) to the other. I don't feel it sounds awkward at all.

"Feeling the Energy of Peace in Painting
(or, direct translation was "Healing Power Composed in her Painting" )

Roxana Villa is an illustrator known for her spiritual images
beautifully painted in mixed media. 15 years in aromatic study and
certified in Aromatherapy, she started her company "Illuminated Perfume".
Her studio and home are in the Santa Monica Mountains where she walks
and collects plants in her own hands, they become her own botanical
perfume. One of a kind aroma is completed with the combination of her
artist's spirit and her wisdom about nature. Quote from her website,
"Roxana melds her love of nature into an authentic self expression
as an artist working in several mediums"

Thank you Keri and the publishers of Illustration Magazine for including me in the wonder filled publication. It is an honor and I so look forward to visiting Japan one day soon!

Image of painting above Botanicus©Roxana Villa and a montage of the little blurb with the cover of the magazine.

Illustration Magazine
Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Arrival

It has arrived, palatable to all the senses, but most to the physical body. The weekly adventure of rising at dawn, sometimes before any light is due to arrive for hours, has presented itself. Tic-toc, we have arrived at the rhythm of the school year. Soon the cool air of the autumn with golden leaves will become evident.

I look toward the new season with excitement, but, also dread the early mornings and the forced schedules. Gone are the languid mornings, the drives through Topanga Canyon toward the ocean and late night art soirees.

Time for sleeping beauty to awake. The firelight energies of the new season with the oncoming harvest are upon us.

Artwork: Enchantment ©Greg Spalenka. Greg created the illustration above for the book cover Enchantment by Orson Scott Card.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™

Greg Spalenka
Orson Scott Card