Monday, March 30, 2009

The Winner is........

Hearty thanks to all those that came by for the Lillyella Giveaway. We appreciate all the comments, follows and tweats. Maestro Gregorio has just selected a name out of a box....and the winner is.....SYDNEY!

Congratulations Sydney, feel free to head on back over to the original blog post and tell us what you chose.

The next Etsy Artist Giveaway will be with Noelle of Xenotees starting Wednesday, April 8th.

Thank you again for participating!
Here are links to the on Etsy and her blog.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

In a Station of the Metro

Exactly one year ago today my contribution to the Perfume in a Poem project put together by poet/artist Heather Ettlinger debuted. What an exciting day that was! I remember the day so clearly, it began with a visit to West Hollywood to hear Andy Tauer present followed by the publication of the fourteenth segment of Perfume in a Poem.

I've included the link below if you'd like to journey on over to Heather's blog to peruse this interesting project she created. Regretfully Heather isn't blogging these days. We all look forward to her return.

Perfume in a Poem: Roxana Villa

Image ©Greg Spalenka

Friday, March 27, 2009

Scent of the Day: AIRES

Here we are once again being lit by the silvery light of a new moon. The specifics of this lunar phase are associated with the ram, Aires. To be precise, we entered the new moon yesterday and now find ourself with both the Sun and Moon aligned in the first sign of the zodiac.

I found a rather nice little piece on the new moon here. I like how they are focusing on getting us on track with our essential purpose, what I have referred to on this journal as our heart virtue. The scent to assist with this planetary line up to connect with our SELF is the one YOU feel most connected with!

For me, I'm going with Chaparral Solid again. Not sure whether it's the woods or the frankincense, either way it's the one that is really does it for me in this sacred moment.

Other activities for this new moon phase including tincturing and infusing. I've been patiently waiting for this new moon and have quite a lot of work before me. Promise to report back here with pictures...and at my flickr account as well.

Perfume Illuminated at Vital Juice

We've got a little mention over in todays column at Vital Juice, they have even used our Lyra Botanical Perfume picture to illuminate the article. Here's the link: Vital Juice LA

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Scent of the Day: WOODS

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life,
and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,
and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."
~ Thoreau

The wood note in the botanical perfumers palette stems from the barks of trees. The two primary ingredients in this category are Sandalwood and Cedarwood with others like Japanese Hibawood and Rosewood. Sandalwood and Rosewood are controversial materials due to issues of deforestation of the species. We now use Sandalwood from other sources than the East Indian variety such as New Caledonian and Sri Lankan Sandalwood. Rosewood may be substituted with Howood.

When the trees and vines such as Jasmine begin to bloom my allergies kick in. I tend to find solace in the wood notes. Illuminated perfumes with woody characteristics are Sierra and Chaparral, in both the solid and liquid versions. Rosa gets has an earthy woody quality as well with from the strong presence of precious Agarwood.

For me today, I'm going with Chaparral Solid as my scent. Yesterday I received a lovely note via e-mail from a patron. With his approval I am sharing a few of his words, slightly edited for privacy:

"I received your beautifully packaged sampler set and have fallen under the spell of Chaparral. As a native Californian and sage-lover, it really speaks to me. Thank you for your great work!"

Thank you!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Passion Poems

The next set of seven original paintings by Maestro Gregorio have debuted at his Etsy shop. This weeks lineup features a tribute to spot illustration. Spots are those small images that go along with a magazine or newspaper article. To my regret, one of my favorite pieces is part of this grouping. {sigh} Intending this little painting finds a nice home.

Check it out by following this link.

See more of his work at the website....the film reel is particularly cool. Follow Greg on Twitter here.

Magic Potions

Max, the winner of our Spring Equinox Giveaway, has written a lovely post on his AromaX blog titled The Gift of the Magi. Head on over to have a read. Thank you for your kind words Max!

Artist Feature and Giveaway: Lillyella

Mercury, the Roman messenger god, rules Wednesday and all things relating to the planet Mercury. In Greek mythology the equivalent of Mercury is Hermes. Thus, on this auspicious day of tidings I bring you a new series featuring Etsy artisans. Etsy is a community where one can find handmade items created by individuals all over the world. As a fellow artist and creator this is a community I feel greatly connected to. I would much rather support and empower an individual than a large corporate entity.

With tremendous pleasure I begin this series with an inspirational muse I came across on Etsy. Her name is Nicole Morinec and her company and shop on Etsy is called Lillyella. Nicole creates gorgeous jewelry with a vintage flair. She joined the Etsy community in February of 2008 and already has over 2800 sales!!! The girl is a talented artist AND knows how to run a business, the perfect equation for success. Nicole has been spotlighted in the Etsy Handmade Blog called the Storque where she shares fabulous tips.

Besides being a highly talented jewelry artist she also has a very fun and informational blog. It's become quite clear to me that those with a background in the arts have an edge when they begin a business venture. Before launching her Etsy shop, Nicole was a graphic designer. You can see this in her attention to detail in both her jewelry creations, her website, product photos and packaging. In fact, I discovered Lillyella while building a treasury on Etsy. It was the beautiful photos of her wares that lured me in, just like a bee to honey.

If you are a regular reader of this journal then you already know that I have a little obsession with beauty. Lillyella exudes beauty on all levels and I feel blessed to have crossed paths with Nicole, I hope you will too. Here are a few of my favorite items from her shop, which one day I intend on owning.

The Bee Charmer earrings pictured at left I own with little topaz brown flower beads, instead of yellow. I adore them.

So, lets begin with a little interview:

1.) What is the one thing you find most inspiring to feed your creative spirit?

Oh boy, why am I struggling so with this question. I think the reality is that my creative spirit never really needs feeding, it's always overpowering everything else in my life. What is most hard for me is trying to shut it off for even a minute - if I have something else to do or when I'm trying to fall alseep especially. It's nearly impossible for me to focus on anything that doesn't involve creating - my mind just wanders to thoughts of the next project. I love it, and would never change that about myself, but it can be exhausting at times.

2.) What is your favorite scent from the natural world?

I'd have to say grapefruit. Does that count? I never eat the darn things but the smell - I've always loved it. Another would be lily of the valley. Reminds me of my mother and grandmother and days when life was 'simpler'.

3) If you were queen of a village what would you wish for your kingdom?

Wow, these questions are tough! I'm no beauty queen so I won't say world peace, though of course I think every queen would wish that. The one thing I keep coming back to is justice. I'm not sure our 'system' provides enough of that. True justice - getting what you deserve for what you did - plain and simple. And of course, I would be the one deciding what you deserve, since it is my kingdom and all.

4.) You are obviously both a very creative individual and business savvy, how do you balance both these aspects of yourself and your business?

Balance - that's a great word. Everyday I find myself wishing for more balance, though mostly with time and trying to fit in 'leisure'!

In regards to balancing my creative spirit with my business savvy, I'd have to say practice, experience and dedication.

I have really great parents who taught me a strong work ethic since the time I was young. They also allowed me to be creative and fall into what I was meant to do. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to pursue an artistic career (graphic design) which I was truly passionate about it. And because I was so passionate about it, I worked really hard to advance my career and get to a place I wanted to be. To do this, I really had to learn what it takes to make it in the business world, but still be a good artist, and it all just stuck with me. I feel lucky, actually, that I have both skills - I feel like it's a gift - and I know it has directly affected my success.

5.) Who is your favorite artist?

I've always had a few favorites:
  • M.C. Escher. Not only did he have an amazing eye for pattern and composition but an amazing talent with his woodcuts
  • Georgia O'Keeffe. I think this love needs no explaining.
  • Salvador Dali. I generally lean towards realism which is why this is an odd favorite for me but I think the extraordinary lack of limitation in his imagination and how he translated it to paper is what always drew me in.

Now, onto dessert...the Giveaway! Please know that this has been completely inspired by Lillyella who, in my experience, is the QueenBee of the Giveaway.

The winner will have the chance to choose a piece from Nicole's shop, excluding limited run items

Here's how to enter:
Begin by leaving a comment on this post mentioning your favorite Lillyella design and some suggestions on what you would like to see more of in her shop. You can enter once per day and you must include your first name -and- etsy username or email address with each entry or it will not be included.

For additional entries, you can do the following and post in the comments to let me know:
(2 extra) Twitter this Giveaway
(3 extra) Follow my blog (if you already follow, just let me know)
(3 extra) Follow Lillyella's blog (if you already follow, just let me know)
If you do any of these you must let me know for your additional entries to be included.

You have until 9 am (pst) on Monday, March 30th to enter. I will announce the winner that Monday afternoon. Good luck!

My daughter Eve is a huge fan of Lillyella as well as a blogger, thus, I am allowing her to be join this giveaway contest. Instead of Eve picking out the name, this time we will have Maestro Gregorio choose the lucky winner.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Scent of the Day: Literarium

I've been assisting my daughter with a presentation for school. She came to me and asked, "Mom, do you have any books on the Philosopher's Stone?" Why yes, I replied, lots. In reality I have many books on alchemy but not necessarily the Philosophers Stone. I also realized that most of the books I have are more image based and not content based, thus the indexing is not very good.

However, one book, I knew would be useful is from Greg's library, it's called The Secret Teaching of All Ages by Manly P. Hall. If my house were on fire and I could only choose one book out of all the bizillion books we own, this would be THE ONE. This is a book I could set with until the end of time. I find it tremendously inspirational, as I do with almost all philosophical books that also contain imagery.

We love books, all types of books, but for the most part art books. If you ever visit our little house in the woods you'll see what I mean. Ideally we need one of those English manors with a separate room with shelves for a library. We're still working on manifesting that one.

Thus, the scent for today will be chosen from the Literarium section of our perfumes. What is that you ask? Ah, well, early on in developing my website I was working with a copy writer. He noticed I had many perfumes influenced by books and suggested I create a series titled Literarium. This series honors the fine art of storytelling and includes two botanical perfumes: Lyra and Vespertina. Since Lyra was our scent of the day yesterday, let's go with Vespertina today.

I took the photo of the land rolls above while in Prague, a truly alchemical city, ©RoxanaVilla.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the weekend activity to herald in the Spring. I very much appreciate each of you and welcome you to return for more chances to win in upcoming giveaways.

Meticulously I typed out each of entrants name, some with multiple entires, cut each out and placed them into a black hat. My daughter Eve blind folded herself and chose a name.

Drumroll please.......and the winner of the 2009 Spring Equinox Perfume Giveaway is...... AromaX...aka Max. Congratulations!! Read more about Max at one of his multiple blogs, here is a link to the English language one: AROMAX. I had the pleasure of meeting Max through our fellow friend and perfumer Andy Tauer.

On Wednesday, the day of the week associated with the messenger god Mercury, we begin a new series highlighting fellow Etsy artists. The individual I have selected to feature is very talented and inspirational. Please stop on by to get to know one of my muses and participate in another opportunity to win some handmade beauty.

Scent of the Day: Amber

The weather here has been wildly dynamic. In one day I can shift from yoga pants and a spaghetti strap tank to several layers of wool. Late last night Madame Wind Element decided to make her presence known. She moves through the canyon, announcing her arrival as we here her dance through the trees. The sound is very much like the ocean waves.

This Moonday morning beckons for something warm, I've already got a ridiculous amount of wool on from cashmere fingerless gloves, two cardigans, thermals, a crochet skirt, a scarf around my neck and a second larger one draped over my shoulders. Who would guess I am in sunny California! However, within a few hours I may be peeling it all off.

One of the very first accords I ever created was Amber. I now have several different varieties of Amber accords. The material "Amber" within the realm of botanical/natural perfumery is either a fossil resin from the fir tree, Pinus succinifera or most often an accord. There is quite a bit of confusion with the term because it is used to define many different types of scented items. The etymology of the word stems from the Arabic anbar, referring to ambergris. Ambergris is a substance produced by the cachalot whale. In modern times many fragrance developers have created incense and perfumes called Amber, which are composed of a variety of ingredients including many synthetics aroma chemicals.

As a botanical perfumer I have created several Amber accords utilizing resinous materials such as Labdanum, Benzoin, Conifer, Frankincense, as well as Woods, Patchouli, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Clary Sage and Vanilla. Some of my accords are so complex they venture into the terrain of a full fledged perfume.

This is what is on the drawing table for today. Greg has asked me to make more of his signature Amber, friends are asking for the release of the perfume I have been calling Amber and there are accords that need to be made for existing perfumes.

Amber accords are found in Lyra, Aurora, Sierra, Vera and Greenwitch. I've selected to display Lyra as our Scent of the Day poster child, since of the the five mentioned, her Amber accord is the most prevalent.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Blossom by blossom

"And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underworld and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

~ Algernon Charles Swinburne "When the Hounds of Spring"

In a time long ago, when the people of the earth followed the signs of nature as their guide, Mean Earraigh also termed the Spring Equinox was celebrated with festivals and ritual. This day marks the beginning of the Spring in the northern hemisphere with an equal balance of day and night.

Now is the time to plant those seeds of manifestation. Although things may appear rather dreary with all the news of financial collapse. Instead of reacting to the doom and gloom that the media is intent on feeding us, look up towards the light, like the new little green sprouts that through the cold and darkness have emerged anew.

One of the Celtic customs of old is the painting of eggs with images of our intentions for the coming year. These eggs are "buried in the Earth Mother, who hears the cries and dreams of her children."1

In my twitter stream a couple days ago someone mentioned that this period we find ourselves in is a "Pre-Boom. Being the eternal optimist, I rather like this outlook. It does require us to engage our will forces to view things from a different perspective. During my Aromatherapy training back in the nineties, I made a blend to strengthen the will force. It consisted of Thyme, Elemi and Grapefruit.

So as not to be too repetitive, here is a link to an entry in this journal that speaks on the Spring Equinox.

We honor the Spring Equinox today with a giveaway from our Botanical/Natural Perfume shop on Etsy, follow this link for the details how to enter.

1 Ellen Evert Hopman, A Druids Herbal, Destiny Books, Vermont, Chapter Six, p.46

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Spring Equinox Perfume Giveaway

In honor of the upcoming Spring Equinox this Friday we are doing a Perfume Giveaway! Enter for your chance to win one of your favorite botanical perfumes. The winner will receive 1 gram of a liquid perfume with one mini solid, each of your choice.

How to enter:
1) Leave a comment on this illuminated journal post, or e-mail: roxanailluminatedperfumecom.

For extra entries:
2) Follow my blog.
3) Follow me on Twitter and tweet the giveaway.
4) Blog, Twitter or post on Facebook about this giveaway for even more chances to win.
5) Post a link to this giveaway on your blog.
6) Go over to my Etsy shop and tell me what your favorite item is or what you'd like to see added.
7) Heart my Etsy shop.
8) Buy something from my Etsy shop (each $25 purchase counts for 2 extra entries)

If you do 2-8, please let me know so I can count each of your entries separately. Also provide me with the links to your activities.

The deadline for entering is Sunday, March 22 at 10pm (pst)
Winners will announced via Twitter, the Blog & Facebook on Monday, March 23.

Ready, set, GO!

Scent of the Day: Sniffa

The Scent of the Day is GreenWitch in honor of the latest issue of Sniffapalooza Magazine. Raphaella, the editor in chief, has published my write up about creating the botanical perfume GreenWitch. Take a journey on over by following this link.

Raphaella Brescia Barkley currently publishes the online magazine twice a month. A true labor of love on her part. It is a literary feast for our olfactory imaginations.

The New York City Sniffapalooza Spring Fling takes place in just a few weeks on Saturday, April 4th and Sunday, April 5th.

The gathering includes many of the luminaries of the perfume industry guests with multiple presentations, visits to shops and lots of freebies.

Image above is one of the many photos I took of the 1 gram bottles of GreenWitch. Later when I edited the pictures I realized that the cool little sea horse might turn folk off. Opps, the artist sees things differently than the consumer. A lesson I continue to work on.

Watch for the GreenWitch at Sniffapalooza Magazine
Register for the Sniffapalooza Spring Fling here

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Scent of the Day: AURORA

"The stars are putting on their glittering belts.
They throw around their shoulders cloaks that flash
Like a great shadow’s last embellishment."
~ Wallace Stevens

The scent for this day is Aurora liquid perfume. The mythological messenger God, who carried the dreams of Morpheus is associated with Wednesday. In keeping with this mercurial theme, it seemed appropriate to bring this news to you this Mercury day.

As my daughter and I walked to the car early this morning we noticed a heavy, floral fragrance in the crisp morning air. It literally stopped both of us in our tracks. The intoxicating bouquet was a combination of sweet greens with jasmine. The Jasminum polyanthum is in full aromatic display now and her warm, exotic fragrance fills the air.

Aurora is a floral perfume with threads of spice reminiscent of carnations. Heart notes include Jasmine as well as Rose and Ylang Ylang.

It's a very busy day here in the studio today, thus I leave you with Divina's inspired review of Aurora:

"What beautiful, twinkling magic has been weaved in this amazing, heart-moving fragrance? Because it is surely magic, or at the very least the magic of art and love, that make this fragrance evolve so stunningly on the skin, going through countless transformations that seduce the senses one after the other..."
Read the rest of the review at her blog following the link

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Scent of the Day: Gold+Green

"Wherever you go and whatever you do, May the luck of the Irish be there with you”

Intending you all discover that pot of GOLD at the end of your rainbow today. Scent for today can wander into a few areas, but I am settling on Sierra Solid Gold. It's been woven with magic and intentions of prosperity and is a golden yellow in color. GreenWitch and Q are runners up. For me, the day will begin with Aurora since I will be making the solid today, followed by GreenWitch.

“Leprechauns, castles, good luck and laughter.Lullabies, dreams and love ever after.
Poems and songs with pipes and drums.
A thousand welcomes when anyone comes... That's the Irish for you!”

Although I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina my ancestry is one quarter Irish, one quarter Spanish and half Italian. I do have a thing for the pagan heritage of the Irish and look forward to one day visiting the land of Éire. Éire is one of the triple Celtic mythological figures that embody Sovereignty, the Goddess of the Land.

Wishing you all the luck of the Irish today and as mentioned above , that you may find that pot of Gold, the holy Grail in your endeavors on this feat.

Maewyn, who was later to become St. Patrick is responsible for converting large numbers of Irish pagans to Christianity. Somehow amidst the celebrations on this day I wonder if someone will mention how many pagans were burned by religious fanatics who had there own ideas of how to follow God. Today I will celebrate all things Green and humbly pay tribute to the all those that persished from following a way of life connected to Mother Earth.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Koumpouno Phobia

As an illustration major in art school one of our projects in Larry Carroll's illustration class was to illustrate a phobia. (Larry now goes by Lawrence.) I had never heard that there was a button phobia, I don't think that was on our list, probably because it is so rare. Thus, Koumpouno Phobia is the fear of explained by Neil Gaiman in the video below.

This past weekend, to celebrate Maestro Gregorio's day of birth, we went to see Coraline in 3D. Greg's fellow art buddy Dave McKean illustrated the children's book.

I created a Coraline treasury today for the Etsy main treasury. It is titled Koumpounophobia.
The film felt very Etsy to me from the start with the doll making sequence to the fact the film has been created by hand using stop animation. A truly handmade and heartfelt art collaboration. This is from the Coraline website:

"You are about to enter a world where everything you see has been created by hand."

A couple years ago we had the fortune to visit Laika in Portland where Greg was being interviewed for a project. We were taken on a tour of the studio and got to see many where all the stop animation took place with all the drawers of items.

The film is really terrific and I highly recommend it, however, it may be a bit too frightening for small children. The FilmFocus website has some fun games associated with Coraline, that's where I created the portrait of me above. Here is a video clip of Neil Gaiman, the author of the book, speaking on buttons.

Now, back to the Koumpounophobia treasury. It began with the seed of an idea which too germination at the start of the film. However, when I began to hunt for items to place in the treasury things got convaluted. I ended up sacrificing content for beauty.

The featured Etsy sellers are, beginning in the top right corner and moving to the right:
EdmDesigns in New York City created the Vintage Steampunk Glasses
The porcelain Teal Wheel Buttons are by Classic Bead in the Ozarks.
The Fern...a Flannery O'Kafka Doll is made in Scotland by FlanneryO
This Good Day aka "Willy Nilly Art & Whimsy" created the Victorian Gift Tags
Marvelous Martha V, which by the way is my mothers name, created the Plaid Wool Clutch
The photo of the Green Door is by Jacquelyn Lee in Colorado
The Vintage Skeleton Key is from Urban Heirlooms in New Jersey
The Fingerless Gloves are by Hand Me Downs in Boston
The Vintage Trunk is from the shop JessJamesJake in Albany, New York
Linn Photography in the UK did the Fine Art Print titled Knit and Sew
The Shimmering Ocean Temari is by Julie and Co. in Michigan

Cheers to each of these Etsy shops featuring handmade and vintage items. Let's all intend this treasury makes it to the Front Page (FP) of Etsy.

By the way, Etsy was featured on NPR today.

Scent of the Day: AURORA

I've been working on the latest edition of Aurora. Last night I went to sleep saturated in her aroma and dreamt in the tone of floral. At 4am I was wide awake, go figure. I'm wondering if it had to do with the verdant Spring energy that is currently pulsing through the plant life here in the Santa Monica Mountains? Or, was it all those stress relieving essential oils in Aurora?

Today's agenda is full and includes, but, not limited to:
Wishing you all a very verdant day!

Read more about Aurora at this link.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Scent of the Day: Mars

As I trekked over to Google to process my latest sales I noticed the cool graphic logo they created with craters for the double o's. I clicked and was transported to a feature all about the history of mapping Mars with this very cool little film on You Tube.

Inspired...the official scent for today will be based on Mars. Maestro asked "Why would you want to make a fragrance associated with the God of War?" I answered by reading this list from Cunningham's "The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews":
  • Promote courage
  • Aggression
  • Healing after surgery
  • Physical strength
  • Politics
  • Sexual energy
  • Exorcism
  • Protection
  • Defensive magic
The essence of Mars is red and hot, thus many materials with these two characteristics may be utilized for a Martial fragrance. Here is a list of a few that happen to be in my apothecary, either as a essential oil, absolute, C02 extract or in herbal form:
  • Allspice
  • Asafoetida
  • Artichoke
  • Basil
  • Broom
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Deerstongue
  • Dragon's Blood
  • Galangal
  • Ginger
  • Mustard Seed
  • Nettle
  • Pepper
  • Tobacco
  • Tumeric
  • Woodruff
  • Wormwood
Many of these essences are in my GreenWitch perfume which will debut now for Spring. Thus, the scent today is GreenWitch. Read more about the Green Witch perfume here.

I read this on the HerbsHealing website from an article written by Suzan Stone Sierralupe:
"To be a Witch means that you worship the Earth as a mother, and to be a Green Witch means that you heal the children of the Earth by bringing them back in communication Her. The disciplines of the Green Witch are many; she listens, watches, learns, heals and, most of all, she teaches."

Looks like I am a Green Witch, which explains why Susan Coopers book by the same name is my favorite of the Dark is Rising Series.

Greg is still working on the image that will accommodate our natural, botanical, conceptual and magical perfume. For now our Green Witch perfume will be illuminated by an image he created as the poster for Laguna College of Art & Design.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Two Knit or Knot to Knit

Another chance to make your vote count! My daughter Eve and mother Martha have just recently opened a shop of their own on Etsy titled TwoKnit. Seems that their Renaissance Flower Choker has been nominated in the Best of Spring Fashion Gift Guide! This is very exciting that their shop has been noticed and have been included in such an wonderful grouping. Please take a moment to head on over and cast your vote for this lovely, romantic choker. By doing so, it facilitates their little shop to get some visibility.

So here is what you do:
1) Go to Etsy:
2) Make sure you are signed in, if it is your first time there, create an account.
3) Next, head on over to the voter area at this link.
4) Then VOTE for the Renaissance Flower Choker on Eve's petite neck pictured above. The pictures of the items move around on the page each time one revisits, so if you return the item will most likely be in a new place.

The winners will be revealed Monday morning on the Etsy Storque, stay tuned.
This is the link to Eve and Martha's shop, TwoKnit.
Thank you so much for supporting them and handmade.

Scent of the Day: Lucky 13

Since it's Friday the 13th I thought I'd post wear something that relates to lucky 13. My research makes it's way to essential oil associations with luck to come up with todays fragrance. This takes me to "Aromatherapy for the Family" by Jan Kusmirek. Jan has an Index of Mental/Emotional Symptoms on page 24 of this little book.

So, I am pondering what mental/emotional challenges would block someone from luck? Hmm, that would be very individual. I'm thinking and feeling that the essences that would be most relevant are: Clary Sage, Frankincense, YlangYlang, Orange.

Courage: Frankincense, which also works on Perseverance, Paranoia and Self-criticism

- coping with: Ylang Ylang
- difficulty in adjusting: Clary Sage
- difficulty in making: Orange

Anxiety: Cedarwood, Chamomile, Clary Sage, Frankincense, Geranium, Juniper, Lavender, Marjoram, Rosewood, Sandalwood Tangerine, Orange, Ylang Ylang

Keep in mind this is specific to "essential oils" not fragrance oils or synthetic perfume.

The other aspect of luck to check out is magical associations. For this I defer to many of the same references I used when I created the prosperity accord contained in Sierra Solid Gold.

Some of the fragrances (includes essential oils, plant materials and synthetic aromas) associated with Luck according to Scott Cunningham include: Allspice, Calamus, Fern, Hazel, Heather, Irish Moss, Nutmeg, Orange,Poppy seed, Rose, Spikenard, Star Anise, Tonka, Vetiver, and Violet.

The planet connected with luck is Venus, thus all plants associated wiht here would be a great addition. Here are a few: Rose, Orris, Myrtle, Tonka, Tuberose, Ylang Ylang, Vanilla, Rose Geranium and Tonka. Another rather synchronistic item here is that Venus is the planet for Friday!

Well, based on the information gathered here, I suggest Vespertina as our scent of the day. The botanical perfume Vespertina many of the essences discussed and also contains a vibrational aspect of Venus.

This has been terrific to write, I am currently working on a perfume for the Equinox. I have now added a Lucky perfume to the list. Stay tuned on this blog or twitter for their release.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Coming up Roses

As we continue walking along our rose strewn path today a new report titled “NO More Toxic Tub” warns about the unmentioned ingredients in many of our bath products including a host of cancer causing ingredients like formaldehyde, commonly found in main stream perfume.
Here is a ink to the article.

For bath and body products made by hand, with love and all the ingredients labeled check out the Etsy Green and Clean Guild. Enhance your home and body with products that support handmade artisans and your immune system.

Etsy Green and Clean Guild
Etsy Green and Clean Guild Blog

Scent of the Day: ROSA

“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows

Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,

With sweet musk-roses and with elgantine."

~ Shakespeare

Today blooms in Rose with the botanical perfume Rosa, named after the California native wild rose. Of all the flowers that grace our lovely blue planet, no other is featured in poetry and literature like the Rose. With her rich historical references and varied personas she continues to enchant.

The main notes in this dark and luxurious floral perfume is a woven heart of Turkish Rose otto, Indian Rose absolute and a complex accord of Rose. The heart is anchored by the resinous, musky Agarwood and earthy Vetiver. Her top note accessories are mainly in the citrus family.

Off to write about Rose and handmade bath & body products for the ECGC (Etsy Clean and Green) blog.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Scent of the Day: Jasmine

The scent for today is the Jasmine contained in my facial oil. No perfume in the early part of the day, since I will be working in the studio. Yesterday as we departed on our journey down South I noticed that a neighbors Jasmine shrub is very full and red, indicating the eminent arrival of of sweet, heady, floral saturated air.

Jasmine, also referenced as Queen of the Night, is a key ingredient in the palette of the natural, botanical perfumer. The fragrance is rich with a heavy floral and indolic qualities that make many of us swoon.

Our botanical perfume which features this heavenly note is Cimbalom, also found in Lyra, Vespertina Aurora, Vera, Sierra and Rosa.

All the News that's Fit to Eat

For the last five weeks or so, Greg has been posting seven new original paintings up for sale. Some of them get gobbled up even before they hit the shop, while others linger waiting for their perfect home. This weeks lineup features an array from Magic, Labor, Vampires, Hot Summer Nights and more.

Check it out by following this link.

Greg's multimedia presentation down South yesterday was motivational, revealing and breathtaking. In fact many of the attending students left the auditorium trembling with excitement. Others ventured over to ask him for autographs. I've attended many of his presentations and continue to be inspired each time. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, you'll see what I mean.

See more of his work at the website....the film reel is particularly cool. Follow Greg on Twitter here.

Image above is titled "All the News that's Fit to Eat" ©Greg Spalenka.

Their colors speak

"There is in them a softer fire than the ruby, there is the brilliant purple of the amethyst, and the sea green of the emerald - all shining together in incredible union. Some by their splendor rival the colors of the painters, others the flame of burning sulphur or of fire quickened by oil."

There is a giveaway with one of my very favorite etsians happening, don't walk over the Xenotees blog and enter. The fabulously talented and business savvy Nicole of Lillyella is offering up one of her exquisite splendors to the lucky winner of the giveaway. Although I intend to win, I encourage you to enter as well.

"These gems have life in them: their colors speak, say what words fail of."
~ George Eliot

Lillyella Etsy shop
Lillyella blog
Xenotees Etsy shop
Image above is of the Starling Plume Bracelet available at Lillyells etsy shop. Photo ©Lillyella, used by permission of the artist.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Scent of the Day: Lunation

Mornings now begin in the pitch black, which I rather dislike. Who thought of this weird tradition of moving back and forward time anyway!?! Bah humbug. Thus scent becomes even more crucial on such mornings. I find the aroma of rosemary, eucalyptus and juniper in my salt scrub invigorating in the morning shower. An excellent start to the day.

The full Moon in Virgo beckons change and thus I begin the day with the grounding aspects of Patchouli followed by a small dab of Chaparral solid. This will shift around mid morning when we depart for a journey behind the orange curtain. Greg is doing a multi media presentation at an art college. Thus I will embody feminine and floral as I take on the role of an adornment at his side.

Not sure what the feminine and floral will be...most likely Lyra liquid and solid layered together. The Ylang Ylang and Jasmine equation in Lyra is romantic, feminine and sensual, complimented by the citrus top notes the fragrance also branches into euphoric.

According to the Claudia Thompson of Moonsurfing: "The trick the Full Moon teaches about is how to keep inspiration alive while also keeping your eye on practical mundane matters." This sounds like my astrological chart.

Wow, I just got massively distracted by my treasury going to the Etsy front page. It's so thrilling when this occurs with one of my items or a treasury I've constructed. Yesterday Greg and I were both featured on a treasury together that hit the front page about this time on the morning.

Alright...back to balancing the mundane with inspiration.

The illustration above is ©Greg Spalenka and is currently for sale at his shop on Etsy. It was originally created for Sports Illustrated, read more here. I cropped the image a bit so that it would suit this post.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Scent of the Day

"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."
~Margaret Atwood

Spring is approaching, the blossoms are appearing on the fruit trees and I have a few things to debut. First off, I've created a Scent of the Day (SOD) icon at right. Normally I don't wear much scent since I like my olfactory terrain to remain as clear as possible. However, lately I've been finding that I can't live without my solid perfumes. The first addiction began in August with Cimbalom, that lasted for almost six months. Then for about a week there I couldn't get enough of Lyra. As of's been Chaparral®.

Why is it that we crave certain scents at specific times? With botanical perfumes containing so much vital plant matter I can see why people turn to this media for perfume during challenging times. What I am curious about is why does one choose say Frankincense over Ylang Ylang or lavender? All three, based on scientific studies, help balance us emotionally.

Chaparral® Solid contains quite a bit of Frankincense as well as many woods, resins and a few herbaceous notes. From a morphological point of view woods provide structure and support, resins heal and protect and leaves offer expansion. Ah-hah! Back to breathing in the aroma of the musky woods.

The photo of the Cherry Blossoms is ©Ben Neuhart, see more of his amazing work on his website.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Good food = Good medicine

2000 B.C. "Here, eat this root."
A.D. 1000 "That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer."
A.D. 1850 "That prayer is superstition. Here, Drink this potion."
A.D. 1940 "That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill."
A.D. 1985 "That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic."
A.D. 2000 "That antibiotic doesn't work. Here, eat this root."

A few weeks ago I came down with some sort of flu bug that knocked me out. After a few days I finally decided that I was DONE and cracked open The Green Pharmacy book by James Duke. In the "Cold & Flu"section he gives several recommendations including sautéed onions and garlic, due to the naturally occurring antiviral chemicals in each. Thus, I sliced up some onion and garlic, sautéing over low heat in olive oil with oregano, another powerful anti viral.

Afterwards I had a hot bath with an essential oil synergy of Rosemary, Marjoram, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemon and Tea Tree, while sipping some Lemon Ginger tea with honey.

Next day I was 70% better and completely over it the following day. This made me remember a class taught by Wiep, a registered nurse and massage therapist. Wiep taught simple techniques on how to use the kitchen as your farmacy. The information is very much aligned with the items James mentions in The Green Pharmacy.

The history of medicine is prolific with the use of plants as healing remedies, yet in our modern day culture we have forgotten many of it's secrets. Secrets as simple as eating sautéed onions and garlic.

Aromatic plants play a prominent role in this historical look back beginning with the burning of plant material, which eventually turned into smudging or the burning of incense. It was Hippocrates who said to the ancient people of Greece to burn aromatic plants in the street during a plague. The reason for this is that many of the aromatic plants we find in the Mediterranean have anti-microbial properties. Hippocrates also said "the way to health is to have an aromatic bath and a scented massage everyday." That was back in 300 to 400 BC! In todays fast paced modern culture and aromatic bath could be as simple as a foot soak with peppermint essential oil or an essential oil rich salt scrub in the shower. Massage gets a little more tricky, although at many health food stores you will find massage therapists offering a five minute massage for five dollars.

I'll leave you with this n
ursery rhyme:

The best six doctors anywhere And no one can deny it Are sunshine, water, rest, and air Exercise and diet. These six will gladly you attend If only you are willing Your mind they'll ease Your will they'll mend And charge you not a shilling.
~Nursery rhyme quoted by Wayne Fields, What the River Knows, 1990

My next aromatherapy class is on May 13th at the Massage School of Santa Monica. I go into the history of medicine and aromatherapy along with essential oil profiles and their use. For those interested in botanical natural perfume this is a good introductory class.

Wiep de Vries, founder of the LAAC (Los Angeles Alliance for Childhood), is a registered nurse, massage therapist and health educator from the Netherlands. She trained in Family Constellation Work and has been teaching home health care workshops for parents and health professionals throughout Southern California since 1993.
Los Angeles Alliance for Childhood

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Handmade Tag: Wrap up

The Handmade Tag Game has come to an end, congratulations to the two lucky recipients:

Their task now is to create this game on their blog. I encourage you to click over to their blogs and participate in the tag.
In the morrow I shall post what fragrant delight these gals shall be receiving made from my hands to theirs.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Flower Power

"To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers is a delectable form of defeat."
~Beverly Nichols

The term "aromatherapie" was coined by the French cosmetic chemist Rene Gattefoose. In aromatherapy circles we refer to him as the Grandfather of Aromatherapy. He is best known for his book, Gattefosse's Aromatherapy, which documents clinical trials establishing essential oils as vital for both physiological and medicinal applications.

When Michelyn Camen approached me for a contribution to her latest article in Sniffapalooza Magazine I thought of Gattefosse. The article titled "Comforting Scents for Uncomfortable Times." delves into some of the psychological aspects of scent.

All types of aromas have the power to affect us in some way, whether it is the smell of fresh baked cookies, dirty socks or perfume. Botanical perfumes created with pure, whole essential oil and intention can go even deeper due to the aromatherapeutic properties so well documented by Gattefoose back in the early 1900's.

Read Michelyn's contribution to the latest issue of Sniffapalooza by following this link.

Image above is a photo of Vera, our lavender perfume made with pure, organic lavender essential oil grown and distilled in Ojai, California. We offer Vera in a variety of sizes at our shop on Etsy.