Monday, November 30, 2009

The Circle: Scents of the Holidays?

Our poet of the day and illuminator of our second candle, is actor Wendel Meldrum, aka Fern Poppy. Creatrix Wendel brings us encapsulated memories through a journey of fragrance.

Scents of the Holidays?

The memory portal opens;

Small thumb pressing cloves into an orange that oozes,
Pine as it warms and wanders through the house,
Shortbread cookies, rhubarb pies, turkey all riding on the heat blast from the oven door,
Cinnamon drinks, is velvet a smell? Is snow? Is 40 below?
Can you smell the dark?

The questions bring me back, I dive back in;

Now comes the scent of Holiday hugs,
Grandma Gladys  - Shalimar and baby powder flesh cushions
Grandma Ada - dusty Emaraude, cool pearls on my cheek,
Mom – Chanel # 5 and hairspray,
Dad - Old Spice and cigars ground into wool,
Grandpa - worn cotton and warmly sour,

But that’s Christmas long past.

I dive again and as I do, I slow, into the space, the calm and delicious dark inner space from where answers come from, where memories are retrieved.
Oh, how wonderful, it is here and I wait, floating in the dark, suspended, in this place like before the universe was born.

Nothing comes and I wonder what this has to do with the scents of the holidays,

Then it begins to happen, out there, part of the darkness starts to turn and move and a smoky shape oscillates in a contrary motion and at a contrary speed.

An idea, a memory, is beginning to be born and the experience is identical to conjuring a scent. The way I receive a scent is the way I receive an idea, an inspiration,

Out of nothing, when it is darkest, at ground zero, there is a gathering and when it hits a certain mass or velocity - we meet. Conscious of each other, the dance of expansion begins – equal partners.

So today, holiday scents are for me…a yielding to the experience of scenting.
With a Halleluiah and a Glory Be.         

Wishing you Peace.
Wendel at

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa, Autumn image supplied by Wendel is by Lucien-Levy Dhurmer.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Circle: Inhaling the Scent of Light

For the opening of our circle I have chosen a dear and beloved soul sister Jane Moore Sibbett. A luminous friend, who I have celebrated in many circles with here in the Santa Monica Mountains. Jane is the perfect fit for welcoming you all and lighting the first candle in our spiral dance.

Inhaling the Scent of Light – Day 1

    Blessings to you all from the Point of Creation.  Here, I sit in the far west of this lovely circle, in the land of Hawaii where traditionally we greet one another not just with a long, sweet aloooooha, but if you do it the real way, the most sacred way, we place forehead to forehead, arms wrapped around one another’s shoulders, and we take the time to breathe in the life force, the Ha of one another.  It’s a beautifully stirring connection and seems most fitting as we are called to this, our first breath in this sparkling circle of ADVENTure. 

    First, gratitude to the ever radiant, always phenomenally fragrant Roxana for asking me to cast this circle with the embrace of Spirit that envelopes this most magical season.  I welcome you to our aetheric gathering and while we breathe in the possibilities of our connections and what can happen when two or more are gathered, I now ask you to slip off your cares and let them dissolve in our astral smudging of souls.  Breathe deep the gathering womb, then do the hokey pokey of joy in the white sage smoke as you spin and release all that doesn’t serve you this fine evening and for the remainder of this circle, so that we may be cleansed by our intentions to come together and explore the Light in the darkening of this season.  Let the music of the words below guide you to your place in this circle, trusting that there is a reason you were called here to be a part of this celebration and many gifts tucked behind secret windows are surely in your future.

    The Light shines and lives in all. May I never forget that the darkest creature is also of the Light …
    Love breeds love and is born and nurtured from tolerance and acceptance.  Let me lay down the anxieties and frustrations in this life to seek and foster love all the while remaining unattached to the act and its results …
    Spirit, friend of my flight, help me to journey homeward in view of your message, “Love binds all wounds, softens all roads, and frees the soul to fly home in peace.”
                    ~ Diane V. Cirincione

    The word Advent on my online Merriam-Webster dictionary is from the Medieval Latin word adventus, meaning arrival, or from, but it is a word that also speaks to the promise of something coming, something especially welcome or momentous.  Yes, with a capital “A,” Advent it is also the four Sundays of celebration before Christmas, but the definition I found the most intriguing for the opening of this online circle is the third definition -- the small “a” advent which is “a coming into being.” Stir all three into the soup and we have not only an arrival from as we move toward the Light (of Solstice, the rebirth of the Sun and the Christian Son of God — no mistakes they even sound alike), but we have the possibility of coming into our being!  Now that sounds exactly like the makings of an exquisite circle.
     But how do we start?  What do we bring?  What tools do we need?  

From my very humble and new Wild Aloha Studios blog:
    “Beyond the simple road of what we know, we are often asked to venture through the mists to new worlds we’ve never experienced.   We are led to glimpses and possibilities to pursue a new path, the road less traveled, the bend to beckoning mystery, or the left fork for a hand hungry for new information … (an) interesting challenge for us, perhaps, is when we come to that misty place in uncharted territory where we must nurture faith that we will find ahead even more beautiful vistas than we’ve yet seen.  How do we then fire up the lantern within to illuminate this path?  Or do we, arms outstretched, reach through the darkness and patiently wait for our eyes to adjust, hoping we won’t trip?  How do we pay attention to the landmarks of the past in these new roads of our future?  Do we?  If it’s all new, then how much of what worked or didn’t work before will have bearing on our compass in fresh lands?  What do we do in that gap between blindness and new vision?  How or what do we choose to layer in and help the path smooth out before us? Do our imaginations, dreams, desires, beliefs, and intentions lay out gleaming pebbles that catch divine star and moonlight, helping define the path, or do we let the fears, cynicism, bitterness, and judgment throw brambles and shin-kickers in our way? How, if at all, can we help our friends, family, or teammates in this life adventure along their own path whether we wish them to travel beside us or not?  How do we open up to experience the most brilliant gifts this life has to offer even if it so far beyond our history or understanding?  And how do we grow not only as a people, but a single, luminous soul?”

    I don’t have all the answers, but I do know the lip-smacking scent of anticipation that swirls all around when coming together in circles like these -- where de-lightfully, de-lovingly, perhaps we can find out together.  So as we begin this ADVENTure circle, take a spark of light from our goddess of recreation, Pele – take this hunaahi of thank you for your part in showing up, sharing your story with us, and breathing in the goosebumply fragrance of connecting our ha, our life forces always reaching toward the light.  We hope that you find ways here and everywhere this season to make peace with opening new windows to the fresh dark and giving yourself the gift of Love this season. I speak for Roxana and myself by encouraging you to take that precious time to go within and kindle all your own sweetest sparks of Light so that you may be nurtured as you, too, come into your being.  What do you have within you that begs kindling, protection, or nurturing to grow to the snapping, dancing bonfire of your dreams? We have found that time and again, in each circle from the hundreds and thousands in which we’ve been blessed to share, that beyond our sheltering trees and mists of understanding there are new and beautiful worlds waiting most eagerly for us all to come together to experience, enjoy and appreciate, if we but take a single step down the path with the candle of our advent intent.  Go west, go within, go wild and peace be with you.  Let our advent spiral inspire!

                                Jane Moore Sibbett
                                    Wild Aloha Studios, Co-Creator

Images: ADVENTure blogging banner by Roxana Villa, Illuminated Heart illustration by Greg Spalenka

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Dance, dance...

I am packing up orders and listening to one of my favorite Christmas music CD's. The music makes me want to dance, in some instances the lyrics bring tears to my eyes. I must have lived in Shakespearen England.

What does this have to do with botanical or natural perfume? Well, as you may have read in the journal post that defines botanical perfume, the origins of this art go far back. I've read that the first colognes were made with herbs marinated in wine most likely served at huge feasts like those that the Christmas Revels performed at. Thus, I suggest spritzing Blossom Eau de Cologne or the Phoenix Myster while we cheerfully prepare for all our holiday activities.

To find a performance by The Christmas Revels in your area check this site of the Revels.

Here are the lyrics of one of my favorites from the CD The Christmas Revels, Traditional and Ritual Carols, Dances and Processionals. Directed by John Langstaff.

I danced in the morning when the world was begun
I danced in the Moon & the Stars & the Sun
I came down from Heaven & I danced on Earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth:
Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said He!
(...lead you all in the Dance, said He!)
I danced for the scribe & the pharisee
But they would not dance & they wouldn't follow me
I danced for fishermen, for James & John
They came with me & the Dance went on:
I danced on the Sabbath & I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame!
They whipped & they stripped & they hung me high
And they left me there on a cross to die!
I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black
It's hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried my body & they thought I'd gone
But I am the Dance & I still go on!
They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the Life that'll never, never die!
I'll live in you if you'll live in Me -
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Doors of Perception

"If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite."
~ William Blake

The saying "Where one door opens a window appears" feels really relevant. I have been getting all the duckies in a row for this new series of solid perfumes I am launching. Last week I  finally received part of the packaging components and was completely disappointed, resulting in having to send them back and starting from scratch. My daughter Eve had a great idea for me which I followed up on this weekend and made me think on doors, windows and silver linings.  The window or silver lining has not yet revealed itself, although it feels very tangible.

Obviously I have very high expectations. The challenge as an indie, small business is that I do not have the capital to purchase tens of thousands of units. Thus I am limited to what is available in smaller quantities unless I can purchase with others.

I am awaiting a call back from a supplier now, intending they call soon so that I can release this very fun natural perfume product this week. 


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bee-ing there

Honey is the only food on the planet that will not spoil or rot. It will do what some call turning to sugar. In reality honey is always honey. However, when left in a cool dark place for a long time it will do what I rather call "crystallizing".   When this happens I loosen the lid, boil some water, and sit the honey container in the hot water, turn off the heat and let it liquefy. It is then as good as it ever was. Never boil honey or put it in a microwave. To do so will kill the enzymes in the honey.

Facts on Honey and Cinnamon:  It is found that a mixture of honey and Cinnamon cures most diseases. Honey is produced in most of the countries of the world. Scientists of today also accept honey as a 'Ram Ban' (very effective) medicine for all kinds of diseases.  Honey can be used without any side effects for any kind of diseases.

Today's science says that even though honey is sweet, if taken in the right dosage as a medicine, it does not harm diabetic patients.   Weekly World News, a magazine in Canada , in it's issue dated 17 January,1995 has given the following list of diseases that can be cured by honey and cinnamon as researched by western scientists:

Make a paste of honey and cinnamon powder, apply on bread, instead of jelly and jam, and eat it regularly for breakfast. It reduces the cholesterol in the arteries and saves the patient from heart attack.  Also, those who have already had an attack, if they do this process daily, they are kept miles away from the next attack.. Regular use of the above process relieves loss of breath and strengthens the heart beat.  In America and Canada , various nursing homes have treated patients successfully and have found that as you age, the arteries and veins lose their flexibility and get clogged; honey and cinnamon revitalize the arteries and veins.

Arthritis patients may take daily, morning and night, one cup of hot water with two spoons of honey and one small teaspoon of cinnamon powder. If taken regularly even chronic arthritis can be cured. In a recent research conducted at the Copenhagen University, it was found that when the doctors treated their patients with a mixture of one tablespoon Honey and half teaspoon Cinnamon powder before breakfast, they found that within a week, out of the 200 people so treated, practically 73 patients were totally relieved of pain, and within a month, mostly all the patients who could not walk or move around because of arthritis started walking without pain.

Take two tablespoons of cinnamon powder and one teaspoon of honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it. It destroys the germs in the bladder.

Two tablespoons of honey and three teaspoons of Cinnamon Powder mixed in 16 ounces of tea water, given to a cholesterol patient, was found to reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood by 10 percent within two hours.   As mentioned for arthritic patients, if taken three times a day, any chronic cholesterol is cured. According to information received in the said Journal, pure honey taken with food daily relieves complaints of cholesterol.

Those suffering from common or severe colds should take one tablespoon lukewarm honey with 1/4 spoon cinnamon powder daily for three days. This process will cure most chronic cough, cold, and clear the sinuses.

Honey taken with cinnamon powder cures stomach ache and also clears stomach ulcers from the root.

According to the studies done in India and Japan, it is revealed that if Honey is taken with cinnamon powder the stomach is relieved of gas.

Daily use of honey and cinnamon powder strengthens the immune system and protects the body from bacterial and viral attacks. Scientists have found that honey has various vitamins and iron in large amounts. Constant use of Honey strengthens the white blood corpuscles to fight bacterial and viral diseases.

Cinnamon powder sprinkled on two tablespoons of honey taken before food relieves acidity and digests the heaviest of meals.

A scientist in Spain has proved that honey contains a natural ' Ingredient' which kills the influenza germs and saves the patient from flu.

Tea made with honey and cinnamon powder, when taken regularly, arrests the ravages of old age. Take four spoons of honey, one spoon of cinnamon powder, and three cups of water and boil to make like tea. Drink 1/4 cup, three to four times a day. It keeps the skin fresh and soft and arrests old age. Life spans also increase and even a 100 year old, starts performing the chores of a 20-year-old..

Three tablespoons of honey and one teaspoon of cinnamon powder paste. Apply this paste on the pimples before sleeping and wash it next morning with warm water. If done daily for two weeks, it removes pimples from the root.

Applying honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts on the affected parts cures eczema, ringworm and all types of skin infections.

Daily in the morning one half hour before breakfast on an empty stomach, and at night before sleeping, drink honey and cinnamon powder boiled in one cup of water. If taken regularly, it reduces the weight of even the most obese person. Also, drinking this mixture regularly does not allow the fat to accumulate in the body even though the person may eat a high calorie diet.

Recent research in Japan and Australia has revealed that advanced cancer of the stomach and bones have been cured successfully. Patients suffering from these kinds of cancer should daily take one tablespoon of honey with one teaspoon of cinnamon powder for one month three times a day.

Recent studies have shown that the sugar content of honey is more helpful rather than being detrimental to the strength of the body. Senior citizens, who take honey and cinnamon powder in equal parts, are more alert and flexible. Dr. Milton, who has done research, says that a half tablespoon of honey taken in a glass of water and sprinkled with cinnamon powder, taken daily after brushing and in the afternoon at about 3:00 P.M. when the vitality of the body starts to decrease, increases the vitality of the body within a week.

People of South America, first thing in the morning, gargle with one teaspoon of honey and cinnamon powder mixed in hot water, so their breath stays fresh throughout the day.

Daily morning and night honey and cinnamon powder, taken in equal parts restores hearing. Remember when we were kids? We had toast with real butter and cinnamon sprinkled on it!

Source of this material is unknown, it was sent to me by my lovely friend Monica. Thank you Monica.
Here is a link that was twittered today on Unconventional Uses for Honey, make sure to ignore the first part where they talk about fearing the bee...NOT!

Images: Top is the mini solid of Page 47, bottom and just above is the purple bee art deco necklace with the Illuminated Perfume bee logo.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

June Shin Jewelry Winner!

Our featured artist this month, June Shin, shines quite brightly. Like moths to a flame, she attracted 162 comments, 160 of which went into the draw. Whew! Instead of my normal route of assigning a card from multiple decks to each entry, this time I threw them all into the randomiser.

The lucky number belonged to Kara who loves the Moroccan Diamond earrings pictured above in Silver. I love those to Kara!

Enormous thank you to June Shin for allowing me to host her giveaway here and all the fabulous folk who dropped in for a look and a comment or two. Make sure to keep June's shop in mind while doing your holiday shopping.

Stay tuned for Decembers featured artist, cheerio!

Monday, November 16, 2009

ADVENTure ahead

A new blogging collaborative event has arrived! This one will take a slightly different course from the two previous. Beginning Sunday, November 29th, to correlate with the first day of advent, one blogger a day will be adding their sparkle to our gathering of light. By Christmas Day all the candles on our tree will be lit and we will all have weaved a bit of our own light to the tapestry of cheer.

We refer to these events as Blog-o-ramas, the two previous were: Bee Here Now and Impressions of Peace which launched the perfume devoted to Peace. Please visit each day for a little inspiration and light for your journey.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lavandula vera

"There's a few things I've learned in life: 
always throw salt over your left shoulder, 
keep rosemary by your garden gate, 
plant lavender for good luck, and fall in love whenever you can"
~ William Shakespeare

Trish over at Scent Hive shares her fascination with the Lavender note by showcasing three natural perfumes featuring the archetypal English garden herb. Vera, the perfume I created as a song to the Lavender growers of Ojai and the Chumash people, is one of the three she choose to review.

Sands Murray-Wassink, a contributor for the Perfume Critic, did the first review of Vera back in a June 2008.

Vera is available as a liquid perfume in three different sample packs, in a glass vial with 1 full gram by weight of perfume and the glass flacons with the heirloom pouch. I am working on the next edition now. The 7 gram size will be back in the next week or so with the solid version making an appearance soon.

I choose the word Vera for this fragrance because of the Latin binomial Lavandula vera. Vera meaning "true" in Latin, for true lavender. This fragrance utilizes a variety of local flora grown and distilled in Ojai by a farmer and small artisan distiller. I've also incorporated infusions of lavender and sage herb from the same location. Thus Vera becomes a very true representation of the area by using authentic materials. Read about the origins of Vera by following this link here at the journal.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Touched Creatively

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: 
it is the courage to continue that counts." 
-Winston Churchill

 I am feeling super grateful to Jodi of Touched Creatively. Please head on over to her blog to read her impressions and how she has been touched creatively by my handmade natural and botanical perfumes. Her blog is really lovely and a great source for feeding your creative muse. She also has an online magazine and several other blogs.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume at Touched Creatively

Image at left by Greg Spalenka,
see more at

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Aromatic Journey: Fragrance Families

For the Aromatic Journey post over at Lillyella today I contributed a rather lengthy piece about categorizing fragrances into families. If I had published the post here it would have been placed within the "In the Raw" archives where we learn about the raw materials of botanical perfume. Here is the link so that you can join in on this months adventure into the Ol'factory Realm. There is also a recipe there to create a Layered Spice Oil.

Last month's contribution focused on creating a Vanilla Infused Oil base, follow this link to read and get the recipe card. While you are there be sure to check out her latest Etsy Artist feature and enter the Giveaway.

of Service

Sending tendrils of warm and aromatic gratitude to all those who devote themselves to service and a higher cause.

One of the most visionary actions I've witnessed a politician do is work towards creating a Department of Peace. It's brilliant, so much so that those in the dark can't even see it. I don't know about you but I am really tired and distressed at what I see happening in America. Mostly because the masses seem to get dumber and number by the day.

In either case, it's really rare to come across a politician that is of service to the people, I'm so happy to have met one live and in person.

The Scent of the Day is the botanical perfume Peace or in it's parallel format as a solid natural perfume. I'm wearing the solid.

Opening image courtesy of Cathe Holden from Just Something I Made.

Artist Feature and Giveaway: June Shin

Today I bring to you the gorgeous work of fellow Artist and Etsy seller June Shin. My goodness, what beauty filled stunning work this lady creates and she is super witty too. I must admit, there is something in the combination of high art and wit that completely captivates me.

June lives and works in Georgia and is a great example of Artist as Brand™. Why? Because while working in the high tech world of computer consultation in New York City, June courageously followed her creative muse. Too feed the hunger of her inner muse June took courses at The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT).  After moving to Atlanta, she taught herself how to create jewelry using semi-precious stones and metal wire and soon after, launched her jewelry company.

The image opening this blog post is of her Icarus earrings. These beauties illuminate her fine craftsmanship, style and aesthetic. Combining vintage materials with a modern sensibility, June’s jewelry tends to be dainty and delicate, intent on catching the light and always lifting the spirits of the wearer.

Besides her shop on Etsy June also has a strong online presence with a website and a blog. It was her blog where I first came across her. June also conducts fabulous giveaways with Etsy artists. The charm with which she conducts her interviews was what first captivated me when I first arrived at her blog.

I asked June a few questions so that we could all get to know the creatrix behind the art:

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

Seeing other people's creations, whether it be a painting, architecture, a beautiful flower arrangement, photography, a dance, etc. I'm a very visual person and am always amazed at people's imaginations.

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


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

Peace and happiness, and a self-sustaining village.

4.) How did you find yourself creating jewelry? 

A few years ago, the idea of making jewelry came to mind and I enrolled in a metalsmithing class in NYC. When I moved to Atlanta, I taught myself to make jewelry using bead and wire, and the rest is history...

5) Tell us a secret?

I used to be a poker dealer, but don't really know how to play strategically.

June, it's a pleasure and honor to have you here, thank you so much for sharing a bit about yourself with me and the readers here. I'd like to live in that self sustaining village with you.

NOW...the Giveaway!
For this giveaway, June is offering the winner a choice of any item from her Etsy shop priced at $25 or less. Lucky, lucky!!

To qualify to win this prize, please....

Begin by visiting the June Shin shop on Etsy and sharing in your comment what item you most crave from her shop. You must include your first name -or- etsy username AND email address with each entry or it will not be included.

For additional entries you can do any or all of the following, please leave a separate comment for each entry.
  • 1 entry: Be or become a follower of the JuneShinDesigns blog
  • 1 entry per day of the contest: Twitter this message: RT @RoxanaVilla is hosting a giveaway with JuneShin! Visit for a chance to win
  • 2 entries (total) - Blog about this giveaway, leaving the URL to the post in comments (1 blog per entrant, please)
  • 1 entry: Be or become a follower of the creator, JuneShinDesigns on Twitter
  • 1 entry: Be or become a fan of JuneShinDesigns on Facebook
  • 1 entry: Be or become a follower of this journal: IlluminatedPerfume
More fine print, learned along the way
1. If we cannot contact you we will give your prize away to someone else.
2. The featured seller will do their very best to mail the winners package in a timely manner, please contact them directly if you have any questions.
3. Each entry is assigned a card from several decks here at the house, I then shuffle all the cards and have someone handy (like my daughter or husband) choose a card for the winner and a runner up.
4. If you have won the Artist Feature and Giveaway in the past you may enter again.
5. Please don't make up any new guidelines, what is outlined above is what we follow.

The giveaway ends Moon day, November 16th at 10 pm PST with the winner announced shortly there after. Please help us get the word out. Anyone who posts comments after 10pm on November 16th will not be entered in the draw.

This is one giveaway I myself would like to enter! Good luck!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Depth of Field

 Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have
vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.  
~Henri Cartier-Bresson

Ben has been lending Eve and I his SLR (Single Lens Reflex) Nikon. The last few days I've been having a grand time with it. I am really appreciating what transpires with the depth of field with this type of camera verses a small digital camera.

Out of the blue I recalled some boxes of antique postcards my mom had brought over. She had seen some sellers on Etsy use antique postcards and photos for their product backgrounds. Since both "Vintage" and "Antique" are part of my branding she thought I would want to incorporate them into my photos. At first, I didn't see how they would work, then after making an vintage inspired treasury for Etsy I thought I'd at least take a look at them. I took out the boxes and began to go through them with Eve. We ooo'd and awe'd over their beauty, both the front side displaying images and the gorgeous calligraphy on the back side. (Wish I could write like they did back then!)

I began by laying a few cards out and then proceeded to put more and more on the table. We found some real gems that will become parts of future projects.

Eve and I have had quite a lot of fun over the last few days with both the camera and the old postcards. I have been using the postcards as background props for my liquid botanical perfumes and the solid natural perfumes.

Most of the cards are made out to my great grandmother, Rosa Groppo. When I was a child in Argentina I called her "La ita Rosita" and in fact some of the cards are addressed to "Rosita" instead of Rosa. 

The title for my Rosa botanical perfume is in part named after her as well as the native California rose.

Eve has been having fun with the reflections through the bottles. She took both the opening photo and the one with the face reflected into the body of the bottle. The image that opens this blog post we refer to as the Ryden photo because it reminds us of the eerie paintings by our friend Mark Ryden.

Lucky for us Ben did not take his camera back today, thus more photos are sure to manifest, stay tuned.
Photograph:  a picture painted by the sun without instruction in art.  
~Ambrose Bierce

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

V is for Vespertina

Vespertina™in her myriad of manifestations as a perfume, art and illuminated music has been honored by the most intricately woven spell. Journey over to Perfume Smellin' Things to read the an enchanted tale by the ever so gifted Beth, while you are there, if you fell inspired please leave a comment. Here is a link where you can listen to a few tracks from Vespertina while reading the review.

Find Vespertina™ in all her formats here.

For the historical view of Vespertina™, how she traveled from being a painting at the Tate, to an illuminated music CD and now a natural and botanical perfume follow this link here at the journal. There are also some other reviews, one by Divina at Fragrance Bouquet and Trish of Scent Hive wrote a wonderful review which is buried somewhere within Sniffapalooza Magazine. As soon as I uncover it I will post the link here.

Cheers to Wednesday, ruled by the planet closest to our sun and named after a Roman God, Mercury.

Back cover "V" image from Vespertina and illustrated image ©Greg Spalenka.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Dark is Rising

When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back;
Three from the circle, three from the track;
Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone;
Five will return, and one go alone.

~ Susan Cooper,  from The Dark is Rising

Here we are, once again, at the cross roads moving into the dark half of the year. In my little universe here at the edge of the Santa Monica Mountians it doesn't quite feel like the dark half yet. The weather has been particularly strange and erratic, as if she needs some some Clary Sage to bring her hormones back into balance or something.

The title and quote above are from one of my very favorite series of books by Susan Cooper. In the Celtic, Wiccan and Pagan traditions we just celebrated All Hallows Eve and Samhain. In ancient times the people saw correlations between things much more so than we do now in modern society. The changing of the landscape from warm to cool and as nature begins her winter sleep indicated a time for sentient beings to go within as well. A time to tend the inner flame within. Samhain is one of the many festivals of light during the season that calls forth our inner light as nature goes into her winter sleep. The first to start of the season was Michelmas in September.

Many of the dark and viscous essences we use for botanical perfume are base notes. These are essences that have a fixating quality, similar to "earth" element. Theses essences facilitate in holding things down, as if they have a gravitational pull in their tenacity.

For this time of the year I suggest blends that match the energetics of the season. Pairing earthy basenotes with those of fire, like the spices is a particularly nice combination.

“No matter how dark the night, 
somehow the sun rises once again and all shadows are chased away”
~ David Matthew Click

Image above by Greg Spalenka

Monday, November 2, 2009

Moon Day Tide

This Moon day's tide has arrived with an abundance of riches, two features with giveaways on two separate, fantastic blogs, wow!

First off please travel over to Mrs. B at Confessions of  Pagan Socccer Mom and then over to visit Nicole at the Lillyella blog.

Both these lovely ladies are hosting a giveaway of my botanical perfumes. Mrs. B writes about her impressions of a few of my scents, including the new Phoenix Myster while Nicole is featuring an interview. Enjoy!