Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Backwards


I admit it, I'm a nut, a bit backwards. For example when everyone was getting computers I bought a letterpress. Modern perfumers chase the latest in synthetic aroma chemicals and isolates, me I sniff my plants, make tinctures and chase really expensive natural raw materials.

The other day at a local city meeting one of the council members asked me why our bee club, The Backwards Beekeepers, is called Backwards. I answered "Because we do things backwards compared with other bee keepers." A better answer would have been to reference the grandfather of beekeeping backwards, Charles Martin Simon. Here is his top ten list for beekeeping with consciousness...

Principle #1: Work with Nature, not against Her.

Principle #2: Profit doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot if you’re dead.

Our forefathers postulated that bigger bees would make more honey. The bigger the bee, the more nectar and pollen she can carry. The bigger the cell, the more it can hold. And so forth. So they devised a larger worker cell size, and it became the standard.

Principle #3: Dead bees make no honey.

Anatomically bigger bees are metabolically slower bees, more prone to disease and predation. And the diseases did come. The industry standard is a sickly bee.

My encounters with feral bees have instilled in me a greater respect for bees and contempt for the way we usually deal with them.

I knew I was finished with beekeeping as we know it the day I read the publication of the great scientific discovery of the “housekeeping gene” in relation to survivability in regard to Varroa. That was exactly where my suspension of disbelief finally snapped, and I realized our industry is directed by madmen. They have been driven mad by the fear of death and simultaneously compelled irresistibly toward it. Death of our beloved bees. Death of our beloved industry. Death of ourselves.

The Asian bee, the historic host for the mite, the bee that has coexisted with it successfully for a million years, does not usually inhabit enclosures. It hangs out in the open. This leads to the conclusion that when the mite drops off, it falls into the void, which is a good place for it. The immature Asian bee spends less time in the cell, which gives the mite less time to do it’s dirty work. Those are the keys, not the “housekeeping gene , never mind what the “scientists” have to say. But I am not meaning to imply that this “gene” does not exist. I’m questioning its interpretation. Just as I question the interpretation of the “bee dance”. The traditional interpretation of the bee dance is destroyed categorically by the observation of one single factor: The human observer observes from above. The bee dances face to face on a lateral plane. What the bee perceives and what the human perceives are two entirely different things. I grant that the dance occurs. I do not grant that it communicates anything at all. It is a sharing of excitement. The knowledge of where the nectar or whatever is is deeper than that. The colony is a manifestation of generations integrated with the patterns of the environment. There is a great mind at play that humans are generally incapable of comprehending.

Another significant factor in the retardation of Apis melliflera is the chronic abuse perpetrated by the teachings of the art. Colonies left to their own devices have an entirely different consciousness than domesticated varieties. Domestic bees are constantly messed with. A colony is a unified Mind. When it is opened and manipulated, the thought process is jumbled. When it is smoked, it must turn its attention to other things. Stress is good. Stress is bad. It depends on the kind. Exercise is stress. Getting beat up is stress. One event can build self-esteem; the other can destroy it. But the effects are reversible, based on other conditions, the most significant of which being how the subject interprets the experience. There are many variables.

The skill with which one messes with a hive has a great deal to do with the effect the messing is going to have on the future. The master manipulator will do it so that the bees will never even notice anything happening. Indeed, they will proceed with their process as though nothing was happening at all. The quality, quantity, and kind of mentality of the manipulator have everything to do with this. Some beekeepers make bees nervous just by showing up in the proximity of a hive. Woe be unto those keepers and their bees if they light the smokers and crack the hive lids. Beekeeping should be licensed, and I should be the licensing entity. There would be very few beekeepers. Again I need to point out: This is not arrogance, it is humility. For I truly have your best interests and the best interests of the bees at heart.

Principle #4: Don’t fight it.

When I think of all the years I’ve spent fighting ants and all the techniques I’ve employed, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Right now I’ve got naked honey comb and open bowls of honey in my kitchen, and plenty of ants too, but they’re leaving the honey alone. How come? Because I don’t fight them. I feed them. There is a bowl of honey on the counter established for them, where they can come and get all they want. At first they were hitting it heavily, then they lost interest. Apparently, if they can’t have it, they want it. If they can have all they want, they don’t want it.

Principle #5: Beekeeping is not about honey.

Principle #6: It’s not about money.

Principle #7: It’s about survival.

Well, actually, it’s not about survival, since nobody survives. It’s about the quality of life while you’re alive. Do your best to make the bees’ life the best it can be and it will be the best it can be for you. Stop thinking “maximum production”. Substantially less than most is way better than nothing at all. Learn how to leave the bees alone. Benign neglect is the way. Provide them with appropriate cavities. Standard beehives, if they’re right, are acceptable habitations for bees, but don’t use foundation.

In addition to the size consideration, foundation is contaminated. Only the oldest, most used wax gets rendered into foundation. Old wax absorbs and retains contaminants such as pesticide. Go ahead, use frames. Frames do make it easier to perform manipulations. But actually, just the top bars are enough, at least for brood chambers. Further up the hive, you might want complete frames for the definition of the bottom bars, to maintain the space between the top of the frame below and the bottom of the frame above.

I have 15 hives as of this writing (December 2000), after years of having none at this time of year. How did I do It? I don’t know, and that’s the answer. As the years have progressed, I have tried more and more to keep them as close to wild as possible, to not mess with them. I do harvest some honey, pollen, and propolis, but I do it with a leave-alone attitude. I am hoping for their well being. Beyond that I am asking nothing from them, expecting nothing. If they are prospering I add supers. If they make extra honey, I take some. When my combs are crooked and stuck across several frames, I use bee escapes to clear the supers before removing.

I crush the combs and strain them through a system of perforated plastic buckets. I keep quite a few cut combs around to eat au naturel. The wilder, more funky combs may very well be the best.

I’ve been reluctant in recent years to invest money in equipment, because of the Varroa situation. Consequently, I’m using old equipment a normal beekeeper would have thrown out a long time ago – In fact quite a bit of it has been thrown out by normal beekeepers – and I’m liking it better and better the worse it gets.

I’m thinking about running hives without bottoms and up on stands this season, at least during the warm months, and considering designing a bottom board to catch and destroy mites.

Principle #8: Forget everything you ever learned and start observing what is really going on.

In regard to this last principle. One of the first injunctions I received starting out was to keep accurate records. But I realized that accurate records would be obfuscations at best. When you refer to a notebook describing the events of a hive to date, you will not see the hive as it actually is. The level of information that can be cataloged is not vital, has nothing to do with what’s going on with the hive in question, and prevents you from seeing what is.

Furthermore, I have observed that the harder you fight to keep your bees alive, the faster they die. Cut them loose, give them freedom, the freedom to die as well as the freedom to live, and they live better.

Principle #9: Leave your bees alone.

Principle #10: Leave me alone.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Now you know why I make botanical perfumes with the vitality of natural materials and in harmony with nature. it's all connected, we are all connected.

Photo of honey bees on matilija poppy ©RoxanaVilla

Monday, March 26, 2012

Size matters



I was asked a question that comes up regularly, thus I thought it made sense to illuminate the answer here for everyone. The question is: "How much is in the small (mini compact) inserts compared to the sample (pink) pots?

The pink sample pots have the smallest amount of solid perfume, since they are "samples" and were originally created as a gateway to the round compacts back in 2008. Since then the E-shop now offers the Honey Bee Pots, the mini compact and the new oval compact.

Here is the breakdown of how much, by weight, is in each item:



Pink pot samples contain at least 0.5 grams of solid perfume, sometimes more,
they measure 1 inch wide x 3/4 inch high.



The tins that fit within the mini compact and the perfume locket necklaces contain at least
1.5 grams of solid perfume.


The natural colored "honey bee pots" contains approximately 5 grams by weight contained within a natural tub measuring almost 1 inch high x almost 1 inch wide. A color coded honey bee wax seal indicates the fragrance within the container. 


The tin that fits inside the round cases contain 5.3 grams / 1.86 ounces of natural perfume.




The pan within the new oval solid perfume compacts contain approximately
7.5 grams, over 2 ounces of solid perfume.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Make it til you make it

The biggest challenge I find as an artist is balancing the time of "making" with the time of "sharing". This is a common dilemma which all artists experience. Most of us would prefer spending all our time "making", being hermits in our studios, hanging with the muse.

I found this video today while pondering this little challenge as I juggle a million projects and attempt balancing all of it gracefully. Enjoy.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has Sprung!


Green is the color of the day on this blessed Vernal Equinox. In celebration I have two special items to share with you all. First, a review of Hedera helix by the very articulate Elena Vosnaki author at Perfume Shrine. Sometimes I feel like much of the artistry and subtleties that go into my work go unnoticed, not today, Elena sees it all. Hop onto a dandelion seed and transport yourself over to her blog for a delightful read and a giveaway.




Chaparral® has been selected as one for the featured perfumes in a special "Scent Dinner" taking place at the Woodward Garden in San Francisco. Chef Dana Tommasino and author Alyssa Harad will present a series of "scent courses" inspired by the artistry of California perfumers designed to wake up your nose, your palate and your imagination.


When Alyssa first contacted me she shared that her initial concept of only showcasing SF perfumers was stretched to include my work because she is such a fan. In the beginning phases it wasn't determined if they would select Chaparral® or GreenWitch. In one of the notes from Alyssa she mentioned, "Greenwitch is such an incredible green/savory/briny perfume that it lends itself to food. I've been writing "translations" for Dana and the one for Greenwitch involved black forbidden rice, seaweed, a raw oyster on the half shell and flying fish roe (all of this will get blogged about eventually). No idea what she'll come up with in the end but she did say she loves forbidden rice (me too!)." In the end Chaparral® won out over GreenWitch for the magical evening, just as well me thinks since this event does transpire within the aromatic landscape that inspired Chaparral®.

I'm thrilled to be part of this very creative exchange and look forward to reading more. Alyssa was very generous and sent me an advanced copy of her upcoming book Coming to My Sense: A Story of Perfume, Pleasure and an Unlikely Bride. Every night before bed I savor a chapter of this delicious book. The release is scheduled for July 2, 2012.


GreenWitch was begun way back in 2006 along with several chords that are featured within her framework. The fragrance took many twists and turns along the road to completion to ultimately launch on March 20, 2010. Find links about her construction here. Watch for the Greenwitch!


Now, lets take the Jasmin sambac hydrosol out of the fridge, pour it into a crystal goblet and welcome Flora in her beautiful new emerald cape and entourage of flowers. Cheers!

IMAGES
Opening painting
Le Printemps (Springtime) by Pierre Auguste Cot French, 1837 - 1883, Perfume photos ©Roxana Villa, GreenWitch illumination ©Greg Spalenka, Closing image: Flora: Spring in the Gardens of the Villa Borghese by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema Dutch, 1836 - 1912

Monday, March 19, 2012

Moon Day News

Good Moon day to you all. Here is the woodland we moved the two hives due to work being done on our garage roof. The girls are still a bit confused about the move. Once the work is finished we will put them back in their regular spot and potentially harvest some honey! In the studio I am just about out of Rosa liquid. The next edition will not contain the Oud from Cambodia and thus will have a slightly different aromatic profile.

Here are a few customer comments that have come in this past week. Thank you all for your wonderful words.



"Roxana, Wow, from my first small samples your scents just grew and grew on me over time. Now as I squeeze the last drops from the sample vials I simply must have more. I fell completely in love with Rosa and Hedera Helix. I love that Hedera is connected to the Ogham and that the tenacity of Ivy lives in this scent -its an energy that is in much need for me. I am also very curious to compare the liquid and solid perfumes so I have ordered the six sampler. I would like to re-order Hedera Helix, Rosa and Oak as solid samples. And add Vera, Blanc and Aurora to try.
Thank you so much for these wonderful fragrances. I tried a few other all natural perfumes during this time also and now I know that you are the maestro!
Will be waiting for my order with anticipation.
Love and light to you,
Heli"


"I am so pleased with everything about this order. Roxana was so patient and gracious about all my questions and helped me in making my final choices, and my samples shipped and arrived quickly. The packaging is beautiful, the sample pots adorable and the perfumes are absolutely exquisite!! Upon first sniff from the pots, I knew these were going to be beautiful to wear and and each one is perfect. Aurora is the spicy floral carnation I was hoping for, and both Cimbalom and Vespertina have an incense type note that I adore and I cannot decide which is my favorite yet since both are beautiful. Too Bee is one of the loveliest soft and comforting scents I have had the pleasure of wearing - almost like wild buttery honeycomb but neither sweet or sharp. I am enjoying my samples very much and anticipate many wearings from them. I already know I will be purchasing more perfumes from Roxana and am happy to have found such a lovely and gifted perfumer!"
~ Calle

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Erin go Bragh


A very happy St. Patrick's Day to everyone. Lucky us here in southern California we FINALLY got some rain, hooray! The plants and the honey bees must be so happy.

My perfume of the today shall be the super green Hedera helix, the runner up is GreenWitch. Both have a Celtic vibe to them, besides the rich and sparkling green notes of galbanum resin.

We are off the The International Printing Museum in Torrance to see the new film Linotype. The special screening includes a Q&A with director Doug Wilson. My inner geek is uper excited, I see on the website that they will be having museum activities which include linotype exhibits and typecasting. Drooling.

The title of this post "Erin go Bragh" means Irish forever, I've got one quarter Irish in my blood via my mothers side of the family. Image is a photo of my moms Irish clover crochet bookmark.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Impromptu


Seems to be an auspicious time for formulating perfume and manifesting ideas. Serendipity has visited me in the studio once again. It all started with clearing my drafting table to do some painting. The table had become a chaotic mess of paper with formulas, notes of items to order, tax prep and a magnet for little amber bottles. In fact I think all 10 and 15ml Boston round bottles must come to my studio to die, the amount I have accumulated over the past ten years is staggering.

As I was tediously filing papers and reorganizing boxes that held the amber glass containers (perfume synergies, accords, experiments, etc.) I noticed a heck of a lot of the bottles were labeled Chaparral with various numbers and notes. Then I started to see other bottles of experiments with words like wood chord 3, earth chord, musk chord experiment 4. As I sat there looking at all these bottles I thought "I'm going to put all these together and see what happens." Well the result was a wonderful woody Chaparral-like fragrance. To shift it I began adding woods and resins, attempting to stay away from many of the expensive essences that I would've liked to add.

The whole process became an exercise in constraint. Is it possible to make an interesting, complex perfume without using costly ingredients? I've actually been pondering this for awhile now, but this new fragrance journey put me smack in the midst of it. Niche perfumer Andy Tauer did something along the same lines but limited himself to only five synthetic ingredients, he called the series PentaChords. I'm not so much interested in limiting how many ingredients are in the perfume, at least not now, for me it's limiting key materials such as Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Orris and Oud. Gosh, I so love Oud.

Perfumes of Yesterday by David Williams, one of my heroes, has quite a lot of formulas from the 19th and 20th century. Not one of them is without Jasmine, Rose, Orange blossom or Orris. In fact most of them have all four. I did find a Lebanon Cedarwood Bouquet where the only floral note was synthetic Rose. It was described as a bouquet of "roses and pencils" for the purpose of scenting incense boxes.

I sat at my drafting table thinking about the spicy woody fragrance that sat before me, although it was nice, there wasn't anything really special about it to me. What could I add to bring in more depth while avoiding the notes listed above? As I pondered spice, Geranium wafted into my mind. Ah-hah, the Geranium would pair well with the spice element already established, add a bit of a rose note and shift the fragrance from a simple wood spice into the realm of leather.

After adding the Geranium I pulled out the formula for the leather chord I use in many of my perfumes. The original formula I had used to create the botanical leather was by René-Maurice Gattefossé, the grandfather of Aromatherapy. I had re-interpreted his formula by substituting notes and my own chords for the animal and synthetic ingredients. Read more about it here at the journal.

Thus I decided to add some botanical leather notes like Tarragon, Basil, Clary Sage and a bit of Mimosa (I know, costly, oh well). The final result is a finely woven botanical perfume with sweet, spice, floral, smoke and leather. The opening, to my nose and on my skin, is: sweet and spice walking in tandem with a warm floral note. As I mentioned the notes are finely woven, thus it becomes difficult to sift out each one. Overall there is a consistent chorus of sweet, spicy floral throughout the orchestration. The final dry down is warm, balsam and botanical leather lasting well over 12 hours on my arm with an end note of Chinese Emperors Pu·erh Tea with a teaspoon of honey.


Since the fragrance was made without a formula, from a variety of experiments all melded together, the name shall be Impromptu. For obvious reasons the first edition is limited. All other editions and a solid will most likely posses a slightly different aroma. Longevity of the perfume on me is extensive, longer lasting than any other fragrance in my line. Keep in mind that natural perfume tends to last quite a long time on me, perhaps because I have no other scents on me (particularly nothing synthetic) or within my olfactory space competing for attention.

Fragrance family is sweet botanical leather. Closest fragrance relatives are Chaparral®, Sierra liquid and Aurora all combined. If you like Aurora you will like Impromptu.

As a special gift to you I am offering a free amber vial of 3.75 grams of perfume for any orders of $75.00 (not including tax and shipping) or small sample vials with any order of $25, until the last day of March 2012. Once I decide on what course to take with packaging I'll post those details here at the journal.

Interesting that Chaparral® has had two fragrance branches, first Tangent and now Impromptu. Next up I am finishing up some custom perfumes and then onto the Sherlock perfume, the new Jasmin Noir, Gracing the Dawn solid and body butters....not necessarily in that order.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

To Bee Reviews


I've collected some reviews and related prose of the natural botanical perfume To Bee, created in homage to the European honey bee. If you happen to know of one that I missed please chime in.

Jessica at Now Smell This
Lucy at Indie Perfume
Trish at Scent Hive
Donna at Perfume Smellin' Things
Elena at Perfume Shrine
Margi MacDonald at Perfume Pharmer
Beth at Perfume Smellin'
Tom at Perfume Posse
Jade Shutes at the IDA blog

Monday, March 5, 2012

Planting for Pollinators


On Saturday morning I trekked out to The Theodore Payne Foundation in Sun Valley for a special class titled Planting for Pollinators. The two hour seminar was tailored for the Backward Beekeepers with the educational director of the foundation, Lisa Novich.


I've mentioned Lisa here before when we took a class in 2008 called "All About Leaves." In this Saturdays class Lisa shared the importance of pollinators, plants suited to the differing micro climates and soil conditions, how to maintain bee forage bloom all year-round, and gave us a tour of the nursery so that we could see examples of bee-friendly plants, both potted and full-grown on site.


We delved into the importance of all pollinators, not just the European honey bee. Ninety percent of all insects can only eat plants native to their location. This is true worldwide, not just in California. So, that beautiful butterfly, the Anise Swallowtail pictured above, can only survive by eating California native plants.


If we were to look at this idea more holistically consider our birds, they survive on a diet rich in seeds, berries, worms and caterpillars. The native plants provide food for the butterflies who lay eggs that turn into caterpillar, some of which will become food for the birds. The birds in turn provide important to our ecosystem. We are currently facing a huge decline of our birds populations, partly due to lack of insects for them to eat.


See more photos of native pollinators and the plants that they like at this link located at the Theodore Payne Foundation website.

Introducing fauna to your garden will add beauty as well as ensure continuity. In my garden which we have been transitioning to native plants since 2008 we have started to notice that natives are now sprouting up on their own due to the use of oak leaf litter as natural mulch (no more blowers!) and lots of birds and beneficial insects.

All we have to do is look at basic biology to see the importance of pollinators and birds. There is a perfect harmony. The perfect co-evolution designed by Mother Nature between us and the pollinators is now in jeopardy mainly due to the ignorance of man and large conglomerates like Dow and Monsanto.


The plants of California have evolved in nitrogen poor soil. This is the reason why the water thirsty sub-tropicals don't tend to do well here unless they are given soil amendments, fertilizers, pesticides and large amounts of water.

The beauty of the California natives is that they require no soil amendments (unless your soil is fill), no pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers and after the first year little to no water! Lisa explained a simple system to evaluate your yard so that you can find the perfect plants. She calls this the three S system.
1. SUNLIGHT: What kind of sunlight do you have in the area you plan to plant?
a. Full sun all day = FULL SUN
b. Morning sun with afternoon shade = PART SUN
c. Morning shade with afternoon sun = PART SUN/FULL SUN
d. Shade all day = SHADE

2. SOIL: What kind of soil do you have? You can check the drainage of your soil by digging a whole, filling it with water and timing how long it takes to drain. Decomposed granite drains quickly. If it takes more than one hour it is heavy soil, like clay.

3. SIZE: evaluate the size of your planting area so that you can select plants that will work well.

Once you have gathered all this information you can go to this link on the Theodore Payne Foundation site to select which plants are perfect for your location and how to get started. The nursury at the foundation is divided into different areas so that your search for plants is made easier.


There are also very helpful signs for each plant which show the plants ideal soil and sun requirements as well as how large the plant will get.


When planting for honey bees the ideal is to select plants that will bloom in different seasons throughout the year. For example Coyote Bush, Barberry and specific types of Manzanita. Some of the other native plants mentioned in the lecture for honey bees are Ceonothus, Fairy Duster and Lilac Verbena (both of which bloom nearly all year long), Toyon, Buckwheat, Sage and Matilija Poppies.


Pictured above is a honey bee on a beautiful Ceonothus that was in full bloom with the most delicious botanical perfume! I can just imagine how fantastic Ceonothus honey would taste.

If you don't have a yard, no worries, you can grow the natives in glazed pots or oak half barrels available at local nurseries like GreenArrow and Osh. Since these plants will be in a confined space Lisa suggested getting an organic planting mix with bat guano and sea kelp for extra nutrition. Water only when the soil is dry. Lisa explained that a very simple test is sticking your index finger one inch into the soil. If the soil is warm and dry its time to water, if it is cool and moist, no water. This simple method also applies to new plants placed in the ground.


While meandering around the nursery I caught site of what looked like a little violet flower. I looked at the sign and sure enough it was a violet, native to California and had a lovely smell! These will be going in a shady area of the yard that at the entrance of the studio.


It was a really fantastic morning. Many thanks to Mark of the Backward Beekeepers who organized this event and to Lisa Novak whose passion and commitment is contagious.

Photos of the Planting for Pollinators event at TPF ©Roxana Villa. The Anise Swallowtail is from the U of CA Botanical Garden at Berkeley. The Western Green Butterfly image via Google.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Jasmine Enfleurage


Way back in the nineties I was gifted a tiny cobalt blue vial of a Jasmine enfleurage from France. It was extremely special because of its rarity and cost. I've cherished it ever since and never really considered doing the process myself...until now.


The process can be seen really well in the 2006 film "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" when the lead character Jean-Baptiste Grenouille goes to Grasse and is seen delicately pressing flowers into fat.


Enfleurage is defined as a process of absorbing the aroma of fresh plant material, usually a single flower, into fat. The systematic repetition of adding and removing the flowers may be over a period of many days.

Since the pink jasmine, Jasminum polyanthum, is now blooming here in SoCal I have finally delved into this technique using some key pointers from a soap maker in Valencia, California named Jo Lasky. My first batch is made with flowers from my small, somewhat neglected pink jasmine. As soon as the mango butter arrives I will be going into full production mode using the pink jasmine planted at my mothers house in Encino more than ten years ago when I lived there.

In the meantime here is what I've done on a small scale and what you can do if so inspired:

1. I gently melted some organic virgin coconut oil I had on hand and poured it into a shallow glass dish.


2. I harvested the fresh pink jasmine flowers.


3. Once the coconut oil had solidified, I made sure the flowers had no moisture and gently laid them face down on the top of the fat.


4. I then covered the dish to make sure the aroma chemicals emanating from the blossoms were contained within an insulated headspace

5. Once the flowers have been spent, probably in about 72 hours, I will remove them and add new ones, repeating this process until the butter is fully charged with the scent of the blossoms.

6. Traditionally an enfleurage would then be washed in alcohol to become an absolute. My intention is to use the enfleurage for the body butters I have been formulating.

Once my Jasmin sambac, Gardenia and Plumeria start blooming I will begin this technique with those blossoms as well.

Images and content ©Roxana Villa

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dolce and Gabbana Fall 2012


As you probably know all the major fashion houses have been having their shows. Today on Tumblr I came across a photo which turned out to be the stage for the Dolce & Gabbana runway show in Milan. That took me to their site where I was enchanted by the 2012 Fall collection.



The rich, ornamental fabrics combined with a Victorian flair have me swooning. If I were to translate these visuals into a perfume it would be a heavy incense oriental. A typical oriental fragrance is characterized as having a fresh top note in contrast to a heavy floral heart and rich base notes.


From my ready to wear fragrances I would choose Cimbalom for the women and Aumbre for the guys and To Bee as the unisex selection.


Of the perfumes in the works the Sherlock Holmes fragrance I have been working on falls nicely into this genre as well as the yet to be named Jasmine Noir and the one that has been kept a secret.