Saturday, June 23, 2012

Gracing the Dawn LookBook

I've been all consumed with creating a LookBook for Gracing the Dawn to go along with the release of the solid natural perfume. It's finally done, enjoy!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Celebrating Five Years

The third number in the Fibonacci sequence is also the number of how many years ago, as of today, the website and this journal were birthed. The magical digit is five, which is also the number of petals on a California rose.

On June 16th, 2007 the forth annual Ojai Lavender Festival took place under a canopy of native oaks in Libbey Park. It was bright and sunny, the website was finally ready and at 1pm that day I gave the keynote presentation at the festival. That was also the day I released Vera as a liquid perfume. For the presentation I described the similarities between creating visual and aromatic art, the history of fragrance and the construction of Vera.

In observance of this day I have a few festivities here for you which include some play and gifts for the next week.

The first part of the celebration will include a free sample of the not yet to be released Lavender Body Butter with any orders of $25 or over (not including tax or shipping). When placing your $25 order please let me know you would like the Lavender Body Butter sample.

The Lavender Body Butter is made with Organic Jojoba oil which I have infused in the California sun with calendula petals and lavender blossoms. Besides the Jojoba oil the base also includes Mango Butter and essential oils. This is one body butter of many soon to appear along with an entire new line based on my deep roots in aromatherapy.

For the second part of the festivities I will be giving away Vera perfume related gifts to four lucky winners. If you are one of the lucky winners you can choose from these prizes:
- 1 gram vial of Vera liquid
- A mini compact with a tin of Vera solid perfume
- Small glass jar of the new Lavender Body Butter

There are several ways to enter:

(1) Leave a comment of this blog post or my facebook page and tell me what your favorite "illuminated' perfume is and why, or which one you would most like to sample, ONE entry.

(2) Any purchase of $25 as of June 16th until the 26th, will receive ONE entry. If your purchase is for $50 that will count as TWO, if $75 that will count as THREE, etc.

(3) Review one of your favorite Illuminated Perfumes on Make Up Alley, BaseNotes, Fragrantica or another major perfume forum (THREE entries per each review). Reviews must be dated June 16, 2012 or there after. Please email me the link to confirm.

(4) Follow this journal, my tweets or the Roxana Illuminated Perfume facebook page or and you will receive ONE entry per each one. If you already are a follower please let me know.

(5) Tweet this celebration on Twitter with a link to to this post and you will receive ONE entry.

(6) Mention this celebration on your blog with a link to to this post and you will receive ONE entry. Please email me the link to confirm.

(7) Mention this celebration on Facebook with a link to to this post and you will receive ONE entry. Please email me the link to confirm: roxana

The fine print...

1. The deadline for entering is June 28, 2012, at 10 pm (PST).
2. Entries will be placed into a random drawing and announced on this blog, twitter and facebook.

Thank you for your support over the years! The next Ojai Valley Lavender Festival takes place on Sunday, June 23rd.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Model: Eve
Crochet Cuffs and Headband: Martha of TwoKnit
Photos and Natural Perfume Compact:Illuminated Perfume

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Herbarium

I've been getting all the pieces in order that go into sharing a new product, the photos, the words for the press release, the list of people to send the two latter to, etc. As I was going through the steps I was also working quite a bit in the garden. While looking at the flowers and herbs I decided to shot a few more photos of the natural solid perfume that evoked all the different plants that went into its construction.

I took about thirty photos of the round case, still lifes of just the plants and a smattering with the mini compact. These two showcased here are just the beginning of what I'm planning imagery wise for Gracing the Dawn solid. Today I am going to focus on the words.

Images ©RoxanaVilla

Friday, June 8, 2012

Perfume Illuminated: Jasmine

"Summer breeze, makes me feel fine, blowing through the jasmine in my mind."
~ Seals & Crofts

Venus, the planet associated with Aphrodite and love, has inspired the latest addition to Perfume Illuminated. The list of Venusian plants is quite vast and includes many that Beth and I have already highlighted in this Materia medica of sorts. As Beth and I discussed all the possibilities we finally settled on Jasmine since the species known as Jasminum sambac is currently blooming here in the woodland.

Jasmine is part of the Oleaceae (Olive) family of plants and although associated with Venus and water element, it is considered the King of aromatics in perfume with Rose as the Queen. These two flowers along with Tuberose were the first to be cultivated for perfumery in France. The Jasmine genus contains over 300 species including vines and shrubs

"Ah, these jasmines, these white jasmines!..."
~ Excerpt from The First Jasmines by Rabindranath Tagore

Although the common name the sambac species is Arabian jasmine this gem, with small white waxy flowers, is native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, not the arid climes of the Middle East. Despite this fact, the plant does quite well for me here during the warmer months in Southern California. Since I am in the hillside where clay soil and gophers abound, I put the Jasmine sambacs in pots, so far I have seven of them and desire more.

The uses of the small flowers extend to flavoring green, pouchong and jasmine tea, in Hawaii it is called Pikake and used in fragrant flower leis while in India the flowers are used for devotional garlands of hope.


There is an old saying by the great masters of French perfumery stating "Never a perfume without Jasmine." This is so true, as this fragrance pairs beautifully with other florals like Rose and Ylang Ylang while marrying well with so many other fragrance families to produce feminine, masculine and/or unisex fragrances. The pairing of two or more ingredients in perfumery is termed an accord or chord, a term stemming from music, meaning "a harmonious combination of two or more notes."1

In the palette of the natural, botanical perfumer we have four types of Jasmine to work with: Jasmin grandiflorum, Jasmin flexile, Jasmin auriculatum and Jasmin sambac. Those who do not use whole essences exclusively have a large array of isolates and augmented Jasmine notes available to them. These four aromatics all have an opulent, intoxicating, heady, exotic, complex, sweet and floral fragrance with varying subtleties. In perfume they are considered mid to base notes with strong aromatic strength.

Jasmin grandiforum: Termed "Poets jasmine" this is the most elegant and traditional of all the Jasmines. The fragrance is refined opulence with fresh, floral notes. Besides the absolute this essence is also available as an organic enfleurage from Egypt. The main chemical constituent is the "monoterpene farnesene with benzyl acetate, benzyl benzoate, methyl jasmonate, methyl linoleate, phytol acetate, linalol, benzyalol, nerolidol, eugenol and jasmone."2

Jasmin auriculatum: A heavy, Gardena-like scent with fruit and strong dark, animalic and indole notes. This essence is available as an absolute from India.

Jasmin flexile: Is a very clean and delicate, exotic floral similar to other flowers in India such as Night Queen, Champaka and Frangipani.
"One hundred and twenty-one compounds were characterized in J. flexile flower absolute, with methyl linolate, benzyl salicylate, benzyl benzoate, (2E,6E)-farnesol, and benzyl acetate as the main constituents. A detailed olfactory evaluation was also performed."3

Jasmin sambac: Strong fresh, green, fruity and herbaceous notes compared to the others with an air of mystery. The essence contains some animalic and indole notes not present in the fresh flowers. It is available to us as an absolute from India and a c02 extract from China.

In aromatherapy Jasmine is an aphrodisiac used in wedding and sensual blends. The essence is also used extensively for the reproductive system. The attributes are: calming, restorative and uplifting with It's elemental is water and relates to the planet Venus and the Moon. According to Celtic herbal lore jasmine is one of the herbs of Méan Earraigh (Spring Equinox) attracts wealth, used for prophetic dreams and in love spells.


Since my plants started blooming a week ago I have started making a pomade or a cold enfleurage with them which I intend to use in body butters. Each morning, as a daily meditation, I gather the small flowers from the plants and place them into a dish of mango butter to infuse the aroma. The next morning I remove the spent flowers from the previous day and add new ones. I repeat this process until I feel the butter has absorbed enough of the aroma. This process is the same one used to infuse green tea with the aroma and flavor to produce jasmine tea. When the flowers are spent they turn pink, I gently remove them and place them into a ritual dish with the intention of attracting wealth and spiritual love.

For more details on how to make an enfleurage please refer to the post at this link from March 2012. 
I wrote on how to make a Jasmine tincture over at the Lillyella blog at this link.

FLAVOR: Beth Schreibman Gehring
Please continue reading about Jasmine at the Windesphere Witch blog

Find the complete archive of Perfume Illuminated posts at this link. More posts relating to Jasmine include:

1 Williams, David G. Perfumes of Yesterday, published by Michelle Press Williams, 2004.
2 Shutes, Jade. Blending Manual, published by Jade Shutes/The Institute of Dynamic Aromatherapy, 1996. 

IMAGES: Jasmine sambac blossoms from my garden and in the cold enfleurage process.  The image of the Nose and Mouth are old engravings that I have cleaned up and modified.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chaparral in C Magazine!

The summer issue of C Magazine has a fabulous article about the Scent Event in San Francisco orchestrated by author Alyssa Harad with chef Dana Tomasino. Chaparral®, which was translated into a salad for the meal, is described as "a woodsy, dry scent inspired by the native California landscape with hints of sage and frankincense..."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

V is for....

Yesterday was a "V" day, V for voting, Venus and Vespertina. The botanical synergy I use to create Vespertina as a solid natural perfume had run out. Thus, I made more, yesterday I removed the amber bottle from the alchemizing phase and today I will create more solid perfume.

The new edition is exactly like the previous one since none of the botanicals contained in the synergy have gone into the hard to get or extinction mode category...yet. Some of the precious plant aromatics in this luxurious balm are essences from India like Sandalwood, Rose, Jasmine, White Lotus, Vetiver, Ambrette and Frankincense from Somalia.

In other news I have individual cards now for almost each of the solid perfumes. These are business card sized with a bit of information and visuals regarding each fragrance.
Last night I received an order for a sample set of Hedera helix, Q and Lyra, thus her package will include a set of each card, pictured below.

More visual and aromatic treats arriving soon.