Sunday, June 19, 2022

Following Bliss

 In June of 2007 (fifteen years ago!), at the Ojai Lavender Festival, I stepped out of my shell and "officially" launched Illuminated Perfume. 

This adventure all began with a Valentines Day newsletter sent in 2007, with a focus on Following One's Bliss. My subscribers at the time were a mix of aromatherapy and natural perfume students along with customers and clients of my art and illustration business.

Shortly after the newsletter went out I received a note from aromatherapy colleague Sandy Messori of Rivendell Aromatics. She was organizing the Ojai Lavender Festival on Saturday, June 16th, 2007 and asked if I wanted to be a speaker and have a booth.

I immediately answered "Yes!" and with the kind of vigor and drive a formal goal date can offer, my focus became laser beamed.

Although I had been making perfumes for myself and clients, as well as teaching classes and attending perfume events, I had been somewhat on the fence with moving forward. The reason for my hesitancy was all the infighting and back stabbing within the tiny natural perfume industry and the deception of indie perfumers using the word natural when they were using synthetics or a mixed palette. The opportunity to both speak and exhibit at the festival provided an impetus to boldly step into a new creative venture.

Several of the perfumes I had already created Q, Aurora, Lyra, Sierra, Chaparral and Vespertina, would be part of the launch with a few small tweaks. I also decided to formulate a special fragrance for the event that would become Vera, with the story of its construction woven into my presentation. At the time I was only offering liquid perfumes.

Read the details of what transpired that day by following this link here at the journal 

The initial intention of the brand,  which continues to be one of its pillars, was/is to bring beauty and light to plant fragrance without using any synthetics, isolates or animal ingredients, hence the use of the adjective illuminated.

I am so very proud to still be offering this work and extremely grateful for all the support along the way, thank you for being part of this wonder filled adventure!

Friday, May 20, 2022

World Bee Day




Happy World Bee Day!! In May 2010 a swarm of honey bees decided to build their new home in the compost bin of our California home. This felt quite auspicious because:
  1. In August of 2009 I had joined a local group of beekeepers with the intention to have a hive.
  2. The day the bees arrived was a Friday, like today, which is attributed to Venus/Aphrodite.

Backwards Beekeepers

The gift of this swarm of winged alchemists, my code word for the honey bees, felt so very auspicious, as if I had been given a nod by the divine that the path I was intending to journey was correct. Since I had found my bee guru, Kirk Anderson in August, with the intention to eventually start a hive, the arrival of this little group of very sweet, friendly honey bees was a joyful surprise.

I contacted John Lyons, one of the expert bee mentors in the bee club, who came to help us transfer the bees from the compost bin to a temporary nuc box. Read and see pictures of that event following this link or follow the jump below titled Bee Happy. Regrettably that swarm choose to depart, but left me a bit of beautiful white beeswax.



Meanwhile one of the fellow members of the group said I could have her "bird house" bees if I came to get them. Thus, those bees were relocated and took over thee periwinkle bee hive box we had set up for the original swarm. Meanwhile, Greg, Eve and I quickly began learning the art of beekeeping.

Venus / Aphrodite

The book The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall states "The bee is sacred to the goddess Venus and, according to mystics, it is one of several life forms of life which came to earth from the planet Venus millions of years ago."1 The Greek Goddess of beauty Aphrodite is also associated with the planet Venus which governs Friday.



Sometimes May flowers bring us more than just floral bouquets!

Honey Bee inspired Illuminated Perfumes:

Birth date: Summer Solstice 2011
Fragrance family: Earthy amber
Notes: Dark honey & mead
"Emblematic of the warm musky scent of a bee hive"


Birth date: October 2014
Fragrance family: Herbaceous
Notes: Resin, herb, golden wild flowers
"Sun drenched meadows buzzing with bees"

Here is a list of posts exploring the honey bee related topics, mostly at the journal



Thursday, May 19, 2022

Who By Fire

On April 6th a prescribed burn by the National Forest Service here in Northern New Mexico has grown to be the largest fire in our state’s history. The travesty is that if anyone bothered to ask us who live here when is the WORST time to do a controlled burn we would have all chimed in APRIL, when the land is dry and the winds are strongest.

Alchemically we witness how the dynamics of the wind combined with very dry conditions has awakened elemental Fire. Of the four elements Fire has a strong relationship with transformative energies since it is destructive, purifying and regenerative, there is are also associations with passion. Fire acts as the primordial source of life. Traditionally plants associated with elemental fire tend to be saps and those that are warm and spicy.

The pagan holiday Beltane, celebrated here in the northern hemisphere, on the Eve of May Day honors the rebirth of life.force. The festival has a strong association to elemental fire, referring to the return of the light half of the year and the rising of lusty passions. Traditionally bonfires are built and leaped over as an act of purification.

Elemental FIRE is the home of our beating heart, where we feel the constant rhythm within, the place of our passion, warmth, and direct knowing. Fire is ruled by the SUN and has a relationship to the spirit medicine of the courageous Lion.

The Sun has been emitting quite a lot of significant X-Class solar flares lately. These powerful solar eruptions are said to be part of the upgrade of human beings and activating our pineal gland.

In an outline of the Seven Hermetic Principals within the book The Kyballion, the Principal of Correspondence "embodies the truth that there is always a Correspondence between the laws and phenomena of the various planes of Being and Life. The old Hermetic axiom ran in these words: "As above, so below; as below, so above." And the grasping of this Principle gives one the means of solving many a dark paradox, and hidden secret of Nature. There are planes beyond our knowing, but when we apply the Principle of Correspondence to them we are able to understand much that would otherwise be unknowable to us.

This Principle is of universal application and manifestation, on the various planes of the material, mental, and spiritual universe — it is an Universal Law. The ancient Hermetists considered this Principle as one of the most important mental instruments by which man was able to pry aside the obstacles which hid from view the Unknown. Its use even tore aside the Veil of Isis to the extent that a glimpse of the face of the goddess might be caught. Just as a knowledge of the Principles of Geometry enables man to measure distant suns and their movements, while seated in his observatory, so a knowledge of the Principle of Correspondence enables Man to reason intelligently from the Known to the Unknown. Studying the monad, he understands the archangel." 1


Applying this alchemical axiom to the fires here in Northern New Mexico, and the heightened solar flares from the Sun, we observe that we are in a massive phase of transformation and evolution. The question to be asking is "What do I want eliminate to transform and evolve into a new human for the new Earth?"

1. The Kybalion

Related posts: A for Axolotl