Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Ramblin' Rose Hat Co.

In August, after years of waiting for the right moment, I was able to fulfill a wish of having a hat made just for me. The idea of doing something like this was planted by my local friend Geninne, who when I shared how my current hat doesn't stay on my head if there is wind, said that if I were to have a hat custom made that would not happen. She then told me about the local hat maker Sam of Ramblin' Rose. I had heard of Sam via the small maker community we have here in Santa Fe, but hadn't explored her work. Once I did, it was clear that this would be the way to go, however the timing wasn't quite right.

Then this August two things happened collided:

  1. It was my birthday month and Greg asked me what I wanted .
  2. I received Sam's "first to know, custom hat spots" email, stating that she was now open for new bookings.
The synergy between 1 & 2 was quite auspicious, thus I moved forward with my wish.

First step to kick off the process was making an appointment at her super cute workshop on upper canyon, to nail down measurements and design.

The process can take anywhere between 6-8 months, depending on supply chains, etc., thus, I've been practicing patience, knowing that it likely wont be ready until mid January if I'm lucky.

Supporting Sam is a step in empowering and investing in a small, local business. Former investment banker Catherine Austin Fitts shares how the most important investment we can make is in our community, not conglomerates that invest our money in global companies that don't have the best interest in human beings, the animal kingdom nor Mother Earth.

I am also supporting an indie, female maker and the slow fashion movement. Instead of purchasing a less expensive hat, investing in a handmade item that is made for me, by the hands of a local maker is part of the new economy which we all can be part of manifesting.

There's a phrase going around that states fashion is the second most polluting industry after oil, guess what, that's not completely true, another example of why its so important to do thorough research on things before just taking someones (a conglomerate or an organizations point of view, especially when an organization is funded by a creepy computer company.) Getting back to fashion, the most important aspects to keep in mind when making purchases is the follow,  inspired by a list on EcoCult:

  • Consume less new, conventional fashion.
  • Buy secondhand instead of new whenever possible
  • When you have to buy new, buy it from an indie maker, or if its a bigger company choose a more sustainable label that has measured its emissions for the company or per product and is striving to reduce and offset its footprint.
  • Support political action to limit global carbon emissions from every source. However, be mindful, once again everything is not what it seems Part of the dynamic here on planet Earth is that duality is everything.

If we each make the effort of spending our time, energy and money in a mindful way, we will be part of the big shift into a circular, holistic based system that holds the micro along with the macro in our collective heart.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

The Mark of Hands

Hands with Santa Fe lilacs ©RoxanaVilla

As our world continues to rotate more and more toward automation and tech, it is crucial to acknowledge and uphold the heritage of the mark of hand and fragrance making by respecting traditions, along with the linguistics that accompany those rich customs woven with wisdom. In doing so, we then acknowledge the cultures who birthed these ways of being in the world, which are inherently balanced with living at peace, in simple harmony with the Earth.

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment. Fools stand on their island of opportunities and look toward another land. There is no other land; there is no other life but this.”

― Henry David Thoreau

Perfume, the story of a murderer film screen shot 

Enfleurage, a method of capturing scent from delicate flowers, likely invented by the Ancient Egyptians and then resurrected in Grasse, was highlighted at the recent Pitti Fragrance conference in Italy.

After some investigation, I see that although the highlighted process is being termed enfleurage, it is actually an oil infusion of flowers performed in India that the flavor and fragrance manufacturer have decided to refer to as enfleurage.

Once more, we have the re-invention of a traditional word attributed to a process, or term, of something other than what it is. I've seen this occur with the word Cologne, a city in Germany that has deep historical roots in creating a light and refreshing citrus and herb spritz. The term cologne is now being used to define a fragrance for men of a solid fragrance, instead of using the generic word perfume, that appears to have taken on a feminine connotation.

The challenge with ascribing new of different meaning to words is that then the true origin, historical context and, in these two cases, actual definition of a craft is diminished and under valued. 

This occurs within the corporate fragrance industry, as illustrated with this new attribution of the term enfleurage, but also in the indie maker community. At the root of this conjuring trick, like the shell game on the streets of New York City, this sleight of hand ripples out and undermines cultural legacies.

The cause of dismissing humanities lineage is most often rooted in greed and ignorance. Becoming more and more obvious, with each day, is the domination of corporate institutions who favor special interests and profits over the benefit of the planet and or human beings. Joel Bakan's book, which was made into a film, The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power is an excellent example. If we observe the actions within a range of industries such as: pharmaceutical, oil, manufacturing and advertising, greed is the primary behavior at its core. When this occurs, the value of cultural legacy is significantly undervalued. One example that illustrates this concept quite vividly is the hunger for domination by the killing, removing or polluting indigenous people and their lands. Here in New Mexico, the mining and milling of Uranium being used for nuclear energy is a prime example. "This practice has caused problems, including on Navajo lands where more than half of small, abandoned uranium mines from the middle of the 20th century and their wastes remain."1

On the other end of the spectrum are the artisan makers who are not primarily motivated by greed, but sometimes possess a bit of ignorance and/or lack of education where they then ascribe a historical word to fit their needs. Like with the word cologne, as mentioned above, you can read more of my rant regarding the misuse of perfume words here.

Whether with a conglomerate, a perfume organization or an indie maker we observe a deficit of respect. Perhaps its due to our modern times, with so much greed running the world. Certainly our political leaders are not good role models. Gee, have you seen the documentary Planet of the Humans, produced by Michael Moore? That was eye opening and although enlightening, very depressing. Another film, causing a shift in awareness is Monopoly, which I will not link just in case the "sen sir", the big Orwellian eye, is watching. Does it bother you that the 1st amendment is no longer being adhered to?

The best role model I have found is Vandana Shiva, if you don't know about her check out The Seeds of Vandana Shiva. When we honor our roots and esteem those who came before us in tandem with deeply bowing to Mother Earth, then appropriating and redefining words for corporate and self interest will no longer surface as a prominent behavior amongst humans.

Related to the long tail of honoring words and their original definitions is supporting small, indie and handmade as a form of respect, preservation and spiritual path—a small act that does great good. As the world continues to shift, with more chaos and MAN dates, we gain more perspective on the critical need for each of us to become more fluid and aware.

If you’ve been following my work as an artist, whether visual or aromatic, than this may be repetitive. I bring it up again as a crucial reminder to our evolution. By focusing our attention on the arts, beauty, indie makers, those who work with nature and their hands, we contribute to the entire fabric of life. It is one of those very small acts that has great value, and undulates out, diminishing the power of the corporations and their ferocious need for greed.

It's crucial that we each take individual responsibility for what has happened to the world and begin to focus on small acts that contribute to the entire ecosystem and our personal role in the survival of humanity, nature and kindness

The mark of the hand, whether in a teacup, a journal, a bracelet, a small plant or food grown from traditional seed—each contains the subtle energy of a maker, each contains a vitality of incalculable worth.

1. EPA.gov website

Monday, September 13, 2021

Blue Tansy

Blue Tansy

We have Blue Tansy growing in front of our casita here in the high desert, just next to the lilac bush. I didn't realize what the plant was until a few weeks ago when it finally gave is one little bunch of flowers. As you can see in the photo, the little flowers are a bright, deep yellow hue and the foliage is similar to yarrow with its fern-like soft, green leaves.

I remember reading about it when I studied aromatherapy and the "blue" oils, but never delved into it much as a perfumer because I perceived the earthy scent was too medicinal. Fast forward from the mid nineties to this moment, when my blending skills have gotten much better, I can indeed imagine using it in a perfume.

The blue tansy flower, Tanacetum annuum, is part of the chamomile family, originating in the Mediterranean but now grown and cultivated in Morocco. The reason it goes by the name "blue" tansy is due to the compound chamazulene, which as the name implies, is blue. The essential oil is said to be calming to the skin and helps us feel grounded and relaxed. Very important attributes for these rather wild times we migrating.

During the steam distillation process the chamazulene compounds turns a beautiful deep blue hue.

As I work on bringing back the aromatherapy synergies I was making in the 90's, I look forward to working with this very special essence. Some of its attributes includes:

1. Assisting with inflammation due to these compounds:

  • Chamazulene
  • Sabinene
  • Camphor
  • Myrcene
  • Pinene

The word "inflammation" refers to an abundance of heat, usually revealing itself as redness and swelling of the skin as well as the emotions. Consider the words "in flame", referring to fire and the color red, now consider how this oil is blue, thus when applied swelling and redness may be diminished.

2. Emotional Support

Aromatherapy books refer to this oil as aiding in providing a sense of relaxation and grounding. 

3. Respiration

There is evidence that Blue Tansy is anti-bacterial and helpful with congestion and support of the respiratory system.

4. Moisture

As mentioned above, consider the heavenly blue hue of this mighty oil as a clue to how it can be used. Blue, like water, provides moisture, thus where there is dryness, bring in the water.

5. Antihistamine

Since evidence exists that blue tansy reduces nasal congestion, the oil has been used in blends as an antihistamine. Here in New Mexico, as the chamisa begins its flowering season, this will be one of my go to essences to diffuse and put a few drops into a bowl of warm water for a steam inhalations. Consider that when we do steam inhalations we get the affect of providing moisture to our lungs and the skin, while assisting our lungs and providing emotional support.

5. Insect Repellant

For those of you, who like me, prefer to keep insects away, there is evidence that blue tansy oil can aid in keeping some insects, like mosquitos, away.

I plan on ordering a kilo of this essential oil directly from the distiller, if you are interested in participating in the order be sure to send me a note to: roxana @ roxanavilla.com.