Thursday, June 21, 2007

Ojai Lavender Festival in Review

The Ojai Lavender Festival on Saturday, June 16th, 2007 was a joy to participate in. This was the 4th year of this celebration of Lavender, the 1st in 2004 with illustrious presenters including Suzanne Catty and Michael Scholes.

The air was permeated with the herbaceous, fruity scent of lavender at Libbey Park when we arrived at 8:30 am. Sandy and Roland Messori of Rivendell Aromatics, had already set up most of their extensive booth and I suspect the majority of the glorious vapors were wafting from their beautiful lavender bouquets and plants.

At 1pm I delivered the keynote presentation on The Art Spirit in Aromatic and Visual Art at the outdoor stage, under a large canopy of coastal live oak trees. It was quite an honor to speak out for the oaks with their presence surrounding us all. I had momentarily flashes of Treebeard and the Ents from the Lord of the Rings trilogy by JRR Tolkien.

The talk began with a personal history as an artist working in the mediums of paint and essential oils. I gave an example of how the creation of a visual image and a perfume share the same process, although the tools of the trade vary, in the end you are left with a constructed artwork.

I also shared how the Quercus perfume manifested through a series of synchronistic events, inspired by four oak trees. Quercus was the first perfume of the Californica line with a portion of proceeds supporting the California Oak Foundation

We explored a few elements from the history of aromatherapy and ended with a reminder by Joseph Campbell to "Follow Your Bliss!"

The day was very full with a constant stream of visitors at the booth, recognizing the artwork from various publications and wanting to experience the perfumes. All the perfumes were very well received. Vera, the fragrance created specifically for the festival, and Quercus were the favorites at this event. Visitors included fans, friends, students, clients and Robert Tisserand, shown in the photo above. It was a treat to finally meet him in person and share our perfumes.

My gratitude to Greg, Martha and all my friends for your support as well as Brad and Chiara for the photos!

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