Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Hedera helix

Continuing down the ever greening path of verdant perfume we step onto the spiraling and purposeful Ivy. Hedera helix is the botanical name for Ivy as well as a perfume I created in April of 2007, two months after the formulation of Greenwitch.

Having devoted the last few years to learning the wonders of native California plants and creating indigenous perfumes, working with Ivy, required a tremendous paradigm shift. Here at our little woodland home we have been removing large amounts of ivy since arriving in order to facilitate a hospitable location for our native plants. Ivy is not indigenous to this area and is extremely water greedy. In fact it is considered a invasive, meaning it will crowd out native plants and create habitat destruction.

This is from the "Don't Plant a Pest" handout form The California Invasive Plant Council":

English ivy or Algerian ivy
Hedera helix or Hedera caneriensis
Some ivy species in the Hedera genus are a problem in California.
They can smother understory vegetation,
kill trees, and harbor non-native rats and snails.
It's difficult to distinguish problem species from less invasive ones.
Do not plant ivy near natural areas,
never dispose of ivy cuttings in natural areas,
and maintain ivy so it never goes to fruit.
Researchers hope to determine which ivies can be planted safely.


I discovered that creating a “Green” scent was fairly easy, however, creating a masterful botanical perfume that conveyed “Green” and “Ivy” was a challenge. Most especially given my particular orientation toward the plant.

Thus, I took a deep breath and dived in. The aroma of crushed Ivy leaves, to me, is very green with hints of citrus and powdery notes.

Here is my list of ingredients, as usual quite long:

Tonka Bean+Sandalwood+Oakmoss+Orris Root+Labdanum
+Cedarwood+Guaicwood +Rosewood+Angelica+Ambrette Seed
+Elemi+Seaweed+Choya+Styrax+Peru Balsam
+Beeswax+Hay+Mate+Vanilla+Tobacco+Peach Leaf+Boronia
+Orange Blossom+Jasmine+Rose+Pink Lotus
+Galbanum+Clary Sage+Geranium
+Parsley+Lavendin+Violet Leaf+Rhododendron Leaf
+Bergamot+Yuzu+Grapefruit+Lavender Flower tincture
in Organic Grape Spirits & Organic Grain Alcohol

Here is a segment of an article by Tonie Silver in Sniffapalooza Magazine:

"My favorite potion from Roxana was a special commission per my request.
Hedera helix~ the mighty Ivy Dark green leaves, reddish,
yellowish pink vines, and that special sharp tang that ivy possesses.
This is the big, aged, thick leaved ivy of my Grandmother’s front porch,
climbing and twining in the shade.
Cool and crisp, an inviting home to innumerable dark creatures."

This fragrance will be available, I'm just not sure when. It's possible it may be part of an upcoming project. In either case, when I put small vials of it on etsy I will give you all a holler.

In October I wrote a little post about the Celtic Tree Month of Ivy, find it here.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume™


Mary said...

I'm enjoying your beautiful blog, Roxana. Happy Yule!

Illuminated Perfume said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts Mary. A very happy yule to you as well...I'll be contributing a post about Yule in the next few days.

ScentScelf said...

:) :) :) :)

(I'm all smiles at the thought of being able to try this...)

Illuminated Perfume said...

Well guess what Shelley...as I was organizing bottles and samples this morning I found a sample bottle labeled "Hedera helix".
I'll put it up on Etsy once I weight it and see how much juice is in it.
Merry, merry...

ScentScelf said...

*gasp!* Okey-dokey...send me a note when it does go up...I don't want to miss it...

What happy solstice news!