Monday, January 19, 2009


“Plants that wake when others sleep.
Timid jasmine buds that keep their fragrance to themselves all day,

but when the sunlight dies away let the delicious secret out

to every breeze that roams about.”

~ Thomas More

In August of 2008, rather spontaneously, I created a botanical natural perfume as a gift to myself for my birthday. As I shared it with friends during a performance of Kiss Me Kate at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, I was asked "What do you call this one?" I quickly titled it Birthday Balm. The response to the buttery, delicious scent was extremely positive, thus I decided to include it in my line. Like a caterpillar it has morphed a bit since it's first debut with a few reformulations and name changes. I am proud to announce that the butterfly has now finally emerged from the cocoon with a name, it's color hue and the illumination.

The new name is Cimbalom, after a stringed instrument closely related to the hammered dulcimer. It was my friend Scott that initially proposed a name based on an instrument. I thought it was a great idea since perfume has so many parallels to music. I am a huge fan of the hammered dulcimer in music, specifically Dead Can Dance and Lisa Girard. Since this perfume is in a sense *my* signature perfume, it feels appropriate to weave in all the elements that I adore.

Which brings me to the imagery. As I searched my minds eye for a piece from Maestros existing artworks, I came upon Enchantment. I knew right away she was the one. The imagery of the sleeping beauty amidst the autumn leaves morphing into butterflies is quite appropo for this buttery, sensuous unguent.

The story of this fragrance unfolds utilizing many of my very favorite essences. It is a very sensuous perfume with an underlying wild, animalic note. The main notes are Labdanum, Patchouli and Jasmine with Citrus and Spice making an appearance as top notes.

Cimbalom Solid Perfume is available at my site as a sample, mini compact, round tin or one of the antique inspired compacts. The sample arrives in a neutral pot with the little bee logo wax seal. There The sample provides ample amounts for testing and altaring your altar to your essential nature.

Here are a few remarks from fans:

"Roxana, your "Birthday Balm" is exquisite. When I closed my eyes I was transported to a blossom and incense scented harem. I felt as though I had entered a hidden world of women-- where sensuous secrets are revealed. It is delicate, potent, sexy-- irresistible."
~ D. Alexander

"I love it! Reading the notes included, my response was, ooh, this will be spicy. Indeed, on first sniff it was, yet immediately it tumbled into sweet (the beeswax?), powdery, earthy, woody, autumnal, edible, womanly, sexy, subtle, cool. I found myself swathed in velvet and lace, frolicking between the sun shafts in the mossy forest with the fairy host. That must have been some birthday, girl! Thanks again for the interlude. Love and hugs and Mabon blessings"
~ Anne

and her second note:

"What an amazing perfume. Amazing too how it smelled so completely different on Elizabeth. And yes, the solid perfume seems just right for this yin time of the year."
~ Anne

"Roxana.... what a wonderful, magical balm! It is a harvest of scents... sensuous but not overpowering... absolutely delightful! Can hardly wait for a liquid version of it. Thanks so much for your generosity, and for sharing your alchemical talents with the world! :) Blessings..."
~ Adriane

Enjoy, bee happy, slather yourself often and mindfully.

Perfume images ©Roxana Villa, Enchantment illustration ©Greg Spalenka,
see more at his website.

Roxana Illuminated Perfume


ScentScelf said...

I am so glad to hear you feel a connection between perfume and music...I do, too, and reflect on this regularly...pitch, tone, compositions, movement over time, overall effect of single chords and cumulative presence...capable of bypassing logical entry points and going directly to the limbic lobe...orchestrated, but not necessarily in effect.

Also interesting to hear your birthday balm has been "christened." Congratulations...

Illuminated Perfume said...

Indeed the similarities between perfume and music are quite vast. I love the way you describe it. It was in studying Septimus Piesse that I first became aware of this. Later I began seeing the relationship of Perfume to all the arts. It appears most obvious in perfume & music because there is shared terminology. Thank you so much for your thoughts. Great to hear from you.