Thursday, January 31, 2013


I've been making a few minor adjustments to the chocolates. There are new "flavors" and the samples have changed slightly due to a brilliant idea contributed by Gregs friend Jeff, a graphic designer who was here the other night.

The formula for Figure 1: Noir has been slightly enhanced, the basic synergy is delicious, sexy and utterly intoxicating. Personally, I can't get enough. My addiction to it is similar to that of Chaparral, the aroma uplifts my emotional state. I find this very interesting considering it has so many earthy essences derived from deep, dark, mysterious aromatics.

I had a very powerful, spiritual experience when I wore it the other night. Although its not clear to me why, I have a sense that the very special, consciousness enhancing, vital essences had something to do with it.  Sometimes we need to get really grounded to soar to the heavens, its one of those interesting paradoxes of the duality of the earthly experience.

I will be offering these new synergies as solid perfumes with and without the chocolate, like Blanc the perennial favorite. Expect them to start appearing in the shop next week. Eventually, once I obtain new bottles, I will offer them as liquids as well.

The opening image is a Found Poetry, Altered Book by Kelly Tankersley of 88 Editions in Austin.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Being as busy as a bee can be

There's been an interesting discussion on my bee group about 19th century beekeeping, including Victorian and steampunk styles of bee suits, bee hives and tools. Here are some fun items from the thread, enjoy.

Pictured above are bee skeps, which were one of the first types of bee hives used by humans at the end of the 17th century. Here's a link on how to make your own.

While perusing the photos here are some sound tracks.

Arthur Askey The Bee Song

Liberace - Bumble Boogie 

and my favorite Monty Python - Eric the Half-a-Bee (1972)

 The steampunk smoker, above.

Ambre Jaune

Aumbre, my amber botanical perfume, is a bit of a shape shifter depending to ones olfactory geography. To my nose the aroma is incense, amber with a touch little gourmand, sweetness from the tonka bean. My friend Nancy was at the studio on Sunday and remarked that it smelled like woods. Thus, I now have added "wood" to the odor description.

Aumbre has a new pouch color which is much more consistent with the wax seal. Originally I was using the dark brown pouch, however, with the advent of the arrival of the chocolates that needed to shift. The yellow ocher hue is evocative of ambre jaune, fossilized resin, often referred to as amber.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

USPS price increase

The United States Postal Service, USPS, has announced a new price increase which will more than double shipping to international locations. The price hike will occur on January 27th, thus a few days before hand I will add the adjusted rates to the E-shop.

If you are wondering what the approximate price difference will be to send a 3 ounce package to your location, in Australia for example, you can try out this handy, dandy rate calculator here.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ebb and Flow

I'm focusing on the positives of ebb and flow today, although, I much prefer flow. Flow being more aligned with water element where as ebb is part of elemental earth. Both have their benefits, its just a matter of where one is standing and perceiving. After all, perception is an act of creation. Oh...and how auspicious, my favorite fragrance lately has been Chiaroscuro, which is all about the dark and the light. Gee, Spirit must be telling me something.

I normally shoot my photos in the early morning and/or late afternoon next to the big window in the living room. During the holidays that spot was taken for the Christmas tree so I had to look for other options, like the studio where the top and two bottom images were taken.

The other day on a whim I did some shots on the other side of the living room next to the big sliding glass doors, on one of the big "fulfillment" tables that were brought into the space in October. So, this is my new favorite spot, which is fabulous because there is lots of space and the northern light is pretty good all day long.

The palette of essences I work is constantly in danger and thus the fragrances will shift depending mostly on what I can get a hold of at any given time. Sometimes essences disappear off the market completely, while at other times its just a matter of hunting them down and having the resources to purchase large amounts.

A huge box of aromatics I recently ordered arrived at the door today. It's filled to the brim with a plethora of essential oils, absolutes and C02 extracts from all parts of the planet. Many of them are to make existing perfumes, some of which have been out of stock, like Aurora liquid and Gracing the Dawn. Others are for upcoming deliciousness yet to be unveiled.

Last night I ordered yet another huge batch of essences. I've been a little in terror at the amount of money that I've been spending on raw materials lately. It's great to get things in larger amounts because they are less expensive and then you have them, without having to re-order all the time. However, I'm no bank. This living on the edge, ebb phase of the year, like winter wears thin, I can't seem to get use to it.

Now that the sun is out, I'm warm and have had lots of good news today I'm feeling much better about everything. Although the ebb phase might be part of the reality at least I can shift my mind into a different gear.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Victorian & Edwardian

The Etsy featured seller this weekend has been the shop Vera Vague, is comprised of the dynamic duo Vera & Victor Vague, aka Anastasia and Eric, in Kalamazoo. Their focus is on the Victorian, Edwardian and Art Deco period items. I've been a long time fan of their shop and photos...mostly the Victorian boots or these Edwardian black leather "Witch" shoes from 1910.

As I was checking out the feature when all of a sudden I noticed that Anastasia was wearing our Victorian inspired perfume locket in the photo of them! I know its ours because about a month ago Eric bought it filled with Vespertina, obviously for Anastasia, what a perfect fragrance for her.

Besides the fabulous items they offer you gotta love their sense of style!

 All photos except the Victorian inspired perfume locket belong the VeraVague.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Best of 2012

Whoosh, here we are at the point of endings and beginnings as we fly our magic carpet into the year 2013!

As a refresher, I looked through the posts here at the journal and on my facebook page because I knew that besides the Etsy feature, there were other stellar moments worth mentioning.

2012 brought more sales than ever in the history of this uber niche natural perfume biz. Pretty amazing given that so many people don't quite "get" natural" perfume and the economic situation. I'm looking forward with excitement to 2013, here are some highlights of 2012.

~ As mentioned above, being Etsy featured seller was one of the most stellar things to happen this year. Several factors played a role in making it the stellar experience.

1. I had myself, the studio and my perfume making process professionally photographed.

2. I systemized the perfume making and order filling processes.

3. I put all the packaging materials in the living room under three long tables for organizing and fulfilling orders. This left my studio space as a creative mecca for me, while helpers work in the living room. The living room is now the shipping and receiving, for better or worse, until we either move or find another space for my business.

~ In the Best of 2011 report I marveled that my perfumes had sold to people in all the states of the US and in over 60 countries. This year has not only surpassed those figures considerably but October produced a stack of invoices taller than the stack of the entire year of 2011, whoa!

~ Roxana Illuminated Perfume turned 5 and I turned 50!

~ Eve was accepted to theater school in London.

~ I participated in two Artisan Fragrance Salons this past year which was a great opportunity to meet and greet fans in person and continue to get the brand out there.

~ This year we added a few new items and packaging updates, in 2013 expect even more.

~ Partnerships with talented and amazing designers & artisans continue and will manifest in 2013.

~ We did our first honey harvest from our bee hives here on the property.

~ Our little woodland cottage was repainted in a beautiful, soft sage green color which is the perfect compliment to our native plant garden.

What's ahead for 2013 is sure to be marvelous and another grand adventure. Happy New Year and much gratitude to each and every one of you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Monday, January 7, 2013

Movie Monday: Prometheus

I went to see Alien back in 1979, along with most young movie goers at the time. I didn't relish the idea of seeing Prometheus, despite that I appreciate Ridley Scott and Damon Lindelof, I'm just not into gore and aliens.

I am into sci-fi eye candy and great actors like Michael Fassbender, so I was hooked after seeing the above trailer, just not enough to see Prometheus on the big screen. Last night we watched the DVD and was fully satisfied with the two things I expected, gorgeous eye candy and fantastic acting. The story, however, left me a completely empty.

In fact, the entire film could have just been focused on David and it would have probably been a better story, albeit a little too close to Moon with Sam Rockwell, an excellent film.
This video title Prometheus Actually Explained, which by the way I don't recommend unless you've seen the film because there are spoilers, gives much more depth to the film. Too bad they didn't put more of it in and done a little snip and tuck.

Visually the film is beautiful, full of the spectacular imagery of Hans Rudolf (H.R) Giger, one of the kings of the Fantastic Realism genre.

"Giger’s most famous book, Necronomicon, published in 1977, served as the visual inspiration for director Ridley Scott’s film Alien, Giger's first high-profile film assignment, which earned him the 1980 Oscar for the Best Achievement in Visual Effects for his designs of the film's title character, including all the stages of its life cycle, plus the film’s the extraterrestrial environments. Giger's other well-known film work includes his designs for Poltergeist II, Alien3 and Species, as well as the legendary unmade film, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune."
                                                                                           ~ from Gigors biography.

The other artist I felt there were elements from were De Es Schwertberger, who was part of The Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. I had the opportunity to visit him while in Austria. Visionary, transcendental art is one of my absolute favorite genres in art, it is quite vast and includes such artists as William Blake, Frida Kahlo and many friends who attend Comic Con and Spectrum Live.

If I were to include my work into a genre its this one, through my botanical perfumes I intend to elevate consciousness. Here is a link to a Visionary Art Manifesto. By the way, I am currently wearing a ten year old vintage sandalwood from Mysore that came from an old growth tree that had fallen in the deep woods of India.

Obviously the film Prometheus isn't transcendental, but it is nice to look at and a fun ride.

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Remember those beautiful photos from the Etsy feature, well Rebecca Fishman, the photographer, is also a talented musician. Rebecca will be performing in a Fleetwood Mac Tribute Show at the Roxy in Hollywood on January 10th. Check out more videos on the website. Those of you who knew the band and its music back in the 80's will appreciate it tremendously.

Which Illuminated Perfume do you think Stevie Nicks would have worn back then...Cimbalom, Chiaroscuro, Rosa?

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy Twenty Thirteen !!!

Wow, another year and another opportunity to evolve and recreate ourselves, this time under the shine of thirteen. I'll be back with an end of the year report soon, in the meantime here are thirteen lines of interesting facts about the number thirteen:

1. Thirteen is a Fibonacci number, a happy number, and one of only three Wilson Prime numbers.

2. The moon travels 13 degrees around the earth every day. It takes 13 days for the moon to move from Full to New and 13 days to change back with 1 day Full and 1 day New to equal 28 days of a Lunar Cycle.

3. There are 13 loaves in a "Baker's Dozen".
4. There are 13 witches in a coven and 13 turns make a traditional hangman's noose.

5. A full chromatic musical octave contains 13 notes, by inclusive counting.

6. In the Mayan Tzolk'in calendar, trecenas mark cycles of 13 day periods. The pyramids are also set up in 9 steps divided into 7 days and 6 nights, 13 days total.

7. In a tarot card deck, XIII is the card of Death, usually picturing the Pale horse with its rider.

8. There are 13 Archimedean Solids.

9. The sacred cord of Druids has thirteen segments.

10. The Sumerians used a zodiac including 13 constellations and 26 main stars.

11. The thirteen gates of the Human body of the woman: 2 eyes, 2 ears, 2 nostrils, the mouth, 2 breasts, the navel, the anus, the urethra and the vagina.

12. The Chinese abacus consists of 13 columns of beads.

13. The 13 virtues, according to Benjamin Franklin
TEMPERANCE.     Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
SILENCE.     Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
ORDER.         Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
RESOLUTION.     Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
FRUGALITY.     Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
INDUSTRY.     Lose no time; be always employ'd in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
SINCERITY.     Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
JUSTICE.     Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
MODERATION.     Avoid extreams; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation.
TRANQUILLITY.Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
CHASTITY.     Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dulness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.
HUMILITY.     Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

Photograph by Roxana taken at Santa Monica Beach, CA.
These random facts were found on Wikipedia and Virtue Science.