Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Book of Dust

Back in late 2006 or so I had a very simple website that I had put together myself using my newly acquired color palette. The intention of the website was to start an online presence and have some visibility for when I attended my first Sniffapalooza event in February 2007.

The spark of creating "perfume" came when I attended a class with John Steele in Malibu. At the time I was mainly making aromatherapy blends and a few products like herbal salves and salt scrubs. Most of my clients included friends and students of the aromatherapy classes at the Massage School of Santa Monica.

The first perfumes I began constructing were basically aromatherapy blends called "perfumes", as I studied the craft they became much more complex and required a different way of thinking and working with the essences. My very first perfumes were: Q (originally called Quercus), Lyra, Aurora and Sierra. Vespertina arrived in the Summer of 2007 for the San Diego Comic Con followed by Vera introduced at the Ojai Lavender Festival in June 2008.

Todays post is about Lyra, whose story began as a custom perfume for my daughter Eve. This morning Eve sent me this note from The New York Times Instagram page about Phillip Pullman and a continuation to the trilogy His Dark Materials.

"After 17 years, Lyra is back. Lyra Silvertongue, Lyra Belacqua, but really just Lyra: she’s one of those characters in literature — Pip, Emma, Lolita — who’s on first-name terms with her public. After nearly 2 decades, the author of the trilogy “His Dark Materials” is continuing her story. “La Belle Sauvage,” the first volume of Philip Pullman’s next trilogy, “The Book of Dust,” will be published on October 19. The period before publication is a skittish time, particularly when readers’ expectations have had so long to ferment. When @nytmag’s Sophie Elmhirst visited Pullman at his home in September, he said he wasn’t exactly nervous, “but I just don’t know what the reaction will be.” The British author has written 35 books, but Lyra stands out among his protagonists. Over the 3 books — “Northern Lights” (“The Golden Compass” in the U.S.), “The Subtle Knife” and “The Amber Spyglass” — she embarks on a multiverse-crossing quest that becomes a battle against the dark forces of a totalitarian religious government. For a man whose novels are restless, Pullman leads a relatively static life. Every day from roughly 10 until 1, he sits at his desk at home in Oxford and produces 3 pages, longhand. He has written 3 pages a day ever since he started writing. Habit, he’s fond of saying, has written far more books than talent."

Eve and I absolutely adored the trilogy The Golden Compass and are thrilled that Mr. Pullman is continuing the story of Lyra. In fact, I'm going to get the audio versions of the first book and start the series once more.

Greg was a concept designer on the film version, although they ended up cutting most of his work when the producers choose to alter the story. One of my favorite characters in the book was Lee Scoresby, the Texan aëronaut with his dæmon named Hester. Sam Elliot did such a fine job of interpreting Lee in the film.

I'm happy to share that I have ample amounts of Lyra in all three formats here with me. I've slowly been adding perfumes to the website, Lyra is on the top of the list now that this recent development with the story has presented itself.

Read more about Lyra here at the journal.

Photo of Phillip Pullman by Nadav Kander for The New York Times
Classical painting: Music by Thomas Ralph Spence
Perfume photos ©RoxanaVilla

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