Saturday, October 17, 2020

Citrus & Colognes + Lab 101 Masterclass begins November 1st

Citrus & Colognes + Lab 101 Masterclass begins November 1st, 4:00-5:00pm Israel/Palestine Time.

You're invited to begin exploring the world of perfume creation though wonderfully accessible raw materials, some of them even from your grocery store, garden and citrus grove.

We'll learn how to create historic Aqua Mirabillis and Eaux de Colognes-style fragrances, Agua de Florida, and more. This is your entry ticket to learning in-depth perfume composition, and get over any fear you may have had from working the bench (scale, dilutions, complex looking formulae, etc.). If this sounds like magic to you, enjoy a 50% off the normal price for this correspondence course, and pay $450 instead of $900 for 12 Zoom classes, as well as online group support, email support and much more fun and friends all over the world! Students from all over the world have enjoyed connecting and learning through this format in our Spring & Summer sessions via Zoom and I'm excited to offer this introductory course again this fall. Looking forward to meeting you soon XO Ayala 


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Thursday, October 01, 2020

Khulnejan Soap on Its Way



Coming up soon from the drying rack: Khulnejan soap. Khulnejan is Arabic for galangal, the main 
ingredient in the brew that inspired this soap: Meghli tea, AKA the Druze answer to Pumpkin Spice Latte. Those of you who attended my many fall and winter events on Haro Street probably know it as "Witch's Brew". This spicy tea is made by simmering dried galangal root of a very particular kind that is both very hot and musky, with added dried ginger root. Optional is also the addition of cinnamon and cloves, which I opt for as a sweetener rather than packing it with sugar as is customary to do, as well as sprinkled nuts on top. Anyway, the soap has a teeny bit of honey as a sweetener as well... Actually more for improving lather during the bathing experience, and conditioning to the skin. The soap will be ready just in time for Halloween, as well as all the winter festivities to follow.

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Sunday, June 21, 2020

Beach Lily

Chavatzelet Shkiaa

Happy Summer Solstice! 

There is a secret spot on the northernmost beach, below the sandstone slopes laden with beach lilies, purple everlasting and sea-celery,  where saltwater meets a freshwater spring. It is accessible only in low tide, when the spring is revealed and its water can be drank and purify before the short stream is swallowed by the thirsty tongue of the Mediterranean Mother. When the tide is up, the flowing spring is immediately consumed by her salty womb and none would know it was in the least diluted. 

Today, 21.06.2020 is an unusual day: the sun is at its peak, and there is also a Sun Eclipse. This reminds me of the merging of the two waters. And therefore, I chose this day to release my new creation, Beach Lily

This is a perfume in honour of one of my favourite flowers - the Sea Daffodil (Pancratium maritimum), an endangered bulb flower that usually only beings to bloom at the end of summer and early fall (sometime around late August and early September). This year I have already seen some in bloom in mid-June! It has an incredible scent, very heady and lily-like, with a hint of green, that intensifies in the afternoon and evening, and attracts night pollinators. 

The process for creating this scent was a bit unusual: It actually started as a soap-scent for my Beach Lily shampoo bar with Coconut Milk & Shea Butter, and I loved it so much that I turned it into a fully-fledged perfume. On this conspicuous day, both the Beach Lily shampoo bar and perfume are ready for you to enjoy. And also the label design has just got in.  

Credits are due to my graphic designer who is so talented, hard working and a joy to work with. Thank you, Terry! And many thanks also to my brother Yotam Dehan, who took this gorgeous Sea Daffodil photograph back in 2006 and sent it to me when I was still living in Canada (and missing all these special wild flowers). Wise Woman Inbal Levite taught me that this plant is the teacher of unconditional love, and I think my brother's simple gesture of sharing a photo of something I love so much is an act of love. How blessed I am to live next to such plant teachers, and to my close family that I love so much. 

Each bottle contains a few drops of both saltwater and freshwater, from the secret, swollen spring; and I put a little bit of both low tide water and spring water just for you. With these bottles of fragrance, saltwater and freshwater, I share with you my love for the sea and the wild beaches. May they be clean and rich with sea life! I will donate 20% of each bottle sale to "Mediterranean People", a local organization that works to protect the beaches and sealife (particularly the Sea Turtles, whose eggs are being laid these days), keeps the beaches clean and does ongoing educational campaigns in this beautiful nature reserve, just 20 minutes away from my studio. 

Today I feel truly blessed and grateful for Nature and beauty and a good health and being surrounded by love - far and near. If you ever find yourself feeling lonely or unloved, remember that you contain all this unconditional love within you. May this perfume be a reminder of that, and of all the love you receive (maybe not romantic, but that is not the only love that nourishes us!) and the unconditional love that you too embody.  



Top notes: Bayberry, Galangal, Ruby Red Grapefruit
Heart notes: Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Ginger Lily
Base notes: Sandalwood, Foikienia 





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Friday, March 20, 2020

Seville Orange Marmalade

When Life Gives you Bitter Oranges... Make Marmalade!
Anything can become an obsession. Even marmalade. This translucent, jelly-like sunshine-in-a-jar has become such an institution in English afternoon tea and continental breakfasts that entire festivals and competitions have been dedicated to it. Seeing that I have a Seville orange tree (AKA bitter orange) that is never completely used up, I set up to prepare some marmalade for the Purim's treat-kits (Mishloah Manot) which is a tradition of giving your neighbours and friends a little care package with baked goods, sweets and wine. Kinda like the opposite of Trick-or-Treating for the Jewish carnival-like holiday of costume-wearing and getting drunk beyond all logic. 
When Life Gives you Bitter Oranges... Make Marmalade!
I've tried several reliable recipes, online and offline, which promised no need for any added pectin for the marmalade to set. Supposedly, such jams, which contain the skins, seeds, pith and juice of these bitter-sour  suckers would have all you need to make such spectacular marmalade, and the only thing added would be sugar (in lesser quantities than those needed for pectin-boosted ones). I have used some recipes from online, some recipes from The Joy of Cooking. I won't share a recipe here because non of them succeeded under my hands to deliver the desired effect without adding pectin. Nevertheless, they have become translucent and very delicious. But most did't at all set. Those who I was able to give them to before the holiday (which was followed closely by the Coronavirus instigated country-wide lockdown, beginning in March 15th) immensely enjoyed them. Some remained in my home because I wasn't able to deliver them all in time; and instead were given to the post office clerks who helped me ship out orders in the beginning of this strange, new era. 

I made some with only seville oranges and a little lemon; some tinged with rosemary sprigs; and others with a mix of pink grapefruit and seville oranges and a little lemon (the latter is notorious for its high pectin contents). They were all delicious. But didn't set without pectin. Some I use as syrup to top ice creams or drizzle on pancakes. Or on Pannacotta. Or rice pudding. Or Malabi for that matter. Any kind of neutral desert that can use some brightening and tangy contrast would be great as a backdrop for this liquid sunshine. The ones that I used pectin for were mostly given as presents. Except for that one that I sent to my grandma via my mom (a whole 1 Liter jar) which she forgot to give and carried it in her handbag all the way back from Tel Aviv to Clil via train; probably one of the last trains before the lockdown). 
When Life Gives you Bitter Oranges... Make Marmalade!

When Life Gives you Bitter Oranges... Make Marmalade!

When Life Gives you Bitter Oranges... Make Marmalade!

When Life Gives you Bitter Oranges... Make Marmalade!
I'm including photographs for your enjoyment. When I qualify for a Marmalade festival submission maybe I will also share a recipe. For now, please try the ones in Joy of Cooking 
(which I'm sure are the ones my grandmother used to make hers - she always made the one with mixed citrus - orange, lemon and grapefruit) and let me know if you managed to make it set.  
When Life Gives you Bitter Oranges... Make Marmalade!


Saturday, March 07, 2020

Almond Blossom Paper

Since the day I completed Hanami perfume I had a vision for making Hanami paper as well. I collected Sakura (cherry blossoms) and pressed them, but didn't know till meeting master papermaker Izhar Neuman, that I didn't have the right materials, or the right idea of the process...

As much as I like to be hands-on and create everything possible that I dream of, I knew right then and there that I should leave this task for him. He has created for me paper from my recycled scent-strips (still a work in progress, as the original concept was to make this into a scented paper, and the scent didn't really come through). When I saw his exhibit of handcrafted paper, along with several other artists, I fell in love with the almond-blossom lampshade that his apprentice Neta has created. It was just about the end of almond blossom season. I managed to harvest a boxful of fresh flowers from my bitter almond tree, and drove up to Jatt where Izhar's workshop is. A few days later, the paper was ready. 

Strangely, and fortunately, the freshness and colours of the blossom gets preserved in the paper, in a manner that is not possible to produce with pressed dried flowers or any other technique I know of. Something about them being trapped within the two layers of fine paper fibres convinces them to keep blooming. it's a sort of paper enfleurage I supposed. 

Wooden mallet used for pounding and breaking down the paper mulberry fibres, from the inner bark of the tree. Izhar grows his own mulberry trees in Clil, harvests them and makes traditional Japanese paper from their gorgeous translucent fibres, in his atelier in Jatt, the neighbouring village. Earlier that winter, I took my Botanical Alchemy students to Izhar's workshop to experience first hand the process of peeling off the steamed mulberry branches. 

Traditional Japanese paper press for flattening and further refining handmade paper. 


The paper custom-made for me, against the natural light from the window. 

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Saturday, February 22, 2020

Green

Green
Every month, I join a group of ten other women, for a Friday of unusual fun. We are led by our two sages, who choose a surprise spot for us outdoors, where we will spend a the day soaking up beauty. Being outside in a natural environment and discovering beauty in unexpected places (not always so wide and wild, as those areas are fast vanishing from the horizon). We start the day alone for about an hour of solitude, meditating, contemplating, or just staring at our surroundings in quiet time along. Some of the day is dedicated to photography exercises, using simply our smartphones and learning how to take better ones, with very little focus on technique and more focus on a specific topic that is seasonal and we tackle it from the twelve different angles that each of us provide. We mostly lavish in the luxury of having time for ourselves away from family, home and work responsibilities. And just with ourselves and sharing time, space and love for nature with one another. We share a meal and sometimes also our thoughts and feelings. It's very simple yet so hard to come by these days.

Yesterday, I drove through a wide gravel road leading to some of the country's last wheat fields of Yizrael Valley, behind Bethlehem of Galilee (possibly and logically, where Jesus was truly born, but not traditionally considered his birthplace). And from the midst of the fields, we were lead through two gates to a naked oak grove amidst the green.

The theme for this month is "Green". The colour of life, renewal and the heart chakra (along with pink). Yet in contrast to all of that, I have to admit I was not particularly excited to tackle this topic aesthetically. It seemed too easy. Too lovable. I felt strangely uninspired.

Moss Green
On the artist's palette, as well as in nature, there are more shades of green than any other colour. Forget about fifty shades of grey. We're talking about 295 shades of green! Can you name any of them? There are precious gems like emerald, jade and peridot; There's sea green and forest green, and then there are myriads of plants and foods with distinguished greens, such as sage green and olive green, pistachio, avocado, lime and many more; The beloved mushroom green (which is the shade I use for my logo), fern and moss green (both dark and light), and of course grass green. The names alone make me feel rejuvenated and recharged.
Sea Green
And rejuvenated I did return from this week's outing, because despite my reservations I did go. I didn't find any earth-shuddering shots or any other ground-breaking revelation. And that is totally okay. I marvelled at the fields of green wheat, and the green pastors among the naked oak trees. Cyclamens galore with their heart-shaped leaves of green snake-like patterns, and plenty of mandrakes just going into fruit, Jerusalem sage, mullein, watercress and stinging nettles  are just a few of the more distinguished plants among a sea of green grass, mostly. I placed a little wicker mat among the white anemones and cyclamens and realized what a ridiculously simple luxury it is to just sit or lie down on the grass facing the sky and the trees like this. And how precious it is to just be in my body in this place. I took in the green, stretched my limbs and spine in the pleasantly caressing rays of the winter sun, and when I looked around I also so moss on the rocks, so bright and vivid. I wondered why I do this lying down and doing nothing only at the beach and promised myself to do it anywhere else I can lay my body on and feel like doing so.

Reseda Green
Reseda odorata, AKA Mignonette (pictured above) is just one of a few typically "Green" notes on the perfumer's palette. But it is not the only one. And it is also rarely available now as an absolute, so I would love to try my hand at extracting it using the enfleurage method. The leaves themselves smell pungent and more than a tad repulsive - almost like rotten tomato leaves or goosefoot leaves (a stinky relative of quinoa). But the delicate cluster of tiny white flowers smell surprisingly amazing! Reminiscent of tuberose dipped in a field of green, it is heady and heavenly with hints of orange blossoms. This note can be found in the stunning Private Collection by Estee Lauder, and is what gives it its unique personality above all other components. When I smell reseda, I find it really hard not to think of this perfume.

Green Grass
For the perfumer, "Green" is not just a colour, but a whole category of aromas that bring to mind imagery of leaves other than aromatic herbs (rosemary, sage and eucalyptus don't count as "green" even if their colour is). The smell of fresh cut grass, one of the most beloved among the thousands of people I interviewed throughout the years, is a universally loved scent. The molecules (Z)-3-hexenol and (Z)-3-hexenyl acetate are what give the distinct fragrance of fresh cut grass. They develop once the grass blades are crushed. These are not extractable into essential oils, perhaps because their concentration is very low. However, they have a high odour intensity which gives off a scent that is associated with relaxation, summer lawns and poolside giggling. They are now synthetically produced to create a very realistic impression of something fleeting that can't be captured otherwise. When trying to bottle an impression of the grassy lawn of Harbour Green park in Coal Harbour perfume, I've used a combination of galbanum oil, tart pine absolute and linden blossom.
Green Mask
Another synthetic molecule that is very frequently used to create a green character or nuance in a perfume is spirogalbanone. This is a manmade molecule is intensely green and powerful, sharp and persistent, and not at all found in nature, but that takes its inspiration if you will from the natural essential oil of galbanum. The resin from this Persian native of the Apiaceae family gives off a most characteristic bright and GREEN personality that is like intensely heady and sharp parsley with hints of balsam, grass blades and freshly squeezed lemon rind, dripping with green juiciness. Galbanum can be found in many classic perfume compositions, the key one being Vent Vert, the Godmother of all green perfumes. Then there are Miss Dior, Ma Griffe, Chamade, Crystalle, Ivoire, No. 19 and more. Galbanum is THE natural perfumer's key green resource, and you'll find it in Ayalitta, Rainforest, Lost Lagoon and Grin.
Edamame
There are other green notes in natural perfumery: violet leaf absolute (which appears in quite a few of the perfumes discussed today), hay absolute and even oakmoss has an inherent green quality to it. And there are a few categories as well - Floral Green or Chypre Green. Perhaps there is a green nuance in a perfume you love that belongs to a completely different category - for example, the legendary Vol de Nuit, which also contains galbanum, oakmoss and sage but is walking the tightrope between Oriental and a Chypre and manages to smell both mysterious and natural.

For now I will just let you meditate on green wherever you are - be it a green garment, a mundane object such as a garbage bin, or the lovely and nutritious food you eat. Notice the colour and the exact shade of green. Do you see other colours in it and other associations? Does the green you meet have a scent? Do you like it? What does being meeting the green make you feel?

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Friday, February 07, 2020

Oriental Perfumery and Incense Masterclass & Incense Route Odyssey in the Desert

An unforgettable learning & travelling experience - sign up now to ensure your spot! Only 2 left. 
We're starting the decade with launching a new and exciting format for the Oriental course - combining it with a trip along the Incense Route in the desert, and with a longer course that allows for deeper learning of this most ancient and elusive of all fragrance families. 

We're starting the decade with a new format for learning the Oriental Masterclass, going back in time to the spice caravans a trip to the ancient Nabatean cities along the legendary Incense Route, a full day of immersion in the world of incense,

The Spring 2020 Perfumery Course (March 10-19) brings together the best of all worlds: History, Art, Culture, Nature, Incense and Perfumery Studies. Prior to the original format of 5-day perfumery masterclass, students will spend two days touring the Incense Route in the desert, enjoy a full day of incense masterclass at Ayala Moriel's studio in Clil, followed by a visit to a monumental piece of art that is tucked away just a stone throw from the Lebanese border. 


The Incense Route is an UNESCO World Heritage Site that runs through the Negev Desert. A place that every perfumery student should visit for insights and inspiration regarding the very origins of perfume and incense. Students participating in this unusual Oriental Masterclass will also learn how to make incense based on an ancient formula, in a traditional method using natural botanical aromatics that were used for millennia, and then delve deep into incorporating this tangible, aromatic knowledge and experience into composing perfume, which will enable to have a richer and fuller understanding of the art of perfumery, both contemporary and traditional.

This spring, Ayala Moriel has teamed up with the exceptional local tour guide Yoav Avneyon who specializes in its culture and heritage, and will lead you through the most significant Nabatean cities along this route. Yoav is especially passionate about bringing back to life the times of the spice caravans that brought aromatic treasures from India, China through Arabia, Israel and eventually via sea to Europe and North Africa.

DATES & ITINERARY
March 10-11:
Trip to the Incense Route, lead by Yoav Avneyon. Yoav will pick you up from Tel Aviv and drive you through the desert landscapes of Southern Israel for an immersive experience in the ancient Nabatean cities. The cost for this trip is $525 per person, and is factored into the final price of the course. This price includes the guidance, travel in a special car to the desert and back to Tel Aviv, accommodation in a boutique hotel in gorgeous location - Mitzpeh Ramon (in a room that sleeps 2), as well as breakfast. All other meals are not included. 
March 12:
Incense Masterclass with Ayala Moriel (In her studio in Clil)
The morning will included in-depth study of ancient incense raw materials, incense ceremony, and a practical incense making workshop in the afternoon. 
March 13:
Visit to the Painted House in Shlomi

March 15-19:
Five Day Oriental Perfumery Masterclass with world-renown Master Perfumer Ayala Moriel, at her state-of-the art perfume studio, lab and fragrant garden located at the foothills of breathtaking village of Clil, overseeing the Mediterranean. A rare opportunity to learn from a master and world-leader of modern Natural Perfumery and truly immerse yourself in the perfume plants both wild and cultivated, and explore the region where perfume and incense originate. 
Designed for students who want to excel in their studies of natural perfumery. This portion of the program is an intensive Masterclass which will run Sun-Thu from 8:30am-3:30pm, and offers theoretical and practical guidance alongside hands-on lab exercises and experiments.

This session covers studying the raw materials, perfume structure, how to blend a formula, how to write a formula, building accords and creating simple solid perfumes, and basic Oriental formulation in an alcohol base. We will make Oriental Amber, Oriental Spicy, and Gourmand fragrances. 
 
The mornings (8:30am-12pm) are dedicated to theory and studying olfaction (discerning between notes). The afternoons (1pm-3:30pm) are a lab session which is dedicated to the practical implementations of what was studied in the morning, i.e. weighing, measuring, recording, formulation, composition and compounding.
 
The fee includes all materials and supplies used during the course, as well as a homemade vegetarian/vegan lunch, and fragrant refreshments served throughout the day. It does not include the book for the program, which should be purchased in advance and is the textbook for all of the other perfumery courses I teach. 

Prerequisites: This is a beginner/intermadiate course. Ideally, all students should have read the book and have taken the the Citrus & Colognes correspondence course prior to joining this masterclass.  

LOCATION 
Our new and improved Ayala Moriel's School of Perfumery & Aromatic Arts is located in a wonderful region full of creative artisans and I've already collaborated with a few - some of which have been featured guests at the perfume courses and workshops I've held, such as artisan distiller, bio-dynamic vintner, leather craftsman and a tobacco shack.     

The Middle East is one of the most exciting places for perfumeryfrom both botanical, cultural and historic points of view. You'll be able to "meet in person" many of the original, natural raw materials of perfumery in their natural habitat, as well as follow the Incense Route and explore some of the ancient souks still operating in the region. Naturally, I incorporate field trips to these locations as part of the course, to enrich the students and provide a well-rounded, inspiring perspective on the topic of the course. 

Additionally, I've built here a state-of-the-art studio space that is dedicated to the art of perfumery, and can comfortably accommodate up to 8 students and can function as a perfume school - either hours-long classes and workshops to full-week courses.

The unique program I've built showcases a marvellous perfume collection of natural, niche and vintage fragrances that every perfumer should know about; hundreds of raw materials - and most special of all: being surrounded by many living plants that are actually used in perfumery - both as raw materials and as livinig and breathing references. Some of these plants grow wild, and others I've planted in what is slowly becoming a unique botanical garden of perfume plants. 

As always, I'm happy to help make my students' stay in my "neighbourhood" as memorable, comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Because our new settings are so special and a little off-the-beaten track, I've teamed up with local businesses to offer you delicious lunches (complementary with your tuition), and have connections here that will help you find affordable and suitable accommodations within the village limits and the best services for all your needs (I've also prepared a special guide for you, which each student will receive upon registering to help you plan your trip). 

We'll also include some exciting fragrant field trips and feature workshop in each of the courses - experiences, smells and locations that were not possible in the previous settings and surroundings. 

COURSE/PRODUCT REVIEWS
Whether if you studied with me in person recently or long ago, have taken the correspondence courses, read my book - I would really appreciate you taking a moment to add a review and/or feedback of my program so that future students can also benefit from it! Adding your review is simple and easy, and would help me a great deal in continuing this program and getting more students interested and engaged. Simply click on the relevant course listed on my Perfume School Courses page, and click on the "write a review" button near the customers reviews at the bottom of the page. 

REGISTEATION 
Registration ends January 31st, so please ensure you reserve your spot prior to that date. This can be done either by paying the registration fee online, or for the course in full. If you require a payment plan or another arrangement please contact me directly. 
 

Looking forward to seeing you at my studio this spring!

Warm regards,

Ayala
 
*Images from the desert courtesy of Yoav AvneyonYoaview  

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