Friday, November 30, 2007

Immortelle l'Amour Tea

Immortelle l'Amour Tea, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

I've had the pleasure to share my first Perfumed Tea several times with clients and students, and it's just magical. It's amazing what few ingredients do to each other when blended in the right proportions and made by a true artisanal tea-maker. Thank you to Dawna Ehman, the fine lady who has made this tea with love and care to the last detail as she does with all her teas under the Inner Alchemy Tea Co. The tea is beautiful, both visually and aromatically, from the loose tea in the tin, to the entire process of steeping, pouring, mapling and sipping it. One of the coolest thing about this tea is that at the end of the batch, the bottom is dotted with real vanilla specks!

This tea is best served with maple syrup, which echoes the perfume it was inspired by. It can also be served with milk or cream, but I prefer it without - it feels like drinking liquid gold. Which is what wearing Immortelle l'Amour feels like as well. It's truly soothing and beautiful.

Here is more information from Dawna Ehman about the properties of rooibos tea:
"Rooibos is produced by oxidizing the green needles of Aspalathus linearis, a wild broom-like shrub native to South Africa. It is a full flavored tea with low levels of tannin and no calories, oxalic acid or caffeine. Rooibos tisane contains many nutrients including a full spectrum of minerals, vitamin C and high levels of antioxidants. For optimum extraction and flavour, steep in boiling water for a minimum of 10 minutes.
The nourishing properties of Rooibos enable it to regulate nervous system imbalances such as headaches, irritability, insomnia, hypertension and depression. The anti-spasmodic properties of Rooibos aid in digestive imbalances like nausea, cramps, heartburn and constipation. As well, Rooibos is reputed to strengthen the body of low immunity and allergies like hay fever, asthma and eczema."

Also, according to Dawna, rooibos tea is also served as a drink for children in South Africa. It is sweetened with apple juice, served cool, or frozen into popsicle molds for a special summer treat.

Immortelle l'Amour Perfumed Tea is out for only a week now, and we're already down to only 3 last tins!
The next batch will be ready by December 14th. Until than, take advantage of the introductory price of $18 (the real price is $30 per tin!) to enjoy this real special, organic artisanal tea. All the ingredients are top quality and organic: the Cedarberg red rooibos tea, Madagascar vanilla beans, hand-crumbled Ceylon cinnamon bark, freshly dried orange peel and hand-picked calendula petals.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Poison Ring for Sale

The Tiger's Eye ring was sold in a blink of an eye... I'm now offering another unusual Mexican poison ring. This one has an Onyx stone with a tinge of Tiger-eye at the edges. This is an adjustable poison ring from Mexico.
Unusual, asymmetric design, with an elongated design that flatters the fingers. This has a unqiue character, and is an ideal vessel for a similarly original fragrance. I suggest you choose from the selection below of perfumes that will fit both the colours and shape of this ring. I suggest perfumes such as l'Herbe Rouge, l'Ecume des Jours, Finjan, Film Noir, Epices Sauvage, Schizm or Song of Songs.
Click here for more information or if you want to buy...
And don't forget the perfume collectibles as well - now with gorgeous pillbox filled with Bois d'Hiver!

Below are images of other rings for those interested. All rings are made of sterling silver unless otherwise specified:

Green Agate Poison Ring Size 7.5 - Sterling Silver with Gold Accents

Carnelian Poison Ring Size 10

Blue Opal Poison Ring (Filled with Yasmin solif perfume) - Size 7

Turkmanistan Carnelian Poison Ring Size 10.75 - Silver with some gold tone

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Nuit de Noël

Of all perfumes, that one that reminds me most of a Northern Christmas isn’t actually Nuit de Noël, but Parfum Sacre. The olfactory connection of Nuit de Noël to Christmas did not reveal itself to me until few days ago. It suddenly dawned on me: Plum pudding and ink!

Nuit de Noël bears the mark of many of the Caron perfumes created by Ernest Daltroff: density, complexity and a vast mystery which is reflected in the seamless connection between the notes. It is not easy to dissect the notes from one another, not to mention categorizing the perfumes.

The dryness of cedar wood is evident at the start, and roses unfold from beneath a dark dress. There is a certain dustiness to it all, as if the perfume was collecting dust for a year before being noticed again. But now that it did, time and age has only improved it. Powderiness is not absent, and in some regards, this perfume is akin to N’Aimez Que Moi in darkness, density and the thread of rose and powder. But what gives Nuit de Noël its distinct character and its important place in the Caron family is Mousse de Saxe.

Apparently, Mousse de saxe accord is what gives many of the Caron scents their dark undercurrent. It is said to include geranium, licorice, leather, iodine and vanillin. In Nuit de Noël, this accord is used in higher proportion to the rest of the composition, making it quite memorable even among the many rose perfumes of its era (not to mention only those from the house of Caron).

Sharing similarities with other powerhouse perfumes, Nuit de Noël is at once rosy, leathery, powdery and sweet. It reminds me of a less sweet, less in-your-face Habanita, a more leathery sister to N’Aimez Que Moi, and an inspiration to daring, feminine yet unsweet rare appearances of present day, such as Agent Provocateur, and even the dry down of Opium Fleur de Shanghai.

The flacon of Nuit de Noël is made of black crystal glass, and looks like a cross between an ink bottle and a hip-flask, adorned with a Charleston-style gold headband. It was said that Nuit de Noël was made for Daltroff’s lover, who loved Christmas. Somehow, I can only envision a very lonely winter night, with Charleston-music playing in a gramophone, and many glasses of red wine and whisky being used up until that lover finally shows up, hours after the family Christmas dinner is over.

While the connection of plum pudding to Christmas is quite obvious, that of ink isn’t. In any case, use Nuit de Noël as an ink for expressing your innermost feelings only when the time is ripe. Otherwise you may need to be dancing more than just one round of Charleston.

Notes: Cedarwood, Rose, Orris, Mousse de Saxe accord (Oakmoss, Licorice, Myrrh, Cedar moss), Vetiver, Sandalwood, Castoreum

*Nuit de Noel poster courtesy of Fashion Era

Other reviews of Nuit de Noël:
LegerdenezBois de JasminMore about the history of Caron

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Parfum Sacré

Last of my roses, originally uploaded by angelstar232.

Parfum Sacré is a majestic marriage between the Sacred and the sensual. Through a veil of incense smoke and dark peppery dust, a voluptuous rose emerges blushing.
The scent wafts around like threads of incense smoke – myrrh, frankincense, pepper and dry rose. Rather than the powerhouse of condensed resins that so many orientals are famous for, Parfum Sacré wraps arounds, wafting in and out as it envelopes you with its dream-like quality.

The rose evolves backwards – instead of blooming, drying and dying, it grows out of the smoke and becomes younger, as if the petals’ thirst was quenched by the mere action of applying a perfume, bringing it to life. Perhaps it is the wearer’s own moisture that is now watering this green, lush rose, with its crisp dewy petals – as notes of violet leaf and iris make it even greener.

The powdery aspect of these notes takes over as the perfume dries on the skin and takes on the texture of a fluffy, powdery snow as it falls on a furry coat and gets caught in curly eyelashes and fluffy plume without melting. After dancing in the snow most of the night, you will wake up the next morning still surrounded by this magic cloud of powdery snow of incense, rose, musk and vanilla.

It’s hard to believe that this creation by Jean-Pierre Bethouart for Caron has happened so recently – 1990. But at least something good happened in the 90’s perfume wise and is still with us!

Top notes: Pepper, Frankincense
Heart notes: Rose, Orris, Violet
Base notes: Myrrh, Musk, Vanilla

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Sunday, November 25, 2007


I first encountered Ta’if on a chilly winter day in London some three years ago, when searching for perfumeries that can be found nowhere else but in London. Ormonde Jayne’s miniature store front, furnished with polished black ebony and tangerine accents was an immediate fascination. Perhaps the fact that Linda Pilkington spoke fluent Hebrew helped too… She spent a few years in the Hebrew University studying anthropology, and so the conversation between me and my friend Yasmin was completely transparent to her ears…

In no time it was quite obvious that Ta’if was my favourite. Perhaps is was the humorous glint in Linda’s eyes when she mentioned saffron and dates... It smelled right to me on first inhalation, yet my nose was a bit tired of all the former sniffage (Penhalligon’s practically exhausted my sense of smell with their far more sharp creations just a few stores away from Ormonde Jayne), and I had to postpone my complete union with this scent until my return to the similarly chilly city of Vancouver.

I left the shop wearing Ta’if to try on one wrist (and Sampaquita on the other), and feeling happy that there is another Hebrew speaking perfumer in the world. In fact, Linda was the first perfumer I met first-to-face at that time. Perfumery is a solitary work, and even more so when you are an independent perfumer - the only board meetings you ever attend are your own, which will most likely involve clients rather than colleagues…

In the briskness of the foggy London night, there was something exalting about that cloud of roses and spice floating about me. And from than on, whenever I wear Ta’if I’m immediately reminded of that one chilly night in a bigger-than-life city, finding a perfume to be excited about and enjoying a rare moment of friendship that is usually separated with one big pond and the whole width of the largest country in the world…

Ta’if opens with saffron, dates and pink pepper, to an overall tangy-spicy composition. Than comes the dusty, desert dryness of cedar and the opulence of roses along with honeyed broom note. The base is ambery-sweet, powdery and musky, in what I would later discover to be a signature component of most Ormonde Jayne’s perfumes. This base may not be for everyone - especially if you dislike musk in any form, but on the right skin it is magnificent.

Unlike most perfumes with oriental elements, Ta’if is expansive rather than introspective. In that regard, it is reminiscent of other favourites of mine from the powdery rose genre – Tocade and Parfum Sacré.

Ta'if may be inspired by the roses of the desert city of Ta'if (see image above), but it reminds more of the illusion of softness the look of frosted roses evoke:

roos, originally uploaded by bhermans.

The official notes per an old Ormonde Jayne catalog:

Top notes: Pink Pepper, Saffron, Dates, White Peach
Heart notes: Ta’if Roses, Orange Blossom, Broom, Freesia, Lily of the Valley, Jasmine
Base notes: Amber, Tonka Bean, Musk, Vanilla Absolute

Like all the Ormonde Jayne perfumes, Ta'if is only available through Ormonde Jayne store in the Royal Arcade on Old Bond Street, and her online store.

Note: Despite its relative lightness, Ta'if must be applied with a light hand to avoid adverse reactions such as sneezing or eye-watering (I'm talking from experience here...). Sometimes too much of a good thing will not get you what you want...

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Priceless, Ethereal Gifts for Buy Nothing Day

It’s Buy Nothing Weekend for the anti-commercialism activists among us. I’ve had this idea for a while to whip up some DIY gift ideas for this special day. Things you can do yourself rather than buy. But the more I think about it, this one single overwhelming fact becomes clearer and clearer to me with an intensity that is not surprising but nevertheless shocking: there is hardly anything we do these days that does not involve a monetary transaction. We pay to eat, drink, be able to communicate with others (phone and internet bills anyone?), exercise (gym membership), and so on and so forth.

So what can we do, without spending a penny, to show our loved ones our affection and to make them happier? Here are a few ideas that will not cost you a thing, or for which you will be using things you’ve already spent money on in the past but haven't used up (cause you probably didn't need them in the first place, right?...). They may not be all that great either – you will probably come up with way better ideas of your own. And I have that terrible feeling deep down that the following will look not so much like the Smellyblog entry anyone was ever looking forward to read, but rather more like one of those cheesy, wisdom-dripping emails that land in your mailbox every other day and usually originate from a remote friend or an aunt who thinks that sending spam to your mailbox will make you remember her birthday…
But at least I tried!

The purpose of Buy Nothing Day is to shift the emphasis from materialism and consumerism and the fake feeling of happiness that gift-giving has developed into – into an emphasis on strengthening the connection between people by spending meaningful time with one another. Buying less is the greatest gift we can give the to environment this season, that’s for sure.

Before you buy a gift, ask yourself:
1) Is this gift useful? Would the person receiving it be able to use it in a meaningful way?
2) Would it make the person who will receive it HAPPY?
3) How, where and by whom was it made? If the answer is not clear and you are not sure this was made ethically, you might want to find something similar that was made elsewhere.
4) How am I going to carry this home? Most of the trash we produce is because of packaging and shopping bags. Bring your own bag whenever possible. If you didn’t bring a bag with you that means that you were not planning to shop or spend money, so perhaps you can re-think your purchase…
5) And last but not least – can I afford buying this? If not, perhaps you should wait until you can afford it and avoid unnecessary debt.

And here are a couple of other ideas that will reduce the holiday stress and also make you buy less:

1) Invite your friends for dinner, but instead of cooking it for them, cook it WITH them. Teach them your favourite recipe and enjoy an evening of sensory delights that will make you feel and live the moment.

2) Making your own gifts is fun and can also be easy. I will dedicate a whole post for that later this season with ideas for fragrant DIY gifts. However, keep in mind the same guidelines mentioned earlier for gift buying – is the gift useful at all? Would the person receiving it be able to enjoy it? Or would they be just pretending… Some gifts are better than others, so make sure you put your efforts in the right direction. As a general guidelines, gifts that can be further personalized (i.e.: a picture frame – your friend can choose the picture); edible gifts (i.e.: cookies and baked goods, jams, preserves…) usually garner more attention than others.

3) Instead of forwarding chain emails to your friends, have the courage to pick up the phone when they call you up (even though you may have not spoken to them for a while). They might actually really need to talk to a human voice of a real person who loves them and cares for them.

4) Using materials you already have at home, write your loved ones a card telling them what you like most about them. I am sure this will make them happy. You may use a pen and paper (something most of us already have at home), or you can even cut out letters from old magazines and newspapers to make up the words. Finish your message with a spritz the card with a scent that you think they'll like which will leave a fragrant layer to your message.

5) And finally - for the die hard perfumistas among us - throw a perfume party (which could be combined with a perfume exchange party, if you know others with the same "problem" like you). A perfume party is all about sharing our innermost feelings and getting to know each other better while having fun sniffing beautiful perfumes. Pick a few fragrances, or a few essential oils or spices that mean something to you, and share them around in circle (either on a scent stripe, or from the jar if you are smelling other things). Each friend will share their reactions, impressions, memories and thoughts regarding the smell. You can get even more creative by writing short poems or story about each scent and than reading them aloud. It's all about sharing the moment and a piece of your human existence with friends and loved ones, and can make you become even closer.

For more ideas for Buy Nothing Day and Buy Nothing Christmas visit:

Tree Hugger

How To Do Things


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Thursday, November 22, 2007

News from the Nose: Perfumed Tea from Ayala Moriel and Gift Guide

In this newsletter:

Immortelle l'Amour Organic Tea

When I created Immortelle l'Amour it had Alice's "Drink Me!" label all over it. Today, my dream has finally come true: I had my first tea blend, accompanying my newest perfume, Immortelle l'Amour, is finally ready to be enjoyed. I had the pleasure of tasting this liquid perfumed-tea perfection this afternoon and it has exceeded my wildest dreams of my perfume-to-tea adaptation.

Made with the finest organic rooibos, infused with Madagascan vanilla beans, and with a touch of cinnamon, fruity sweet orange peel and a splash of calendula flowers for colour - Immortelle l'Amour is exquisite in every possible way - visually and aromatically in it's dried form and delicious, full-bodied and sweet when brewed.

It's amazing what a few simple yet exquisite ingredients can create when married together. As with perfume - so it is with tea: the sum is greater than its parts. And here these are all the best quality there is: all organic, fresh and blended carefully by hand. Immortelle l'Amour perfumed tea is co-designed with Dawna Ehman, and produced and packaged by Inner Alchemy Tea Co. in Vancouver. It was such a delight to work with Dawna on this tea, and I am looking forward to be able to drink many more of my perfumes in the future - in the form of tea - and share them with you, of course!

Immortelle l'Amour is a living evidence for the beauty of plants and how they can be incorporated into our daily life, adding peace, pleasure and the

opportunity for sharing the moment with loved ones.

Our first batch of tea is offered at an introductory price of $18 per tin (each contains 70gr. Of organic tea; regular price is $30). Quantities are very limited, so order your tea now before this opportunity is gone!

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Immortelle l'Amour Brewing Instructions & Serving Suggestion

I have this fascinating information and brewing tips for the Immortelle

l'Amour tea, from the tea-creator, Dawna Ehman of Inner Alchemy Tea Co.:

"For each 5 oz. cup of tea desired, add 1 tsp. of rooibos to freshly boiled water. Cover and steep (or simmer gently) for at least 10 minutes. Serve with cream and maple syrup for an exquisite dessert tea".

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Rooibos Information & Properties

More from Dawna Ehman of Inner Alchemy Tea Co. - about the origins and properties of rooibos tea:

"Rooibos is produced by oxidizing the green needles of Aspalathus linearis, a wild broom-like shrub native to South Africa. It is a full flavored tea with low levels of tannin and no calories, oxalic acid or caffeine. Rooibos tisane contains many nutrients including a full spectrum of minerals, vitamin C and high levels of antioxidants. For optimum extraction and flavour, steep in boiling water for a minimum of 10 minutes.

The nourishing properties of Rooibos enable it to regulate nervous system imbalances such as headaches, irritability, insomnia, hypertension and depression. The anti-spasmodic properties of Rooibos aid in digestive imbalances like nausea, cramps, heartburn and constipation. As well, Rooibos is reputed to strengthen the body of low immunity and allergies like hay fever, asthma and eczema."

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Free Shipping During November & December

Free shipping for all orders of $100 or more. This offer is valid through
December 2007, for orders from all over the world!

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Canada Post Cut-Off Dates for Shipping Your Holiday Gifts

For those of you in a rush to get a holiday gift anywhere in the world, and
want to get your packages in time before December 24th - here are the
cut-off dates, as provided by Canada Post:

USA & CANADA: December 10th

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Smelly & Wonderful Gift Ideas

Ayala Moriel's natural and original perfumes make a perfect gift. If you are

not sure which perfume to give your family and friends, we are always here
to help you pick the perfect perfume, or a lovely gift-box of sample-sized perfumes.

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Poison Rings and Perfumed Collectibles

And if you want a true surprise or a real shocker of a gift for someone real special - ask us about our uber-fantastic, magical poison rings and other perfume-fillable collectibles. Some appear on the website, but we have many more hidden and waiting for the right person to find them... Just tell us what you are looking for and we might be convinced to bring them out just for you...

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Chocolate Truffles Ordering Information

Chocolate truffles can be also made to order (minimum order is a batch of 40 truffles, for $60). Or you can select from the fresh truffles with have in stock, which come in packages of 8 each for $12. Due to the fact that these are made with fresh organic cream and are perishable, these are offered to local customers only. Sorry if we made you drool...

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Coming soon: Bois d'Hiver soy wax perfumed candle

We are now working hard to bring to you another new and exciting, all-natural and beautifully scented product. Tune in late November for our new soy-wax candle, co-designed with Nikki Sherritt - candle expert from Seattle who specializes in creating natural candles only. You can now pre-order your candle.

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Portobello West - Two Last Markets!

Don't miss Portobello West's two last Christmas Markets, closing year 2007:
This coming Sunday, November 25th, and next month - on Sunday, December 16th. These are Ayala Moriel's two LAST markets, so don't miss them - just step out of your door, breath some fresh winter air, and come see us and tons more cool and beautiful locally made art & fashion at the market! Free admission, and parking is also free and in abundance; and for those of you who prefer the car-less life (like me!), there is a free shuttle from Main Street SkyTrain station every 20 minutes. And did I mention the yummy buckwheat crepes yet? They sure make me look forward to another market, but it will be so much better if you'll be there too!
For more information about Portobello West visit the website.

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Fragrant Blessings,


Ayala Moriel Parfums
My SmellyBlog:
Tel.: (778) 863-0806
Address: 1230 Haro Street, Buzz #295,Vancouver, BC
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:00pm; Sundays & evenings by appointment only
Address: PO Box 93589 Nelson Park, Vancouver, BC, V6E 4L7

© 2007, Ayala Moriel Parfums. All Rights Reserved.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ayala's Perfumes at Blunda in Los Angeles

Attention all Los Angelians: Ayala Moriel's perfumes are now available at Blunda!

You may visit the store to smell and experience the unique selection of oil-based, all-natural perfumes carried in this beautiful location.

Blunda Aromatics
304. So. Edinburgh Ave
Los Angeles , Ca. 90048
Tel. (323) 658 7507

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Candle Making Workshop & Other Upcoming Workshops


Join our guest instructor Nikki Sheritt, an artisan candle maker of Seattle-based Gabriel's Aunt, for an afternoon of candle-making. You will learn how to make beautifully fragrant soy candles using essential oils and natural vegetable waxes. You'll be guided step-by-step in the process of blending the essences, moulding and crafting a high-quality, clean-burning candle. By the end of the class, you will take with you a specially scented candle, beautifully packaged and gift wrapped - ready to go under the tree!
Date: Sunday, November 18th, 1:00-3:00pm
How much: $45 including materials


"We cook and complain that it's a waste of time, when we should be pouring our love into making that food" (Paulo Coelho, "The Witch of Portobello")

We'll learn the principles of preparing your own unique spice-mixtures, and using fresh herbs and floral essences in cooking and baking. We'll be cooking (and eating!) the following exciting dishes:

1. Druze Root & Spice Brew
2. Winter Salad with Fennel & Tarragon
3. Couscous from scratch, with a hearty and fragrant Morrocan Vegetbale Stew
4. Moroccan Mint Tea
5. And for dessert - a very unusual crème brulee which you will only know about once you've signed up for the class and ate it yourself ;)

When: Thursday, November 15th, 6:00-9:00pm
How much: $55 per person, including materials

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Rose, A Thorn

the pain behind the beauty, originally uploaded by _Neverletmego_.

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about World War II. Even before it was officially time to think about it because of Remembrance Day. Even now, 62 years after that war has finally ended, we are still suffering its consequences in many ways. Globalization and the conquest of technology over humanity seems to be two major trends that resulted indirectly from this war. But even more importantly – the constant deterioration of sense of community, family and belonging in the Western cultures, that we are experiencing in large and small gestures every day. The Great War has not only shaken the values and belief systems of millions of people, but also the mental structure of the individuals that lived through it and after it, and the result is the many challenges of modern day living – stress, alienation and a general feeling of lack of direction and sense of belonging, among almost all age groups.

And so I finally took the time to experience one of the perfumes of these great wars. Launching a perfume in the midst of World War I (1914-1918) would have been perceived as a clever but slightly macabre marketing stunt, or an act of propaganda if it would have happened nowadays. But back than perfume companies were still rather innocent and perfume played a far more important role in people’s life. Perhaps the fact that there were only about seven other perfumes launched that year (as opposed to 447 in 2007, and the year hasn’t ended yet!) tells something about the preciousness of perfume back in those days… N’Aimez Que Moi (Ernest Daltroff, 1916) is translated into “Love No One But Me”.

According to Caron: “1916: the war is raging on all fronts and young women are languishing after those men that, two years ago, they let go, full of zeal and with the promise that they’d be home very soon. To keep up morale among the troops and their lady friends, CARON launched N’Aimez Que Moi.

A true pledge of faithfulness, young soldiers gave this perfume to their betrothed so that they would renew their vows of love daily until the day when victory came.”

N’Aimez Que Mois’ composition has “Hints of crystallized violets on a wooded amber base.” And is a floral chypre for those in search for gentle and comforting fragrance. Which is precisely what I needed when I chose it tonight, unknowingly searching for comfort from all those heavy and non-optimistic thoughts.

You don’t need to know all this to enjoy N’Aimez Que Moi gives a sense of intimacy and comfort. Despite the fact that it is in a sense “an old fashioned” scent, it is so well made and artfully blended that it is timeless. N’Aimez Que Mois opens dark and dense, as most Caron perfumes do. The rose is nearly hidden in thorns and darkness of notes of cedar, moss and what seems to be the crying out loud of the Caron base… Slowly but surely, fresh roses start to bloom and open up with dewy petals but an almost green intensity. There is something very convincing and real about them – they are just about as close to true rose as I’ve ever smelled. But the roses don’t stand out on their own. The companionship of candied violets and powdery orris softens the green edge of the blooming roses, with a softness akin to kissing a very soft, freshly powdered cheek. And once you’ve reached the dry down, animalic tonalities of both jasmine and civet* create a sensuality and a sense of intimacy and closeness that lingers even longer than a kiss.

Top notes: Cedar, Rose
Heart notes: Rose, Violet, Orris
Base notes: Civet, Jasmine, Moss

* The drydown is so utterly similar to Joy that I am wondering if N’Aimez Que Moi wasn’t the inspiration for that perfume. However, N’Aimez Que Moi is so much more delicate and wearable for me, with none of the intense sharpness of aldehyde and lily of the valley that Joy attacks me with for the first couple of hours of wear.

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Interesting Read: Interview with Maurice Roucel

Visit Symrise's website to read this interesting interview with the nose behind Tocade and L.

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

News from the Nose: Ayala Moriel's Winter 2007 Newsletter

Click here to read Ayala Moriel's latest news, or continue to read below...

News from the Nose: Ayala Moriel's Winter Newsletter

In this newsletter:

New Retail Locations!

This season is a very exciting time for Ayala Moriel Parfums, as our perfumes are now offered in several new and very prestigious locations. For our Los Angeles and Japanese customers - you can now get your scents directly from:

Blunda Aromatics
304. So. Edinburgh Ave
Los Angeles, CA
Tel: (323) 658 7507

Lovely Antiques
169-27 Sakura-dai
Noda-City, Chiba, 278-0032
Tel: 04-7124-5724
Mobile: 090-6566-8802

Immortelle l'Amour - New Perfume and Ayala Moriel's First Tea Blend!

This November, my newest perfume addition to my ready-to-wear fragrance collection is a perfume that I hold dear to my heart. I chose the dark maple-like aroma of immortelle (everlasting) flowers to play the lead role in this romantic, aromatic harmony. It also contains three different infusions of vanilla (vanilla absolute, CO2 and vanilla beans that I have infused myself), along with rooibos tea, wheat absolute, broom, sweet orange and cinnamon. Immortelle l'Amour is darkly sweet and hopelessly romantic.

To read more about the inspiration for Immortelle l'Amour, click here.

To purchase Immortelle l'Amour, click here.

Later in November, Immortelle l'Amour will also be available in a tea form, another heart-warming way in which botanical aromatics can be enjoyed... Immortelle l'Amour tea will be a rooibos based tea blend, infused with vanilla beans, orange peel and cinnamon created and hadncrafted especially for us by Dawna Ehman of Inner Alchemy Tea Co. in Vancouver. If you love tea, and particularly rooibos and vanilla, it will be wisest to pre-order your own tea-box, as quantities are extremely limited.

Smelly Stocking Stuffers and other Gift Ideas

Looking for ideas for the perfect gift this season? Our sample packages and Miniature Fragrance Wardrobes make a perfect stocking stuffers. And of course there is the ultimate gift - a custom scent especially designed for your special someone! Put it on your wishlist or you can purchase a gift certificate for a custom scent - simply by purchasing online and emailing us to let us know this is a gift. We will gift wrap your order upon request, or send a gift certificate per your request.

Ayala Moriel's Referral Program

To thank you for spreading the word about my little perfumery, for every time you refer someone to us you will receive $25 off your next purchase - effective towards both workshops and perfume orders (excluding sample purchases).

Candle Making Workshop and other DIY Holiday Gift-Making Workshops

Don't miss this rare opportunity to learn how to make beautiful, all-natural scented soy-wax candles with candle expert and artisan Nikki Sherrit of Garbiel's Aunt. Nikki will be coming to Ayala Moriel's Studio especially from Seattle to teach this workshop - and help you get your holiday gifts ready in the most creative and scentual way possible, the DIY way! Click here and visit our calendar for more details and to read about other workshops and classes offered this winter at Ayala Moriel Parfums studio - we will be offering other great opportunities for you to handcraft your own original gifts, including scented greeting cards, personal perfumes, body products and more!

Foundation of Natural Perfumery Course

In February 2008, Ayala Sender will be offering a unique course for those interested in pursuing a career in the field of Natural Perfumery. Spaces are extremely limited to ensure each students receives one-on-one guidance as much as possible, and includes 5 small group classes and 1 personal studio session with the perfumer. Click here for more details and course syllabus.

Warm regards,


Ayala Moriel Parfums
My SmellyBlog:
Tel.: (778) 863-0806
Address: 1230 Haro Street, Buzz #295,Vancouver, BC
Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:00pm; Sundays & evenings by appointment only
Address: PO Box 93589 Nelson Park, Vancouver, BC, V6E 4L7

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Friday, November 09, 2007

When Fir Met Fig

Quiet*, originally uploaded by imapix.

What happens when Italian fashion designers creates a Canadian-inspired perfume? Perhaps a polite Italian perfume?… Or maybe a combination of fig and fir, which is precisely what I find in this new perfume, which can be found only in Milano or Canada’s Holt Renfrew. For a change, a scent that lives up to both its image and packaging – woods and wetness.

To be more precise, the fir is not so important here as the vetiver. Don't expect fir needles either, I suspect the part used was the bark, and even this was notquite recognizable. Even the cedar note is not as dominant as the vetiver is. And while vetiver is, in fact, a root, it has distinctively woody presence, particularly when its cool and clean notes are played up a bit as in this fragrance.

DSquared2 is a perfect balance between wetness and woodiness. The two things that are in abundance in Canada, for sure. The wetness comes from a number of sources – namely violet, mimosa and cassie, which together create a somewhat fuzzy, but very wet opening – without feeling the list “aquatic”. Cedar, vetiver and sheer vanilla notes (vanilla CO2 comes to mind) underneath with a clean yet sensual wood accord.

Surprisingly, He Wood has a distinct “boutique” feel to it without feeling overly done or pretentious. It simultaneously reminds me of a few scents that I’m very fond of: Philosykos (fig and cedar), Mimosa pour Moi (mimosa and vanilla), Verte Violette (violet and a hint of vanilla) and Vetiver Extraordinaire. The idea of combining together all these elements is brilliant and very refreshing without smelling even the list like a male fragrance cliché. Plus, I must admit that the idea of getting these four fragrances for the price of one appeals to me on a certain practical level (it will make my accountant happy, for one thing, and save me some space too)...

Canada rarely appears in the way of inspiring perfumes. Although plenty of scents are inspired by travel, Canada just isn’t considered exotic enough to be considered for olfactory inspiration. This is not to say that Canada does not have any olfactory contribution to the world of perfume in the way of notes: many if not most of the coniferous notes are a by-product of the logging industry (one of the world’s – and Canada’s – largest). Fir, spruce, juniper - you name it; Canada pretty much got it all...

Perhaps this is because there are so very few Canadian perfumers (only three that I can think of at the moment – and one of them residing outside of Canada; if you know of more, please let me know). Or maybe it’s just because of Canada’s famously growing fragrance bans. Heck, even Elle Canada’s list of fragrances pales in comparison to lists recommended by other magazines. FYI: last time I checked there were merely two (2!) fragrances on their shopping guide (if you care to know, these were Betsy Johnson and Elizabeth Arden's Mediterranean) And they seem to be OK with that too…

In the case of DSquared2 He Wood, the Canadian inspiration may not come as much of a surprise. DSquared2 belongs to Ontario-born twins Dan and Dean Caten. Apparently, even their store in Milano has fake snow and Canadiana in doses that won't embarrass a tourist shop on Robson Strasse all over it.

The perfumer is Daphne Bugey, Firmenich (Daphne is also the creator of Kenzo Amour and Le Labo’s Bergamote 22, Le Labo Neroli 36 and Rose 31), and the notes, as one can gather from the packaging (and the sample card) are strangely divided into Air (White Fir, Vegetal Amber and Musk), Water (Violet Leaves, Violet Blossoms and an Aquatic Note) and finally – Wood (Vetiver and Cedarwood), which are the theme of the fragrance. While fig may not be listed, it definitely felt thoroughly throughout the composition, even if it might be an olfactory illusion...

According to OsMoz, these divide into the fragrance pyramid as follows:

Top note: Violet Leaves, Violet Blossoms, Aquatic Note

Middle note: Vetiver, Cedarwood

Base note: White Fir, vegetal Amber, Musk

He Wood is available at Holt Renfrew in Canada in the following sizes and formulations: Eau de Toilette 30, 50 and 100 ml / 1, 1.7 and 3.4 oz ; Moisturizing After Shave Balm 100 ml / 3.4 oz. Ladies may not need the aftershave, but could enjoy the scent just as much if not better than men. In fact, DSquared2 garnered a far more animated response from myself than from my perfume-loving brother. While I'm ready to take the plunge at one of those wood-framed bottles, he stated he wouldn't wear it often, even if it was handed to him as a gift. I guess he won't be getting any for Christmas... We ladies are quite known for our fondness of vetiver, eh?

Images of bottles courtesy of

Verte Fig on Foodista

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Thursday, November 08, 2007


Música Ligera, originally uploaded by Angel_SinClaudicar.

Arpège is a perfect name for this lovely and luscious and ever so classic fruity-aldehydic-floral from Lanvin. It opens with an arpege of lovely accords that are soft and sweet, as if played on a harp:
Vetiver-Ylang Ylang- Orange---
And there is some bitter sweetness that strikes you a first, almost like tonka bean – or perhaps it is the tuberose, only that it is quite subtle and adds warmth like round ripples on the water.

Once the swirling arpeggio is quieted down, it settles on a magnificent rose theme – the rose is at the centre, and all the other flowers are just dancing around it like little fairies, and there is a fresh and uplifting citrus top note - What a delight!

Arpège is classy, a bit old-fashioned (in the good way as we all know) and so sweet and delicate. The aldehydes for sure add sophistication, but at heart it is a pure, loving floral with an eternal rosy glory.

Once settled on the skin, the dry down reveals an embracing, warm sandalwood-vetiver accord that is slightly sweetened by vanilla.

p.s. Just a little side note: For a long time I was convinced that if there is any aldehydic floral I should wear, it should definitely be Arpège and NOT No. 5. It was just so warm, and without the very heavy civette base that makes No. 5 smell so womanly. Arpege is a lot more young at heart. I never bought Arpège after all, I ended up with the No. 5 Parfum which I love – it is definitely not as innocent as Arpège is though. I love that woody drydown of Arpège. It’s pure and simple.

To read other reviews of Arpège, visit:

Bois de Jasmin

Now Smell This

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Interesting View: Visit at Dawn Spencer Hurwitz's Studio

American independent perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz talks about perfume and art and lets us in to her studio in Boulder, Colorado. Thanks to Now Smell This who found it for us.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Writing letters to YOU, originally uploaded by !!! Monika !!!.

It’s impossible to write about Jicky (Aimé Guerlain, 1889) out of its historic context. Therefore it is mentioned here as the closing entry for the spontaneous Fougere series that has reflected my train of thought during my work on a particularly challenging perfume.

It was Fougere Royal and Jicky that marked the end of an era of single-note scents, and birth was given to sophisticated perfumes that represented abstract concepts rather than trying to duplicate nature (i.e.: soliflores and citrus/herbal colognes). It was also around the same time that the use of synthetic molecules commenced – first with coumarin, and a little later with vanillin. But you probably know that already… What I would like to mention is how remarkably similar is Jicky to Shalimar. Yes, yes, yes, we all know the story about how Shalimar was supposedly created by Jacques Guerlain dumping a sample of vanillin into a bottle of Jicky. This may or may not be true. But what’s certain is that the two are utterly similar. And more importantly – regardless of Jicky’s role in the birth of modern perfumery, it has, nevertheless, provided the blueprint of future Guerlain masterpieces to come. The structure, evolution, and last but not least – the Guerlinade at its root – are quite familiar, especially when smelled after experiencing scents such as Vol de Nuit, Shalimar, and even later creations as Chant d’Aromes and Chamade. When it boils down to the drydown, you’ll always find the Guerlinade in all the classics designed by the Guerlain dynasty.

Jicky opens with a burst of herbaceous freshness, marked by the presence of lavender and rosemary. Citrus is also an important component at the opening – some bergamot, but mostly - lemon singing in harmony with the underlining sweetness of tonka bean, it’s a luscious sorbet ready to be licked. Vetiver shows a glimpse of itself early on too, than dives back in and disappears into the landscapes of animalic woods. The heart, although containing some florals (rose, jasmine) does not feel floral. Just as in Shalimar – the bouquet’s role is to transform a collection of essences into one seamless olfactory tale. This is where the signature Guerlinade accord of iris, tonka bean and vanilla begins, creating a sensual skin-like warmth underlining what otherwise would have been a herbaceous-citrus cologne-type fragrance. With the animalic vibrations of opoponax, civet and a touch of leather, vetiver and the most miniscule hint of patchouli. When experiencing the parfum extrait the similarities to Shalimar become quite self-evident, from the overall bouquet to the final dry down stages, and with its overall skin-like sensuality.

The mood for Jicky, however, is completely different than Shalimar. While Shalimar takes you directly to the depth of seduction and desire, Jicky does so in a most subtle way. I wore it and wondered how strangely narcotic a lavender is in that context, all the while maintaining its dignified antiseptic qualities. Was it the English lavender that pinched Aimé Guerlain’s heart? Or was it something else he missed about his mythical first love in Engladn? Or, perhaps, it wasn’t meant for a woman after all, but rather for his young nephew who will later on follow his footsteps and unleash many more Guerlain fairytales.
Jicky is said to be initially difficult to accept by women to whom it was created, and was more popular with men. (Mouchoir de Monsieur, created by Jaqcues Guerlain in 1904 was meant to answer to that demand). It may not smell as significant or original at the moment, among the myriads of scents, not to mention lavender scents alone – but its remarkable survival over the past 118 years speaks for itself.

This review is for the pure parfum, which is far more concentrated and less citrusy/herbaceous than the Eau de Toilette.

Top notes: Lemon, Bergamot, Rosewood, Lavender, Rosemary
Heart notes: Vetiver, Jasmine, Rose, Orris Root
Base notes: Tonka bean, Opoponax, Patchouli, Civet, Benzoin

P.s. A couple of words regarding the bottle design: although the same bottle is often used for both Nahema and Vol de Nuit parfums, as far as I know, the champagned-stoppered bottle is the one originally designed for Jicky, apparently by Gabriel Guerlain – Aimé’s brother and Jacques’ brother, who was the manager of the Guerlain company at the time. If you know anything else about the bottle design, please share your knowledge with us.

Interested in reading more about Jicky? Visit:

The Scented Salamander

Bois de Jasmin

Fragrance Bouquet

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

"Perfumer of the Year" Contest at Escents Aromatherapy

Vancouver-based Escents Aromatherapy is running a fun contest this month: send your formula for an essential oil fragrance or synergy to for a chance to win a $500 Escents gift certificate, and be featured on Escents' newsletter and website in December.

The contest deadline is November 21st.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Brin de Réglisse

Purple's sea, originally uploaded by dolphin_dolphin.

Do we really need another lavender scent? Apparently, according to Jean-Claude Ellena, the house-perfumer of Hermes, the answer is yes. His latest addition to the Hermèssences line is centered around the note of lavender. "To create it, he felt he needed a little help and turned to his colleagues at an independent perfume lab in Grasse. He asked them to slice natural lavender into 50 distinct groups of molecules, sniffed them all, discarded five and reassembled it." (LA Times)

In his interview for the above mentnioned publication, Ellena said: "My lavender had a much purer, cleaner smell," he says, comparing it with the natural scent. "Then I had to find something to dress it up that would be a little unusual. I chose a touch of licorice”.

Brin de Réglisse is not necessarily a dry lavender as seems to be the consensus in most media mentioning the scent. Rather, it plays up the richness of lavender, which can be more easily found with the absolute or concrete distillation: herbaceous yet sweet, green yet smooth – Brin de Réglisse renders a velvety gourmand lavender, likened to a lavender-flavoured chocolate. The licorice note, apparent right from the start is reminiscent of tarragon, with it’s off-beat, awkwardly green sweetness, which seamlessly complements the lavender paste. It is further deepened by deep cocoa and dark coumarin sweetness with a gourmand intensity that is more vanillic than hay-like. And than, after less than two hours of wear, it practically disappears… So unfortunately, while I find the concept of Brin de Réglisse just as surprising and original as Vetiver Tonka (a vetiver that stands out among the over-populated crowd of scents of that theme), Vetiver Tonka remains my favourite Hermèssence for both its originality and lasting power.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Paloma's Corner: Vintage Chantilly

Nowhere, originally uploaded by J. Star.

Chantilly is a sensual mossy-ambery perfume. It begins with a typical chypre accord topped with whiff of lemon and underlined with rose, which quickly reveals the complex mossy aroma of cedar moss:
Woody, dry and somewhat powdery, and surprisingly - leathery!
The heart possesses also carnation and I believe a dash of allspice which can explain the dry spiciness, and some rich creamy jasmine that adds some roundness and balance.

As the scent evolves on the skin it becomes softer and less dry, and a beautiful amber base reveals itself: amber, benzoin and I suspect a bit of myrrh (which has a somewhat rubbery, balloon-like note) and very subtle animalic notes of opoponax. The leather is now a lot more gentle and mellow.

Chantilly has a captivating and calming sensuality –
It’s like an old seductress that will always be tempting to wear again…
It is sexy in a subtle and classical way, like a woman with a rich life experience behind her, and a beauty that is not artificial or pretentious.

I see is standing hand in hand with other mossy orientals such as Nuit de Noel, Femme (I am referring to the parfum) En Avion and Vol de Nuit.

The vintage is a lot less sweet than I remember the new Chantilly to be and a lot less floral. It is neither as powdery and musky-sweet as the current version available in drugstores these days.

Top: Lemony, but just for a few seconds

Heart: Floral and spicy. Carnations, roses, jasmine

Base: Cedar moss (a lot more dry and powdery than oak moss - but this could also come from peru balsam essential oil, rather than the crude resin), Amber, Benzoin, Opoponax, Myrrh, Leather

P.s. Special thanks to Frances-Anne (AKA Paloma) who enabled me to try this beautiful vintage scent, and many others).

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Saturday, November 03, 2007

Special Feelings

Rumour has it that Calvin Klein is about to launch yet another fragrance, Special Feelings. View the commercial below:

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Interesting Read: Interview with Ineke Ruhland

Visit Basenotes to read an interesting interview with San-Franciscan/Canadian perfumer Ineke Ruhland. Ineke is about to launch her new perfume, Evening Edged in Gold, thus adding the letter "E" to her fragrant abecedary anthology...

While still inspired mostly by her garden (this time the flowers of Angel's Trumpet and Midnight Candy), Evening Edged in Gold is meant to be a heavier and sweeter scent than the spring/summery breeze of the rest of the collection - with notes of Golden Osmanthus, Plum, Angel's Trumpet and Midnight Candy and a base of Saffron, Leather and Woods.

Ineke talks about her inspiration, about her perfumery school, and also raises the question - which perfumes are better, the modern ones or the perfumes of yesteryear? Here is a quote:

"Many perfumers cite travels as their main inspiration, but that doesn’t tend to work for me in a direct sense. When I visit a new city, the first things I tend to see are the botanical garden and modern art museum, so perhaps it does work in an indirect sense. I’m also not big on food inspirations, or using historical perfume references. At ISIPCA, we had the historical collection of the Osmothèque stored in the basement and were constantly smelling the classics, but I always had a hard time getting past the density of older compositions, not to mention the prevalent use of civet! I’m not very sentimental about the past, tending to be rooted in the present in terms of my fragrance preferences. I actually think that perfumers today are much more talented and technically proficient than perfumers of the past, and I’m very grateful that we have a multiplicity of raw materials available to us that didn’t even exist fifty years ago."

I would be very much interested to hear what Smellyblog readers have to say about this. Feel free to share your insights by adding a comment.

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

October Monthly Draw Winner & November Giveaway Announcment

Lady Of Justice, originally uploaded by MacBuckley.

The winner for October's monthly draw is....

Melissa from Australia!

Congratulations, Melissa! You are the lucky winner of a roll-on bottle of Libra perfume oil. Hope you will enjoy this unique, creamy white floral with green nuances, with its notes of Galbanum, Clementine, Tuberose, Rose de Mai, Sandalwood and Tonka Bean.

On November 30th will have another draw for a bottle of Scorpio perfume.

How to enter the draw?
All customers who ordered online during the month of November will be automatically entered into the draw to win the Zodiac perfume oil of the month.

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