Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Mossy Whale

Mossy trees, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

The moss sculpts its way on the tree trunks and branches along the Wild Pacific Trail. And I’ve heard it has something to do with how crisp and clean the air is there… The mosses and lichen love it and adorn the trees with their moss-green velvety ropes and silvery laces… And nearby, whales spit a mist of water from their lungs which towers abaove the water and they weave in and out of its depths along the rocky shores.

I wanted to play on these themes of moss and marine creatures in the 4th mod. As it turns out, I went a little too far though… I was a little adventurous, and rather than adjusting the formula a bit by changing only an element or two, I added many different elements and nuances.

First, I wanted to see what happens if I add some more violety notes, so I added even omre cassie absolute, which has a wet-wood and leather quality to it and also boronia absolute, which I find to have a certain oceanic quality about it that is hard to explain, but if you smell it you will understand what I’m talking about. And added even more Haitian vetiver!

Remembering the rotting squids also made me want to add something animalic and marine to the mix – and that’s when the ambergris joined the game. My original concept of making this a simple and not crazy expensive perfume (except for the seaweed, which is essential) pretty much flew out of the window right that moment.

I should have probably stopper right than and there to see what transpires of my efforts. But I was unhappy of whatever result was going, and added a little more of this and that – which included more citrus (lime) and more woodsy notes (juniper, cypress). But where everything went out of control was when I decided to go with nothing else but cherry cedar, which is distilled locally, and I thought would be very appropriate for this British Columbian theme. What I added accounts for just about 2% of the formula was clearly too much. All I could notice now was cedar, cedar, cedar… Red, local, whatever…! It was too much.

I let it rest for just one week. I came back to it yesterday, and the thing has transformed into the craziest berry-cedar perfume I’ve ever smelled in my life. And than it turns interestingly salty with the seaweed and boronia and the moss. It’s not bad at all. But it’s not Orcas yet - unless you are imagining a killer whale that picks wild berries and carves canoes from cherry cedar.

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At July 07, 2010 8:23 PM, Anonymous k2 herbs said...

What a lovely picture to take inspiration from, nature is so beautiful. I hope you get it to where you want it. Keep us posted.

At July 08, 2010 8:15 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I'd love to try this when you're done! I hope it's the fragrance I remember of the B.C. coast: a woody, mossy, ocean scent. It's been years since I was there. Thanks for the great photo too!

At July 08, 2010 8:16 AM, Blogger Princess Ellie said...

I have that image of the whale picking berrys from cedar trees in my head, too funny. Probably not quite the ocean scent you are looking for. I like where you were going with it though. I am a sucker for Boronia, I never tought about it, but boronia does have a watery accord to it. Maybe that is why I love it so much. The perfume sounds stunning with the Boronia, seaweed, oakmoss, haitian vetiver, lime, Juniper, rosemary and violet. All those scents together I can smell the ocean already. What about adding Choya Nakh- seashell scent or pink lotus for the watery note? Whatever you choose it will be wonderful perfume.

At July 08, 2010 9:44 AM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

k2 herbs,
I'm glad you like the photograph!

That's what I'm trying to get at - the sea-meets-forest scent, but with more emphasis on the sea notes.

Princess Ellie,
Orcas are so cute, they might as well pick berries, eh?
I've already used the seaweed-pink lotus-boronia accord in l'Ecume des Jours and it's really important that I don't make them too similar. I don't want it to be floral, either. It has to be very clean, clear, airy, and if anything more herbaceous rather than floral. Not an easy task.

I don't know if you ever smelled Choya Nakh on its own - it is very, very smoky. Personally, I don't find it very seashore like at all (if it wasn't for the knowledge of its origin - toasted seashells), and don't feel it would fit into this perfume (maybe for a smoky oceanic?!).


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