Thursday, April 29, 2010


I need to meet a big deadline tomorrow, so I won't be able to write anything here till I'm done. My sincere apologies!

In the meantime, don't forget to tell us your honest opinion and desires for a new tea (if at all) in my line. Leave a comment after you vote and be entered to win Immortelle l'Amour perfumed tea. The draw winner will be announced tomorrow!

Monday, April 26, 2010

April Showers Bring Mom Flowers...

Dear Fragrant Friends,

During the month of May, we will be celebrating the virtues of motherhood in many countries in the world. There are many ways to show our appreciation and gratitude to the women who gave us life. Here are a few fragrant gift ideas that will make the day meaningful and memorable, and are also respectful of Mother Earth,

SAY IT WITH FLOWERS, with our new coffret of beautiful perfumes from our Language of Flowers Soliflore Collection (4ml x 8), or continue reading for more information about flowers connected with Mother’s Day, and fragrant gift offerings.

In this newsletter:

  1. Carnation: Mother's Day Flower

  2. Olive for Peace

  3. A Pink Rose for Gratitude

  4. Violets: Modest and Faithful

  5. Lavender for Devotion

  6. Orange Blossom: Eternal Love

  7. Geranium: True Frienship

  8. Indigo: Inspired by my Mother

  9. Mother's Day Afternoon Tea Menu Idea & Recipes

  10. Upcoming Events & Markets

1. Carnation: Mother's Day Flower

Our mothers love us unconditionally. Carnations are traditionally given and worn on Mother's Day, symbolizing the purity and resilience of a mother's love. Those mourning the loss of their mothers wear a white carnation, and everyone else wear colourful ones. So what can be more perfect than a carnation perfume for Mother's Day?

InCarnation is a carnation soliflore. Peppery, fiery, sweet and seductive. It unfolds its voluptuous petals dusted with nutmeg and mace, and unleashes its scent with a spinning of a Flamenco dancer’s skirt.

InCarnation perfume is offered in three different incarnations: parfum extrait (9ml or 4ml), perfume oil roll-on (5ml or 10ml), and a solid perfume, encased in our signature pendants, as well as this beautiful carnation-illustrated vintage pillbox from Murano, Italy.

Other gift ideas:

InCarnation Solid Perfume

2.Olive for Peace

Olive branches have been a symbol of peace since the story of Noah’s Arc. The fruit, leaves and resins can all be used in perfumery, but rarely are. The flowers of sweet olive, aka osmanthus exude the most beautiful and unusual fragrance, reminiscent of apricot, green tea and a hint of leather. Kinmokusei, our osmanthus soliflore, contains osmanthus absolute and olive tree resin tincture. Osmanthus flowers are also what gives our Charisma tea its suave aroma.

Did you know?
Mother’s Day in North America was initiated by American activist Anna Jarvis who devoted her life for peace, health and social justice for her people, and in 1914 established the 2nd Sunday of May as “Mother’s Day for Peace”, so that mothers would not need to suffer the pain of bereavement due to war ever again. So it is only fitting to do something to promote world peace – starting with making peace with ourselves, our families, communities and worldwide peace efforts.

Other gift ideas:

Kinmokusei Solid Perfume in Bird Pillbox

Kinmokusei in Ethinic Perfume Ring

Charisma Perfumed Tea

3. A Pink Rose for Gratitude

Dark pink roses symbolize gratitude, and there is no better way to show it than with fragrant Roses from the perfumed variety – Rosa centifolia and Rosa damascena, both also pink, which are the theme for our Rosebud perfume - a pure rose soliflore.

4. Violets: Modest and Faithful

According to the Victorian language of flowers, blue violets symbolize faithfulness and white ones – modesty. Mothers are in no doubt the most faithful and reliable people in our lives. And it requires modesty and a strong sense of humility to be a mother – after all, mothers always want the best for their children, and always want their child to do even better than themselves.

Viola is our violet soliflore – soft and cuddly like a mother’s embrace, and as classy as a string of pearls. It has a certain Victorian feel to it, with an upbeat, modern spin that makes it really easy to wear year around and in any occasion.

Other gift ideas:

Indigo, the perfume I originally created a signature perfume to my own mother, also has a beautiful violet heart.

5. Lavender for Devotion

In recognition of our mother’s devotion, Lovender is a perfume that is as fresh as a bouquet of lavender sprigs, and soft as linen immersed in the dried buds sachet. Iris and vanilla give it a velvety smoothness, while lemon and rosewood give it an uplifting, pick-me-up aroma that will give mom a boost of relaxed energy. Lovender is confident, pretty and made with love.

Other gift ideas:

Lavender Ritual Bath Salts

6. Orange Blossom: Eternal Love

A mother's love is eternal and lives on after her with her children who carry her memory and legacy. Orange blossom symbolizes eternal love in the language of flowers. Zohar is our orange blossom soliflore and is a scent that always brings me a feeling of expansive happiness with its scent of orchards in full bloom...

7. Geranium: True Friendship

Geranium plant symbolizes true friendship, and who is a better friend than our mother? She’s always there for us, no matter what or how badly we messed up… Honoring our mother’s true friendship, kindness and generosity I’ve created these very special Mother’s

Day Geranium Ritual Bath Salts last year, with pink Himalayan salt! They also contain lavender and chamomile, and smell like a soft caress and a garden full of humming bees.

Other recommendations:

Geranium Leaf One-Of-A-Kind Perfume

Cabaret perfume also features notes of rose geranium

8. Indigo for my Mother

Indigo was first conceived in 2002 as a signature scent for my mother, and went under further transformation in 2004. For the oil and solid perfume, the formulation is slightly different than the parfum extrait, employing orange flower water absolute in addition to the neroli, to achieve a greater depth and smoothness.

I believe the concept of mother, although very familiar to most of us from as long as we remember ourselves, is full of mystery. My mother in particular has quite an enigmatic personality, so making a perfume for her was a challenging exercise in decoding her through olfactory terms… As if to challenge me further, my mother has developed partial anosmia throughout the years, so I was never to really know if I succeeded in creating a scent for her liking. This made the whole process more of a personal and creative journey for me.

My selection of notes relied a little on certain aromatics that my mother likes (though I cannot tell if she likes them for their aroma, taste, or their known therapeutic benefits, these scents have been always associated with her for me because she used them often).

Therefore, I relied but far more heavily on my own subjective perception of my mother’s personality and what the concept of “mother” is to me, in the most abstract as well as primordial meaning: someone who is protective and strong and always giving. But also someone that existed here before us and therefore there is always a substantial amount of mystery about them: we don’t know what happened or who they were until we’ve arrived.

I chose aniseed as a top note because my mother always loved anise in all of its forms (as a tisane, spice and also the fresh fennel bulbs). I also included tarragon to add an extra interest and a green lift to the aniseed sweetness. The heart consists mostly of a violet accord, using violet leaf, orris and boronia, bearing the association of indigo velvet, which is equally soft and smooth, but also strangely cool. Carnation, incense and amber contribute warmth and help smooth the perfume, while Himalayan cedar brings us back again to a cool, smooth elegance, reminiscent of polished granite.

Indigo plays mostly on the dualities of cool vs. warm, soft and intimate vs. sleek and elegant. It’s my mother’s embrace when she’s wearing her velvet indigo tunic, and us picking wild herbs in the mountains together. It evokes for me the feeling of a dark blue summer night, full of secrets and exotic smells and hidden surprises.

9. Mother's Day Afternoon Tea

The Mother's Day afternoon tea that I was hoping to hold on May 9th is unfortunately not going to happen this year. Instead, I bring to you recipes and menu ideas so that you can throw your own Mother's Day tea party at the comfort of your own home!

Tea served:
Lavender Earl Gray (the best one I had so far was served at the Fairmont hotels. It is called "Versailles" and it is possible to special order it through their gift shop at The Empress in Victoria). What I like about it the most is that it is not bitter, and is so pretty and light like a lavender field, and is wonderful even without any sweeterning or milk, which I find rare in black teas.

1st Tier: Tea Sandwiches

Mother's Day afternoon tea should be elegant and relaxed affair. The key for that to happe is keeping things simple and sticking to the basics. Cucumber tea sandwiches are not only simple to make, they are also (in my opinion) the best of the bunch! If you must have more than one flavour, egg salad would be nice as well as simple to pull together.

2nd Tier: Scones, cream and jam

3rd Tier: Sweets
Earl Grey Truffles
Lemon Tarts
Lavender-Violet-blueberry Cupcakes (you can make these by adding a 1/4 teaspoon of lavender buds to your favourite blueberry cupcake recipe; decorate with cream cheese icing and candied violet petals).

Lavender Shortbread Cookies (recipe below)
1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup icing sugar
Some fine sugar for sprinkling (I use evaporated cane juice)
1 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
½ cup semolina flour
10 drops organic or wild-crafted lavender essential oil
3 tsp. food-grade dried lavender buds

Preheat oven to 300F.

a. Butter or line with parchment paper a 9” spring form pan

b. Beat together butter, sugar and lavender essential oil until sugar completely dissolves in butter, and butter is uniformly smooth. Add lavender buds (you may want to rub the buds between your palms before adding).

c. Sift flours together

d. Add flours to the butter to make a smooth dough (as much as possible)

e. Press dough evenly into the pan, and prick with a fork.

f. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the edges are pale brown and the centre is golden in colour.

g. Sprinkle with some superfine sugar (if desired).

h. Let cool for a couple of minutes, than slice with a pizza cutter.

10. Upcoming Events & Markets + Lucky Draw

Saturday & Sunday, May 1 & 2: Make It Vancouver @ The Croatian Cultural Centre More details in the e-flyer with coupon above - which you can also print to get $2 off admission.

Visit us at the the Make It Vancouver show, sign in our guest book and enter to win one of the following prizes:

5 Gift certificate for a class at Beyond Pilates, Vancouver's very best Pilates studio located in the West End.

1 Perfume oil roll-on perfume of your choice from Ayala Moriel Parfums

1 Ayala Moriel Mini perfume of your choice!

And last but not least – we’d be delighted to help you treat your

mom to an unforgettable experience of creating her very own Signature
, contact us to book our 2-hours Olfactory Journey (over a cup of
tea and some perfumed truffles!).

And if you have any questions or need help to pick a perfect scent for

Mother’s Day, we are always here at your service.

Have a fabulously fragrant spring!

Ayala Moriel Parfums

My SmellyBlog:

Tel.: (778) 863-0806

Address: 1230 Haro Street, Buzz #295,Vancouver, BC, V6E 4J9

Hours: Mon-Thu 8:00am-3:00pm; Fri: 8am-12pm; Closed Saturdays; Sundays & evenings by appointment only.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Tea Poll & Giveaway

Today I was playing around with tea blending, trying to figure out what the next tea should be like... And I thought to myself: why not ask you, and see what you are craving these days tea-wise.

My line has currently three teas: Immortelle l'Amour, which is rooibos-based; Roses et Chocolat, which is a black tea blend; and Charisma, which is based in green tea. Dawna & I created 5 teas in total, but we discontinued Tirzah, which was a sencha blended with linden blossoms and other flowers, lemon peel, spearmint and lemon balm; and Gaucho, which was a bold blend of yerbamate with lemongrass and red clover.

So, here is the poll for you to tell me what you are craving. And the giveaway for this week is a tin of the delicious Immortelle l'Amour tea!

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Weekly Giveaway Winner(s) Announcement

Thank you for everyone who posted their favourite spring scents on SmellyBlog!
This week was so busy, I couldn't respond to all of your comments; something I hope to reverse on Monday, when I'm back to the computer after the monthly Portobello West market.

But I do have time to let you know who the winner is! Or, more accurately - the winners, because we have three prizes:

Winner no. 1: flittersniffer
You won a miniature of Zohar!
It's not like Vanille Galante or Fleur de Shanghai, but I hope you are going to enjoy it!

Winner no. 2: ahsu
You won a tin of Charisma tea, with pomelo blossoms. I hope this will bring the orchard into your tea cup!

Winner no. 3: womo531
You won a decant spray bottle of Narciso Rodriguez Her Eau de Toilette

Please contact me with your mailing addresses, so I can ship your prizes on my next trip to the post office.

Have a fabulous weekend, and see you again on Monday :-)


Chemerical: Redefining Clean For A New Generation

The documentary film Chemerical premiered tonight in Vancouver, as part of the Projecting Change Film Festival. The film documents how a family is trying to detox their home from chemical in all cleaning and body care products, which is no small feat!

You can watch the trailer for Chemerical here.

For celebrating the premiere of Chemerical in the film's after-party, Ayala Moriel Parfums also donated a soywax candle of ArbitRary, a mini of Rainforest and a Bois d'Hiver tealight candle.

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Cilantro, Aldehydes and Soap

Do you belong to the Cilantrophobic Party?
If so, the reason for your dislike of this innocent little herb might be in the high aldehyde content in it. Read more in the New York Times.
Thanks to Mave for the link!

Perfume For A Cause: LACE Campaign & Chemerical

Ayala Moriel Parfums is sponsoring LACE Campaign, an initiative of BC Cancer Agency promoting women's health. The campaign launches tonight, along with the PSA that precedes the screening of the film "Chemerical" tonight.

Door prizes to the event include Film Noir roll-on and White Potion mini and tealight candle.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Thoughts

Earth Day 2010, originally uploaded by sphuri.

There's green glow outside from trees with new foliage on Haro street. Summer has began early in Vancouver this year, before spring has completely finished saying what it has to say with its own language of flowers... While I enjoy this mild weather this year, I can't help but wonder what it has to be do with global warming, and what can we do to make this place a better home for our children and all the other plants and animals that have a right to live on this planet.

There's always something we can do better for Mother Earth. And while it's nice to have days where we can re-arrange our thoughts and weigh our actions in relation to something so big and important and crucial in our lives; this is something that requires actions everyday.

Creating all-natural, paraben and phthalate free perfumes is not enough. Awareness of endangered species and what is ethical or non-ethical to use as an ingredient is only part of the big picture.

My little company, as small as it may be, adds products and more stuff on this planet, which in the end, if I'm not careful, creates more waste. I try to change that and always make my products and my business practices better and more earth-friendly.

Business practices don't stop at the final product alone. They also pertains to how I ship and handle paperwork, waste, etc. I don't want to cover this up for you: as hard as I try, there is still lots of room for improvement.

In my business and personal practice, I try to go by the rule of reduce, reuse and recycle. That particular order is most important!

Reducing products we consume is the first and most important step in healing the planet. That means watching what we buy AND what we produce. Before I buy anything I ask myself: Do I really need this product or thing? Will it actually improve my life?
When it comes to business choices and purchases, I try to keep the shipping to minimum, by ordering supplies all at once if possible. This reduces shipping costs, and ultimately, the amount of energy and materials that go to waste to get these supplies imported to me.

However, by creating new products I'm obviously not helping in the matter, so I'm just as guilty as anyone else. But what I do differently is creating a product that is very high quality, from within and without. And I try to make my packaging durable and reusable as well. But I'll talk about this in a minute. I try to keep my output to the minimum needed, which is a challenge and always requires improvement. Essentially, there is no way of sugar coating it: as long as we make stuff, there will be more stuff. Let's just try not to make it clutter!

Now, reusing is a little easier, and in my business this is relevant to my packaging: I do my best to make sure that all of my products are refillable. This is party why I don't have spray bottles yet (these are very rare to find non-leaky unless they are crimped; which means that you will have to toss them out when you are finished with the perfume). My flacons, roll-ons and pendents are all refillable. Which is especially neat for local customers, but a little problematic for my online customers, who will have to ship the empty containers back and forth and leave another trail of packing supplies behind, not to mention the gas used for transporting those packages. But nevertheless, I insist on having that option with the design of my packaging. The same goes for the boxes - which are relatively durable and can be reused for quite sometime to protect bottles and samples and jewelry. I find them particularly great when traveling!

And as for shipping: I try to re-use shipping materials as much as possible, form all the packages I receive I always keep flattened boxes, envelopes and packing supplies to use again for my orders that I ship out. But sometimes I get stuff that is just not reusable, such as a mixture of packing popcorn and a bunch of messy shredded paper and crunched up plastic bags. Whoever sends me packages like that is obviously doing a good job of reusing their stuff, but they are making it very unpleasant for me to reuse it. I prefer to keep the packaging stuff separated by materials type. It's not only easier to pack that way, but it's also nice to at least have the option to throw the stuff to recycling. Plus, when the packing stuff is so messy that it will contaminate the product (i.e.: leave specs of paper all over the place), it's just not cool!

Recycling is, believe it or not, the last resort of being earth-friendly and considerate. The amount of energy and waste that goes into recycling any material is tremendous. In some cases it is even more wasteful than just making something new. So we really need to treat it as the last resort (although better than just throwing things into the trash!). I don't recycle much in the way of actual perfume materials, but I do have a project on the go for all the blotter strips and paper towels that are used on an ongoing basis in the studio and in classes: I'm going to turn them into fragrant paper. Very soon. I just need to collect enough stuff and build a special frame for paper-making first!

Recycling relates the most to my shipping and receiving practices. Thankfully, there are now 100% recyclable cushioned envelopes and other packing supplies that are fully recycled and can be re-recycled again. The "only" downside to those materials is that they are heavier! Which means more carbon footprint... Which is not so good. So you see: there is always something to think about. Things are not as simple as we'd like them to be, which should make us come up with better solutions, and better products to replace all the messy solutions we've created for years.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Scents That Sing "Spring!"

What scents or smells make you so ecstatically happy that you want to sing out loud or jump up and down with joy?
I asked 13 other bloggers to help me answer this question and share with you our picks for perfumes to wear this spring. Scents that could make you feel giddy, cheerful and excited about life again. And my list includes 8 staples that I seem to return to for several years now and never fail to bring a smile to my face and a song to my heart.

I tried my best to bring you a list that has no melancholy in it whatsoever; but some of the scents have an inevitable touch of that emotion in them. And come to think of it, spring does too, because the flowers, as beautiful as they are in full bloom, only bring their very own death upon themselves by exhaling all their beauty in one powerful breath in this short, abrupt season exploding with life.

The perfumes that I find a little melancholy usually have a little powdery, bittersweet character (usually an effect that can be easily blamed on the presence of coumarin in some shape or form). Whenever these are mentioned, they will be accompanied with an asterisks, just so that you are properly warned (in case you are looking for a 100% cheerful spring).

Jasmine absolute, and, of course - fresh jasmine flowers of any kind, bring an immediate smile to my face. The bushes are usually dormant in winter, but come spring and warmth and they start building up their stash of star-shaped flowers that will reach its peak in the heat of the summer. There are so many jasmine scents that I love, but the ones that I associate and wear in the spring are Le Parfum de Thérèse, which I have come to associate with the season and with Passovers in Israel, because it’s when I worn it and fell in love with it first; and also because it’s so hot there at this time of the year that the balance between jasmine, basil and under ripe plum and melon is nearly the only thing I can wear there. When I have to stay in Vancouver in Passover I wear it to remind me of the happy times at home; and it also takes me through summer bringing a smile to my face every single time I smell it, no matter what the occasion or mood I’m in.

Citrus Orchards in Bloom
There is no scent with so much unconditional happiness in my mind as orchards in full bloom. The blossoms begin sometimes in March, and continues through April, usually coinciding with the celebration of Passover. I am still wondering why there is no citrus flower holiday in Israel. They really should make a Hanami festival of sorts out of it, but they don’t. Instead, the day after Passover has become a day of barbecue picnics that if anything mask the scent of any orange blossoms on the horizon. But that’s for another story…
The best way to experience orange blossoms is to be around then. If you live out of the citrus growing zone like me, you can forget about it unless you travel to a citrus destination. Because I can’t always travel to smell the orange blossoms, I created Zohar,
Another way for me to overcome that home-sickness is sipping on pomelo-blossom tea, a rare green tea that was perfumed in the same technique that jasmine green tea is made, by layering petals of pomelo flowers between the tea leaves and removing them once they’ve exhaled all their fragrant breath onto the tea. As a matter of fact, I’m sipping this very tea as I write it, and it transports me to my family’s orchard, early in the morning, when the shapely pomelo petals are still covered with dew and just begin to open and give away their clean, heady scent. And a far more modern and synthetic orange blossom associated scent that has become a spring stable is Narcisso Rodriguez, which is mostly by pure incident (because it barely smells like orange blossom at all), because I worn it in the springtime in one of my most fun spring travels to Israel as well.

Ume (Japanese Plum) Blossoms
It literally took me years to discover the scent of Vancouver’s spring. The most significant and emotionally charged is the scent of the ume (Japanese plum) blossoms. Ume blossoms are smaller and have only one layer of petals. They have a peculiar wildflower-like scent, very ethereal and heady, and at the same time a little powdery and bittersweet. It is more apparent on warmer days; so when early spring is rainy and gray, you can hardly notice their scent in the air.

The sakura (Japanese cherry) blossoms grow in clusters, and are way more showy and impressive looking (especially the ones that have multilayered petals like roses), but they are far less fragrant if at all.

Ume blossoms bloom earlier, usually beginning in January and on till March (depending on the temperatures, of course), and grace the street corner where I live. The ume and sakura blossoms make Vancouver a place worth staying in the springtime, and my only consolation for missing the orchards of Israel when I can’t go there. Inspired by these blossoms (and the Ezra Pound poem) I created Hanami*, which is what I wear almost exclusively throughout the hanami season in Vancouver. Another taste of it can be experienced if you eat sakuramochi at room temperature. The pickled cherry leaf that wraps this pastry adds this peculiar, flowery and bittersweet aroma to the red bean paste filling, and I know for a fact it has coumarin in it.

Fresh Freesias
I visit the florist regularly to get a fresh supply of freesias. I pick them based on their scent rather than their looks: the most fragrant will go home with me, and these are either white (which is more peppery) or yellow (slightly more full-bodied and fruity). I sniff each bouquet till I find the one… And I also have a favourite freesia perfume: Ofresia by Diptyque, created by the world renowned nose Olivia Giacobetti. This freesia perfectly balances the freshly ground green pepper scent of freesias with a little with no sharpness, and some sweetness in the base to make it addictive.

Lilies of the Valley
Other fresh flowers that are more rare to come by are lilies of the valley: they bloom in the spring, usually in May (this year I was lucky to find some in March, but they are gone again and should return in May as the florist informed me). I rarely see them in gardens, and when I do they look quite miserable (but smell heavenly just the same).

Diorissimo is the best lily of the valley scent in the universe that is not the fresh flower. But it’s more than just a lily of the valley soliflore – Edmon Roudnitska himself said he wanted to capture the scent of the little flowers as well as their surroundings, and even went to the extent of planting a patch of lily of the valley in his garden to study them. Diorissimo is particularly gorgeous in the parfum extrait formulation that I have from 10 years ago, where the oakmoss peeks through like the undergrowth of the forest environment of the lilies, and boronia, galbanum, jasmine and rose make the centre of the perfume vivid.

Now, this is not a scent without any melancholy attached to it. I have a sprig of lilac by my table and the real flower has more complexity to it than what we’ve been trained to think of as “lilac”. Besides the very high level of the light, woody-floral linalool that accounts in part for its cleanliness, the lilac on hand has a balsamic-sweet styrax undertone. It’s rare to find lilac scents that don’t smell like bathroom freshener’s or an old maid’s talcum powder; but two perfumes that I’ve met come very close to capturing the real scent plus adding a very personal spin to the theme:
Olivia Gioacobetti’s En Passant*, in which green cucumber and ink-like and starchy wheat add a contemplative, cool mist of lilac clusters; and Ineke Ruhland’s After My Own Heart*, where raspberry and heliotropin bring a lighthearted, romantic sweetness of girly scented stationary.

Scent that traveled from Australia to Provence and the Middle east, mimosas have an invisible wildflower scent that is heady and light and woody, with a little cucuber-coolness to it. My favourite mimosa are light and refreshing: L’Artisan Parfumeur’s Mimosa Pour Moi and my own Les Nuages de Joie Jaune. which literally means “clouds of yellow happiness.

After the cherry blossoms, magnolias have become almost a symbol of Vancouver in spring. There are so many trees and varieties, it would be difficult to describe all of them here. The two significant differences are white versus the pink ones. The white ones are very light and airy and almost woody-clean, as well as fruity like peach. The pink ones can be fruity, but sometimes they are very heady and turn almost wine-like and spicy (but not like mulled wine!). My favourite spring scent with magnolias in it is Opium Fleur de Shanghai. Again, this is by association, because this light summer-version (limited edition, unfortunately, like all of them), came out in the springtime. It just so happened to be in a very happy spring for me, and I worn it every day for several month. The magnolia is very distinct (and quite rarely used in perfumes in such concentration) and beautifully balanced with the resinous bitterness of myrrh, the sweetness of peru balsam oil and the spiciness of cloves. It’s luxurious and light and very easy to wear.

Spearmint & Lemon Verbena
Fresh herbs from the garden give me a sense of well-being, and my favourite of them all are lemon verbena and spearmint. I love picking these fresh and brew them into a delicate tisane together, sometimes also with lemongrass added. Moroccan mint tea is another favourite – with either green or black tea, fresh sprigs of spearmint, and generous dose of sugar (though not as generous as the Moroccans serve it with), perhaps even with a sprinkle of orange flower water!
One of the treats I serve to guests at my studio is my original Charisma tea blend, which is jasmine green tea with dried osmanthus flowers, fresh lemon verbena, lemongrass and spearmint from my balcony’s herb garden. In the wintertime I serve a modified blend with the dried herbs (most of which were hand-picked and dried by my loving mother). And for those of you too faraway to visit, Dawna have created for me an even more sophisticated version of a fine pomello blossom tea with the same dry fragrant herbs and osmanthus flowers.

Verbena and spearmint are those notes which I love in real life but less so in perfume. An exception is Spring Flower, which has a mint note and is another perfume that never fails to make me feel happy. I have nearly run out of an entire bottle, which says a lot.

Last year I spent a lazy afternoon in my hotel room in Grasse with a cantaloupe… I know, this does not sound good. But I assure you, even though it was only the two of us, nothing happened that afternoon behind those closed doors… Except that I couldn’t get enough of the fragrance that filled the room. Which is exactly why I took my time before slashing it open with the knife I bought for that purpose only. As it turns out (a couple of days later), This cantaloupe was not only the most fragrant, but also the most delicious, juicy and beautiful fruit ever.
Another cantaloupe encounter that trip was with Michel Roudnitska’s Emotionelle, a beautiful and sophisticated perfume centered around jasmine, violet and overripe cantaloupe.

Ayala’s Spring Essentials:
Le Parfum de Thérèse
Vanille Galante
Spring Flower
Opium Fleur de Shanghai
Narcisso Rodriguez for Her (EdT)

Leave a comment sharing with us your spring staples, or any scents and notes that bring a smile on your face, and enter to win one of these prizes:
1) Mini parfum of Zohar
2) Tin of Charism Tea
3) TBA

Participating blogs:
Katie Puckrik Smells
Perfume Shrine
The Non Blonde
I Smell Therefore I Am
Notes from the Ledge
Scent Hive
Savvy Thinker
Roxana's Illuminated Journal
Perfume in Progress
All I Am A Redhead
Ambre Gris
A Rose Beyond the Thames

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Poll: Sizes for Spray Bottles + Giveaway

Your input is very important and will be very influential on the decision making for out new packaging!
Please leave a comment below with your input, and if you'd like to enter the draw to win 1 of 3 free bottles (when the new bottle size and packaging is ready).

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And Speaking of Bon Zai...

Fragrantica's Astroscentology Guide (what a fun concept!) for this week features Bon Zai perfume for those born under the sign of Taurus.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Clean Agarwood Incense

Lichen, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Opposites do not only attract; they are also very similar. The musty, damp, rotting-wood scent of agarwood oil is precisely what makes it clean smelling. It's a strange olfactory paradox that I'm unable to explain.

I've created Bon Zai in 2001 as a custom scent to my ex-husband, who for no reason that I can explain, reminded me of Japanese garden. Bon Zai was meant to be minimalistic, woody and off-beat, like nothing else but at the same time with a sense of tranquility and purpose, harmony and balance like a bon sai tree in a zen garden with cool moss-covered rocks, flowing trails and trickling water; yet at the same time still evoke a very old tree at the top of a cliff.

Bon Zai was one of my very first perfumes and the skeleton for the formula was something that I found in Poucher's book called "Japanese Bouquet". I followed the formula similarly to how I follow recipes from a cookbook: I read it, imagine what it should be like, and try to make it ten times better.

The perfume you have recently experienced is different from the original 2001 creation because of a little transformation it went through just by adding two essences that characterize Japan's olfactory world: shiso and agarwood.

Shiso is a very strange herb that looks like small patchouli leaves (or large mint leaves), with serrated edges. It is one of the most finicky things to cook with, as it reacts very badly to heat: it looses all of its aroma. In Japanese cuisine, green shiso is eaten fresh, as a whole leaf to wrap sashimi, or thinly sliced to garnish cold soba noodles. There is also purple shiso, but that's another story...

What shiso did to the formula was transport the coniferous pine and juniper from the forest into the top of the mountain, where the air is clear and clean, and the forest is so healthy and pure that lichen grows on the wind-swept pines. It adds water and space to the wood, making it feel even more airy and light than it was ever before.

The agarwood adds a very subtle touch: the base otherwise has woody notes of sandalwood, vetiver and antique patchouli. The accent here is on the sandalwood though. Vetiver and patchouli in that particular context and ratio reads "woody" rather than "earth" or "dirt". The agarwood, although sharing some similarities with both sandalwood's precious woods and incense characters, and with the mustiness of vetiver and patchouli, goes all the way to the direction of pure smokeless incense. It's like a sheer veil of incense or the trail that a sandalwood fan leaves in its wake...

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Scent to Fight Absence

"She wanted a persistent scent. There were so many absences in her life; her mother, her sister, [her lover] Boy Capel. She wanted the scent to stay, to be very present, to fight absence.''

Actress Anna Mouglalis' perspective on the motive to create No. 5 for The Sydney Morning Herald

Spring Cleaning Sale

Spring cleaning sale, for select travel roll-ons for $45 (originaly $65), and extrait flacons for $85 (originally $110).
Some of the scents on sale: Palas Atena, Sabotage, Coralle... And a few more. This offer is valid only while quantities last.

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Friday, April 09, 2010

New: Custom Coffrets @ Ayala Moriel Parfums

I've just added to the website custom coffrets of our miniatures, encased in a nice long gift box - perfect for travel or for gift giving.

Pick your favourite 8 perfumes for your own custom coffret, or select the ones I've put together:

The Tea Time Coffret is a collection of tea perfumes, including Charisma (green tea), Fetish (green tea), Gaucho (yerbamate), Immortelle l'Amour (rooibos), Finjan (for the helpless coffee addicts among you!), Kinmokusei (green tea), Roses et Chocolat (has a matching perfumed tea) and The Purple Dress (black tea).

The Gourmand Coffret contains all of our mouthwatering gourmand perfumes, including Cabaret (Coconut and Rahat Loukum), Film Noir (dark chocolate & patchouli), Finjan (spiced Turkish coffee) Guilt (caramel chocolate with orange blossom), Black Licorice (star anise and vanilla), Immortelle l'Amour (cinnamon waffles with maple), Roses et Chocolat (roses, amber and chocolate), and Sahleb (milky pudding dessert with rosewater, orris and butter).

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Weekly Giveaway Winner Announcement

Congratulations to Laura, the winner of last week's giveaway: a 15ml preview bottle of Song of Songs anointing body oil, with light-weight and nourishing oils of jojoba, avocado and coconut.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

An Oud With A Grin

Shaking Snowdrop, originally uploaded by flickrolf.

I woke up this morning noticing something unusual from my window: full-strength sunshine and trees covered in green plumage. Of course, that did not mean a warm day; on the contrary: it was a wind storm that blew away the clouds and let in the sun. Nevertheless, this was a perfect day for wearing Grin!

Grin was a tribute to the crisp spring in the Northern hemisphere: bulb flowers springing from the cold earth, heady and fragrant in contrast to the brisk air, cool rocks covered in rain-soaked moss and the frost-covered earth that if anything, emits a harsh, dusty and marshy smell.

But there is also another element altogether: light. Luminous light as it shines through the word-shaped bulb-plants’ leaves as they cut through the chilly air; and backlit buds of tree leaves shimmering against blue sky.

The creation of Grin was greatly inspired by Diorissimo, the legendary perfume by Edmund Roudnitska, which I also wore on my wedding day. This perfume is, in my opinion, one of the most perfect perfumes in the world, pure beauty in a bottle. It’s also one of the very few commercial perfumes that is said to contain boronia. It is particularly breathtaking in the parfum extrait, where the boronia is actually noticeable, as well as the jasmine and rose, giving the lily of the valley depth that can’t be quite complete in the lighter eau de Toilette. It was not possible for me to create lily of the valley accord with naturals alone, but I wanted to capture the emotion that I get when I smell this lily of the valley perfume. It always brings a smile to my face. And that’s what I tried to do with Grin.

Although not a soliflore by any means, the star of the show here is Boronia. This rare flower absolute from Tasmania brings a ray of light into the perfume. Crisp galbanum brings out its fresh-cut flower personality, but also an outdoorsy fresh-cut-grass smell, that makes me want to fill my lungs with air. Green pepper accentuate the peppery freesia-like character of boronia. Violet leaf brings out more of the ionone character of boronia. Jasmine and rose make it shine even brighter, bringing out an opulent richness. And than, what we need to talk about next, is the base.

“I've often seen a cat without a grin,' thought Alice; `but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever saw in my life!'” (Lewis Carol, “Alice in Wonderland)

On its own, agarwood is rarely perceived as a cheerful note that would make one jump up with joy; but in this perfume from 2006, this is the role it takes. Wet stones, mossy forest floor and earth awakening to the sun was what the base needed to evoke in Grin. And agarwood, surprisingly, makes this happen, juggling the dense oakmoss on one hand, and the nearly effervescent and green Haitian vetiver, which extends galbanum and violet crispness till the end. It stands in the middle with its musty woody personality, smelling clean and balanced and mysterious. It’s an extension of the green leaves and the forest and the woods from where the fragrant bulb flowers emerge with their defiant optimism, provoking the sleepy world and welcoming the sun.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Search Has Began!

We finally added search function to Hope you find it useful!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

Easter Squirrel, originally uploaded by SparkyLeigh.

Happy Easter to all of you celebrating today!
I thought this Easter Squirrel photo, being taken in British Columbia was particularly silly, and hope it will bring a smile to your faces too.

Just on Friday, I heard that daffodils are the only bulbs that these little greedy rodents don't steal, so you can be sure to find them in your garden next year if you live in squirrel land.

Although I don't celebrate Easter, I decided to wear Vanille Galante today, which smells like an Easter lilies and salted caramels. What are you wearing today?


Saturday, April 03, 2010

Weekly Giveaway Winner Announcement

Thank you to all of you who commented and participated in our custom perfume topic this week.
The winner of SmellyBlog giveaway this week wins a Signature Perfume, created by yours truly using pure natural essences.

The lucky winner was selected using, which picked for us commenter no. 6, aka Princess Ellie

Congratulations, Princess Ellie!!!
I'm very excited to be creating for you a Signature Perfume,. Based on your comment, this would be a "creamy floral that has a hint of green. Maybe tuberose, jasmine, gardenia with a little Linden blossom and scent like fresh cut grass for some green notes and a nice base of tonka bean, sandlewood and possible some coconut. A little like White Potion with some green added to it. That would be perfect".

Please contact me ayala (at) so we can get started with the creation of your very own Signature Perfume!

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Song of Songs + Giveaway

Book of Love, originally uploaded by Thorne Enterprises.

The book of Canticles (aka Song of Solomon or Song of Songs) is traditionally read on the morning of the Sabbath during Passover. Hence, my perfume bearing that name is particularly appropriate for this time of year and I thought it would be a great start for talking about how to use oud in perfumery, revealing the different facets of its complex beauty.

I created Song of Songs perfume using the ancient perfumes mentioned in this book, including agarwood, spikenard root, oils of myrrh and frankincense oils, and labdanum absolute, which together form a resinous and woody base; a bouquet of roses (from Morocco, Turkey and Bulgaria) for the heart, and saffron absolute at the top, which makes it very exotic and unusual. At some point I had some hyacinth absolute in my organ, which I used for the heart as well, but this is long gone. The hyacinths stand for the lilies mentioned in the poem, and which according to my research were what the Song of Songs refers to as "Lily of the Valley" (convillarias do not grow in Israel or anywhere in the Middle East). Hyacinth absolute is very sweet (almost candy sweet) and with some green-herbaceous aspect. But like I said - it rarely turns out in the market. I also had an idea of having cedar in it at certain point in the design process, but that was more of a story-telling idea, rather than perfumed idea (the book mentions cedar of Lebanon, which was used to build the temple of Solomon; however I don't know that cedar was necessarily a biblical perfume material so I abandoned that idea early on).

Song of Songs is honeyed, resinous and exotic and has a very profound impact on my mind when I wear it. It makes me feel connected to the ancient civilizations where my ancestors came from. There. the Orient and the Occident unite through veins of caravans transporting spices, medicine and wisdom. Like the poem it was inspired by, the perfume sits comfortably between the sacred and the profane (despite the fact that the poetry in the book of Canticles is very erotic and more than just suggestive, it is considered by the Jews to be the holiest one in the bible).

Although I created it before knowing anything about Arabian perfumery or smelling any Arabian or Indian attars (Song of Songs was created in 2002, just about a year after I started my journey in the art of perfumery) - it is a very "Middle Eastern" perfume, similar in some ways to the Arabian attars I smelled at the perfume bazzar at the souk years later, but far more pure and intense with its true attar of rose, spikenard and agarwood and all the rest. The spikenard really brings out the mustiness and earthy animalic aspect of agarwood, and the saffron brings it up another notch with its almost leathery dryness. Along with the ambery labdanum and the precious woodsy notes of olibanum and myrrh, these elements really make the roses sing and stand out during the heart phase. It becomes woodier and dryer as it dries on the skin.

Interestingly, Song of Songs is really popular with my local clientele - those who pick it by smelling it rather than reading the history and notes on the website. But those who do pick it from the virtual boutique end up being long time devotees. I can see why: there is something really soothing about it. I worn it yesterday and I will be wearing it for the rest of the Passover week.

Comment on this post and get entered into a draw to win a preview-vial (15ml) of Song of Songs anointing body oil, with nourishing and fast-absorbing oils of jojoba, coconut, avocado and vitamin E.

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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Aphro-tea-siacs in Fresh Cup Magazine Featuring Ayala Moriel's Aphrodisiac Tera Party

The April issue of Fresh Cup Magazine features an article titled APHRO-TEA-SIACS: Exploring the sexy side of infusions by Steven Krolak includes an extensive interview with me and Dawna (the wonderful lady who makes my tea line), about aphrodisiacs in perfume and tea, and my last Aphrodisiac Tea Party I hosted for my customers for Valentine's Day.
Click here to visit the online edition of the current issue (p. 46-51).

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