Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cozy Florals

The big meeting..., originally uploaded by gardawind.

While temperatures drop rapidly, and the rain drapes the city skyline with a crystalline persistence, I turn my nose towards flowers that never bloom in the wintertime.

And rather than reach for one flower at a time, I am enjoying the concept of pairing them together and getting different whiffs from different directions. Here are a few examples of what I’m talking about:

Farnesiana parfum + Yasmin creme parfum
A double treat: wearing Farnesiana parfum extrait from Caron, while wearing perfumed jewelry filled with Yasmin solid perfume (I’ve just recently filled myself a poison ring with Yasmin). While Farnesiana is very cozy and on the gourmand-side, with it’s almondy heliotropin, it’s like a rich desert in an afternoon tea; Yasmin brings the vivacity of jasmines in full bloom in the summer time. There is something about jasmines that just makes me smile when I smell them. And if it wasn’t for my friend HR I wouldn’t have thought of wearing it in the winter time. She likes to wear it in the snow, and she’s absolutely right about doing so. It brings out the best of the perfume, the animalic aspect of jasmine yet in a very subdued way - and counterbalances the windchill factor.

Floral Candles:
While I have been (impatiently) awaiting my first batch of White Potion candles, I’ve been experimenting with Dyptique’s floral candle gift box. The box contains three candles: Tubereuse, Mimosa and Choisya (Mexican orange blossom). In the cold throw, snuggled up in their white box, all three are magical. Burning them together is overwhelmingly pretty and fresh in a springtime cheerfulness of flowers awakening to the sun after morning showers. I find these to be a tad too sweet and overpowering, so perhaps just one candle at a time would suffice even though they are really small.

KenzoAmour Le Parfum:
This full-bodied version of KenzoAmour is more concentrated (even though it comes in a spray bottle) and says out loud everything that I wanted to hear when it just came out. There is more frangipani, more depth overall, and the only thing that I’m still not getting enough of is the rice steam.

Velvet Gardenia:
I never though it would be possible for me to fall in love with anything that Tom Ford makes after his shameful men’s fragrance campaign; but the Private Blend line has just magically appeared at Holt Renfrew and from all the dark, resinous, incensey scents (from first sniff, they all smelled like various variation on the Tom Ford concept of what an expensive perfume should smell like) - Velvet Gardenia made a real impact on me. It smells like a macro version of gardenia’s heady scent, amplified but filtered to create some softness. It’s realistic and magical at once. It’s interesting even though it is a soliflore. And it is not as loud as white florals often get. A through review is in order.

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White Ball of Musk with a Black, Dirty Center

"(...)My friend left the party with a huge bottle of Roederer Cristal Rosé Champagne that we christened the new store with the next day. Then I had this idea of doing a white ball of musk with a black, dirty center that would be the symbol of the city." (Fabrice Penot for Los Angeles Times)

Le Labo launched their LA exclusive, Musc 25, which costs twice as much as the rest of their collection and contains white musc, ambergris, patchouli, rose, amber, vetiver and a human semen note. Not having smelled it, I shouldn't be casting judgement so fast but if it's anything like the semen note in the shuddering Secretions Magnifique, I suggest you get your semen-smelling kick from a different source, where it is probably given for free and while may not bear your name and date of purchase on it like the Le Labo bottle, could possibly have other more amusing side-effects and personalized features.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy American Thanksgiving!

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving to all of SmellyBlog American readers!

May you all receive everything you need and enjoy what you are already blessed with!

P.s. My internet connection was down for the past two days (looong story...) so hence the delayed greeting.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

News from the Nose: Holiday Gift Guide

Dear Fragrant Friends,

The past two months were full with many many studio guests, students and shipments of new candles and teas (these have been selling out fast!).

I feel very grateful and am thankful for your support over the years and for spreading the word about my little perfumery. Tomorrow being Thanksgiving in the USA, there is no better timing for expressing my gratitude for being able to support my family by doing the work that I love, while bringing beautiful fragrances to many lives and homes - the natural way - not to mention two new locations in Vancouver and an interview on Sniffapalooza magazine!

Happy Thanksgiving and wishing you all the best for this upcoming holiday season! And may it be stress-free and most joyful!

In this newsletter:

Two New Vancouver Locations

Ayala Moriel is proud to announce two new locations in Vancouver where you can find our products: Belmondo and Beyond Pilates.

Belmondo Skin Care Studio, situated at the prestigious Electra Health Floor, 970 Burrard Street, tel. (604)685-4325 is an organic skin care studio, where you can get a full organic facial and body treatments and complementary massages. The atmosphere at Belmondo is especially relaxed because of the Daniela's lovable and most pleasant personality, which makes every visit there a real treat.

Belmondo now offers Ayala Moriel's candles, teas and gift sets of samples + gift cards alongside their organic skin care products from Eminence.

Noam Gagnon's Wellness Centre - Beyond Pilates is Ayala's favourite Pilates studio in town if not in the entire world. The teachers are incredibly knowledgeable, kind and helpful in everyway and most importantly - have a great sense of humour! The place has a unique ambience, with state of the art equipment and decor and the air always smell good, because there is always a scented candle burning! Noam's favourite candles from Ayala Moriel are Bois d'Hiver and White Potion.

Beyond Pilates will be offering select perfumes (Bois d'Hiver, ArbitRary, Immortelle l'Amour, White Potion, Roses et Chocolat) in the purse-roll-on size and their matching tea and/or candle as of the first week of December 2008.

Beyond Pilates is located on 928 Davie Street @ Burrard, Vancouver, BC, V6Z 1B8

Tel. (604) 684-9711

Visit Portobello West this Weekend & Enter to Win "The Gift of Health"

It's hard to believe that yet another month has gone by and it's already time for Portobello West!

This coming Sunday, November 30th is Portobello West Art + Fashion Market, at the Rocky Mountaineer Station (Cottrel & Terminal Ave.). This one fashion and art event can single-handedly take care of most if not all the holiday shopping for you. If this is not a reason enough - how about this:

a) Visit my table and enter the draw to win The Gift of Health - a gift certificate for a full week of unlimited Pilates classes @ Beyond Pilates!

Simply put your name, email and tel. no. in the draw hat and the winner will be announced Sunday night.

b) Not quite as healthy - but definitely as good: I will be making my two most popular (and my own personal favourite) chocolate truffles for the market: Blood Truffles and Guilt Truffles. You won't believe how good they are till you try!

The Gift of Choice: Gift Cards + Sampler Sets

Give your loved one the fragrant gift of choice this season: a gift certificate from Ayala Moriel Parfums (pictured above). These gift cards look especially cute and presentable with the satin bow tied through them, and can be customized for any budget.

The giftee also receives a complementary fragrance consultation to help them find the best scent or samples from the Ayala Moriel perfume collection.

Gift cards are posted on the website in values of $65 (the cost of a purse-roll-on), $110 (parfum extrait) and $550 (signature perfume), but if none of these numbers or gift ideas are what you have in mind, we will be happy to send you a PayPal request for the total amount you are interested in.

We've also put together a few fabulous sampler gift boxes, to be accompanied by a gift card. This way they can pick for themselves which scent they want after trying a few of the fragrances.

There's an 8-sample package of our top-selling perfumes with a gift card of $65 (to go towards a purse-roll-on or any other purchase), and a more elaborate 15-sampler set with a $160 gift certificate.

For the men in your life: a sampler set of our 10 masculine fragrances + $110 gift certificate.

And for the floral lover: Language of Flowers soliflore gift set
includes a sample gift box of all 12 perfumes, plus a $110 gift

The Gift of Light: Candle Gift Sets

Candles are the best treat in the dark and cold winter and a perfect accompaniment for the holiday season. Relax and enjoy the warmth of the indoors with Ayala Moriel's new candle collection. Some of the candles (i.e.: Bois d'Hiver and ArbitRary) also have the extra benefit of chasing away bacteria nd virus in the air because of the properties of the essential oils within them (coniferous, spice and citrus oils in particular).

These beautiful candles can be enjoyed alone, or while wearing the perfume that inspired them. That's why we offer them gift-wrapped and for a $10 discount when you buy Bois d'Hiver or ArbitRary perfume + candle together.

The Gift of Sharing: Teas and Truffles

Tea and chocolate are best enjoyed with somebody special. Our unique collection of beautifully perfumed teas and seductive hand-rolled chocolate truffles make a perfect gift for the holiday, one that is sure to be used up and most likely shared with others and make the holidays more memorable and relaxing.

As I mentioned on my previous newsletter, this is the time of the year where chocolate truffles are available on a regular basis (pretty much), and can be shipped across the country without the risk of melting.

Pick your flavour and we will make a special batch for you of 40-50 truffles at a time of
a flavour of your choice and are perfect for events and for
gift-giving. These exquisite truffles can be either served at your home
or business for holiday parties or wrapped individually in gift boxes to
pass on to special friends and colleagues. All flavours are sold for
$60 a batch.

Alternatively, you can pick a gift box from the current available flavour (we make a new flavour every week or so). This week I'm making the Blood Truffles (dark chocolate with rose otto, saffron and chili and a shot of Kahluah) and Guilt Truffles (dark chocolate with orange blossom and wild orange essences and a shot of Grand Mariner). These melt-in-your-mouth truffles are made with dark chocolate (75% cocoa) and organic whipping cream and are sold in gift-box for $12 per 8 truffles.

Tea Time Gift Sets

Our Tea-Time gift sets are an excellent way to incorporate fragrance and flavour. Wearing the perfume while sipping the tea gives the experience a whole new dimension.

Available in Immortelle l'Amour and Roses et Chocolat.

The GIft of Creativity: Gift Making Workshops at the Studio

During the fall and winter, I invite you to join me at the studio for a series of inspiring workshops that will help you get ready for the holidays with unique hand-scented gifts and holiday menus and recipes.

You will leave each workshop with gifts ready to go under the tree, that you have made yourself and smell wonderful!

The workshops offered include, among others:

Can’t make it for your desired workshop on our calendar? - Contact us to book your own private workshop with a group of friends (up to 6 people). (778) 863-0806. We’ll do our best to accommodate your schedule and help you get ready for the holidays in a fun, relaxed & inspiring way!
Gift idea: Our workshop make an excellent gift. This is a great way to spend time with your friends and family, while being creative and productive. We will be happy to accommodate your group as long as you book it enough in advance.

Workshops can be booked in advance online here.

Interview on Snifnfapalooza Magazine

The mid-November issue of Sniffapalooza Magazine includes an interview with Ayala Moriel by Raphaella Brescia Barkley.

"Flowers always fascinated me. As a little girl, I would admire and
study their structure, shapes, colors and patterns. I always felt that
they had their own language. In a sense, the soliflore collection is
the grown-up incarnation of this flower obsession; only this time, the
emphasis is on the olfactory language rather than the visual. Each
soliflore is a micro-cosmos with its own mood, texture, rhythm and

Holiday Party & Open House December 21st

Come celebrate the holiday season and light the first Hanukah candle with Ayala.

Perfumed teas and truffles will served in abundance (naturally) as well as other aromatic and seasonal treats, including, of course – the infamous Sahleb pudding-drink!

This party is a wonderful opportunity and a cozy environment for you to meet other local perfume lovers who shares your passion of natural perfumery, and experience our new line of candles, Sahleb perfume, and more.

When: December 21st, 6pm-10pm

Where: #314-1230 Haro Street, Buzz #295

RSVP by December 15th or call (778) 863-0806

I couldn't have possibly covereverything we have in store for you in this gift guide. For more gift ideas, visit our Gifts Page or Ayala's Etsy Shop for rare finds (poison rings, etc.). And of course call us anytime so we can help you find the perfect gift and personalize it for you!

Warm regards and Happy Holidays!

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

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Virtual Cooking

Thai Green Curry, originally uploaded by musicpb.

I've been messing around with exotic spice and herb essential oils to re-create various spice mixes from different cuisine. My first shot at it was a 5-spice accord a couple of years back. It smells much more authentic when diluted in a tincture of Szechuan peppers.

Last night I went to Banana Leaf for dinner and felt all inspired to come back to the lab and create some perfume-accord interpretations of Thai and Malaysian curry mixes.

Thai Green Curry is the first experiment this morning. It's all diluted in a tincture of kaffir lime leaves, and includes essential oils of cilantro, coriander, Thai basil, lime and lemograss and very little bit of coconut absolute. The result is not as creamy and coconutty as green curry is, but rather more like a Vietmases Pho noodle soup garnished with cilantro and the bite of fresh basil leaves and the lime juice squeezed into the broth. Yum!

pho, originally uploaded by woolloomooloo.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Alchemy and Artistry

Last Sunday, Nov 16, a unique art show opened in FibreWorks Gallery in the Sunshine Coast, titled Alchemy and Aritstry.
The show was initiated and hosted/currated by Anita Kalnay, certified aromatherapist, visual artists and a Spiritual PhytoEssencing practitioner who lives and works in Alert Bay, BC and is currently studying Ayala Moriel's Foundation of Natural Perfumery Course.
Eight artists explore the concept of Spiritual PhytoEssencing by creating visual art in response to different essences and PhytoEssence blends created by Anita.

FibreWorks Gallery
12887 - 12889 Sunshine Coast Hwy
Madeira Park, BC
Tel.: (604) 883-2380

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Boutique Exclusives

Boronia, originally uploaded by Helen Boronia McHugh.

Recent increases in rare floral essences prices have forced me to do something I don't like doing, but have to: increase the price on selected perfumes from my collection. I don't like the snobbish attitude this may imply, but if I want to be able to continue buying the materials to make these perfumes, logic forces me to follow what the numbers request.

The perfumes subject to the increase are those containing precious essences such as boronia, broom (the latter has increased its price significantly this year, and is now about $500 per ounce) and jonquille. Also, the ones that I will probably not be able to get for a long time if at all - such as ambergris and East Indian sandalwood (I have enough in stock to make Gigi for a whilte).

The price for the following perfumes are exclusive to Ayala Moriel's boutique as they can only be produced on a small scale. Their price have been increased to $160 per 9ml flacon:
l'Écume des Jours
And of course, Sahleb and the upcoming (2009) perfume The Purple Dress will bear the same price, reflecting the high concentration of rare essences that goes into their disctinc scent (orris with 15% irone and ambrette seed in Sahleb and red & golden champaca in The Purple Dress).

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The Search for Indentity

"In this business, we give our time and know-how to bring happiness." - perfumer Francis Kurkdjian for the Herald Tribune.

Read the rest of the article to find out more about l'Artisan Parfumeur's "Mon Numéro" line of single-edition perfumes by Bertrand Duchaufour, bespoke services by Cartier, Guerlain and Francis Kurkdjian.

Interestingly, they mention that some floral essences cost $5,000 per kilo ($146 per ounce). I can reassure you floral essences can cost far more than that. For example, Orange Blossom Absolute costs almost $400 per ounce; Genet (Broom) absolute costs over $500 per ounce; orris butter costs more than $700 per ounce; and the last time I checked, Boronia absolute was over $1,400 per ounce.

P.s. the above image is of a one-of-a-kind bottle, designed by Pascale Riberolles for L'Artisan Parfumeur's Mon Numéro.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sniffapalooza Magazine Interview

Click here to read Ayala's interview for Sniffapalooza Magazine (by Raphaella Brescia Barkely, Editor-in-chief).
Sniffapalooza Magazine is always a must-read, and this Mid-November issue includes many other interesting news, articles, perfume reviews and interviews.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Scented Candle Collection

Ok, ok, ok. I'll admit it: I'm in love. With my candles.
This is a whole new experience for me - enjoying scented candles. I burned to the bottom both Bois d'Hiver and ArbitRary and I'm struggling to not dip into the stash for retail.

Clearly, I'm not the only one who thinks they are amazing: The ArbitRary candles are completely sold out and will not be in till next week. Bois d'Hiver has only 2 candles left in stock. And the first shipment of White Potion has already several candles pre-ordered. One of them is going straight to Noam Gagnon's Pilates Studio, where it will enhance the breathing techniques of the students and guests, and of the Pilates maestro. When I decided to create a candle version for White Potion I had Noam in mind, so I’m glad he’s the first one to fall in love with it (head over heels, if I may add).

You may want to know now - how do these candles smell?
Bois d’Hiver is the first candle I wanted to create. I really enjoyed other woody and foresty candles (i.e.: the very fresh woody Noel candle from Annick Goutal, and Into the Woods by Origins - a discontinued candle; as well as the more smoky Diptyque’s Feu de Bois & Essence of John Galliano). But I wanted to create my own, all natural candle. Bois d’Hiver already smelled like how I would like a candle to smell. However it was everything but easy to translate into a candle. The first version had too much fir and was just not right in every possible way including colour, texture, and both cold and warm throw. The final version is perfect, with a beautiful balance between the fresh woody coniferous notes, festive spice notes and incensey notes. In a sense, it combines all the classic scents of Christmas: incense in Midnight Mass, spicy cookies and eggnog and fresh green Christmas tree - but without smelling like a cliche. I was surprised at how well the incense notes come out once the candle is burnt. It smells like a dream.

White Potion is creamy and soft and smooth floral. It is very gentle and sweet and such a luxurious treat to burn. It contains plenty of tuberose floral wax, which makes it, well, floral and tuberosey (floral wax is the by product of creating floral absolutes and contains whatever fragrance is left in the flower and did not want to leave the wax). It also has coconut and tonka bean, ylang ylang, grapefruit and bergamot. It really is like burning perfume in your space and makes the world seem luscious and creamy. It’s a very romantic candle, but to me could also be great as a meditation candle, as it is very soothing.

And of course - you already know about ArbitRary - an invigorating citrusy candle with juicy lime, nectar-like jasmine with basil and hay. I’ve burnt this all summer and burnt it down very fast. I’ve run through these candles faster than any other kind of candles (I still have a few from more than a year ago).

A new candle will come out in mid December, based on Roses et Chocolat parfum. The first version was divine but I want it to be even better!

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Intensive Weekend

Monique's Perfume Creations, originally uploaded by So Misguided.

The past two weeks have been uber-busy for me, at times even sleepless. The time this blog post is published will serve as an evidence. There were many things in the making - including two new retail spots in Vancouver (Belmondo Skin Care Studio is one, and the other will be announced at a later date), various special events (i.e.: Mi Casa’s Christmas Party & Open House) and last but not least 3 full days dedicated to my perfumery students who came over from all parts of North America just to learn natural perfume at my studio!

This is the first time I’m holding a mixed-level group, something I decided to try in order to allow my correspondence students a more realistic and convenient opportunity to travel for a more in-depth instruction over the course of 3 days instead of just one. The challenge for me was to not bore the more advanced students with redundant information (at least by presenting it differently and using new examples of raw materials and perfumes), and at the same time make sure those who are starting at step 1 receive a thorough introduction that I always give new students.

As much as theory is important, there is no doubt in me that the practical parts of the weekend are the most valuable and probably were the most memorable for my students (even if at times I’m quite sure that my exercises could seem a bit odd to some). Some things you just can’t learn from a book. Making perfumes is one of them. This is the reason why they have packed their bags and traveled so far just for three days. A picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes only seeing is believing. For others, encouragement and coaxing to think out of the box and to dare experimenting without worrying about how terrible the results may smell is what it’s al about.

What I wanted to achieve in this course more than anything else is to create a stimulating and nurturing learning environment that provides hands-on guidance and experiential learning. It is important for me to teach each student what they need to learn, based on their level, interests and professional goals. While many useful techniques and efficient work habits are taught, there is always room for new ways of thinking. And even though I am officially the teacher, there is always something new I learn from my students. We all perceive scent a little differently and sharing those concepts and impressions in the classes is invaluable. My students also teach my by forcing me to reflect on how I communicate both olfactory and abstract or interpersonal ideas.

The next term begins February 1st and there is room for up to 6 correspondence students in the first level. This will include an option for participation in the intensive weekend too, which will run either in May or June (more details TBA). To register you can pay online (the correspondence course fees include the essences kit for level 1) but you must first contact me with your CV and a cover letter explaining your reasons for applying to the course and your goals. There is an Early Bird price until November 30th offering 10% off the full tuition.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ayala Moriel @ Belmondo

Ayala Moriel is proud to announce that for the holiday season, Belmondo Skin Care studio will be offering gift packages with Ayala Moriel candles, teas and perfumes!

Visit Belmondo to get a pampering organic facial and relaxing massages by the lovely Daniela. She's the nicest lady you can find to take care of your face and uses the best skin care - all organic and free of harmful preservatives!

And now they also have the perfect gifts for the hlidays - luxurious gift packages including treatment gift cards paired with complementary Eminence organic skin care products, Chocolate Nymph chocolate bars, and of course - scented gifts from Ayala Moriel - Bois d'Hiver and ArbitRary candles, Immortelle l'Amour and Gaucho teas, perfume gift sets and gift certificates!

Belmondo Skin Care Studio is located at the Electra Health Floor on 970 Burrard Street in Vancouver. You can book your facial online or by calling (604) 685-4325 or emailing

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Funny Tea

My grandmother called me yesterday afternoon to thank me for a little care-package I sent her. She asked how business is doing as usual (she's always a fan and also has invested in Ayala Moriel in the past in more ways than just money!), complimented me on the latest news via my newsletter (she even started spamming her friends at the Bridge club, finally getting back at them with all the Powerpoint presentations they bombard her computer with); and told me how impressed she was with my tea.
At this point I started feeling very worried because I could not for the life of me remember sending her any tea in the package (my package included some gourmet British Columbian harvested jams, chocolate and a few other little treats). Now, I sure am not getting younger but I don't expect my memory to be that bad already! I asked her how it was packaged and she said it was in a little fabric bag. At this point I just couldn't help but laugh my head off. This was no tea, this was the Vetiver Racinettes sachet I've sent her! With cardamom pods inside and infused with nutmeg and cardamom essences it sure smelled good enough to eat! My grandmother wasn't the only one who enjoyed the tea, she even shared it with my two brothers and my sister in law when they came for a visit and everybody liked it. We both laughed and laughed...

Thankfully, there was enough left to use the rest of the "tea" as a sachet as intended. I did not send her tea because she told me she only drinks one kind of (herbal) tea- dried lemon verbena from her daughter's garden... But it does encourage me a lot to make my next tea with Dawna, this time with some vetiver root in it and candied ginger. My grandmother is a huge candied ginger fan, and if she enjoyed vetiver with cardamom, I can only imagine her delight with her favourite spice and that earthly root thrown in...

Now I'm off to make myself some tea with some vetiver thrown in, and also call my mom to make sure she does not make tea from her Film Noir sachet (I don't want to imagine my mom drinking patchouli tea, she already has enough 60's influence in her life without that!).

If you are interested in sachets in general, I have them in several scents from my collection, available via as well as my Etsy shop (listed under home fragrances).

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The Science of Scent

Interesting video of a Luca Turin presentation of his vibrational-olfactory-processing-theory, which is quite amusing!

Sunday, November 09, 2008


As you may remember, Les Exclusifs left my nose generally unimpressed and my wallet completely unaffected (except that, of course, I immediately bough the last parfum extrait of Bois des Îles upon learning this was the sacrifice for the new line). Even though all the 6 new scents were very well made from quality materials and nevertheless elegant – they left me cold and, well, disappointed. Mostly because most of the collection seemed to be elaborating on already-familiar-Chanel themes: the cool green iris scent (28 La Pausa, Bel Respiro – both reflecion of No. 19); the over-the-top oriental (Coromandel, a modern oriental with an obvious wink towards Coco from the 80’s); and finally - the sophisticated abstract woody: No. 18 and 31 Rue Cambon, both paying an homage to Bois des Îles but barely scrape the bottom of its feet in my opinion, but nevertheless are the only two that I found interesting so far. Until Sycomore came around.

Sycomore was love at first sniff. It encompasses everything that I wish was in a vetiver perfume but haven’t really smelled yet. I have to admit: for a moment I felt so comfortable I even thought I am smelling my own familiar and odd Vetiver Racinettes. . It is the first vetiver that I encounter that is nearly as complex and full bodied, dark and spicy, earthy and sweet as how I like this root to be. It has many of the lements I liked in Vetiver Tonka. It even has a nutty coffee note (which I really enoyed in Jo Malon’s Black Vetiver Café); and it has a lot of Haitian vetiver from what I can tell – which is my all-time favourite vetiver oil. I've been reaching for the Sycomore mini for a week now and enjoy it's versatility, easy-going nature and find that it is distinctive and perhaps even timeless. But perhaps more than anything else I'm surprised that is so unpretentious.

Sycomore is nutty, woody, earthy, sweet, clean, tart and complex like vetiver should be. It has whiffs of odd and familiar notes weaving in and out – mint, pepper, mastic, cypress, juniper and coffee. And the woodiness of vetiver is accentuated by other woody notes such as sandalwood. It truly captures the vastness of earth, nature, trees and woods.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Stock Update for Sahleb

For those following the stock market:

Out of the original 11, there are only 6 bottles of Sahleb left in stock.

Samples are completely sold out.

On another note, I have added several gift sets to my website, including candle gift sets and tea-time gift sets; so check them out and let me know if you need help picking a holiday gift.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Harajuku Lovers

Harajuku Lovers, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

I always get lucky when I go shopping with Tamya. Last Saturday, when after we went for our weekly swim at the YWCA, I decided to overcome my inferiority complex and go check out the new member of Les Exclusifs at the Chanel boutique next door. We were both wearing our heart-illustrated gum boots and feeling great but looking everything else but glamorous. I secretly like taking Tamya to fancy boutiques, as a test to see how nice the sales people really are. I can tell you that in both Chanel and Holt Renfrew they are very, very nice to kids and usually also to adults. This time, I scored 2 “samples” from the Les Exclusifs – Sycomore and 31 Rue Camon (they really are minis). Obviously, Tamya is my lucky charm...

We than continued to a the drugstore to check out the new doll collection htat hides perfumes inside. I saw them a couple of days earlier and could not for the life of me make up my mind about one. So I thought Tamya could help me, and after all – her Bat Mitzvah was just a few days ago so she deserves to pick a perfume for herself!

I have to say, this was difficult. The dolls are all very cute. In fact, irresistibly cute. The juices, however, are not as nose-catchy as the dolls are. There was only one that I found to be really distinct – G. But I couldn’t really decide if I like it or not. The others all smelled like something I smelled before. There was Baby with a curly black hair which smells like a fancy baby powder; Music, a brunette with a fancy hairdo reeking of a non-descript musky floral; G with an overly symmetric blonde hair and smelling oddrly of coconut and something green at the same time; Lil’ Angel, dressed as a tomboy, and smelling very pineapple-y and a very MiamiGlo kind of way; and Love, the prettiest of all dolls with an asymmetric Asian-inspired hairdo which smelled like a very pretty yet quite generic light floral with a musky base (at first I had a hard time distinguishing between Love and Music).

After spending about an hour staring at them, sniffing, making up our minds only to change again two seconds later, both Tamya and I unanimously decided to adopt Love and take her home with us. We got home and almost forgot that she even existed (she’s very well behaved). We did the perfume-box-opening ceremony and from this point on I was just immensely impressed by how accessible this perfume was. This was the first perfume that Tamya really seemed to be into, spraying, sniffing her wrists AND showing off. And I suspect it wasn’t just the doll, because when her daddy came home, and I asked her to show him her new perfume – she let him smell her wrists rather than bring the doll. Love smells lovely on Tamya, by the way. It also smelled good on my wrist (though not as good as on Tamya). It reminded me very much of Spring Flower but a little softer.

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Sahleb Stock Update

For those following the stock market:

Out of the original 11, there are only 6 bottles of Sahleb left in stock.

Samples are completely sold out.

On another note, I have added several gift sets to my website, including candle gift sets and tea-time gift sets; so check them out and let me know if you need help picking a holiday gift.


Sunday, November 02, 2008

Notes from the Ledge Reviews Vetiver Racinettes

Visit Notes from the Ledge to read ScentSelf's review of Vetiver Racinettes.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Thank you!

Dear readers,

First of all - a heart felt thank you for your many Mazal Tov wishes for Tamya's Bat Mitzvah.
I read all of them to her and she was overjoyed!

Tamya had a fantastic Bat Mitzvah; we celebrated it by bowling with friends and eating ice-cream cake (more accurately: Gelato cake - coconut and mango flavours - which I tried very hard not to melt before the games were over!). It was truly fantastic and heart warming to see how many people are involved in Tamya's life and how much she is loved. There is just something about her that makes people fall in love with her wherever she goes!

Your Tamya perfume samples will be sent in the mail later this afternoon (Tamya is going to help me, of course - she is my post-office assistant after all!). There is still one unclaimed sample (as Helg didn't want one - and in any case, I think she already tried Tamya before!). So please keep the comments coming :)



P.s. and some of you I am not sure I have your addresses - so please do email me with your mailing address - Nicole, Jeannie, Tatiana, Dollface, Katie, Felicia, Pavlova, ScentSelf & Melis.

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