Friday, January 29, 2010

Swamped with events...

I'm swamped with events until after my tea party. I have a few articles in the making. And everyday I *think* I will complete and post them but that obviously hasn't happened yet.

I'm sucked into yet another tea party production, so you won't see much of me till Sunday night or Monday at the earliest. Hopefully will be able to post some pictures of that one - unlike The Purple Dress launch, which went by without pictures - it was so full of guests it didn't even occur to me that I should be taking any :-(

At least the postcards for the Bloedel gala are ready; as well as the 3 raffle prizes (1 flacon and 2 minis of Frangipanni Gloves!). I dropped them off at the Southlands Nursery after taking my daughter horseback riding.

The tea party has 30 people RSVP'd, which is our maximum capacity. I'm going to need to buy a new tea set as I only have enough for 22 people at the moment. Another thing to add to my to-do list which should have gotten shorter by now.

Anyway, if you are curious what's baking in my oven as we speak, you can check my tweets
or visit the Facebook event for a full menu!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Save Bloedel Floral Conservatory

Plumeria (Frangipani), originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

"It was one of those indecisive April days, alternating between cloudy and warm, and pouring rain. For a while, we sought refuge inside the glass dome that housed tropical birds & flowers. There, near the pink parrot that refused to have his pictures taken, I met a blooming frangipanni tree in Vancouver for the first time. You can imagine my happiness: frangipanni is one of my favourite flowers and I have many fond memories associated with its scent. I took with me this single blooming flower that fell off the tree, and savoured it for hours afterward, analyzing its aroma in my head, making notes in my journal as to how to capture its scent. The result is Frangipanni Gloves: a perfume that layers a whiff of frangipanni flowers with the leathery-powdery undertones of suede perfumed gloves of Victorian era. This tropical white floral perfume has an intoxicating yet delicate aroma, sweet and humid, underlined with suede-leather nuances and a hint of spice". (read the rest of the story behind Frangipanni Gloves here)

Proceeds go to the Bloedel Floral Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park in Vancouver. It is thanks to this wonderful tropical gem at the heart of our raincity that I was able to find a real, living frangipanni flower for reference. Unfortunately, the City of Vancouver has cut its funding to sustain the conservatory and it is scheduled to close March 1st, 2010. This will leave tens of tropical birds and plants homeless, and is a huge loss for the people of Vancouver!

When you purchase Frangipanni Gloves, you are also helping this cause. Frangipannin Gloves is offered for a limited time only, until March 1st, which is the scheduled date for closing Bloedel Floral Conservatory. For every bottle sold, $50 is donated to Bloedel Floral Conservatory in order to prevent its scheduled shut-down March 1st, 2010. ($30 for mini bottles).
If the fundraiser succeeds, and it will not close - Frangiapnni Gloves will remain in our regular collection and I will continue to donate money to Bloedel, so that we can continue to enjoy the scent of real living frangipanni flowers!
It can be purchased on Etsy or via Ayala Moriel Parfums.

Other ways you can help the Bloedel Floral Conservatory:

There are three ways to donate:

1. Make a donation at any Royal Bank of Canada branch by quoting our name "Friends of the Bloedel Association" and account number 06080 003 1006428.

2. Mail a cheque payable to the Friends of the Bloedel Association

mail to: Friends of the Bloedel Association
3948 West 23rd Avenue
Vancouver, BC
V6S 1L2

3. Use our secure PayPal FundRazr page on Facebook by clicking here: If you are a member of Facebook, please publish your comment and donation to your stream. This will help us spread the word about our important cause.

Attend the Rumble in the Jungle Gala, January 30th, 2010

Sign this petition

Join Friends of Bloedel

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pick Your Potion

Express your emotions and attract the love you deserve with these gorgeous all-natural aromatic aphrodisiacs. Pick your potion among the following 9 concoctions:

ROMANCE - Rosebud

You may seem a little shy, but no matter how hard you try to hide it, you are a true romantic. You express your love with beautiful gestures that may seem like they are taken from an old-fashioned romantic flick: a bouquet of red roses, or better yet - making love in a gardenia-scented garden…

Other suggestions:

  • Gigi
  • PASSION - Roses et Chocolat

    Express your passion for life and love with a bouquet of red roses and aphrodisiac cacao to awaken the passion. Our line of Roses et Chocolat perfume potions are certain to awaken the passion with a bouquet of red roses and a healthy dose of dark chocolate, to awaken the passion and bedazzle the senses. Available in perfume, scented-candle, perfumed tea and, of course, our infamous Blood Truffles (with a hint of chili to bring up the heat!).

    Other suggestions:

  • Roses et Chocolat candle
  • Roses et Chocolat Tea
  • Blood Truffles
  • DESIRE - Song of Songs

    Desire and longing for uniting with your loved one is the source of sweet pain and misery that has inspired art and literature for as long as we can remember. This anguish and desire was expressed and recorded in poems and love songs as ancient as this one by King Solomon. Composed of 7 ancient perfumes, spices and flowers – Song of Songs perfume is an elixir that will bring your spouse even closer.

    SEDUCTION - Cabaret

    With a thrill, a twirl and a shimmy, the fluid movements of dance bring seduction to life. What is seemingly hedonistic pleasure of one’s own skin and body – no matter what shape or size or age - is in fact an art form on its own right. In these two Middle-Eastern seduction potions, flowers and fragrant sweets only partially conceal a sensual skin underneath the veil. Ambergris, musk, incense and oud are enhanced analogies to our own natural skin-scent.

    Other suggestions:

  • Razala
  • FLIRT - Fetish

    In flirting, less is more. Fetish is the perfume potion to support that notion and give you a flirty fragrant aura without risking your job or your marriage. A splash of Fetish will boost your confidence, broaden your smile and bring you effortless attention with its mélange of vigorous citrus notes, energizing jasmine green tea and a touch of vanilla and fir.

    RISQUÉ - Espionage

    Love is risky business. It takes courage to venture into those unknown territories – meeting a new person, going on a date, exploring your boundaries as well as theirs… Espionage is a perfume for that stage in your life when you are so curious you must explore the new person in your life, yet have to wear a little shield to protect your heart from being crashed again. Tobacco and smoke make it seem quite dangerous at first; but if your lover will stick long enough, they will discover your true skin scent, enhanced with sultry jasmine, amber and vegetal musk.

    Another fragrant risqué gadget is Film Noir Sachet – hide it in your lingerie drawers and watch what happens next…

  • Film Noir Sachet
  • ATTRACTION - Charisma

    Charisma and charm come from within, and we are sure you have a lot of it already. But to give you an extra boost, douse yourself with this enchanting elixir: it will make you smell all the more fascinating, intriguing and charismatic, combining fresh citrus, aromatic herbs, jasmine green tea, precious woods and musks. Charisma also can be brewed as a floral green tea, and be consumed in our irresistible white chocolate and matcha truffles.

    Other suggestions:

  • Charisma tea
  • Charisma Truffles
  • HARMONY - Megumi

    Achieving harmony and balance is never easy and even more challenging when you’re in love. Here’s an aphrodisiac that will remind you to take a deep breath and keep both feet on the ground. What else is needed to make love last? Perhaps a relaxing Lovender bath...

    Other suggestions:

  • Lavender Ritual Bath Salts
  • Lovender
  • DEVOTION - Immortelle l'Amour

    The everlasting flower symbolizes a love that would never die, even when passion, lust or romance is out of the picture. A dab of this perfume or a sip of the tea will cast a spell on your loved one so they will always be by your side, or on your side, even if romance has ceased.

    Other suggestions:

  • Immortelle l’Amour Tea
  • For all your fragrance advice needs, don’t hesitate to contact Ayala directly for an perfume-fitting appointment at the studio, or fill out our Fragrance Questionnaire!



    Farewells... and About Becoming My Own Curator

    Goodbyes are my least favourite part of life. I am a bit of a romantic and sentimental type... Which might explain why my perfume collection has a staggering 50 different scents. Each and every one of them was created with much enthusiasm, attention to detail, and (most importantly for me personally) represents a moment in time, sometime in the past 9 years of my perfumery work, or even before I ever knew that I will make this dream come true.

    And with an organically-growing business like mine, with no focus groups or large teams of market research, some of the process is a hit-and-miss; trying things out by producing, marketing and selling them is the only way I can really do my research. Which is fun, and not as risky and blowing up a huge budget on research and marketing and PR teams, which I can't afford. And I don't want to work this way, either.

    But I'm changing (at least I'm trying...), and I've learned that holding on to things for too long is not always a positive thing. A good metaphor (albeit silly) is trying to take all the fresh, dry and clean laundry from the clothesline, and trying to get all of it without using a proper basket - only to have the garments fall-off, one piece at a time, on the dirt. And while I haven't reached that point (thankfully!) with my business or with my perfume line - I want to avoid that from happening in the future.

    I feel it is important to bring forth the most distinct and unusual perfumes in my collection; the ones that I'm most proud of and represent my style. And at the same time - phase out the ones that are less magnificent and/or are not as popular. By the way, I'm ashamed to admit that among my most popular scents there are a couple which I'm not particularly fond of anymore. Not that I think that they smell bad; they are great for what they are, and have served a purpose at the time when they were created. I do think that I could live my life without them, if not for that one little detail - they do bring food to my table... One has to be realistic sometimes, especially when running a business that is the sole income of the family.

    Things are going to change in the branding of my perfumes. For now, I'm just going to virtually "put away" so to speak, some of the perfumes that I no longer plan on carrying here on a regular basis. This will make room for new creations without crowding and cluttering the olfactory horizon on both my virtual boutique (the website) and my perfume lounge (the studio).

    See complete listing of the discontinued perfumes below. They will be available as long as they remain in stock; after that they will be removed from the website and will be only made upon request in a minimum batches of 9ml for the extrait (i.e.: extrait bottle with a dabber), and 10ml for perfume oil.

    Liquidation (Discontinued Fragrances)


    Gin and tonic bottled as a flirty fragrance with musky base. For external use only!

    Black Licorice

    Trick or treat! This perfume version of the dark sticky candy is a limited edition for Haloween.


    Ylang ylang soliflore, creamy and tropical


    Gaucho is named for the South American cowboys of the Pampas and is accompanied by a matching perfumed tea, both of which are yerba-maté based.


    With its bouquet of chocolate and orange blossom, Guilt is a gourmand perfume to end all guilty feelings surrounding chocolate…

    l'Herbe Rouge

    Classic fougere inspired by Boris Vian's novel by the same name.

    Magnolia Petal

    Magnolia Soliflore. Peachy and lightly sweet.


    Refined, clean tobacco scent with orange blossom, tonka bean, Haitian vetiver and lemon.


    Rich yet soft white floral. A smooth melange of Jasmine and Sandalwood.

    Monday, January 18, 2010

    FashionTribes Picked The Purple Dress for Best of 2009

    I'm thrilled to announce that the online magazine Fashion Tribe just published their "Best of 2009 Editor's Picks" and The Purple Dress garnered the WHAT WE WANT TO WEAR award.

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    Haiti Relief Fundraiser Extended Through Friday

    I'm really not pleased with the amount of money we raised this weekend ($0.00, not including the $50 that I'm donating to Doctors Without Borders regardless), so I'm extending the effort until Friday, in hopes that we can raise a substantial amount of money for Haiti.

    The plan remains the same (all scents with pronounced vetiver note, which were listed below, 50% will be donated to Doctors Without Borders), but also for every bottle sold this week, I will be donating $10 for the same cause.

    Participating fragrances:
    Vetiver Racinettes
    Bon Zai
    l'Herbe Rouge

    Please help me get this aid to the Haitian people.

    Thank you for participating!

    Sunday, January 17, 2010

    OpenSky Haiti Relief

    OpenSky contributes 100% of its profit to Haitian Relief this weekend only.
    Use this opportunity to explore some beautiful all natural scents and beauty products from ScentHive shop.

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    Saturday, January 16, 2010

    Vetiver for Haiti: Online Relief Effort

    Haiti was always one of those magical places that when I hear about it, I feel like I have a connection with it even if I haven't been there yet. From paintings of Gaugin to working with one of it most important essential oils: Haitian vetiver. Not to mention the legendary Tiare flower and Monoi de Tahiti. I feel as if I have bonded with this island olfacatorily from a long distance... One of my students went for a visit there last year and told me so much about just one grapefruit she ate and how fragrant and flavourful it was. It may seem weird to be so obsessed about a grapefruit but it must have been something special. And it must also have something with the soil of this volcanic island. Which of course comes at a very heavy price. A tragedy that we have now witnessed all around the world through the internet, television, radio and newspapers.

    The Examiner and Now Public have published its resources and recommendations for which charities are most trustworthy to donate to that will immediately and directly help the aggressive earthquake (7.0 on the Richter scale) that shattered the island of Haiti January 12th, 2010. These two publications have also made a promise to match the amount donated by their team of writers around the world; and being among them makes me even more motivated to contribute to the effort - knowing that it will be raising an even greater sum of money to bring some hope and relief to this tragic moment in human history.

    What I am proposing is this: for every bottle that you order that contains Haitian Vetiver, I will contribute 45% of the retail price (up to $75 depending on size of bottle purchased) to Doctors Without Borders. Because we are pressed for time, the sooner we get this money out, the better. So I am extending this offer until Monday only - and than I'm going to see what else I can do to lend my (very little) hand to help out.

    Participating fragrances:
    Vetiver Racinettes
    Bon Zai
    l'Herbe Rouge

    The organizations that are supposed to be trustworthy and effective for this tragic event - to which you can send your donation or contribution on your own ASAP are:

    Charity/Organization What you can do More info
    Red Cross Text "HAITI" to 90999 to donate $10
    Doctors Without Borders Donate to help medical aid workers
    CARE Donate miles for food distributors
    Partners in Health Donate to support their field hospitals
    Salvation Army Help send boxes of rice, soy, vitamins
    World Vision Send supplies: blankets, tarps, etc.
    Oxfam Donate to help stationed volunteers
    UNICEF Help children in Haiti
    IRD Help supply sanitation, medicine, etc.
    Yéle Foundation Text "Yele" to 501501 to donate $5
    Soles 4 Souls Donate your shoes to Haiti victims

    P.s. I couldn't bring myself to post a picture of the earthquake here on this blog. It's devastating beyond belief. I'm sure you've seen the pictures already, but if not you can click here.

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    Thursday, January 14, 2010

    Important Day

    Today was an important day: the official last class for my very first students in the Foundation of Natural Perfumery Course, who have started the program 2 years ago. Although the term is not officially over - today is certainly a day to celebrate this success: Only 3 students persevered in the full program and will continue with a 1 year internship at my studio. And it is thanks to them, that this program have become what it is now.

    I am so grateful to have met these three wonderful women. And I am so grateful that they have asked me to extend what was originally a 6-months introduction to the world of natural perfumery, and turn it into a 2 year hands-on educational program giving full training in the art of natural perfumery. And they still want to learn more from hands-on experience, which is how the internship program was born.

    Meanwhile, another group of dedicated students is already well into their journey and I'm really looking forward to see and smell what will come out of their hands in the next couple of years. It's a fascinating journey and very rewarding to see the huge steps everyone has taken since their first day of class, one day in the spring of 2007...

    Thank you for being my students!
    I learned a lot from all of you.

    P.s. The next program will begin September 2010. Applications from new students are accepted from now until April 15th, 2010. For more details about how to apply click here.


    Coupon Code for OpenSky

    ScentHive's shop on OpenSky offers a coupon code for select natural products, including 2 of Ayala's perfumes (Espionage and White Potion). Use the coupon code, REDESIGNMAIL to get 15% off your purchase through the month of January. If you have any questions about OpenSky or this promotion you can contact Trish scenthive {at} gmail {dot} com.

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    Customized Gifts on CTV

    This article is now rather old; somehow I couldn't find the link to it after the interview (was too busy with my holiday events...), but either way it covers ideas for customized gifts that can be suitable for special occasions (including Valentine's Day) to celebrate year around, including custom scents. And I like the fact that it has ideas for gifts for both men and women.

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    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Arabian Aud

    Arabian Agarwoods, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

    It seems like eons since I’ve shared anything here about anything creative going on in the studio. Not that I share everything that I do in my little tiny lab; but honestly, there was nothing to share. I have been avoiding my organ since the summer, except for when replenishing batches of perfumes that sold out. Which was fun, of course, but not interesting enough to write about here.

    To be perfectly honest, I’ve been going through what could seem from the outside a “dry spell”. But really was a result of me being over worked and over stressed and intentionally avoiding creativity in my life. I had so much to process and take in, and I had to keep everything in the business as smooth as possible during the busiest season in the year (I literally had no time off for 6 weeks at certain point – unless you count a few hours here and there).

    Creating new scents requires a certain degree of tranquility, not to mention concentration and focus. I really find it best to avoid creating anything new. It may seem strange, because in other art forms (music, dance, painting…) the act of creating art is calming and centering on its own. And I usually find that is the case with perfumery as well (to demonstrate this: I can’t even count how many times I had a headache and it disappeared only few minutes after I started working with the oils).

    But this time it was different, and I really prefer to create with a clear mind. When traumatic and painful stuff happens in life, associating it with a fragrance will make it forever engrained in one’s olfactory memory. And frankly, I think I can do without that extra reinforcement of memory right now. Some things are best forgotten, or at least left to chance for imprinting their memories on our soulds. At times like that, I think it’s best to stick to fragrances that are comforting and familiar. And that’s pretty much what I was doing.

    So back to my lab I am and with gradually increasing thrill, excitement and curiosity. And interestingly enough, my first material to delve deeper into is aquilaria agalocha, aka agarwood, eaglewood, audh, oud, oudh or for simplicity’s sake, in this post I’m going to call it aud.

    Aud has such a profound impact on the mind when it’s burned as an incense. It really brings something otherworldly into the room where it is burned. Perhaps there was a reason why I was drawn to it at this point in time. It has an intensity and grace like no other oil.

    In this perfume I created just a few days ago, and am wearing on my wrists today, I tried to go all the way with aud, to its most aggressive extremes. As noble as the scent may be, it develops in the wood only after it has been infected with a parasitic fungus. Agarwood collections look like scattered ancestral bones. The wood has hardly any scent on its own in room temperature, but once burned becomes something completely different. A similar effect is created by steam distillation or CO2 extraction. Which goes to show that great things can come out of morbid death and decay…

    So, to take agarwood into the extreme, in this first experiment I decided to make it more animalic, a little smoky and as heavy and smoldering as I could possibly can. Agarwood CO2 is the most animalic one I have at the moment, very dark, resinous, almost yeasty, and at the same time a little berry-sweet underneath it all. It’s a sweet wood, instead of a dry wood (cedarwood, for example, takes it all when it comes to dryness). To intensify the animalic aspect, I added costus root absolute, African stone tincture and honey absolue. And to express the incensey, resinous, smoldering characteristics, I used some fossilized amber resin (steam distilled twice from the dust of the amber that is used in jewelry) and labdanum, and also an Indian amber-aud attar. It begins intensely aud with some smoky ambery notes creeping in from benath, and remains that way for a while. The amber and honey take over after a while though and leave a veil of sweetness behind.

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    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    Review & Win Contest

    Post your review of The Purple Dress on MUA or Basenotes and enter to win a mini of The Purple Dress Perfume.
    Lucky draw will take place January 31st, 2010.

    Friday, January 08, 2010

    Women get bored easily. And so does everybody's olfactory bulbs.

    Whether Lynx Twist smells good is not important. What's important about this commercial is the notion of a perfume being marketed as something that changes and evolves. Like the way it's used to be. Remember the time when you would have any reason to re-sniff your wrist several times throughout the day to see how the perfume grew and evolved on your skin? Those days seemed almost over for mainstream perfumery - and drugstore and celebrity scents in particular.

    Perfume companies want to sell perfumes fast. And in order to do so, they have focused in the past decade on creating scents that are rather linear, and hold no surprises. Perfume companies' worst enemy is not recession: it's the lack of time consumers have to make big emotionally-charged decisions such as selecting the fragrance that will adorn the skin for the next 6 months - 2 years. In the little down-time they have between job-juggling, buying milk and over-the-shelf drugs, they want to find a scent they like and find it fast. And they want no surprises later. So it must be the same from start to finish. And it must smell the same way on clothes, paper, skin, hair, and car seats.

    Our olfactory bulb is the one suffering the consequences: when a perfume smells the same way the entire time it sits on our skin, our olfactory bulb (which is really a part of our brain), simply stops processing it. It ignores it in order to process new and more valuable information. As a reaction to that, people either overdose themselves again with a scent when they "freshen up" in the middle of the day, or simply become very bored with the fragrance. Which very possibly will lead them to buying a new scent - only to repeat the same process of adaptation and boredom all over again.

    May this year be the turning point: when drugstore fragrances change, as well as the attitude of the fragrance industry towards the intelligence of its consumers and their olfactory bulbs. May this year be when quality becomes more important than quantity. I think it will translate into better sales figures as well.

    Espionage Reviewed on Scent Hive

    "Ayala Moriel Parfums Espionage was the first to capture my heart. Its opening is pure tobacco. Smoky, dry tobacco, that’s sultry and brings out my don’t-mess-with-me-side". Read the rest of Trish's review here.

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    Tuesday, January 05, 2010

    Poll: Scents for a Soap Bar

    Monday, January 04, 2010

    Saffron Treasury

    Tuberose Massaman is featured in this gorgeous saffron treasury by Sarah Prest on Etsy.

    Tuberose Massaman is an earthy interplay on the theme of tuberose, rendering it more subtle and deep than its usual soaring-white-floral qualities.
    The creaminess of tuberose and white flowers is set against turmeric bright yellow curry and saffron-infused rice.

    Top notes:
    Yellow Curry, Yellow Mandarin, Ylang Ylang, Massaman Curry

    Heart notes:
    Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Sambac, Turmeric

    Base notes:
    Vanuatu Sandalwood, Benzoin, Orris, Saffron Attar

    Friday, January 01, 2010

    Happy New Year!

    Happy New Year to you my dear readers!
    Hope 2010 brings health and happiness to you and your loved ones, and of course - many beautiful scents to enjoy year around.


    Fragrant Decade: Ten Trends that Marked 2000-2009

    The decade opening the third millennium, although hasn’t attained a universally accepted name, was certainly a fragrant one. With the releases of well over 5,000 perfumes (an average of over 500 fragrances each year, according to, and the rise of many new niche perfume houses, it certainly gives consumers and fragrance aficionados a lot to choose from. We all know that quantity does not guarantee, and often undermines quality. Thankfully, in the past decade we have witnessed some trends that counterbalance quantity with quality and originality, and a few other interesting trends that prove that consumers can finally receive what they ask for and rightfully deserve.

    So let’s examine the ten most important trends and influences in the fragrance world in this past decade.

    Visit The Examiner to read the remaining of this article.

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