Tuesday, November 30, 2010

More Chocolate Attention!

The new scented chocolates by CocoaNymph and yours truly are getting more media attention than I can keep up with... Here is what I gathered today:

Food Girl Friday raves about the new chocolates in her 1st entry into her holiday countdown gift guide.

And Perfume Shrine features our scented chocolates in their Holiday Gift Guide Part 2.

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Ginger & White Tea

White Teas, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Cold rainy morning, and so I'm shivering and cuddling by the fireplace with my morning tea, wishing I would have not taken off my flannel pyjamas and imagining that I'm still in it...

Working too many days a week and too many hours a day sure takes a toll - especially when it cuts into one's sleep. I'm making a pledge with myself to got to bed super early in the next few days if I can help it. And by early I mean 9pm. Yup. I think I must do this if I want to get well for the next weekend show, which is followed by a soiree on Tuesday, leading to the OOAK show on Thursday (and these would be 14 hour days - 8am-10pm), counting commute, prep and clean up at the beginning and end of each day.

So today I intend to stay in, but not just blog/brag/complain about how hard I work and how tough it is to be a one-woman-show, single mother and a business owner in today's economy - I actually wanted to share with you my cup of morning tea :-)

Last year I've been talking a lot abut my ginger and amber perfume , which I created especially for days like today, when you feel under the weather and wish you could stay in your flannel pyjamas and cashmere underwear (apparently, there is such a thing, and although I am not fortunate enough to own a pair, I imagine they would be quite wonderful). This tea is the equivalent of that feeling the tea gives you - sweet and warm and fuzzy but very delicate, with white tea and vanilla and ginger.

Next year I am planning to dedicate to studying teas and the art of tea blending, and would love to bring out a some new teas if I am ready to show them to the world. For now, I'm just sharing with you this morning tea. I think it's simple, elegant and balanced. And it makes me feel a little bit better yet without feeling like I'm drinking medicine.

P.s. This tea was originally designed for my spring-welcoming tea ceremony on March 21st 2010.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Real Weddings Magazine Feature

Real Weddings Magazine is the first wedding magazine to cover my bespoke services for brides and grooms.
These include both choosing scents from the existing line to wear on the wedding day and to take on a honeymoon, gifts for bridesmaids, and last but not least - creating a custom scent especially for the couple for the occasion, that can be even made into scented candles to burn during the event.

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And More Publicity: Yoyomama!

And as if this wasn't enough publicity for the past 48 hours, Yoyomama's 2010 Gift Guide for Parents recommends both my custom and ready to wear perfumes. Yay!
Thank you, Yoyomama!!!

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Sandal Tree

Sandalwood Tree, originally uploaded by callenstewart.

One of the perfumes I unearthed from my very bottom drawer of abandoned creations is this number I titled "Sandal Tree" in Hebrew back in my very first perfumer's notebook of my very first year of 2001, when it all began.

This perfume was created after I ordered kewda attar for the first time, from Enfleurage in New York. It arrived in a half-full vial, and cost me dearly. I was equally repelled and intnrigued by kewda, and thought it would make a very pretty addition to a floral sandalwood perfume.

Discovering a formula written by a novice ten years later is fascinating. Especially when the novice have become a little less of the novice. There is the element of excitement reeking from the page of the formula: discovering a new art and medium for expression. Exploring fragrant raw materials that were never experienced before. This enthusiasm comes through the formula in the way that the essences were combined. When I'm looking at my own formula from the perspective of a perfumer with almost 10 years of experience, and who have taught perfume for the past 3 years, I feel as though it was a completely different person creating this perfume - someone who was a fearless dreamer and to whom I'm deeply thankful, as if it wasn't for that bold passion and determination, I wouldn't be a perfumer right now.

What surprises me in retrospect is, I suppose, that I chose ingredients that are what I would consider now as difficult to work with and harmonize. And I'm glad that I was not afraid of blending them even though they were rare and expensive. I think that's what taught me the most - that slight disregard to price when I initially started working with essences. Just trusting my instincts, rather than dwelling on whether it's going to work or not, and if the experiment is going to cost me dearly or not. I think I've become a lot more cautious since 2001 though...

Sandal Tree was created with the abovementnioned kewda attar - a heady, sharp flower from India that has a very East Indian personality. It does not smell like anything you would smell elsewhere. It is very volatile, so the sandalwood base of the attar actually helps to fix it as a raw material. It smells like hyacinths with an apple cider vinegar sharpness. There is a fair amount of kewda there (twice as much as I used later on in either Charisma or Gigi). There is mimosa absolute and cardamom oil at the top. Neither is a tame essence, but the magically decided to get along here. Than there is also heady ylang ylang and voluptuous jasmine, leading into the creamy, smooth sandalwood base with hints of vanilla and tonka bean (I was an avid Guerlain groopie when I started, and still am...). It wears very floral and light and exotic and has a diffusive sillage. In the new vat when I re-blended it last week, I used some of the stash of East Indian sandalwood oil I have left, and also sustainable sandalwood oils from Vanuatu and Australia (the Australian one is organically grown).

Sandal Tree was the title on the bottle and in the formula book (in Hebrew) and I finally decided it was best to keep the name that way, only in English. I am making only 4 bottles of this, which will be only available directly through me at the studio and at the One of a Kind Show, December 9-12.

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Preparing for the OOAK Show

The One of a Kind show is fast approaching, and it is going to be a very different shows than anything else I've ever done before. Besides the fact that it is so big (number of vendors) established (there are also shows in Toronto, Chicago and New York City, one of which I will make my goal to travel to next year), and also quite compartmentalized. By that I mean that a lot of my unusual and innovative products I'm not permitted to showcase. There are going to be no poison rings (which are vintage, collectible items) and no perfumed pendants either (although they are extremely innovative, and were designed especially for me AND made by hand in my home village). There are also going to be non of the gourmet items that have become such a strong part of my presence at the markets - because they are such irresistible: the perfumemd teas, truffles and chocolates are all out of bounds because I'm not classified as a food vendor. This is a challenge from the point of view that in this tough economy, having little affordable luxury items (aka chocolate bars that cost $12 for 50gr) really help a high end business make ends meet even if people seem to be more hesitant before reaching their wallet for bigger bills to pay for a flacon of perfume.

But I see this as a blessing in disguise, because: a) the size of my table (4' long) will not have space for everything anyway, so being told to cut out particular products makes my curating job a tad easier; and b) this will once and for all make it very clear that the focus of my business is perfume, and will enable me to reveal this side of my business with more focus and showcase perfumes that I don't usually put on display, such as my one of a kind collection.

But I'm also pulling out other scents from my vaults - old formulas that were never released but I think are neat and unusual and special and that this is a good time for them to get some exposure. And also some very new and recent formulations that I haven't released to the public yet (meaning: they are not on my website, and won't be there for a long time). In the next few posts I will be telling you a bit about them so those of you who are visiting the show will have something to ponder or hunt for when you come to my table. As in my next upcoming post about the Sandal Tree perfume.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Black Beauty

isn't she a beauty?, originally uploaded by serni.

Yesterday morning, I woke up with a spark of inspiration. The night before I felt so drained and discouraged I didn't think I would make any truffles at all... But that morning, I woke up bright and early, and we already had early breakfast plans with my brother Noam (who offered to take us out - how sweet of him, and so perfect for a full weekend market).

So I wake up, and I had the chocolate all ready and my ingredients all lined up. I've been in love with black cardamom every since I read about it in Vij's at Home cookbook. I always dismissed black cardamom as a spice because all I read about it was that it's inferior to the green cardamom. And since I love green cardamom so much, I thought there was no point searching for something inferior to it... After cooking an amazing black chickpeas, date and black cardamom curry from the book, I was so moved by black cardamom's beauty, that I was determined to explore this spice in every way possible - including truffles. I just was not sure how.

2 Varieties of Black Cardamom, originally uploaded by norecipes.

Black cardamom is usually much larger and coarser looking than green cardamom. In both cases though, the shells from these pods are removed before grinding. However, they can be cooked whole (much like cloves), which is how they are used when cooking chai. The outer shell of black cardamom has a distinctively smoky and earthy aroma. The glossy seeds, once exposed and pounded with a mortar and pestle, have an aroma that is camphoreous yet earthy still. It lends a very unusual flavour to curries - giving them intense depth. And apparently, that's what gives the food at the renowned Vij's Restaurant its characteristic, as it is used in many of their recipes, and is a main ingredient in their signature garam masala.

I haven't dined at Vij's much (only once, actually), because the lineup there is 2 hours long (and there is always a lineup) - by which time I would have been able to cook up a recipe from either of their fabulous books and feel really proud of myself (not to mention feed a whole flock of starving teenagers, students and/or artists for a fraction of the cost).

So, I can actually attest to the magic of black cardamom and I'm so glad that I added yet another unlabeled jar of mystery onto my spice rack (the only thing that is more elaborate than my spice rack is my perfumer's organ...).

At 7am, I infused my cream with a generous heap of black lapsang suchong tea, crushed cardamoms (with pods included) and simmered them for a while. Meanwhile, my dark chocolate was melting on the bain-marie, to which I later added a dash of finely ground black smoked salt, some of my favourite type of gin, and even more finely ground black cardamom seeds (in my marble mortar and pestle). Whisking the two mixtures together, I had a ganache ready, a shallow pan ready (these were going to be cut up into squares, rather than formed into balls like I usually do). I let them chill and headed down the street for breakfast with the family.

A few hours later, I was at my table at Portobello West, putting the final touches to my table, such as putting little tags and signs for little items that require explanations, as there is more to them than meets the eye. It was time to tell the world about my new truffles... I started writing down what's in them, and I realized it would be really hard to convince people to eat them based on a list of ingredients only. They had to have a name. As I was printing the ingredients on the little card -

Black cardamom

Black smoked salt

(Black) Lapsang Suchong Tea

I realized that everything in these truffles was black and beautiful and the name just announced itself on the tag:


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Taste & Sip Magazine Reviews Our Chocolate Bars

I just got back from a long and chocolate-laden weekend at Portobello West (the chocolate bars were a hit and I hardly sold anything else but chocolates and truffles...), only to find even more chocolate attention in my mailbox:

Richard Wolak of Taste & Sip Magazine reviewed our three scented chocolate bars, and he clearly favours Guilt, which I'm not surprised - it is such a palate-pleaser and even non-perfume lovers fell for it. Espionage and Roses et Chocolat also fly off the shelves equally as fast, but seem to appeal to completely different people.

And in a gesture to Ca Fleur Bon's coverage of these very same bars in their Cyber Monday Gift Guide (and partially because I'm too tired to stay up till midnight and take the sale off), the 3 for 2 special is extended till Monday night, at 9pm.

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Basenotes Talks Chocolate

Grant Osborne of Basenotes have featured the chocolates that CocoaNymph and I have created, based on three of my perfumes.

The trio is on a special - ribbon-wrapped gift sets of 3 for the price of 2 till this evening at 8pm (PST).

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Portobello West Holiday Market - Part 1

This weekend (both Saturday & Sunday, November 27 & 28) is Portobello West Holiday Market, Part 1.

Portobello is the perfect venue to get your holiday shopping early while supporting local artists and designers!

Visit my table to sniff out cozy all-natural scents, candles, and many other fragrant and wholesome concoctions to nurture your body & soul winter:
I'll be bringing some limited edition perfumes that are not on the website or anywhere else,
New Vetiver bath salts
New size for our lovely sugar scrubs
Three new chocolate bars that we just launched last week with CocoaNymph (also a Portobello vendor and a long-time provider of chocolatey delights to the chocaholic among you).
Also, explore the newly found vintage poison rings I've unearthed from oblivion, repaired and filled with beautiful solid perfumes.

There are lots of gifts, wrapped in an environmentally-friendly fashion, and in a wide price range to fit any budget, and I'll be thrilled to help you in person pick a special scent to anyone on your list, so you can surprise them with a perfume that no one else has :-)

Portobello West Holiday Market 2010
(in 2 parts!)

Rocky Mountaineer Station
1755 Cottrell Street
Free parking - walking distance from Main St. SkyTrain Station.
See map on google.

Holiday Market Part 1:
Saturday & Sunday, November 27 & 28, 12-6pm

AND part 2:
Saturday & Sunday, December 4 & 5, 12-6pm

This holiday season, make your gifts twice as meaningful by supporting local artists and designers!

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

News from the Nose: 3 Scented Chocolate Bars + Holiday Gift Guide Preview

Dear Fragrant Friends,

Happy Thanksgiving to all my customers celebrating this weekend! I am ever so thankful for your continuous support of my little perfumery and for receiving my adventurous olfactory ideas so warmly!

And to show my gratitude, I will send a scented chocolate bar with every order over $100 (excluding samples). I am very excited about this new venture, in collaboration with my favourite local chocolatiere Rachel Sawatzky of CocoaNymph, and can't wait to share them with you! Each one of these fine Belgian dark chocolate bars was beautifully designed to match three perfumes from my collection: Espionage (64% cocoa with smoked salt, jasmine & juniper), Guilt (64% cocoa with orange blossom, blood orange & wild oranges) and Roses et Chocolat (72% cocoa with rose, saffron & chilli).
These chocolates are now on special so you get to know them all - 3 for the price of 2 - for this weekend only.

It's an early winter in Vancouver, with temperatures well below zero. Here are few ideas to warm you up and help you get started early on your holiday shopping so that it gets to you in time for the holidays (scroll a bit to bypass this HTML bump):

33% OFF

25% OFF





We'll keep you posted with our complete holiday gift guide, featuring new products, unique recipes and gift ideas.

Don't forget to peruse Canada Post website to plan your shipping so that it arrives to its destination in time for the holidays!

Keep warm,

Ayala Moriel Parfums
My SmellyBlog: SmellyBlog.com
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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Immortal Rose

Immortelle, originally uploaded by Églantine.

Immortal Rose is a new one of a kind perfume that I've just added to the website yesterday afternoon. It's a beautiful and unusual combination between two very bold notes: immortelle absolute and rose geranium absolute.
How this perfume came about is interesting: when I was working on my Immortelle l'Amour back in 2007, I asked for feedback from one of my long time customers, and a fellow perfumista who's known to many of you as FiveoaksBouquet on Perfume of Life forum.
The reason why FiveoaksBouquet was the perfect person to ask opinion about was because she loves immortelle so much, and is a huge fan of Annick Goutal's Sables, which she kindly sent me a sample of, since it is no available in Vancouver. She even sent me a handful of beautiful immortelle potpourri made over 20 years ago by Caswell-Massey.
One of her suggestions was to add rose to my 1st mod, and so I did. Neither of us was too smitted with the result, and 4 mods later, the Immortelle l'Amour that you all learned to known and love is non other than the very first mod that I created...
However, the idea of immortelle and rose note appeals to me, and 3 years later, when I have at my disposal a bold and beautiful geranium absolute, I decided to play with this perfume again. I feel that the rose geranium (both oil and absolute), in addition to some rose absolute creates the desired effect that I was hoping to find originally. Gernaium has the "rosier than rose" quality, and although it's not as fine and complex as rose absolute, it is exactly that quality that makes it so suitable for the dark, dusky and earthy maple tonalities of immortelle absolute.
I have decided to offer this perfume as a one of a kind perfume because I think it takes a very unique personality to pull such a perfume off. It is very sweet, with an overdose of vanilla like my original formula; yet earthy and rosy as well, with fresh notes from the geranium and orange that balance it well. And 3 years in it is also beautifully matured into a very smooth elixir.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

EauMG's Gift Guide Featuring My Poison Rings

And as if to make matters even better... EauMG has also featured my products in their Holiday Gift Guide today - she picked my poison rings for her 2010 Goth Gift Guide. OMG!

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Sweetlife's Gift Guide Features Our Chocolates!

Read May Globus' contemporary Christmas carol, with 6 gift ideas for this holiday season, including our very own chocolates .

Please note that CocoaNymph's website can be found at www.cocoanymph.ca.

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Early Winter Plights and Delights

Someone have suddenly lifted the security blanket of clouds and rainfall off the city of Vancouver so that it joins the rest of Canada with its below-zero winter temperatures. And this is before winter has even officially arrived. Even in the coldest winters, (-)9 would be rare, and would certainly not hit us before late December.

I went for a little stroll this morning (40 minutes was more than enough to convince me to stay indoors as much as possible and immerse myself with sedate activities such as storytelling - aka blogging, arts and crafts - aka perfumery).

The plants, as you can see from my stroll in Nelson Park's community gardens, have froze over all the vegetation. Everything looks so miserable - like lettuce that was left unprotected in an refrigerator for far too long. They may look dark green, but there is no life in them whatsoever. The photos above are of two victims - Swiss chard and lavender. But they are not the only ones! Nearly all the evergreen bushes (rhododendrons included) look shrinking, lifeless and frost-bitten. I'm quite relieved that in a sudden moment of sanity before crawling into bed last night I rescued my gardenia bush and let us join the family in the living room.

And I was a little shocked to find that large potted plants were even brought in for a warm cup of spiced apple cider and chai at the local coffee shop!

It is so unusually cold that I think most of us in Vancouver don't even have the proper clothes for the weather. The fireplace at my home is blazing, and I even turned on the electric heat in all the rooms in the house, yet it still does not feel quite as cozy... Even after leaving the fireplace on all night (which I never do), the place is not its usual cozy self, but I'm sure the heat will accumulate after a few more days and nights...

So, in such cold days, in addition to a good cashmere sweater we need something to keep us warm and happy besides recycled cashmere sweaters and and borrowed ugg boots (I usually stay away from this, well, rather ugly indeed footwear, but it's practical in this dry and cold weather) - a little bit of nuts, butter and sugar seems quite appropriate. Especially when it's in a well-made almond croissant (I usually judge bakeries by how well they make their almond croissant - and so far the only descent croissant in town actually happens to be sold at Blenz Coffee).

And a newer discovery of mine are these rosemary caramels from up and coming Nektar Confections & Artisanal Pastries. The sweetness of the burnt sugar and butter is beautifully blanaced by the rosemary that they actually feel rather wholesome... They are yet to have their own website or store front, but you can find them at the Baker's Market, or in special events. I met them at my friend's Mindan home art sale last weekend and fell in love instantly with her simple and elegant shortbreads and with these rosemary caramels.

And last but not least - I intend to spend the remaining of the day at my studio, refilling vats with new batches of perfume that ran out because of all the intense bottling I've been doing in preparations to all my shows. For some strange reason, whatever formulation is out of stock seems to be the one that people end up ordering.

I was up late in the lab last night, making new batches of Fête d'Hiver , Yasmin and Zohar. It was time to refill the little rose otto vial with more otto from the big vat from the supplier... Although my studio upstairs is not freezing cold, it was too cold for this pretty lady (I mean: the rose otto). As I was pouring - always carefully, slowly and gently - a large clear crystal of rose otto (this happens to this delicate essence below room temperature) - blocked the way and caused a minor spillage... Nothing too dramatic, but I am starting to run out of this essence, so every drop is precious. I was able to save some of the otto and collect it into the Fête d'Hiver vat. But for the remaining of the night my desk, hands, face and brain smelled like pure organic rose otto from Bulgaria... A pretty inspiring way to drift off to sleep.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Haro St,Vancouver,Canada

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Studio in a Box

The next 4 weeks I will be doing at least 1 show a week... So instead of spending the precious time packing and unpacking I will be keeping all the stock boxed. It's organized enough that I can still pack orders as usual...
And although this will make my live/work space a little less pretty (7 blue rubbermaid boxes stacked on the dolly) - this is not elegant, but it sure is organized, and it will enable me to do things I enjoy more, such as:
1) Doing some creative work in my lab, which is the best way I can think of for unwinding and relaxing (I've become a bit of a workaholic this season)
2) Blending new batches of perfumes that are out of stock
3) Blogging!
I'm heading out for a stroll in the cold air now, in search for wintery inspiration, to clear my head, and also so that I can appreciate the blazing fire place and my cozy abode even more...
I will be back soon with some ideas and with more blog posts about the one of a kind perfumes I have lined up for the One of a Kind show. But I probably will have to spend time first preparing lables for a few custom scents that have been waiting to be tagged for quite some time...

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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fab Fair Today!

Today is my Fab Fair appearance - I will be there with all my perfumes, plus the new large size sugar scrubs, and a limited supply of the new scented chocolate bars - one of each.

For every purchase of a full bottle (roll on or flacon) of the chocolate trio - Espionage, Guilt or Roses et Chocolat, you will receive a complementary chocolate bar.
Likewise, if you buy a bottle of Charisma, you will receive a bag of the Charisma truffles that I freshly rolled last night.

Looking forward to seeing you!

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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gourmand Perfumes @ CocoaNymph

What an exciting fall!
I can't even decide anymore what I'm most proud about - each new store opening in Vancouver, my 1st appearance in Toronto (Shopgirls), or launching my three new chocolate bars!
Each retailer that have invited my perfumes into their boutique have been so fantastic and I'm so fortunate to be working with these amazing business women who work so hard and so genuinely to promote local Canadian designers and artists.

And it's double the excitement with CocoaNymph, because of my collaboration with Rachel to create the three amazing chocolate bars I've been bragging and talking about in the past few weeks. So not only does Rachel make these amazing bars for me, and we had a wonderful event the other night presenting them to the world for the first time; she also took in a beautifully delicious collection of 6 of my gourmand perfumes to complement the shop and give customers in Kitsilano and Point Gray neighbourhoods access to my creations.

CocoaNymph is not like any other chocolaterie. Because of Rachel's warm and compassionate personality, stepping into the shop feels at times more like a creative gathering place. The customer service is top notch (most customers are greeted by name as they stop by for their chocolate boost). And almost every week on Friday or Saturday, there is a live band playing at the shop. And did I mention there is a grand piano there too? We had classical pianist playing during our event and it was sooo beautiful...

The following perfumes and products have joined the chocolate bars on the shelves of CocoaNymph boutique (3739 West 10th @ Alma). Most of these perfumes (except for Film Noir) are exclusive to Ayala Moriel Parfums and CocoaNymph:

Roses et Chocolat
Immortelle l'Amour
Film Noir

And besides the three amazing chocolate bars, you can also enjoy these luxurious matching products - teas and sugar scrubs:
Immortelle l'Amour tea
Roses et Chocolat tea
Guilt Sugar Scrubs
Finjan Sugar Scrubs

Stop by at the boutique to have a whiff of real, natural and uncompromising natural perfumes.
By early spring, we are also planning to launch CocoaNymph's own custom perfume. The date is not set yet, and the perfume is still in the making - but we promise it will have chocolate in it!

Special for 1st week in the shop: Purchase your favourite gourmand perfume at CocoaNymph and receive a matching chocolate bar on us!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chocolate Fairytales

Three Chocolate Fairytales, bundled up with a ribbon. Now that's what I'd like to find in my stocking for Christmas!

The wine glasses here on appear to be empty: they were filled with each one of the perfumes that inspired our three chocolate bars. The scent permeates the cup even after it has seemingly evaporated... Yet another way to experience perfume - in a cup!

Rachel and Ayala showing off...

Chocolate squares for tasting. You can't see this very well in this photo, but the bars are decorated with botanical etching. Perfect math for the outer packaging of the bars...

Rachel serving wine to pair with the chocolates. In the forefront is one of her chocolate sculptures, which was shown at Ayden Gallery.

Smelling chocolate...

Yesterday, Rachel of CocoaNymph and me have launched our 3 scented chocolate bars that we were concocting all summer. These bars are like no other chocolate bar in the world as far as we know... They are original, refined stories told in the language of of the senses - primarily the palate and the nose, but also texture and visuals are part of the experience, as you will be able to see for yourself when you meet these bars in person.

We began our tasting with the Guilt chocolate bar, which is scented with orange blossom, wild orange and blood orange. Guilt perfume was created to celebrate all the guilty pleasures in life and I am positively certain that experiencing this bar will transform any guilty feelings you may still hold towards chocolate into sheer pleasure with none of the negative residues of this peculiar emotion... We paired it with Pinot Gris, a white wine with fruity and citrusy accents that worked beautifully to bring out all the orangey pizzazz in the bar!

The Espionage chocolate bar is probably the bar that garnered the most intense and diverse reactions from people. Not only because using smoked salt in chocolate is unheard of; but also because it has very distinct layers. Here are some quotes from people who tried Espionage chocolate bar for the first time:
"This is the taste of memories"
- Jenn, Rachel's assistant chocolatiere

"There is a party in my mouth!"
- my friend Tina

"This is a journey..."
- our customer who is an English Literature professor

"This chocolate tells a story - I'm not sure of all the details, but it certainly takes place on a train..."
- our customer Kelli)

We paired Espionage chocolate bar with a glass of Merlot with oakey undertones that complemented the smoked salt, juniper and jasmine.

And last but not least - we tasted Roses et Chocolat with a beautiful sweet and full-bodied Port. This flavour was the first truffle I've created using essential oils. It was the toughest bar to develop, and took us the most trials to nail down the winning formula that you will be tasting now. Which is not surprising - developing my truffles was a painful experience, thanks to the high doses of chilli I initially used, which literally burned my hands as I rolled them... Which is why to this day I call them "Blood Truffles". Rose is so beautiful with the chocolate and has so much depth. We used 72% cocoa for this bar, giving it a bit of a crunchier texture and a duskier flavour. The saffron and spice complement it beautifully, resulting in a truly sexy bar that I can envision many lovers enjoying in Valentine's Day....

Thank-yous and credits:
Big thank you and kudos to Terry Sunderland who designed the spectacular wrappers for our bars. Their vibrant colours really reflect the vibrant taste!

The wines served at the chocolate bar launch were courtesy of Cassandra Anderton of Good Life Libations.

Many thanks to Rachel's friend and to my mom, who have helped us with the French translation and proofreading for the bar covers. We wouldn't have been able to do this without you!

And thank you to James for playing the piano so beautifully during the evening and making our event so much more special!

Photographs by Noam Dehan

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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Exciting Night!

Tonight is the night I was looking forward to for months... Rachel and I will be revealing the 3 chocolate bars we've been developing, concocting and tasting together all summer. I was so excited getting everything ready last night that like a little kid before the 1st day of school - I was unable to fall asleep...

We titled our event Chocolate Fairytales, because we both have fairies in our logos and together, the bars we created, go beyond the experience of any other chocolate bar, even a spectacular one. The flavours are layered and each bar has depth and intensity yet a very subtle and elegant personality. It's as if each one of them tells a sensory story - and of course it reflects the perfumes that inspired this multi-sensory project, and the two women behind the scenes. Working on them was a true team effort and we both put our passion into these bars, both in concept and in reality (Rachel is molding the bars for tonight as I type this).

A couple of years ago, I was invited to a party where everyone were expected to read a poem in front of everyone else. The only thing I dread more than reading poems in public is reading things I wrote in public (perfume ad copy included!). I brought a bowl of my scented, hand-rolled truffles instead and when it was my turn, I exclaimed - there is my poetry. You can read it.

I hope these bars will have that kind of effect on you. And I'm thrilled that unlike the truffles, they are so much easier to store and ship. And I'm also excited to be able to continue offering my whimsical truffles in various seasonal and limited edition flavours, alongside the chocolates - so that you have more of a variety to choose from.

I will tell you all about all the WH questions regarding the chocolate bars after the launch event. I just don't want to ruin the surprise...
For now I will answer these:
How many: 3
Who made them: Rachel of CocoaNymph Chocolates & Confections, and Ayala of Ayala Moriel Parfums

And the event details:
CocoaNymph Chocolaterie
3739 W. 10th @ Alma

Tuesday, November 16th (today!)

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Guilt, Revamped

Orange And Chocolate, originally uploaded by ♥babybee.

Today I blended a 2nd batch of my revamped Guilt perfume. It really needed more orange in it, to make it sparkle and less powdery. I hope the new version will be more warmly received, as it matches perfectly the new chocolate bar that was inspired by the truffles that were inspired by the perfume that was inspired by all guilty pleasures of chocolate and orange indulgence...

The idea of revamping came not only from the chocolate, but also from the sugar scrubs, which temporarily colour the skin with rich red-brown hues (very temporarily: it easily washes off :-). This yummilicious sugar scrub is packed with sweet orange zest and juice essences, which make you practically want to lick your arms during and after bathing with it. Pure indulgence.

To the original formula of Guilt, which has cacao absolute in abundance, gourmand amber with dark cassia and honey undertones, orange blossom, a hint of jasmine and rose - and now also very generous amounts of blood orange (there was only minuscule amounts before), orange juice essence, blood orange and bitter orange. It bursts with pleasure and happiness, just as the chocolate bar's citrus nuances burst in your mouth and leave a trail of lighthearted joy behind.

So welcome new Guilt, which will be exclusively offered at the CocoaNymph boutique beginning Tuesday, November 16th - after our official launch of our scented chocolate bar trio! You can come by this weekend to try them out as the testers are already on display and the stock will be arriving at the store very, very soon!

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Ayala Moriel Parfums in 2010 Holiday Gift Guides

Read Indieperfumes' 2010 holiday gift guide, which features all-natural perfumes and scented products in an affordable price range of $50 and under. They also kindly mentioned our other products for $65 and under - minis ($48) travel roll-ons ($55-$65) teas ($15) and body products ($15-$25)!

Scent Hive's gift guide recommends Palas Atena, one of her favourite perfumes - a warm and exotic oriental that has become a classic in my collection. It was, in fact, one of the very first perfumes I've ever created and it warms my heart to see it loved nearly 10 years after its making...


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poppy for Peace

Poppy for peace, originally uploaded by straaddreamer.

I've seen peace poppies for the first time in the last very last West End Farmer's Market (October 24th). It seemed way to early for wearing a poppy, and I was sure that I will see more white poppies around after... But I was wrong. Only place I've seen them is online.

Wars suck. And while I'm fully aware they must have some kind of an ecological role similar to plague that is equivalent to a massive spring-cleaning purging; there is no denying the pain, suffering, injustice, humiliation that each individual whose life has been touched by war is experiencing.

Wars have shaped the history of mankind pretty much since the beginning of time. The last two great wars seem to affect in some way or another, direct or indirect, almost every single person I ever met: families and loved ones from 2 or 3 generations ago that have been separated and wounded physically or emotionally are still experiencing the pain that these wars have inflicted on us. And before anyone really has time to heal - another global crisis arises and the cycle just does not seem to really come to an end, just to change place, time and victims.

So on this Remembrance Day, I want to not only remember all the Canadian soldiers that lost their lives or their well-being to defend this vast and free country in the 2 world wars; I want to remember all the inevitable victims of war, the world over. Soldiers are humans underneath their uniforms; and more often very young humans at that - my maternal grandfather, for example, was only 15 years old when he enlisted to the Jewish Brigade in the British Army to fight the Nazis and fascists in Italy. He did, however, forge his age because you had to be at least 16 years of age to volunteer to the army at the time. And I'm most certain there are too many teenage soldiers right now as I write this, probably even younger than 15, fighting for some cause or another, with or against their will.

So wear a white poppy next to your red one (in respect to the veterans that fought for our freedom and for those that lost their lives). This is to "Remember the fallen, including civilians, and work for peace". If you can't find one around that is already made by your local Poppy for Peace movement, just make one yourself from white fabric or paper.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chocolates in the making

Visited with CocoaNymph this afternoon to work out the final details of the packaging, put together a display of my Gourmand perfumes at the shop, and plan our event on Tuesday, when we will launch the 3 new chocolate bars!

This is going to be a fine evening of chocolate & wine tasting paired with the perfumes that inspired this unique chocolate collection. The molds are lovely, and look as if someone in the chocolate molding business was just sitting there at their drafting table thinking of a bar shape especially for us...

Just looking at those bars all wrapped up made me giddy with happiness... I just can't wait to share them all with you on Tuesday!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:CocoaNymph Chocolates & Confections

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Shopping for One of a Kind Pieces

It is so true... Selling your one-of-a-kind pieces is not an easy task. And shopping for them is a whole other experience altogether - nothing like shopping at the mall, or even in a fancy boutique. My friend Noriko always has a mixed-feelings look on her face when she parts with her one of a kind jewelry pieces: she's sad to part with them, but happy to see them worn and loved by someone who really appreciates it. This is why, probably most artists who make their living now from selling one of a kind pieces began their journey by making them for friends and family - people with whom they share a unique bond.

I began my perfumery career by making custom perfumes for my friends and my family. Thankfully, I have no less than 7 siblings, so I had a lot of practice before I ventured into doing this professionally. Custom perfumes, however, are quite different than one-of-a-kind: these are creations that were intended from the start for a particular person. And having that person in mind (and especially when they are someone the artist knows and loves) makes the parting part a piece of cake, and the giving part give your heart a long happy dance as you see someone you love enjoy your creation so much!

One of a kind though, are usually creations that were created with the artists' most original ideas and unusual materials. They often take inspiration from something that is one of a kind to begin with - a vintage button, a found object, a family heirloom piece - or in the perfumer's case: a rare essence that will be only available for a limited time or only one season. These restrictions make the development of the scent all the more challenging: you only have so much material to experiment with, it is usually extremely costly, and you better get it right the first or second trial at the most!

Other one of a kind pieces are perfumes that were created as a studying purposes - exploring a particular material. They will only appeal to a very particular taste, and it's better to make them in a very small run, if not just one bottle...

This winter I will be featuring my one-of-a-kind perfumes for the first time at the Vancouver One Of A Kind Show and Sale (December 9-12). Over the course of the next few weeks leading to the show, I will tell you about some of them - the stories behind them, the rare materials they are made of, and my passion about creating these little fragrant gems, locking them in bottles to be only unleashed by the person that meant to adopt them as their own signature scent.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Shopgirls in Toronto

Today, Bon Zai, Fetish and Film Noir have finally arrived to their new home on 1342 Queen Street West at Shopgirls Gallery Boutique.
This is very exciting news, as Shopgirls is the first retail location in Toronto to carry Ayala Moriel Parfums!
Hope they will be well received in their new town and who knows - maybe I'll pop by for a visit some day soon?

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Inevitable Rant - Face to Face

My last rant for today (and for a long time, I hope) is another aspect of how the technology, globalization and the mere act of living in the 21st Century affects our personal interactions in the world of commerce.

In early October, when the quince season began, I purchased a few from Snowy Mountain Organics and started chatting with the farmer, Lauren, about how to use them. She immediately told me that Chris, who helps them sell the fruit at the market every week, has used them in his apple pie that won the pie competition the year before. He also happens to be a long-time chef and so modest and generous he shared the recipe for his fool-proof flaky crust with me that very day. And this is just one of many exciting and fun little moments I experience at the market every weekend - from discoveries of new vegetables and recipes, to random acts of kindness towards my autistic daughter (she usually gets pastries for free every week just because she her cheerful attitude and large smiles; I come and pay for it the moment she comes back to me and shows me her loot, even though the bakers always maintain their generosity).

Commerce in general, and markets in particular, have a social role besides merely stocking up on essential, commodities or luxury products. During the summer months, I visit the Farmers' Market regularly to not only fill up the fridge and pantry with fresh produce for the week, but also to meet face to face with the people who grow and/or prepare the food me and my family eat. There is a social aspect to it, that stems from thousands of years ago, ever since people started settling down in villages, growing food and producing items of clothing, tools, art and what have you. Everyone at the Farmers Market know us there now and I know my daughter is safe there, among all the strangers - vendors, West End neighbours, dogs and babies. Suddenly, this mishmash of people actually feels like a community, a rare occasion in the immigrant community of the downtown core, where there is so much disconnect between cultural backgrounds, languages and age barriers, with a strong presence of alienation for the most part.

Just a few blocks away from where the Farmers Market runs, there is Robson Street. What is suppose to be a posh street for fashion and shoe shopping with a few cafes and restaurants, is really not much more than an open mall that happens to be on the city's central street. The only "mom and pop's" owned stores there are the tourist shops selling stuffed Canadian animals, baseball caps, printed t-shirts and umbrellas (all made in factories in China, where else?). When shopping in those places, you are normally greeted by a teen or someone in their early 20's that couldn't care less about anything besides looking trendy and making their minimum wage. Zombie-stares at the merchandise are more encouraged than intelligent chats with the young sales associates (although there are always exceptions, of course; for me shopping here is a little different because it is actually my neighbourhood and by now my daughter and I are friends with most of the teenage SA's in all the clothing and shoe shops - that's where we hang out and do our window shopping on a nearly daily basis, and that's where we get our back-to-school supplies so to speak). For the most part, those who come to these shops, come from the suburbs or on their lunch break, and they come for the label, not the quality or the craftsmanship and definitely not to get to know the people who sell or make the stuff. And no one pretends otherwise. You can come in and go out without doing as much as make eye contact or smile to the direction of the people in the shop. And the sad thing? It's considered completely normal and appropriate behaviour!

Similarly, when people are attending all sorts of "red carpet events" and such, they take for granted that they will get a bunch of things for free and they treat them and the people who give them away with very little respect. I was even lied to upfront when I asked someone if they have received a goody bag (right after they said "no" I noticed they had one right next to them; of course - they did not clue in that I happened to have been not just handing them out, but also hand-rolling the unusually scented truffle that they just stuffed in their mouth). They just sat there, opened the bag, ate the free scented truffles, and threw the rest of the thing away (little gift cards that were attached carefully to each bag of truffles). Out of 100 people that got a goody bag only one person actually came in and used that gift card. The rest hopefully at least bothered to throw it in the recycling bin rather than leave the mess behind like the fine ladies I described earlier. People just stopped thinking about cause and effect or what it takes to put together anything (product, goody bag, event). We have become too used for things to be cheaply assembled off-shore and treat everything like garbage, producing trash and leaving a trail of misery behind us. So of course - no more red-carpet goody bags from me, sorry!

Similarly, my tea parties, a concept that seemed to work for the first year, when everyone were simply blown away by the hospitality and for a while, when it was still among a limited circle of loyal customers, were actually profitable and brought business. A few parties in, the word is spread, and before you know it, some of my guests are, unfortunately just free riders that don't even bother to buy something symbolic to support the people who throw this event. It is true that I throw those parties because I'm really passionate about baking and I love being aromatically creative outside of my studio – i.e. in the kitchen. However, each event like this costs me hundreds of dollars (not even counting the week-long labour in the kitchen, setting up, cleaning the place before and after), and if I don't at least recover my costs, I am sad to say that I won't be able to throw any more tea parties like this in the future without charging very substantial door fee.

From the business aspect, these tea parties are promotional events to make my customers aware that my studio even exists (as I don't have a store-front) and also a forum to educate people about the world of natural perfumery and aromatics, and provide an atmosphere of calm, well-being, engaging conversations and a multi-sensory experience (sight, taste, scent... even the music I choose for my tea parties is carefully chosen). I am not trying to make big bucks here, I'm just trying to survive. And as it turns out, even charging $10 symbolic admission fees is not helping in the matter - it just makes people act more as if they are in a restaurant and need to be served and than they just leave (sometimes without even staying for the presentation - which is as rude as leaving in the middle of a dinner party!).

This would have not happened if it wasn't for us as consumers being so used to big companies. Even big companies are made up of many small people with emotions, feelings and their own life with all the usual problems, as you can quickly learn if you bother to get to know the girl selling you those Levi's jeans at the mall.

And last but not least - is pretty much where we started: the markets and trade shows. One incident is simply engraved in my brain - a young lady who came to my table several times and made a few purchases in the past passed by my table. By than, I already not only recognized her face but also remembered her name. I greeted her, addressing her by her name and she had the most frightened look on her face... She clearly was planning to pass by my table and ignore me (which is totally legitimate, of course). Hearing her name and being greeted with a smile and a friendly hello garnered the reaction most homeless people are probably familiar with when they are begging for money... Seriously!

I'm sorry, folks, but you simply can't go to a fashion market like Portobello West and act as if you are at the mall (even though, admittedly, you shouldn't act like you are at the mall even when you are at the mall - it only contributes to the increasing feeling of alienation in our life (all of us!) and does no-one any good). If you want to browse things aimlessly, why won't you just stay at home and browse the shopping channel? No one will talk to you or bug you with their life story and how they make their products.

When I'm at the markets, I'm not in the face of my customers, I let them browse quietly and at their own pace and how they need ( some are brave and just dive into the rack of testers and sniff away, some read the book with all the fragrance descriptions before they smell a single scent, and some really care only for the chocolates or the poison rings, which is fine too - they are really my gimmicks to lure jewelry lovers and foodies into the magical olfactory world). I observe, watch and listen to their cues. But I also like to greet them with "hello" and "how are you" and a big smile that I try to pull out even when they don't make an eye contact. What is it with eye contact? People seem just frightened from it these days. Most of us (me included) spend way too much time around the computer...

But let me just add, that I'm so very grateful for my customers who do "get it" and for all the meaningful relationships and interactions I have with both my online and face-to-face customers. I'm very fortunate to be able to make a living from what I love doing the most, even if it's challenging at times. And I hope that the world is changing and that people are increasingly putting more thought into how things are made and by whom and treat this planet and its creatures (people included!) with respect and integrity.

And on that note, I'm going to log off and go for a walk on the seawall... A little break from the computer can only do me good ;-)

Inevitable Rant - Samples

Rants don't normally make their way to this blog, in which I strive to maintain a positive virtual environment of refuge from all the worldly hustle and bustle. This rant is inevitable because I believe it addresses issues that would be of interest for my readers, some of which are small business owners like myself.

Running a small business in a corporate-ruled world, driven by exploitation on so many levels is not an easy mission. Consumers the world over, and in North America in particular, have become accustomed to some business practices and interpersonal interactions with the "sales people" who they were taught to believe only represent some giant mega-corporation and therefore either don't care about the product or about the people they are talking to. This reflects quite miserably on about 20% of the interactions I become involved with, both online and in person at the various markets, trade shows and private sale events that I participate in.

Let's start from the easy one - the repeated online requests for free samples. Even though my website explains very clearly who I am, what I do and what my sample program is all about, I keep receiving requests for free samples on a daily basis, more or less. It usually goes like this:

"Hello (sometime it even starts with "Dear Sirs")
Your website looks fantastic and I am so curious about your perfumes!
There is no store around where I live that sells them.
Send me free samples to this address:
Jessica John
55 Jungle Drive
Rivendell, JR, 12345
(these emails rarely contain "please" "thank you" or "goodbye").

Somewhere in there, you will often find a brief yet calculated personal message that is supposed to really make me feel guilty and start handing out free samples - such as: "most perfume cause me headaches so I'm dying to try your natural perfumes" or "I'm so poor I can't afford to pay with money for your perfumes" or the best yet - after a paragraph-long intro about some of her favourite scents, a customer from Eastern Europe wrote: "As you see I put a lot of effort contacting you. I am really keen to get to know your products better. So If your company policy allow such thing, which I believe it does – please make me a happy person, I will never forget it"!

So, in case nobody ever reads my FAQ, I'll just put it all here again, plus some more background info:

Yes, I always include at least one free sample for every bottle of perfume you purchase online or on-sight at our studio. But no, I can't possibly fill the demand for free samples I get on a daily basis. As much as I'd like to - if I'll do so I'll go bankrupt and won't be able to make perfumes for you ever again. I am not a big company with a huge budget for marketing and promotional items. I make and package everything by hand, and filling sample orders takes just as long if not longer than preparing a full bottle of perfume.

And to elaborate on that: In my very early days, I was sending some samples for free. It is the kind of thing you have to do when you start a new online business in the beauty industry. Cosmetics and perfumes are just the kind of product that can't be purchased based on visuals alone. I've done that for about 6 months, and than I ran out of sample vials and didn't have money to buy more. I started charging a symbolic fee for samples, and that didn't work either - because I had to fill so many of those pin-thin sample vials that is was physically painful (pushing the tops on those is nothing short of a nightmare when you need to fill hundreds of these at a time).

And this is why I switched to the nice little jars that you can now see on my website. They are lots of work still to fill, however, they actually stand on their own, which makes the filling more reasonable (you can line them up and than drop the jus in with a dropper); plus the screw top is like a dream in comparison. The downside with these? They are not so thin, so they must be shipped as a package rather than a letter size. But that's just the kind of trade-off you have to decide on when you revamp packaging and service.

So, to make a long story short, here the official "free sample rejection email" you will get in case you feel tempted to do the online sample begging stunt:

"Dear Customer,

Thank you for your interest in Ayala Moriel Parfums!

Ayala Moriel is a one-woman-show and we get requests for free samples every day. If we were to fulfill them, we will be out of business in no time, and won't be able to make perfumes ever again.

For customers who are far away, and cannot visit our studio to experience our perfumes first-hand, we offer a sample program, where you can experience our scents before committing to a full bottle. You can see the different sample package sizes for a discount (6, 8, 10, 12 or 15) and order them through this webpage:

If you require assistance for selecting the fragrances, feel free to answer the Fragrance Questionnaire:

Warm regards,

Ayala Moriel, Perfumer & Owner
Ayala Moriel Parfums"

And as aside - the answers for these questionnaires are NOT automatic!
I take between 30-60 minutes to read, analyze your answers and reply to them with a list of recommended perfumes for the customer to try. It could be the bad economy, that makes people less willing to spend money but more willing to spend time filling them. But I can't even count how many questionnaires like that I replied to in the past two months that lead nowhere. Absolutely nowhere. And I've been responding to them for years now, and know that not all of them would (or should) end up in a sale. But this pattern is a little worrisome...

Last but not least - for all of my loyal customers, devoted readers and fellow business people who know exactly what I'm talking about and can appreciate what artisanal businesses such as mine are doing, I thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!

Sunday, November 07, 2010


Dr. Zhivago trees, originally uploaded by Studiobaker.

Not here yet, but certainly getting there. The above title is actually the name of a perfume I discovered when digging through ancient stashed-away disasters of 2001 (the year when I began to compose fragrances).

I've been struggling with spicy orientals for as long as that. That genre is not easy to tackle, not only because I found no reliable reference formulas in any of my perfumery books; but also because these are such complex perfumes, and using only natural raw materials in a complex formula often leads to disasters.

The perfume in question here was intended as a Youth-Dew type of oriental. this perfume belongs to a type of spicy oriental that has very many facets, and is at once spicy, floral, ambery and deeply drenched in patchouli and animalic notes.

What I created back in 2001 smelled terrible at the time. It smelled muddy and earthy and dirty and just overall nothing was really appealing about it, except for the bottle I put it in. And that's where it was left, forgotten, for about 9 years.

And 9 years later, when I was researching spicy orientals for my students and was trying in vein to find a perfume that is the "classical" spicy-patchouli-oriental, I came across this and discovered that it is, after all, not all that bad.

Winter is made of patchouli, vetiver, oakmoss, rose, ylang ylang, chamomile and geranium and bergamot. Way back when, it smelled like a puddle of mud. Now it smells like a very old-fashioned perfume, like what you'd expect to find on your Grandma's vanity. It's a fermented rose scent and is strangely lovable.

With all the other research I've done about the "mellis" perfumes (that's how professionals call the spicy orientals of the likes of Tabu, Youth Dew and Opium), I think I've finally figured out the formula for how to make them smell good and true to the genre, hopefully without waiting another 9 years before they become wearable.

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Saturday, November 06, 2010

Project VL

Dr Zhivago, originally uploaded by RobH3.

Strange project I've been mulling over for quite some time... Admittedly, at first the concept kinda weirded me out a bit and I almost turned it down. Than I got sucked into it, probably just in the same way that most virtual love affairs take their victims by surprise.

At one of my events, I'm approached by a young gal, probably in her 20's. She's uber enthusiastic about scents and the conversation, like at times happens with perfume lovers (who seem to often have a passionate personality), turns into love and relationships.

As it turns out, she is tortured by an unfulfilled love. She's had this virtual lover for 3 years now. They have never met in person. She wants to meet him, but he's very far away and she'd broken her heart enough times to know better than travel the globe for a fickle virtual love affair and the empty promises it might deliver. And of course, the few friends she confided in to tell her tormenting tale urge her to run for the hills and forget all about it.

But logic aside - she is also scared of ruining the fantasy. A fantasy that at first seemed very real, supported by whatever gestures of love made possible by emoticons and webcam conversations. And the fantasy only seemed to grow out of proportion the more vague and ambiguous his gestures are. Come to think of it, now he is acting all mysterious and only gives of himself about tenth of what she puts into this virtual relationship.

Like many modern lovers, they communicate through the internet. They have never spoken on the phone. She has never even heard his voice. But she can hear it in her head. Sometimes she'll wake up in the middle of a dream after she's heard him call her name...

In short - these two love birds have been communicating with webcam and texting (or - is it now called sexting?!) on and off for the past 3 years and she's equally tormented and pleasured by this distant intimacy, also giving her a semi-legitimate excuse to not date any "real" men in her vicinity.

So what does all this have to do with scent, than? The woman has never smelled her lover and that is the most painful thing for her about this mostly un-fulfilled love. When she asked him to send her a sweaty t-shirt of his he conveniently ignored her request and just kept going about his merry visual and text methods of communications.

So I promised this young lady to help her create a scent that will make her think of her virtual lover. He may not be generous enough to send her sweaty t-shirts, but that does not mean that she can't have a connection between him and a scent (besides that uber-erotic scent of a laptop keyboard, of course, and the exciting tone she assigned to his text messages, that always make her heart race).

On return for this olfactory favour, I will be telling the tales of this tremulous love story. A tale that many people might be able to relate to, but are too shy to talk about...

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Friday, November 05, 2010

Gilded Lily

Gilded Lily walks the strange path the flickers between spring and fall, modern and old-fashioned. It has the elements of a modern, screechy floral on the one end, amplified with tart ambiguous fruity notes (rhubarb and pineapple) and an earthy, warm and slightly balsamic Chypre. It reminds me of the bright floral chypres Jour Ensoleillé (Sonoma Scent Studio) and Tiare (Ormonde Jayne). But of course, coming from a different perfumer, it has a personality all of its own.

What makes Gilded Lily refreshing is its non-cloying playfulness. The particular choice of notes - sharp, crisp and bright fruity top notes sets it apart from the modern fruity chypre genre. So it makes a refreshing contrast in comparison to the sickeningly sweet berry and cough syrup notes found in the ever so popular "fruitchouli" genre that was designed to replace real chypres. And unlike so many other so-called chypre, it actually has oakmoss and labdanum in detectable proportions. These notes make an appearance about half an hour into the show. There is the bitter-green saltiness of oakmoss and genuine vetiver, and last but not least and quite surprising in comparison to the brisk opening: patchouli and labdanum with a balsamic, earthy sweetness, and a Miss-Dior-like familiarity that is rare in new perfumes.

If it wasn't for the suggestive bright red glass bottle, I would have never thought of rhubarb in association with this. Peppery elemi and acidic grapefruit remind me of the playful Si Lolita that captured my heart last winter. But this never gets quite nearly as gourmand and powdery. They cuts through the sweetness of the lily and add an interesting sharp edge.

The Japanese goldband lily accord at the heart of the perfume is quite subtle, especially considering that it is the inspiration for this perfume. It's fascinating to see this collection become more versatile, with warmer, richer and more natural bases in the last two perfume (see Field Notes from Paris) in contrast to the very light, musk-base of the first four. Between the elemi, the tart illusion of freshly-sliced rhubarb note and the tried-and-true chypre base, Gilded Lily might turn out to be quite addictive... In the far dry out, the labdanum dissipates completely, leaving only the driest and woodiest nuances (oakmoss, patchouli, vetiver and a hint of clean dry musk) to prevail.

Top notes: Pineapple, Rhubarb, Elemi, Grapefruit
Heart notes: Japanese Goldband Lily
Base notes: Oakmoss, Vetiver, Labdanum, Patchouli

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Gastown Shop Hop Tonight!

Tonight, November 4th, 5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m it is Gastown Fall Shop Hop. Click on the image above to enlarge it and see all the participating shops and boutiques. They will all be open till late tonight and have special discounts and complementary

And I should mention in particularly the two boutiques in Gastown that carry my line:

Dream (311 West Cordova @ Cambie) will have 3 of my scents, plus some wine, cheese and White Potion truffles (since it carries this perfume at the boutique). You can find there Bon Zai, Tamya and Ayalitta perfume and many other amazing fall fashions, jewelry and accessories by local Vancouver designers, including my personal favourites Jola V Designs, The Dancing Leaf Design and Cuche Bikinis.

And I will be in person at Gentille Alouette (227 Carral street @ Cordova) with my entire perfume collection. I will be giving complementary fragrance consultations to help you find the best perfume for yourself and those special people on your list!

I'll also bring my new Song of Songs body oil, scented soy wax candles, bath salts and other concoctions to make your life fragrant and beautiful.

We will also be serving perfumed chocolate truffles (Blood Truffles and also some Lavender Earl Gray Tea Truffles - as per Eliza's special request: she's die-hard lavender and Earl Gray lover). We'll also let you sip some home-made mulled wine and Immortelle l'Amour tea!!!

Hope to see you all there!

P.s. For my out-of-town SmellyBlog readers, you may be relieved to hear that after this event I may have some time for more meaningful blogging besides event announcements ;-)

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Monday, November 01, 2010

Indieperfumes' Insights

Read Indieperfumes' insights about the my art and style as a natural perfumer.

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