Friday, December 30, 2011

Best of 2011

Oh dear, what a year!
Like 2009, it started all positive and wonderful with fun traveling and adventures, and many creative moments; yet plummeted to the depths of despair towards the end of the summer. I hope this is not how my life is going to be every other year, because honestly I don’t think I will be able to take this on a regular basis. But if it does, I guess I will just have to!

On a more positive note, 2011 had shown me who my true friends are, and connected me to the vibrant and supportive perfume community of the West Coast – most of which seems to be centered around the San Francisco Bay area. I made new friends in this community, and previous friendships have become stronger and more meaningful. So for everything this year has brought my way, I’m very grateful for. Not to mention, in the current economy – which no one wants to talk about – just being able to stay in business and continue supporting myself and my family with my art alone is a huge accomplishment.

This year I’ve made a few lifestyle changes focusing on reducing environmental damage by supporting local. I continue to do the majority of my grocery shopping at the farmer’s market (which requires driving way out of the West End in the winter time, but is well worth it). And I hardly purchase anything else unless it was made by someone I know in person. This seems to go for perfume and body care products as well. I’m just getting less and less interested in anything mainstream. Shopping in major department stores just lost its luster for me. Even shopping in craft shows or trade shows I find exhausting as most of it ends up talking shop and networking. So I would most likely buy if it’s from someone I know while I’m visiting them at their own home or studio.

So in this post, as much as I love perfumers of the world over, I’m dedicating my choices to perfumers and companies that are from the West Coast – and most are even closer to where I’ve been calling home for the past 13+ years: The Pacific Northwest.

Favourite Perfumes in 2011 (in alphabetical order):

Angel’s Trumpet by Ineke
This is from Ineke’s Floral Curiosities collection, created exclusively for Anthropologie. I first smelled it at Yosh’s house in the amazing party she threw for me and fell in love immediately. It is thanks to Ineke, an avid gardener and fellow Canadian indie perfumer (originally from Ottawa, Ontario) that I even know about the existence of this fragrant flower. I’ve first smelled the scent in the accord she created for “Evenings Edged in Gold” back in winter 2008.
Angel’s Trumpet smells exactly like the flowers after sunset – there is a bush I discovered in English Bay and this is as close as it gets to sticking my nose in that long flower and inhaling deeply the citrusy, candy-floss and heliotrope aroma of its intoxicating nightly vapours.

Fleur No. 1 by 1000Flowers
Created in Nelson, BC, while Jessica Buchana was spending time sorting out her return to her new home she’s making in Grasse, France. Fleur No. 1 makes more than a subtle nod to No. 19 – but it has its own Canadian touch with essences such as pine bud absolute. It’s delicate, fragile almost, and brings

Incense Pure by Sonoma Scent Studio
I know it was launched in 2010, but I’ve only discovered it this year, and I love, love, love this take on incense that is like no other. There is the usual suspect – frankincense; yet it’s not Gothic like so many other incense scents are; but rather ambery, smouldering you with resin-y vapour of cistus labdanum and immortelle, which are as thick and sweet as honey, with that interesting herbaceous animlistic undertone.

Oud Luban by Aftelier
Created for the Clarimonde project, this solid perfume is a true agarwood using 8 different varieties. It’s a smouldering, rich, resinous and animalic incense perfume with smoky undertones (from the choya ral) that is only brightened with elemi, frankincense and blood orange. To experience a real agarwood perfume is especially refreshing after the 2-year (or is it longer?) agarwood fad that has been dominated by faux oud notes that are neither authentic nor satisfying in my opinion.

Sombre Negra by Yosh
A dark, woody and spicy-warm dusky vetiver, accented with patchouli, tobacco, choya loban opoponax oakmoss, davana, pink pepper and mushroom. I love how earthy and mysterious it is.

The funniest perfume name:
Eau Pear Tingle
I haven’t tried the perfume, but sifting through the lists of new releases in 2011 on I stumbled upon this one and thought it was funny – as it looks like a wordplay on “au pair”.

Favourite Teas:
This year was all about white tea for me, and exploring the white teas from which to select the “base” for my Zangvil perfumed tea was a subtle adventure into the world of tea. I especially cherished the help I received from Libby Gibson of Tula Teas in the process.
But hands down, the best tea experience of the year was sharing no less then two teapots of tea – Frankincense GABA oolong and Rose & Ginger oolong with Mandy Aftel at her own studio.

Favourite Incense:
Rose Nerikoh by Perfume Phyto.
This year I had the pleasure to meet to other incense makers (they must be even more crazy then perfumers, because incense making is, in my opinion, ten times harder!) and one of them I even got to meet twice – in San Francisco at Yosh’s and also at my very own studio. Yuko Fukami is a Japanese-born natural perfumer, and studied with Lisa Fong of Artemisia. The
Rose Nerikoh is a ball of various resins, rose petals and rose absolute, and had that luxurious camphoreous woody scents that most Japanese incense posses. It’s not meant to be burnt, but rather warmed in the Japanese kodo style (or you can use an aromatherapy diffuser to achieve the same purpose – just line it first with some aluminum foil as to avoid the resins from sticking to your pot permanently.

Favourite candle:
Winter Moss by Gabriel’s Aunt.
I’m pretty sure this was launched in 2010, but I’m still as smitten with it as I’ve ever been. This candle brings the bitterness of cold winter, snow and crisp moss-covered boughs of conifer in the clean air of the Pacific Northwest to your home without carrying a tree in and without dealing with the aftermess of needless all over the floor. I'm also smitten with pretty much all the candles that Nikki created - they are so much fun and I'm always on the lookout for what new creations come out of her candle lab: Lemon Bar, Royal Couple, Boheme to name a few; and a the new favourite are Southern Tea and Milk & Sugar.

I was also privileged to try the new, beeswax based Apricot & Lemon candle by Aftelier and it's such a delightful, cheerful scent - just the kind of thing one needs in the winter time for a little pick-me-up.

Favourite soap:
Juniper Ridge wild-harvest all their herbs and distill their own oils they collect while hiking in Oregon and Northern California. And their products all have a very authentic, outdoorsy quality.
Big Sur soap – medicinal, like immersing oneself in a tub filled with witch herbs. Siskiyou Cedar is as close as possible to bathing outdoors under redwoods and looking at the stars peaking through the branches.
Neither of these leave my skin dry (and as evidence, I don't even bother using a moisturizer or oil afterwards). Just the kind of soap bar I like.

Favourite Body Product:
Velvet and Sweetpea’s Purrfumery's whipped body frosting (from shea & virgin coconut oil) are a luxury that you must try if you haven’t yet. I’m still savouring whatever is left of the Cashmere Rose and the Tuberose Gardenia ones I’ve bought in Blunda LA back in 2009. They emit the subtle and exotic scent of virgin coconut oil as they melt on your skin, along with the luxurious florals they are scented with. Besides, their maker, Laurie Stern, is such a sweet lady who keeps her own bees (and her honey is delicious!).

Favourite Skin Care Line:
Belmondo’s skincare line is designed and handmade in BC. This organic skincare line made form fair trade ingredients is the brainchild of aesthetician Daniela Belmondo, who provides the best organic facial treatments in town. True to her vision of simplicity and minimalism in caring for one’s skin, and inspired by her own Italian heritage, the line is based in olive oil and is designed to benefit all skin types – providing a simple and healthy regime of cleansing and hydration.

Stunning packaging:
Persephenie’s eponymus line of body care and perfumes (which I’m yet to try). I love how minimalist and luxurious these look.

Promising New Line:
Rebel & Mercury is a new line of natural perfumes by Nikki Sherritt, the creative force behind Gabriel's Aunt. If it's anything like her candles, expect to find surprising gems in this new line. I've already experienced a few of them (Encens Blanc, Bohem) and was instantly smitten.

Favourite Perfume Notes (Raw Materials):
In case you haven't noticed, almost everything I created this year had seaweed in it this way or another. My love for the ocean only grows fonder the older I get; and smelling like seaweed is just my kind of thing it seems. My other obsessions in the world of raw materials have been mimosa, galbanum absolute, and oakwood absolute. But the most surprising revelation is my new fascination of eucalyptus.

Favourite Foods & Spices

This year I've finally become excited about cooking and being more creative with it. And I've been particularly inspired by this book. I also started eating fish, which seems to be just the right thing to do living in the West Coast with very little sunshine. I need to get my vitamin D somewhere... I also finally got the fascination so many people have with red wine, so I've definitely turned into the "other side", and I'm not even able to tell you if this is good or bad... Kale is probably the vegetable of the year for me, and pear the fruit discovery (they usually end up too soft and mushy in this household - from lack of interest). My interest in star anise have definitely increased this year (poached pear, anyone?). But black cardamom is probably the most notable spice that changed my life this year. I'm looking forward to trying it in perfumery next year!

Wishing you all a wonderful, happy New Year in 2012!
May it bring you the courage to do the changes you wanted to make in your life, and may this world become a better place for us all!

Visit the other participating blogs in this round of the Best of 2011:

Another Perfume Blog

DSH Notebook


Perfume Shrine

Scent Hive

The Non Blonde

Best of 2011 image by Roxana of Illuminated Perfume


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Open, Sesame!

sesame seeds by bour3
sesame seeds, a photo by bour3 on Flickr.

Growing up in my little organic village in Israel, my parents tried to grow almost anything imaginable until they nailed down what’s the ideal crop for their little piece of land (olives, lemons and pumpkins seem to be the winners in this particular micro-climate). One winter we unearthed peanuts from the soil; another year we had to sort through thousands of lentils that my stepfather beat up with a large wooden stick laid out on large sheets of canvas. And there was this one year, when he went all ambitious and planted an entire field of sesame plants. The harvesting was everything but easy, even if I think he hired a machine to cut down the plants – taking out the precious tiny seeds was a whole other story which I only remember very tiny parts of (the tasting of raw sesame seeds coming out of the partly green plant – which smelled terrible, by the way); and since it only happened this one time – it must have not been a success.

In any case, all these failed crops and experiments definitely have given me a sense of what amount of effort it takes to grow food. Even with today’s machinery – food is a precious thing that we take for granted. And most of us don’t think twice when we see a handful of sesame seeds scattered on a loaf of bread, or filling a delicious deep-fried sesame ball, not to mention the thousands of seeds required for pressing a single jar of tahini or a little square of halva.

And harvesting sesame is certainly not an easy feat – “The sesame seeds are protected by a capsule, which does not burst open until the seeds are completely ripe. The ripening time tends to vary. For this reason, the farmers cut plants by hand and place them together in upright position to carry on ripening for a few days. The seeds are only shaken out onto a cloth after all the capsules have opened” (you can read more on harvesting and processing sesame on Wikipedia).

Sesame originates in Africa and India, and is one of the very few ingredients that are common to both Asian and Middle Eastern cuisine, where it is used in both savoury dishes (tahini dips or dressings, topping and seasoning breads and pretzels in the Middle East and sprinkled on rice and sautés as well as a salad dressing – i.e. gomae in Asia); and in desserts and sweets (Middle Easterners love their halva just as much as Asians enjoy sesame balls!). But sesame is not only delicious – it’s also very nutritious, and particularly high in calcium. There is as much calcium in unshelled or “white” sesame seeds as there is in milk (100mg calcium per 100gr of milk or sesame); unshelled or “brown” sesame seed contain 10 times the amount of calcium – 1000mg calcium per 100gr seeds!).

But I can go on forever talking about sesame' – and I’ll have hard time getting to the point of the oil. It is not so easy to find sesame oil that is not from the roasted sesame seeds. And even then, it won’t exactly be “cold pressed”. Because at least a small amount of heat is required for producing sesame oil (as well as tahini). The oil always floats on the top of tahini jars, and it has a very thick consistency, which is not unlike lecithin (which it is abundant with, actually!). That is what makes sesame oil such an excellent emollient, and also why it’s so easy to incorporate water into tahini to make a dressing (lecithin is a natural emulsifier).

So, unfortunately, my description of un-roasted sesame oil (meaning: not the “dark” kind) will be more based on literature more than on my own recent experience with the so-called cold-pressed sesame oil, which is clear and pale yellow. It has a very high vitamin E content, which gives it a very long shelf life as well as antioxidant properties. It’s a healing oil that heps skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema and is used traditionally in Ayurveda for thousands of years. Sesame oil is used in the preparation of many Ayurvedic medicines, and is used for Ayurvedic massages, and for the Shirodhara treatment when warm sesame oil is poured on one’s forehead, as well as for oil baths and full-body massages. It is also used for foot massage and is very beneficial for the scalp and hair.

From a nutritional and healing point of view – sesame oil also contains important trace minerals such as iron, magnesium and copper, and vitamin B6. It’s also high in omega-6 fatty acids, which are known to lower blood pressure; yet it does not require refrigeration as it’s also has naturally occurring preservatives in it – sesamol and sesamin, which prevent the omega-6 fatty acids from spoiling.

Interesting to note, that sesame seeds were used to extract the essence of jasmine flowers in India well before the invention of enfleurage. Sesame seeds were layered with jasmine flowers untiel they absorbed the scent, and after repeating this process several times, the sesame seeds would be pressed into an oil that is fragrant with jasmine, to be used as a personal perfume on the hair and the body.

Now that Chanukah has come to an end, and I’ve finally came to cover at least 8 beneficial oils for health and beauty – I feel inspired to continue exploring precious fatty oils of botanical origins. We tend to associate “oily” with “dirty”, where in fact, many of the lotions and detergents that make us feel “clean” are in fact polluting the environment and taking away from the natural healthy glow of our skin. I’m really looking forward to learning more about beneficial oils and how to use these elegant, simple and rich treatments, luxuries and remedies in every day life.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Cream and Sugar Candle by Gabriel's Aunt

Burning Cream & Sugar brought me fond memories of late night stops at Blenz after a night out, and enjoying a cup of vanilla steamed milk - just to wind down before heading back home. I'd also take this warm comfort libation for walks by the seawall after work, to hold me over till dinner time while watching the little bit of sun just before it goes down for a lengthening night. More often then never, I'd also top it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon. And that's exactly how Cream & Sugar candle smells like!

I received a mini travel size (a mere 3oz will burn for 12-15 hours) as a holiday gift from Nikki and I'm again amazed by it's tenacity - filling the entire room with the comforting aroma of steamed milk. It's a small wonder!

Gabriel's Aunt beautiful, all-natural soywax candles are available from her online boutique and Etsy shop.

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Avocado Oil

Persea americana, native to central Mexico (the state of Puebla), and is related to cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel. It is a very ancient tree that was used by humans for at least 12,000 years. It’s fruit was designed to attract very large mammals which are now extinct (i.e.: ground sloths or gomphotheres). The seed itself is inedible and rather toxic to many animals, and would be spread in the excretions of such large mammals, sprouting easily as it would remain undigested.

Avocado, like olive oil, is a rare case when a vegetable oil is derived from the fruit rather than the seed of a plant. It is cold-pressed from the pulp of the fruit, which may contain between 18-24% oil, most of which is monosaturated fat. Avocados are extremely high in potassium, vitamin E, vitamin K, B vitamins, as well as a high fiber content. It was shown to lower harmful cholesterol level in the blood, and is also studied for its potential anti-cancer properties.

The fruit’s culinary uses are wide and versatile. Because it is easily grown in sub-tropical and Mediterranean climates, and can tolerate cold weather (as low as -5C in some cultivars), it is grown in many parts of the world – Mexico, Chile, in the US (states of California and Florida), Indonesia, Brasil, Israel, Lebanon, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. And the cuisines that utilized it are versatile and innovative. It is mostly used raw, because cooking making it extremely bitter and inedible (the Haas cultivar can tolerate a small amount of heat and may be used in preparation of “avocado soup”).

Avocado’s high oil content makes it ideal for condiments and in savoury dishes such as sandwiches, condiments and sauces – the most famous of them being, of course, Guacamole (“avocado sauce” - a condiment, dip or sauce made with lime juice or vinegar, herbs, spices and hot peppers). Avocado slices are used in Maki (rolled sushi) – as in California roll or avocado roll, where its fatty contents pair nicely with the fish or substitute it for vegetarian rolls, and it works beautifully in vegetable salads – either sliced or in the dressing.

Avocado’s creamy texture and naturally mildly-sweet flavour make it a perfect component in raw, vegan and vegetarian desserts. Try mashing it with bananas for a custard-like breakfast raw “pudding”, garnished with fresh dates; or add it to milkshakes, smoothing or sliced in fruit salad (be sure not to use overripe avocados - or they will be too mushy and “oily” and not as sweet). You can even make your own vegan “eggnog” using avocados (I made one today with avocado, coconut milk, rum and nutmeg and it was very good and brightly green!).

As for avocado oil itself, which is the real topic of this article, it is particularly fabulous because of its antioxidant nutritional value. High smoking point (the refined avocado oil goes as high as 520°F = 271°C) makes it suitable for cooking, sauteeing, frying and deep-frying. It has a very mild, slightly nutty flavour that is quite easily adaptable.

In cosmetics and body care, avocado oil is prized for its regenerative and moisturizing qualities. It is full of nutrients such as vitamins A, D and E, as well as lecithin, proteins, chlorophyll, glycerides and omega-3 fatty acids. It is a very thick oil, and it’s best not to use more than 25% in a base-oil blend (meaning: you should blend it with other oils if you were to apply it to the skin in a massage oil or a body oil). Avocado oil is also used in soaps to add moisturizing qualities to a soap bar, because some of its contents do not get saponified and preserve their softening qualities. Its thickness also makes it a good addition for body butters and making rich body lotions. It's restorative and helpful especially for dry, scaly skin.

Similarly, use it for hair masks or hair treatment for curly or dry hair and itchy, flaky, scaly scalp. The lecithin is a natural sunscreen, so it’s a good natural protection for both skin and hair from UV rays. You will also find avocado oil in some high-end haircare products such as shampoo, conditioner and masks – but you can also create your own!

avocado by hannah * honey & jam
avocado, a photo by hannah * honey & jam on Flickr.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Week GWP

Boxing Week gifts with purchase at!

Orders of $45 or more receive a gift of fragrant chocolate bar
Orders of $65 or more receive a gift of one of our ritual bath salts
$120 or more receive an anointing body oil
$180 or more receive a mini of one of our winter favourites (Fete d'Hiver, Palas Atena)

The "fine print":
* We will pick the flavour/scent of the goodies for you, as quantities are very limited!
We also might just know what you like based on what else you liked in the past ;-)
** While supplies last
*** Excluding sample purchases
**** Valid thru December 31st


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Plaid Magazine Features Zangvil

Zangvil was featured in Plaid Magazine's holiday fragrances - last minute gift ideas for her.

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Merry Christmas!

blessed is the season... by janoid
blessed is the season..., a photo by janoid on Flickr.

Merry Christmas for everyone celebrating today!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Camelia (Tea Seed) Oil

A plant atop a knoll which is about a mile away from the Great Buddha statue.....

Tea oil is cold-pressed from the seeds of the tea plants - the species Camelia sinensis, Camelia japonica, Camelia oleifera and others, which originated in China. It has a very high smoke point (252°C, 485°F), making it an excellent oil for deep-frying and is the main cooking oil in Yunnan province in China, and very popular in Japan as well (for deep frying tempura, for example). It has excellent shelf life, similar to that of both olive oil and grapeseed oil, and also has excellent nutritional value – being rich in antioxidants, and has no trans fats, and is very low in saturated fat. 88% of its fatty acids are monosaturated oleic acids (the same that are found in abundance in olive oil). Like grapeseed oil, it has a very pleasant yet neutral flavour, making it an excellent base for salad dressings, and also a perfect substitute to whatever other vegetable oil you ever used before in pancakes, waffle and cake batters. The downside is its high price (even higher than grapeseed oil). But it’s certainly better to pay that price than get a cheap vegetable oil from genetically modified source.

Tea seed oil is used in soap to produce high lather, and was also traditionally used in Japan to groom and set the elaborate hairdos of Geishas and Sumo wrestlers. Also, it was used to prevent rust in swords (a use that is hardly necessary now that the samurai days are over; and also the price of tea seed oil makes it rather unrealistic). It promotes hair growth and a healthy scalp, and was used for centuries as a hair conditioner in Japan.

Because tea seed oil has very little aroma or strong taste of its own, it is a very versatile oil for use in cosmetics and body care preparations. And to top it all - it also has the most light weight, fast absorbing texture next to fractionated coconut oil, while having much more beneficial for the skin as it’s packed with vitamin E and other antioxidants, preventing damage from free radicals and protecting the skin from toxins.

I’ve used it in both my facial serum Elixir, and in all of my anointing body oils, producing a very nourishing, yet non-greasy body oil that is a delight to use and indulge one’s skin in, as well as use in massage. Because it's very light-weight, you may want to add an oil such as almond or grapeseed oil for more lubrication when using for a massage.

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Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Winter Solstice!

Winter Solstice

8hrs 6min 59sec of daylight in Vancouver today. And after that, the days will gradually increase - a few seconds at a time at first, gradually improving.

I'm celebrating with candles, eggnog and a winter solstice bath scented with refreshing yuzu to welcome the return of the sun after the longest night of the year (the eggnog knocked me down early so I didn't get around to it till the morning hehe).

Scented candle of the day: Hugs & Kisses by Gabriel's Aunt. Classic combination of cloves, cinnamon and orange with a bit of cardamom for a little exotic twist. Nothing like spices to warm you up on a cold winter day :-)

Happy Winter Solstice!


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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Chanukah!

Dreidel Gingerbread
Happy Chanukah!
May your 8 days be filled with light, warmth and happiness.

We baked and decorated gingerbread cookies for the first time ever today, and this is the result - dreidel gingerbreads!
Thanks to Laurie Erickson's mom for the perfect recipe! Never thought gingerbreads would be so easy to make and melt-in-your-mouth delicious :-)

This year we will continue with more oils to complete the series we began a couple of years back - 8 Exquisite Oils for Health & Beauty.
Although, in all honesty, there are probably going to be more oils than just 8 to explore and discover uses for both nutrition and cosmetics/body care. This year we'll discuss sesame oil, argan oil and avocado oil. We'll also feature a few favourite candles we're burning this season.


The Fragrance Foundation: Spotlight on 30 Indie Brands Entering 2012 “Indie” FiFi® Award

The Fragrance Foundation announced the 30 Indie brands that entered 2012 “Indie” FiFi® Award.

"Independent brands and the people behind them are driving innovation. Surely all the nominees are deserving of accolades," said Frederick Bouchardy, co-founder of Elements Showcase. "We are proud and thrilled to shine the spotlight on them next month."

“Indie” Committee Mission Statement: To support the excellence, talent and artistry of ‘indie’ perfumes, celebrate their individuality and craftsmanship, give a voice to the “indie” brands, address any issues and concerns that are important to the group as a whole.

Read more about the scents and Indie perfume houses entering the “Indie” FiFi® Award 2012.


Friday, December 16, 2011

Perfume-Inspired Recipe: Tropical Snowballs

The flavour is inspired by my tropical fantasy, aka Coco-Lime limited edition perfume (it came out in the summer and was snatched away before I was even able to post it on my website)!

Snowballs are my favourite holiday cookie, not only because they are melt-in-your-mouth delicious and look pretty and dainty - but also because they require very little equipment! This recipe is a spin-off on our favourite home recipe. It's also a great winter past-time activity, as even little kids can easily form them into neat little balls. In fact, aside from making the dough and handling the hot cookie sheets - I let my daughter take charge of the whole process from start to finish!


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup unbleached white wheat flour (or - for the gluten free option, use 1/2 cup each brown rice flour and tapioca starch, plus 1/4tsp xanthan gum)

1/4 cup icing sugar, plus more for coating

1/4 tsp Salt

Lime zest from 1 Lime

1/4 cup finely shredded coconut, unsweetened

1/3 cup roasted pistachios, peeled and slivered (be sure to use bright green fresh pistachios!)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or use vanilla paste if you have - it's amazing!)

Zesting Key Limes for Key Lime Pie


- Combine flours (and xanthan gum, if opting for the gluten free ingredients) and salt

- Mix butter with the dry ingredients, until it is relatively smooth

- Add the coconut and pistachios and blend well with crumbs, using your hands

- Add the vanilla and continue to knead dough just until it can be formed into a big ball, and wrap in a plastic wrap.

- Refrigerate dough until firm - for about 1-3 hours.

- Line a cookie sheet with parcment paper or Silpat

- Form the cookies using a melon scooper for even shapes and identical dainty sized snowballs!

- Bake for 12-14 minutes (until they barely begin to become golden)

- Cool for 3-4 minutes, just until they can be handled without hurting your fingers!

- Roll in additional icing sugar.

- Cool completely on a wire rack

- Transfer into an airtight container. They will keep for 2 weeks and make a perfect gift, packaged in reusable cookie tins or jars.

* Equipment you will need for this recipe:

Large cookie sheet

Parchment paper or Silpat sheets

Measuring spoons and cups

Citrus zester/grater

Hand mixer

Wire rack and a large tray for cooling off your cookies

Coco-Lime Summer Limited Edition EDP

Coco-Lime limited edition perfume:

Citrus, Gourmand
Tropical cocktail of squeezed lime and coconut milk, and everything else that goes with. Coco-Lime is a mouthwatering beach fantasy in a bottle. Fun and invigorating!

Top notes:
Key Lime, Lemon, Grapefruit, Lime

Heart notes:
Ylang Ylang, Lemon Myrtle, Litsea Cubeba

Base notes:
Coconut Absolute, Massoia Bark, Vanilla CO2, Ambrette (Musk) Seed

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Customer Appreciation Night & Holiday Party Dec. 15th, 4-10pm

15 December, 4-10pm

Holiday Soiree

At Ayala Moriel Studio (#314-1230 Haro Street)

Holiday Cocktail Party + Customer Appreciation Night

4-10pm at Ayala Moriel Parfums Studio (#314-1230 Haro Street, buzz #295)

We want to thank you for your business this past year so we're throwing a party!

Christmas Cookies, Hors d'Oeuvres, Mulled Wine & Chai

Dreidel Draws for scoring cool gifts from our treasure chest!


Ayala Moriel Parfums

The Dancing Leaf Design - One of a kind jewellery

Jola V. Designs - Leather Bags & Accessories

Teh Scarf

Noam Dehan - Sculptures, Paintings & Photography


Scentable Rings by Dancing Leaf Design

Noriko of Dancing Leaf Design has created 3 magical snowflake-inspired bouquet rings (see picture above) to go with my last 3 flacons of my favourite winter parfums: Fête d'Hiver, Hinoki and Sandal Tree. These are scentable rings - you can apply scent to the scent-absorbent beads within them, and enjoy your bouquet ring with more than one sense!

These rings + perfumes gift sets will be available exclusively at our holiday soiree December 15th.

We are also hoping to have more beautiful vintage Mexican poison rings from Taxco, including some very rare and stunning designs. They're still enroute but should be here any day now. I promise to let you know (and take photos!) as soon as they arrive.

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Custom Perfumes: The Perfect Gift

If you think that giving perfume is too tricky - think twice: With our custom perfume service, you can treat someone you love to the perfume of their dreams!

Pamper someone you love with our custom perfume services, which were picked for Best of 2011 by LA Magazine!

This is a unique experience, that can be done both in-person at the studio, or via correspondence (in fact, most of our custom-perfume clients are from overseas!). In the process you will explore your favourite notes and your relationship with your olfactory heritage; and will enjoy a pure natural perfume, carefully composed by world-renown natural perfumer Ayala Moriel.

To top it all off - through Groupon you can now save 50% off (!!!) the original price and give it as a gift to someone really special in your life.

The Groupon offer expires December 15th, 2011. Take advantage of it while it's still on. Please note, the number of vouchers we set aside for this offer is extremely limited!

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Monday, December 12, 2011

Zangvil Tea Party Featured in Green Wedding Fair

Green Wedding Fair blog has featured our Zangvil tea party!
They also took amazingly beautiful photographs that commemorate this very special tea party, in which we served the dainty treats in eikcam's beautiful handmade earthenware. Thess photographs were taken by Shona Dion.

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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Perfume Course on Groupon!

Your dream of studying perfumery can come true with much less effort now with this very unusual offer on Groupon: my natural perfumery course week-long intensive at the studio in Vancouver for only $900 (instead of the original price = $1800).
The course includes the course handbook and all equipment and materials used throughout the week.

Please note that although this offer is in Groupon Vancouver - even if you don't live in Vancouver, you can still enjoy this unusual promotion!

I've decided to do this offer because I know most of my students come from out of town (and even more of them are from out of the country!) and traveling is not cheap. I hope this offer will open the door to new students and that they will have a fantastic time in the course and will come back to complete their studies in the consecutive courses I offer throughout the year.

In 2012 there are sessions in January, May and September. The voucher is valid for one year, so you can redeem it for any of the intensive weeks offered in 2012.

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Last Day of Portobello West!

Portobello West 2011

Today is the last day of Portobello West Fashion + Art Market for 2012.
This is also the very last time EVER that the entire line of Ayala Moriel Parfums will be offered anywhere outside of our studio on Haro street.

Take advantage of this rare opportunity to experience all 50 original natural perfume creations by Ayala Moriel as well as shop with over 60 talented local artists and designers!

In 2012, I will be selling my entire line ONLY at the studio (which is open by appointment and for tea parties only).
Everything will still be offered on our online store, of course :-)

Portobello West 2011
P.s. For those of you asking "why" -
1) The obvious reason: Being a one woman show means that I need to carry my stuff back and forth with my two strong arms. Unfortunately, my back is not nearly as strong and it can use a break (so it doesn't break!). I'm all for traveling light :-)

2) After doing markets and trunk shows in various locations for nearly 5 years, I realized that the only place where people truly have the right atmosphere to experience my line is in a relaxed environment and with the full attention of a fragrance consultant. It's much more fun to meet people one-on-one at my studio over a cup of fragrant tea and share my stories unhurried, while seated down on my comfy chairs. Treat yourself to a visit at my studio, and you'll understand just exactly what I mean!


Chocolate Bars in the Vancouver Sun

The fragrant chocolate bars we created with CocoaNymph were featured in the food section of The Vancouver Sun this Wednesday!

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Monday, December 05, 2011

Beauty Huile Reviews Song of Songs Anointing Body Oil

Song of Songs Anointing Body Oil reviewed by Beauty Huile: "Ayala has a true, talented eye for essential oils, one who is unafraid to mix the practical and exquisite. You’re going to love it".

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Sunday, December 04, 2011


blue on wood

"Ankle deep, he waded through the bluebells. His spirit rose and exalted... as he breathed in the sun-drenched air. The glorious day was in its last decline. Long shadows lay on the sward... and from above the leaves dripped their shimmering drops of gold-green light.
Moths and butterflies swarmed in merry hosts... flittering here, glimmering there.
But, hush. Could that be a deer?"

She's on a quest. But aren't we all? Traveling as far away from her heart as possible. Seeing it or hearing its soft murmur of desperate longing only hurts more. Avoidance of dwelling taken literally. There is no room to dwell. There is no dwelling. There is no home or a permanent residence for those torn between love and forgetfulness. Far away as metal wings could take her, she will continue to walk through the less traveled paths. Only occasional butterflly will stir the air she breathes in the cold peaks of lonely serenity.

Only wandering, moving on can soothe this blue heart of a butterfly.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

Zangvil is in LA Times' Best of 2011 List!!!

Zangvil is in LA Times' Best of 2011 List!!!

"Ayala Moriel Parfums Zangvil: As a fan of Moriel naturals, I can’t get enough of this subtle holiday skinscent that blends ginger-spiked amber and candied orange."
Picked by LA Time's Fragrance Columnist, renown author and perfumista Denise Hamilton (did you know that the heroine of her new book, Damage Control, is a perfumista as well? How cool is that!).

And - the article also recommends our custom perfume services - definitely the ultimate luxury!

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Friday, December 02, 2011

Eyeliner On A Cat Gift Guide Features Bon-Voyage Roll-On Trio

Bon Voyage Pure Roll-On Trio is featured in Carrie Meredith's holiday gift guide at Eyeliner on a Cat. Her 3 choices are: Espionage, Sabotage & Film Noir! ♥

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