Monday, December 19, 2016

Regionally Inspired Gift Guide

Rosh HaNikra Grotto

This winter, I've returned to my rustic childhood landscape in the Western Galilee. Here in my village, and especially in the yurt that I temporarily call home - the elements are strongly felt: dry desert winds, fiery sun, earth that turns into deep terracotta mud when the rain finally arrives... 

With each season, we are reminded of tactile sensations, smells and sounds: The tap-tap-tap of raindrops on the tarps, the smell of petrichor or fresh snow, rust and wood that has been steeped in sea air for several years, coniferous needles, green leaves opening up to the clean air and wood burning in the fireplace, and simmering rustic Druze chai from dried galangal and ginger roots.

The gift guide this season brings together old and new favourites and adds new ones that are directly connected to my new experience of nomadic lifestyle overseas. My intention is that these fragrances will become fond memories and part of your own traditions, and bring joy and build new memories to your winter.  

Last but not least: if you require assistance finding the perfect scent for a loved one, or to discover something new for own pleasure - you can write to me in person or fill the questionnaire and receive customized recommendations and fragrance suggestions! 
Marine Freight
Last week my marine freight container arrived and as I opened it I was astonished at its peculiar smell: redolent of rusted iron, sea salt and disinfected wood that indicates the long distance this iron giant traveled through oceans and seas. It reminded me of COAL HARBOUR - a fragrance inspired by the industrial marine landscape of the Port of Vancouver - where cranes, containers and aquaplanes spark the imagination and inspire wanderlust. 
KOMOREBI smells like an enchanted forest cathedral, and gives me a much needed sense of grounding and homing in this transitional period. Notes of Redcedar, Douglas Fir, Black Cottonwood give it an incense-like, balsamic-resinous sweetness. All around, it is a majestic, deep and dark forest scent, like the West Coast equivalent of Garrigue. It perfectly connects between the West Coast and the Western Galilee. 

FÊTE D'HIVER, our classic fragrance for the winter holiday has been with us since 2001! Redolent of golden frankincense, rose petals, amber, nutmeg and hints of tropical gardenia - this is a must for the holiday season, a tradition I return to every year, especially on the first day of snow!

Winter festivities  Bois d'Hiver

BOIS D'HIVER brings the forest indoors with a heart-warming melange of incense, woods, fir, pine needles, warm spices and sunny orange blossom. Another classic fragrance that has been with us since the very beginning! 
Narcissus and Mastic
This week the narcissus bulbs I planted in my soon-to-be perfumer's garden have sprouted. To hold me over until they grow and bloom, I got NARKISS - which is more than a narcissus soliflore: it brings together my wintry childhood memories of splashing in the puddles, smelling wild narcissi (they always come out around Chanukah), the mushroomy smells of pinewood, and hints of musk and amber. 
Fragrant Gift from the Forest
RAINFOREST was my second creation, and wearing it now closes a circle: I made it because felt homesick for the smell of petrichor. Ironically, it ended up smelling like Stanley Park after a good downfall of perception - with the underlining notes being that of spikenard, which is the closest smell to earth after rain that is found on the natural perfumer's palette. 
Ginger Dry

When it gets real cold in the Galilee and Golan, the Druze people set a pot of hulnejan (dried galangal roots) and sometimes also ginger and cassia bark - and simmer it on the stove for days on end. It's a very spicy, warming brew, usually sweetened with sugar and sprinkled with chopped pecan nuts. Drink this and you'll feel your insides warming up and every possible invasion of microbes disappear. The best part is that it makes the home deliciously fragrant, and adds humidity that the wood stove tends to steal. ZANGVIL reminds me of this "witch brew" with its notes of fresh and dried ginger, honey, amber, jasmine and ginger lily. 
Whenever it rains or gets really chilly, the mastica bushes and wild ivy behind the yurt release their fresh, green-balsamic scent. GRIN smells encompasses this verdant freshness with its notes of galbanum, violet, oakmoss and a classic floral bouquet. 

"Foundation of Natural Perfumery is about to hit the press again, with this year's last re-print! 
This thorough and generous information-base that should be required reading for any artisan or independent perfumer. The principles are sound, the knowledge is deep, and Ayala's methodology applies to all perfumers, naturals-only or otherwise.” (Saskia Wilson-Brown, Institute of Art and Olfaction). 
Two years after its release, my book is still sought-after and it's now time to re-print. Order your copy now!

The ultimate gift that always gives back is the gift of knowledge. Ayala Moriel's perfumery training program, Foundation of Natural Perfumery, is one of its kind as it is both thorough, professional and flexible, allowing you to progress through 8 modules that are offered both as self-study courses, and in person at the studio. 5 courses were taught in 2016, and I'm now building the curriculum (and the space!) for the 2017 courses - as well as the correspondence module for Fougère. In the meantime, please sign up for the correspondence programto bring yourself up-to-speed for when the courses at the exciting new location commence! 


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