News from the Nose
Frangipanni Gloves & Aphrodisiac Guide February 2010
Dear Fragrant Friends,
We haven’t even had a chance to get deep enough in hibernation mode, and it’s already spring: Vancouver is enjoying a very mild winter this year (how ironic with the 2010 Wintner Olympic Games just on our doorstep…). The days are getting longer, and the trees quickly change their wardrobe accordingly with fragrant flowers of yellow and pink… All the more reason to celebrate life and love this season!
We are going to be busy this spring with a few gala events. And also have very exciting news about a new soliflore: Frangipanni Gloves. Also in this newsletter, a few ideas for gifts for Valentine's Day and aphrodisiacs you can concoct and enjoy at home - both fancy and simple.
In this newsletter:
- Frangipanni Gloves: New Perfume to Help Save Bloedel Floral Conservatory
- Tell-Alls From Our Aphrodisiac Tea Party (January 31st)
- Academie Duello's Evening of Chivalry (February 6th)
- Global Agents for Change 4th Annual Gala (March 27th)
- Flavours of Love: Red Hot Atzec Chocolate Recipe
- Chocolate Truffles – Taking Orders for Valentine’s Day
- February Gift with Purchase: Roses et Chocolat Tealights
- Contest: Post your reviews online and win!
- Heart-Shaped Jewels for Your Valentine
- Ayala's Aphrodisiac Guide 2010
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1. Frangipanni Gloves: New Perfume to Help Save Bloedel Floral Conservatory
one of those indecisive April days, alternating between cloudy and
warm, and pouring rain. For a while, we sought refuge inside the glass
dome that housed tropical birds & flowers. There, near the pink
parrot that refused to have his pictures taken, I met a blooming
frangipanni tree in Vancouver for the first time. You can imagine my
happiness: frangipanni is one of my favourite flowers and I have many
fond memories associated with its scent. I took with me this single
blooming flower that fell off the tree, and savoured it for hours
afterward, analyzing its aroma in my head, making notes in my journal
as to how to capture its scent. The result is Frangipanni Gloves: a
perfume that layers a whiff of frangipanni flowers with the
leathery-powdery undertones of suede perfumed gloves of Victorian era.
This tropical white floral perfume has an intoxicating yet delicate
aroma, sweet and humid, underlined with suede-leather nuances and a
hint of spice". (read the rest of the story behind Frangipanni Gloves here)
go to the Bloedel Floral Conservatory in Queen Elizabeth Park in
Vancouver. It is thanks to this wonderful tropical gem at the heart of
our raincity that I was able to find a real, living frangipanni flower
for reference. Unfortunately, the City of Vancouver has cut its funding
to sustain the conservatory and it is scheduled to close March 1st,
2010. This will leave tens of tropical birds and plants homeless, and
is a huge loss for the people of Vancouver!
When you purchase
Frangipanni Gloves, you are also helping this cause. Frangipannin
Gloves is offered for a limited time only, until March 1st, which is the scheduled date for closing Bloedel Floral Conservatory. For every bottle sold, $50 is donated to Bloedel Floral Conservatoryshut-down March 1st, 2010. ($30 for mini bottles).
the fundraiser succeeds, and it will not close - Frangiapnni Gloves
will remain in our regular collection and I will continue to donate
money to Bloedel, so that we can continue to enjoy the scent of real
living frangipanni flowers!
It can be purchased on Etsy or via Ayala Moriel Parfums.
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2.Tell-Alls From Our Aphrodisiac Tea Party (January 31st)
Here are some pics as well as the menu from the Aphrodisiac Tea Party on Sunday, January 31st. It was the most highly attended tea party in my
history of tea party hosting. Thankfully, there was enough tea (and
cups!) for everyone! Food seems to always be over abundant, and this
time nothing was gone to waste...
I'm giving you an account of the party, in hopes that you can join us in future tea parties (wherever you are...), as well as get inspired to make your own Valentine's Day celebrations sensual, delightful and full of love! No matter if you have a significant other at the moment, you should be able to enjoy this holiday like any other holiday. Gather a few other friends and enjoy each other's company, the delight of tea and accompanying treats, simple or complex (please note: most of the recipes mentioned in the menu are avaialble on SmellyBlog or in the 2009 Aphrodisiac Menus newsletter.
The photo you've seen at the top of this newsletter are
aphrodisiacs for the presentation, which I stored in a Valentine cookie box, and these are the dry
raw aromatics - ambrette seed, rose petals, tonka bean, costu root,
ambergris, pink peppercorns and a nutmeg; we smelled the essential oils
and absolutes as well; and we also smelled essences such as myrrh,
jasmine, tuberose, East Indian sandalwood and labdanum.
Some interesting stats: we had a total of just over 30 guests; we brewed about 15
liters of tea, eaten 5 loaves of bread (made into delicious tea
sandwiches), 19 cupcakes, 12 mini cheesecakes, 80 truffles or so, and
an unknown number of cookies (still tons left, for the lucky studio
guests in the next couple of weeks, and for myself!). I was very fortunate to have the assistance of two lovely ladies - Jessica and Jolanta. Without you, I wouldn't have been able to do this, really! So THANK YOU, and once again - THANK YOU - to both of you!
Tomato-Basil open sandwiches (these were heart shaped!)
Wasabi-Cucumber tea sandwiches
Minted Radishes tea sandwiches
2nd Tier: Scones, Cream & Jam
Heart-shaped whole wheat and rose bud scones
Concord grapes and blue cheese scones
Served with Devonshire cream and wild Rose-Petal jelly (Wild Westcoast Rainforest Products) and Lavender jelly (Preserved BC Sunshine)
3rd Tier: Small cakes and Petit-Fours
Blood-Orange Mini Cheescakes
Banana & nutmeg cupcakes with peanut butter icing or caramel sauce
Raspberry Brownies (recipe by Wendy Boys from Cocolico)
4th Tier: Cookies
Ginger Ice-box Cookies
5th Tier: Truffles
Blood Truffles (70% dark chocolate with roses, chili and saffron)
White Potion Truffles (white chocolate with tuberose, almond and coconut)
Roses et Chocolat (Ayala Moriel)
Earl Gray Cream (Herbal Republic)
Charisma (Ayala Moriel)
Jasmine & Rose house blend
Immortelle l’Amour (Ayala Moriel) – rooibos based
Aztec-inspired Spiced Hot Chocolate (Cocoa) - see recipe below.
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3. Academie Duello's Evening of Chivalry (February 6th)
Academie Duello, North America's Premier School of Modern Swordplay. is opening the doors of their new location... with a GRAND OPENING GALA!
Ayala Moriel is one of the sponsor, providing fragrant chocolate truffles and a special Valentine's Day gift-box!
Please join us for live musical performances from the lovely melodic Soft Focus and the Gypsy-esque stylings of acclaimed violinist and composer Lache Cercel and his band.
As part of the celebration, there will be live Swordplay performances and Duello's brand new Arms and Armor Museum will be brought to life for you to peruse. As well, there will be nibblies from NUBA, Imbibements, and hand made truffles from Ayala Moriel.
Tickets are $25 and include a glass of celebratory champagne and everything else above.
Tickets are available at the Academie Duello Front desk and at the door. Did I mention door prizes? You don't want to miss this event!
Where: 412 W. Hastings
When: Saturday, February 6th, 7:30-11:00pm
4. Global Agents for Change 4th Annual Gala (March 27th)
Ayala Moriel will be donating $550 Signature Perfume Gift Voucher for the silent auction at the Global Agents for Change 4th annual gala.
The Gala will be held on Saturday, March 27th, 2010 at the Vancity Theatre. The program comprises of the Young Agents Awards, a silent auction, cocktail reception, live entertainment, and guest speakers.
Since its inception in 2006, Global AFC has raised over $200,000, and gained recognition and support from the Government of Canada, The United Nations, and the Vancouver Board of Trade.
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5. Flavour of Love: Red Hot Atzec Chocolate
In the movie Chocolat, Vianne (the chocolatier played by Juliette Binoche) serves Armande (the diabetic lady played by Judi Dench) a special concoction spiked with what she mistakenly recognizes as rancid cinnamon – but was actually hot chilli pepper.
The Aztecs and the Mayans were the first to concoct cocoa beverages, using a species of cocoa that grows in the deep forests and has a far less bitter taste than the cultivate cocoa beans grown elsewhere in the world. Therefore, they needn’t sweeten it at all! They cooked the roasted beans in water and spiced this with vanilla, cinnamon and hot chillis. Sometimes it was also thickened with corn meal, to make a nourishing drink. Cacao was a sacred thing, considered a gift from the gods and also used in ceremonies where it represented blood. The beverage, originally called xocolatl by the Aztecs, was believed to give power and strength, as well as act as an aphrodisiac.
The movie has inspired me to cook my own hot chocolate aphrodisiac, and I will gladly share my recipe here with you. The ingredients, as in any recipe, make all the difference between an ordinary muddy beverage to an exquisite hot chocolate. Dutch processed cocoa is less acidic and more flavoruful. It has an unmistakable reddish colour (as opposed to the dusty-brown of inferior cocoa powders). Black chilli peppers have a rich, rounded flavour and are also quite sweet comparing to other chillis. And the brown sugar adds a nutty caramel flavour.
The recipe is simple but feels very wholesome and authentic. It is richer and fuller than a hot chocolate cooked from cocoa powder only, but not as rich (and choking…) as the hot chocolates that are made of full milk, heavy cream and melted chocolate. I think it’s perfect – served as a fancy dessert drink (you can top it off with a whole, dry red hot chili pepper for an impressive decoration), a seductive bed-time treat or even as a breakfast power drink.
2 cups milk of your favourite caliber (1% works just fine for me)
1 Tbs. Dutch cocoa powder
2 Tbs. brown sugar
30 gr. bitter 75% chocolate (I like Lindt – 3 squares equal to 30gr.)
½ tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
Black chilli pepper for garnishing
In a small, clean and dry saucepan, mix the cocoa and sugar in a small using a small whisk. Slowly add the milk, while continuously whisking the mixture to prevent lumps from forming. Cook on a medium heat, until very warm, than add the chocolate squares and the vanilla extract. Stir well to avoid sticking to the bottom. Cook until milk is just about to start bubbling.
Serve hot, in small cups, sprinkled with black ground chilli pepper – or your favourite hot pepper or cayenne. Other spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom will work well too.
For an even more spicy, aromatic hot chocolate, add the following whole spices to the milk before cooking:
1 Cinnamon stick
4 Cardamom pods
2 clove buds
6. Chocolate Truffles – Taking Orders for Valentine’s Day
Chocolate is an ancient aphrodisiac, due to its unique molecule, theobramine, which simulates endorphin: the hormone that is released when we fall in love, and makes us feel so euphoric and happy about the rest of the world.
For the chocaholics among you, or those wishing to induce the feelings of (or falling in) love in a yet-unwilling (and unsuspecting) subject of thier love, nothing can beat a box of chocolates. And ours are lovingly hand-rolled AND spiked with some of the most potent aphrodisiacs: rose petals, chili, saffron (in our Blood truffles), lavender and nutmeg (in the Lovender truffles) or tuberose and almonds (in our White Potion truffles). We can also make custom-flavours per request (minimum order for custom truffles: 60 truffles).
This coming week, we have available a full stock of the Blood Truffles, Guilt Truffles and Lovender truffles, so you can order a truffle gift bag for these flavours.
Shipping information: Since our truffles are made with fresh cream, they are prishable and must be shipped overnight. Please note that within Canada, truffles will be shipped Xpresspost for the regular price as specified in the checkout. For USA orders, truffles must be shipped via FedEx overnight (beginning at $48). International shipping for truffles is not available at this time.
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7. February Gift with Purchase: Roses et Chocolat Tealights
During the month of February, all orders over $50 will receive a Roses et Chocolat tealight candle*.
And may we remind you of our fantastic gift packages that offer the complete experience of Roses et Chocolat! This is the most romantic gift package imaginable, with Roses et Chocolat parfum, candle, tea and truffles!
* Offer excludes sample orders.
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8. Contest: Post your reviews online and win!
February contest: post a review of The Purple Dress or Frangipanni Gloves on Basenotes, Fragrantica or MakeUpAlley and enter to win a mini bottle of either perfume you reviewed.
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9. Heart-Shaped Jewels for Your Valentine
Check out the new poison rings we curated especially for Valentine's Day. These beautiful pieces contain solid perfume of your choice, and are romantic and unique. The newest in stock are the Turquoise Heart (pictured above), Red Coral ring and Aztec Red Jasper poison ring with three cabouchons.
10. Ayala's Aphrodisiac Guide 2010
Passion, seduction, romance, flirt... What's your approach to love?
Express your emotions and attract the love you deserve with these
gorgeous all-natural aromatic aphrodisiacs. Pick your potion among 9 irresistible concoctions, offered at a special discount through February 14th. More details here.