Ayala Moriel Parfums

New Perfumes

Read about the stories behind Ayala's latest perfumes.

  1. Hanami
  2. Sahleb
  3. Vetiver Racinettes
  4. Gigi
  5. Gaucho
  6. Immortelle l'Amour



Perfume In A Poem, March 2008: 15 perfumers were invited by Memory & Desire blog editor Heather Ettlinger to interpret one poem. Hanami is my contribution to the project. And although it refers to the Japanese tradition of flower viewing, it is really about the contrast of the botanical and the urbane; between real life and still-life.

Some of out most accurate feelings can be defined by tactile everyday details: Hot pavement in humid New York City; The liberating sense of anonymity in Montreal’s dusty Metro; The surprising blooming cherry boulevard above Burrard SkyTrain station, washed out by the Vancouver rain; Almond blossoms wasted in the dusty desert wind like wilted butterfly wings.

I wanted this perfume to be subtle and urban, floral but also dusty-dirty. The kind of dirt you wash from your hair after commuting back from work in the Metro, your clothes and skin contaminated with the lives of strangers and passers by. And for a moment you give away a part of yourself just so that you can return back home…

I want this perfume to randomly create an ever-changing, estranged impression on the beings that weave in and out of its presence… And the notes I chose to spell this emotional haiku are:



Top notes: Cabreuva, Frangipani, Mimosa, Rosewood

Heart notes: Pink Lotus, Magnolia, Tuberose, Violet Leaf, Oleander

Base notes: Haitian Vetiver, Tonka Bean, Cassie, Siamwood, Vanilla CO2, Copaiba Balsam, Bakul Attar

Hanami is now available online, just in time for the Hanami season which spans from end of March to beginning of April (varying with location and weather). Cherry blossom are hesitatingly opening up to the doubtful spring air in Vancouver, while in Japan they are at the peak. 



A flower and a dessert… Sahleb is the stuff dreams are made of. Flavoured with rosewater and crushed mastic resin, Sahleb (orchid in Arabic) emerges from every street corner in steaming copper caldrons. The creamiest orris root is the core of this buttery-smooth perfume;  complete with rosewater, vanilla and butter and topped with coconut, cardamom, mastic and nutty ambrette – Sahleb is ready to seduce you into winter.

Ayala Moriel is proud to introduce Sahleb: the perfume version of a Middle Eastern winter favourite. This scrumptious pudding beverage, flavoured with rosewater and crushed mastic resin is offered by street vendors straight from a copper caldron throughout the cooler seasons across the Middle East. Served warm and topped with coconut, pistachio and cardamom, Sahleb has become an essential part of winter and a way to make even the gloomiest street corners cozy and home-like.

The creamiest orris root from Italy was used to create the smooth texture of this starchy and soothing pudding-beverage. A hint of the finest rose otto from Turkey, coconut and butter essence and crushed mastic resin complete the exotic flavour, and finished with a hint of vanilla and nutty ambrette seed Sahleb is ready to seduce you into winter!

Top Notes: Coriander Seed, Rosewood, Mastic Resin
Heart Notes: Orris, Rose Otto, Butter
Base Notes: Ambrette Seed, Coconut, Vanilla Absolute

Fragrance Family: Floral Powdery, Gourmand
*Available in Parfum Extrait

Orchid, Pudding, Perfume: Behind the Scenes with Sahleb Perfume


Sahleb perfume was born from three simple elements: Beurre d’Iris, butter essence the obscure and comforting pudding-beverage. It was meant to be a simple comfort scent, with no particular baggage or deep history. The name of the beverage suggests its origin: Sahleb is in Arabic word for orchid (Sachlav in Hebrew).  And indeed, Sahleb is made of the ground starchy bulb of a Mediterranean species of orchids: Early Red Orchid (Orchis mascula). 

Several orris butters have passed by my nose in my last 8 years of perfumery.  But no orris root really fascinated and excited me as much as a particular batch I received from Eden Botanical: Beurre d’Iris (aka orris butter -which really is the essential oil, but with a consistency of crumbly butter or powdery wax). It come stright from Florence, Italy, where the Iris pallida grows, and is the most creamy, smooth and sweet orris I’ve ever encountered. Warm rather than the cool and vague, distant powderiness that most orris butter present.

Orris butter is one of the most precious perfumery materials, currently set at nearly $7,000 per pound. There is much labour involved in the process: the roots need to be washed and peeled by hand and than mature for several years in dark cellars. They are than pulverized before being distilled into an essential oil. Lastly, the yield is relatively low which makes it prohibitive; yet at the same time, the presence of irone, a violet-like molecule similar in its aroma to ionone, makes it invaluable in perfumery. The particular orris butter in question had 15% irone, which is almost the highest irone content one can hope for (sometimes, 20% irone is available).

The butter CO2 is a molecular distillation of this beloved dairy product. If you ever fry your eggs with a bit of butter, or make homebaked crumbly butter cookies or pie crusts - this is the scent of butter CO2. When I first smelled it I was simultaneously repulsed and intrigued by how realistic and potent it was. It simply hits your nose with this burnt-butter sensation, suffocating and comforting at once. Just like a late, fat Sunday brunch.

My constant inspiration comes from home, where I grew up in the Middle East, surrounded by an abundance of flavours and fragrances native to my country. I miss all of the plants and smells and flavours when I am here in Vancouver. Especially on days when I go to my neighborhood  Middle Eastern deli and there is no sahleb on the shelf (or worse: no tahini! But that’s because my brother probably ate all of the tahini supply in the city in his 12 months stay in Vancouver). On days like this a perfume can help bridge over the physical distance and give the illusion of closeness, and the comfortable certainty of nostalgia.

For those of you who haven’t been fortunate enough to try sahleb (yet), you must know that it is the most comforting beverage you can imagine, and at the same time exotic and intriguing. It is made of ground starchy orchid root powder, cooked with milk and a bit of sugar and rosewater (sometimes ground mastic resin is added too). It is served warm and topped with crushed pistachios, coconut and spice (most typically cardamom and cinnamon). In Café Clil in my home village, it is served with a split banana and some peanuts on the side as well, which is original, different yet appropriate.

Somehow, it all came together in my mind and I was determined to make a perfume inspired by Sahleb. Sahleb required subtleness and richness and had to be very milky and starchy. So it was only natural that I would use the obviously milky butter essence, and the haunting orris butter with 15% irone. And that how Sahleb was born. Ambrette seed was crucial for the composition’s fatty quality and also to make it more perfumey and skin-like. There is only very little rose in the perfume, as well as a bit of mastic resin tincture which I had to prepare myself. The spices and top notes used also have some starchy quality to them – coriander and rosewood.

Unfortunately, when I was ready to launch Sahleb this season, I learned that my supplier have run out of the orris and were not able to anticipate when this quality iris will be back in stock. I have a feeling that the wave of iris scents that washed us throughout last year (i.e.: Iris Ganache, Infusion d’Iris…) have used up a large portion of the world’s supplies and I am now in a bit of a panic regarding finding quality orris butter for my perfumes.

Therefore, I have decided to launch Sahleb as an exclusive limited edition, which means with a price point ($160)  that truly reflects it’s cost, and in very limited run of only 11 bottles (2 of which were already taken). Also, there are no samples offered for Sahleb perfume - aside from samples that I have given out before I knew of this little “orris crisis”, and 4 more that are in stock there will be no samples available.


Vetiver Racinettes

Ayala Moriel is proud to present a new, limited-edition perfume for summer 2008:
Vetiver Racinettes.

Vetiver is the root of a tropical grass native to India, Indonesia and Java. It is known for its calming and cooling effect on both mind and body, and is considered “The Scent of Tranqulity” in India.

Ruh Khus is wild vetiver from India distilled in the wilderness, in portable copper still. Its distinct earthy, copper-like aroma, married with the intense licorice sweetness of tarragon absolute creates an outstanding aroma never to be explored before in the realm of the vetiver perfume genre. Along with vetiver from four other countries, Vetiver Racinettes is at once earthy, sweet and cool like the aromatic roots and rootlets brewed to a bubbly rootbeer.

Vetiver Racinettes was born out of a long period of intensive study of this singular note, which really was part of a personal journey to better understanding of my own physical and emotion connection. At that time last year, I had a deep need for its therapeutic qualities and cooling effect and I have become aware of vetiver's many virtues and its particular connection to the well being of the people and the planet in present day. Vetiver is a purifying, sacred root with a woody aroma, and in many ways I feel that it takes on a similar role that was once reserved to sacred woods such as sandal and oud.

The result of my vetiver journey is a perfume that contains all of the elements that I've ever loved in the vetiver scents I've tried, as well as my own conclusions from my journey in the route of vetiver. It has the warmth of earth and firey spices and at the same time - the coolness of clay and vetiver curtains sprinkled with water; the medicinal dryness of herbs and grasses and the luxurious tenacity of woods; the sweetness of tarragon and earth with the bitterness of coffee and mud.

Vetiver Racinettes starts off warm and spicy, and will remain that way for a while when worn in a cool weather - accentuating the sweet tarragon, spice and coffee notes. However, in the heat of the summer it will quickly transform into a cooling elixir, bringing a quiet calm to one's physical and emotional existence, like drinking fresh water from a cool well, directly from the spout of a clay jar.

Top notes: Black Pepper, Fresh Ginger, Cardamom, Kaffir Lime Leaf
Heart notes: Haitian Vetiver , Nutmeg Asbolute, Coffee, Spikenard
Base notes: Ruh Khus, Indonesian Vetiver, Vetiver Bourbon, Attar Mitti, Tarragon Absolute, Cepes

Vetiver Racinettes is a limited edition fragrance that will be available throughout Summer 2008. We are currently sold out of the first batch, and the next batch will be ready on the official launch date, June 21st, is the first day of Summer. Advance orders are available through the website and will be shipped on a first-come first-serve basis, so hurry up - our batches are very small!

Vetiver Racinettes is available in 9ml parfum extrait flacon ($110), Perfumed Pendant ($150) 10ml perfume-oil roll-on bottle ($130) and 5ml perfume-oil roll-on bottle ($65).


While evolution often follows challenge and crisis, few will admit that a sign that you have truly evolved is when your life, all of a sudden, has everything you dreamed of, sans the drama. Strangely enough, I find myself today, the scheduled launch date of my grand gardenia soliflore GiGi to be quite lacking any deeply emotional stories tales related to this dramatic floral note.

Where to begin? Perhaps the name choice. It is in reference to the musical of that name, starring the youthful, innocently tomboyish Leslie Caron. Somehow, the sentence about “making love in a gardenia scented garden” is the only thing from the film that got stuck in my mind forever and that’s where the name came from... While I can’t say there is anything un-romantic about it, in that context it seems so overtly dramatic to the point of ridicule. Which is precisely the direction I was heading for - lighthearted even if a bit mysterious (you can’t avoid that with gardenia!); rather than the Bluesy, Billie-Holiday-esque gardenia ornaments, a gardenia that is open to your own interpretation, with a mood that is easy to manipulate.

The focus here is on creating a rich, creamy gardenia from complex natural essences only. A true challenge indeed, when you cannot use Benzyl acetate; not to mention (E)-ocimene, linalool, asmine lactone, or gamma-decalactone (used to create gardenia headspace).

Instead, I have created an odour profile reminiscent of gardenia using the following notes:
Top notes:

Yellow Mandarin - chosen for it’s intense heady-floral aroma, reminiscent of creamy tuberose

Coriander essential oil and Cardamom CO2 - for their exotic spiciness, adding a hint of spice to the gardenia profile

Kewda Attar - for the sharpness, headiness, and hyacinth-like top notes that are somewhat resembling the head notes of gardenia

Rosewood - chosen for the abundance of linalol content, creating that smooth and soft, clean yet heady floral top notes.
For the heart notes I created a rich, creamy white-floral-indolic accord, using precious absolutes of:

Jasmine Sambac - the closest I’ve ever found to the scent of fresh gardenia, persistent, and somewhat green and fruity all at once

Jonquille - richly indolic, powdery, animalic and sweet, somewhat green as well

Tuberose - creamy, soft, suave and very close to gardenia absolute (which is a rare find that turns out only very rarely).

As for the base - the trick was to not overdo it as to not overpower the delicate floral heart, while extending the life of these fragile notes. I’ve chosen notes that complement the other ones, but are also rich and soft and subtle:

Myrrh - adding a hint of bittersweetness, which is very important in a gardenia.

Sandalwood from India - from the very last batch I was able to obtain; sandalwood trees in India are becoming extinct, and hence GiGi will probably not be around for too long... At least not in its exact current form - as other sandalwoods do smell different and are less creamy and deeply rich.

Ambrette CO2 - adding depth and a soft muskiness, sweet but not cloying, and adding an effect that is reminiscent of Monoi de Tahiti on a sun-warmed skin.

Vetiver from Sri-Lanka - contributing to the sun-warmed skin and beach notes in the dry out phase.

Vanilla CO2 and Absolute - for a round, soft sweetness.

GiGi is available for a limited time only (until my sandalwood runs out!!!), in the 1/4oz parfum extrait flacons, or parfum oil roll-on bottles, and of course the 1ml sample vials so you can try before you buy.


Crisp. Bright. Sweet. Melancholic. Herbaceous. Where Spring meets Autumn and Autumn meets something else... I knew it but I only had to make the grass grow in the right direction now.

The end of my search for those final drops that will make or break my Gaucho schemes was certainly the most challenging part. Too much was at stake now so my adventurous side was a bit timid (a disadvantage?); On the other hand, I was so close I knew what I need is just the minute amount of the right essences, and it would be perfect. Jasmine auriculatum in minuscule amount seemed to be adding the right effect - rounding off like this indespensable floral note yet without smelling like a flower. I wanted more bitterness though. Would wormwood be too much? I think not... Let's just try it and if it doesn't we'll have to start all over again... Yes, just this tiny bit was perfect. Getting very close now... But something IS missing. Something to add to the quirky, unusual side of things. All of a sudden I realize: booze. Yes, booze to let my Gaucho a little loose... The formidable green cognac absolute. In this context not so much as a booze breath, but rather adding a juicy, green-grape quality, chiming like a crystal bell with the galbanum top notes. Perhaps even metallic. All of a sudden it's the brass band in a Steely Dan intro, streaming vocals filtered through studio acoustic effects and all blending together into oneness.

Crisp. Bright. Sweet. Melancholic. Herbaceous. Where Spring meets Autumn and Autumn meets something else... This is where my Gaucho was heading, with herds of cows and spreading wilderness ahead of its horse. It was time to set my Gaucho free, let him loose to meet the world outside of my mind's internal trails and grasslands.

Well, the big day has finally arrived March 21st 2008: it's time for Gaucho to go to his journey on his own. This time to meet new people around the world. For a limited time only, it will be packaged in a different shape of bottle than the rest of my collection - a crystal-clear rectangular bottle rather than the frosted teardrop one. After all, this is my first big release that is decidedly masculine (even though the first two customers who bought it were ladies).

Immortelle l'Amour

Fiery flower withholds
the moments of untold love
Written with the flames of phoenix feather
Leaving ashes forming into letters
Our walk was interrupted by the ghostly winds
and misty sea spray remained on our breath
Two hearts warming to the dancing flames in a fireplace
Skewered together with that same bleeding feather
Their longing for a kiss freezes on the snow
Like Tire sur la neige




The maple-like nuances of immortelle absolute are used here along with sweet orange, cinnamon, wheat and three different infusions of vanilla, creating a perfume that truly captures the aroma of cinnamon-pancakes and Tire d’Erable (“taffee on the snow”), an inseparable part of the Quebec heritage in the Maple Harvest Festivals. You’ll find it hard to resist licking this perfume, but it will prove to be a true friend for a love-injured heart. Immortelle l'Amour will be available as parfum extrait and in a tea-form.

Top Notes: Sweet Orange, Cinnamon
Heart Notes: Rooibos Tea, Broom
Base Notes: Immortelle, Vanilla, Wheat

Immortelle l'Amour will be launched for Fall-Winter 2007-2008, along with a complementary tea blend, and will be available exclusively through Ayala Moriel Parfums starting November 2007.


More About the Inspiration of Immortelle l'Amour

Immortelle l’Amour, my new perfume created for the chilly fall and winter months tells the story of undying love. The formula was ready long ago, yet it was particularly difficult for me to name the perfume. Although I had a few names – all with an equal appeal of both meaning and sound – I had to choose the right one and know it’s right before releasing the perfume. When it comes to matters of love, it sometimes takes courage to say the truth. And so I ended up with the name that seemed to me, at first, to be too romantic, bordering on the cliché… Once I realized this is the right name, the best to describe both the botanical and inspirational origin of the perfume, I felt the time was ripe and it was just a matter of picking a particularly chilly day in November to release it to the world and add some warmth when its most needed.

Immortelle l’Amour was inspired by the immortality of true love and the unique aroma and energy of the everlasting flower – Immortelle. Immortelle, also know as helicrysum and everlasting flower, has. The essential oil is known for its unusual healing properties, including pain relief and skin rejuvenation. The Latin name Helicrysum points to its connection to the sun and its own healing properties, bringing a soothing warmth to the soul.

In Immortelle l’Amour, the helicrysum (immortelle) flower absolute is used as the main theme for the perfume. Unlike the essential oil of helicrysum, which is herbaceous and honeyed (very similar to both chamomile and marigold), the absolute has a dark, ambery fragrance with a somewhat spicy-earthy underlining note, reminiscent of both fenugreek and maple syrup (incidenatally, both immortelle and fenugreek are used int eh flavour industry to create a maple-syrup flavour.

The immortelle note is juxtaposed with a rich vanilla accord, using a few different varieties of vanilla: a dark absolute from Madagascar, a vanilla CO2 from Bourbon islands, and a tincture of vanilla which I made from plump vanilla pods (seeds and all) from Ghana. Another home-made tincture is used – that of red tea (rooibos), as this material is rarely available in the market as an absolute. Another interesting edible note that I’ve used is wheat absolute. It has a very subtle, iodine-like note, and along with cinnamon CO2 Immortelle l’Amour fills the air with an authentic warm cinnamon-waffles with maple smell… As it dries down, it feels as though an invisible maple taffee is spread upon my skin, sans the stickiness…



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