Read about the stories behind Ayala's latest perfumes.
- Vetiver Racinettes
- 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.
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…
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
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.
Ayala Moriel is proud to present a new, limited-edition perfume for summer 2008:
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.
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
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).
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.
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
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…