"MRS. LANDINGHAM: (refering to her car)... And when you get inside, there's this... (Mrs. Landingham gestures, trying to find the right word).
MRS. LANDINGHAM: How did you know?
BARTLET: It's the smell of freedom...and the chemicals they treat the dashboard with".
(Aaron Sorkin, "The West Wing", S2 E21 "18th and Potomac")
The season of freedom is here, and with it the celebration of independence both in Canada (July 1st) and Fourth of July in the United States. Before you all take off to blow off firecrackers gather for a neaighbourhood barbecue or canoing expedition - let's take a moment or two to relish in the smell of freedom. After all, this is what makes the North American continent so admirable.
And I'd like to wish a peaceful Ramadan and easy fasting to those of among you celebrating this month. Ramadan Mubarak!
To celebrate all these important holidays with you, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders through July 7th. Also, early bird registration for this fall's perfumery courses, and pre-orders for my new book are extended till then.
The great Canadian landscape alone brings to mind freedom and possibilities. The pure air inspires clear thoughts, and tolerance, politeness and honesty seems to the trait this nation holds dear and practices on a daily basis.
As far as smells goes, I can assure you that my perfumes are as polite as can be! Even though Canada is known for its ongoing policies against offensive odours, you can be sure your co-workers won't even notice that you've snicked on some Espionage on your wrists... Unless they decide to sexually harass you, which is very unlikely in our law-abiding country (thank goodness to that!).
But office and other politics aside - Canada's natural wild floral an fauna, while not as diverse as its citezens, is utterly abundant. Here you'll find more coniferous trees then anywhere in the world. No matter how hard we try to log them, those trees keep growing back, thankfully!
Canada is coniferous trees and maple syrup from coast to coast, perhaps with a touch of castoreum... Yet somehow, every year I discover a new fragrant plant that is inspiring and unique to this continent. You can read more in the 2014 edition of "Smells Like Canada" on SmellyBlog, and also add a comment for a chance to win a Gaucho mini, and handmade incense cones inspired by the First Nationas smudging ceremony with sage and tobacco.
FUR: You won't find any Canadian beaver secretions (aka castoreum) in any of my perfumes, because they are cruelty free. But Espionagecomes as close as it gets to good ol' Canadian fur. In this case, I've used cade oil (destructive distillation of juniper) to create the smoky, tannin quality of leather, along with tobacco leaf and loads of vanilla and tonka bean. The result has been compared to single malt whiskey and pipe tobacco.
Enjoy fir and many other coniferous notes (cedar, pine, spruce, juniper...) both in the sharp, refreshing essential oil, and the sweeter, almost jam-like and resinous absolute form, where they add a unique sweetness to these perfumes:
PINE: Rainforest was ironically my attempt at creating the scent of earh-after-rain in Israel using spikenard - a rare biblical root that smells like wet earth . I must have added too much pine and spruce, because it smells exactly like Stanley Park!
MAPLE: Immortelle l'Amour was inspired by the Quebeqoise maple-harvets celebration, and the Tire sur le Neiges tradition of making taffy on spring's last snow. Maple-scented helicrysum is paired with notes of cinnamon waffles and orange juice essence - bringing brunch to a whole new level of seductive gourmand goodness.
SPRUCE: Orcasis not just about sea salt and whales - but also the beatuiful ancient rainforests that kiss the Pacific oceans. Black Hemlock Spruce absolute plays an important role here, and thre is even an Orcas Beard Oil, so that you can untangle your locks after a day at sea. EauMG described it as follows: "Trying this again, I was reminded of just how much I like the Orcas fragrance. The Beard Oil is a sharp, green geranium with fresh rosemary. It’s bitter-green-fresh with salt air".
RED CEDAR: Blackbeard Oil has become somewhat of a cult fragrance. EauMG recently reviewed it for Father's Day "Smells like red cedar at a lumberyard and dries down to a soft sandalwood. It’s an astringent woodsy-woods lumberjack fragrance". It's also a great way to keep your hipster beard looking and smelling fresh while camping.
Treazonis the only perfume I created with wintergreen. This is the real stuff, steam distilled from wild wintergreen leaves and blossoming tops (Gaultheria fragrantissima). I used it to accentuated the bitter, medicinal and slightly grape-like aspects of tuberose. The wild wintergreen, along with birch, really brings out the intensity of the flower after dark. Add to that vanilla, a hint of cinnamon, hyraceum and orange blossom and - voila! A killer tuberose was born! It was even nominated for the 2013 Indie FiFi Awards.
Tobacco is a sacred plantin all Native American tribes. The first to use it were probably the Mayan Indians, and its use was spread throughout the entire continent. Tobacco was an essential element in most Native American rituals, and was used in different ways: placed as an offering to the gods or the spirits, burnt on the fire, smoked in a pipe or the leaves were rolled into the ancient forms of cigars in South and Central America (at times also elaborately decorated). Pipes were smoked to “seal deals” and agreements between tribes. The pipes themselves have a symbolic meaning: the “straw” part is considered projective or masculine, and the bowl where the tobacco is burnt is considered receptive, or feminine. There is a significance to the materials from which the pipes are made as well, and cultural messages hidden within the decoration of some pipes (which has become particularly elaborate in Central and Southern America).
I love working with tobacco, and have created several perfumes with it, including my best-selling Espionage, and the whimsical Rebellius, which has a sweeter, almost chocolatey take on tobacco; the soapy-clean Sabotage, and the pipe-tobacco scent of Espionage. I would love to hear from you what scents you think are typically American.
Visit Now Smell This to read Robin's review of my newest perfume, Musk Malabi:
"It's bright and cheerful, and perfect for spring. Very much worth a try for anyone, but especially recommended for neroli freaks. I would love to have a bottle of Musk Malabi, along with Moriel's equally cheerful Etrog Oy de Cologne".
EauMG reviews our two masculine grooming oils: Blackbeard Oil and Orcas Hair & Beard Oil:
"...if you like natural oils and if you think you’d like smelling like a lumberyard or salt air, then don’t let 'beard' shy you away. These are high-quality oils with great fragrances".
Cafleurebon dubbed Les Nuages de Joie Jauneas one of the world's top 10 mimosa perfumes! Too bad that I have to let this one go. There is one last bottle waiting for you here.
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July 17th, 5-7pm: Rose Garden Stroll & Scent SalonStop and smell the roses!
Join master perfumer Ayala Moriel for a delightful afternoon at Stanley Park's classic Rose Garden. This interactive class will explore the evolution of the rose, as a flower and a fragrance. Find out how the yellow colour in hybrid tea roses affects their perfume (i.e.: the Tahitian Sunset rose pictured below smells like apricot and vanilla!), how rose oil is distilled and extracted, and see some examples of the rose’s unique place in art, poetry, mystical botanical symbolism, and of course - perfume. Rosy refreshments will be served picnic-style.
$46/per person, including a sample of rose perfume you'll take home with you! Limited to 15 participants.
Contact me via phone (778) 863-0806 or email to book your spot.
Additionally, I will have my Rose Connoisseur Summer Coffret for sale at the garden, with 8 of my rosiest perfume: Bouquet of Love, Cabaret, Fête d'Hiver, Roses et Chocolat, Rosebud, Song of Songs, Tea Rose and Ayala Moriel's newest perfume: Musk Malabi.
Correspondence Course, Private Lessons & New Book!If you are not able to attend my classes in person, you can sign up for my correspondence course which includes the Foundation of Natural Perfumery Book plus 5 one-hour sessions with me via phone/Skype. I also offer private sessions - either in person at my studio, or via phone/Skype for $200/hr - perfect for students who live remotely and need to brush up on certain lab skills, techniques or want to get personal feedback for their work. The 2014 edition of the Foundations of Natural Perfumery Book is now available for pre-order, and will be completed late summer/early fall. Pre-orders are helping me greatly in setting off some of the printing and graphic re-design costs, as this will be self published. We are printing it here in Vancouver; and also will be offering an electronic edition online later this year.