Holiday Market Food Drive

The Signage, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

This weekend at Portobello West - full 2-day shopping experience where Vancouverites can connect with local indy fashion designers and artists.

This time, we are having a food drive to support Greater Vancouver's Food Bank. Vendors and guests at the market are invited to donate non-perishable food items or money to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Each $1 you donate is worth $3 of food, that will be given to families and individuals struggling to put food on the table this winter.

To contribute, I will be donating $3 from each truffle box I'm selling to the foodbank, and also $1 from each individual truffle sold to help this cause. Your help is much appreciated!

Our featured flavours this weekend include 3 new flavours, two of which are holiday specialties only:

Jasmine Noir - New Flavour! - 70% dark chocolate with basil, jasmine and Sambuca

Blood Truffles - 70% dark chocolate with Turkish rose otto, saffron, chilli and sweet Marsala

White Potion - white chocolate with vanilla pods, organic tuberose, tuberose absolute, coconut and Kirsch

Charisma Truffles - white chocolate with vanilla pods, osmanthus, spearmint, jasmine sambac and Matcha tea.

Immortelle l'Amour truffles - New flavour! - milk chocolate with maple essence, sweet wild orange, cinnamon and ginger.

Eggnog Milk - New Flavour! - milk chocolate with nutmeg and Whiskey

Gift boxes (pictured below) are packaged in recyclable tins and are filled with 8 truffles (unless there's more room!) - $15 each ($3 will be donated to the food bank).

Individual truffles will be sold for $2 each ($1 will be donated to the food bank).

Spring Fling - Rundown of March Events

Spring wedding, originally uploaded by driababe.

Here's a heads up for several exciting spring events where Ayala Moriel Parfums will be present to add fragrant pizzazz with our cutting-edge perfumes and lovely presentation, and last but not least - our very personable customer service, always giving you the best of ourselves in your search for that perfect scent... Now that the Spring Living Fair is over, we have two wedding-related fund raising events, and finally, at the end of the month, Portobello West is making its 2008 Spring comeback with not just one but TWO full days of art and fashion!

Attention Brides and Grooms - there are two fantastic events coming up
hosted by My Wedding Notes, both with a fundraiser for the BC Centre for
(yes, the place that provided speech therapy and occupational
therapy, excellent workshops and just general support to me and my daughter
in those stressful early diagnosis days - not to mention thousands of other
families with special needs in the Lower Mainland) and I will be donating
beautiful bridal packages and Signature Perfumes for the silent auction, valued at over $1,300. I'm very pleased to have this opportunity to give back to such a great organization with wonderful professionals supporting other children and families going through the hardships of being different.
If you wish to support the Center for Ability regardless of the event, click here to become a supporter or a donor.

If you are getting married soon or know someone who is, let them know about these
two events:

Thursday, March 20th, 7pm-Midnight
Player's Chophouse Restaurant & Lounge (808 Beatty Street)
Admission: $30

Thursday, March 27th 6-10pm
Stonegrill Restaurant in Granville Island
Admission: $30

And last but not least - Portobello West is re-opening in March 2008 with a
full weekend of fashion and arts made locally.
Come see me and the many other talented vendors and artists and support
local businesses.

Rocky Mountaineers Station (Cottrel & Terminal)
Saturday & Sunday, March 29-30, 12-6pm
Admission: $2 (children for free)

Not sure how to get there? here's all you need to know:

By Skytrain and Shuttle
Get off at Main and Terminal (Science World), walk East along Terminal Avenue to Cottrell Street (on the South side behind Home Depot). Turn right and walk about 70 meters to the station OR we offer a free shuttle to the Station from the corner of Station St and Terminal Ave right in front of Cloverdale Paints. It runs from 12:00 to 19:00 every 20 minutes. Just wait by the sandwich board and we’ll come and pick you up!

By Car
Going North on Main Street – Take a right on Terminal Avenue and continue East towards the Home Depot or Clarke Avenue. Stay in the far right lane and take a right on Cottrell Street. Continue straight to the end of the road and you will see the Rocky Mountaineer Station on your right.
Going South on Main Street - Take a left on Terminal Avenue and continue East towards the Home Depot or Clarke Avenue. Stay in the far right lane and take a right on Cottrell Street. Continue straight to the end of the road and you will see the Rocky Mountaineer Station on your right.
There is plenty of free parking available in front of the Station but if the lot is full Home Depot offers additional parking spaces.

l'Ecume des Jours & Rebuilding New Orleans

My perfume l’Ecume des Jours was inspired by Boris Vian’s magical novel by the same name. It was inspired by the perfect beauty of the Jazz of New Orleans, and in particular the music by Duke Ellington. This is a book that is signified by a perfect symmetric structure and the collapsing of a universe because of its own fantastic and surreal rules. It’s beauty is unbelievable. And so when I created a perfume in its namesake, I tried to make it perfect too, if this is even possible… I took the most unusual essences, such as boronia, pink lotus, seaweed, moss and cassis, and worked them together to create a watery, transparent, floral-green perfume. Something that is almost out of this world… I was very pleased to notice that recently it has finally started getting the recognition I was hoping it will receive, which translates into sales of course. And while this made me happy and proud, another thing made me sad…

Last week I watched in awe Spike Lee’s documentary “When The Levees Broke”, about the drowning of the city and the people of New Orleans. The people of this unusual city, which has been a beacon for freedom in the USA, an example for multiculturalism and a corner stone in the USA’s culture of jazz music and art – in fact a corner stone of the entire Western Civilization – have been let down by its own government. The people of this city have received very little help from the USA government ever since Katrina struck. So I thought to myself: “If the president of the United States doesn’t care for New Orleans citizens, let the Citizens of World care for them!”.

Let’s not let New Orleans collapse in the same way that the world in l’Ecume des Jours collapses into non-existence. Let’s not let a perfect city drown again in misery and death, poverty and stormy waters. This is too cruel of an end to a city that is truly the heart of America as we know it. It drowned in the water rising from the hurricane and unstoppable by incompetent levees. Let’s not drown it a second time by not helping the people of New Orleans to come back and rebuild it. Let’s help them re-build New Orleans, ensure its safety from rising water by restoring the wetlands surrounding it and building safe and steady levees this time. There is something we can do about it!

One of the powerful things a small business owner can do is help the community and help make a social change. Since the very day of conception of my little perfumery, I always knew I would do all I can to help causes that I think are important and that are close to my heart. I would like to invite you all, responsible business owners, bloggers, perfume lovers – responsible, caring people and citizens of this world - to join me in supporting charities in New Orleans that truly help the people of New Orleans and re-build the city.

I will be donating $10 from each bottle of l’Ecume des Jours that I sell to a New Orleans woman that is struggling to support her aging mother and two children. I have only raised $60 so far this way, but hopefully l’Ecume des Jours will sell more after this post, and hopefully my perfumery will flourish and grow to enable me to do even more for New Orleans.

I invite you to do the same and support an individual from the city, or donate to one of the few charities that I have confirmed are in fact helping the people of New Orleans and are most likely to actually make a difference in the future of this remarkable city.

Here are their links, as well as links to the film’s homepage:
To help New Orleans people with basic needs such as food and shelter you can donate to this charity:
Catholic Charities New Orleans - Hurrican Relief Services and Projects

To help restore Louisiana’s wetlands, essential to the future survival of the city, you can support this organization:
America's Wetland

Click here to read more about the film “When The Levees Broke”, where you can also find an interview with director and filmmaker Spike Lee, and also find out about more organizations rebuilding in New Orleans.

The illustrations and art work for these New Orleans posts are all courtesy of Mark Andersen, a New Orleans artist and a Katrina evacuee now living in Atlanta, GA. One more thing you can do to support New Orleans is purchase his art book via Emigre.com, which will donate 50% of the sale to a program in New Orleans to aid affected musicians.

Artwork copyright by Mark Andresen, 2006. Some images are from "New Orleans As It Was: Sketchbook Drawings by Mark Andresen from 1988 to Katrina", designed by Rudy Vanderlans and printed by Gingko Press. Avialable on Amazon.com and Emigre.com. If you buy it from Amazon.com you will be supporting the artist, himself a Katrian evacuee.
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