Peaking Through Leaves

Honeysuckle & Curry Leaf

Testing my Honeysuckle & Curry Leaf perfume this morning, and filtering the remainder of the previous batch of Fetish (getting it ready for Adhesif - a new boutique on Main street! My perfumes will be there beginning Tuesday!!!) got me thinking of more leaves that need to be included in this perfume.

Kaffir lime leaves and rhododendron buds, to be exact. Hmm... perhaps even some hemp!
I returned to the trial vat a few moments ago, adding a little bit of this and that, while being very cautious about not putting too much kaffir lime - I added very tiny bit of my hand crafted tincture of the leaves. It adds a bit of a clean, fresh bite to the perfume that is similar to what a fresh curry leaf will do if you were to bite into it - which I did when I had that amazing dessert at Dosa! The curry leaf was a freshly crystallized one, and was pretty and crisp and odd biting into, crunching the leaf and releasing the aroma in my mouth, along with slightly gritty sugar... Really quite the culinary experience!

The rhododendron leaf adds a bit of sweetness I hope. I've decided to steer clear of the hemp oil (it's actually from the seed, but smells utterly green and fresh) even though I'm sure many people in San Francisco will enjoy that reference ;-)

At this point, the perfume is still a tad too heavy and dense because of the honeysuckle absolute, and not quite as brisk and fresh as the fresh flower is. There might not be escaping the use of jasmine in there after all to lighten things up a bit... But how do you make honeysuckle smell more sweet? And honeyed? This will have to wait for the next post.

Bright & Early

Honeysuckle & Curry Leaf by Ayala Moriel
Honeysuckle & Curry Leaf, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.

With the summer holidays coming to an end, it's ironic we're getting such hot summery days at long last... Today was probably the hottest day of the year, actually... But it does start to feel like fall is approaching. And there is no more sleeping in with the new school bus schedule, so I was glad that I've began to wake up at my normal bright and early time without alarm, and bought myself some time before the rest of the household is up to get something creative going on one of the last days off (school does not begin till Wednesday for my daughter).

I've finally got to the blending phase of the perfume idea I got from my trip to San Francisco back in July. The result of which you see in the picture - Honeysuckle & Curry Leaf. It's too early to come into any conclusions here as to where it is heading. It's not necessarily a combination that's going to work out at all. Juxtaposing two elements that weren't even present at the same time and place (proximity and my own experience are the only thing that really tie them together). And those two essences are terribly complex each on its own. Unfortunately, neither really brings up the character of the original raw material all that well either... Which is what's going to be the primary challenge.

Honeysuckle absolute is very dense, rich, complex, and while sweet and honeyed in some ways, it has some dirty and not at all as pretty or uplifting as the fresh flowers. It's a little overpowering, with hints of green and dirty and animalic indole.
Curry leaf oil is almost revolting. The tincture I made (it was created especially for a custom scent, before I could find the essential oil anywhere) was not all that great either in terms of bringing out the exotic, tingling, green yet spicy and floralcy and bite of fresh curry leaves. Both smell mostly just downright weird but the tincture is more true to the original than the oil, in my humble opinion.

Nevertheless, I came back to the little trial-vial I blended this morning and tried it this evening, with the one conclusion - that there is definitely a honeysuckle presence, and not enough curry. So I added a tad more curry leaf tincture.

Honeysuckle & Curry Leaves

San Francisco
Oh, wait! The account of my olfactory adventures in California is not quite over... Thank goodness for photographs to be my silent reminders!

Mango & Goat Cheese Salad @ Dosa
To make a long story short, if you're ever in San Francisco, do yourself a favour and have dinner at Dosa, a Southern Indian restaurant that makes heavenly food that is ever so slightly on the fusion side (for example, the mango and goat cheese salad with orchid flowers in the picture above is definitely not what you'd normally find in ethnic Indian restaurants and as far as I know not exactly part of homemade Indian cuisine either).

Curry Leaf Infused Coconut Custard Cake @ Dosa
And this dessert - a coconut custard cake, was decorated with crispy coconut cookie, and - brace yourselves - a crystallized fresh curry leaf!!!
Absolutely divine combination of flavours that not only bursts in your mouth, but also inspired the imagination.

Honeysuckle in San Francisco
And walking up one of the many hills of this up-and-down city, we spotted gigantic honeysuckle (the flowers were seriously HUGE) that smelled beautifully, not surprisingly... Afterwards all I could think of is merging coconut, honeysuckle and curry leaf in a perfume... Mmm...
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