Body + Soul Magazine Features Gaucho Perfume

Body + Soul Magazine's November 2008 issue features Gaucho perfume. You can click here to read Beauty Basics: Pure Perfumes by Courtney Humphries - or search for it in the glossy magazine that will be out on newsstands shortly before October runs out.

As a gesture to our Body + Soul readers, with every order of Gaucho, you will receive a complemetary Gaucho Tea in our gift-wrapped 1oz tins (while quantities last).

* Gaucho is the little rectangle green-juiced flacon on the very top left of the photo (the bottle looks different from the rest of my line).

Sold Out: Perfumed Teas

My perfumed teas have been very popular this past weekend and are now nearly completely sold out: none of Tirzah is left, and I'm down to the last tin of Gaucho and the last tin of Immortelle l'Amour tea. All teas are organic and wild crafted, with no artifical flavouring. They are perfumed with the aromas of high quality dried leaves, fruit and flowers (i.e.: osmanthus blossom, vanilla beans, citrus peel, damiana leaf and so on).

I don't know when the next batch will be made available again for all three; but in the future, the tins will be lighter (with less tea blend) to make them more affordable. We have been filling them all the way up, making for a full tin of between 70-80gr of tea, which is a lot more than the standard in the market for such a small tin.

Spring Essentials - Part Three: Bitter Herbs

Unwanted, originally uploaded by vlastik.

On the Seder plate, you’ll find a special place for bitter herbs and horseradish. Bitter herbs include celery leaf and Romaine lettuce (both very bitter when grown in Israel, since they are not as watery as in North America so the flavour is so concentrated it’s bitter). This year was the first time when I noticed that there might be other use for the bitter herbs, aside for symbolizing the bitterness of slavery*. Bitter herbs, as my friend Dawna has taught me (along with her infectious passion for tea, herbs and plants in general), act as liver tonic and stimulant and are an excellent way to welcome Spring and kick off any getting-healthier plans towards the summer.

In the winter, our metabolism slows to save energy and overall we get into the introvert mode of hibernatnion. Spring being a time of awakening and renewal is an excellent time to stimulate and cleanse the liver. This does not necessarily mean three weeks of hot water and lemon diet; it may just mean looking around to see what grows locally and what is available and turning it into an inspiring yet nutritious meal. Nature has her strange and magical ways to give us what we need when we need it. In the Pacific West Coast, you may notice plants such as dandelions, stinging nettles and fiddleheads. In the Middle East where I grew up, aside from dandelions there is also an abundance of other bitter herbs, a little earlier in the spring (so some are already too aged to eat), i.e. chicory and wild artichoke; but some are just at the peak of their season now, such as field mallow. Most green leaves are rich in nutrients such as calcium, iron and vitamins (Vitamin C in particular).

Other bitter herbs that you may consider using are watercress, nasturtium flowers and leaves (very rich in vitamin C), and fenugreek leaves or sprouts.

Idea for a Spring Menu
The following are suggestions for a light meal that could be as festive or casual as you wish.


Dandelion & Nasturtium Salad
Bitter dandelion leaves garnished with nasturtium flowers and immersed in a light vinaigrette based on olive oil and either apple cider vinegar or balsamic vinegar.

Foug Fiddleheads
In butter and lavender buds sauce

Main Course:

Nettle or Field Marrow Soup

Cornmeal Bread
Flavoured with rosemary and sour apple


Gaucho tea

Bitter Almond and Buckwheat Cake

*Similarly, the unleavened bread (Matzoh) might just have another purpose of cleansing the system of excess of yeast. But who knows...
** More detailed recipes will be published next week.

Gaucho - The End of a Journey

Cansando o cavalo, originally uploaded by Eduardo Amorim.

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).

Gaucho's Journey - Part 6: Evolución

evolución, originally uploaded by faw.

Further refinement was evidently needed, even though I really liked the way the bergamot was working out in this composition. Thinking about it, there was no other time I enjoyed bergamot that much in a composition, nor did it remind me so clearly of Earl Gray tea before in a scent. Must be the yerbamate base, even though it is not quite a tea leaf.

Concluding that the henna, although interesting and peculiar, does not quite do justice to the other elements and promotes murky qualities, I set for a new mod, now eliminating the henna (or helycrisum for that matter) and arrived at a place that felt, all of a sudden, like a new starting point. I was as they say it – back to square one. I was also a lot clearer on what I wanted to achieve and was very weary of wasting more material… Everything from now on was added scientifically, keeping very careful log of each addition, and making sure I also keep the “pure” original “blank slate” version on hand at all times. It was my new blueprint.

I have to admit, the next few batches, from batch no.6 and on to no. 10 are so similar, that I won’t bore you with the details too much. Suffice to say that each one evolved slowly from the previous one, and to make it simple I’ll just draw a basic set of notes and show you how it grew into what is going to be the perfume of tomorrow (literally, as Gaucho will be launched tomorrow!).

At this point, I have created, in fact, two blueprints – one with and one without angelica.
Mod. 6 had the following notes:
Base: mate, hay, Africa stone tincture, liatrix tincture, angelica absolute
Heart notes: guiacwood, honey, broom, lavender Seville
Top notes: Bergamot, French Neroli

Mod. 7 is the same, less the angelica and plus a new element: a relatively high dosage of galbanum of a very sparkling, green and fresh quality, as well as the sweetly herbaceous rosemary absolute
Base: mate, hay, Africa stone tincture, liatrix tincture, angelica absolute
Heart notes: guiacwood, honey, broom, lavender Seville, rosemary absolute
Top notes: Bergamot, French Neroli, Galbanum

From there we move on to Mod. 8, which is identical to mod. 6 only with the addition of galbanum.

While mod. 9 introduced the idea of a floral note – the quirky jasmine auriculatum absolute - it was still very much lacking the depth and finesse I was searching for. Jasmine auriculatum is a grassy-green jasmine (which also happens to be the only jasmine I dislike when smelled straight up…); Mod. 9 still maintained the presence of rosemary, but with no angelica in sight.

At this point I felt I was walking on a very tight rope above a busy street… Every little thing could distract me from my task: to focus and achieve that exact green perfection I have been so challenged by for so long. I felt that I was almost there, but not quite there yet. Something was missing – something to add true character, to push it forward even just a little more and at the sime time round it off and make it come together for real. My only rival here was myself, with my whimsical impulses to skip to the end...

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