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SmellyBlog

Happy Halloween!

Clarimonde by Ayala Moriel
Clarimonde, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.
Wishing you a bountiful trick-or-treating night, and reconnecting with the spirit world...

Tonight I'm celebrating with Dreaming Parallel, the perfume I created last year for the Clarimonde project. There are 2 bottles remaining from this haunting limited edition of half-faded roses, dark violets, musk, turn of the century patchouli and cloves, carnation, narcissus and dragon's blood (it's an actual plant resin, which is as red as blood and which I've ground and tinctured especially for this vampire-perfume). The last 2 bottles are presented in a little hand-painted wooden coffin.

And, you got a couple of hours still to take advantage of free shipping on my website for orders of $100 or more :-) 

Blackbeard Afternoon Tea Piracy

Chocolate Ships Cookies by Ayala Moriel
Chocolate Ships Cookies, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.
This weekend we held a Halloween tea and perfume celebration, with guest appearance of the great and terrible pirate Blackbeard, and his bearded lady friend (BTW - she has a goatee and loves the new oil!).

Blackbeard Oil

Featured Interactive Presentation: The Nearly Non-Existent Grooming Lives of Pirates, and demo by the Bearded Lady - and a special appearance by Blackbeard himself!

Miriam
Menu:
Heavy spices will mask the rotten foodstuff at sea, and lemons in all shapes and forms will take care of scurvy... Enjoy!

Tuna & Pickled Lemon Tea Sandwiches
Tea Sandwiches:
Apple + Smoked Cheddar
Pickled Lemon + Tuna
Fennel + Orange
Marinated Eggplant + Pomegranate

Apple & Smoked Cheddar Tea Sandwiches
Scones:
Seabuiscuits (weevils optional), served with clotted cream, blackberry jam & honey

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Lemon Tart
Desserts:
Lemon Tarts
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Chocolate Ships Cookies
Fudgey Brownies with Blueberry Chocolate Sauce

Espionage Tea
Teas & Libations Served:
- Ayala Moriel's Espionage Tea(Lapsang suchong, Assam tea, vanilla, jasmine and rosebuds).
- White Wolf (white tea with vanilla, peppermint and licorice)
- Hot Tea Toddy (shot of whiskey added to your Espionage tea!)
- Blackbeard Cocktail (Assam Tea, Raw Sugar and Rum)

Pirate Afternoon Tea Party
This was the very last tea party that I would be hosting at my home studio on 1230 Haro street. I've been hosting these sensual gatherings since 2009 (and hosted 30 parties so far, all with original menues and recipes). They were a wonderful way to build a community and nurish (the barely-existent) scent culture in my city, and encourage people get in touch with their senses, in particular the sense of smell.

The side effects of this wild venture included (but were not limited to): making new friends, enjoying fine teas, brewing wild cocktails, perfume indulgence, outrageous menues and orignal recipes of hand-made pastries made by hand by yours truly.

 Blackbeards Afternoon Tea
It's sad to bid farewell to what has become a huge part of my life - planning, baking and hosting parties. But this is a necessary change so that I can focus on completing the 2 books I've working on (one of them being a recipe book for many of my tea party favourites!), and to move towards a better future for my business as well as family. Think of it as pruning that will allow for new growth...

For more pics from the party, please visit my Flickr album!

News from the nose: Fatal Fairytales and Fantastic Fragrances for Fall

With September bearing some of the warm light hearted traits of summer and November being the frigid prelude to winter, ominous October is at the chilly heart of Autumn. This time of year evokes images of harvested sun-ripened fruits and vegetables, carved pumpkins, skeleton-leaves and barren trees.
In light of October’s festivities of transformation and harvest, we have found ourselves captivated by a few haunting stories and legends. The beautiful aspect of story-telling, is that whether the stories are fact of fiction, they capture some of the most relatable, fearful, tragic and joyous aspects of life.
We have selected perfumes that capture the mystical optimism as well as fatal darkness of these legends, many of which are centuries old. Whether you choose to embrace or eschew this fantasy-soaked month, we encourage you to immerse yourself in a beautifully written book, doused in a complex perfume that unfolds on the skin like a story, defying logic or reason while tapping into the deepest corners of your soul.

1. Sleeping Beauty - Treazon

Unlike the 1959 animated movie by Walt Disney, the original fairytale of Sleeping Beauty is by no means a lighthearted story. A dark tale written in the 16th century, the story centers on a young beautiful maiden, cursed to sleep forever until she is kissed by her loving man (spiritually interpreted as the awakening of her animus). Treazon, a perfume that celebrates the narcotic tuberose flowers, captures Sleeping Beauty’s underlying theme of corrupted innocence.

2. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde - Schizm

 Written by Robert Louis Stevenson in 1886, the sinister tale of Dr. Henry Jekyll and Mr. Hyde has mesmerized and horrified readers since it was brought to print. By day Dr. Jekyll is an appraised doctor and by night he is the sinister, murderous Edward Hyde, the line between his true self and alter ego (or “shadow”) gradually becoming more blurry. The classic story of good versus evil is haunting and unsettling because it represents the battle between lightness and darkness that we each carry inside of us. Schizm pays tribute to this universal theme of internal conflict and contradiction. The fragrance opens as a green, dry and earthy fragrance, cool and crisp as the day time. As the scent warms with the heat of one’s skin, the fragrance transforms into a warm, spicy and slightly carnal oriental perfume, as rich and unyielding as the night.

3. Bluebeard – Orcas Beard Oil

The tale of Bluebeard is one of the most terrifying we’ve ever encountered, of a serial-killer husband whose slain wives are discovered in his basement by his young bride. Once the truth comes out, she no longer can live in denial of the predator she picked for a mate. Not only does she cease to believe in the charm of her blue-bearded companion – she needs to fight for her life. However, most deeply speaking, this sinister discovery led to the awakening of her deep, active soul-force and she is able to not only defeat him, but also emerge as a strong woman out of her naive mistake. Orcas Beard Oil is for the bearded gentlemen and ladies among us, and is as cool as the ocean and refreshing as the breeze. You can wear it as a beard or hair perfume, and use it to style your locks.

4. Hansel & Gretl – Black Licorice

Like so many fairy-tales, this childhood favorite combines quintessentially innocent elements of childhood with dark themes of murder, cannibalism, and witchcraft. Playing tribute to the classic treat of the same name, Black Licorice brings to mind dreams of candy houses, ghouls and shadowy nights spent trick-or-treating.  

5. Cinderella - The Purple Dress

The Purple Dress is exotic and enigmatic, evoking images of an elusive yet vibrant woman who comes alive at night but cannot be found in the day. Star anise, black tea, orange juice, honey absolute, orange blossom, and champaca rest on a bed of sandalwood, nutmeg and guiacwood. This fragrance has a duskier mood, yet shimmers with romance and fantasy.

6. Dracula – Incense & Chocolate

 With smoky notes of frankincense, tobacco and myrrh combining with rich, sensual dark chocolate, Incense & Chocolate one-of-a-kind fragrance embodies the cruel yet sultry spirit of Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula as he cursed Christ in a candle-lit, incense-choked church. Truly a signature perfume, the customer that purchases this fragrance also purchases the rights to exclusivity ensuring that this fragrance would only ever be made for them (and those they choose to bite…). Precious notes of olibanum, labdanum, cardamom, and champaca celebrate the coming together of the physical and spiritual realms through the ancient rituals of drinking hot chocolate and burning incense.

7. Jack the Ripper – Espionage

Smoky dim-lit bars and foggy alleys are the settings for many horror stories and murder mysteries. The mysterious unnamed men of the night have always ignited fear into the minds of those who appreciate a good murder story. Espionage's smoky tobacco, leather, vanilla, orris root and tonka bean encapsulate the smell of scotch and cigar smoke that would fill a hidden, alley-way bar at the darkest hour of night.

8. Alice in Wonderland – White Potion

 Louis Carroll’s eccentric story of a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole into an alternate, hyperbole universe is at once optimistic and ominous. The fantasy of the story and of Alice drinking a potion to fit through a tiny door into Wonderland at the beginning of the story is frightening yet captivating in that she is able to experience this strange new land from many different perspectives and is free to do so without the limitations of normal life. An ethereal floriental, White Potion, with notes of tuberose, coconut, tonka bean, ylang-ylang and grapefruit captures the sweet naiveté of Alice as well as the exotic strangeness of Wonderland. We encourage you to try our White Potion chocolate bar – a bite from which might make you bigger or smaller at will. Creamy and decadent white chocolate that is subtly scented with tuberose and embedded with vanilla seeds, almonds and shredded coconut, it is a treat that you will truly never forget – and can even share with children, as it is our mildest of all 4 fragrant bars we’ve created with CocoaNymph.

9. Snow White - InCarnation

Spicy, fiery and unusual, InCarnation is a soliflore tribute to the rich aroma of carnations. Carnations are a flower with many different olfactory facets: green, spicy, creamy, sweet, cool and warm. The ever-changing, slightly carnal scent of this flower is true to the name of this perfume which describes anything that is in the flesh, incarnate. Reincarnation describes the process of one passing and then being born again as a new being, a theme that is present in many legends and fairytales and is predominant in the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Snow White was blessed by her mother to contain the three spiritual colours: white as snow (purity and selflessness), red as blood (passion and zest for life), and black as wood (shadow, the dark side of the psyche). However, Snow White chooses to lead a one-dimensional life “white” life which leads to her fatal death by the red poisoned apple – only to later resurrect as a stronger, more complete person that  musters the courage kill the evil queen. InCarnation perfume features all three colours – white intoxicating tuberose, firey red carnation and warm spices, and black and animalic African stone tincture.

10. La Morte Amoureuse – Dreaming Parallel

Dreaming Parallel is a fragrance inspired by the short story "La Morte Amoureuse” that was written by Théophile Gautier and published in La Chronique de Paris in 1836. This tale takes place in France and is about Romuald, a priest that falls deeply in love with a young woman named Clarimonde who is revealed to be a vampire. The nuances of lust, temptation and evil only succeed at making the love story within “La Morte Amoureuse” more inebriating and powerful. As human beings we yearn for love and security yet we also long for adventure and for this reason, forbidden romance stories with elements of danger never fail to mesmerize audiences. Dreaming Parallel’s sophisticated combination of cassie, costus root, ancient patchouli, leather, narcissus, Turkish rose, violet leaf along with naturally-sourced sweet violet notes of alpha ionone play homage to this dark tale of corruption, seduction and forbidden love. This is a very limited edition and we've only got 3 last bottles remaining.

Wishing you a wonderful harvest season and October festivities!

Ayala & Alicia

Immortal Mine and Halloween Thoughts



My thoughts this Halloween are with the Eastern Seaboard where so many of my customers and fellow perfumers live. After all the excitement for the 3-night Clarimonde masquarade at MiN New York, it is a dramatic contrast to have such turmoil only a few days later. I can only hope that all the people there are safe and warm and from what I gather there is a lot of community effort and people helping each other manage through this very devastating storm.

Life is so tumultuous, and as much as sometimes we'd just want to rest - it is that movement, even at times of violent chaos, that distinguishes it from death. At least in it's romantic perception... While life is ever changing and unstable, death is that one sure thing, the resolution and rest to all. Immortal and glorious, eternal slumber. Silence.

Immortal Mine was created by House of Cherry Bomb - the baby of two New York based perfumers and artists: Maria McElroy (Aroma M) and Alexis Karl (Scent by Alexis). It takes the Goth theme to the extreme with a very rich, oil-based parfum that's bordering on being too much of a good thing. It is reminiscent of hot wax of red candles extinguished by pinch of two fingers and their slightly burnt skin and suffocated wick; dirty oud and sweet, nearly cloying immortelle melded with amber and molten chocolate. It is quite resinous, thick and sweet, yet there is some smoke and vetiver, burning myrrh and frankincense to penetrate through one's consciousness and create a reaction - regardless if this is your taste or not. There is also a tinge of indolic jasmine, and musk for good measure that diffuses and softens it a bit. It ends on a note of agarwood and decaying honey. Still peculiarly cloying, resembling the decomposing corpses, not far off what I would imagine the Corpse Bride would sprinkle on her wrapping sheet in her half-dead wedding.

The authors describe it well:
"Immortal Mine is the soil from an unmarked grave. One single drop of blood from a slayed Wyvern, the sweet elixir of dying jasmine and fading neroli. Amber found in ancient tombs of civilizations lost. Longing. Essence of smoke from the funeral pyre. A cut of material from Bela Lugosi’s cape, the dust from a bat’s wing. Wood resins gathered from the Forest of The Dead, Myrrh scraped from the cliffs of The Dark Realm. Precious ouds unearthed from burning desert sands. Wax dripping from black, white and pink candles, ashes of a Phoenix, words from a dead poets mouth. Rare herbs found in a cathedral’s forgotten garden. Desire".


Immortal Mine can be found on Indiescents and Suendhaft, where it is bottled in a beautiful filigreed mouthblown Bohemian glass bottle.  This week, I'm giving away my "copy" of the roll-on, given to me by the perfumers themselves. And I'm sending back prayers for minimal damage from the storm and returning back to normal life as soon as possible on the East Coast!

All you have to do is leave a comment telling us what your Halloween perfume was, and why you picked it (if such explanation exists). We will do a random lucky draw on Friday.

Immortal Mine by Ayala Moriel
Immortal Mine, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.

Afternoon Tea With A Vampire

The Real Goths by Ayala Moriel
The Real Goths, a photo by Ayala Moriel on Flickr.
Pics are out on Flickr, though they are the poorest quality because I took them with my real digital camera, rather than with my iPhone (quite the paradox). Anyway, everyone had a good time, and enjoyed the Dreaming Parallel perfume (only 3 bottles left!) I created inspired by Clarimonde. There were some great costumes (though not nearly enough time to snap photos of all of them - it was a full house and I had my hands full even with the very helpful assistant I had!).

I'm still recuperating from all the preparations and hard work of last week; so this post will be very sweet and short. And I promise I will return tomorrow or Wednesday with a spooky Halloween perfumes post; recipe for Red Velvet Whoopie Pies using real beets instead of food colouring; and a wicked giveaway for this week. Stay tuned!
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