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Musk Malabi Fundraising Campaign for Syrian Refugees


Musk Malabi, my fundraiser perfume to support Syrian Refugees, was launched a couple of years ago. There was only marginal interest in the cause, unfortunately, so I was unable to make any substantial contribution to this cause. 

Now that the refugee crisis has come to the forefront of the media - I hope you can help me raise enough funds to help sponsor refugees who are arriving to Canada in these tough times. For every 15mL bottle sold, $50 will be donated to a community-sponsored family; and from each mini bottle, $20 will be donated.

If you are in Canada, I urge you to find a community-sponsorship as well, or initiate one yourself in your community or workplace. According to Canadian law around sponsorship of immigrants, groups such as religious community associations (i.e.: non-profit NGOs) and community based organizations (i.e.: mosques, churches, synagogues, etc.) but also corporations can sponsor refugees, and any group of 5 or more Canadians that can provide a feasible settlement plan for the refugees. That is one way to guarantee the safe asylum of a family fleeing the horrors of the Syrian civil war, and much more meaningful way to invest smaller amounts of charitable money than to support a huge organization in which whatever contribution I could make will just be a drop in the bucket.

Of course, if you wish to donate to larger organizations - there are some that are more effective than others and which will utilize your donations more efficiently. Do your research first. For example, charities that are recommended for maximum help in the ground zero of the Syrian refugee crisis and that have a minimum administrative costs are listed in Charity Intelligence (Canada) and Charity Watchdog (USA).





Below is an excerpt from the original press release (March 2014) and the updates regarding pricing and donations policy.

Inspiring Peace & Harmony with Musk Malabi’s Olfactory Love Triangle
Vancouver, Canada, March 5th, 2014. Get caught in a love triangle with Musk Malabi Ayala Moriel’s newest limited-edition perfume Musk Malabi. Released to coincide with the spring equinox and Persian New Year, Musk Malabi is an intoxicating floral confection. Unabashedly feminine, subtly exotic and hopelessly romantic - the fragrance evokes the sensory experience of a passionate love affair.
Inspired by the traditional Middle Eastern dessert of the same name, Musk Malabi centers itself around rich, milky musk. Having grown up in Israel, the sights, sounds, and smells of the Mediterranean have always been a source of inspiration for Ayala Moriel, the company’s in-house perfumer. “What has always captured my imagination about malabi is its soft, evocative sounding name, and its unique fragrant combination of rosewater and neroli water”, explains Ayala. “Rose and orange blossom are such noble flowers yet oh so different.”

At the heart of the fragrance, neroli and rose come unexpectedly together with musk to create an unusual and mesmerizing triad. Musk plays cupid, pulling all the strings in between and drawing the lovers (rose and neroli) together. Designed to smell as close as possible to deer musk, the botanical musk brings an effortless fluidity to this magnetic fragrance. A company that prides itself on being all-natural and free of animal cruelty, all of Ayala’s fragrances are created using botanical essences.
With spicy notes of cardamom and coriander as the opening act for voluptuous rose and prudent neroli, the top and heart notes rest on a silky bed of atlas cedarwood, botanical musk and Tahitian vanilla. Light-hearted yet mysterious, Musk Malabi is a fragrance unlike any other and will transport one effortlessly to the exotic Middle-East, jet-lag free.
Top notes: Bitter Orange, Cardamom, Coriander, Blood Orange
Heart notes: Turkish Rose, Bulgarian Rose, Tunisian Neroli, Egyptian Orange Blossom
Base notes: Atlas Cedarwood, Botanical Musk Accord, Tahitian Vanilla

Available in eau de parfum 4ml ($69) and 15ml ($180) via www.ayalamoriel.com. For every 15mL bottle sold, $50 will be donated to a community-sponsored family; and from each mini bottle, $20 will be donated. 





Perfume for Peace

Back in the day, Escents Aromatherapy in Vancouver sold a blend called "Peace" with lavender and vanilla. It was lovely, and was a diffuser oil blend and also in a variety of scented body products. There was something truly luxurious and peace-invoking about it. Lavender to me really is a very peaceful scent. It brings a sense of well-being, calm and is at the same time also uplifting rather than sedative or narcotic. The healing properties of lavender are wide and well known, both emotionally and physically. But it is not the only essential oil that promotes such state of mind.

I spent most of yesterday morning uncorking vials in my perfumer's organ, in search for scents that will inspire and induce peace through the sense of smell. I've decided to go by intuition alone in my selection process, but then also researched the aromatherapeutic and spiritual uses of these oils and cross-reference my choices with some of the known traditions.

Lavender:
Inspires peace and calm. Very uplifting, gentle, soothing...

Frankincense:
Spiritually, frankincense is connected to the heart. On a biochemical and psychoactive level, frankincense smoke brings a heightened spiritual awareness and helps the mind to enter a meditative state.

Sandalwood:
Grounding, centering, very spiritual, and also goes with everything and anything.

Olive essences:
1. Olive tree resin that I prepared from resin my brothers picked from our family's trees. 
2. Olive fruit absolute
3. Olive leaf absolute - grassy, leafy, bitter essence. A little similar to tobacco and tomato leaf, actually but not as harsh.
These are unusual raw materials, and are not commonly used in aromatherapy, healing or ritual. But the choice of olive is obvious, since a dove carrying an olive branch is a biblical symbol of peace.

Tobacco:
The association with Peace pipe was inevitable. Tobacco is a sacred plant to the First Nations and was used for healing and for the famous "Peace Pipe" to seal deals and peace treaties between tribes.

I'm still unsure about how these essences will come together in a perfume. I feel as if this process can take one of two directions:
1) A harmonious continuum of peaceful aromas. That sounds kinda boring actually. But sometimes what's necessary is a good example...
or:
2) My perfume is going to be like a peace process between clashing elements that are an unlikely partner for any collaboration whatsoever...

A Brief History of Perfumes for Peace



Perfumes dedicated to peace, as a quick Basenotes search brings up includes 33 results. Here's a roundup of the ones that are probably easier to find - in order of appearance:

1999 Time for Peace by Kenzo comes in a masculine version (mandarin, sage, chestnut, tonka bean, amber, cedarwood vetiver and vanilla) and feminine (mandarin, bergamot, blackcurrant, freesia, peony, jasmine, amber and musk).

2001 Imagine... Peace by Bath and Body Works sounds like another nondescript bouquet of sandalwood, musk and flowers (muguet and waterlily). Probably watery and boring...

2003 I Am Peace (Danica Aromatics) was created by a company in Santa Monica that I've never heard about till now, and has notes of white peony, tuberose, jasmine, heather, myrrh and sandalwood.

2006 The Scent of Peace (Bond No. 9) was created as a fundraiser for the UN, whose headquarters are in NYC. It's a nondescript aquatic-citrus-woodsy scent with grapefruit, cassis, muguet, hedione, cedar and musk. Rather forgettable.

2008 - Kenzo Peace is a reissue of the limited edition from 1999: a blend of tonka, musk, heliotrope, cedar, mandarin and vanilla.
 - Peace On Earth (Liz Zorn) now renamed "Solstice" (changed the name to avoid copyright battles with Bond No. 9). This is an all-natural fragrance with white flowers and incense.

2009 Botanical Perfume devoted to peace, 1st Edition (Roxana Illuminated Perfume) was created for Project "Peace on Earth" - an annual worldwide telecast concert of Superstar musicians performing Sacred Music from the most mystical concert venues on the planet: Egypt's Great Pyramids, England’s Stonehenge, Australia's Ayers Rock, Peru's Inca Pyramids, Japan's Mount Fuji, and California's Mount Shasta. It's a cinnamon and spice botanical fragrance. 

2010 Peace Love & Juicy Couture
seems like a crowd-pleasing fruit-punch for the concious teenager, with top notes of Meyer lemon blossom, Hyacinth, Apple and Blackcurrant; heart notes of Sambac jasmine, Star magnolia, Malibu poppy, Honeysuckle and Linden blossom; and base notes of Iris, Patchouli and Musk

2012 - 7 Virtues Middle East Peace
Some of you might remembered that two summers ago there was much talk about the threat of Iran on Israel, and the Israeli government was looking for many excuses to strike and start a war. Thankfully that never happened. But many Israelis and Iranians were very scared of this prospect, and the spontaneous online campaign that ensued showed many Israelis and Iranians around the world showing that they love each other and do not want to go to war.

Inspired by this, Canadian company-with-a-cause 7 Virtues launched Middle East Peace. Combining Israeli grapefruit and Iranian lime and basil, and although citrus goes along easily (and this scent is a not a particularly unusual citrus at that) - the scent still is a metaphor to the alchemy that can happen in the bottle when you allow two or three elements to mingle and marry. I believe it's just as easy to do so in real life, if we let the two sides of the conflict speak to each other. Once the artificial walls of separation and hatred are eliminated, there is only compassion, understanding and willingness to find a solution that will be a win-win situation.

You can continue following this campaign, which shows what real people want in this region: Israel Loves Iran and Iran Loves Israel. Similar campaigns are active for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, both online and in real life, for example: Jews and Arabs Refuse To Be Enemies on Facebook, and many other peace organizations in Israel and occupied Palestine that work towards peace and reconciliation from the grassroots level, locally and internationally.

- In Peace by Space NK sounds perhaps a little more promising with peppery pimento and freesia opening, iris, mimosa and suede heart, but still a generic-sounding base of white musk, sandalwood and tonka bean. ore importantly, it has a cause: 10% of net profits from the purchase of each bottle will go directly to Women for Women International's sponsorship program which supports women survivors of war to enable them to rebuild their lives and promote peaceful communities.

2013 Inner Peace by Tisserand is an aromatherapy perfume blend of rose absolute, cardamom, rose geranium and frankincense.

2014 - Axe Peace with citrus, nutmeg and cedar. The name is ironic, because so many peace initiatives are undermined too early with a swift blow of an axe.
- Peaceful Harmony by Philosophy seems to repeat the theme of light florals (neroli, iris, lily of the valley and lotus) with citrus top notes and a musky base (also with cedarwood and oakmoss) that seems to thread in many of those peacefully named perfumes. It's the newest fragrant peace initiative and sounds not much different than the rest of the light, inoffensive, clean fragrances from this brand.



Bringer of Peace



The outpour of tragic news from my home country have practically taken over my life. It's difficult to think about anything else but this summer meteorite of pain and hostilities. Try as I may to not get political, I simply can't these days. In fact, I never had a stronger political view in my life. In 2 sentences it goes like this: Stop the violence. Make peace NOW. 

There is very little I can do, but I'm trying all I can to encourage people around me and especially back home that there is another way. That fear does not need to be the ruling factor. And I'd like to use this blog to also promote this idea, because maybe there is someone reading it that it could help them think differently.

There are lots of things we can do on a daily basis, and one of them is non-violent communication. Something we can all learn and achieve. I can only wish all the leaders of the Middle East (if not the world over) will adapt this approach.

Lastly, with the very little influence I have, I want to talk about peaceful perfumes and fragrances. And I'd like to dedicate the upcoming month of August as a Perfume for Peace month. Please wear a perfume that inspires peace and share your comments here and everywhere else on the social networks. Maybe with combined efforts and intent we will be able to move something in this world... Of course that does not come instead of actions such as demonstrations, signing petitions, dialog with the people we were raised to be at war with, and finding non-violent ways to communicate and resolve conflicts with the people around us.

First installation in the Perfume for Peace will be posted tomorrow... In the meantime, try to get restful sleep.
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