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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. 





Fragrant Rose Bouquet for Sale

Fragrant rose bouquets for Mother's Day
Most of the roses bred for the cut-flower industry smell anemic and lack character in that arena - in exchange for longer vase-life and easier transport. So imagine my delight at finding real scented roses on Mother's Day! The flower girl's name is Sabrina, and she has a cute dog and pretty roses that are not only affordable ($10 for a bouquet of five roses). Most of them are scented and might look quite ordinary (the pink ones) but smell divine, a little sweet-vanilla-like and violetty, and definitely Tea-Rose-like; very much like Bulgari pour Femme, actually.

I was so dumbstruck that I actually asked Sabrina at first which perfume they sprayed on the roses... It was that extraordinary!
It was not until she showed me their unscented varieties (the green trimmed purple roses below - which actually were so pretty that almost seemed to be worth buying despite their fragrant shortcomings).
Fragrant rose bouquets for Mother's Day
{Fragrant}

Fragrant rose bouquets for Mother's Day

{Not fragrant}

Fragrant rose bouquets for Mother's Day
My daughter bought me a bunch of the fragrant pink ones with her weekly allowance (simply because I had no change in my wallet - I secretly put it back in her piggy bank).



Tarnished Silver

Naming has the power of brining our attention to the subtle qualities of a scent. In Tarnished Silver, botanical extract expert Dabney Rose brings forth the metallic qualities of violet. I've been fortunate to experience several of Dabney Rose's innovative botanical enfleurage of hyacinth, which she added to my order of hydrosols, and have also traded a copy of my book for her gorgeous pommades of tuberose breathtaking butterfly ginger which I have recently reviewed here. Tarnished Silver is the first perfume blend I'm experiencing from this talented lady. This time it arrived in my mailbox completely unannounced (though most welcome!) alongside a beautifully assembled collection of handicapped Kyphi incense. They all arrived right before I left for my trip, and I left them behind, knowing I will not have the appropriate conditions for incense burning on my travels.

Tarnished Silver, however, was tucked in my carry-on and I'm enjoying it immensely. I am now riding the train to the north part of Israel - the Western Galilee. Stretches of fields, meadows, orchards, and factories pass by the window, and glimpses of the Mediterranean sea delight the spirit as the train gently rocks and hums its way to our destination. There is wi-fi here (which I won't easily come by when I reach my home village, and off-the-grid hippie haven). So here I am again with a dab of Tarnished Silver on each wrist, enjoying the scenery.

It opens with a melancholy tinge of violets: at once sweet yet also bitter. Sharply green yet soft and diffused, almost powdery. It's amazing that fresh violets can be captured so beautifully with this vegan enfleurage - truly a labour of love. To the sweet ionone facets are added some other notes though subtle: honey, perhaps a tad of hay or flouve as well or something else that gives it a bitter sweet coumarin undertone. A touch of rose and oaks give it a very vintage feel, like Chypre from the turn of the 20th Century.


Coriandre



What can one expect from a scent with a name so unassuming as Coriandre? Would it be green? Rustic? Funny? Refreshing? There is nothing particularly intriguing, mysterious or fashionable about that. You just have to try it on your skin to find out.

Coriandre is a great perfume, which I have overlooked for years. Despite the many good things I've heard of it, it did not appeal to me when I tried it for the first time. It simply didn't register. Years later, I came across it on the forgotten shelves of the neighbourhood parfumerie; and noticed that they had some stray old bottles pre-IFRA reformulation frenzy. Which is always a good news for a scent that is very likely to rely on oakmoss for its appeal, being green and all.

Well, as it turns out - IFRA or no IFRA - it would have probably not made much of a difference. Unless what Robin is saying is true, and this is already been reformulated beyond recognition by the early 90s.

Coriandre is not really a Chypre in the classical sense of the word. I don't even think I would classify it as a Chypre at all. Nor would I classify it as green, either. To me, Coriandre is a big, dirty, dusty rose. Maybe not that big either. And if it smells like any colour at all, it would be brown, not green. It is brown. And bitter.

Unbeknown to it, it is the mother of all of those godless, oakmossless modern "Chypres" - Agent Provocateur, Narciso Rodriguez, SJP Lovely and Chloe. A Chypre that relies on musk, patchouli and vetiver to tell its dry, bitter jokes and poke fun at rosy-cheeked naïveté, all the while being doused in rose itself. If you're into herbaceous, earthy floral perfumes, such as Aromatics Elixir- Coriandre is a very good (and affordable) substitute. It can be had for $38 for a 30ml bottle (and that's probably a rip-off, actually, comparing to how cheap you can get it elsewhere).

Top notes: Coriander seed, Angelica Heart notes: Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom
Base notes: Musk, Patchouli, Vetiver, Sandalwood

Musk Malabi

Malabi by Tom lahat
Malabi, a photo by Tom lahat on Flickr.
If Sahleb is the royal treat of winter, then the rosy, rubbery Malabi (see recipe below) is the queen of summer in the Middle East. Served cold in every other corner and almost every kiosk and restaurant of any caliber, this chilled milk-pudding captures the eye with the contrasting rosy-red syrup oozing all over the white, petri-plate-like to-go containers it comes in. I was never a big fan of its texture (ditto in regards to Rahat Loukum, also unjustly made with corn starch instead of better quality materials), but I adore its fragrance!

What always captures my imagination about malabi was its soft, evocatively sounding name, and its unique fragrant combination of rosewater and neroli. Rose and neroli are such noble flowers yet oh so different. Rose is open, voluptuous, sweet and feminine. Neroli is prim and proper, restrained, clean, ethereal and otherworldly. It's incredible that such a thing even grows from the earth, as has such a heavenly character.

Malabi with pom syrup by Dan Bar Dov
Malabi with pom syrup, a photo by Dan Bar Dov on Flickr.
The balance of these two strong-willed floral elements that inspired the creation of my new, limited edition for Valentine's Day 2014. Titled Musk Malabi, this perfume is a holy triad of sorts, between voluptuous, velvety and soft rose; airy, clean and cerebral neroli, and the pulsating animalic energy of musk. The musk is, in a most profound way, what makes these two oppositional flowers harmonize rather than compete with one another. It is told in the Koran that Mohammed's breath was as sweet as rose, and that he considered musk to be the purest of all perfumes. Musk grains were even mixed with the mortar in the construction of several Eastern mosques and retained their musky scent for years. The botanical musk in Musk Malabi was designed to smell as close as possible to deer musk, and most importantly, act like one: it plays cupid pulling all the strings between and drawing the lovers (rose and neroli) together. It doesn't need arrows, and plays the harp better than cupid, doing all of this work gently and with effortless fluidity. 

Malabi by shai.wininger
Malabi, a photo by shai.wininger on Flickr.

Musk Malabi is a limited edition for Valentine's Day 2014, which is just a month away from today! 
Love it, and it will love you back.

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
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