May Flowers: Iris

As the saying goes - April Showers Bring May Flowers. And indeed, there is lots to see and smell in the floral around us. For the remainder of May, I'll be sharing more of my love of flowers, and in particular in how I expressed it in The Language of Flowers soliflore collection.

Today's flower will be the elusive iris. As I was walking down Bute street the other day, I noticed a group of buttery-yellow irises. Tall and large-flowered, I was curious about their scent. It was such a lovely, novel scent to my nose... Reminiscent of white chocolate, datura, lemon Angel's food cake with Tahitian vanilla buttercream on top, and a slight whiff of a baby's head. But even those scrumptious descriptions don't quite do it justice...

With such a rich scent of iris flowers, you might be surprised to learn that it's not the flowers that are used in perfumery, but rather their roots? Iris pallida needs 5 years of attention before it gives anything back: 3 years of cultivation, then 2 additional years of aging the hand-peeled rhizomes so that they can be ground into powder and steam-distilled to produce orris butter.

Although it does not have the word "iris" in its name, and is not part of The Language of Flowers - Sahleb is centred entirely around orris butter with as much as 15% irone. This violet-flower-smelling molecule that gives it a buttery, suave and creamy texture. It melts the heart, and simultaneously addictive and comforting.

I also noticed what looked very much like an Iris pallida, and with a similar scent to the yellow ones, but not as similar to cocoa butter or white chocolate. The darker irises really show why the flower was named that way - alluding the eye's iris. They have eyes peeking through their three-petals like the eyes on butterfly wings.

Interested in reading more about Iris? Check out Decoding Obscure Notes Part II: Iris, Skin and Powder. 

Ancient Inspiration

Shisha, Sahleb and Rose Incense
My visit to Ancient Jerusalem on Christmas Eve was an inspiring olfactory whirlwind: thick smoke of rose incense at the Church of Holy Sepulchre filled the air with an unusual festive sweetness. In the shaded, arched under-covered narrow streets, vendors sold hot mint tea and Arab coffee and warm sahleb, sprinkled with cinnamon, coconut and crushed roasted peanuts. Under my feet, the smooth and cold cobblestones polished by millions of pilgrims over the course of well over 2,000 years and emitting a damp, dusty coolness that is unique to this particular rock. And sweet shisha smoke wanders among the narrow paths, inviting us to sit among shesh-besh (backgammon) players for a little tobacco and tea break at mid-day.

This could the beginning, or the end, of my perfume.

Sniffapalooza Magazine Interivews Persephenie & Reviews Sahleb Perfume

The March 1st issue of Sniffapalooza Magazine is out, featuring two interesting pieces that are related to yours truly:
An interview with natural perfumer Persephenie Snyder, the founder of Blunda in Los Angeles - where natural perfumes, art and education happen all under one roof and is hosting an 8-months long event of perfume exhibitions.
Ayala Moriel will be there April 17-19; Saturday April 18 being an afternoon tea with Q&A and showcasing my contribution to last spring's Perfume Inside a Poem project.

And lastly, Michelyn Camen's article Comforting Scents for Uncomfortable Times features my Sahleb perfume.

Lavender-Basil, Sahleb and Other Stock Updates

Lovender-Basil One-of-a-Kind perfume is taken!
It was adopted by a Susan, a British Colmubian island-dweller and is now officially her signature perfume.
To view other one-of-a-kind perfumes available for adoption as your own signature perfume, vist my Etsy shop.

A few more news about what's in and what's out of stock:

The last bottle of Sahleb was sold today. A new batch, however, with a new crop of orris butter 15% irone was prepared recently and will be available in a few weeks' time once it is matured. Although the orris is not the same as the original batch, Sahleb maintains its buttery, milky smoothness, which is what it's all about.

On another note, it's time to bid farewell to Magnolia Petal. From now on it will be only produced on-demand and will no longer be available in sample sizes.

Tirzah and Gaucho teas are out of stock and will not be produced again in the foreseeable future. We do, however, have a new beautiful floral-green-tea coming up this spring to accompany Charisma - which is going to be very exciting. I will be posting more about it in the near future.

Stock Update and Holiday Specialties

Latest Sahleb stock updates: I thought I should let you know that the number of Sahleb bottles have shrunk down to the last 4 (yes, only four) bottles.

I have received a new shipment of orris butter with 15% irone, but unfortunately it does not scrape the bottom of the quality of the one used for Sahleb. So unfortunately, this is all there is to it!

More stock updates:


Our Roses et Chocolat tea is down to half the stock, even though we just had a full stock last Monday. This is flying out the door fast!
If you need it, than order it now before it's gone again.
Or else you will have to make do with Immortelle l'Amour ;)
* Tirzah and Gaucho are out of stock and won't be made again until the spring.


A new shipment of our Bois d'Hiver and ArbitRary candles should arrive any day now. But judging by how fast they went, you will be wise to pre-order them now. We only make them in batches of 8 candles at a time. This time we will also have extra 10 tealight size of both these fragrances.
White Potion candle is out of stock and will be back in a couple of weeks. Again, we highly recommend pre-ordering if you want those candles, they are going out fast!


The brand-new addition to Ayala Moriel's home line are the scented sachets.

Film Noir sachets are extremely popular (patchouli and cacao nibs infused with vintage patchouli oil and cacao absolute) and already has a few sachets pre-ordered. If you want more of those, please let us know how many so we can make sure we have enouhg for you for before the holidays!

Vetiver Racinettes sachets are out of stock, but we'll have more next week.


If you need truffles for the holiday - for gift giving or events - order them now, as my list of truffles orders is getting long and my time is running out ;)
You can order full batches here.

I've just posted my newly found poison ring treasures on my Etsy shop. Please take a look!
These statement jewelry pieces make a stunning gift.
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