New Leaves in My Book

Heart Leaves
SmellyBlog has been mostly silent for two seasons. Such a long absence warrants an explanation. While coping with the harsh heat of the Mediterranean summer, I've had plenty of time for soul-searching and redefining what is it that I want to be doing next.

My move to the countryside was not only to be closer to my family, but also closer to the fragrant plants that grow here in abundance. Living surrounded by wilderness and nature has direct impact on my pace of life and makes priorities and values even clearer and more tangible.

I am so deeply moved and affected by the seasonal changes and the healing powers of plants, and I am dedicating much of my time to studying the plants here from every angle - their life cycle throughout the year, their fragrance (if they have any), healing properties and the lessons that can be learned from these resilient and inspiring living beings. While I've always been most drawn to the beauty of plants - especially to the colourful and fragrant flowers -  I am now learning the subtle beauty of the more humble ones, and am enchanted even by those which don't give off perfumes, or those that are edible or "useful" to people in any tangible way. Those plants too are magical and great teachers, showing us their way of life in their unique habitat, their way of facing the elements, and their unique defence mechanisms and methods of coping with hardships are great lessons to our human life, if we only take the time to observe, listen and take to heart.

It is becoming increasingly more important to me to be true to myself, to protect the earth and dedicate my life to healing and making a positive change all around me (starting with myself of course). I am reconnecting with the earth, and with its plant creatures in particular. It is now time for all the seemingly disparate aspects of my life to come together. All the gifts I've been blessed with to be channeled in the most effective way to share the wisdom I've received regarding plants in general, and perfume and incense plants in particular. Besides making natural perfumes, and incense (which I've been most dedicated to in the past two years), there are other components of how to bring this magic and wisdom to the people in my life. One aspect of this is my writing, outside of this blog, namely a book that I've been dreaming of for at least 12 years.

Therefore, this year will be dedicated to further deepening my knowledge of the plants around me and from this place of respect to the plants and the earth, and I have decided to gather all my experience with the perfumed plants in one book:

Complete Guide to the Essentials of Natural Building Blocks (Agarwood through Zdravetz)
The second book I am currently writing is a book which is in the works since 2005, and is planned to be published at the end of year 2020. Pre-order it now and support the completion of this unique project!

This comprehensive dictionary of raw materials of natural perfumery is meant to serve as a continuation of my first book, "Foundation of Natural Perfumery" (2014). Perfumers and students alike will benefit from condensed resource covering over 200 different plant species (and some mineral and animal materials as well) - and the raw materials for perfumery and incense which are derived from them - which amount to close to 400 different botanical extracts and preparations, presenting different colours and shades for the natural perfumer's palette. Each plant receives a unique treatment showcasing its organoleptic properties, in my own unique language which is both poetic and informative; as well as quick reference for how it can be used in perfume compositions, and which essences it pairs with to create magic. Some plants which are particularly important for the trade will receive wider coverage entailing their cultural and historical significance as well as healing or therapeutic properties whenever applicable. In some cases, comparison between different varietals or terroirs will be also addressed.

I invite you to support this project and pre-order this book. It will be ready sometime in 2020. And it will be an amazing resource for perfumers and students. I have done the same thing with my first book, and thanks to everyone's advance purchases of the book, was able to publish my book independently, and fund the editing, graphic design and printing of the first run. I hope to do so with my second book, and for that I need your help!
If this is a book that you'd like to have, please pitch in and pre-order it for a special price, of only $99. The book is anticipated to have at least 400 pages, and will likely need to be printed in 2 volumes, so the final price will be much higher once it is out.
Thank you in advance for your help and for believing in my project!

Rebranding & Packaging Progress Report

Signature Collection - Tamya packaging mockup
Summer is the best time of the year to get caught up on creative projects that are important, yet get shoved to the back burner the rest of the year. Something about that extra bit of sun, longer days and time to relax at the beach seems to consistently bring more focus and allow me and my creative team to get fully immersed in such undertaking.

And this year, my graphic designer and I are finally getting this done - rebranding and new packaging design for my 4 collections: Signature, Agent M, Language of Flowers and Liquid Poetry. Here are some snapshots from our very first meeting of asessing mockups for the 3D packaging solutions. Please ignore the hand-cut quality of these mockups. It's the look we're after, not the finesse of the details (which will come later, once it's all printed professionally, cut in the same manner, and hand-assembled by yours truly and my little elves - all known for great attention to detail and meticulous dedication to perfection).

Outer packaging treatment - signature collection
Signature collection - outer packaging treatment. Variation in colours will also reflect each bottle's label.

Agent M Collection
Agent M Collection - this is more masculine (or possibly unisex). We might have colour variations, but these are the first 3 options for an overall look. Possible to have 2 colour variations for "cool" and for "warm" scents. But no more than that.
Outer packaging treatment - Agent M Collection
Agent M outer packaging treatment.

Language of Flowers Soliflore Collection
Language of Flowers Soliflore Collection. 2 different treatments - and the next ones will be somewhere in the middle (and probably vertically oriented...).

Liquid Poetry Collection
Liquid Poetry Collection. These are made of the most exquisite oils, abstract concepts at times, and the focus has to remain the jus in the bottle. Not likely to have any colour variations in the labeling.

The journey continues, and there is still much work to be done on all fronts (not to mention printing, cutting and assembling all these once the designs are ready). But it's all beginning to become clearer and I'm happy that we are making the most out our resources (existing bottles and boxes) yet creating a new fresh look that will better reflect the individuality of each perfume in a less monotonous way (the previous branding established the Ayala Moriel brand; the new branding is supposed to highlight the qualities of each scent or "collection" and make it easier for my customers and clients to pick as scent more intuitively; yet without the risk of visual clutter).

I'm happy to share these with you, and although I'm happy with the direction it's all going and know this is what I've envisioned, it's always great to hear feedback from my customers as well. So feel free to comment!

April Showers Bring Mom Flowers...

Dear Fragrant Friends,

During the month of May, we will be celebrating the virtues of motherhood in many countries in the world. There are many ways to show our appreciation and gratitude to the women who gave us life. Here are a few fragrant gift ideas that will make the day meaningful and memorable, and are also respectful of Mother Earth,

SAY IT WITH FLOWERS, with our new coffret of beautiful perfumes from our Language of Flowers Soliflore Collection (4ml x 8), or continue reading for more information about flowers connected with Mother’s Day, and fragrant gift offerings.

In this newsletter:

  1. Carnation: Mother's Day Flower

  2. Olive for Peace

  3. A Pink Rose for Gratitude

  4. Violets: Modest and Faithful

  5. Lavender for Devotion

  6. Orange Blossom: Eternal Love

  7. Geranium: True Frienship

  8. Indigo: Inspired by my Mother

  9. Mother's Day Afternoon Tea Menu Idea & Recipes

  10. Upcoming Events & Markets

1. Carnation: Mother's Day Flower

Our mothers love us unconditionally. Carnations are traditionally given and worn on Mother's Day, symbolizing the purity and resilience of a mother's love. Those mourning the loss of their mothers wear a white carnation, and everyone else wear colourful ones. So what can be more perfect than a carnation perfume for Mother's Day?

InCarnation is a carnation soliflore. Peppery, fiery, sweet and seductive. It unfolds its voluptuous petals dusted with nutmeg and mace, and unleashes its scent with a spinning of a Flamenco dancer’s skirt.

InCarnation perfume is offered in three different incarnations: parfum extrait (9ml or 4ml), perfume oil roll-on (5ml or 10ml), and a solid perfume, encased in our signature pendants, as well as this beautiful carnation-illustrated vintage pillbox from Murano, Italy.

Other gift ideas:

InCarnation Solid Perfume

2.Olive for Peace

Olive branches have been a symbol of peace since the story of Noah’s Arc. The fruit, leaves and resins can all be used in perfumery, but rarely are. The flowers of sweet olive, aka osmanthus exude the most beautiful and unusual fragrance, reminiscent of apricot, green tea and a hint of leather. Kinmokusei, our osmanthus soliflore, contains osmanthus absolute and olive tree resin tincture. Osmanthus flowers are also what gives our Charisma tea its suave aroma.

Did you know?
Mother’s Day in North America was initiated by American activist Anna Jarvis who devoted her life for peace, health and social justice for her people, and in 1914 established the 2nd Sunday of May as “Mother’s Day for Peace”, so that mothers would not need to suffer the pain of bereavement due to war ever again. So it is only fitting to do something to promote world peace – starting with making peace with ourselves, our families, communities and worldwide peace efforts.

Other gift ideas:

Kinmokusei Solid Perfume in Bird Pillbox

Kinmokusei in Ethinic Perfume Ring

Charisma Perfumed Tea

3. A Pink Rose for Gratitude

Dark pink roses symbolize gratitude, and there is no better way to show it than with fragrant Roses from the perfumed variety – Rosa centifolia and Rosa damascena, both also pink, which are the theme for our Rosebud perfume - a pure rose soliflore.

4. Violets: Modest and Faithful

According to the Victorian language of flowers, blue violets symbolize faithfulness and white ones – modesty. Mothers are in no doubt the most faithful and reliable people in our lives. And it requires modesty and a strong sense of humility to be a mother – after all, mothers always want the best for their children, and always want their child to do even better than themselves.

Viola is our violet soliflore – soft and cuddly like a mother’s embrace, and as classy as a string of pearls. It has a certain Victorian feel to it, with an upbeat, modern spin that makes it really easy to wear year around and in any occasion.

Other gift ideas:

Indigo, the perfume I originally created a signature perfume to my own mother, also has a beautiful violet heart.

5. Lavender for Devotion

In recognition of our mother’s devotion, Lovender is a perfume that is as fresh as a bouquet of lavender sprigs, and soft as linen immersed in the dried buds sachet. Iris and vanilla give it a velvety smoothness, while lemon and rosewood give it an uplifting, pick-me-up aroma that will give mom a boost of relaxed energy. Lovender is confident, pretty and made with love.

Other gift ideas:

Lavender Ritual Bath Salts

6. Orange Blossom: Eternal Love

A mother's love is eternal and lives on after her with her children who carry her memory and legacy. Orange blossom symbolizes eternal love in the language of flowers. Zohar is our orange blossom soliflore and is a scent that always brings me a feeling of expansive happiness with its scent of orchards in full bloom...

7. Geranium: True Friendship

Geranium plant symbolizes true friendship, and who is a better friend than our mother? She’s always there for us, no matter what or how badly we messed up… Honoring our mother’s true friendship, kindness and generosity I’ve created these very special Mother’s

Day Geranium Ritual Bath Salts last year, with pink Himalayan salt! They also contain lavender and chamomile, and smell like a soft caress and a garden full of humming bees.

Other recommendations:

Geranium Leaf One-Of-A-Kind Perfume

Cabaret perfume also features notes of rose geranium

8. Indigo for my Mother

Indigo was first conceived in 2002 as a signature scent for my mother, and went under further transformation in 2004. For the oil and solid perfume, the formulation is slightly different than the parfum extrait, employing orange flower water absolute in addition to the neroli, to achieve a greater depth and smoothness.

I believe the concept of mother, although very familiar to most of us from as long as we remember ourselves, is full of mystery. My mother in particular has quite an enigmatic personality, so making a perfume for her was a challenging exercise in decoding her through olfactory terms… As if to challenge me further, my mother has developed partial anosmia throughout the years, so I was never to really know if I succeeded in creating a scent for her liking. This made the whole process more of a personal and creative journey for me.

My selection of notes relied a little on certain aromatics that my mother likes (though I cannot tell if she likes them for their aroma, taste, or their known therapeutic benefits, these scents have been always associated with her for me because she used them often).

Therefore, I relied but far more heavily on my own subjective perception of my mother’s personality and what the concept of “mother” is to me, in the most abstract as well as primordial meaning: someone who is protective and strong and always giving. But also someone that existed here before us and therefore there is always a substantial amount of mystery about them: we don’t know what happened or who they were until we’ve arrived.

I chose aniseed as a top note because my mother always loved anise in all of its forms (as a tisane, spice and also the fresh fennel bulbs). I also included tarragon to add an extra interest and a green lift to the aniseed sweetness. The heart consists mostly of a violet accord, using violet leaf, orris and boronia, bearing the association of indigo velvet, which is equally soft and smooth, but also strangely cool. Carnation, incense and amber contribute warmth and help smooth the perfume, while Himalayan cedar brings us back again to a cool, smooth elegance, reminiscent of polished granite.

Indigo plays mostly on the dualities of cool vs. warm, soft and intimate vs. sleek and elegant. It’s my mother’s embrace when she’s wearing her velvet indigo tunic, and us picking wild herbs in the mountains together. It evokes for me the feeling of a dark blue summer night, full of secrets and exotic smells and hidden surprises.

9. Mother's Day Afternoon Tea

The Mother's Day afternoon tea that I was hoping to hold on May 9th is unfortunately not going to happen this year. Instead, I bring to you recipes and menu ideas so that you can throw your own Mother's Day tea party at the comfort of your own home!

Tea served:
Lavender Earl Gray (the best one I had so far was served at the Fairmont hotels. It is called "Versailles" and it is possible to special order it through their gift shop at The Empress in Victoria). What I like about it the most is that it is not bitter, and is so pretty and light like a lavender field, and is wonderful even without any sweeterning or milk, which I find rare in black teas.

1st Tier: Tea Sandwiches

Mother's Day afternoon tea should be elegant and relaxed affair. The key for that to happe is keeping things simple and sticking to the basics. Cucumber tea sandwiches are not only simple to make, they are also (in my opinion) the best of the bunch! If you must have more than one flavour, egg salad would be nice as well as simple to pull together.

2nd Tier: Scones, cream and jam

3rd Tier: Sweets
Earl Grey Truffles
Lemon Tarts
Lavender-Violet-blueberry Cupcakes (you can make these by adding a 1/4 teaspoon of lavender buds to your favourite blueberry cupcake recipe; decorate with cream cheese icing and candied violet petals).

Lavender Shortbread Cookies (recipe below)
1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup icing sugar
Some fine sugar for sprinkling (I use evaporated cane juice)
1 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
½ cup semolina flour
10 drops organic or wild-crafted lavender essential oil
3 tsp. food-grade dried lavender buds

Preheat oven to 300F.

a. Butter or line with parchment paper a 9” spring form pan

b. Beat together butter, sugar and lavender essential oil until sugar completely dissolves in butter, and butter is uniformly smooth. Add lavender buds (you may want to rub the buds between your palms before adding).

c. Sift flours together

d. Add flours to the butter to make a smooth dough (as much as possible)

e. Press dough evenly into the pan, and prick with a fork.

f. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the edges are pale brown and the centre is golden in colour.

g. Sprinkle with some superfine sugar (if desired).

h. Let cool for a couple of minutes, than slice with a pizza cutter.

10. Upcoming Events & Markets + Lucky Draw

Saturday & Sunday, May 1 & 2: Make It Vancouver @ The Croatian Cultural Centre More details in the e-flyer with coupon above - which you can also print to get $2 off admission.

Visit us at the the Make It Vancouver show, sign in our guest book and enter to win one of the following prizes:

5 Gift certificate for a class at Beyond Pilates, Vancouver's very best Pilates studio located in the West End.

1 Perfume oil roll-on perfume of your choice from Ayala Moriel Parfums

1 Ayala Moriel Mini perfume of your choice!

And last but not least – we’d be delighted to help you treat your

mom to an unforgettable experience of creating her very own Signature
, contact us to book our 2-hours Olfactory Journey (over a cup of
tea and some perfumed truffles!).

And if you have any questions or need help to pick a perfect scent for

Mother’s Day, we are always here at your service.

Have a fabulously fragrant spring!

Ayala Moriel Parfums


My SmellyBlog: SmellyBlog.com

Tel.: (778) 863-0806

Address: 1230 Haro Street, Buzz #295,Vancouver, BC, V6E 4J9

Hours: Mon-Thu 8:00am-3:00pm; Fri: 8am-12pm; Closed Saturdays; Sundays & evenings by appointment only.

Incarnations of Carnation: Exploring the Layers of a Flower

Flamenco Dancer, originally uploaded by CameraOne.

Carnation: A flower of fiery passion and at the same time there is something very common and unspecial about it. The scent of full-bodied carnatnion flowers always reminds me of summer, where all the plants are dead but there are a few graceful wild carnations weaving their way through the dead straw… And also of finely milled Maja soap, packaged in beautiful dark box decorated with red and shimmering-gold ornamental designs and one passionate flamenco dancer with detailed dress standing in the middle proudly waving her fan…

My grandfather brought this soap for my mother several times, and although it was mostly saved aside, tucked in among our clothes, I could swear my mom opened at least one bar of this fine soap in our outdoors shower, when we just arrived at that little village in the galilee… The shower was built outside of the little hut we resided on, until it will turn into a house… It was made of the cheapest lumber wood you could imagine (the one used to built crates – well, it was basically made of crates I guess). And with the water and soap this wood has become rather smooth and also fragrant… A sensory experience that concluded with drying up in the warm sun and wind… What can I tell you, I’ll give anything to have the opportunity to bathe outdoors again…

The flower-shop hybrid, with its many layered petals is resembles those of the majestic, graceful rose. However, they are rather scentless and take pride in their long shelf-life and their economic appeal more than anything else. Where I came from, carnations are almost always the flower of choice in flower arrangements decorating large wedding halls for a massive gathering of guests. Therefore it’s hard for me not to associate the fresh, slightly spicy and more green than sweet scent of flower-shop carnations with weddings…

The carnations that are used for perfumery, however, much like the wild carnations, are far more modest looking with only one tier of 5 petals. They are either pink or white in colour, and their edges are, as in all carnations, pinked – which is the true reason for their name “pinks” (in this case, the name has no connection to the colour). These small flowers are very fragrant, with the main constituent responsible for their sweet and spicy aroma being eugenol. The same spice present in high doses in clove buds, as well as in allspice berry.

The idea for a carnation soliflore was cooking in my head for a long time. In 2001, I have created a perfume called Altamira, the name chosen because of utter fondness of Steely Dan’s song and the concept was built on what I associated with these prehistoric caves in Spain where the first fresco were discovered. In a connotation that now seems to be everything but original, I have paired notes of carnation (chosen for the association of Spain, Flamenco and carnations) with sweet animalic base notes dominated by costus, which turned out fantastic even though a bit quirky and peculiar (costus will add peculiarity to any perfume with its animalic sensuality). Once I have discovered that costus should not be used on the skin, I had to neglect the idea of letting anyone but myself use my Altamira perfume. I have used carnation in several perfumes – a feminine version for l’Herbe Rouge (which was never really added to the collection; it was very similar to the l’Herbe Rouge you know, but with more carnation at the heart); and of course my first perfume, Ayala, which has a dominant clove and carnation note at the heart in addition to the other floral notes.

Once the Altamira perfume had to be neglected, I came up with the idea of the name InCarnatnion, for a soliflore perfume. It wasn’t until 2006 though that I have seriously started to flesh out the concept and think about it in the context of my soliflore collection – The Language of Flowers. This collection is a study of individual floral notes, some of which classic themes for soliflores (i.e.: rose, violet, lavender, and of course, carnation), and others are a bit more unusual (i.e.: osmanthus, magnolia, linden blossom…).

While the concept for The Language of Flowers is that of simplicity and minimalism, it is not to say that all of the perfumes are all that simple… Some notes require a complex backdrop for them to truly shine. And InCarnation is one of those scents, where the formula is complex and hides in it more than would be apparent to the unsuspecting nose… And when I have found a carnation absolute that I liked, it was time to start working… This carnation absolute from Egypt performed like a carnation blossom upon dilution – as if the alcohol opened its mysteriously spicy and green buds and allowed them to bloom fully.

For the first time, I’ve used the animal material called “Africa Stone Tincture”. The name is deceiving and confusing – while it does come from Africa, this is not really a stone. Rather, it is a nice perfumey name for the dropping of the rock hyrax, a relative of the elephant that releases large doses of pheromones into its droppings in order to communicate with other hyraxes. The scent is leathery and animalic (think both indolic and uric at once, and with that dry leathery undertone – hence it is most commonly described as a cross between civet and castoreum, which is a pretty good description if you ask me). Unlike the latter, hyraceum (AKA Africa stone tincture) was obtained by neither killing the animal nor torturing it – but rather by a meticulous and careful, albeit innocently odd and obsessive – collection of the animal droppings from nature without disturbing it from its peaceful life. While I can’t say I like hyraceum nearly as much as costus, it does add to InCarnation that animalic undertone I was hoping for – while fixing the floral notes quite nicely.

Other notes were chosen for their resemblance of aspects of the fresh carnation flower. Clove buds, allspice and tolu balsam for their eugenol content, of course; Carrot seed for its woody, green yet somewhat starchy and nutty presence; black pepper and nutmeg for an initial dry sharpness; tuberose, rose and ylang ylang to enhance the floralcy of carnation and its richness… And voila! I have created yet another InCarnation of this flower in my private olfactory memory…
I can’t say that I have replicated the fresh flower’s aroma; nor can I pretend that it reached any near previous carnation masterpieces (Bellodgia and Poivre by Caron being the most significant of all in my opinion)… But I’m happy with it and I have enjoyed tremendously the paths that lead me to create it.

can be made in both parfum extrait $110 and crème parfum. The crème parfum is contained in Ayala Moriel’s signature pendant $150, collectible poison rings (price ranges) $55-$100), or the vintage pillbox with carnation print $130 (pictured below).


Coral Tree, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

I’m proud to introduce to you Coralle – my newest addition to “The Language of Flowers” soliflore collection.

Coralle is centred around Ylang Ylang, the tropical creamy-yellow coloured tree flowers with a heady aroma that is like no other – heady-floral, sweet-fruity and creamy-smooth. I chose only the softest, sweetest and creamiest ylang ylang there is, including ylang ylang concrete and ylang ylang absolute from Comores Island, and paired it with the sparkling aldehydic juiciness of Clementine and grapefruit. The heart includes the fruity, full-bodied wine-like aromas of Geranium bourbon and Davana. Sweet vanilla adds a tropical charm and is tampered by a hint of vetiver, creating the olfactory illusion of sun-bleached driftwood.

takes me to a soft sandy beach and a skin-caressing sun. I lean on a trunk of driftwood and let all the worries of the world dissolve in the salty ocean breeze and sink into the sand. I dive into the turquoise water to explore myriads of coral colours. I sundry my skin and wear nothing but bright lays of tropical flowers – orange, pink, red and pure white… They scent the air around me, connecting me to the things that make me the most happy – beauty, nature and scent.

Top Notes: Ylang Ylang Oil, Grapefruit, Clementine
Heart Notes: Ylang Ylang Cream, Geranium Bourbon, Davana

Base Notes: Amber, Vanilla, Bourbon, Vetiver

P.s. The coral necklace in the image above does not come with the perfume. It is a family heirloom passed on to me by my ocean-loving grandmother. Her two daughters always wanted it, so to avoid hard feelings between them, she gave it to her one and only grand daughter - me :)

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