Black Licorice Soap

Black Licorice Soap
Yesterday I made a 2nd batch of Black Licorice limited edition soap.
The monochromatic top hides a very colourful interior. Just wait for the slice reveal - et voila!

Layers of colours in two different techniques. I used only natural colorants and I love the result even though the alkanet root is not as purple as I hoped. I even added some indigo and titanium dioxide to brighten it a bit, with no success.
The other colours are red madder root, yellow-orange anatto seed, black activated charcoal and white titanium dioxide. One is a "pointy peaks" technique; and the left overs went into the rather wobbly stripes. By then the soap batter was too thick for anything fancy and some of the colours didn't have sufficient amounts for a while layer, while others had too much. so I just filled up with whatever was on hand. It's not as exciting as the pointy peaks but the colours are still pretty and vibrant and look very much in the spirit of Halloween 🎃 👻
Will be ready October 29th - just in time for Halloween 🎃 👻 🕷
The scent is named in the same manner as one of my perfumes, yet has a more realistic licorice-candy character.

Sniff or Treat Halloween Tea Party + Lucky Draw Announcement

Here are some of the highlights of the Sniff or Treat Halloween Tea Party that occurred yesterday afternoon. Hopefully the sights and the stories will convince you to be among our guests next time (if you happen to live or visit in the erea).

But first of all, let me announce the lucky winner among the guests who signed the guestbook - who will receive a 5ml travel roll-on perfume oil of Black Licorice perfume.
We numbered the guests based on the order they signed the book, and than got Random.org to pick them. The lucky winner is guest no. 8, who's no other than (drum roll)...

James Sherrett!

Congratulations James, I hope you will enjoy the sweet smell of Black Licorice and come to many more parties!Black Forest cupcakes (left) and Spider Eggs (right) which really are almonds covered with dates and rolled in roasted black sesame seeds.

Pomegranate tarts, with strawberry creme fraiche or lime curd; and fig tarts in a match-cream cheese filling.

Pumpkin tarts with lavender-orange shortbread crust.

Blue Cheese & Concord Grapes scones, Fennel & Golden Sultana scones, served with Devonshire cream and various jams and preserves, such as:
Bluebarb by Karin Brauch of Preserved BC Sunshine
(created with Vancouver unsprayed rhubarb, wild Cloverdale blueberries and married with a hint of Okanagan white wine).

Spiced Eggplant Confiture
(I made them myself based on a Morrocan recipe)

Raspberry Jelly by Naturally Rooted

Tea sandwiches: in the picture you see the tarragon-orange-fennel tea sandwiches, made with organic cream cheese and freshly grated orange zest and tarragon herb, and finely sliced fresh fennel bulb.
We also made cucumber-wasabi sandwiches, carrot-ginger, and deviled-egg-salad ones.

Fresh Mission figs and homemade biscotti (anise-almond; chocolate-hazelnut)

Kurogoma cupcakes, with black sesame cake and a matcha-cream-cheese frosting.

Teas served:
Hulnejan (the witche's brew)
Roses et Chocolat
Lapsang Suchong (ArtFarm)

And last but not least - the presentation touched on the connection between the spirit world and incense and plant essences; how incense was and still used to communicate with the spirit world and with loved ones that passed away, and smelling some of the essences of resins and woods used from ancient times for making incense: opoponax, myrrh, frankincense, costus, agarwood and more. We also smelled cade oil, which has a smoky, camp-fire scent and is similar to the Lapsang Suchong we drank in the party. And lastly, we burned a Japanese Kyara incense stick (the highest quality of oud) of the kind that is burnt on a daily basis in home-shrines for the family ancestors, and myrrh resin because of its connection to earth and embalming the dead in Egypt.

And below are some pictures of the guests at the party:

Trick or Sniff Halloween Party

Trick or Sniff!

Join us for a spooky tea party on Halloween, October 31st. Enjoy some deadly treats handcrafted by Ayala, such as the infamously addictive Blood Truffles (with chilli and rose) chocolate truffles, lavender-crusted pumpkin pie, licorice cupcakes, tarragon tea sandwiches, our exquisite perfumed teas - and last but not least: Ayala Moriel's perfume line guests are invited to sniff and explore while meeting other passionate perfumistas in Vancouver!

At 2pm there will be a presentation about scents that can bring the dead to life, and the less-known connections between witchcraft and perfumery.

And as if this and and all the treats and good company is not enough reason to come - you will also be getting goodie bags and door prizes, and a lucky draw to win a bottle of Black Licorice perfume!

The spooky menu for this wild tea party will include:

Fennel & Tarragon Tea Sandwiches
Wasabi & Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
Ginger & Carrot Tea Sandwiches
Deviled Eggs
Mushroom Mini-Quiches

Coronation Grapes & Blue Cheese Scones
Locally made jams and jellies
Devonshire Cream

Blood Truffles (75% cocoa with rose, chili, saffron and Kahluah)
Pumpkin Tarts with Lavender Shortbread Crust
Licorice Cupcakes
Anise Biscotti
Black Forest Cupcakes

Top quality teas, including:
Roses et Chocolat (Ayala Moriel Parfums)
Chartreuse Eau de Vie - digestif tonic/tisane with tarragon, fennel and flowers (Inner Alchemy Tea Co.)
Little Star - Pu Erh with rare chrysanthemum flowers (Inner Alchemy Tea Co.)
Earl Gray Cream (Herbal Republic)

Costumes are welcome - you can also continue on for trick or treating in the neighborhood afterwards :-)

RSVP on Facebook

P.s. The photo, which looks a bit Hieronymus Bosch like, is from last Halloween: the young woman who lives upstairs wanted to participate in Trick or Treating even though her suit has no access to the street. Being the creative person she is (which shows on her costume) - she used this umbrella to send the treats down to the kids on the street. It was so unique to see and so heartwarming that she went through all this effort sitting on the porch that cold night just to give West End kids a good Halloween experience!
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