Portobello West July 29th

Here is a little glimpse into the spectacular adventure of Portobello West this weekend. It was a vibrant and lively day at the market, with hundreds of Vancouvererites experiencing innovative local art, fashion and design, and discovering new concepts and cutting edge products.

I had a fantastic time meeting new perfume enthusiasts and witnessing their facial expressions as they experienced my perfumes. It never ceases to amaze me how a perfume can be new and at the same time feel familiar... One doesn't often see that mixture of emotions and double-takes in reaction to what is seemingly just a still-life object...

Portobello West Ayala Moriel Parfums Display 29.07.2007, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

The chocolate truffles were consumed with much delight and I came home with nearly none left. We made two flavours the night before, with organic whipping cream and premium chocolates:

Dark chocolate truffles with nutmeg and lavender - which is the most exotic flavour resulting from rather familiar essences.

White chocolate truffles with specs of vanilla, litsea cubeba and neroli - rolled in lemon peel and coconut (pictured below).

Lemon Vanilla Truffles, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Those of you who live or visit in the area, the next market is August 26th, and should not be missed! Those who visited the market, I hope to see you again soon, either at my studio, the next Portobello West market or one of my upcoming workshops!

First Solid Perfume Workshop

Ceramic Casseroles, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

My first ever solid perfume workshop happened tonight and was plenty of fun! Everybody just loved the perfume they've created for themselves. I had a great time too, as there is nothing more pleasant for me than to share my passion and knowledge with like minded people who love and appreciate scent, and are eager to learn.

I was also happy that we had just enough time and didn't need to rush anything at all. We started with tea and than smelled all the essences that I had picked for us to use. We than planed our perfumes and went step by step through the process of fragrance creation, drop by drop until each one was happy with the result. The

Solid Perfume Workshop 28.06.2007, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Above are the results of the first solid perfume workshop:

Keona's Green Queen - with notes of Peru balsam, Rose Absolute, Lime, Ginger, Myrrh and Labdanum

Marcia's Fiesta - with notes of Cocoa Absolute, Lavender Concrete, Rose Absolute, Fresh Ginger Essential Oil and Lime Essential Oil. Marcia picked a lovely vintage pillbox for her perfume (the label is on the bottom) with a yellow-rose decoration on the porcelain lid.

Ty's Middle Earth Essence - with notes of Peru Balsam, Copaiba Balsam, Clary Sage, Violet Leaf Floral Wax and Juniper Berry Essential Oil.

The next Solid Perfume workshop is scheduled for July 12th. There will be another one on July 31st, and at least one more in August. For more information about the workshops, click on the Workshop Calendar button on the right.

P.s. It's quite uncommon for things to go smoothly and arrive on time, so you can imagine my thrill today when I discovered the ceramic casseroles I've ordered online have arrived just on time for my first solid perfume workshop! I've ordered 10 of them, since the two I have and use in my studio would not be enough for a workshop that is open for up to 6 participants. It certainly made things a lot easier...

CALDENDAR of Olfactory & Culinary Workshops


Raw Materials 02, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

The following are the classes and workshops offered at Ayala Moriel Parfums studio during the next few months. There are no pre-requisites for attending these workshops, but we do recommend you register for the class as early as possible, as the number of spots is very limited (we only take 6 students for the practical workshops, and up to 10 for "theoretical" workshops such as lectures and olfactory presentations).
Thursday, August 9th

Calendar of Workshops and Olfactory Events at Ayala Moriel Parfums Studio

The following is our workshop calender. You may also book a workshop just for you and a small group of friends (up to 10). More details on available workshops can be found below.

Sunday, November 11th, 1:00-3:00pm

Rememberance Day - No Classes

Thursday, November 15, 6:00-9:00pm


Sunday, November 18th, 1:00-3:00pm

Candle Making Workshop

Wednesday, November 21st, 6:30-8:30pm


Thursday, November 22, 6:00-9:00pm


Sunday, November 26th, 11:30-6:00pm

Portobello West - No workshops

Thursday, November 29th, 6:30-8:30pm

Stunning Stationary: Scented paper and Greeting Cards

Sunday, December 2nd, 12:00-3:00pm

Crème Parfum workshop

Sunday, December 2nd, 3:00-6:00pm

The Art of Incense

Thursday, December 6th, 6:30-8:30pm

Stunning Stationary: Scented paper and Greeting Cards

Sunday, December 9th, 1:00-3:00pm

Crème Parfum workshop

Thursday, December 13th, 6:30-8:30pm

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES WORKSHOP - for last minute gift-making!!!

Sunday, December 16th, 11:30-6:00pm

Portobello West - No workshops -last minute holiday shopping ;)

Thursday, December 20th

CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES WORKSHOP - for last minute gift-making!!!

Workshops Details


Learn how to make scented chocolate truffles with fine chocolate base and precious floral essences. We will be making two types of truffles (white or milk based, and dark chocolate base), and you will be taking them home with you to share with loved ones (or not…).
How much: $40 per person including materials (limited to 6 people)

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Scent Stripes, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Crème Parfum workshop

Learn how to design and create your own personal perfume from precious botanical essences. By the end of the workshop, you will have made a perfume to take with you. We will provide simple jars as basic packaging, but fancy silver compacts or porcelain pillboxes from the perfumer’s collection will be available for purchasing, for those who wish to add an extra visual and tactile touch to their first olfactory creation!
How much: $75 per person incudling materials (limited to 6 people)


Join our guest instructor Nikki Sheritt, an artisan candle maker of Seattle-based Gabriel's Aunt, for an afternoon of candle-making. You will learn how to make beautifully fragrant soy candles using essential oils and natural vegetable waxes. You'll be guided step-by-step in the process of blending the essences, moulding and crafting a high-quality, clean-burning candle. By the end of the class, you will take with you a specially scented candle, beautifully packaged and gift wrapped - ready to go under the tree!
Date: Sunday, November 18th, 1:00-3:00pm
How much: $45 including materials


Learn about the origins of incense and create your own incense blend using precious resins, gums, woods, spices and herbs. We will pulverize, grind and mix together raw materials that were used in incense makig since antiquity. After experiencing first hand the sensual aromatic process of incense making you may never look at incense the same way again...
How much: $35 per person incudling materials (limited to 6 people)

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Learn how to make ice cream from scratch, using top quality fresh ingredients and original, all-natural flavourings such as hydrosols and resins traditionally used in Middle Eastern desserts.
This class is also open to children ages 4 and up, when accompanied with a parent.

How Much: $25/adult, $5/child

Chocolate Truffles with Kids

Learn how to make scented chocolate truffles with fine chocolate base and delicious botanical essences. We will be making two types of children's favourite truffles (white and milk), and you will be taking them home with you to share with siblings and friends (or not…).

How much: $25/adult $5/child
*This class is also open to children ages 3 and up, when accompanied with a parent.

LIP BALMS with Kids

Create your own delicious lip balm for soft glossy lips! Making lip balm is fun and easy, and a great way to engage young children in the process.

How much: $25/adult $5/child
*This class is also open to children ages 3 and up, when accompanied with a parent.

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Making your own bath and body products is fun and easy. You’ll be using high quality, readily available ingredients to make your own, custom-scented bath salts and massage oils.

How much: $45 person including materials (limited to 6 people)


Making your own bath and body products is fun and easy. You’ll be using high quality, readily available ingredients to make your own, custom-scented sugar scrubs.

How much: $45 per person incudling materials (limited to 6 people)


Making your own bath and body products is fun and easy. You’ll be using high quality, readily available ingredients to make your own, custom-scented body butters.

How much: $45 per person incudling materials (limited to 6 people)

Introduction to Natural Perfumery

This class is an interactive introduction to the art of natural perfumery. You will learn about how perfume is constructed, and will get exposed to the thinking process of a perfumer. You will learn how to sniff like a “Nose” and evaluate beautiful and strange essences from around the world, and smell how they were incorporated in some of Ayala Moriel’s perfume creations.

How much: $25 per person

DIY Booze

Learn how to make your own fine liquors from readily available aromatics and spirits.
In this class we will make homemade Limoncello, a classic for the summer!

How much: $25 per person (Including materials)

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Powders and Sachets

Create all-natural sachets, scented powders and potpourri based on vintage recipes from the turn of the century. The finished products make a perfect gift and will inspire you to do more at home.

How much: $45 per person (Including materials)

Stunning Stationary: Scented paper and Greeting Cards

Make your own beautifuly scented stationary and greeting cards. We will be using handcrafted paper and blank greeting cards and botanical elements to create stunning stationary - both visually and olfactory-wise. The stationary can be used as holiday greeting cards, or as a gift with a personal touch.

How much: $40 per person (including materials)

Aromatic Cooking with Fresh Herbs, Spices & Floral Essences

"We cook and complain that it's a waste of time, when we should be pouring our love into making that food" (Paulo Coelho, "The Witch of Portobello")

Join Ayala for a fabulous evening of aromatic cooking- using fresh herbs, freshly ground spices, floral waters and essential oils - in both savory and sweet dishes. Your will be given a collection of recipes to try at home, and receive guidelines for aromatic cooking. As an inspiration, we will be preparing a seasonal feast together (which we will enjoy at the end of the class, of course!) including an appetizer, a main course, a dessert and beverages to accompany the meal. I hope that by the end of the class you will feel inspired to use your own aromatic culinary creations at home and feel encouraged to express your creativity in the kitchen, using the best quality aromatics you can source.

In each cooking workshop, no matter the season, will give some basic guidelines and recipes for:

Preparing from scratch your own ground spice mixtures and pastes (such as curries, garam masalas, etc.).

Using fresh herbs in savory dishes, dips, condiments and pickles.

Preparing your own salad dressings and marinades using essential oils and/or fresh herbs.

Using exotic spices and/or essential oils in desserts and baked goods.

Concocting specialty teas and beverages - chilled or warm, depending on the seasons.

How much: $55 including materials (space limited to 6 students).

Dolomates Dinner
Learn how to make Stuffed Grapevine Leaves and than join the feast of Dolomates and other delicious appetizers from the Mediterranean region!
How much: $45 per person

Intro to Natural Perfumery: Raw Materials

Raw Materials 03, originally uploaded by Ayala Moriel.

Yesterday night was the first "Intro to Natural Perfumery" presentation at my studio. We went through the materials used in natural perfumery, how they are in their raw state (with some samples as pictured above), how their essences are extracted, and how the essences are than being put together to make a perfume.

We went through some representative building blocks from most groups (i.e.: citrus, herbal, floral, earthy, animalic, woody, spicy, etc.) and also talked about the fragrance pyramid (top notes, heart notes and base notes).

We concluded the presentation with a breakdown of one of my perfumes, ArbitRary. I pulled apart the notes that make it, and we smelled them together on blotter stripes, pulling apart the horizontal accords and vertical accords, and than smelling them all together and comparing them to the finished perfume.

We had a full house of 6 participants, which gives everybody just enough time to sniff the essences and ask questions and so on. I try to make my presentations as "hands-on" and interacntive as possible. I think it's more interesting this way than just listen to someone talk for two hours :)
It was fun for both myself and the participants, and I am looking forward to more presentations like this one in the future!

Next Thursday (June 21st) will be a Limoncello making workshop (an Italian lemon liquor), and the last workshop this month will be a solid perfume making workshop. We only have space for 6 people in each workshop, and spaces are filling up fast - so make sure you reserve your spot now if you'd like to participate!

A full calendar of workshops will be posted here (as well as on my website) shortly. Also, starting July, I will be offering the Foundations of Natural Perfumery course - a basic course of 8 sessions for all those who want to learn how to make perfumes on their own. In the fall, I will be also offering more courses on the topic, starting with beginner level and working up to intermediate level Natural Perfumery. Classes will be offered on Mondays and Thursdays, with some one-on-one sessions and possibly weekend sessions as well.

First Chocolate Truffle Workshop Report

My first chocolate truffle workshop was extremely successful! We had a full house, and we made two types of truffles:
Blood Truffles - dark chocolate with Turkish rose otto, saffron and chilli pepper (ouch!)
Charisma Truffles - inspired by my perfume by the same name, with matcha green tea powder, jasmine sambac, litsea cubeba and spearmint. These were covered with a mixture of matcha and powdered coconut.
We made two batches of each - one for the students to take home, and one to serve on my upcoming Perfume Party - launching Tirzah. I think the matcha truffles will be a perfect complement to the linden blossom fragrance. We'll also have a linden blossom tea made by a local tea artisan.
If you live in Vancouver, you should not miss the party (Saturday, June 16, 7-11pm) or the upcoming workshops here every Thursday at 6:30pm.
Next Thursday, June 14: Interactive presentation about how to think (and sniff!) like a nose and an introduction to natural perfumery.

I am really looking forward to meet more of you, and hope you could come and join me at one point or the other... Spaces are limited so book yourself well in advance: we have room for up to 20 people for the presentation on June 14th, and all of the "hands-on" workshops are for 6 people max. It's really important to keep the forum small so each student can get the guidance and close attention they need during the learning process.

P.s. I will post photos of the fabulous truffles tomorrow when there is daylight...
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