Today's featured shop is one that, for me, deals in memories, both in conjuring them up and making them new. Roxana at Illuminated Perfume creates botanical fragrances by hand that are natural, organic, and sustainable. Here is how she describes her work:
“The botanical perfumes I create are very concept driven and fabricated by my own hand. In keeping with the spirit of the exquisite handmade artifact, the quarter ounce perfume flacons arrive in a couture crocheted pouch. Each fragrance is illuminated with an image by artist and concept designer Greg Spalenka. All these aspects create an intimate interaction with the beauty of nature. While studying in art school I took classes on bookmaking and letterpress printing. Later when I lived in New York I owned a Van der Cook flat bed Letterpress housed in a brownstone in Greenwich Village. The love of craft is embedded in my artistic psyche. As William Morris, I embrace the primacy of the handmade object and wish to bring that heritage and romance to my fragrance line.”
I went to her shop recently for the very first time and found myself reading through all her fragrance descriptions. I was doing this for quite a long time and felt myself becoming more captivated by her relationship with her fragrances with each aroma described. It was like reading a diary of an ancient sorceress that crafted the world around her. I want to give you an example. This is, by far, the longest feature I've ever done, but her writing is worth it. The description below is for just one of her perfumes. Chiaroscuro. I fell in love with this fragrance like you would fall in love with a person you've never met. A lover who wrote his thoughts and desires, but never sent the letter to his desired one. Come read with me:
"Chiaroscuro, the name of this conceptual natural perfume, has its origins in the world of Italian painting, referencing tonal contrasts. The literal translation of the word is light-dark. The perfume is sweet and dark, naughty and nice. The sweetness of the jasmine is amplified by myrtle and spice contrasting against patchouli and jatamansi (spikenard). The liquid perfume represents the dark/scuro aspect while the solid is the light/chiaro side. Chiaroscuro as a liquid perfume begins quite dark and indolic laced with notes of roots and camphor. As you journey through the night in the deep moist woods a clearing of jasmine is illuminated with the light of myrtle. The robust fragrance features a very unusual scent evolution by moving from dark to light with deep, warm notes that linger like a dreamy lover. The fragrance is imbued with a bouquet of tinctured jasmine sambac blossoms I have gently gathered and extracted all Summer long. The palette of botanical essences: essential oils, absolutes, c02 extracts and tinctures is vast. The fragrance begins extremely dark and heavy moving is a voluptuous, sensual and feminine fragrance.
"Return often and take me at night, when the lips and skin remember.~ A snippet from a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy
Chiaroscuro is a shape shifter, she is both the beauty and the beast from mythical heroic stories. She is the light of the luminous moon and the darkness of the night. She is the spell caster, anoint and envision what you want to manifest for the next season."
Gorgeous. And that poem...
In the case that you've been hooked like me, she has a blog too. She has the most beautiful photography and journals there and it was nice to feel a bit of magic stirring inside after getting lost in her musings.
To visit all her tantalizing creations, click here.
And make sure to make a stop at her blog.