"I unlaced the front of my robe and rubbed my body quickly with handfuls of the lavender and valerian. It was a pleasant , spicy smell and richly evocative. A smell that, to me, conjured the shade of the man who wore its perfume, and the shade of the man behind him; shades that evoked confusing images of present terror and lost love. A smell that to Jamie, must recall the hours of pain and rage spent wrapped in its waves. I rubbed the last of it vigorously between my palms and dropped the fragrant shreds on the floor. " Diana Gabaldon ~ Outlander
I sniff my way through life. It's no surprise to anyone really that I wound up writing articles for the perfume industry , but it would surprise many what really goes into creating an extraordinarily beautiful fragrance. Many of the accords by themselves are surprisingly indolic and feral, but in the hands of a master nose they're magically turned into something magnificent. I think that this is one of the things that drew me immediately and passionately into Diana Gabaldon's books.
The world that she has created in the Outlander series is a primitive and sensual one; there is no author that I have experienced that can write about blood, sweat and streaming breast milk in a way that immerses you in it. Her descriptions of lovemaking, raw sex and even rape are so visceral, so steeped in the verbiage of scent and touch that you are practically living through it. The first time I read Outlander, the hairs stood up on the back of my neck. I began breathing heavily...I sobbed through the awful bits, wept with joy through the reunions and poignant moments and the story didn't leave me for months after I finished it. Because of Outlander, I know the smell of fear, the stench of pain and the scent of the truest of loves....
When I began having thoughts about creating La Dame Blanche..the Outlander inspired perfume I knew that there was one perfumer that I could count on to be as captivated by the magic of the Outlander world as I am. That was Roxana Villa, of Roxana Illuminated Perfumes.
I have known Roxana for many years now, but I've never forgotten the first time we met. She met me at her front door with a beautiful cobalt goblet or branch water which she'd waved her magic jasmine scented wand over. It was my first experience with hydrosols; The exquisite floral waters that are created as a result of distillation of plant material and water. They are not as potent as the essential oil , but they're not used in the same way. Hydrosols are pure refreshment... soft kisses of fragrance that are not meant to be lasting, but instead experienced immediately. That moment was the beginning of a wonderful collaboration that I have enjoyed for so long now. She simply bewitched me and I have never been surprised by this.
When I called her to talk about this crazy idea that I had for a perfume she mentioned to me that she'd never read Outlander. I was astonished, but not for long because the next time we spoke she was already listening to Dragonfly and Amber. "I know what we should name it" she said. "I was thinking about La Dame Blanche" I said..."That's what I was thinking" she said...and then the muses took over. By the time we were done we had a liquid perfume and a solid perfume and her husband Greg had painted a beautiful White Lady for us, a magnificent interpretation as only he could create....
Spending time with Roxana is a bit like wandering into the lair of the Greenwitch....she is Fey without even trying. She has a laugh like Tinkerbell, but she has a wicked lusty side to her as well. Just take one whiff of my personal favorite of her fragrances "Q" which is short for Quercus agrifolia ; the coastal California Oak. If you've ever wondered what Jamie Fraser smells like, I'm pretty sure that this is it. A wondrous synergy created by the masterful blending of infused oak leaves, amber, wood, resin, citrus, vanilla, smoke, chaparral , this is the essence of Himself, lusty, strong, practical and steadfast as the oak and definitely as self assured.
Roxana's beautiful Chypre fragrance, "Gracing the Dawn" is Claire Beauchamp Randall , redolent of violet, fern, vanilla and leather, sitting by a window, brushing out her beautiful curly hair and waiting to fall passionately into Franks arms , while the ghost of the passionate Highlander who loves/will love her simply waits.....
On the other hand, "La Dame Blanche" is Claire Fraser fallen through the stones of Craig na Dun ...La Dame Blanche is a voluptuous green floral with a heart of rose, jasmine and tuberose. There is a tincture of sapphires and horse hair, amber and wood. It was blended and released on Samhain 2014 and it is as complex, mysterious and voluptuous as the Sorciere herself. It's a gorgeous perfume and the beauty of it is that it doesn't quite make sense...You will constantly be trying to decipher it's secrets. Tell me...does that sound like anyone we know?
Roxana crafts her gorgeous botanical perfumes using mostly beautiful accords that she creates herself from flowers, resins, gemstones , spices and woods that she's lovingly gathered. There are no fragrance oils and no animal products used at all save the luscious beeswax and honey from the hives that she tends herself and a bit of horse hair and sapphires that I tinctured for her as we created La Dame Blanche .
She has a background in illustration so she spends hours crafting the storyboards of her fragrances, and immersing herself in their worlds. When Roxana's perfumes are finally released, more care, love and sheer craftsmanship has gone into them then you could ever imagine. Opening a package from her at any time is like opening a precious gift thats been wrapped just for you. Like La Dame Blanche herself, Roxana can look straight into your soul and know just what you need....
And in honor of this weeks episode 16, a tale of inspired love and redemption (and a wee bit of sorcery!) I have for one lucky winner an incredibly romantic and beautiful gift!
I have a collection of twenty beautiful samples of Roxana's solid perfumes and a precious sample vial of the first of the Samhain release of the "La Dame Blanche" liquid perfume. This is easily a 120.00 plus value and you will love trying all of these wonderful fragrances and writing your love notes on the "Musing the Goddess" postcards, created by Roxana's husband Greg that I've included with them. The drawing will be held from May the 26th at 11:00 pm until May the 31st at 11:00 pm. The incredibly lucky winner will be chosen by Random.org.
To enter this drawing all you have to do is go to this page https://www.facebook.com/events/435618183278177/ and "Join" the party!