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Song of the Sea : Roxana Villa's GreenWitch


When I first smelled the GreenWitch, Roxana Villa's extraordinary sea chypre perfume, I was reminded of the  many men who have told me that the sea is the mistress  whose secrets once discovered can never be forgotten.

I have seen this passion in my own son who has been in love with her ever since the first time that he was old enough to run into her waves as a little boy, splashing happily and sobbing with the most painful sorrow when it was time to leave. Every year we brought him back to California and as he grew he learned to surf and kayak and eventually sail.  When he took a trip to the Florida Keys as an 18 year old to spend a week on a small sailboat with a crew from Outward Bound he was in the throes of a relationship with a beautiful woman that he loved but who was going to choose an incredible arts college in Chicago to pursue a dream that was absolutely right for her, but wrong for him. He was  having to make the painful choice between giving up his dream of going to school in California and the first girl that he ever fell completely in love with.  So I did the only thing that I could think of to do, I sent him off to play in the sea. He barely set foot on land for 12 days and he was blissfully happy the whole time.  By the time he returned he’d swum with sharks during the day and watched the dolphins play all around the little boat, covered in the luminous algae that shimmers and glows only in the nighttime hours. He had learned to navigate by the stars. I saw the look on his face and I knew that he knew what his choice was going to be. The relationship ended painfully and left him fairly shattered inside although he’d made the choice powerfully himself. It was a very scary time for him, but  somehow I knew that it would be okay.


One morning I woke up to find him in the kitchen looking at diving schools. We made the decision that he would go to Honduras for a three month program, so that he could become a Divemaster. Off he went to the little island of Utila, having never spoken a bit of Spanish and fortunately armed with an iphone with international texting!  He dove everyday for 3 months and explored the beautiful reefs in the area.  He called one day incredibly excited to tell me about the huge barracuda that he’d swum overtop of when he and his friends were out diving. He completed his certification and came back to the states. I will always be grateful.  I sent him to Honduras completely broken and Honduras sent him back to us, whole and complete. 

 Alex lives in his beloved California in a condominium that we all share together, less than 600 feet from his beloved sea.  He goes to school everyday and comes home, grabs his surfboard and runs happily down to the beach. When we come for visits we go for long walks together on the beach and he grabs his father and drags him into the waves again to surf, just like he used to as a little boy.  He is in love with a wonderful girl who goes down to the beach with him while he surfs and reads or practices her yoga and he is truly happy.  

Green Witch

 I trust him in the turbulent sea and maybe it is because I truly believe in the old ways, that maybe there is indeed an ocean Goddess who protects my son who's always out there splashing about in her waves.  In the story of the GreenWitch, the incredible tale by Susan Cooper that has inspired Roxana to create this beautiful fragrance, her name is Tethys and she is the “The Ancient Ocean Goddess and the Queen of the Wild Magic”. Any woman who has born a child knows that the smell of the sea is the sweet smell of birth, of a primordial stew that we’ve all risen from coupled with a particular type of wild magic that knows absolutely no boundaries. She is a generous Goddess who gives us abundant sustenance and plentiful jewels.  If you’ve found a piece of frosted sea glass while walking along the beach, then you’ll know what I mean. Tethys is the wild untamed link between my son and me, the psychic bond that we share together that allows me to see into his heart and know everytime that I need to let him go. I trust her completely to keep him safe. 

For me, the wild GreenWitch  is Roxana’s most inspired fragrance to date.  The second that I put it on I was taken back to the moment that my own waters broke and the waves of contractions began to overwhelm me. 23 years ago I took a deep breath and plunged into my own wild sea and the result was my beautiful son.  GreenWitch  is a gorgeous “sea chypre”  that takes my breath away over and over again.  It smells of something wild and wonderful and it also reminds me of the first time that I held my child and smelled the sea in him. The seaweed absolute and the tincture of kelp  are only part of the magical formula that Roxana has created in this bewitching fragrance, but they are energetically present in this perfume in a way that cannot help but  send you dreaming into vast and ancient spaces.  Of all the chypres that I have ever loved, GreenWitch is my absolute favorite .   

As for my Alex, his next great adventure will probably be 6 months on a Sea Shepherd boat sometime next year chasing down Japanese whalers or protecting the sharks that he loves.  I will be sharing Roxana’s GreenWitch with him and I know that he will be drawn instantly to it and the sea magic that it contains.  It smells like he does, just a bit like the seawind , briny and sweet.  He will also cherish the fact that a percentage of each flacon sold will be donated to Greenpeace to help protect his beloved oceans. In her typical fashion, Roxana has created a beautiful perfume but also a powerful and magical offering.  The release of this fragrance today during the unfolding Vernal Equinox is a potent springtime spell for us all. We all come from the sea and we shall all in some way return to her.  It is time for us to see the connections both personal and global to this beautiful world that we all share together and begin to take the actions needed to protect her not just for us but for our great grandchildren and all of those who share this great space with us that we have never met.  It is urgent that we do so, it is profoundly clear that now is the time that we need to heed the call of our own wild natures. GreenWitch is the personal and deeply heartfelt natural prayer of one extraordinary woman and a powerful talisman for us all.  Wear it and become........

I have the honor of participating today in a blogothon about the GreenWitch with many of my incredibly gifted friends! Please go to the following blogs to read their incredible offerings!  

Ida at BitterGrace Notes

The Non Blonde

Tom at Perfume Posse

Scent Hive

Perfume Shrine

Portland Examiner

Roxana and Davis
Illuminated Perfume Journal

Picture of Alex -Courtesy of Alexander Gehring

Other images by Roxana Villa and Gregory Spalenka


Scent Hive

Yet another beautiful piece of writing from you that touched my core. I love how your related GreenWitch to birth and your son's undying love of the ocean. I too got a beachy (and a floral one at that) feeling from the fragrance which instantly transported me to spending summers in Laguna Beach. I couldn't stand when it was time to leave, and now with GreenWitch, I don't have to.



How very poignant Beth! Love how you weaved in the power of the sea, water element, the primordial aspect that we all came from and the aroma in relationship to birth! Glorious my dear. Wafting gratitude and the smell of the Pacific your way.


Beth, as usual your writing takes my breath away and weaves a magic spell of connection around the fragrance that you are describing. Wonderful!

I love GreenWitch too, it's such a great take on the Chypre style with that creative twist of the sea elements. I want a gallon of it!


I feel grateful to you for the tender saga of Alex and the sea...
And your deep, abiding faith in the Wise Ways.
Profoundly moving.

May the Eternal return shower you with many blessings.



a very brave decision and a poignant personal feeling post, thank you! It feels like I get to know a bit of each of you while reading your posts, which is the best part of these projects.
Happy Equinox to you!


A lovely piece- I'm so glad you shared it.

Beth Schreibman Gehring

To you all,
Thank you for reading my words and sharing with me that the story of my son has touched you. I love these collaborations....there is such power in them and I feel blessed to get to be a part of your worlds if only for a little while. It is truly an honor to work with such gifted writers and soul filled friends...
WIshing you all a beautiful first day of spring.....


Cat Fish

What a great project! I was directed from perfumeshreine to your blog and i am absolutely fascinated! Thank you for this great and touching post. I adore the sea and i could cry each time i meet it again, living far far away from the ocean.


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