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April 2011

Where the Shore meets the Sea : Roxana Villas Greenwitch Solid Perfume (and a fabulous prize draw!)



“To sail on a dream on a crystal clear ocean,

to ride on the crest of a wild raging storm

To work in the service of life and living,

in search of the answers of questions unknown

To be part of the movement and part of the growing,

part of beginning to understand,


Aye Calypso the places you've been to,

the things that you've shown us,

the stories you tell

Aye Calypso, I sing to your spirit,

the men who have served you so long and so well


Like the dolphin who guides you, you bring us beside you

To light up the darkness and show us the way

For though we are strangers in your silent world

To live on the land we must learn from the sea

To be true as the tide and free as a wind swell

Joyful and loving in letting it be


Aye Calypso the places you've been to,

the things that you've shown us,

the stories you tell

Aye Calypso, I sing to your spirit,

the men who have served you so long and so well”

Calypso by John Denver






Lucky me, for I have become enchanted by the Greenwitch.  I’m not resisting her magic….. her sirens song brings back luscious memories and blinds me to my own primal fear. She carries within her soul the most precious knowledge  of the sea…. That it is our first home and no matter what, no matter where we spend our final resting day that it is to the sea that we always will somehow , some little piece of what’s left of us return. Our tears are made of the same blood as hers. 

When I opened the beautifully wrapped parcel that I received from Roxana Villa of her Greenwitch solid perfume  and smoothed some of the buttery unguent  into the hollow of my throat I was instantly mesmerized. I became acquainted with the Greenwitch last year  in it’s ethereal liquid formulation and the solid perfume  is equally as enchanting! Roxana’s Greenwitch is a groundbreaking Sea Chypre and it IS for me the long walks on the beach that I crave, that beacon that shines from the lighthouse straight into my soul. It smells at once of the deepest part of the sea AND the sea-spray, of male passion and amber.  It is the scent of musky womb water and deep forest flowers. This witch is all of those things and even more that I have not yet begun to fathom. Her song is the song of the whales AND the eagles.  She is at once whole and disarming all at the very same time …she is the very truest essence of Gaia distilled into a magically fragrant form.

Greenwitch  is  a completely  natural fragrance with many different notes including hand blended accords of green floral essences,  oakmoss , vetiver , patchouli and seaweed.  The only exception to the all botanical  formulation is a little bit of musky Africa stone which is the fossilized excretion of the Cape Hyrax and thousands of years old that creates an alchemy with the other sweet essences to cause a silky fusion of savory, salty and sweet.  As the heat of my skin melted the jojoba and the soft creamy beeswax from Roxana’s own hives  the fragrance was unleashed and I was flooded by a million memories of the sea ,  of surfing the big waves of off the black sandy beaches of Hawaii  and playing with the rays, of kayaking in La Jolla and having sharks swim underneath and dolphins playing alongside me in the waves. I’m reminded of the sweetest times spent with my son and nephew when they were very young, building forts of drift wood , splashing at the waters edge and feeding white bread to the greedy gulls. 

When Alex was a young boy we’d take the whale watching boats that sail off the San Diego coast into the deeper waters to watch for the gray whales that migrate from Mexico all of the way back to their summer feeding ground in the deep waters of the Bering Sea.   I will never forget those moments.  The extraordinary power, majesty and beauty of those magnificent creatures can’t be truly known until you’re in the water with them watching them swim, breach and dive. The sight of the flukes of a gray whale who has just begun a deep dive is breathtaking and a reminder of who we really are.….My son who has since become a diver tells me of interactions with creatures once unfathomable to him, diving with sharks and barracudas in their mysterious realms and facing the fear that distracts us everyday from really living. Surfing in the waters off of  San Diego he became intimately acquainted with communities of harbor seals and  dolphins who frequently came close to him when he was paddling out to the big waves.  


One day when we flew out to visit him in San Diego, I looked in the back of his truck and saw a trident shaped fishing spear alongside his surf board and wetsuit.  When I asked him if he was fishing he told that he was indeed, but for garbage not fish. Everyday he and many of the other surfers would go out and clean the kelp beds of as much paper and plastic as they could find, put it in their trucks and take it to the trash bins. Way too much debris from our lives here on earth is ending up in the vast beautiful ocean spaces. It is as if because we cannot really see what is living within it’s depths that we are ignorant of the devastation we are causing and as we destroy our oceans, we slowly destroy ourselves. Spend one afternoon paddling the seas in an insignificant  plastic kayak and have a pod of dolphins surf the waves with you and your life will change forever. Trust me...the desire to protect and nurture that which you previously hadn’t been able to see will instantly overwhelm you.

 Our beautiful planet is mostly covered by these ancient swirling , living seas and we will never be able to live within them as the sea creatures can although we are constantly trying , incessantly searching . It is hard work to look beneath the surface of anything, whether it be of the sea or your soul.   Beckoning and frightening us at the same time , we ignore the sirens song at our peril sometimes until it’s almost too late. The beautiful scent of Roxana’s Greenwitch solid perfume is a magical spell of hope and rebirth …a reminder to look within, to find the joyful wildness that lurks inside our hearts …to become undomesticated at last. In doing so perhaps we will finally discover that we are the only ones who can save ourselves before it's too late. 

Roxana has generously given a sample of her new Greenwitch Solid perfume for me to give to one of you lucky readers! It is beautiful! If you'd like to be entered please leave me a comment and some of your thoughts or tips about preserving our beautiful environment and I'll put your name in my cauldron for the prize draw!

                    I am honored to be reviewing the new Greenwitch Solid Perfume today with several other very talented bloggers! Please go to their sites, read their musings and show them some love!

Roxana Villas Illuminated Perfume

Perfume Smellin Things

Scent Hive











Photograph of whale Flukes courtesy of http://www.whoi.edu Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute


Orchard Planting and Heirloom Apple Workshop brought to you by Community Green House Partners!


Hot off of the presses from The Community Greenhouse Partners! You won’t want to miss this fun and informative event! I’ll see you there!

“Please join us for a great afternoon of planting and learning, as Community Greenhouse Partners plants the "Katherine B Jones Memorial Woodland Garden" on the corner of East 65th and Superior on Palm Sunday, April 17th, 2011.

At 12:30 PM, Gary Paul Nabhan will conduct a free workshop focusing on: "Heirloom Fruit Search, Community Conservation, and Local Market Recovery". Nabhan is an internationally-celebrated nature writer, seed saver, conservation biologist and sustainable agriculture activist who has been called “the father of the local food movement” by Mother Earth News. Gary is also an orchard-keeper, wild forager and Ecumenical Franciscan brother in his hometown of Patagonia, Arizona near the Mexican border.

At 2 PM, we will move out to the front lawn of CGP, where we plan to plant at least 25 trees including various types of apple, pear and plum, bushes including huckleberry, blueberry and raspberry, plus many other varieties of plant life. The goal is to create a true Forest Garden, to act as an example of how vacant land can be transformed into a healthy landscape that creates both community and economic development opportunities.

Bring gloves and garden tools. Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP to the number given below or respond at their Facebook Event Site!

This event is made possible by a generous grant from the Katherine B and Thomas H. Jones Charitable Trust of the Cleveland Foundation. Additional support is being provided in the forms of tools being lent to CGP by the Greater Cleveland Habitat For Humanity's Re-Store. Thanks also to Food and Water Watch for helping with publicity. Additional Sponsors always welcome, contact Tim Smith for details at

The CGP Vision:
• Our most valuable assets are our people and our customers.
• Agriculture is the key to a sustainable future.
• Reach out to our neighbors and help them by helping themselves.
• Create a better future through education and training.
• Respect the community and the environment.
• Integrity and responsiveness in all our interactions with constituents.

In order to meet this mission CGP will develop programs that combine earth, food, employment, self-worth, education and opportunity into a replicable sustainable system that benefits both the individual as well as the community. These programs will be based on the following values:

• A valued, sustainable community is one that integrates human capital into a balanced ecosystem.
• Changes to the environment must be considered in context of their impact on the next seven generations.
• Changing the dynamics of a community begins with opportunity and creating the tools to achieve it.
• A healthy community is one that provides for the whole person.
• Respect for the individual, community and the environment must be integrated into all our actions.
• Our actions and accomplishments will be measured by our impact on the individual, the community and the environment.”

This is a press release from The Community Greenhouse Partners. They are doing amazing things here in our fair city! Please go to their website and learn how you can be involved!

Photograph of Heirloom apples courtesy of Ifoodtv. Please read their article How to save heirloom apples . It's a wonderful introduction to the whys and hows of the preservation of older varieties of this beloved fruit!