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The Clarimonde Project

“There’s a few things that I’ve learned in life; always throw salt over your left shoulder , keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck and fall in love whenever you can.”
Alice Hoffman, Practical Magic

So the wheel of the year has turned once again, bringing us back into the dark, plunging us deeply into the time of year when our need to move inside towards the hearth, away from the bone drenching cold into the arms of our lovers is the most important need that we have.
October 31 is the festival of Samhain in the witches year or Halloween , a time when the veils between worlds is so very thin and a time when if you dare to ask, those that have crossed over will reappear, sometimes with answers, sometimes with warnings. Today if you hear anyone whispering to beware in a voice as thin and wet as a creeping fog take heed.Today even if you don’t listen you will feel them pulling you away from danger and you will look , yet never see their misty astral bodies in the sunlight. Yet you will know that they have been there, as sure and unsettling to the soul as any horror movie could ever be. The spirit world is far reaching in a way that is more unsettling any of us could ever imagine. I know…I’ve seen, smelled and tasted of it firsthand. There ARE things that go bump in the night and you would be wise to listen for them. You’ll know that they are near when you walk through a spot that is cold for no apparent reason, or if you smell the sweet smell of spring honeysuckle or lilac on a cold autumn night. Maybe you’ll feel a hand on your shoulder as a friend of mine did one Samhain eve as she was feeding her horses, yet turn around to find no on there. All she heard was the voice of her Lakota grandfather fading fast into the cold dark night telling her to be careful of the old barn ladder.

For centuries, we have tried to make sense of that which we cannot see nor explain by burning them, exorcising them, ridiculing them or simply pretending that they don’t exist. Simple forms of banishment will never work, because how can you get rid of something that you have no understanding of. Witches like me have existed for centuries and even though you’ll try, you’ll never succeed in destroying us completely. You need us….we’re your voice into that other world that you are so afraid of, we’re the ones that know how to heal you without the medicines that will destroy you body and soul. We know how to hold your hand while you are dying and if it is part of your journey we will remove your fear. We know how to make sweet balms and perfumes that will make the homeliest among us instantly more glamourous and yes, be very careful because if we wanted your men, they would be powerless to resist us.
But I know that you’ve heard that old saying, “that there’s a little bit of witch in every woman” and it’s true. Every witch has a Grimoire, which is a handwritten journal of recipes and spells that has sometimes been passed down through many generations. If you’ve got one of your Grandmothers cookbooks, with all of her beautifully handwritten notes then you’re in possession of a book of family magic and you can use it to strengthen that bond any time you wish.
We have all kinds of magickal tools to play with, some of the most potent we learn from our mothers who never even realize what they were teaching us. There is magic in the art of preparing a beautiful meal for your family, there is magic in the art creating a beautiful home that conveys a message of comfort or status. My personal ‘Book of Shadows” is full of delectable recipes that will put all of the sparks back into your sex life and make you as bewitching as you’ve always dreamt you could be. In the spirit of celebration I’ve been asked to share with you my favorite things that I’ve been eating, drinking , sniffing or wearing this fall. I’ve been a busy little witch and my cupboard isn’t bare. So grab your brooms and meet me in my woods by the fire. Clothing is optional and the fire is very hot. There’s a bit of my favorite witches brew for everyone and of course because this is MY party, plenty of good food. So without further adieu here they are….
Some of my favorite things; all fabulously witchy , wonderful and ready for fall!
My Favorite Candle
Every good witch has to have a favorite candle and mine is the wonderful “Mary Jane” by the notorious fragrance house, Juliette’s got a Gun! When it burns my entire house is filled with the spectacular scent of Hashish, Pine and Oud. This candle comes poured into a simple silverplated cup that basically tells the story of this lovely tender creature that has been so reviled in the last century. If you’ve never been in an opium den or were not lucky enough to be a child a the late 60’s , then what I can say is that “Mary Jane” is the scent of a sweetly burning pile of maple leaves and oh so perfect for telling ghostly stories on a spooky autumn night.

Favorite Lipstick
My favorite lipstick that I’ve worn this fall, the one that never fails me is Lipstick Queens “Medieval”. This is more of a stain than a lipstick and it hearkens back to Medieval times when (GASP!) full coverage of your lips was considered a sin. Alas, what’s a hot young maiden to do? This wonderful, vitamin E filled and delectably rich balm gives your lips a juicy and lusciously bee stung appearance and stains your lips to a beautiful soft red that’s appropriate for almost any skin tone.

Favorite Classic Cocktail
A vintage pre-prohibition sazerac made with Bulleit Rye, a swish of Mata Hari absinthe, a touch of sugar , a caramelized lemon peel and some very excellent bitters. Pour all ingredients into a well chilled cocktail glass and stir.

Favorite Bitters
Bitters are making a comeback and not just your garden variety Angostura bitters, but in all kinds of flavors. Fee Bitters has been open since 1863 and are still mixing up the best blends that I’ve ever tasted. Try the White Peach or my personal favorite which is of course the Aztec Chocolate. The Black Walnut is absolutely bewitching when stirred into a bit of butterscotch schnapps and hot spiced rum!

Favorite Olive Oil
The white truffle infused olive oil from New Yorks fabulous Olive and Fig restaurant is simply to die for and they WILL ship it to you! If you or anyone you know loves truffles than this is a must. I buy this in gallons for my husband, who adores it. Drizzled on a salad or grilled meats makes them a completely decadent treat, but for the most sensual meal ever whisk a bit of it into a bowl of steaming creamy risotto with fresh butternut squash, a little bit of sautéed onion, potatoes and parmesan cheese.
Favorite Boots

These are a bit silly to be sure, but my favorite rain boots this year are from DKNY, lovely black rubber things with colorful sketches of New York City all over them and my favorite incantation that says over and over again…”New York…I love the feeling of never wanting to leave and always wanting to return” I said that over and over again for an hour and poof…an opportunity to return to NYC emerged for late January…. My own pair of ruby slippers!
Favorite Fall Perfume Number 1
Tom Fords utterly ravishing Violet Blonde….This is a take no prisoners love potion like I haven’t seen since the early 80’s. With notes of Violet, Iris, musk , Suede and Vetiver , this lusciously sweet, remarkably green and thoroughly disarming perfume is just the thing to warm you and another up on a cold chilly night.
Favorite Caramel Apple
I wrote about this last week but it’s back! My favorite caramel apple recipe comes from Tartine, that lovely bakery in San Francisco that has invented the easiest , yet most delectable recipe ever for making perfect caramel apples that come out right everytime. Just mix the ingredients which include molasses, butter, sugar and maple syrup and cinnamon into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Dip the apples into the soft buttery caramel for a translucent and deliciously decadent treat that is in my experience the perfect prelude to a sugary kiss…Here’s the link
Favorite Fall perfume Number 2
I have fallen head over heels in love with Creeds Tubereuse Indiana. This amazing fusion of Tuberose, Ambergris and amber is one of the most exotic and arresting perfumes that I’ve ever had the pleasure to own. Wearing it makes me feel sexy and colorful and it’s a fabulous fragrance to go dancing in as it gets better as it warms up and blends with the scent of your skin.This one can be as spicy as you want it to be and also is the perfect fragrance to scent anything from your underwear to your stationary (You’d probably know I’m a huge fan of love letters!)
Favorite New Website
Although I’m definitely a fan of the written word, time IS limited so what’s a girl like me to do? The folks at Paperless post have created one of the best sites that I’ve seen yet for sending invitations, thank you notes and all forms of written communication. Their templates are gorgeous and of course no trees were harmed in the making of them . Hands down the best site I’ve seen yet for paperless communications that require an RSVP. Here’s the link!
Favorite Home Scent and Witches Brew
Yes, I know that you’re expecting something exotic, but this time of year I’d like to end on a simple and homespun note. When you carve your pumpkin, dip the inside of the lid in cinnamon, really coat it. When you put the lit candle inside and I always use a little scented tea light (Witches Brew from Yankee candles) your entire house will be filled with the aroma of cinnamon, patchouli and roasted pumpkin. As a bonus, just put a gallon of apple cider on the stove and let it simmer. Addcinnamon sticks, cloves and an orange and about 10 teabags of Mate’ . Sweeten with agave nectar and you’ve got my favorite warming “Witches Brew” !
Merry Meet and Merry Part and all my love until we meet again…
The Windesphere Witch
This article was originally posted on my favorite perfume blog Perfume Smellin Things! Theres a chance to win a 50.00 gift certificate from Sur La Table just in time for the holiday season at this link.Just leave a comment to be entered in the drawing. Contest closes Wednesday , November the 2nd. 

Pumpkin Photograph Courtesy of Martha



Visiting for the Witchy tea party- I'll get around to seeing everyone's posts, eventually... Anyway I'm commenting on this post because the truffle olive oil sounds absolutely delicious and I must try it!! Thanks for sharing a few of your favorite things. Merry met~EMD

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