« September 2019 | Main | November 2019 »

October 2019

All Hallows Eve - Drenched in Papillon Artisan Perfumes - Bengale Rouge

 Bide The Wiccan Law Ye Must,
In Perfect Love, In Perfect Trust.
Eight Words The Wiccan Rede Fulfill:
An Ye Harm None, Do As Ye Will.
And Ever Mind The Rule Of Three:
What Ye Send Out, Comes Back To Thee.
Follow This With Mind And Heart,
And Merry Ye Meet, And Merry Ye Part.



Oh… there you are , come gather around the fire with me. Don’t be afraid, just notice all of the little things, the sounds, the smells..all of the things that you can’t quite put your finger on…breathe them and this luxurious feral night in deeply. It's time...they are all around us. 

Just know that on this night, we are not alone and it’s okay..it’s as it should be. Tonight is the night when the veils between the worlds are thin..tonight is the night when all souls can meet once again.

These flames smell absolutely wonderful, burning brightly with the woods of apple, oak and ash and scented with fresh branches of lavender , wild sage and rosemary. It’s a beautiful evening , cool and crisp and I’ve laid bales of fragrant fresh hay all around where we can sit. The moon is hanging by a silvery thread in the sky and the woods are quiet, except for the disconcerting sense that we are not alone.

Untitled design - 2019-10-30T221238.821

I’ve brought homemade ale which is laced with cardamom, cloves , fresh honey, single malt and apples. I’ve carved a pumpkin to be used as a tureen and it’s  filled with steaming hot butternut squash soup, laced with sage leaves and browned butter. There are the crispy, German sausages that my father loved, the ones that burst open when you sink your teeth into them, and Swiss cheese dipped in cornbread, deep fried and served melting and hot with mustard. I have briny raw oysters, my maternal grandfathers favorite,  on a bed of ice with fresh lemons and horseradish. The last of the season’s sweet corn is roasting by the edges of the fire waiting to be drenched in the melted butter that has been laced with the disarmingly sensual flavor of black truffles, smoky chipotle and salt.

Because it’s Halloween, I have to have candy corn , roasted chestnuts laced with honey and butter and homemade spicy caramel apples.


The winds are stirring tonight and if you listen carefully they will tell you anything that you need to know. Take a deep breath, notice the smells that come to you. Yes, we are in the deep woods and there are the familiar sounds of animals curling in the brush and the smells of wet leaves, rutting deer and apples .

Tonight I am painfully aware of almost too many scents, too many sounds.  Sweet smells that I don’t recognize, strange skin scents and pungent , decaying smells that make the hairs stand up on the back of my neck . An owl flies past silently as they are prone to do, wings strong and the shriek of its prey breaks the still night. My sweet cats are curled up and purring all around me…they are never afraid of the dark.

Copy of Untitled Design (8)

I have an almost unnatural love of cats, black or otherwise. Lions,Tigers,  Panthers and Jaguars...all cats.  The spirit animal I was born with. My ancestral name is Von Lowenstern, which translates to Lionstar.  Until I was about 8, the only Halloween costume I would wear was of a lion. A couple of members of my family began to get concerned that I was taking it a little too seriously. Could it have been all of the roaring? They took it away and I cried for days...imagine my joy as an adult when I discovered leopard print velvet....

So , tonight is All Hallows Eve and the veil between the worlds is so very thin. It is all part of the great dance among the strands of the web of life.  It’s true, you are closer to the dead tonight than at any other time of the year.

All of your dead. Dead loves, Dead ancestors, dead dreams.

 I know that for many the mysterious end to that which we call life is truly frightening, but I’ve always thought the latter to be much scarier. My mother whose memory I always honor tonight used to tell me that those who are afraid to die are instead truly terrified to live.

I remember once kissing a man and knowing immediately that his very soul was dead. His cruel lips pulled the very air from my lungs, and in that instant I knew. I ran away fast, scared for my very life. There is no smell on earth more putrid than the scent of the living dead. It’s not a scent I’ve ever forgotten. Sometimes by the time you’ve figured it out it’s too late. Sometimes you have to die a bit yourself before you learn the whole lesson of how to come fully alive, and become fully alive I did. 

Samhain is a special time for me....it’s the time of year that I simply stop and remember everything and especially in this year which has been filled with unexpected endings I feel the need for pause.  

Samhain or as you’ll know it , “Halloween”, is the Wiccan New Year and I am a witch.

I really do believe in magic.

Copy of Untitled Design (9)

The Witches  creed is to harm none, we are the keepers of the earths secrets. For years we’ve been the healers, the herbalists, and the perfumers who walk unnoticed among you. We tend the gardens. We watch the moon.  We mix the potions that make life just a bit more interesting and spontaneous. For years we’ve lived cloaked in secrecy, afraid to be known.

No longer.


Samhain is my time for deep reflection and divination, the time to honor endings and a time for us all to cast our spells for powerful new beginnings.


Be filled with the knowing that there is no magic without love and don’t be fooled. We are all capable of bewitching, some of us just come by it a bit more naturally then others. The very nature of magic is enchanting. The true nature of enchantment is sweet fun. Yes, we witches are mischievous, but it’s born from a deep need to celebrate life. This is the one time of year when the beginning and end of the wheel of life meet, so you can hardly blame us for wanting to have a bit of fun! We love to dress up, all that black is simply good for a bit of mysterious, good-natured fun but we like to frolic skyclad too!



I for one cannot resist a flowing cape of any kind or deep rich lip rouge and I have to wear velvet as much as possible. I love to use makeup to cast a spell of seduction and power or sometimes to be invisible. I adore talismans of all kinds, crystals and gems and I stuff my pockets with acorns and pennies, rocks and feathers that I cannot resist picking up for unexplained reasons.

In the playful words of my favorite movie “Practical Magic” lies what I believe to be a simple truth, ” that there is a little witch in every woman”. I believe that there’s a little witch in every man too, because I’m married to one. I found the only man in the world that I couldn’t control and then I married him. He enchanted me the instant I saw him, I’ve been spellbound by him for almost 30 years. He lets me tempt him over and over again with the most delightfully fragrant potions, he in turn enchants me and makes me believe that I am the most beautiful woman alive.

He buys me perfume, glorious,  beautiful bottles of magic and begs me to wear it. How can you not love a man like that? 

By now all of you know just how much I love perfume and I use it abundantly like we all do, to bring about a mood, to cast a spell, to enchant, to allure, to weave a story.

Tonight I’m wearing Papillon Perfumery’s very sexy , very witchy Bengale Rouge , a scent which my husband adores. I love it’s exotically warm, pelt like blend of Turkish Rose, Indian Sandalwood , Benzoin and Vanilla layered with orris butter , labdanum , oak moss, honey  and sweet myrhh. The musky , sexual allure of Bengale Rouge comes from the alchemical presence of the Tonka bean which has been used for centuries as a powerful narcotic and an aphrodisiac, as well as to promote fertility and cure impotence. It’s perfect for an evening such as this one where we are playing with all of our senses. My love of Bengale Rouge has eclipsed my all time favorite fragrance, Lancome’s Magie Noire. This gorgeous and lusty perfume was inspired by Liz Moore’s beautiful Bengal cats and wearing it I feel as if I’m wrapped languidly in a soft blanket of sun warmed, velvety and dappled fur…The creator of this remarkable magic Liz Moores is one of my favorite people, a very witchy and wonderful English woman who is passionate about perfume, horses, cats, owls and would probably live in the woods if she could...and the fact that she has created some of the loveliest perfumes on the planet is the frosting on the cake for me.  Bengale Rouge is beautiful and but its not for the faint of heart. Wear it and be prepared for amazing things to happen. Wear it for someone who deserves it, for someone who appreciates all of your passion…..It's a cozy, comforting scent, but make no mistake...it's absolutely fecund and bewitching. It has the flavor of warm breasts and honey. 

This witch absolutely adores it. 

Yes, sometimes I think that people are afraid of witches simply because our very nature is exotically feral, sensual and earthy. No, I will not steal your husband or seduce your son.  I may flirt with them a bit and I’ll probably flirt with you too..I love the game of enchantment. 

I can’t help myself… I love to tease and provoke using inspiration as my wand and love as my muse.


I hope that you’ll be tempted to try a sample of Bengale Rouge…It’s a glorious , glamourous, throwback of a fragrance. Think late 40’s movie star glamour…or even earlier…think of Hedy Lamar swimming naked and orgasmic in her (shocking at the time!) movie “Ecstacy” or  Catherine Deneuve in almost any movie that she ever made. 


 You can find a sample of it at my favorite local perfume boutique in Cleveland,  Indigo Perfumery and you can also find out more about Liz at Papillon Perfumery. I also suggest that you follow Liz on Instagram at @papillon_artisan_perfumes.  

You will be absolutely enchanted by her and isn’t that just perfect way to spend your Samhain eve?    

My wish for you is unbridled passion and joy. Magic for me is happiness, playfulness and tenderness. It’s about knowing that there are some things that you can control and many things that you can’t. It’s about acceptance and taking care of others as you would want to be cared for yourself.

It’s about living powerfully with all in the world , not being afraid to see all that the world has to offer. It’s about being at peace with the dualistic nature of creativity and destruction. It’s about creating your own reality, not waiting for it or someone else to create you.

With that in mind I’ve brought you one last bit of magic… a sterling mug filled with my favorite brew. Be careful because it’s very very hot. It’s made from steaming cream, fragrant dark chocolate, a touch of vanilla for passion, honey and a lusty splash of my mothers favorite port to relax and inspire you.

Sip it slowly and savor its deep chocolaty flavor. Shut your eyes and take a deep breath, make a wish and tell  me, Who or what  do you see coming towards you through the parting veils?

Happy Halloween.....

Copy of Untitled Design (10)

Pictures of Liz Moores and Bengale Rouge from Papillon Perfumery 

Creating a Magical Holiday Season that exceeds your Expectations!


Copy of Untitled Design (6)

I love the colorful drama of Autumn, but when the last pumpkin is carved and the candy corn is all gone, I begin think about the daunting task of planning for the holiday season that lies ahead. Even for someone like me who has spent their entire life in the business of making dreams come true, planning endless parties and events can be overwhelming! I get asked all of the time for ideas to help create a wonderful holiday season for family and friends all while enduring the frantic pace of everyday life!

One of the most important things that I have learned is that great holidays don’t just happen unless you plan for them!  I’ve discovered over the years that very few are truly comfortable expressing their needs around the holidays. We're usually spending all of our time making the holidays successful for everyone else, and then we wake up the morning after Christmas and wonder why we're exhausted and just slightly unsatisfied.  My job is to help you do plan your holidays with ease this year so that when the last present is unwrapped and the last glass of champagne poured you are completely satisfied and that you've had a holiday season that exceeds your expectations!  

 All it really takes is the mastery of 2 very simple tools!

One of my favorite ways to have fun is to sit down at the beginning of the season with a blank sketchbook, lots of colored pens and a huge stack of magazines. If you want to do it online, Pinterest is a fabulous tool for creating dreamboards! Relax for a moment and then begin to write down or post your ideas .  Are there any friends who you’d like to invite over for cocktails or a Thanksgiving day football game? Christmas cards or a tree trimming  party? Cookie baking? Maybe you’ve always wanted to have a traditional Parisian Christmas eve or a black tie New Years? Maybe you don't want turkey for Thanksgiving or maybe this is the year that you want to try a different table arrangement.  How about caroling?   Don’t forget to include at least one fabulous holiday concert!

One of my goals this year is to get several of my friends together for a  gathering to create beautiful wreaths and swags.  It's so much fun when we all bring buckets of greenery from our gardens , share and create together! Another goal is to do one thing to prepare for the holidays each day, so that I am having fun doing something creative every day! I love cocktail parties so this is the season that I may throw a Solstice cocktail party in the Herban Inn and serve nothing but appetizers at 10:00 and dessert at midnight. 


Copy of Untitled Design (7)

 When you’re ready, cut out pictures that appeal to you  and glue them onto the pages of your workbook. Take the markers and make notes about the things that you love about those images..concentrate on the feelings that they evoke and write those down too. 

 I encourage you to do this at first without thinking about budget, because I promise you that there’s a way to make almost any dream come true at  any price. That’s because once you begin to see your holiday take shape on those pages almost everything that you choose to do will begin to reflect your desires.  When you’re done dreaming break out your calendar and choose the dates for each of your activities, even card sending and cookie baking! 

Next, become a really great list maker! I resisted doing this for years, but I’ve learned the power that  simple lists made early in the season has to help you achieve your holiday goals!  Start now with menus, card and gift lists. Yes, I know that it's still October, but this makes shopping much easier and creates a template for your life over the next 2 months that will help you live happily and with as little stress as possible.

Remember too that the most precious currency that you can share is the gift of your time. All of the gifts, delicious food , music and glitter are simply the stage that we’ve set for you and your family to create wonderful memories together and never once in all of my years spent selling very precious gifts at Schreibman’s, did I ever eclipse the enchantment of the gift of time spent laughing and making new memories with family and friends.

You have my promise that when the tree has finally come down and the last bit of tinsel is swept away, that’s the present you’ll remember the most. 

My gift to you next week? A magical  holiday recipe from my mother’s collection!

Wishing you and yours an endless abundance of holiday sweetness....


Bewitching & Beautiful ~ Lancome's Magie Noire


I stumbled upon this review of Magie Noire that I wrote in 2007. It is as true for me today as it was when I wrote it...No perfume has ever made me as hungry as this one, at least not until recently when I discovered Liz Moores amazing new ode to passion and seduction, a bewitching little perfume called Bengale Rouge which I will write about on Samhain, the only day of the year where I could possibly do it as much justice as it deserves.  (BSG)




I am a woman with a past. I won’t say anymore than that to protect the innocent who may be reading this, but I have lived life hungrily at times, too often with little or no restraint. My spiritual nature is way more heathen than religious.

I really do believe in magic.

Magie Noire came into my life in my very early twenties, and I know now that I was far too ignorant of its potency to wear it wisely. It was first given to me by a mysterious Scorpio woman, with cat-like green eyes, who was the CEO of the only woman owned steel brokerage in Cleveland. She gifted me with the perfume and a warning, that men adore it and to be very careful wearing it because it was the smell of abandonment and passion, not love. Wearing Magie Noire is a bit like unleashing a wild elemental spirit, something of the past but strangely disquieting in the fragrant autumn wind or a shiver of the spine so erotic that it’s not so easily understood. Initially there is the scent of honey and tuberose, bergamot and raspberry and according to Osmoz, blackcurrant, hyacinth and oriental rose. The delirium comes as the base of civet, patchouli , castoreum and vetiver are unleashed while your skin warms to their touch. Worn with suede it becomes a totally bewitching potion. Mixed with the breath of a gorgeous thoroughbred horse it is beguiling and animalistic to the point of wanton intoxication.


Think of Kim Novak in “Bell, Book and Candle”, Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman made wiser by their journey through “Practical Magic” and Catherine Deneuve in almost anything. This is not a fragrance for an ingénue, but for a sensual and independent woman who understands and desires the spell it will conjure.  My husband who unabashedly loves it and I usually only wear it for him,  yet it is the time of the Autumnal Equinox, the moon is almost full and I decided to go for a ride yesterday in the woods around dusk. It was a beautiful evening and I sprayed some on before I went. The light was dappled , the trail fragrant with wind-fallen apples and it was simply breathtaking. As we moved through the hunt field, my horse Henry pulled up short with a quiver that ran all of the way down his elegant sorrel neck. Out of the hedgerow came a cat I’d never seen before, black as midnight and just as quiet. We turned and followed her down the path.


I told you, I really do believe in magic.




None of these photos are mine..obviously:)