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Home for the Holidays ~ Fluffy German Apple Pancake!

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’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.

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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.

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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’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.

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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'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.....

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Pictures of Liz Moores and Bengale Rouge from Papillon Perfumery 


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