Arabesque’s Etsy Shop is Closing but Arabesque Will Remain in Business…

Natural Botanical Perfumes by Arabesque Aromas

As an art historian, as well as an artist, I’ve spent the past twenty or so years of my life researching the lives of the authors and artists of Modernist Europe, all of who were thriving before the idea of an internet was even remotely conceived. Their rich, varied, vibrant lives revealed the exciting, and endless possibilities to me in designing a creative life of my own.

And, despite managing to live a rather exciting early life, I have lately managed to get myself stuck in the too-formulaic formula ‘for being a successful internet artist’ that Etsy endlessly promotes…  A company, and a formula, that no longer truly serves me.

So, I have just closed my Etsy shop. However, my artisanal perfume business will not close. Instead, I am relocating my store to my own web site, currently ‘in the works!’

As always, if any of my clients would like something, please do not hesitate to email me at Arabesquebotanicals@gmail.com
I can easily create a Paypal invoice for you and business can, and is, still carrying on — as it has managed to do for many artists and writers for many centuries, and in a myriad of ways, before Etsy! And will continue to do so — post-Etsy.

In the meantime, I am looking forward to better honoring my own unique creativity. (And have I mentioned that I’m learning to belly-dance?!)

A big thank you to my new subscribers, and another thank you to everyone for your patience during this exciting transition of mine.

~Kirsten

Roots!

I was really glad when Brandi, best friend and fellow foodie, came to visit me for a few days. Among other fun things, we took an overnight road-trip to Sonoma. As I gazed at the rows and rows of the carefully tended, ripening grapes out of the car window I saw that, though I myself once managed an essential oil company in Los Angeles, I needed some reminding about where my perfumery ingredients originated from! It was powerful to consider agriculture, terroir, wines, and essential oils in this light once again.

My oils, the aromatics used in my infusions, absolutes, and jojoba oil were, much like the wines we sampled, the result of the very hard and dedicated labor of farmers who toil in all seasons and with all of the elements. Like grapes, some of these crops require highly skilled harvesting, sometimes by hand, and highly skilled distillation techniques, not to mention all of the additional craft and toil, love, sweat, and patience required. A family winery in Sonoma was the perfect place to remember and to appreciate such efforts of both vineyards and essential oil plantations alike, and I went home with a renewed appreciation of both.

Me, left, and best friend, travel companion and fellow foodie Brandi, right. Behind us is the vineyards of Gundlach Bunshu, Sonoma. This family has been growing wine in this very spot for over one hundred and fifty years. The top photograph is also of their vineyards.

Brandi and I were guided and advised by another dear friend of mine, Misty (pictured, right) through a wine-tasting. It was really enjoyable to use my perfumer’s nose to identify and savor the many notes in the wines. I eyed the stills that were visible in the tasting room, and was reminded many times, and in many ways, of the similarities between botanical perfumery and viniculture.

Perhaps a fitting Arabesque scent, in keeping with the theme, is Veriditas. This botanical perfume was inspired by the medieval German mystic Hildegard of Bingen and her understanding of  ‘a green truth’ or Veriditas which she came to comprehend and define from a series of mystical visions concerning God, nature, and humankind.

Samples, 6 ml bottles, and minaret bottles of the perfume Veriditas are available in the Etsy shop. The perfume contains an inclusion of Vetiver root, from dried Vetiver roots imported from a small farm in Madagascar.

___

My Sultry Summer Sale continues until July 5th. Use the coupon code SummerHoliday2017 in my Etsy shop to receive free Priority insured shipping (domestic/US parcels only, please!) on all orders $10.00 and up.
Thanks everyone! 

A Sultry Summer Sale…

I’m on my summer holiday! Let’s celebrate the dreamy weather, my blooming, fragrant garden, and the sweet luxury of having time to spare with — A Perfume Sale!

See details and coupon codes, below…

Use the coupon code SummerHoliday2017 to receive free Priority insured shipping (domestic/US parcels only, please!) on all anointing oils, scent samplersbotanical perfumes in the 6 ml Moroccan bottles, and the larger size in the Minaret perfume bottles, from now through July 5th in my Etsy shop. 

As a bonus, combine my ongoing 10% off gratitude coupon code ArabesqueAromas with this sale on Etsy and, until July 5th, you can also apply it to my cookbook, The Fragrant Kitchen: Culinary Recipes from a Botanical Perfumer. The hard copies have sold out, the cookbook is currently available in PDF format only, 4th edition. (And it was recently complimented by a professional dietician, which meant a lot to me!)

Convo me on Etsy, or email me at arabesquebotanicals@gmail.com with any questions, custom listings, or requests. My Summer Sale ends on July 5th. Scent Subscriber Shipments, and further news, coming in the July blog/newsletter…

 ***

Arabesque Aromas artisanal botanical perfumes, pictured above are, top: The Star Seller, left: Veriditas, and right: Drann. Photography by Arabesque Aromas.

 

Vetiver Hydrosol, A Cinnamon Infusion, & Literary Perfumes

1001

Well, library work in Archives and in Special Collections is highly enjoyable and, I confess, there are several literary perfumes (and one very big, ever-growing reading list) swirling around in my mind as I write this! So stay tuned for summer. I’m also excited to say I have been accepted to Library School, where I will begin studying for my MLIS, Masters in Library Science, in the fall.

Pictured above is a glimpse of my very favorite shelf in the Tsakoupolos Hellenic Special Collection at CSUS. When I walk by I always pause, admiring the rows and rows of 1001 Nights & The Arabian Nights. They are so beautiful and rich, displayed together in English, French, Italian, German, and Arabic languages and in all of their illustrated volumes, ages, and editions. I’d absolutely feel inspired to make a perfume from this collection except — I’ve already designed a scent inspired by Scheherazade and her storytelling powers, (and the sheer power of storytelling!) almost two years ago. You can find a sample here!

In other news, my good friend and mentor Suzanne Catty has opened her own Etsy shop so I wanted to share the link. She sells the finest in hand-crafted botanical infusions, and for you sun-worshipers, Californians, or especially, those of you who are both, her Golden Brown (food for sun-kissed skin) is a particular delight. Also included in her shop is her cookbook centered around tea. So – do take a look!

alambiccus

In other news, my Spring 2017 Rose Geranium hydrosol is already sold out (Scent Subscribers had first dibs!) but my Spring/Summer 2017 Madagascar Vetiver hydrosol, which Suzanne taught me how to make several years ago, is now available.

Please note that it comes in a spray-top bottle unless otherwise specified upon checkout.
Hydrosol is distilled in the Alambiccus Gaggia upon receipt of order.
Shipping turnaround is 7-14 days.

alexandria

Lastly, Alexandria is back!
I haven’t been happy with the quality of cinnamon oils I’d been finding so I stopped making Alexandria for awhile. Fans of my Alexandria botanical perfume may find it slightly different as I’ve swapped essential oil for a botanical infusion made by me, from the spice itself! Hopefully, you’ll find it to be better than ever. Samples and the perfume are now available in the Etsy shop. Each perfume is handmade to order; shipping window is 7-14 days.

Introducing Arabesque’s Summer 2016 Scent~ Armoise

armoise1

My Summer 2016 scent “Armoise” is named for the perfume’s main ingredient, Mugwort, or Artemisia herba-alba. “Armoise” is inspired by the Artemisia family of herbs and their connection to the goddess Artemis. The perfume is composed of a variety of fresh, almost fruity, green florals like Tuberose, resting atop the exotic green notes of the organic, Moroccan Armoise, built on top of an even greener layer of earthy, heady base notes in an organic Jojoba oil. It can be sampled in 1 ml vials, here, or purchased in the 1/2 oz. size here.

The photo above is of a nook in one of my container gardens.
Pictured behind the Nasturtiums, and next to the Bergamot, is an Artemis tile that was gifted to me by my mom, who taught me how to garden. If you look to the left of Artemis’s face you can see one of her main identifying symbols, the moon. Despite the elements, and the seasons, I always keep this plaque outside in my herb garden, where ever I happen to be living, in honor of the feminine principle. Many of the plants in my garden were grown from seeds or cuttings given to me by female friends, too. Several of the plants in the Artemisia family have a very old connection to women’s bodies and women’s health. The Goddess Artemis was once thought to preside over childbirth and her symbol, the moon, is synonymous with women’s reproductive cycles.

My favorite Artemisia herb to cook with is Tarragon.
For those of you who are interested in learning more about the folklore and the benefits of the Artemisia family, here is an Herbal Fact Sheet from the Herbal Society of America.

Arabesque’s Solid Scents

solid perfume

Now your favorite Arabesque scents are available in solid perfume form.

The solid perfumes, blended into a 1/2 oz. base of beeswax and organic jojoba, are available in the following unisex scents: “The Holly, Moss and Ivy” “Drann” (inspired by ancient Ireland and the Celtic love of trees), “The Man of the Woods” (my DH Lawrence-inspired scent) and the first perfume I ever made, an earthy fougere called “The Green Mantle.”

Select your choice at checkout.

*Note: For those of you in California and other regions with extreme heat, don’t leave solid perfumes in your car or any place where they may melt. Keep them cool and protected at all times. And use your USPS tracking information when ordering to prevent perfumes from sitting in a hot mailbox upon arrival.*

 

Natural Botanical Perfumes by Arabesque Aromas

Scent, smooth, and condition your facial hair with Arabesque’s Aromatic Beard Oil. A diluted version of my botanical scents, the beard oil is available in 1/3 oz. minaret bottles in the following unisex scents: “The Man of the Woods” “Kyphi” “Merlin the Bard” “The Green Mantle” “The 1001 Nights” and also by custom request.

Select your choice at checkout.
And/or sample these unisex scents via my Masculine Scents Sampler.

 

turkish coffee

Just back (mostly) from a dreamy summer trip where I visited an old, dear friend in Olympia, Washington. We had tea, we had sipping chocolate, we had more tea, we had Turkish coffee with baklava and Turkish delight, we collected seashells and sand dollars on the beach of the Puget Sound, we took a train trip to Portland (where we met with another dear friend) and had yet more tea…

I hope everyone has as much delicious fun, this summer, as I’ve already had!
Midsummer 2016 Scent and Scent Subscriber updates and parcels are coming soon.
Cheers!

~Kirsten

The Dark Lady’s Mask~ A Book Launch & A Botanical Perfume

DLM

 

Hello everyone!

I’m excited to share the news of my friend Mary Sharratt’s new book with you. Her research on Hildegard of Bingen brought us together online in 2011, when she was kind enough to give me travel and research tips just as I was preparing for my own trip to Germany to see my longtime bestie and traveling companion, Brandi! (I’ve long desired to be a Hildegard-of-Bingen-Pilgrim!)

My longtime blog followers might also recall that Mary also made a guest appearance on my blog when her book Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard of Bingen was published.

And now she has written a compelling new book on Aemilia Lanier, an author who fascinated me last year in my “Women in Literature” class at Sierra College!

In honor of Mary’s new book, The Dark Lady’s Mask: A Novel of Shakespeare’s Muse, which has come out today, I have designed a custom scent called “The Dark Lady.” The ingredients have been taken directly from a Shakespearean-era aromatic recipe for a sweetbag (sachet) that has been magically transformed into a botanical perfume by yours truly. It will be the prize in a forthcoming contest Mary will have on Amazon, in keeping with her new book…

Follow her on social media, below, to stay tuned on the contest details!
And now — over to Mary!

Unmasking the Dark Lady
by Mary Sharratt 

April 23, 2016 marks the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with worldwide celebrations to mark his legacy. But what about the women?

My motto as a novelist is “writing women back into history.” I’ve long been frustrated by the fact that the average intelligent, literate person can’t name a woman writer before Jane Austen. The Dark Lady’s Mask is my love letter to literary pioneer Aemilia Bassano Lanier, England’s first professional woman writer. I want to draw her out of the shadows and into the spotlight.

I first discovered her when researching the lives of Renaissance women. The daughter of an Italian court musician who may have been a Marrano, or a secret Jew living under the guise of a Christian convert, Lanier was one of the most highly educated women of her era. She certainly had the talent and expertise to write plays or secular poetry. However in England at that time, the only genre considered acceptable for women was religious verse. Lanier’s female literary predecessors like Mary Sidney wrote poetic meditations on the Psalms.

But Lanier turned the tradition of women’s devotional writing on its head. Her epic poem, Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (Hail God, King of the Jews), published in 1611, is nothing less than a vindication of the rights of women couched in religious verse. Dedicated and addressed exclusively to women, Salve Deus lays claim to women’s God-given call to rise up against male arrogance, just as the strong women in the Old Testament rose up against their oppressors.
The possibility that Lanier may also have been the mysterious Dark Lady of Shakespeare’s Sonnets only adds to her mystique.

My intention was to write a novel that married the playful comedy of Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard’s Shakespeare in Love to the unflinching feminism of Virginia Woolf’s meditations on Shakespeare’s sister in A Room of One’s Own. How many more obstacles would an educated and gifted Renaissance woman poet face compared with her ambitious male counterpart?
In The Dark Lady’s Mask, I explore what happens when a struggling young Shakespeare meets a struggling young woman poet of equal genius and passion.

If Lanier and Shakespeare were, in fact, lovers, would this explain how Shakespeare made the leap from his history plays to his Italian comedies and romances—the turning point of his career? Lanier, after all, was an Anglo-Italian trapped in a miserable arranged marriage. The names Aemilia, Emilia, Emelia, and Bassanio all appear in Shakespeare’s plays. His Italian comedies are set in Veneto, Lanier’s ancestral homeland. What if Shakespeare’s early comedies were the fruit of an active collaboration between him and Lanier?

These two poets had such radically different character arcs. We all know about Shakespeare’s rise to the glory that would enshrine him as a cultural icon. But there was no meteoric rise for Lanier. Though she eventually triumphed to become a published poet, she died in obscurity and has only recently been rediscovered by scholars.

I find it fascinating how the strong, outspoken women of Shakespeare’s early Italian comedies, such as the crossdressing Rosalind in As You Like It and the spirited Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, gave way to much weaker heroines and misogynistic portraits of women in Shakespeare’s great tragedies, such as frail, mad Ophelia in Hamlet. This change in tack leads me to wonder if the historical Shakespeare actually did have a bittersweet affair with a mysterious, unknown woman that cast a shadow over his later life and work.

I hope that The Dark Lady’s Mask can redress the balance and give Aemilia Bassano Lanier the accolades she deserves. Whether or not she was Shakespeare’s Dark Lady, she was certainly his literary peer.

Mary Sharratt’s novel, The Dark Lady’s Mask: A Novel of Shakespeare’s Muse, is released April 19 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. For a chance to win a free copy, “like” Mary Sharratt’s author page on Facebook and leave a comment on any post there before June 21. Five winners will be announced on Midsummer’s Eve, 2016.

Mary Sharratt, author of
THE DARK LADY’S MASK: A Novel of Shakespeare’s Muse
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, April 2016

“An exquisite portrait of a Renaissance woman pursuing her artistic destiny in England and Italy.”
-Margaret George, internationally bestselling author of Elizabeth I

www.marysharratt.com

Tristan & Iseult

Tristan and Isolde 15th c

Introducing Arabesque Aroma’s
Spring 2016 Scent~

Tristan & Iseult

Apart the lovers could neither live nor die, for it was life and death together.
-Joseph Bedier, The Romance of Tristan & Iseult

A soft, dreamy, calming, velvety unisex scent made primarily of Sandalwood, Roman Chamomile, Moroccan Rose, and a precious, smooth vintage Lavender, “Tristan & Iseult” is available to sample, purchase in 3 ml, or my 10 ml minaret-capped bottles.

A story of courtly love, the romance of Tristan & Iseult gained popularity within Arthurian literature and is a subject that many writers, artists, and musicians from the medieval era onward have explored, depicted, and interpreted. There are many versions of the story, and its evolution over time can be read about here.

I’ve also included a link to a PDF of the full story via Project Gutenberg’s version by M. Joseph Bedier as quoted above; The Romance of Tristan & Iseult is available, here.

In particular, and for obvious reasons, Tristan and Iseult was a greatly-favored topic among the troubadours. Here is a link to one of my personal favorite songs from this era, circa 13th century, The Lament of Tristan, from the cd “Trouveres & Troubadours” by Jehan de Cheney. (I’ve shared this before but it is so good I think it bears repeating!)

Arabesque’s “Tristan & Iseult” botanical perfumes will ship within 1-2 weeks of purchase.
And my esteemed and greatly valued Arabesque Subscribers will automatically receive their samples, along with Vetiver hydrosols, in the first shipment by the end of March.

Have a wonderful, romantic, and magical Spring, everyone!
~Kirsten

***
Featured Image: Tristan and Iseult Drink the Love Potion, “Tristan de Leonois” c.1470. Bibliotheque Nationale de France.

Arabesque’s 2016 Botanical Scent Subscription

Queen of Hungary water clear pic

Arabesque’s 2016 Botanical Scent Subscription:
Featuring 6 seasonal parcels to delight your senses!

Natural Botanical Perfumes by Arabesque Aromas

Happy New Year!

With all 2015 Arabesque orders shipped, and all 2015 homework long since submitted, I have been musing over the New Year with a cat on my lap as life slows to a softer, sweeter pace. I have been enjoying the parcels of treats and goodies that have been arriving in my post office box, too! These festive trips to and from the post office make me think, invariably, of my business, and what my clients might like to find in their mailboxes from Arabesque Aromas in the coming year.

So, for 2016, I have designed what I hope you will think is a sumptuous subscription, indeed!

Here is the 2016 Botanical Subscriber’s Shipping Schedule:

 

Late Spring:
(1) 2-oz fresh-distilled Vetiver Root hydrosol

MidSummer:
(1) parcel of sacred, handmade Rose Petal botanical incense

Early Autumn:
(1) 2-oz organic handmade Moroccan-inspired spice blend for cooking
(1) 2-oz organic handmade herbal salt blend for cooking

Early Winter:
(1) 2-oz botanical, seasonal, handmade Rosehip and orange peel potpourri

PLUS three perfumed ingredients:
Two samples of my new, yet-to-be-born botanical perfumes of 2016
and (1) 3-ml bottle of an Arabesque botanical perfume of your choosing whenever you request it during 2016.

Arabesque’s Botanical Scent Subscription includes Priority postage, insured, within the US. $125.00/year

 

Become a Subscriber here.

calendula petals

above: organic, edible Calendula petals, harvested from my garden, 2015.

And top photo, 2004, from a maceration of the wonderous 14th century Queen of Hungary Water, made with fresh, personally-harvested, fragrant botanical ingredients. I used Rosemary Gladstar’s variation.

Midwinter Tidings!

trier

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM ARABESQUE! 

December News:

~Two bars of Rebecca’s delicious, handmade soap in The Holly, Moss, and Ivy scent remain. And fresh, complimentary batches of The Holly, Moss, and Ivy, The Awakening, and The Thousand and One Nights botanical perfume await you.

~My themed Scent Samplers make pretty nifty gifties, and can be sent directly to the recipient. I hand-write gift cards upon request and am always delighted to play the role of Secret Santa whenever required!

~Several hardbound copies of my cookbook remain.

~I am feeling excited to make my end-of-year donation to my non-profit of choice for 2015, Bird Note. Here is a link to their Bird-themed Christmas Carol, from last year. (My cats are huge fans of this song. Usually they prefer that I play it with the windows open, at least five times in a row, while they gaze outside, and drool, and dream… )

~In the above photo, from May 2011, I am lighting a candle at the 12th century St. Peter’s Dom in Trier, Germany with my dear pal Brandi. School is finished for 2015, and now I am just intent in keeping my own metaphorical candles lit in my small corner of the world. Despite the news outlets and social media, I am keeping an eye on what is dear, and sacred in my life…. and am wishing the same for you!

ks trier