Winter 2017 Botanical Perfumes

As my busy and exciting semester of Library school, and work with museum artifacts, comes to a close, I’ve been grateful to spend some time with Arabesque. I’ve turned to perfume blending as a way of calming my thoughts, returning to my center, my senses, and my art. I’m really grateful to the Sacramento Maker’s Mart for giving me a little, and necessary, push in this direction. And I’ve enjoyed breathing life into some of my old scents, which feels like spending time with dear old friends.

Currently blending the following Arabesque scents, which will be available now through January 2018 (when I hope to launch my new web site!) Some of these will be featured at the December 2017 Makers Mart:

 

The Awakening, the botanical scent of which I feel most proud. Pictured above, this scent is one of my literary scents, inspired by the Kate Chopin novel and featuring seaweed inclusions collected on a beach on Malibu. A complex, unisex, warm, slightly sweet, earthy, powder scent with Patchouli and underlying spices and resins, and a unique top to middle note: the very precious white flower from Tasmania, called Boronia. $120.00 15 ml, $50.00 6 ml

 

Kyphi, probably the sweetheart of my aromatic oeuvre thus far. Inspired by the smell of the ancient, sacred, handmade incense from ancient Egypt (several ancient varieties exist, among them, Syria and Greece) the light, uplifting scent features notes of Cinnamon, Frankincense, Vanilla along with other exotic resins, woods and spices $110.00 15 ml, $45.00 6 ml

 

The Star Seller, a star-shaped flower for a star-shaped theme (pictured above.) This scent was inspired by a Donovan song called The Seller of Stars. Very sweet and magical, and somehow merged in my imagination while living in Nevada County, CA where I always appreciated the smoky, star-filled skies of winter, often going outside at night to take a peep, and a sniff. The perfume is a white flower blend, but is also grounded with Sandalwood and other subtle, earthy elements. Not too sweet, but distinctly feminine.

$110.00 15 ml, $45.00 6 ml

 

Merlin the Bard, the scent I often wear, and the most delightful of all perfume collections I have ever researched, Merlin the Bard comes from my Arthurian Scent Collection. Designed to represent the element of fire, this archetypal scent features Palo Santo, Tobacco, and other sacred botanical ingredients that recall earth as well as fire. $100.00 15 ml, $40.00 6 ml

 

The Green Mantle, the first perfume I ever made. Featuring an inclusion of Oak Moss, this classic, mossy green fougère was designed to be a unisex scent, and remains an Arabesque oldie-but-goodie. Another scent I wear myself! Wear/smell when your head is in the stars, and you wish to come back to Earth! $100.00 15 ml, $40.00 6 ml

 

 

The Man of the Woods, another literary scent and perhaps the most popular of my unisex scents. A soulful, wild perfume inspired by DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley stories, and also by DH Lawrence’s personal creed, which I find to be deep, as well as deeply gorgeous. Literary critics have surmised that Lawrence based the character of the Man of the Woods upon himself and, in my humble opinion, his personal creed certainly seems to reflect this.

“This is what I believe: That I am I. That my soul is a dark forest. That my known self will never be more than a little clearing in the forest. That gods, strange gods, come forth from the forest into the clearing of my known self, and then go back. That I must have the courage to let them come and go. That I will never let mankind put anything over me, but that I will try always to recognize and submit to the gods in me and the gods in other men and women. There is my creed.”
–DH Lawrence.

The Man of the Woods is sexy, with warm vanilla notes and earthy resins like Cabrueva, Vetiver, Tonka Bean, Peru Balsam. $110.00 ml, $45.00 6 ml

 

Drann, my Irish-inspired perfume, pictured above, is another unisex scent and features the essential oils from trees and botanicals that are considered sacred. Drann is a smooth, subtle, resinous, warm, unisex, meditative scent, featuring Oud, Frankincense, Myrrh, Cedarwood, Cistus, Lavender and Rosewood. The word ‘drann’ has its linguistic roots in early Northern European languages and the root of the word speaks of turning, twisting, weaving, and influencing via magic. (The same root is found in the old Irish word for Druid, Drai, wizard, Draoi, the Gaelic word for enchantment, Draoidheacht.) The Celtic spiral is a visual representation, a symbol, of this same magical meaning. (Celtic Knotwork and interlace is probably the most famous example of this.) A magical scent. $110.00 15 ml, $45.00 6 ml

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To order a handmade botanical perfume, please email arabesquebotanicals@gmail.com, and I will respond with a Paypal invoice. Perfumes ship insured Priority Mail with a 7-14 day turnaround. International shipping is also available.

 

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Arabesque Aromas at the Sacramento Maker’s Mart

I am very excited to vend at this event.
I will be offering a Scent Bar for sampling, my Autumn Rosehip botanical potpourri, some earthy hydrosols, festive essential-oil body/room sprays, 1.5 ml perfume samples, 6 ml bottles of perfume, and, of course my 15 ml signature minaret bottles of perfume, too.

Sacramento Maker’s Mart
7300 FOLSOM BLVD. Sacramento 95826
12-6 pm, Saturday December 2nd.

And if you have any aromatic requests, and plan to attend the event, please let me know in advance at arabesquebotanicals@gmail.com. You can pick up orders at the event to save on shipping.

I hope to see you there!

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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

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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…

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

 

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Introducing Arabesque’s Summer 2016 Scent~ Armoise

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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.

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Midwinter Tidings!

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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

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Between the floral and the exotic… Arabesque Aroma’s Spring 2015 “The Temple of Flora”

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My newest scent was inspired by the title of Robert Thornton’s The Temple of Flora, a book from 1807 which first caught my attention last year via the Public Domain Review. (I am an enthusiastic subscriber of their newsletters!)

Their current newsletter makes for a very interesting Spring read, exploring the late 18th to early 19th century Romantic era attitudes concerning sex, gender, and science within the world of botany. (The illustrations in The Temple of Flora, created by a variety of Thornton’s contemporaries, and as seen above, are lush sensuous, otherworldly treasures — not to be missed!)

My botanical perfume, The Temple of Flora, is also lush, sensuous and otherworldly. It reflects the 19th century Romantic penchant for earlier times and exotic places and is made with Neroli, Jasmine, and Bergamot essential oils blended into a heavenly base of Agarwood, Peru Balsam, and Sandalwood. I hope that you will love it!

Patrons of my 2015-2016 Scent Subscription will automatically receive samples of The Temple of Flora in their mailbox next week.

1 ml samples and 1/3 oz size bottles of The Temple of Flora are also available for purchase in my Etsy shop.

Finally, introducing my new sampler, The Ancient Worlds. Includes my 5 Arabesque Aromas botanical scents that were inspired by ancient worlds… makes a beautiful gift and is best enjoyed listening to the album Towards the Within by Dead Can Dance! ha ha!

Happy Spring.

(Illustrated Plate: Egyptian Water Lily from The Temple of Flora, 1807, Robert Thornton.)

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The Fragrant Kitchen Cookbook: Culinary Recipes from a Botanical Perfumer

Peasants_breaking_bread public domain

I am pleased to announce that The Fragrant Kitchen Cookbook: Culinary Recipes from a Botanical Perfumer is finally here!

The Fragrant Kitchen Cookbook features a beautiful introduction by my friend and mentor, Suzanne Catty. It is a labor of love that I have been writing in both my heart and my head for several years now. The black and white cookbook with color front page illustration (pictured) is approximately 70 pages in length, 8 1/2″ x 11″ spiral-bound, soft-cover, with 48 or so recipes to suit vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

My recipes have a simple, earthy, Mediterranean emphasis to them and the cookbook features aromatic tips and recipes that are a meaningful part of my own daily life and seasonal cycles.

The book is illustrated by beautiful and charming 14th century images taken from a medieval herbal on health and well-being, The Tacuinum Sanitatis. And at the back of the book is a rich Resources section with information on where to get aromatic supplies and ingredients, a list of my favorite cookbooks and aromatic research books, helpful organizations of interest, shopping tips for avoiding GMO’s in your cooking, etc.

There are two ways to purchase the cookbook:
1. You can email me from your Paypal address at arabesquebotanicals@gmail.com and I can send you a Paypal invoice.
2. You can purchase it from my Etsy shop.

The cookbook is $28.50 plus $5.50 Priority insured shipping within the US = $34.00 total.
(If you are outside of the US, or wish to order multiple copies, please let me know and I can get you a shipping quote, make you a customized Etsy listing, etc.)

Inscriptions and gift cards are available upon request, and please note that the Etsy coupon code is not valid for cookbook purchases. The first copies of the Fragrant Kitchen cookbook ship Priority Mail on December 10th.

With excitement! And thanks!
And a warm, happy, fragrant and cozy holiday season to you all.
~Kirsten

Cover art: “Peasants breaking bread.” Livre du Roi Modus et de la Reine Ratio, 14th century. Collection: Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

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November News…

Peasants_breaking_bread public domain

I am excitedly expecting a beautiful, fragrant shipment of hand made, custom made, beautifully made soaps from my favorite soap maker, Rebecca Silence of Ballerina Farmer Aromatherapy. She is making the soaps to layer with my botanical perfume, Alexandria. The rose and cinnamon-scented soap can also double up to be used with my new and, so far, very well-received Fall 2014 scent, Virelai.

I have also just started re-stocking my Etsy shop with 3 ml perfumes. A new shipment of bottles has just arrived so if there is something you want but do not see, please email me! arabesquebotanicals@gmail.com

Finally, my forthcoming project, The Fragrant Kitchen Cookbook: Aromatic Recipes from a Botanical Perfumer will be available for purchase just after Thanksgiving. Please email me if you are interested in purchasing a limited edition hard copy. A PDF will be available on Etsy for purchase, and, for a limited time and a few dollars more, the hard copies as well…

The cookbook features fragrant recipes for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, from Breakfast, Libations, Salads, to Side Dishes/Grains, Stir Fry, Quick Fixes and of course, Desserts. It is illustrated with medieval images from the 14th century.

The image above, from my forthcoming cookbook, is called “Peasants Breaking Bread” from the Livre du Roi Modus et de la Reine Ratio, 14th century, currently housed in the collection of the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

I look forward to sharing more about my book with you in a few weeks’ time and in the meantime, I wish you all a very happy, warm, fragrant and delicious Thanksgiving holiday.

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Temples, Pyramids and Ziggurats

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Follow your desires because you are alive. Place myrrh on your head. Dress yourself in the finest linen drenched in precious fragrances. It is a true gift from the gods.Multiply your pleasures. Don’t let your heart become tired. Follow your desires and your pleasures.

–Song of the Harpist, Egypt, 2000 BCE

I am just loving my return to school this Spring! My studies of mythology and ancient civilization have inspired me to make a fresh batch of that aromatic marvel of antiquity – Kyphi!

Several recipes for Kyphi, a sacred incense, still exist today. One recipe is, in fact, carved into the very walls of the Temple at Edfu in Egypt, built 237-57 BCE in honor of the god Horus. (The temple is pictured above, with thanks to Ad Meskens, Wikimedia commons.) Another recipe was recorded by the Greek scholar and physician, Pedanius Dioscorides, who lived 40-90 AD and is best known for his Materia Medica, the first comprehensive, illustrated Herbal ever recorded.

I have adapted Arabesque Aroma’s Kyphi recipe from a 2nd century Syrian receipt. The process of making the incense, and the aromatic ingredients used, remain fundamentally the same in all of the variations. The incense is a concoction of fragrant, precious resins such as Frankincense, Myrrh, and Benzoin, with spices and fragrant roots such as Cinnamon and Galangal, all powdered them melded together with wine, raisins, and honey. The incense is then formed into bricks and cured in the sun until dry.

Incense has long been used in human history to carry prayers, offerings, and supplication to the deities. Like both the sacred temple, and the ziggurat, the ancients regarded the act of burning incense — the rising smoke, the sweet fragrance, the most precious and valued of ingredients used — as a vehicle, a sacred space, a means to connect with the gods. The use of Frankincense in the Catholic mass originates from this pre-Christian practice.

I will be making this batch mid-March. Pre-orders are available now, and the Kyphi incense will ship by the end of this month.

And for those who are not lovers of smoke, even the most fragrant and decadent varieties, I have a unisex botanical perfume called “Kyphi” inspired directly by the incense.

In Further News…

Two new Sainted Scents will launch at the end of March, kicking off the 2014 Arabesque Aromas “A Year in Perfume” subscription. So stay tuned!

AND finally — I am having a flash sale from now until April 1st! Receive 28% off of 3 ml botanical perfumes in my etsy shop with the coupon code “Tuxedokitty”

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