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’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

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Natural botanical perfumes inspired by the art of beauty.

Winter 2013 Arthurian Perfume Collection

Inspired by the Myths & Legends of King Arthur

She cast the juniper on the fire, and as the smoke rose, bound the branch of hazel to her forehead. She laid fruit and flowers before the fire, then touched salt and oil to her breast, took a bite of the bread and a sip of the wine, then, trembling, laid the silver mirror where the firelight shone on it and, from the barrel which was kept for washing the women’s hair, poured clear rainwater across the silver surface of the mirror. She whispered “By common things and by uncommon, by water and fire, salt and oil and wine, by fruit and flowers together, I beg you, Goddess, let me see my sister Viviane.”

-from The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, 1984.

When life gets to be too much, I threaten the world with a fist shake and a stern warning that the cats and I are going to pack up, flee to Leeds, England, and enter their graduate program in medieval studies. The Arthurian myths and legends are one of several aspects of Celtic-medieval history that truly call me! (I really want to learn to read medieval French!) For now, however, I have decided to channel my passions into this botanical perfume project.  And I hope it pleases you!

The Four Arthurian Perfumes

I designed each Arthurian perfume to resonate with one of four elements.

Like many of my botanical perfumes, my Winter Collection can also be used as an anointing oil for meditating, journeying, or other personal, sacred work.

merlin

Merlin the Bard  

“It was magic — magic as black as Merlin could make it.

And the whole sea was green fire and white foam with singing mermaids in it… “

from The Book of Merlin by TH White.

https://www.etsy.com/listing/159463596/merlin-the-bard-botanical-perfume-from?ref=shop_home_active

faeries

Morgaine of the Faeries 

“They were seldom seen, even here in the far hills, anywhere in village and field; they lived their own life secretly in deserted hills and forests where they had fled when the Romans came. But I knew they were there, that the little folk who had never lost sight of Her watched over me… I knew better than to look for them directly, but they were there and I knew they would be there if I needed them. It was not for nothing that I had been given that old name, Morgaine of the Faeries… And now they acknowledged me as their priestess and their queen.”

from The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

https://www.etsy.com/listing/159460118/morgaine-of-the-faeries-botanical?ref=related-5

 lady

The Lady of the Lake

“The Goddess knows, child, I love you as I have never loved any other human being on earth,” Viviane said steadily, through the knifing pain in her heart. “But when I brought you here, I told you: A time may come when you might hate me as much as you loved me then. I am Lady of Avalon; I do not give reasons for what I do. I do what I must, no more and no less, and so will you when the day comes.”

from The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

https://www.etsy.com/listing/159461428/the-lady-of-the-lake-botanical-perfume?ref=related-4

king

King Arthur

“Here lies Arthur,

King once and King to be.”

from Le Morte D’Arthur, Thomas Mallory

https://www.etsy.com/listing/159464988/king-arthur-botanical-perfume-from-the?ref=listing-shop-header-3

A note re: Arthur, The Once and Future King

I think we have all heard this term, many times, but halfway through my research it occurred to me that I did not fully understand what it meant. Not truly. I must say, in this current climate of political injustice and war-mongering, I was grateful to discover the essence of this phrase. To me, King Arthur represents the suite of Cups in the tarot. He consulted his heart, intuition, as well as his intellect, and embodies the wisdom of balanced justice and tempered action. Moreso, in his balancing of the masculine and feminine, of pagan and Christian, of head with heart, he brings to mind the Temperance card in the Tarot, the arcanum version of the suite of cups. His title, the Once and Future King, outlines the hope that heart-centered justice will return to the world, someday.

A note re: the female Arthurian characters

The original roles of the women in the Arthurian legends were not evil. Their characters once evoked true mystery, respect, dignity and power as representational aspects of the Goddess. It is only when these myths passed through the filters of dualization and medieval Christianity that we see the magical female characters of the Arthurian legend turn into warped, twisted, and evil/manipulative personas. Foregoing what Celtic scholar Jean Markale calls the “distinctly masculine and patriarchal attitude on the lines that men are the unfortunate victims of wicked women who must be punished…” I have chosen to quote from Bradley’s Mists of Avalon when referring to Morgaine of the Faeries and The Lady of the Lake, out of respect for the feminine.

I recommend Jean Markale’s book Women of the Celts for more on this important subject.

***

Recommended Reading from my Bibliography and Research

I have thoroughly enjoyed researching Arthurian myth, symbol and folklore for the development of this collection and I thought I would share my bibliography with you.

I hope you will find the perfumes as appealing and endearing as the personas, symbolism and archetypes upon which they are based.

Lady of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, 1997.

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley, 1982.

Four Arthurian Romances by Chretien DeTroyes c. 1170’s

A Life of Merlin by Geoffrey of Monmouth, c. 1150’s

The White Goddess by Robert Graves, 1948.

Morte D’Arthur: King Arthur and His Noble Knights of the Round Table by Thomas Mallory, c. 1450-1470.

Women of the Celts by Jean Markale, 1986.

King Arthur and the Grail Quest: Myth and Vision from Celtic Times to the Present by John Matthews, 1994.

The Acts of King Arthur and his Noble Knights by John Steinbeck, 1976.

Merlin and The Gleam by Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1889.

The Lady of Shallot by Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1842.

The Idylls of the King by Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1859.

Morte D’Arthur by Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1833.

Merlin the Bard: A Ballad from Brittany in Four Languages by Theodore de la Villamarque, 2010.

The Book of Merlin by T.H. White, 1987.

The Once and Future King by T.H. White, 1938-1958.

The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkein, edited by Christopher Tolkein, 2013.

The Lancelot-Grail c. 1210-30. (Vulgate Cycle, author unattributed)

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