Monday, November 12, 2012

The "Black Magik" of Maison de Morgana

Los Angeles Jewelry Designer And Metalsmith, Morgana McNelis
Maison de Morgana

And all he saw was her bright eyes,
And her fair face that held him still;
And wild with wan she led him on
O'er vale and hill.

Until at last a castle lay
Beneath the moon, among the trees:
Its gothic towers old and gray
With mysteries

"Morgan le Fay" by Madison Cawein

Morgan le Fay. Morgaine. Morgana. These are the names of the legendary sorceress of Arthurian legend, her magic so potent, her story so captivating, she has endured through the centuries. She is a haunting beauty, the embodiement of the Goddess, keeper of the ancient and forgotten ways, a gifted creator. True to her namesake, Los Angeles based jewelry designer and metalsmith, Morgana McNelis has cast a spell on the fashion jewelry industry with her neo gothic sensibilities and her romanticism imprinted with a hint of the macabre.  Each piece featured in Maison de Morgana's "Black Magik" Collection has been painstakingly crafted in her "Nouveau Vintage" style. "Quality is everything to me," Morgana tells me, in her sweet voice that exudes such a humbleness, an effortless kindness. " I want  my jewelry to hold its value years from now as it is not enough for it to be just beautiful and unique." To speak with Morgana is to embrace her as a soul sister immediately. Her enthusiasm and radiance are contagious. Behind those soulful exquisite eyes of hers is a mystical, glimmering talent." My first introduction to  jewelry making was a class where we learned  lost wax metal casting. I loved it! Here I was creating this very masculine piece while the others were working on these delicate designs." Morgana laughs heartily. "I then studied with a master jeweler and metalsmith who taught me everything one would learn at lapidary school. I was so amazed and appreciative!" Morgana credits learning her craft in this way in lieu of a structured school setting as the reason she "thinks outside the box " in  her imaginative designs. Such vast creativity and artistic depth are evident in her " Haute Noire" debut. Clearly one also sees how she has woven her multicultural and centuries spanning influences into her work.. For this collection, McNelis draws inspiration from Coppola's "Dracula," as well as the aesthetic of The Ottoman Empire and Ancient Egypt. Designers Riccardo Tisci and Alexander McQueen are also great influences. And, for all of us passionate perfumistas out there who adore our perfume acessories, Maison de Morgana offers two exquisite pendant perfume vials that are a MUST to add to your collection! Her "Rattlesnake Tail Perfume Bottle" is an incredibly crafted segmented rattlesnake tail available in Antique Brass or White Bronze. No easy feat was it to create this, Morgana tells me. "This piece took me months to get exactly the way I envisioned it. It was a huge challenge but I refused to give up." Indeed this perfume bottle pendant necklace captures the serpentine form, the majesty and mysticism of the rattler's tail. I am reminded of the shamanic power of this poisonous yet beautiful snake...dangerous beauty! Morgan le Fay would be proud.

Rattlesnake Perfume Bottle In Antique White Bronze 160.00

The "Black Magik" Collection features another gem for scent lovers who are drawn to the mysteries of Egypt, and Sacred Geometry. Morgana's " Pyramid Perfume Bottle" is crystal cut with a Spinel bullet stone set in its lid. As with her "Rattlesnake Tail" bottle, each perfume pendant includes a miniature funnel in which to add your most treasured scents. Maison de Morgana couples stellar craftsmanship with affordability as well. Upon her debut, such esteemed retailers as Bzar Japan, Fred Segal, and Piperlime raced to provide their discerning clientele with these dazzling pieces. And this is just the beginning for Morgana McNelis. Viewing her introduction to the world of timeless, hand crafted jewelry as "only the first step in a long journey," we can all expect to see a great deal more of this brilliant young woman's work. Morgana McNelis possesses the timeless gifts of an ancient sorceress with a heart of pure gold. Visit Maison de Morgana at to view this enigmatic, exquisite collection.

Pyramid Perfume Bottle In Antique Brass $170.00

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Home For The Holidays Natural Perfumers Guild Event!

A Curated Selection of Home Fragrance Products From The Natural Perfumers Guild

As a member of The Natural Perfumers Guild, I am proud to announce the launch of "The Home For The Holidays"  Natural Home Fragrance Products Event! The Guild members were matched with scent bloggers to review ambient fragrance products made naturally. Anya McCoy, President of The Guild stated," Several blogggers  had never previously reviewed ambient fragrance products. We in The Guild thought this was a great challenge, and love the idea of being the first to introduce them to this scenting concept." Given so many homes, especially during the holiday season are inundated with synthetic fragrances, the Guild created an event where member perfumers would craft 100% naturally aromatic  room sprays, incense, candles, and wax melts to celebrate "Home For the Holidays 2012." Indeed they succeeded as today we "scent bloggers" unite to present to you our reviews of the stellar curated selection of all natural holiday home fragrance products! Our Guild members participating this year include:

Andrea Shanti, Holistic Body Therapy

Anya McCoy, Anya's Garden Perfumes

Elise Pearlstine, Belly Flowers Perfume

JoAnne Bassett , JoAnne Bassett Perfumes

Katlyn Breene,

Anita Casamento, Happy Herbs Soaps

Participating Bloggers For This Groundbreaking Event Include:

 I have as you will see right here below, reviewed the exquisite creation of Happy Herbs Soaps Founder, Anita Casamento, with her "Woodland Spell Incense." Do check out all of my fellow scent bloggers reviews and the talented perfumers. You may visit  Natural Perfumers Guild at You shall be enchanted and captivated by these all natural fragrant holiday ambient scents. What a great idea for your holiday shopping! And as a special gift for one lucky reader of my blog, you will receive a gift packet of "Woodland Spell Incense!" So, please comment here on my blog about what natural scents remind you of the holidays and the winner shall be announced November 15th! Happy Holidays!


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Woodland Spell" Handmade Incense Masterfully Enchanting

As a member of the Natural Perfumer's Guild, I am honored to be reviewing the all natural "Woodland Spell " Incense by Happy Herbs Soap @ Two Crow Cottage for the Guild's " Home For The Holidays Project." Each contributor has been asked to create an ambient home scent in the form of candles, tarts, incense or sprays. The result is to achieve an all surrounding, atmospheric scent,  inspired by the holiday season.

Anita of Happy Herbs Soap has conjured the magic and mystery of  an autumn's evening in the deep of the woods of Spruce and Pine. Exquisitely packaged in a test tube with intricate lashed cording and  convenient hanging loop, "Woodland Spell" contains 12 small sculptural crow figures, fashioned completely of resins and herbs. The presentation alone is vastly imaginative, and lends itself to setting the sylvan, enchanted atmosphere. With the excitement of a child, I remove one tiny crow incense figure and place it in my carved bowl. With no need for charcoal , I merely light the beak of the crow and let the magic begin!

Immediately as the smoke curls through the air, I am transported  to a mysterious forest after dusk, with the scent of dried fallen leaves mixed with earth, the resinous, warmth of Pine and Cedar, beautifully balanced with a hint of herbaceous green. Lighting these precious little crows, magical figures, long regarded as symbols of metamorphosis and transformation, it indeed feels like that of a very ancient ritual. Given that the first perfumes were incense made of resins and herbs, "Woodland Spell" seamlessly couples the ancient ritual experience of scent with the holiday atmosphere of today.
Pictured at the left is my photo of the precious crow figures in my incense bowl. However only one crow need be used at a time, for the glowing scent of of the resin herbs persists ever so sublimely even after the burning. My whole room smells of New England Autumn, and as I gaze out my window to the shadows of twisting Pine, the afterglow of "Woodland Spell" permeates my blankets and Irish knit sweater, leaving the essence of warmth, of the conjured spirit of the woods, and the very essence of ancient rituals long practiced that now resonate with being home for the holidays.

To experience the magic of "Woodland Spell" Incense as well as all naturally crafted soaps and oils, please visit You can also visit Anita at

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Supporting Each Other In The Natural Perfume Field

In a world where competitive fierceness and the bottom line often eclipse mutual support and community, I feel fortunate to have connected with gifted and giving people and groups both online and in person. The Natural Perfume  Movement as I would call it has been spearheaded by such visionaries as Anya McCoy, who not only creates gorgeous natural perfumes, but  also has developed one of the most comprehensive training courses in natural perfumery worldwide. As a student of Anya and also as a friend, I have found so much support from her, students and other professional natural perfumers. It is my belief that the old paradigms of rabid competition may be shifting. Social media certainly has contributed to the mutual sharing of not only our personal updates, but our entrepreneurial ventures as well. I take great joy in supporting an independent perfumery that uses natural ingredients versus an over saturated planet of synthetics. I can literally sense the spirit of the botanicals , resins, and extracts used in a beautifully composed perfume. I can also feel the essence of the perfumer herself  in each fragrant masterpiece. Sharing each other's work is a way to grow this movement, not hinder it. And, given the plethora of scents that can be created, there is room in my opinion, for everyone to succeed! In the following weeks and months I will be spotlighting natural perfumers from all of the world, who through their craft, and their intuitive alchemy, make life more beautifully, naturally fragrant! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"Celebration In A Bottle"

Holistic Body Therapy's " Celebration" is a profoundly beautiful creation I have had the privilege of reviewing. Andrea Shanti, Founder of Holistic Body Therapy has combined the full, luxurious gourmand scents of  cocoa, vanilla, and cinnamon ,with warm, joy inducing fir needle. Immediately upon smelling this bountiful holiday spray, I am reminded of a snowy winter's evening, red bowed fresh wreaths on wooden doors and trimmed trees bursting forth with soft white lights. Andrea has created a remembrance of the best of what holidays have to offer, the sharing of hot cocoa with a hint of sensuous vanilla, cinnamon sticks to be stirred into a warm cider, and the happiness that is indulging in the scentual beauty of each unfolding moment with loved ones. Her inclusion of Mountain Shasta's pure waters makes this ambient blend ever the more sacred. It transcends any one holiday practice, and brings this outstanding green glass bottled creation  to a profound, spiritual level. I cannot stop spraying " Celebration" as I feel each chakra dance, from the tribal based energies of the root, to my heart and to the etheric crown. "Celebration" is to be experienced! Visit the amazing Andrea Shanti at