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

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

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Welcome To The Passionate Perfumista Blog

Perfume and beautifully crafted bottles have been a passion of mine since I was five years old. I remember vividly when my parents purchased a miniature of orange blossom perfume for me at Sea World in Florida.That tiny rectangular bottle housed inside the very essence of a tropical day with the balmy, warm floral scent. I was hooked! What alchemy this world of fragrance. Forty years later I can still remember precisely how that perfume smelled like, and to this day I am drawn to sunny, sultry golden fragrances with a hint of citrus. It is the closest thing to bottling an exquisitely warm day. It is the scent of  childhood wonder, the scent of happiness. I welcome you, dear reader, to journey with me into the passionate world of perfume, from distillation to distribution, from bottles to baubles! Let us begin our perfumed journey!