Bee Here Now, Blogging Project

BeeHereNow1

The name for my blog, Scent Hive, is clearly inspired by bees. I’m no expert on these insects, but am fascinated by their amazing ability to communicate with each other and of course their attraction to (and need of) scent and flowers. Communicating about natural scents and beauty products, and a maybe a little sharing of information, is why I started Scent Hive, hence the tagline, “Collect your pollen. Fly away inspired.” I’ve collected a little pollen from the New York Times on colony collapse disorder, or in other words, the disappearance of honeybees. Most of the nitty-gritty behind the vanishing of bee colonies is way over my head, so I appreciate the common sense advice given by Marla Spivak, a professor of entomology at the University of Minnesota:

What can we do to help bees? Plant lots of flowers that provide nectar and pollen for bees, and reduce pesticide use. These two tangible and relatively easy actions, when implemented by many people, can save our bees and restore health and diversity to our agricultural and urban landscapes.

So let’s heed Dr. Spivak’s call to plant more flowers and support perfumers who use real flower essences in their perfumes to get more bees buzzing shall we?

Ayala Moriel Parfums’ The Purple Dress

For this bee focused post, I’ll be reviewing perfumes that have honey notes in them, and Ayala Sender, the creator of Ayala Moriel Parfums will release honey tinged, The Purple Dress, in December 2009. For those of you who love champaca, oud, anise and honey, you might want to go ahead and purchase a sample as they are available now.

The Purple Dress is an elegant tannic brew steeped in anise that is unique in its own right, but is of the same ilk as Aftelier’s Tango, another honeyed perfume. Both are dark and smoky, moody and sexy, and have gorgeous powdery woodsy drydowns. But Tango’s opening exploits champaca’s headiness to its fullest whereas The Purple Dress is probably more versatile in its smoothness. Its champaca is tempered by the lightheartedness of magnolia and an easy touch of honey but also grounded by black tea’s continual presence. According to Ayala’s website, this fragrance is a salute to Alexander Argov, who composed the famous Israeli song, The Purple Dress. You can hear an excerpt of it here and enjoy its evocative melancholic beauty, similar to its namesake perfume.

Artemisia Natural Perfume’s Yuzu Citrus

Yuzu Citrus is the creation of Lisa Fong, founder of Artemisia Natural Perfume. With a description like “honey, lemon verbena, in a subtle grassy base,” you’d think Yuzu Citrus would be all citrusy and green, which it no doubt is. It’s sparkling and uplifting. I feel like a young girl with flaxen hair (I’m a brunette by the way), running amuck in a late summer’s wildflower meadow with grass so dry you can smell the need of rain in the air. But it’s more complex than that thanks to galbanum and frankincense. In the opening and in the heart, there’s an expansion of the grassy/honey pairing that’s warm and haylike and reminiscent of beeswax. Ahhh beeswax! Such a sweet resinous scent that embodies heat and depth. After several hours of skintime, Yuzu Citrus morphs into a delectable liquid honey skinscent. I love it, and it’s most definitely full-bottle-worthy.

I’ll declare Artemisia’s Yuzu Citrus seasonless. A perfect warm weather citrus perfume that’s not too sweet and most certainly not ordinary. And beautifully comforting for those colder days to remind you of the sun’s toasty glow, but grounded enough to not be a tease.

Velvet & Sweet Pea’sHoney

How could I write about bees and honey and not include Velvet & Sweet Pea’s Honey perfume? Honey is a rich, glistening, golden honey perfume. Laurie Stern, the creator of V&SP, uses the word opulent to describe Honey on her website, and I am in full agreement. It strikes me as a wearable vintage perfume. It speaks with a regal tone, but it’s not going to put anyone off. Quite the contrary.Honey will entice with its luxurious notes of French orange blossom, Moroccan and Bulgarian rose, vetiver, and Madagascar vanilla. Bees are offered the chance to use their charms in three different ways in this fragrance, via honey, beeswax and Laurie’s “bee guru’s” propolis. Not one note in particular stands out on its own in Honey, but rather all are joined together harmoniously and expertly in a floral gourmand with a vintage edge.

And the best bit? Laurie is a bee keeper, enabling her to use the honey and beeswax from her hive for use in her Honey perfume and other products. Additionally, as with all of the aforementioned perfumers (Ayala Moriel Parfums, Aftelier and Artemisia Natural Perfumes) V&SP perfumes are 100% all natural. That means nothing synthetic, no petroleum products and no phthalates. So enjoy your honey!

Many thanks to Roxana of Roxana Illuminated Perfume for organizing this Bee Celebration. I am honored to be included in such illustrious company. Please check out the following list of bloggers for their posts inspired by bees and their honey:

Roxana’s Blog

Perfume Shrine

The Non Blonde

Beth Gehring

Donna Hathaway

Posted by ~Trish

Bee Illustration ©Roxana Villa

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Aftelier’s Lumiere, Tango, and Antique Patchouli

There’s nothing quite like the majestic beauty of the Oregon Coast. The rugged terrain of the evergreen forest meeting the water’s edge. New spits being created almost overnight. A continual reminder of nature’s enduring force.


I hadn’t been to the coast in a while, and took a quick trip with my family this weekend. When I first stepped out of the car and breathed my first breath of the evening’s coastal air, I was taken aback by the rich coolness of my inhalation. The redolence of the driftwood, the salt-kissed flowers, the bitterness of old seashells and the sweet anticipation of ordering ice cream had me reeling.


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Now that I am home from our quick jaunt, I have Mandy Aftel’s Lumiere on my skin. It smells like a beachy scent…an Oregon beachy scent. Blue lotus is one of the floral notes in the fragrance, and its East Asian origin could lean towards tropical imagery if it were paired with a white floral. But instead, boronia was chosen which lends to Lumiere a rustic tea-soaked fruit scent more in line with the Northwest Coast. Green tea absolute is also in the blend which of course enhances the tannic quality of boronia and augments the overall richness of the fragrance. Frankincense, which is present from the beginning and then fades upon the drydown, bestows elegance upon Lumiere and interestingly given the name, a darkness as well. Melancholic darkness that one frequently experiences at the Oregon Coast. Yet, morning clouds often give way to the bright luminescence of an afternoon sun. Just as Lumiere’s frankincense burns off to allow the floral fruits of boronia to shine a little brighter.


Tango, another Many Aftel creation, has an oceanic essence within its blend, roasted seashells. I’ve never had the opportunity to smell roasted seashells on their own, but I’d like to. In Tango, this essence creates a sexy, smoky aura that would most certainly be requisite for a fragrance bearing such a name. Champaca, along with delicious spices heighten the sensuality of the experience. Lest you think this fragrance is all about romantic desire, there is tension created with an intense inky note. Bitterness is present within the passion… a strong tango should convey such contrast. Tango the fragrance, unlike the dance, is allowed to evolve over many hours. The bitterness wanes, the smokiness fades, and Tango ends on a bed of honeyed sweetness and floral delicacy.


Antique Patchouli is one of Aftelier Perfume’s essential oil offerings. It hails from France and according to the Aftelier website, it has been aged for a few years and is the only patchouli oil Mandy Aftel will use in her blends. While I do not fall into the devoted patchouli-lover camp (although I do adore many fragrances that have patchouli in them) it’s not difficult to discern why Antique Patchouli has become the One Patchouli at Aftelier Perfumes. It possesses a highly unique minty quality that I have not yet experienced from patchouli, and its earthiness is so genuine I feel like I am hiking through an old growth rainforest after a storm when I smell it on my skin. It’s all about dark rich soil and herbal aromas, and it makes me want to pack my bags and go camping in the Hoh Rainforest on the Olympic Peninsula. (OK, for those who know me, maybe if there were a shower with warm water and a mattress to sleep on).

 

 

Aftelier Perfumes are available at Aftelier.com and Bendel’s in NYC. Aftelier products do not contain artificial colors, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, phthalates, or parabens. This is clearly stated on the website.


posted by ~Trish

photo by jphillipe at etsy.com

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