Roxana Illuminated Perfumes is a gentle and deep winter fragrance, with the hand-made botanical essences combining to give an air of the sacred scents found in flower and incense-filled cathedrals. Like an old cathedral, each part of it is hand-shaped and built with carefully selected, sourced or home-grown elements, in this case a variety of jasmines, ginger, resins and flowers. Its ethereal and delicate nature reminds me of old forms of natural music made acoustically with hand made instruments and voices, echoing in large spaces. The perfume's lingering is like the reverberations of warm notes in a spacious place.
It contains a variety of jasmine absolutes, along with a limited edition tincture of jasmine sambac blossoms grown by Roxana in her own garden. The ingredients are listed as labdanum, Indonesian patchouli, Indian jasmine, ginger and orange, in a base of plant tinctures and grape and grain alcohol.
I got a strong first impression of spiced orange, which quickly settled down into a resinous amber tone. This perfume would be considered a Floriental -- oriental and floral together, one of the lushest of perfume types. It comes as both a solid and a liquid, and wearing the liquid over or with the solid will add greatly to longevity in wear. The jasmine and the labdanum hold on to the other notes and give the composition the staying power they are known for. Natural perfumes almost never last as long as commercial perfumes with chemical fixatives, but between the resins and the expansive nature of jasmine this one will cling to the skin for a satisfying length of time.
This fragrance is a combination of the sensual and spiritual, as is more familiar to us in music than in other expressions, but perfume is a perfect medium to combine the two predilections since it speaks to our animal nature through ethereal means. This perfume may especially reflect memories and associations as it makes its way into the center of the mind.
Roxana as an artist presents her perfumes beautifully, in a glass flacon within a silk box protected by a hand crocheted pouch, which is useful to carry the perfumes for re-application. The solids come in a disk shaped silver compact within the pouch. The wax comes from holistically kept bees that Roxana has been working with very respectfully. Samples and minis are carefully prepared and presented in such a way as to be suitable for gifts too.
This perfume comes in a variety of sizes, priced from $8 to $28 to $175, and Roxana's Etsy shop has a wide variety of sample packages so you can try her special perfumes across a range of her inspirations in a number of price points.
There are also a number of interesting necklaces that are made to be filled with solid perfume, that reflect the fairy-tale like quality of the scents themselves.
Above, Angel Making Music by Melozzo da Forli; second illustration by Dulac; third illustration is the Vespertina locket by Roxana Illuminated Perfumes.