December 4, 2011

Hedera Helix by Roxana Villa

This fully natural botanical perfume by Roxana Illuminated Perfume was inspired by the dark evergreen English Ivy.  It came to me in solid form, in an oval engraved late Victorian style bronze-toned locket. It smells of twigs and vines and transparent green shadows falling on dry autumn leaves. The green tone is influenced by the astringency of late autumn’s dryness, like the green patina on bronze. This is a true green perfume in the chypre style. The evergreen aspect reveals itself as a core of vitality, and in the solid form it is held even closer to the skin than in liquid form.  The beeswax and jojoba base feels silky and sinks into the the skin instantly (especially on my dry skin)  so it is best to apply on multiple points, such as both wrists, inner arms, and nape of neck.

Subtle and gentle, it is a quietly contemplative perfume, a potion made up of precious and carefully gathered and calibrated substances. If you are recently coming away from perfumes with a big presence you will need to recalibrate your nose and awareness to fully appreciate all the subtle beauties that reveal themselves here. Once you have allowed this perfume to soak into your skin and your awareness, there is a complexity and mystery that unite you with the essence of nature.

The ingredient list is very long. There are multiple and varied shades and aspects of green-ness that have been used to arrive at this density of green:


Tonka Bean
Sandalwood
Oakmoss
Orris Root
Labdanum
Cedarwood
Guaicwood
Seaweed
Choya
Styrax
Peru Balsam
Tolu Balsam
Beeswax
Hay
Mate
Vanilla
Tobacco
Peach Leaf
Boronia
Orange Blossom
Jasmine
Rose
Pink Lotus
Galbanum
Clary Sage
Elemi
Geranium
Parsley
Lavandin
Violet Leaf
Rhododendron Leaf
Howood
Angelica
Ambrette Seed
Bergamot
Clementine
Yuzu
Grapefruit

I have always been fascinated by climbing, clinging plants, that spread both along the ground and up into the trees and onto walls.  For a fascinating look into the inner workings of making a perfume and the original art work and inspirations behind it, please visit the site here.  I agree with Roxana that such materials and subject matter are a worthy theme for a modern perfume. To look out through an ivy border around a window frame adds grace and liveliness to a scene. English Ivy is so densely green it is almost black, and this perfume holds this aspect of green-noir within itself in certain facets as it unfurls.  There is no sweetness here, so I can see it as good for men as well as women.

This perfume and Roxana's perfumes generally require and will develop the same kind of sensitivity and appreciation of subtle beauty that is required to value the tones of greened patina on these ancient Chinese bronzes.  The influence and workings of the atmosphere created these beautiful patinas on metal, and these examples of patina also go to show the evidence of how the atmosphere and elements affect everyone.  The perfume in the air must act on us in the same way as the various elements in the atmosphere act on metals over time.  Roxana's perfumes are forces for refinement and contemplative mindfulness, in that they present the essential nature of a fragrant inspiration and invite the wearer to be aware of all the layers and elements of beauty within and without.


Roxana does everything herself, from creating the tinctures to pouring and packaging the perfumes.


Above illustrations:  Chinese Bronze Objects - top - Bian Hu Wine Vase, Han Dynasty and Zhou Bronze Bell, from  Galerie 41;
Roxana Illuminated Perfumes photos of liquid perfume and mini solid compact locket perfume
Please visit the Roxana Illuminated Perfume Etsy shop for more details.

3 comments:

Flora said...

You said it very well - this is a scent of great depth and beauty, one of my favorite launches this year. Lovely review!

Roxana said...

Lucy, it is a great inspiration to read your beautifully crafted words about the perfumes I create. I feel deeply touched and grateful for the depth of your awareness and thoughtfulness. Many thanks. xo

Abhishek said...

lovey review given Perfume best thing this my favorite perfume. and rely beautiful word about the perfume.