June 22, 2013

Mélange & For Strange Women

From Natural Fashion by Hans Silvester
Summer indieperfumes:

Here are a couple of indieperfume lines that can make the summer more beautiful.

They are both independently owned and operated, with each perfumer using materials that reflect each individual maker’s unique aesthetic. They are prepared in small handcrafted batches. They don’t contain parabens, or the chemicals that those who are afraid of perfume worry about, and are of course completely cruelty free.

Mélange by Denise Estrada of Los Angeles, makes a range of perfume products across several different formats, but since I love solid perfumes, and amber, I went for the Amber Notes Palette (No. 1). Four different solid perfumes come in a blending /mixing palette set, formed in a beeswax jojoba base within a square compact with a nicely magnetized lid, well sized for travel or the handbag.

Each can be worn alone, mixed together or beside each other; or as I do, on different parts of the body such as right and left arms, wrists and neck. This gives a nice opportunity to creatively reflect a mood. I can get lost in an amber accord. Each one in the set comes from a different slant, all compatible with each other.

The four ambers are set out like eye shadows – one tinted with plum and vanilla orchid, another with tobacco leaf, then another with santal, lily and tonka and the last with patchouli and musk. The inclusion of the tobacco leaf lends a tangy depth to any of the almost infinite combinations you can apply, while the others each have their own individual leanings, resulting in a fragrant amber toned haze with touches of floral or musk or tonka or vanilla as you might wish.

As with all solid perfumes, they hold close to the skin and are soft, but these have enough strength, especially in the rising humidity of summer, and in their amber nature, to create a pleasant fragrant atmosphere that softly envelops.

This is such a charming palette I am tempted to go for their new second Amber set too, and have even more choices with which to create an amber symphonic effect.

There are several different scent family palettes to choose from, and they are so well priced, you can feel comfortable experimenting. I am imagining expanding into the floral palette, which would make a lovely set to bIend with the Amber one I have.

I received a sample with my order of their Blend No. 10 Perfume, which contains the highly fragrant Lilium Casa Blanca, with amber, tonka and santal, in a coconut and kukui nut oil base, also available in a travel size and highly compatible with the amber compact I already have.  There are several other products that are intriguing.  Visit the website for more information and prices.

For Strange Women perfumes by Jill McKeever  natural and botanical perfumes come from Kansas City, flavored with the aesthetic of American late 19th Century preoccupations, especially those pertaining to Nature, the lures and snares of Decadence, and the supernatural, or Otherworldly.

There are other accessories of interest such as perfume jewelry, amulets and products like lip balms. The Pine Cone Lip Embellishment is clear and lightly sweetened with stevia and flavored with pine needles among other wholesome things. I very much favor the useful fixative Natural Perfume Enhancing Base, that is a nourishing skin salve for extending the hold and life of ephemeral and delicate natural perfumes.

The perfumes come in solid or an oil base, holding very close to the skin as they make subtle references to their own subject matter. They are often wild-crafted, and always organic and ethically sourced. They are mild and soft, and an entirely different animal than the predominantly synthetic perfumes most people are familiar with.

My favorite of the samples I have is Moss and Ivy, a dark green and herbal astringent shade of a fragrance. A little of the dark moist earth that these two shade loving plants love comes through the greenery. There is touch of oak moss and thirteen other plant materials that create a clear, meditative, and calming ambiance that holds close to the skin for introspective attention. It creates a soft forest atmosphere that enhances the air you breathe.

Decadence and Debauchery was created for Dances With Vice, a party group that holds elaborate themed private/public events that include costume, music and burlesque. This perfume emanates delicate bodily warmth comprised of immortelle, resins, violet leaves, and vanilla, a shade of blood orange, bergamot, oponopax and a hint of tobacco. All are blended so that no one note stands out but all together gives the impression of skin warmed by the energy of youth and body heat on just this side of the threshold of moisture.

Astral Projection is like the presence of a benevolent spirit in the room, cool and distantly uplifting in a soothing way. It is also an aroma-therapeutic product, made with plant substances that aid sleep and perhaps even encourage lucid dreaming. Again, this perfume is of a style fashioned so that no one note stands out but all are blended into reaching a certain state or theme corresponding to its specific title.

Even though valerian is used as a base note, there is absolutely none of its infamously earthy/pungent effect, but rather the other notes combine with it, of Roman chamomile, lavender, clary sage, cedar, bergamot, and clove. Personally I am strongly affected by clary sage, which is calling to me here, and I find a coolness, imparted perhaps by the almost mentholated spirit of lavender as lifted up even further by citrus, to be the dominant feeling.

So this subtle scent is something like a cool smooth cotton pillowcase to a fevered brow. Perhaps too a cool draft created by mysterious spirits swiftly moving from room to room, passing through. I think this fragrance will most definitely act on the nervous system with the power of its beneficial sedative plant ingredients to aid in gaining a deep sleep, or even to soothe anxiety during the day for more calm and clarity.

I find these perfumes are subtly expressive in a wordless, even musical way. As with all natural perfumes that use wild crafted and botanical materials you must recalibrate your nose attention to pick up their fragrant and beneficial wholesomeness.

These are stylish in their presentation and also well priced. Please see the website for prices and more information and other perfumes and products. I recommend the use of the Perfume Enhancing Base to hold them as long as possible, keeping in mind it will also be useful for any other botanical and natural perfumes in one’s repertoire, and good for the skin too.

Images above:
From the magnificent book, Natural Fashion by Hans Silvester;
Perfume compacts from Melange
The sofa kitty from the For Strange Women website home page

I purchased these perfumes/samples.
2013 Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved


Vanessa said...

I have never come across a solid perfume palette like this, and it does look very reminiscent of eyeshadows. :-). As an amber lover, I am sure I would find something to tempt me here, especially as there is more than one palette!

I like the ethos and scent names of the For Strange Women line - and am always a sucker for a sofa kitty. Then speaking of amulets, a little known fact about Kansas City is that it is home to a museum of jewellery made entirely of human hair! And also from memory a museum of ghost trains, one of barns, and one devoted to dolls belonging to Caroline Kennedy.

Lucy Raubertas said...

I just ordered a floral one, and I think the amber 2 is on the way too. I look forward to it. Each component is of a high quality. I think that's the main thing about this, that it can be done with taste rather than just a generic outlay of a type.

For Strange Women's image is so appealing. My niece just moved there so I must pass on this info. I wonder if that particular museum has to do with mourning jewelry made with hair. It used to be a great city for music. Jazz, R&B, Rock and Roll. I believe Ornette Coleman came from there.

Vanessa said...

Aha, do tell your niece to check out the art museums with (respectively) a giant shuttlecock and a spider on their lawns. (If my memory serves me!)

Anonymous said...

Just ordered the perfume oil sample pack from For Strange Women. I love it when treats are awaited in the post!

What a wonderful library and resource of scent recommendations you have amassed here on this blog! I appreciate all your hard work and for making it BEAUTIFUL to boot :). -x.M

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