August 26, 2013

Illuminated Perfumes Fig 1: Noir/Blossom

Fig. 1 Noir, Photo by Greg Spalenka
These perfumes have a strong spirit even if they are the essence of subtlety. Opening them is unleashing energy distilled from concentrated forms of botanical substances; lively energy itself.

Fig.1 Noir is the shadow, the evening that falls first on the darker side of the road. Blossom is the sweetness of nectar within a freshly opened flower in the morning sun. Both  remind me of dew collecting in the grass that seeps up the edge of your clothes as you walk,  the condensation of the open air acting with the rising temperature of the day against the coolness of earth, becoming a soft moisture that seems almost thicker than water.

Both are, as always with this maker, botanical and ultra sensitively composed.  The materials are treated with utmost care and the lightest touch so as to transmit the full range of fresh experience most directly.

Another comparison that seems true to make is to compare them to wines.  Like a dark red wine as opposed to a light dry white wine, these perfumes have that same kind of pull on the sensors within the face nose and mouth, with that same complex astringency that holds an entire season within a sip.

When you pay close attention to them, as they naturally require that you do, it is like diving into the a pool on a luxurious vacation, finding yourself quietly observing the moment of a perfect climate’s sundown and sunrise. I believe they are especially good to have as a set for that reason.

Noir EdP has a black coffee ground, sepia shadowed, strong hit of brandy aged in an oak cask feel. It is a limited edition made of several different accords and components that are irreplaceable.

Blossom, photo by Greg Spalenka
Blossom EdP is a composed brightness, a light dewy nectar that is like the basic substance of a floral without revealing the floral itself – the elemental aspect of inflorescence.

The notes for Blossom which I expect are the same for both the EdP and cologne versions, are listed as a dilution of herbs, orange and jasmine blossoms, and wood, bergamot, lemon, neroli, thyme, rosemary, cistus and jasmine.  

Blossom was specifically based on a recollection of the cologne made by Roxana's Argentine grandfather, Colonia de Bebe, and she has here made an  impression of its special occasion feel, while incorporating elements of her life in the environment of California in the present day.

The word vitality recurs over and over in the perfumer’s writing, and is in fact the essence of this aesthetic.

As true natural botanicals, they reflect the landscape of California, providing a complex experience that recalibrates the attention and acts on the body and mind with the power and gentleness of distilled Nature. Roxana's perfumes are the essence of wild California.

Fig. 1 Noir has a more lasting power than is usual for botanicals because of the higher percentage of the base notes within it. Some of the notes listed are botanical musk, patchouli, green vetiver, Mysore sandalwood, orris. valerian, buchu leaf, black cumin, green cognac and davana.

In addition to the beauty of the perfume itself, their presentation reflects the care and imagination of both Roxana and her husband Greg Spalenka who create imaginative illustrations and design forms to contain the precious experience offered as fragrance.

Please visit the Roxana Illuminated Perfumes for samples and more information about her philosophy and practice. You might also, if you haven't already, visit my posts on her other perfumes (To Bee, Gracing the Dawn, Cimbalom, among others).

There is much background on the perfumer’s deep and rich site  on her botanical palette of notes and process. The beauty of the site itself is a rewarding experience. The illustrations above and others based on the perfumes can be seen by following the linked captions.

Copyright 2013 Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.


Roxana said...

Thank you so much for sharing your impressions of these two perfumes Lucy. When I read your mindful and artistic compositions I want to stay among the words as of each of them is a tall tree in a fragrant, green forest. I breath them in as if I am taking in the very soul of a verdant landscape. So beautiful and evocative, much gratitude to you.

Lucy Raubertas said...

Thank you Roxana. Your perfumes are like a trip to the country in CA for me. What could be better?

deana sidney said...

I love the wine and perfume connection. I know that I wear white wine scents in summer exclusively. When the weather cools, out come my reds! Beautiful review.