Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Bringer of Peace



The outpour of tragic news from my home country have practically taken over my life. It's difficult to think about anything else but this summer meteorite of pain and hostilities. Try as I may to not get political, I simply can't these days. In fact, I never had a stronger political view in my life. In 2 sentences it goes like this: Stop the violence. Make peace NOW. 

There is very little I can do, but I'm trying all I can to encourage people around me and especially back home that there is another way. That fear does not need to be the ruling factor. And I'd like to use this blog to also promote this idea, because maybe there is someone reading it that it could help them think differently.

There are lots of things we can do on a daily basis, and one of them is non-violent communication. Something we can all learn and achieve. I can only wish all the leaders of the Middle East (if not the world over) will adapt this approach.

Lastly, with the very little influence I have, I want to talk about peaceful perfumes and fragrances. And I'd like to dedicate the upcoming month of August as a Perfume for Peace month. Please wear a perfume that inspires peace and share your comments here and everywhere else on the social networks. Maybe with combined efforts and intent we will be able to move something in this world... Of course that does not come instead of actions such as demonstrations, signing petitions, dialog with the people we were raised to be at war with, and finding non-violent ways to communicate and resolve conflicts with the people around us.

First installation in the Perfume for Peace will be posted tomorrow... In the meantime, try to get restful sleep.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rose Garden Perfume

Taking a little breather from feverishly working on the last edits and additions to my book... And blog a little on some of the things I've been brewing (for the book, and just for fun).

I've enjoyed the rose garden strolls so much, that I wanted to create a perfume that captures the full-spectrum of rose garden's beauty. For a long time, I had a rose leaf concrete that I had no idea what to do with. It has high portion of floral waxes in it, so it looks like brittle yet creamy pieces of cocoa butter, only green in colour. Such texture would be frustrating to work into an alcoholic perfume, but perfect in Crème Parfum.

I wanted it to smell like leaves, flowers, rosehips, and a tiny bit of the moist fertile soil. It's very fruity but also leafy and fresh. Very rosy but does not feel too formal or ancient. It's probably the most realistic rose scent I've ever made, a little rustic and free spirited too.


Top notes: Szechuan Pepper, Lemon, Fresh Ginger
Heart notes: Rose Leaf Concrete, Bulgarian Rose, Rose de Mai, Rugosa Rose
Base notes: Sandalwood, Green Spikenard, Oakmoss, Angelica


The resulting perfume brings me much comfort during what seems like a terrible summer from hell in too many parts of the world, include Palestine and Israel. I would like to ask you all to dedicate a few moments a day to pray for peace in whichever way you see fit. Light a candle, chant, meditate, burn incense, fast. It's time we all put our honest and pure intent into bring an end to the violence in so many parts of the world. As one Palestinian girl said it: "We are all going to die, so let's live our lives in peace".

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Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Gourmands for Summer

Thanks to Victoria from choosing Musk Malabi as one of her EauMG's top perfume picks for summer 2014!
Thrilled to be featured next to some of my personal favourites, including Savuer de l'Abricot and Sel de Vetiver.

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Love or Hate: Cilantro



Cilantro - do you love it? Or hate it?
There might be a bio-genetic reason for that... 

I know a friend of mine whose mom could not stand the taste of cilantro when she was pregnant with her. Neither does she... 
Personally, I didn't always care for cilantro; but now I find it wonderfully refreshing and interesting in food (cold noodle and mango salad with lime and cilantro is a dreammm...); and love its aldehydic, slightly soapy effect in perfume. 
Please do comment if you are one of the 10% of the population that can't stand it.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

News from the Nose: The Smell of Freedom


 
Dear Fragrant Friends,
"MRS. LANDINGHAM: (refering to her car)... And when you get inside, there's this... (Mrs. Landingham gestures, trying to find the right word).
BARTLET: Smell?
MRS. LANDINGHAM: How did you know?
BARTLET: It's the smell of freedom...and the chemicals they treat the dashboard with".

(Aaron Sorkin, "The West Wing", S2 E21 "18th and Potomac")
The season of freedom is here, and with it the celebration of independence both in Canada (July 1st) and Fourth of July in the United States. Before you all take off to blow off firecrackers gather for a neaighbourhood barbecue or canoing expedition - let's take a moment or two to relish in the smell of freedom. After all, this is what makes the North American continent so admirable.
And I'd like to wish a peaceful Ramadan and easy fasting to those of among you celebrating this month. Ramadan Mubarak!
To celebrate all these important holidays with you, I'm offering FREE SHIPPING on all orders through July 7th. Also, early bird registration for this fall's perfumery courses, and pre-orders for my new book are extended till then.  

1. Smells like Canada Contest 

Judging by names alone, you'll find three obvious sources of inspiration in my perfumes: Israel, Japan, and of course my birth country and where I've been calling home for some odd fifteen years: Canada.
The great Canadian landscape alone brings to mind freedom and possibilities. The pure air inspires clear thoughts, and tolerance, politeness and honesty seems to the trait this nation holds dear and practices on a daily basis.
As far as smells goes, I can assure you that my perfumes are as polite as can be! Even though Canada is known for its ongoing policies against offensive odours, you can be sure your co-workers won't even notice that you've snicked on some Espionage on your wrists... Unless they decide to sexually harass you, which is very unlikely in our law-abiding country (thank goodness to that!).
But office and other politics aside - Canada's natural wild floral an fauna, while not as diverse as its citezens, is utterly abundant. Here you'll find more coniferous trees then anywhere in the world. No matter how hard we try to log them, those trees keep growing back, thankfully! 
Canada is coniferous trees and maple syrup from coast to coast, perhaps with a touch of castoreum... Yet somehow, every year I discover a new fragrant plant that is inspiring and unique to this continent. You can read more in the 2014 edition of "Smells Like Canada" on SmellyBlog, and also add a comment for a chance to win a Gaucho mini, and handmade incense cones inspired by the First Nationas smudging ceremony with sage and tobacco.

2.Fir + Fur = Canada

Smell like Canada while supporting small Canadian businesses - choose from the following Canadian-inspired fragrances: 

FUR: You won't find any Canadian beaver secretions (aka castoreum) in any of my perfumes, because they are cruelty free. But Espionage comes as close as it gets to good ol' Canadian fur. In this case, I've used cade oil (destructive distillation of juniper) to create the smoky, tannin quality of leather, along with tobacco leaf and loads of vanilla and tonka bean. The result has been compared to single malt whiskey and pipe tobacco. 

Enjoy fir and many other coniferous notes (cedar, pine, spruce, juniper...) both in the sharp, refreshing essential oil, and the sweeter, almost jam-like and resinous absolute form, where they add a unique sweetness to these perfumes: 
FIR: Fetish is that rare thing - an unboring citrus: jasmine green tea, fir absolute, rhododendron and vanilla give the most popular citrus notes of lemongrass, lemon verbena, grapefruit and bergamot an unusual twist as well as lasting power. It's a summery love affair! 

PINE: Rainforest was ironically my attempt at creating the scent of earh-after-rain in Israel using spikenard - a rare biblical root that smells like wet earth . I must have added too much pine and spruce, because it smells exactly like Stanley Park!


MAPLE: Immortelle l'Amour was inspired by the Quebeqoise maple-harvets celebration, and the Tire sur le Neiges tradition of making taffy on spring's last snow. Maple-scented helicrysum is paired with notes of cinnamon waffles and orange juice essence - bringing brunch to a whole new level of seductive gourmand goodness. 

SPRUCE: Orcas is not just about sea salt and whales - but also the beatuiful ancient rainforests that kiss the Pacific oceans. Black Hemlock Spruce absolute plays an important role here, and thre is even an Orcas Beard Oil, so that you can untangle your locks after a day at sea. EauMG described it as follows: "Trying this again,  I was reminded of just how much I like the Orcas fragrance. The Beard Oil is a sharp, green geranium with fresh rosemary. It’s bitter-green-fresh with salt air".

RED CEDAR: Blackbeard Oil has become somewhat of a cult fragrance. EauMG recently reviewed it for Father's Day "Smells like red cedar at a lumberyard and dries down to a soft sandalwood. It’s an astringent woodsy-woods lumberjack fragrance". It's also a great way to keep your hipster beard looking and smelling fresh while camping.

3. Whimsical Wintergreen and Sacred Tobacco

There is no other scent more American to me than wintergreen. It’s in American toothpastes and chewing gums, and also in the ever so popular and oddly flavoured root beer. I don’t think there is anywhere else in the world where wintergreen is perceived so fondly (except for Canada, perhaps, but I suspect we learned that from you...). In Europe, wintergreen and sweet birch are used only for cleaning purposes, and Europeans are puzzled by the American fondness for root beer. Because of the salicylates content, wintergnreen oil is valuable for joint pain relief and to ease muscle spasms (but must be diluted first to avoid skin irritation). However, true wintergreen is difficult to come by, as it's usually replaced by pure methy salicylate.

Treazon is the only perfume I created with wintergreen. This is the real stuff, steam distilled from wild wintergreen leaves and blossoming tops (Gaultheria fragrantissima). I used it to accentuated the bitter, medicinal and slightly grape-like aspects of tuberose. The wild wintergreen, along with birch, really brings out the intensity of the flower after dark. Add to that vanilla, a hint of cinnamon, hyraceum and orange blossom  and - voila! A killer tuberose was born! It was even nominated for the 2013 Indie FiFi Awards.

Tobacco is a sacred plant in all Native American tribes. The first to use it were probably the Mayan Indians, and its use was spread throughout the entire continent. Tobacco was an essential element in most Native American rituals, and was used in different ways: placed as an offering to the gods or the spirits, burnt on the fire, smoked in a pipe or the leaves were rolled into the ancient forms of cigars in South and Central America (at times also elaborately decorated). Pipes were smoked to “seal deals” and agreements between tribes. The pipes themselves have a symbolic meaning: the “straw” part is considered projective or masculine, and the bowl where the tobacco is burnt is considered receptive, or feminine. There is a significance to the materials from which the pipes are made as well, and cultural messages hidden within the decoration of some pipes (which has become particularly elaborate in Central and Southern America).
I love working with tobacco, and have created several perfumes with it, including my best-selling Espionage, and the whimsical Rebellius, which has a sweeter, almost chocolatey take on tobacco; the soapy-clean Sabotage, and the pipe-tobacco scent of Espionage. I would love to hear from you what scents you think are typically American.

4. Media Clips: Now Smell This, CafleureBon, EauMG

Visit Now Smell This to read Robin's review of my newest perfume, Musk Malabi:
"It's bright and cheerful, and perfect for spring. Very much worth a try for anyone, but especially recommended for neroli freaks. I would love to have a bottle of Musk Malabi, along with Moriel's equally cheerful Etrog Oy de Cologne".

 
EauMG reviews our two masculine grooming oils: Blackbeard Oil and Orcas Hair & Beard Oil:
"...if you like natural oils and if you think you’d like smelling like a lumberyard or salt air, then don’t let 'beard' shy you away. These are high-quality oils with great fragrances".

Cafleurebon dubbed Les Nuages de Joie Jaune as one of the world's top 10 mimosa perfumes! Too bad that I have to let this one go. There is one last bottle waiting for you here. 
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5. Stanley Park Rose Garden Stroll July 17th + Private Workshops

 
Lots of workshops and classes coming up - at my studio and outdoors. I'm re-discovering the wonderful world of roses, with a renewed interest in this classic flower especially after teaching a similar class in VanDusen Gardens earlier in June. 

July 17th, 5-7pm: Rose Garden Stroll & Scent Salon

Stop and smell the roses!
Join master perfumer Ayala Moriel for a delightful afternoon at Stanley Park's classic Rose Garden. This interactive class will explore the evolution of the rose, as a flower and a fragrance. Find out how the yellow colour in hybrid tea roses affects their perfume (i.e.: the Tahitian Sunset rose pictured below smells like apricot and vanilla!), how rose oil is distilled and extracted, and see some examples of the rose’s unique place in art, poetry, mystical botanical symbolism, and of course - perfume. Rosy refreshments will be served picnic-style.
$46/per person, including a sample of rose perfume you'll take home with you! Limited to 15 participants.
Contact me via phone (778) 863-0806 or email to book your spot.
Additionally, I will have my Rose Connoisseur Summer Coffret for sale at the garden, with 8 of my rosiest perfume: Bouquet of Love, Cabaret, Fête d'Hiver, Roses et Chocolat, Rosebud, Song of Songs, Tea Rose and Ayala Moriel's newest perfume: Musk Malabi.
While perfume may be what is at the very heart of Ayala Moriel Parfums, we also offer many other fragrant workshops and experiences - such as our private workshops on the making of everything from perfume and bath products to all-natural, floral-water icecream. Treat yourself and five of your favorite people (maximum capacity is 6 people) to a private perfumed retreat! Private Perfumed Parties are also available for larger groups (up to 15 participants).

6. Early Bird & Book Pre-order Extended till July 7th

Now it’s time to plan the next term in my perfume school, coming up this fall, with two courses at the end of September and beginning of October: Chypres week (September 22-27, 2014) and Leather/Tobacco Week (September 29 - October 3, 2014). Early Bird rates (20% off) are in effect till June 22nd. If you're a new student, please apply by emailing me with a CV and a coverletter.

Correspondence Course, Private Lessons & New Book!

If you are not able to attend my classes in person, you can sign up for my correspondence course which includes the Foundation of Natural Perfumery Book plus 5 one-hour sessions with me via phone/Skype. I also offer private sessions - either in person at my studio, or via phone/Skype for $200/hr -  perfect for students who live remotely and need to brush up on certain lab skills, techniques or want to get personal feedback for their work. The 2014 edition of the  Foundations of Natural Perfumery Book is now available for pre-order, and will be completed late summer/early fall. Pre-orders are helping me greatly in setting off some of the printing and graphic re-design costs, as this will be self published. We are printing it here in Vancouver; and also will be offering an electronic edition online later this year.
Wishing you all a Happy Canada Day, Ramadan Kareem and Happy Fourth of July!

Ayala

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Monday, June 30, 2014

The Smell of Freedom - 2014 Edition of "Smells Like Canada"

MRS. LANDINGHAM: Consumer Reports rates it very high. It's very safe. And when you get inside, there's this... (Mrs. Landingham gestures, trying to find the right word).
BARTLET: Smell? MRS. LANDINGHAM: How did you know?
BARTLET: It's the smell of freedom...and the chemicals they treat the dashboard with.

(Aaron Sorkin, "The West Wing", S2 E21 "18th and Potomac")

I've covered almost any scent that I consider Canadian in the last 2 years since I've started "Smells Like Canada". Douglas fir, maple syrup, rhubarb, tobacco, mildew, snow, artemisia (known in this parts of the world as "sage" even though it's not), elderflowers, Canadian gin, cherry red cedar, and castoreum from the Canadian beaver. To that list I can only add two more scents that somehow got ignored in previous years:
 
1) Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) aka False Acacia - a native to the Eastern parts of the continent; and which smells like a sweet blend between heliotrope and orange blossom.

2) Linden blossoms (Tilia vulgaris) which although are not native to here, are in full bloom at this very moment, and line many of the streets and boulevards of Vancouver, painting the city's olfactory landscape with the colour of clear, blue sky.

3) Sweet Grass (Hierochloe odorata), aka Holy Grass or Vanilla Grass -
neatly braided and ceremonially burnt by the prairie First Nation people for its coumarin-sweet character to invite positive energy into the circle (after it's been cleansed with sage).

This year I want to focus on what freedoms smells like. To the fictional American President Bartlett it's the smell of new car. What is it to you?

To me it's the smell of chlorine as you approach the pool in the summer. The smell of hay stacks on which you can jump and free-fall with complete oblivion to any risk of injury. The scent of saltwater and marine life at low tide - complete with fermented seaweed, muscles and barnacles and jet fuel and boat fuel. And the knowledge that for the next few hours the world's worries will come to a halt because you're at the beach. The smell of coconutty tanning oil and tropical sunscreen won't hurt either. But now I'm really getting carried away...

No matter what smell association freedom, summertime or Canada has to you - freedom itself is priceless. And the commitment to this value is what makes this country so special. Of course it doesn't hurt that we're not really at war with anyone, at least not at our borders. Which of course makes for a lot less conflict of interest between "freedom" and "safety". Something that a lot of Canadians are either not aware of - or just haven't ever needed to experience that kind of conflict.
To be a Canadian means to live in peace, in a country where everyone is indeed considered equal, and where the mandate in public schools is to educate our young children to accept the other without prejudice. As long as public schools are open (which is a whole other issue...). Additionally we get to drink clean water and breathe pure air. Or at least cleaner and purer than many other countries - both industrial and third world ones. Yes, we can be better, but that does not mean we should not appreciate what we do have going for us. Not to mention we don't need to worry about our kids getting kidnapped, or murdered, by terrorists, and that pretty much tops it all, doesn't it? 
We are truly blessed.

And now, to this year's contest: What does freedom smell to you? Add your thoughts in the comment section, or add any Canadian smells that I might have missed.
Winner gets a mini of my Gaucho perfume, which is the closest thing to the smell of sweetgrass; and incense cones that are inspired by the First Nations ceremonial smudging. It has tobacco leaf and sage (true sage from the Mediterranean, not the white sage grown locally). It smells amazing, and I only share this with very few people.

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Monday, June 23, 2014

EauMG Reviews Beard Oils

Visit EauMG to read Victoria Jent's reviews of my Blackbeard Oil and Orcas Beard Oil. Both can be used to condition both hair and beard and are made primarily from argan oil.
"...if you like natural oils and if you think you’d like smelling like a lumberyard or salt air, then don’t let 'beard' shy you away. These are high-quality oils with great fragrances".

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Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy Summer Solstice!



Happy Summer Solstice!

Scents that mean summer to me: Splitting watermelons and slicing fresh rhubarb; tomato plants and heirloom tomatoes carrying that tomato-leaf scent in their still-green parts; suntan lotion mingled with poolside chlorine, vanilla and banana flavoured ice cream bars (the cheaper the better), night blooming flowers (Cestrum nocturnum, honeysuckle and jasmine), cut flowers with intoxicating aroma filling the house - white and pink peonies, peppery white and yellow freesias, but tuberose after dark being the queen of them all.  Dewy gardenias and frangipannis, reminiscent of happy days by the beach - and of course, endless amounts of salty sea breeze.


When summer start hinting about getting serious at all, I bring out some of the bottles that are waiting patiently 10 months out of the year, making their debut with much needed TLC:

Cooling off with hydrating fruits: 
Citrus are famous for their cooling, refreshing qualities in the summertime. But they are not the only fruit-based scents that I reach for in the summer. Figs, cantaloupes and mango seem to be making an appearance in my olfactory fruit-bowl.

Philosykos
There is nothing like green figs, and when you can't have them - the longing for them makes the heart even fonder. Philosykos makes me feel as if I'm sitting under a fig tree by a cool brook in the Galilee, and picking ripe green figs, their milky sap dripping off their stems (and that's the part you want to avoid, but is represented by a green coconutty note).

Un Jardin Apres la Mousson
This singular perfume is simultaneously cool and refreshing yet at the same time juicey and sweet. I love the contrast between cantaloupe and the cool vetiver, fresh ginger and coriander.

Eau d'Orange Verte
To a classic eau de cologne frehsness, there is a hint of green mango added (in the new formulation, which isn't as bad as I feared). I still stick to my

Orcas
There is no scent that screams "West Coast" more than Orcas. I dreamed it while vacationing in Tofino and fine tuned it when spending an entire summer at SunsetBeach. Its main citrus component is lime - a surprisingly coconutty citrus note. Paired with seaweed and rosemary and smoothed out by violets

Tropical Island Vacation: 
Unless you count my dreams (and daydreaming) - I never did go on a tropical island vacation. But this fantasy is an inevitable part of my summer enjoyment, which includes spending as much time at the beach as possible. 
 Terra Cotta Eau de Sous le Vent
Supposedly a tan enhancer, I wear this for the scent alone. It's like a beach vacation in a bottle. And even if mine usually happen 10 minutes away at the beach down the hill, and go for only a few hours at a time - it creates an illusion that I actually went away somewhere exotic.

Azuree de Soleil Body Oil 
Who said you can't be sophisticated at the beach? This European suntan lotion inspired scent is much more than that. It's very light yet has depth. The white florals are toned down, and unusual resinous notes and subtle musk are what make it so charming.

Vanille Banane 
Just like the banana ice cream bars we'd have at the beach as kids. The flavour is fake, but oh so charming. Banana esters rule! 

Tamya
Plumeria tucked behind the ear, yellow sarong, flip flops and a spritz of this subtle beach scent - frangipanni, ylang ylang, cedar and soft musk and hint of vanilla make it a feel like an authentic tropical getaway. Cassis and yuzu add a fruity lift, reminiscent of ripe mango.

Midsummer Night: It is not surprising that on summer evenings I tend to reach to white florals. Tuberose, gardenia and jasmine perfumes are at forefront of my evening summer wardrobe.

Opium Fleur de Shanghai is a more subdued, easy to wear spicy-oriental with magnolia as an added twist to the original rich formula. There is still plenty of spice and resinous goodness (myrrh especially), but it can be worn with dignity even in heat and humidity.

Songes
Ylang ylang, frangipani and jasmine over a soft ambery base. Songes is the roundest, most pampering of all the Annick Goutal perfumes, with no sharp edges or heady floralcy which prevents me to be able to fully connect to the rest.

Moon Breath
Soft, smooth yet meditative, I love wearing this incensey white-floral in an evening while enjoying the potted star jasmine and burning a good incense on my balcony on those rare balmy summer nights we get here maybe twice a year if we're lucky...

GiGi
Luscious gardenia soliflore, that makes me feel like I have the real flower pinned to my hair. It's heady and rounded, distinctively gardenia and makes me feel happy.

What about you? What scents do you crack open when the summer arrives?

Read my previous years Summer Lists: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013.

And now - off to the beach! 

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