Belize & Guatemala Part I

Careless as I might be in packing clothes, not so with perfume.  Not always.  But mostly.  Laying the potential fragrances out ahead of time to sniff and dream gets me in the mood.

Scent & Faeries

What perfumes to bring on a jungle faerie hunt…

“A cozy one, a sexy one, one for the weather, and a wild card.”  Inviting advice offered  from friend and blogger Julie Johnson of The Redolent Mermaid to my quandary on a last trip.

I confess that mostly I’m a last minute packer.  Sure, I have grand plans to pack  two-three days before a trip and then re-pack the day before,  removing half of the stuff, etc.  But no, mostly, I just end up shoving everything into the suitcase last minute.  Yoga mat?  Check…

Hmmmm – packing bags in my bag…

Careless as I might be in packing clothes, not so with perfume.  Not always.  But mostly.  Laying the potential fragrances out ahead of time to sniff and dream gets me in the mood.  And it’s an adventure to see if the way I predict fragrance interacting in an environment will play out in just that way.

For this jungle faerie hunt I selected a small vial of rare Hawaiian Jasmine in oil for my weather (tropical) scent.  A gift from a friend who procured it at a farmer’s market in Kauai it seemed an obvious choice.

Rare Hawaiian Jasmine and Butterfly

A small potent vial of verdant faerie’s Butterfly was my cozy scent.  More of an aromatherapy scent than a perfume, Butterfly is bright with Geranium and Mint, and grounding with Clary Sage.  It is perfect for jet-lag or the disorientation that sometimes accompanies travel.  The bottle is now empty…  Somehow it’s brightness was a soothing tonic.  Helping me to feel stronger and ready for adventure.

My sexy  scent was verdant faerie’s Eau De Parfum, Duskblossom, a rich scent with a seductive heart of Jasmine & Tuberose and a complex narcotic patchouli / tobacco base.


On the trip I ended up slathering Butterfly on my wrist to wake up and then layered my sexy pick DuskBlossom on top, day and night.  During the day I would occasionally layer on the straight up jasmine.  I found the Hawaiian Jasmine and Jasmine-heavy Duskblossom perfect for the jungle.  It’s heady seductiveness lured me into lush jungle spirit.  Blooming, thick, both ethereal and and of the earth.


The wild card was J. Hannah’s award-winning Skive.  I especially love to take this one traveling because of it’s nifty eco-lux and travel ready packaging.  The scent itself is always a surprise to me, although I’ve known it for several years.  And its smokey, woodsy, musky, tea scent always brings out unique nuances in the environment I am exploring.  I reached for Skive just once.  At the Lamanai Lodge deep in the jungle.  On a night when I got the itch to enjoy a scotch at the lodge bar.   Stay up late listening to the songs of night critters as the Howler monkeys finished their last throaty bellows.  The smooth smokiness matched the scotch and the sounds.  I felt far away.

J. Hannah’s Skive with its leather ‘glamping’ wrap
That’s my scotch over there at the Lamanai Lodge.

Once, as an experiment I put some drops of Butterfly into a pair of smelly sneakers.  My brilliant idea did nothing to mask this funk.  Then they just smelled like funk and Butterfly.  C’est la vie. They are now sitting with good ol’ baking soda.

Interestingly, the lush intensity of the jungle softened all the fragrances, and I was really digging DuskBlossom with Butterfly as I wandered around under massive vine covered trees investigating endless variations of miniscule mosses.




In the off-the-beaten-track shop of Miss Garcia I hit gold in the form of Copal Resin.  Miss Garcia opened the door of her pink shop to us on a Saturday night.  Her smile and transcendent Saturday night copal smudging scent greeted us. Still soft and fresh, she unwrapped the copal and cut me off a 1/4 pound piece.  I mentioned I wanted to tincture it for perfume, and she instructed that it should soak for 9 days, a sacred number as per the Mayans.

I left the shop floating on an incense cloud basking in the radiance of the kindly Miss Garcia.

I will tincture some in organic alcohol and oil.  For 9 days, as recommended.

Incidentally, Copal is a resin from the Copal Protium Tree.  It is used mostly as an incense but can add a lovely incense base note to perfumes.  A bit like Frankincense only sweeter and more ethereal.

Miss Garcia


Miss Garcia’s shop.


All the gorgeous imperfections.
Cutting it is like cutting a very firm cheese
The tree is nicked to cause the resin to flow.

Mayan Faeries – The Alux

The faerie hunter.

This dapper fellow and frequent travel companion is my dad.  In addition to being an incredibly literate professor, he shares my curiosity in faeries.  He always gets his question out in the most serious and professorial of manners, asking our local guides what they know of the Alux (pronounced ah-loosh) a Mayan sprite or faerie.

As children our Belizean guides were cautioned not to go into caves.  In the caves the Alux lie in wait and will get you.  And parents are advised to have more than 1 child as the Alux are less likely to talk a child into going off with him if a sibling is present.

“Does anyone ever come back from there after being caught?” asks yours truly.

“Ummm.  No.”

Now, doesn’t that make you just a touch suspicious?  Don’t you wonder what it’s like in the land of the Alux?  Maybe it’s super nice and the children don’t WANT to come back…  Hmmm.

Belize & Guatemala Part II coming very soon..

In the meantime for more scented beauty, check out Julie Johnson’s blog –

The Redolent Mermaid

Do you travel with perfume?  How do you decide what to bring?


Author: Doreen

Purveyor of beauty and the imaginal realm. I write, blend botanical perfume, spend countless hours in nature, travel, chase faeries, and enjoy artistic expression. An avid meditator and yogini seeking conscious liberation.

12 thoughts on “Belize & Guatemala Part I”

  1. Wowza, your water droplet photos are lush and stunning.They make me want to dive right in and soak up the beauty. Ooh it is fun to select scents for a trip, I’d imagine (will probably only ever imagine this exotic of an excursion) choosing perfumes for a jungle trip would add to the feel of adventure and excitement. Your choices all sound intriguing, the J.Hannah’s Skive description provided especially dreamy imagery. And that chunk of copal? Absolutely gorgeous, I love frankincense.
    Your dad accompanies you? That must be where your adventurous spirit is derived. Looking forward to part two of your adventure…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you never know what life may bring with a little magic. Perhaps an adventure lies in your future… I am very lucky in that my parents run a tour packaging business and I often have worked for them, as well as just getting totted about as a child. Really lucky.

      The rain on the leaves is so inviting! It was a rainy day and I was doing yoga on my little cabin’s porch and got totally distracted by all the vegetation. Imagine being a tiny little creature and diving inside those water droplets. What fun!

      Enjoy your day!


  2. I do not travel much but enjoy reading about other people’s adventures (especially when perfumes are involved).

    I always take with me more perfumes than I actually need – just to have a choice. I’m good with scenting my trips to Hawaii since I know what works for me there but with new destinations I don’t always guess right and end up with perfumes that disappear in the humid heat or do not bloom enough in the colder dry climate. I probably need more practice 😉
    Beautiful pictures with the leaf and rain drops!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that you take more perfumes then you need. So lavish. And why not? For just the reasons you say. And also just to know you have what you need when fancies strike. Thank you for the compliments on the raindrop and bottles photos. Those magnificent leaves were the perfect backdrop!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You are the best Doreen. I love your choices. Do you have Butterfly in your store? It sounds like just the blend I could use for when my uterus is giving me “what for.” An uplifting yet grounding scent. I loved following along on your trip. The photos you take are always enchanting. You look so vibrant and beautiful in that cobalt dress on the ruins.

    I don’t think I have been as excited for anything as I am right now about your copal resin. I am dying to sniff what you make with it. ❤ Does it smell like anything right off the tree like that? Does it feel like butter to your fingers? I am beyond curious about it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Julie!

      I so get you about the copal resin. It does smell like it does on the tree. I rubbed my fingers on the sap coming out of the tree. And the scent lingered on them for quite awhile. When hardened it is more firm then the tree sap. I’m still not sure how she got so much to make a 1 lb chunk. I’d like to see that. When Miss Garcia cut into it it was like cutting into a firm cheese. And the aroma that immediately sparkled up was like a sweet sort of frankincense.

      Why did i not purchase more? So disappointed in myself. Sigh. Now I’m hoarding this treasure. I keep the chunk around and just marvel at it. The other day I found a bit of the old dried leaf if was cured in. Waiting for the moment to explore tincturing… Maybe on a full moon…

      Sorry to hear about the uterus issues. Being a woman is so complicated and delicate… I think Butterfly might help. I blended it for jet lag but it seems to fit the bill for so much more.

      Thank you for all of your compliments regarding my pictures – It means so much as I truly adore your blogs and following your life on IG. I feel so fortunate to have found your inspiring self in this mad world!



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