Rose Is The Navy Blue Of India

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Image not my own.

It was before I became a perfumer.  I was returning a rental car to a destination car rental joint in a forgotten, questionable neighborhood somewhere in southern California.  A creepy, greasy, smelly, filthy, shit-show of a place.

But the rental agent employed by this dubious establishment – now he was an altogether different deal.

Crisp shirt, impeccable hair, gracious smile, and smelling of roses.  He circled the car with clipboard poised, suavely investigating for dents and dings.  An elegant gentleman from India who classed up the entire experience.  I was transfixed.

“Pink is the navy blue of India” I heard in my mind’s ear…  A guide stone adopted in the ’80’s as inspiration by my performance art co-collaborators and I while brainstorming shows.

We grabbed it from fashionista and Vogue Magazine editor Diana Vreeland, who famously observed, “I adore that pink, it’s the navy blue of India.”

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Diana Vreeland

As artists, we got it.  We took its message of subjectivity all personal-like and it drove us and liberated us.  We questioned rules and limitations.  We expanded and created. We invented ourselves and reinvented ourselves.  We became ourselves.  We expressed ourselves as any seriously silly color of the rainbow we wanted to be.  And we invited our audience to do same.

Back to the greasy car joint.  Here was a man, elegant, masculine, and smelling of roses.

His rose infused elegance reminded me of the Vreeland quote.

I buried the experience in the recesses of my mind.

Years later, as I launched my little perfumery, I struggled to categorize the scents as I thought was required.  Affixing labels on ineffable ethers.  Earnestly weighing them I’d ponder, “Would a man wear this?”  I thought I should conform and slap that label on each fragrance.   Men smell like this.  Woman smell like that.  This one feminine, that one masculine, etc.

Naturally, at my first public fragrance “showing” (scenting?) this fussing was proven utterly unnecessary.   A man strode up, grabbed a perfume I had dutifully classified as feminine – InVisioning Roses – and before I could steer him to the more ‘masculine scent’, he generously doused his wrist and voila!  Mind altered.  Like a second skin, it was a scent made for his very body chemistry.  The rose prevalent but still masculine with spices simmering and electrifying citrus.

It took me back to the elegant rose scented man at the car rental joint, and I got it!  Rose is the navy blue of India!  Rose is for everyone.  Roses all round!

He has been a return customer, my InVisioning Roses fan.  Smelling lushly of Bulgarian rose and bergamot, frankincense and cardamom.

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Image not my own.

I’m grateful to live in a time and place where we can overcome these limitations.  Roses are not just for women!  Woodsy scents are not restricted to men.  Grown up ladies can smell like vanilla and toasted marshmallows and boys can smell like Ylang Ylang.  I mean who the hell cares?  Do you?

Express yo’ self, says I!

Please join me for a special rose event on February 9 from 2-3 pm CT at The Nest in Michigan City Indiana, 803 Franklin St.  “Rose Uprising: A Heart SCENTered Event.”  I’ll be talking  a bit about roses in perfumery and the language of the rose.  I’ll have rose oils and absolutes to sniff and some special rose products (for men and women) including InVisioning Roses EDP,  limited edition rose and sandalwood perfume oil, rosewood home fragrance, and Rose Immortal Faerie Queene Face Oil.

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Me and my performance art buddies – the group Somebody’s Daughters from Dirt, Food, and the Cleansing Influence.  Left to right – Anna Brown, Kiki Ciesielski, and me.
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Vlasta Gerhardová in her crown of roses!   A model for Magaela Accessories  picture borrowed from the ever inspiring Enchanted Living Magazine

 

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Copal + Dunes = Bliss

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Was it the new moon?  Already?  And a spring new moon!

Time to plant seeds of intention!

If it wasn’t for my dear friend and aromatherapist, Miriam, (Kindred Earth Botanicals) reminding me of our shared monthly new moon mermaid card spread ritual, I’d have missed it in the frenzy of all my doing and then subsequent crashing overwhelm in the form of a nasty cold.

I’m doing and busy and running and late…

Trying to do all the things.  And be all the things to all the people I hold dear.  Which sometimes seems like everyone…

If it wasn’t for this new moon reminder (thank you Miriam!) I would have neglected, again, to tincture my Copal Resin.  (I got a sizable chunk on a trip – read here – and was instructed in sacred Mayan alchemy to tincture on the new moon for 9 days.)

Back to all the things.  The dilemma.   All the things!  I want them all!  Do them all, be them all.  And how to impart the faerie message to humans the beauty that is life and that each person is a perfectly imperfect incarnation of beauty, power, and infinite love?

Admittedly, I get jealous of people with single-minded focus.  They make progress.  They get shit done.

Me?  I have so many passions and struggle to coax myself into just one or maybe two.  But I get itchy feet, and I love so much all the things…

Sometimes I am harsh with myself though.  You must decide, Doreen!  Sigh.  It happens.

So I thought this new moon I’d ask life, aka spirit, what to do with this dilemma of passion for many things.  After all, why must I hold the reins?

Life, what will you have of me?  That is what I will plant this new moon.  Send me little messages, drop me a trail of breadcrumbs through the forest, and I will follow you.

First bread crumb.  The mermaids (cards) told me to go to the water and feel. (Typical mermaids, water, sensuality, emotions, feelings, sex, love.)

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I took the already scent-blossoming Copal tincture , a thermos of tea, my journal, and my dog, and hiked up a dune to a favorite contemplation spot…

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Missy kept a look out.  She can be very protective when I go into meditation / ritual mode.

Second breadcrumb.  Scent-savor the copal.  Inhale.  Open the flood-gates.

Ethereal-sweet-resinous copal, I see you.   I feel you.  When I anoint myself and inhale slowly, I feel you in my heart and solar plexus chakra.  You melt into me a lover’s caress for my psyche.  The tingle-glowing within begins.  From my heart you spiral down warmly engulfing my radiant center.  A sweetness of crying for beauty of life.  Love-tears crystallize and drop but do not sting.  Bliss.  You bring a miraculous bliss, sacred Copal.  You bring me to my nature.  My nature is bliss.

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From this state, I persist with my query.  What does life want of me? What does it want me to do?  I’m ready to take notes…

I wait.  In my mind’s eye I see a flash of lightening.  Then, the surprising answer.

Nothing.

Life wants nothing of you, Doreen, except for you to do and be yourself.  Life wants you to live.  To live and feel your extraordinary self in this extraordinary experience of life no matter what you choose to do.  So, the activity you choose to do matters not.  Only feel into it.  Be present with the extraordinariness of you.

Yes, do all the things.  Do anything.  Do nothing.  Just feel.

Including having a nasty cold from overwhelm.  Feel the sweetness and bliss of THAT!

Society will try to tell us life is ordinary and mundane.  But it is not so.  Do not believe this.  Choose otherwise.

But we all know this, yes?  Inside, yes, we do.

I guess I just needed a little reminder.  Don’t we all from time to time?

Thank you, Sacred Copal.  Thank you, Mermaids.  Thank you, Missy.  Thank you, Me.

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Belize & Guatemala Part I

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…

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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.

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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.

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Duskblossom

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.

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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.

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J. Hannah’s Skive with its leather ‘glamping’ wrap
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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.

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Copal

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.

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Miss Garcia

 

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Miss Garcia’s shop.

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

Mayan Faeries – The Alux

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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?

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Sex & Scent – A Cautionary Mayan Tale

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Sex and Scent – A Cautionary Mayan Tale

Xkeban was lusty as she was beautiful.   Lust coursed through her body unchecked. A libido as big as the hot at the peak of a summer’s day in the Yucatecan jungle when you can do nothing but lay in your hammock and sweat, too hot to even fan. That’s how big her lust was.

That’s right, I said, unchecked. And in the little Mayan village where Xkeban lived, the sway of her hips as she lead her many lovers off to her palapa or worse yet, to the jungle, filled the more sanctimonious villagers with condemnation.

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And in the hearts of the villagers, the Yucatecan heat blazed in a hell-storm of fiery condemnation for that “floozy,” Xkeban. And fan this fire they would. Especially one villager named Utz-Colel.

Utz-Colel was just as beautiful as Xkeban, but she was pious. She did not let her secret passions drive her to look brazenly into the eyes of the men. Or to openly leer at the curve of their low backs, (you know, that dip just above a man’s buttocks where neatly fits a hand) as she “accidently” brushed her swelling breasts up against him in the market place to reach for the ripest mango. Nope. Utz-Colel did not even think of such things. She did not give into these passions merely because it “felt natural” as Xcaben was prone to. Really. No, never.

Yet… whom was it the villagers called for when they were ill and needed someone to sit by their sick beds dampening their fevered foreheads? And who was it that took in the goats when past milking age? And the old dogs too lazy and useless?

Have you guessed it? Not the pious Utz-Colel, but Xkeban. Because Xkeban’s heart was as big and kindly as her lust. Truly, even bigger. And while Xkeban would use the finery gifted her by her lovers to feed the indigent. Utz-Colel would scorn those below her while she twisted her ribbons and dark thoughts into her black braids. For inside she was bitter and Utz-Colel’s heart was cold as snakeskin.

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One day a most delicate and sweet perfume filled the air of the little village. The sublime intoxicating effects of this aroma caused all to seek its source, leading them to the home of that (good-hearted) slut, Xkeban. Her time amongst the living was done and there she lay, and from her wasted body emanated this fine perfume.

Well, Utz-Colel was in disbelief and swore up and down that when she died she would smell one hundred times better than that whore, Xkeban…

A few good-hearted individuals who remembered Xkeban’s kindnesses arranged for her burial. The next morning the fragrance was even more pronounced. Scent intoxicated once again, the villagers followed the perfume to the grave of Xkeban to find darling little flowers, the Xtabentun flowers, had proliferated on her grave!

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Time passed and, I suppose you can guess what happened when pious and haughty Utz-Colel died. From her body emanated a foul stench so unbearable the villagers could barely stand to plant her in the earth upon which they hastily flung various flower seeds before scurrying quickly off.

But the next day only a spiny, odorless, cactus flower, called the Tzacam flower bloomed.

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Well from the other side of the grave, Utz-Colel became furious about this and arranged somehow (it’s a secret) to return from death and remedy this perfume problem. She decided she would wantonly seduce as many men as possible just as Xkeban had done. Then she too could smell of fine perfume and produce darling little flowers on her grave.

Now here is where my tale turns cautionary. So listen up, those of you who think this seduction plan is sounding… interesting.

Villagers beware! Utz-Colel has now taken to posing sensuously under the Ceiba tree at the edge of the village, languidly combing her long black hair. And if she lures you into the jungle with the sway of her ample hips in the delirious heat of a Yucatecan summer’s afternoon, you will not be seen in the village again. For the bitter, soul-stealing sex of Utz-Colel is like making love to an odorless cactus flower on a foul and cold snakeskin bed, and it is believed her savage wrath against Xkeban will be your demise. Really.

Just thought you’d like to know.

This tale is my retelling of a traditional Mayan tale. It is an absolute true story of how the Xtabentun and Tzacam flowers came to exist. If you don’t believe me then just go ahead into the jungle with Utz-Colel and see for yourself.

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art from maya sin fronteras

~For My Mom~

This month will find me heading to the Yucatan Peninsula as a tour leader for my parents company Mexi-Mayan Travel.   We’ve a group of lively and curious travelers including my parents.  All avid learners and explorers and some archeologists and anthropologists.  We’ll explore Mayan culture and history as well as the local flora and fauna.  There’ll likely be some margaritas and excellent sea food…

As special gift to our group I’ll create for them a fragrance based on their group scent memories of our journey.  Each person picking one or two outstanding (pleasant) scent memories.  Then I’ll blend it up!

As always, thanks for visiting here!

A Scented Gathering For Mermaids

…You Are Invited…

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swish…swish…swish…Chicago

Our gracious hostess is the fabulous artist and sister mermaid, Sharon Bladholm, of Opal Glass Studio.  Sharon is a magical mermaid creature and we are excited to share our love of mermaids with you.

Sharon’s website is here-

Opal Glass Studio

Scent of a Mermaid

I’m delighted to announce Undine, the perfume, will preview at the gathering.  This first limited edition of Undine will appear as a solid perfume in lovely shell-shaped, locket necklaces.  Undine features a floral heart note of Rose, fresh Violet, and Champaca flower on a salt-air, marine base.  Like all of my perfumes, Undine is an all-natural composition.

Undine is an artistic expression and part of my mystical faerie realm exploration.  You can read my glimpse into the world of mermaids that came to me while gazing into a magical pool in the land of the fae here  –

Confessions of a Mermaid

I’ll also have my other verdant faerie botanical perfumes on hand.  Here’s my Etsy store –

verdant faerie perfumes

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Treats for the Mermaid Soul

Oh, and there’ll be treats AND free (brief) Mermaid Card Readings with my fantastic new deck – Oracle Of The Mermaids.  Reading faerie cards for myself and friends has been my passion hobby for many years now.  Most recently I have felt moved to offer these up to folks as a gift.  So check it out!

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Here be Mermaids

You will find the mermaids gathering on Saturday, October 15, 2-6 pm, in the garden of the Albany Carroll Arts Building, 319 N. Albany in Chicago, weather permitting.  Balloons will mark the entrance of the Garden.  In case of rain we will be indoors in Sharon’s studio.  Feel free to email me and I will send you my phone number so that you may text me if you get confused/disoriented.  doreen@verdantfaerie.com.

Please contact me with questions or concerns.

Hope to see you there!

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Free Range Faerie Telepathic Blog

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The Magical Telepathic Blogs

If you’ve used your telepathic abilities you would “know” all of the blogs I’ve been writing in my head (and not here.)  You’d know all of the beautiful and inspiring things I’ve seen and thought as I travel around, wanting to share…  The doubts and revelations…

Michigan

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You’d know of my beautiful Michigan blogs, about where I re-learned to love the quiet of winter snow.  My companions were pines, dunes, Lake Michigan, my perfumery studies and of course, Missy.

(no wifi, which was kinda nice.)

 

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Maya Riviera

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Of surf and sunshine with my dear mom and some little plastic faeries.  Where I realized relaxing is different than just being calm.

No Missy.  😦

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Mexico City
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 I’m sure you loved my pictorial blog about the oodles and oodles of jaw-dropping art and architecture in Mexico City.  A whirlwind tour with my parents and their company, Mexi-Mayan travel.  Mexico City and its surrounding area  is chock full of treasures!

(Too busy for wifi – surprisingly nice!)

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Chicago

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And didn’t you just devour the Chicago blogs? Highlighting more art and architecture.

But most importantly the blog written from my south-side Beverly, artist garret celebrating the completion of my course of study at the Natural Perfumery Institute.  Hooray!

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Finishing two perfumes… Dusk Blossom and Invisioning Roses

(And becoming most shamefully addicted to Game of Thrones… no blogging, urp.)

 

Go Fund Me

AND then the blog announcing the crowd sourcing campaign to raise money for the verdant faerie scent salon start-up!

The world really is full of wonder and kindness and support.  It took me a good 6 months to a year to have the guts to come out and ask for this help.

You know that demon that shouts repeatedly, “NO, YOU ARE NOT DESERVING!!!”  The beastly voice that keeps you from creating and sharing your gifts…  That ogre, claws embedded in my shoulder, mouth hot in my inner ear.  But I kept dreaming and invisioning.  Walking in woods for inspiration.  Yoga for peace and aerial silks for strength.  Visiting faerie realms while drowning the horrid voice in Bulgarian rose absolute.  Enchanting the monster with Sandalwood and tiny dancing plastic glow-in-the-dark faeries.  Washing clean in Lavender and Neroli.

And finally when I was ready, support was there!  And I am grateful and humbled and joyful…  (And still accepting donations.)

Go Fund Me Verdant Faerie

Maryland Now

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 Here I am surrounded by Lulu’s faeries, loved ones, cherry blossoms, Missy and the verdant faerie perfumery.

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Elegant 5 ml bottles for precious perfumes, and dried rose petals, just because….The rest of my supplies will arrive soon, and I will have a thrill of a lifetime blending my perfume formulas.

The official launch date is April 24th at a live event at Invision, in Chicago and with an Etsy store.

It will be a simple start regarding labels and that sort of thing.  But I feel confident in the magical perfume blends and in the quality of the ingredients I will use.

More soon about the opening!  (NOT telepathic.)

Non-Telepathic Blogs

Well, I still hope to write those blogs, and lots more, in case we are not telepathically linked.  And still on the move.  But I am totally open to a rendezvous in the faerie realm as an alternate to blogs or telepathic communication.  Just lemme know.

Dear Reader!  Thank you for visiting!

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Free Range Missy