November 13, 2015

Lunar Amulet for the 11-11-15 New Moon: Egyptian Rose & Spiced Wine

11-11 is one of those strange superstitions that is unspoken until we happen to find someone else that has had a similar experience. I have gone through times of my life where I consistently look at the clock at 11:11 every single day. I usually take it as a sign that I am being guided, or that I am open to the universe and it is sending me signals, or that I need to stop and think about and be in the moment. This new moon fell on 11-11 which makes it even more significant to me.

The perfume I made for the amulets this time is a scent perfect for autumn; Egyptian Rose & Spiced Wine. The dark rose bouquet is drenched in a fruity red wine and laced with a warm infusion of cinnamon and cardamom. There are several of these leftover from the batch, available in the Limited Edition section now. 

October 13, 2015

Lunar Amulet for the 10-12-15 New Moon: Eclipse

As you probably remember, September 27th's Full Moon was also a supermoon eclipse. I created a protective perfume blend that combined 3 varieties of frankincense and wore a heavy coat of it in preparation of the blood moon. I have found that I am very affected by the moon and eclipses typically bring about changes. I love change and embrace it most of the time, but sometimes it can be difficult and stressful. As it turns out, this eclipse did bring an unexpected new person into my life but its a good change. I am horribly distracted however and I have not had the focus to post the new Moongarden perfume line to my online store just yet. Please be patient with me while I figure out my footing, apply some more of this frankincense, copal, and amber-infused lunar amulet perfume, and wait for the eclipse to pass over in my mind.

September 13, 2015

Lunar Amulet Perfume for the 9-13-15 New Moon: Holy Basil

If you read my previous post, you will understand the importance of this moon's perfume. Holy Basil, also referred to as Tulsi, is a sacred herb and used widely in Ayurvedic medicine for its health benefits. One of these benefits is its adaptogenic properties, meaning it reduces stress hormones (cortisol), and helps our bodies stay calm when under stress.

This healing perfume features the dark and spicy comfort of Holy Basil, nestled in soft tree balsams and rose, also known for its stress reducing ability. The clove-like warmth of the Holy Basil makes it a wonderful autumn-transition scent, and is like a cup of hot tea upon inhalation. A deep base of Buddahwood, Rosewood, and Eaglewood create a meditative chord of tranquility.

There are some extra locket refills left over from this batch in the Limited Edition section of the web shop.

September 10, 2015

Adrenal Fatigue ~ Why I've been in hiding...

Something I have not mentioned publicly, but my close friends have had to hear a lot of, is that I have been struggling with adrenal fatigue since before I began For Strange Women. There are different stages to adrenal fatigue, and I did not recognize what my problem was or begin to deal with it until a couple years ago, when I was at a point where I could not get out of bed anymore. It wasn't depression; I felt as creative and inspired as I usually am, but my body physically crashed. It had been crashing for some time, as I kept pushing through stressful situations and taking on more work, difficult people and relationships, and dealing with everything from my home being burglarized to my car being totaled.

Although I have always loved my work since beginning FSW and I maintained good energy in that environment, outside of my perfume world I had become a magnet for people with anger and addictions, who took faster than I could give, like black holes. My memory became depleted, my body collapsed, and I have struggled the last 3 years with insomnia. Out of desperation I began eating meat after 12 years as a vegetarian. I went to the western doctor who of course told me I needed psych meds. No thank you. I went to a naturopath who confirmed my cortisol levels were completely out of balance, and too high at night, which is why I don't sleep. I have been to several natural doctors since, all which have helped me piece together the formula to recovering. But a part of this recovery is spiritual and I am trying to understand what about my own consciousness attracted this, so that I can untangle it.

In 2008, when this began (and I was working at a job that was destroying me), I went to a Chinese Acupuncturist, who said,
"Do not tell me what is wrong, I will tell you what is wrong."
After reading my eyes, tongue, and pulse, he said,
"You are like girls at the plaza. Are they paying cash? NO! They use credit card. You put your energy on a credit card, and it will take you a long time to pay this off."

I asked him what I can do to get better and he said I must rest. Of course, I didn't know how. I had been raised with a midwestern work ethic and I've never really had a support system to catch me if I fell. I kept trying to help other people because it was so much easier than taking care of myself, and I just kept thinking that if I could fix other people's problems around me that my own wellbeing would magically be restored.

Well, three years of insomnia woke me up. Now that I am wholly focused on myself, my energy is coming back, and slowly, my sleep is coming back too. Adrenal Fatigue can be so difficult to overcome, and it affects women most often. Many people just live with it as I was, drinking coffee until one day the coffee doesn't help anymore. In a way, I realize that my stress could have manifested into a much scarier illness, and maybe this was the best thing that could have happened to teach me to take care of myself, practice more patience, live in the natural flow of life, and pace myself. If any of this story sounds familiar to you, I hope you do the same.

August 14, 2015

Lunar Amulet for the 8-14-15 New Moon: Satsuma

Happy New Moon! As the summer in the Northern hemisphere passes its peak, I am feeling that craving for changes in anticipation of autumn. Shifts in material items, in ideas and attitudes, in expectations. Satsuma is this moon's companion, made to boost creativity, motivation, and strength.
Bright, energetic orange is enhanced with a fruity Jasmine blossom and hints of musky undertones. The summer heat only makes this one better.

There are a couple left over from this batch in the Limited Edition section of the online shop!

July 17, 2015

Lunar Amulet Perfume for the 7-15-15 New Moon: Prairie Fire

I am about to leave for a trip to Colorado, which means a long drive allll the way through Kansas. 
It's probably too late in the season to drive through the lingering smoke of a prairie fire, but it's not too late to make it into a perfume ;)

A field of wild grasses, hay, and clover is sprinkled with wildflowers and verbena. A spark is lit and the wind carries the sweet smoke across the plains. The drydown is is dark and long lasting with warm honey undertones.

There are a few extras from this batch listed in the Limited Edition section of my shop so if you do not have a lunar amulet you may still be able to grab one. 

June 16, 2015

Lunar Amulet Perfume for the 6-16-15 New Moon: Dandelion

Dandelion is the lunar amulet perfume for the June 16th new moon. I have been working extensively with exotic and rare floral scents for the last few months for the upcoming new line, and to be honest, I got overwhelmed. I'm taking a break and coming back to this after some time in the mountains. Until then, here is my tribute to the overlooked treasure that is too often taken for granted. 

The dandelion is able to survive just about anything, and it is my belief that drinking tea made from the leaves will pass along that strength. I also think they are some of the happiest flowers, and I hope this scent captures some of their attitude as well. Beginning with a subtle softness, then evolving quickly to the bright and somewhat bitter greenness, into a grassy drydown that brings back summers of cartwheels and rolling down hills. Make a wish :)

There are five leftover refills in this batch that are in the Limited Edition section.

May 19, 2015

Bird's Nest Perfume -and- how to save a baby bird

On Sunday morning I walked outside to take out the compost after a badass thunderstorm the previous night. I looked down and found a tiny baby bird that had fallen 40 feet from its nest in a large maple tree that stretched over my yard. It was breathing but couldn't lift its head or open its eyes, and it's mother watched me from the nest but didn't do anything to try to deter me from her fallen baby. I went inside to watch if the mother was taking care of him but she had given up. She was busy getting worms but went up to the nest without checking on the one that had fallen.
So I made some phone calls to people who knew more than me and here's what I learned:

 - He needed to be warmed up first. So I put him in a small "nest" box filled with shredded paper and set it on top of a heat pad on medium. 
- Then I got a worm out of the garden and cut it into 1/2'' -1'' pieces. I had to hold his head up and gently push his beak open to get the worm in. It did swallow each piece that I stuck in. I was concerned that he needed water so I dipped the worms in water first.
- After feeding him a full 3-4'' worm, I left him in a safe, quiet room in his box and made sure the heat pad was keeping the bottom of the box at around body temperature. I left for 2-3 hours.
- When I came back he recognized me, let out a big cheeeep and had the strength to lift his head and open his beak wide for more worms! So I got three more worms and fed him until he went back to resting. I noticed he was breathing much faster than before.

Riverside Nature Center
Then I found out that Lakeside Nature Center in Kansas City (as well as Operation Wildlife in Lawrence, KS) takes in native Missouri animals that need rehabilitation. By the time I got him there they didn't believe that the mother hadn't been caring for him because he was so much stronger. But I convinced them to put him in the incubator with the other baby robins they had.

If I had the time I may have continued to try to rehab it myself, and then teach it to find food, then to fly... I think a lot of people don't know what to do with fallen birds and figure there's nothing you can do to help, but you can. Depending on the stage the bird is in and how concerned the mother is, there are a lot of different scenarios of what you should do. But I was surprised at how easy it was to bring this one back from near hopelessness.

And here's a batch of Bird's Nest perfume locket refills to celebrate. :)

I made this last year for the first time and it was a customer favorite. I wanted to release another batch for this spring so this is a perfect time.

If you order a locket you can ask in the message to seller to include it also. I only have a dozen in this limited edition batch, but I am considering adding it to the solid perfume line in the near future, what do you think?

May 16, 2015

Lunar Amulet perfume for the 5-17-2015 New Moon: CARDAMOM

A lot of people ask me how I learned to make perfume, and I never really know how to begin explaining my process without going into details that make eyes glaze over. It is a lot like learning sound as a sound designer, studying every aspect of a single sound track and then studying how two completely different tracks combine, then three, and so on. Eventually you know how to best adjust each track so that they work well combined together without spending days (weeks, months) experimenting.

I do a lot of similar exercises with scent, and one of these is to take one essence and create a full blend that focuses on enhancing every aspect of that single note. With complex natural essences, it is easy to get lost in just one beautiful scent, and this is what I did with cardamom for this perfume. Fresh ginger, nutmeg, and coffee bean enhance the uplifting exotic spice aspect, with sandalwood, oakwood, and hazelnut grounding the gorgeous woodsy base. I wove sweet traces of neroli, osmanthus, vanilla, and mandarin into the heart, all "happy" notes to highlight the amazingly cheerful nature of cardamom. 

I love wearing this one, especially in the warn weather. It's perfect for late spring while not being predominantly floral. There are six leftover from this batch and they can be found in the limited edition section here. <3 a="">

April 18, 2015

Lunar Amulet Perfume for the 4-18-15 New Moon: Pansy

I'm into floral anything right now. I can't stop. I want to recreate and capture every bloom that isn't available as its own extraction. My friend brought me a pansy a few weeks ago and it wasn't long before it was surrounded by amber bottles of essences. The pansy is soft and powdery with a faint honey sweetness. This one takes a few minutes to settle in to the skin, and once it does I think my lunar amulet wearers will be in love. *There are no leftovers from this batch

April 10, 2015

GARDENIA Limited Edition locket refill batch - natural perfume

Many customers have asked me over the years if I could make a natural gardenia perfume, and I finally decided it was time. Since I moved back into my house in August I have been collecting house and yard plants like a crazy plant lady - and right now a  Gardenia is blooming in my kitchen waiting to be planted. I have immersed myself in the scent, noting the changes that take place from the moment each bloom opens to when it turns a darker ivory and withers. 
This is a limited edition batch, and although I may make more in the future I cannot be sure yet, so stock up while you can :)
The bright green opening commands your attention, leading into the clean white floral that decays into sweet honey undertones. 

I am very happy with how this turned out, as it is made from many botanical essences to emulate a single note perfume.

March 20, 2015

Lunar Amulet Perfume for the 3-20-15 New Moon: Greenhouse

Greenhouse captures sweet overtones of vegetable seeds sprouting inside the glass walls of trapped sunlight and thick, humid breaths of water filtered through soil. Herb leaves are sprouting in rows from peat moss but the blooms and fruits are months away from their entrance. This is just the beginning; a tribute to the Spring Equinox.

There are a couple leftover from this batch that can be found in the Limited Edition section of my shop here.