A jasmine for winter. Épice Sauvage by Ayala Moriel Parfums

 

Merging jasmine with winter might seem counterintuitive as this heady, warmblooded flower feels so sultry and lush against the heat of the summer sun. Pairing it with a chill in the air seemed odd to me and it wasn’t until last December that I realized jasmine’s power to soothe and comfort during winter’s frost. It was Aftelier’s Fig that showed me jasmine’s ability to assuage the doldrums of cold rainy day after cold rainy day. Its blend of fir and fig is a jammy alpine enchantment, and I am pleased to say that jasmine’s winter-appropriateness does not end there.


Épice Sauvage by Ayala Moriel Parfums is somewhat gourmand in its treatment of jasmine, as it delves into culinary spices like cardamom, coriander, cinnamon and clove. Interestingly, jasmine grandiflorum was chosen rather than jasmine sambac which initially surprised me. I thought the spicy nature of jasmine sambac to be the obvious choice for this spice laden perfume, but Ayala in her great wisdom and talent chose jasmine grandiflorum which as it turns out, was the perfect choice. I’ll tell you why in a bit.


First, let me explain why Épice Sauvage feels so cozy. I love to bake with cardamom, especially in cookies, so its scent feels homey and nurturing. Of course it elicits images of spice markets as well, but cardamom’s comforting, homebody aspect is very strong to me. In Ayurvedic cooking, cardamom is a warming spice that balances all three doshas which are the elements that determine our physical, mental and emotional characteristics. I don’t adhere to Ayurvedic principles on a routine basis, but I’m pretty sure my dosha is vata for many reasons. Most relevant to this discussion is my preference for summer, so cardamom’s sweet, warm, and activating qualities are immensely welcome this time of year.


Upon first smelling Épice Sauvage, I knew I would love it. Cinnamon introduces the fragrance with a whisper of sweetness and foreshadows the emergence of cardamom as the central spicy focus. And here’s why jasmine grandiflorum was such a brilliant pick, it’s rounder and more voluminous than jasmine sambac which has a spicy tone that might have competed with cardamom’s flavor. With the grandiflorum species, cardamom is given the opportunity to provide Épice Sauvage itspiquancy while the jasmine offers up its lush floral heart.


Cardamom dominates the heart of Épice Sauvage, but as the drydown comes into reach, coriander has an important role as well. This spice is a little earthy and peppery, with a suggestion of woods which plays nicely with the cedar note that reveals itself in the basenotes. But let us not forget jasmine as it continues to support all of these essences. Such a compliant floral foundation for the ofttimes unruly jasmine! In the drydown, its blossoms fully coalesce with cardamom which allows the cedar and coriander to hover over and ultimately permeate the fragrance.


After 3-4 hours of wear, a 2nd drydown occurs, one that is very intimate and oh so pretty. It’s pure jasmine, like the moment the blossom begins to open to the night air. It’s the nascent fragrance of a jasmine, dipped for a brief moment in warm honey and rose blossoms. I can’t think of a better way to revel in jasmine’s winter radiance.


Ayala Moriel Parfums are 100% natural and made with loving care by Ayala Sender. Épice Sauvage is available at AyalaMoriel.com, starting at $48 for a mini to $120 for a 9ml Parfum Extrait Flacon.

Posted by ~Trish

Disclosure: This sample of Épice Sauvage was my own purchase. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.
image: Heart of Snow by Edward Robert Hughes (1851-1914) at artmagick.com

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Move into Spring with natural perfumer JoAnne Bassett

Transitions can be challenging. Transitions can be smooth. Either way, it’s nice to have something guide the way. We perfume lovers often look to fragrance to illuminate the path for comfort or energy. Moving from winter into spring often requires a bit of both, something vibrant to help grow new leaves and something soothing to protect us from the bitter chill that still lingers. A dear friend (I’m blowing kisses of gratitude to you duVergne!) sent me a perfume the other week that does just that.


Indulgence by natural perfumer JoAnne Bassett is indulgent in its abundance of lush flowers. Rose and ylang ylang dance gracefully around heady orange blossoms not only in the heart, but also in the topnotes. Lime, blood orange and clementine lift the orange blossom in the fragrance’s beginning, making Indulgence an unmistakably citrusy floral perfume.


I find citrus, even citrusy florals, very uplifting and energizing. Yet, there is more to Indulgence than its pretty, merry-making side. Wafts of cardamom and nutmeg are to be found within the first stages of its composition. These wintery spices give Indulgence a cozy temperament as well as a gentle edge adding complexity to what might have otherwise been a straightforward floral perfume.


Cardamom really warms up in the drydown, issuing forth its unique and intricate blend of balsamic depth, nutty spiciness and almost sweet, floral undertones. I love cardamom in perfume and JoAnne uses just the right amount in Indulgence. Her pinch of cardamom tempers the rich florals with warmth, and also provides a contrast to create an intriguing twist for a lovely spicy springtime fragrance. Quite appropriate since transitions are often unpredictable aren’t they?


JoAnne has very generously offered a 30ml bottle of Indulgence (or your choice from her French or Royal Collection) to a Scent Hive reader. So let’s do it! Giveaway time! Please leave a comment to enter. You can also get extra entries if you follow Scent Hive on Bloglovin, Twitter, Google Friend Connect, Facebook’s Networked Blogs, or subscribe to Scent Hive. (Check the right sidebar for the Scent Hive links). Additionally if you follow Joanne on Twitter, Facebook, or subscribe to her Blog you’ll also get extra entries.  Good luck and please let me know what you did for extra entries, preferably in one comment for easy counting. We have our winner!

Posted by ~Trish

Photo from Dancing With Unicorns

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Pangea Organics for some heavenly suds.

You may have read back in May, that Oracle Organics Body Wash is my favorite way to suds up sans bar in the shower. There’s a tiny glitch though, my supply is depleted and Oracle Organics is on maternity leave. Which leaves me to my second favorite body wash, of which there are actually two: Weleda’s Wild Rose Creamy Body Wash which I have already spoken of, and Pangea Organic’s Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom Wash.


I had forgotten how much I love Pangea’s Lavender Wash! The beautiful, luxurious suds that this wash creates are astounding. No puff is needed to achieve this lather, but of course feel free to use one. The scent is lovely as well. It’s a light lavender, with a hint of blood orange. I’ve never noticed any cardamom as the name suggests, and I’m on my second bottle.


I’ve tried a sample of the Canadian Pine with White Sage and it certainly lives up to its name. It’s all about the pine and sage, and lots of it! If you like forest hikes that are balsamy, piney, sagey, and green, with loads of fresh air, go for this one. You’ll be enveloped in a sudsy woodland, right in your own shower. Quite apropos for the rapidly approaching wintry holidays.


If bar soaps are your preference, which I have to admit I’ve become partial to lately, Pangea’s are not to be missed. Like the washes, theses dense bars pack some serious suds-action. I’ve tried two, Pyrenees Lavender with Cardamom and the Indian Green Tea with Mint and Rose Petals. To be honest, I can’t tell you much about either scent. They both became a variation on a subtle rosemary theme, but what stood out was the exceptionally silky lather. I bought them when they were on sale at Whole Foods a few months ago, so keep your eye out for those specials!


I appreciate the full disclosure on the packaging that there are no petroleum-based ingredients, sulfates or detergents, synthetic preservatives, artificial colors or fragrances, or GMO’s. In addition, all of their products are handcrafted, organic and fair traded, and cruelty-free.

And PS: Happy Thanksgiving to you, your friends, and family!


Pangea Body Washes are $16 and available at Whole Foods and Pangea’s Website.

Pangea Bar Soaps are $8 and available at Whole Foods and Pangea’s Website.


Posted by ~Trish

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