Kindness of Strangers, and a giveaway
Roxana Villa was kind enough to send three samples of her new solid perfumes, which are made from essences blended in a base of natural beeswax and jojoba oil. I've already written about Sierra, which I adored. The solid brings the citrus that I didn't smell so much of in the oil to the fore, it lasts longer in that state before going to the glorious coniferous base.
Cimbalom is one that I hadn't tried before and would be interested to try the oil of; the solid is peppery ginger and bright orange, which cedes to a lovely patch married with labdanum and jasmine.
By far my favorite however is Chaparral; the solid perfume form really shows off the incense portion of the scent. The wildness of the oil is somewhat disciplined by the solid perfume. I notice this with Sierra also; the solid form slows the development of the scent, in the reverse of the sort of time lapse photography showing the speeded up blooming of a rose. The slowed-down minuet Chaparral does in solid form lets one linger over each stage from church-of-nature incense through tarry wildfires through to its base, where the delightfully peppery greenness brings the whole scent into something that embodies California. California, Not Los Angeles. Le Labo did LA proud, but this is the real California; the distillation of the Golden State. It's standing in the Malibu hills on a summer day; the Pacific's in sight, ten thousand feet below and the air
is clear and momentarily still. But you can still smell the wildfires of previous seasons and the vegetation pregnant with creosote and if you're a smoker, you're extra careful to make sure that you've put your cigarette out completely. You even park carefully, making sure hot engine parts aren't near vegetation. A break-down on the 101 all the way in the Valley can spark a fire that with the "Sundowner" winds would incinerate everything from the Freeway to the sea, including you. This is that smell: heartbreaking beauty and palpable danger.
I'd love to see how it layers with the oils, but I gave my samples away. In the spirit of giving (and even though I want to keep it..), I will give these three away to one commenter. Fulsome praise of my writing skills and general brilliance will not affect the outcome of the draw.
But hey, it couldn't hurt...
Image source, usbr.gov.