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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Roxana Illuminated Perfume -"Q"

By Beth

Once upon a time there was a young girl who dreamed of living in a beautiful castle, in the middle of a beautiful forest. In her daydreams she was always the Princess, never the Queen, because the Princess always seemed to have more fun in the stories! In her fantasies she rode beautiful horses with blankets of velvet and all of the creature of the wood were her friends. She rode through her kingdom with a beautiful goshawk named Gabriel who sat on her shoulder and a trusted wolfhound named Margaret. She spent most of her days with the wise woman from the Glen of Oaks and Violets who taught her to brew healing spells and tinctures out of the abundance of herbs , roots and trees found all throughout her lands.

Her visits with the wise woman were always her own secret, her way of being a little rebellious in the face of her otherwise neat and orderly world. When she was there she could be herself, letting her imagination free and her natural gifts for magic flow. It was a beautiful cottage that the wise woman lived in, made of stones from the field and always with a fire crackling in the corner. It was filled with sweet cats that lay about in the sun simply enjoying themselves. The smells in this home were amazing, of raw earth and mineral, herbs, blossoms and mysterious spices that came from places that the young princess had only dreamed of but never seen. There were always magical teas that made her see her life with joy and clarity or disrupted her thoughts with images that shook her to her very roots, but even when this was the case the wise woman was always there to help her understand what she had just seen. But best of all were the Oak trees..such wise ones were they. They seemed to speak to her of history and place, grounding and transcendence and always whistling songs in the wind....if she listened closely they would tell her funny stories and sometimes they played with her, knocking her on the head with their acorns when she least expected it!

The wise woman taught her to write in calligraphy and to draw all that she learned. She taught the young Princess to keep all of her stories and formulas in a simple book that she made herself out of handmade paper and hemp. So used to the pious monks of her fathers kingdom was she that at first she didn’t want to do that . It reminded her too much of the manuscripts that they wrote with their scary pictures and stories. But the very wise woman convinced her that claiming her true voice in this way would give her the strength and security that she craved and the wisdom to understand and lead those who looked to her for guidance.

I could go on and on about my dream, of the fantasies that I played with all of the time as a young girl which eventually led me to my chosen paths of shamanism and magic. But what I really want to talk about is Roxana Villa and how in a split second she brought that dream back to me. You will all remember that several months ago our darling Tom wrote a wonderful article about Roxana and several of her beautifully handcrafted botanical perfumes. I went to her blog and was so entranced at that moment that I ordered several samples. About 4 days later an envelope arrived and I opened it eagerly. Inside was a beautiful little packet, with lovely writing on it and sealed with a wax seal of a honeybee. Inside were three perfect little vials of the scents that I had ordered, Lyra, Aurora and Vespertina and a lovely note from Roxana herself. I was enchanted. Roxana Villa is one of the the wonderful botanical perfumers in our midst, creating complex and extraordinarily lovely perfumes with tinctures, resins and essential oils, yet ascribing to the creed of harming none. A botanical perfumer isn’t to be confused with a natural perfumer. A natural perfumer can use an entire range of compounds to create their fragrances including a whole host of animal products as long as they are natural. A botanical perfumer will mostly only use the products of plants, roots and minerals and where Roxana does use beeswax, honey absolute or distilled sea shells in her products she is completely completely transparent in her labeling, making her products suitable for vegans who don’t want to find out unexpectedly that they’ve purchased a product made with a fixative of civet or musk or ambergris.

Most recently I returned to Roxana’s blog to find a beautifully written post about the arrival of Spring and her perfume “Q” which is an ode to the California Coastal Oak. I was instantly reminded of the memories of the wise old Oaks which still stand in the yard where I played as a girl. When my sample of “Q” arrived , I shut my eyes and took a deep breath. “Q” is a magnificent perfume, made from the hand tinctured live leaves of the Coastal Oak, wood, resin and citrus accords. Roxana tinctures the oak leaves herself on Beltane eve. Beltane is also known as May Eve or May Day and is the time for celebrating the return of the suns warmth and the promise of fertility. Beltane was the time that the ancients chose to celebrate the sacred union between a man and woman and lore does tell that all around the lands Beltane fires were lit and couples would steal away into the night to consummate their passions in the shadows of the flames.

I find all of Roxana’s perfumes to be incredibly deep , rich and moving but it is “Q” that is a shamanic template for my soul. Her gift is the same as that wise woman of my dreams, all knowing and all seeing, primal and real. In one split second and one deep breath of gorgeous green scent all of my pasts, presents and future collided happily, leaving me orgasmically relaxed and totally satiated. My husband fell instantly under the love spell that is “Q”, saying that it was one of the most sensual of the fragrances that he’d ever enjoyed, that it felt honestly and completely real. I’m not sure how she coaxes the beautiful essences from all of her beloved plants but I do know that she is the weaver of a very old magic and that she truly understands the true nature of the craft that she practices. To wear a perfume that Roxana Villa has created is to be plunged happily into another time and place yet be recreated powerfully and alive in your present. She weaves a spell of scent that transcends the very nature of history.

Quite fabulously, a portion of the proceeds from each 7 gram flacon of “Q” goes towards creating
profits and awareness for the California Oak Foundation, a cause very dear to Roxana’s heart!

You can find “Q” as well as all of Roxana’s gorgeous perfumes at Etsy. Enjoy her gorgeous Illuminated Perfume Journal.

Photograph of “Q” courtesy of Roxana Illuminated Perfumes.

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Blogger Flora said...

Beth, I do think we must have been separated at birth; I grew up reading the old, "real" fairy tales and dreaming of living in the woods with all the wild things. What fabulous imagery you have conjured up!

I have also experienced Q (courtesy of our wonderful Tom) ,and it is so profoundly and wonderfully green and earthy. Anyone who loves green perfume must try it!

12:51 AM EDT  
Blogger indieperfumes said...

So beautifully written, more more more!

I too love the oak tincture, and even the idea of the oak tincture. I spend a lot of my youth looking up through the leaves of tall oak trees...Q brings those times back

7:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...


Thank you so much!!!! I'm glad that you loved it and I think you're right. I've always felt you to be a kindred to share fantasies with you!

Q is so very beautiful, so green like you say and so very magical. I love the fact that Roxana donates a percentage of this fragrance to save the just speaks volumes of the lady and her commitment to her passions!

9:01 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thank you so much...I'm so glad that you enjoyed the review!!!!! You're right...the idea of the oak tincture is captivating ,very beguiling. I love the imagery that it conjures!

9:03 AM EDT  
Anonymous kathleen said...

I enjoyed this absolutely beautiful post today, thank you

10:18 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

You are welcome! Thank you so much for letting me know that you really enjoyed it!

10:42 AM EDT  
Blogger tmp00 said...

Your prose forced me to run to her site and buy a small one...

1:17 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

i am thrilled Tom to be the one who could coax you over the edge :)

It's just so sensational isn't it? I can't stop wearing it!

1:35 PM EDT  
Blogger Scott said...

California Live Oak, Blue Oak and White Oak are all species of the genus Quercus-- I think this must be where the "Q" come from.
Thanks for the lovely review.

1:37 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Actually Scott,
I believe that Quercus was the original name:) I am so glad that you loved the review. "Q" is a fabulous fragrance and smells just as lovely on my husband as it does on me . The Oak really does come through physically and energetically, it's grounding and uplifiting all at the same time!

1:44 PM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

This post was like medicine for my soul today. Exactly what I needed and made the hair on my arms literally stand on end I was so enchanted by reading it and letting myself get taken away by the magic of it. I've had several powerful omens recently (including two unusual encounters w/ a fox in our woods this past week) to remind me I need to spend more time in the forest w/ the trees, which I always turn to for answers and grounding. Q sounds beyond ideal to me. Am off to her site. Thanks for this post!!

4:27 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...


Thank you so much for your amazing words. I am thrilled to have made you so happy!
Do go to Roxana's site and lose yourself there for awhile. You will be blown away......and Q is gorgeous !
I hope that you enjoy it as much as I do!

4:49 PM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

What a great review for a great scent! I love Q, have never smelled anything like it.

5:07 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thank you so much Anne Marie!
Q is wonderful and I'm so glad that you enjoyed the review. It is so unusual isn't it?

6:46 PM EDT  
Blogger Tammy said...

Ah, please acccept my thanks as well for such a soul-satisfying post, and the link to such a wonderful site ....I was also a little girl with the same fantasies, and my Grandma was my own wise woman of the Glen.I will think of her when I wear the sample of Q that's on the way...

8:40 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I am so glad that my review made you so happy! Thank you so much for letting me know. How wonderful to have had a grandmother like that and I'm glad that you have ordered some Q to remind yourself of her. That's absolutely perfect!

10:14 PM EDT  
Anonymous trish said...

Thanks Beth for doing Roxana justice! She is such a talented perfumer that I think all fragrance lovers should discover, not just those who have a natural bent like myself :-)

11:03 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thank you so much for your lovely comments!
I agree with you, Roxana really transcends that realm.
Her perfumes are just so lovely!

11:42 PM EDT  
Blogger Bethane said...


10:21 PM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

Darling !
You can whisper these tales in my willing ear, anytime.

A wonderful fragrance, a just and noble cause...

And the LADY, herself.
Unpretentiously lovely, the real deal.

Well done, my sister.

9:48 AM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Hmmmmmmmm...right back atcha! Q is such a beautiful fragrance and I'm glad that you loved the review!

10:10 PM EDT  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...


Consider yourself nuzzled ...I am always so flattered by your praise! Thank you so much for sharing with me that I did Q and the lady justice.....I'm crazy about her and you!

Love, Love, Love to you..Hope you're enjoying this fabulous spring day!

10:14 PM EDT  

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