Impromptu by Roxana Villa for Roxana Illuminated Perfume 2012


Post by Portia


Hi there,

Natural perfume is a term often reviled by perfumistas. It’s an interesting conundrum because people say they are looking for something different and unusual, a fragrance to blow away the cobwebs of humdrum yet when offered something completely outside their sphere of reference it seems that they only want something different that’s pretty much the same. Is it the human condition in a nutshell? Roxana makes fragrances that are completely and utterly different, they are attached to no familiar trope, speak of the earth and plants that they are produced from and have a connection to the powers of the plants themselves. When I wear a fragrance by Roxana it’s as if I’m an active participant of the world’s natural green spaces.

Impromptu by Roxana Illuminated Perfume 2012

Impromptu by Roxana Villa

Impromptu Roxana Illuminated Perfume bottlePhoto Stolen Roxana Illuminated Perfume

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Woody notes, herbal notes, camphor, geranium, leather, tarragon, basil, clary sage, mimosa

Impromptu, even dabbed, opens larger than life. That it is so real, earthy and alive is so totally unexpected after wearing designer and niche mainly. You have to let your nose recalibrate a bit. Deep earthy green, like a sexy swamp lady, I smell moss, river water and weed, herbs, torn fig leaves, mown lawn and compost, and some spices. You’ll not find anything this wild, untamed and confronting at your local fragrance counter. Impromptu is the good stuff.

Impromptu opens angular, green and spiky. Challenging and unashamed it wraps tender green shoots around your heart and sets root in your soul. Spicy woods and still a herbal tint fill the fragrance heart and much of the ferocity has left. Imagine hiding in the wood shed next to the kitchen and someone is cooking curry, there is also a smoky fire somewhere nearby maybe it’s a wood stove.

Impromptu Roxana Illuminated Perfume PicturePhoto Stolen Roxana Illuminated Perfume

A couple of hours later and still my skin is thrumming with a woodsy green but now the spiciness is cut through with leather, old shoe leather, some well loved and oiled boots. Further in my skin throws a beautiful amber that takes Impromptu into a warmer, friendlier environment. Not sweet but resinous and shiny, woods that have been waxed shiny in a room lit by the warmth of a fire.

Further reading: EauMG and Australian Perfume Junkies
Roxana Illuminated Perfume has $12/1grm EdP

Do you know Rovane Illuminated Perfume? Have you ever tried naturals?
Portia xx

19 thoughts on “Impromptu by Roxana Villa for Roxana Illuminated Perfume 2012

  1. Naturals…yes I have trolled Etsy for these, and sampled To Bee and Hedera Helix from Roxana. Also Escential Alchemy. sometimes I like them as a scent but don’t necessarily want to wear them, if that makes sense.
    Except one called Hokkabaz which I wear in my cleavage for yoga, really improves the down dog!


    • Hey there JackieB,
      That’s HILARIOUS!! Roxana will love to read that it’s Downward Dog Certified.
      Not everything you like will you need to wear as personal scent. Sometimes it’s nice to lift the lid and get a refreshing whiff. I have quite a few of these fragrances and sometimes I put them on a tissue and into the kitchen pantry for about 5 days of lovely smelling pantry, or I draw a bath and just before I get in sprinkle a drop or five. It’s amazing how much more relaxed I am if I’ve allowed myself to travel through a scent in my bathtime. Eyes closed, some deep breaths, completely unfettered.
      Portia xx


      • Hokkabaz is from Esscentual Alchemy, she is also a natural perfumer. It is apparently named after a magician later seen as djedi…
        I like the bath idea and often tip sample vials in.
        Tissue trick next, thanks!


  2. I love Slumberhouse and they are rather heavy in naturals. I’ve also tried all natural scents from houses like Soivohle, April Aromatics, DSH perfumes, House of Matriarch, Olympic Orchids etc… I generally really enjoy the use of natural ingredients, there is a depth to natural perfumes that is hard to find in more mainstream offerings. The separate ingredients themselves have a depth and complexity that synthetics, by their industrial nature, don’t have. And I really enjoy that depth!

    I have also tried a few scents from Roxana Illuminated, I got some solid samples of Figure 1: Noir, Sierra and Chaparral as a gift from a friendly fragrantican. Really enjoyed Sierra but the other two had some of my most hated notes so they were consequently dislikes.


    • Hey LaDomna,
      What a pity about the hated notes putting you off.
      I’m totally with you on the depth of journey.
      They are not for the faint hearted.
      Portia xx


  3. I love naturals and wear them often, mostly my own blends made with only essential oils (no fragrance oils). My daughter has stolen my recipes and sells “her” natural perfumes at local boutiques in our area (this should not surprise you, Portia, given that she was making nail tutorials for u-tube in her pre-teens, remember?). You would be surprised at how you can actually make essential oil blends that smell mainstream (I have made a no.19 “smell-a-like” in the past). There are some wonderful essential oil companies (like Eden Botanicals and White Lotus Aromatics) that sell essential oils such as osmanthus, orange blossom, orris butter, galbanum, bourbon vanilla, labdanum, tuberose, as well as isolates (such as peach, raspberry, pear, apricot and “violet”) which , when blended artfully can emulate a niche perfume without the chemicals. Problem is, naturals don’t last long so they require frequent re-application.


    • Hi bardot,

      Like you, I also do it myself and make my own botanicals, just to smell good or for specific healthy reasons. Eden Botanicals is a great source. In the past I have also used Liberty Naturals and NaturesGift. Lately I’ve started making my own solid natural perfumes and salves using very clean, organic beeswax from the BareFootBee in New Hampshire. Suzanne R. Banks has some great formulas too. I always appreciate her posts here on APJ.

      Regarding longevity: One of the things I love about Roxana Villa’s Impromptu is the longevity! Impromptu is probably the longest lived botanical I’ve ever encountered – and I love it. I am still working on a tiny pot of solid that I’ve had for over a year. The scent is just as Portia describes and I don’t need a lot of it. Two small applications will get me through the day.

      Azar xx


  4. Hi Portia,
    I love your description of IMPROMPTU! I just dabbed on a little from my tiny sample pot which I have been using about once a week for over a year. Brad’s favorite Illuminated Perfume fragrance is a Bay Rum that I believe is now discontinued. Unlike IMPROMPTU his fav is short lived, but he likes that aspect of it.
    Azar xx


    • Hey Azar,
      Ellen did a Bay Rum that fair blew the back of my head off. It was freaking HUGE and lasted for weeks. Having mentioned it I can still smell it in my minds nose.
      Impromptu references nothing I’ve ever known, it’s so primal yet manages also to be graceful and sophisticated. I bet you wear it perfectly.
      Portia xx


      • Yes! Ellen’s Bay Rum is REALLY a BIG one that lasts forever.

        And I agree with Victoria. “Grounded” is a great way to describe the effect of Impromptu.

        BTW thank you, Portia, for fixing my egregious errors – ever the careful editor!

        Azar xx


    • Hello beauty! Thanks so much for chiming in. The BayRum has not been discontinued it just hasn’t been formally released. 🙂 As with all authentic, botanical perfume it won’t last two days but, as Brad will testify to, does fulfill the promise of pure a bayrum Island experience, nature in a bottle.


  5. I used to think that I didn’t like naturals. This was before I tried perfumes from Aftelier, Providence Perfume and Roxana. Like any brand, there are hits and misses for me, but when they’re right, they’re so right for me.
    Impromptu is one of those that works, makes me feel more grounded. I adore you description!


    • Hey Victoria,
      Grounded. What a perfect word to describe the Impromptu experience.
      You name some of the best natural houses in the world, and not all from every house will suit everyone. Don’t tell but even CHANEL, Hermès and Guerlain have fails for me, fragrances I like less or not at all.
      To even find one in a line up that takes your breath away is lucky nowadays.
      Thanks for dropping in,
      Portia xx


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