Rose Volupté + Winter Woods by Laurie Erickson for Sonoma Scent Studio

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Post by Brie

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Hello APJ,

Here are a couple of my favourite cool weather pairings, yes I know it’s summer in Australia.

Perfume & Tea Musings

Sonoma Scent Studios: Tulsi Tea: Wissotzky Tea

Organic India Tulsi Cinnamon Rose Tea
SSS Rose Volupte

Rose Volupté Sonoma Scent Studio FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Rose, plum, amber, labdanum absolute, sandalwood, cedar, vetiver, heliotrope, clove, cinnamon, oakmoss, subtle aldehydes

Holy basil, or tulsi, is a herb renowned in India for its health benefits. Out of all the tulsi teas from this line, Cinnamon Rose is one of my favorites. It combines holy basil with the delicate note of rose and spicy cinnamon and, with a dash of honey, it is so soothing. When I drink it I can instantly feel myself relax. SSS Rose Volupte has that same effect on me.

Organic India - Tulsi Cinnamon Rose Tea VitaminGrocerPhoto Stolen VitaminGrocer

Although I usually do not gravitate towards rose dominant scents, I make exception with Rose Volupte. When I press my nose to my wrist this ambery, honeyed, spicy, rose perfume instantly comforts me.

I imagine myself on a rainy day, curled up on the couch reading Bronte, wearing Rose Volupte and sipping Tulsi Cinnamon rose tea: aahhhh…….

Wissotzky Bedouin Chai Tea
SSS Winter Woods

Winter Woods Sonoma Scent Studio FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Guaiac wood, cedar, sandalwood, birch tar, cade, oakmoss absolute, castoreum, amber, labdanum absolute, vetiver, ambergris, musk.

Bedouin Chai tea was gifted to me and after the first sip I immediately purchased four boxes. As a blend of black tea, sage leaves and cardamom one would imagine this to be a loud, herbaceous monstrosity. Although it is bold at the onset (I brew it for a full five minutes) when combined with a dollop of organic raw honey and fresh cream it becomes utterly smooth and mellow. Bedouin Chai is quickly becoming my favorite tea, the one I want to drink daily.

Wissotzky Bedouin Chai Tea worldofjudaicaPhoto Stolen worldofjudaica

Similarly, when I first read the perfume notes in SSS Winter Woods I envisioned an over the top smoky, tarlike, animalistic cacophony. Au contraire! On my skin, Winter Woods is a complex, richly satisfying dry vanilla with wood notes (there is no vanilla listed but Laurie tells me that the amber may be imparting that vanilla-esque quality).

Sitting in front of a roaring fire with my hubby on a snowy Winter night drinking Bedouin Chai and scented in Winter Woods- now that is heavenly!

Sonoma Scent Studios Site<<<JUMP

Brie X

Brie wrote this post ahead of time and will not be responding to comments, it is her last. I am sad. I (Portia) will pick up the slack though so please leave a message in the comments if you’d like to continue the conversation. Be Well and Happy Brie, wherever you are. You are loved. XXX

My Introduction to Thai Cuisine: Brie

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Post by Brie

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For the first thirty years of my life I resided in New York City. My first apartment as a young adult was within walking distance of a miniscule ten table restaurant called “Simply Thai”. It was owned and run by a fearsome threesome team :siblings from Thailand.  The brother was the chef while one sister served as hostess and the other as waitress. This restaurant quickly became my weekly haunt. For $8.95 the early bird special offered up a glass of wine, an appetizer, main entrée and dessert. Every Friday evening my friends and I would devour chicken sate, pad thai and black bean ice cream.

Perfume & Tea Musings: My Introduction to Thai Cuisine

Prescriptives: Calyx
Harney & Sons: Bangkok Green Thai Tea

Calyx Prescriptives FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

 

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Apricot, passionfruit, mint, mandarin orange, cassia, peach, mango, bergamot, grapefruit, papaya, guava
Heart: Cyclamen, lily, melon, freesia, orris root, jasmine, neroli, marigold, lily-of-the-valley, rose
Base: Musk, oakmoss, cedar, sandalwood, vetiver

The fragrance I always wore on those special nights was Prescriptive’s Calyx. The perfume’s overripe, fruity/tartness, with a green tropical vibe perfectly suited the atmosphere and food in Simply Thai.     Harney and Sons Bangkok Green Thai, a green tea with notes of ginger, lemongrass, coconut and vanilla might appear to be an oddity: a schism between the green/spicy lemongrass and ginger combo and the creaminess of the coconut/vanilla mix. Nonetheless, the notes manage to come together to make this an unusually, yet delectable tea. It is the perfect accompaniment to the Thai food and Calyx perfume.

Brie Tea BrittanyPhoto taken by Brittany

My introduction to Thai food in this quaint little restaurant whetted my appetite and desire to explore other cultural and ethnically diverse cuisines which developed into a lifelong endeavor. When I drink Bangkok Green Thai tea and wear my Calyx perfume, I reflect back to that time and place. It serves as a powerful reminder of how truly blessed I was to be surrounded by the very best of friends, great food and an unusual, yet fabulous, fragrance!

(Sadly, Calyx has been reformulated. I own a small vial of the current version. Although it bears the skeletal remains of the original, the overripe fruit, extremely tart concoction has been replaced with a milder, more floral, fresher scent).

Harney and Sons site has Bangkok starts at as little as $2 for samples.
FragranceNet starts at $22/15ml for Calyx
Surrender To Chance starts at $5/2ml

Brie XX

ED: Yes, this a not a new post, I was drinking some Harney & Sons White Mutan tea and thinking of Brie so I have reused one of her posts, the next one will be her last. I am sad. Brie wrote this post ahead of time and will not be responding to comments. I (Portia) will pick up the slack though so please leave a message in the comments if you’d like to continue the conversation. I don’t know why Brie needed to leave us but there is a Brie sized hole in my life without her. Brie, if you are reading, we miss you and hope you are happy and well. Drop in if you are around, we’d love to chat. XXX

Perfume and Tea Pairings from Brie

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Post by Brie

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Perfume and Tea Pairings

The world of perfume blogging is relatively new to me. I have only been participating for the past years. Initially I was apprehensive about leave comments or even signing up to follow blogs. However, once I embraced this world of perfume blogging there was no turning back. I have developed many fragrant friendships with both bloggers and commenters. And what never ceases to amaze me is that we “perfumaniacs” are a generous and sharing group of individuals.

So please join me for my tea and perfume pairings with lovely gifts sent to me by two of my favorite fragrant friends.

Perfume_BottlesWikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

UME by L’Oeil du Vert

The beautiful Undina (www.undina.com), knowing of my love for natural perfumes, graciously sent me a large decant of the discontinued UME. Not aware that it was in perfume oil format I initially sprayed lavishly on my wrist and neck. It was an oily herbal mess. Ever curious, I went her blog to research this natural perfume. Understanding its consistency made me unscrew the decant sprayer and apply the oil by fingertip to my wrists. Much better……now THIS is a gorgeous jasmine-green tea fragrance redolent of thyme and herbs. Usually my “perfume adverse” hubby scoffs at the wearing of perfume to bed at night. However, there are only two fragrances that are not “verboten” and UME is one of them. Amazingly Undina knew EXACTLY what I needed for sweet, scented slumber.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

Pleasant Moment Tea by Mikuniya Zengoro

My handsomely perfumed “brother” in Japan (www.theblacknarcissus.com) mailed me an unbelievable package of vintage fragrant goodies. Yet, knowing of my obsession with tea, he also included three Japanese teas as well. I have no idea if this is even the name of the tea but it was the only English writing on the canister so I am calling it as such. Pleasant Moment is unlike any tea I have ever experienced…even wafting it straight out of the canister puts me in a frenzied state with its lush greenery. A green tea nuanced with almond and jasmine notes that pairs exquisitely with the UME.

There are always “scentsational” surprises in store for us, thanks to our generous fragrant friends!

Brie XX

ED: Brie wrote this post ahead of time and will not be responding to comments. Portia will pick up the slack though so please leave a message in the comments if you’d like to continue the conversation. Brie, if you are reading, we miss you and hope you are happy and well. Drop in if you are around, we’d love to chat. XXX

Brie’s Christmas Owl

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Post by Brie

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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age arrives alone, unaccompanied.
                                                          -Woon Tai Ho, Riot Green

Brie’s Christmas Owl

Hello APJ,

Written while drinking Organic India USA<<<JUMP Tulsi Sweet Rose herbal tea.

Organic India USA Tulsi Sweet Rose TeaPhoto Stolen Organic India USA

Tulsi Sweet Rose tea is sold as Stress relieving, Soothing & relaxing, Abundant in antioxidants, Powerful adaptogen, Uplifts mood, Caffeine & gluten free, USDA certified organic, 18 tea bags per box, GMO free, Kosher & Halal certified

Christine, my oldest childhood friend of 42 years, lived one flight below me in an apartment building in NYC. Her mother Catherine, a bubbly woman of Greek descent, lived life to the fullest with an infectious laugh and an ability to always see the glass half full instead of half empty. One Christmas Catherine invited all of Christine’s friends over and presented us with gifts that she had chosen quite carefully for each of us. As we tore off the wrapping paper what was revealed underneath were handcrafted ornaments of various animals. I was secretly hoping for the cat (my favorite animal) and was dismayed to see that she had given me an owl. Sensing my disappointment she pulled me aside and quietly whispered, “Do you know what the owl represents? Intuitive wisdom. Never forget that you are an owl, not a cat”. I was four months shy of becoming a teenager and all I cared about at that time was obtaining that which I did not have; popularity and attractiveness. Intuition and wisdom were the very last attributes I was attempting to cultivate. Sadly, a few years later, Christine lost her mother to breast cancer.

Brie's Christmas OwlBrie’s family took and starred in this shot

Ten years ago I asked my parents to retrieve all of my collectible Christmas ornaments from the common storage room in their apartment building. To my horror, all of my dated Hallmark ornaments were stolen. Left behind were a few worthless stragglers, including the owl. Back it came to my own house and as it hung on my tree I thought of Catherine, her words haunting me. Year after year I placed that owl on my tree and slowly but surely the owl became my animal. Eventually my three children heard the story of how I came to love owls through the wise words of Catherine.

So it should come as no surprise that when I saw Soap and Paper Factory’s Patch NYC “OWL” solid perfume I bought it unsniffed. Lucky for me it smells fantastic! OWL is a bright rosy geranium on top with a grounding dry down of sandalwood, tobacco and vetiver. For a solid natural perfume it lasts an incredibly long time. The tea I love to pair it with is Organic India’s Tulsi Tea Sweet Rose. Tulsi, or holy basil, is an herb renowned in India for healing properties that relieve stress and protect the immune system. That beautiful Sweet Rose tea melds so nicely with the OWL perfume.

Patch_Solid_Owl thumbFrom PatchNYC site:

Owl
{sandalwood, tobacco, vetiver} elusive and wise like the night owl, delvilishly earthy as a twilight forest

Three years ago I included a letter with my yearly holiday card to my friend Christine. I wrote about the exchange between her mother and I and included a picture of my owl hanging on the Christmas tree. Last year she revealed to me that she keeps my letter in a special place and reads it from time to time. I believe that it serves as a reminder that her mother’s memory lives on in the heart of a woman who endeavors for wisdom to accompany her into middle age.

This story is dedicated to all mothers: past, present and future

Sadly Brie wrote this ahead and can not answer your comments. Don’t let that stop the conversation though, please write if you’d like and Portia will reply. Hopefully Brie is out there somewhere reading. Portia xx

Brie’s Across the Generations

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Post by Brie

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Perfume and Tea Musings: Across the Generations

Nest Fine Perfumes Midnight Fleur
Zhena Gypsy Organic Green Tea with Coconut/Rum Flavorings

Hello APJ

For many years I have worked with autistic students as a speech language pathologist. All of my students suffer from a condition known as Sensory Integration Dysfunction. In the simplest of terms they cannot process sensory information in typical fashion and are either repelled by sensory input (ie: can’t tolerate loud noises, itchy sweaters, etc) or crave sensory input (ie: only eat highly spicy/crunchy foods, are constantly smelling things, etc). I have my own theory that those of us obsessed with perfume may also possess to a certain degree a mild form of sensory integration dysfunction. Studies have also shown that this condition has a hereditary link.

So it should come as no surprise that my family is a multi-generational band of perfume nuts. For as long as I can remember mum had vintage/classic perfume bottles in our house. Pops had copious amounts of 4711 bottles in every size imaginable. To this day he sprays his socks and underwear with the organic vodka and essential oil blends I make for him. The fact that I am writing this post speaks to my obsession which has naturally been inherited by all three of my children.

Midnight Fleur NestFragrancesPhoto Stolen NestFragrances

However, financing perfume for four can be quite challenging. My eldest daughter has quite a resourceful streak and enters perfume draws. Whether you believe in the perfume fairies, the patron saint of perfume or just plain luck, random dot org seems to hone in on her perfume pen name and has allowed her to win several full bottles of high end niche.
The mother lode of all her perfume wins was the deluxe package of Nest Fine Perfumes Midnight Fleur which included the full size bottle, a travel roll on and the decadently thick and luxurious body cream.

Before I even get into the fragrance itself I must tell you that the packaging that the perfume is housed in is stunning. The black matte bottles are substantially heavy and decorated in floral illustrations inspired by the 18th century British artist Mary Delaney who used the decoupage technique. The juice in this work of art bottle is exquisite. Fragranatica lists the notes as jasmine, vanilla orchid, exotic woods, patchouli and black amber. Yet upon first spray the most prominent note to my nose is pineapple: rich, lush and juicy. But this is not your sickly sweet fruity concoction that is so popular in the mainstream perfumes. Midnight Fleur exudes a sophisticated tropical vibe (thanks to the vanilla orchid) before drying down to an earthy patchouli and dark amber.

Brie's Acros The Generations by Britt and CourtPhoto by Brie’s daughters Britt and Court

For this reason I pair Midnight Fleur with Zhena Gypsy Organic Green tea which includes notes of coconut, rum and pineapple flavors. The tea and perfume are a perfect duo for a hot summer day or night. Whether you are a teenager (like my daughter) or a middle aged woman (like me) Midnight Fleur is a beauty to wear. I am proud that one of my own is developing and refining a sophisticated taste in perfume which I am sure she will pass on to her offspring one day!

Bx

Sadly Brie wrote this ahead and can not answer your comments. Don’t let that stop the conversation though, please write if you’d like and Portia will reply. Hopefully Brie is out there somewhere reading. Portia xx

Brie’s Tea + Fragrance: Harney n Sons + Calyx by Prescriptives

Post by Brie

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Perfume and Tea Musings: My Introduction to Thai Cuisine

Calyx by Sophia Grojsman for Prescriptives 1987

Calyx Prescriptives FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Apricot, passionfruit, mint, mandarin orange, cassia, peach, mango, bergamot, grapefruit, papaya and guava
Heart: Cyclamen, lily, melon, freesia, orris root, jasmine, neroli, marigold, lily-of-the-valley and rose
Base: Musk, oakmoss, cedar, sandalwood and vetiver.

For the first thirty years of my life I resided in New York City. My first apartment as a young adult was within walking distance of a miniscule ten table restaurant called “Simply Thai”. It was owned and run by a fearsome threesome team :siblings from Thailand. The brother was the chef while one sister served as hostess and the other as waitress. This restaurant quickly became my weekly haunt. For $8.95 the early bird special offered up a glass of wine, an appetizer, main entrée and dessert. Every Friday evening my friends and I would devour chicken sate, pad thai and black bean ice cream. The fragrance I always wore on those special nights was Prescriptive’s Calyx. The perfume’s overripe, fruity/tartness, with a green tropical vibe perfectly suited the atmosphere and food in Simply Thai.

(Sadly, Calyx has been reformulated. I own a small vial of the current version. Although it bears the skeletal remains of the original, the overripe fruit, extremely tart concoction has been replaced with a milder, more floral, fresher scent).

Bangkok Tea by Harney and Sons

Bangkok Harney & SonsPhoto Stolen Steepster

Harney and Sons Bangkok, a green tea with notes of ginger, lemongrass, coconut and vanilla might appear to be an oddity: a schism between the green/spicy lemongrass and ginger combo and the creaminess of the coconut/vanilla mix. Nonetheless, the notes manage to come together to make this an unusually delectable tea. It is the perfect accompaniment to the Thai food and Calyx perfume.

My introduction to Thai food in this quaint little restaurant whetted my appetite and desire to explore other cultural and ethnically diverse cuisines which developed into a lifelong endeavor. When I drink Bangkok tea and wear my Calyx perfume, I reflect back to that time and place. It serves as a powerful reminder of how truly blessed I was to be surrounded by the very best of friends, great food and an unusual, fabulous, fragrance!

Harney and Sons site has Bangkok starts at as little as $2 for samples.
FragranceNet starts at $22/15ml for Calyx
Surrender To Chance starts at $5/2ml

Till next month,
Brie x

(Ed: Brie wrote these lovely musings in advance and will not be able to reply but Portia will if you comment)

Brie’s Fragrant and Edible Delights

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Post by Brie

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Local NYC Artisanal Fragrant and Edible Delights

Soap and Paper Factory/ Harney and Sons Teas/ Sweetniks

When my middle daughter turned thirteen she decided that she wanted to celebrate with a NYC shopping extravaganza. Much to my horror she chose Black Friday as the day to do it.
After spending literally all day waiting on long cashier lines and dodging Japanese and German picture taking tourists on the streets of Manhattan we arrived at Grand Central Station in the evening completely depleted. Having a few minutes to spare before our Metro North train arrived I spotted in an alcove a multitude of booths set up by local artisanal artists selling their products.

Soap and Paper Factory Shea Butter Bois de Santal Hand Cream

Bois De SantalPhoto Stolen soapandpaperfactory

Those who know me well can attest to the fact that I am a strong supporter and advocate of purchasing from local and artisanal companies. So it was no surprise that I high-tailed it over to one of the booths, the Soap and Paper Factory Company which calls Congers, New York its home. What my eyes witnessed were a large assortment of all natural solid perfumes, shea butter hand creams, natural soaps and soy candles- a deluge of olfactory delights hand poured in recyclable, eye popping packaging. I immediately purchased Bois de Santal shea butter hand cream, a bourbon vanilla and sandalwood amalgamation. The shea butter makes this cream uber-luxurious and the decadently sweet scent lasts for hours and hours. (Ed: At this time they are currently out of stock of Bois de Santal but there are plenty of others)

Harney and Sons Vanilla Comoro Tea

Photo Stolen Harney&Sons

I discovered Harney and Son Teas at a small local farmers market in upstate New York. It is one of my absolute favorite tea companies and produces high quality loose teas, tisanes and tea bags beautifully packaged in tetraheaval silken sachet pouches. A relatively short scenic drive through bucolic landscape brings me to their factory and store in Millerton, New York. Vanilla Comoro, a decaffeinated black tea nuanced with boozy vanilla notes is the perfect accompaniment to Bois de Santal.

Sweetniks Candy Bacon Spiced Pecan Nougat

Photo Stolen Sweetniks

Finally, my introduction to Sweetniks was through http://www.coolcookstyle.com. This local artisanal candy company based in New York City conjures up a perfume lover’s wildest fragrant candy desires. My absolutely favorite offers from Sweetniks are the Candied Bacon Spiced Pecan Nougats. These spicy bourbon scented nougats with bacon and pecans are what I nibble on whilst drinking my Vanilla Comoro Tea with the scent of Bois de Santal Shea butter hand cream wafting from my delicate little fingers…. utterly delightful!

Do please go and visit these artisanal stores websites, each name is its own jump.

Soap And Paper Factory (Please write to the Contact Us email for Outside US Shipping)

Harney & Sons Teas

Sweetniks (USA Only unless you contact them)

See you next month,

Brie x

(Ed: Brie wrote this post ahead. She may not answer your comments but please leave some in case she drops in. I, Portia, will answer though)