Is Your Perfume Making You FAT?


Post by Azar


Hello APJ Pals,

Spring is here in February and there is no snow pack in the mountains! Despite assurances to the contrary from the local “powers that be” I’m afraid that the PNW may be in for a long drought and one hot, endless summer. The possibility of dealing with year round bathing suit weather has led me to the realization that I need to drop ten pounds – and FAST!

Is Your Perfume Making You FAT?

Where did this extra weight come from? I exercise daily and eat wholesome food (albeit in mass quantities). OK. I’ll admit that my diet has had an impact on my weight gain but I am beginning to suspect that some of my lovely, vintage fragrances have also had an effect on the pudge. Oh Dear! Perhaps my perfumes are making me FAT!

fat_chespin geckomania DeviantArtPhoto Stolen DeviantArt

Of course, this statement is mere speculation, based on personal experience and totally anecdotal. This assertion is not tied to any scientific studies about phthalates in perfumes (or in anything else for that matter). Phthalates? No doubt you have heard about those plasticizing, xeno-estrogenic chemicals that have been implicated in obesity, infertility, various cancers, asthma, allergies, etc. Most of the phthalates now being used in perfumes have been deemed safe by the international “powers that be“. Nevertheless, I could swear that when I wear old Fidji for more than a week or vintage Poison for a day I start to pack on the pounds.

From what I hear it is almost impossible to avoid exposure to phthalates. They are present, in one form or another, in cosmetics, hair care, deodorants, soaps, perfumes, cleaning and laundry products, shower curtains, candles, garden hoses, lawn furniture, toys, roof shingles, carpeting, automotive interiors…There is even one fragrance that is reminiscent of the smell of a new plastic shower curtain.

Fat acceptance movement konsthallen-skulptur WikipediaPhoto Stolen Wikipedia

Let me make this clear: I understand that all phthalates are not equally evil. That being said, if I can lose a little weight by simply changing my perfume I’m all for it!

And so, starting today, I intend to relegate my vintage beauties and all of my yummy, appetite stimulating gourmands to perfume storage. Out of site, out of mind! Until the ten pounds are lost I will be going au naturel! Perhaps you will join me?

Azar xx

Giveaway Time sassisamblogPhoto Stolen sassisamblog

Is Your Perfume Making You FAT? GIVEAWAY


This week we will have 1 Winner who will receive:
One set of 5 x 1ml (more or less) samples of natural/botanical fragrances from my collection, perfumes I know or imagine to be phthalate free:
Olympic Orchids – Tropic of Capricorn
On the Nose – Smoked Amber
Illuminated Perfumes – Impromptu
Pirouette Essentials – Wild Spruce and Tobacco
Rosarium Blends – The Rosarium


Open to everyone worldwide who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Tell us if you’ve observed that your perfumes are making you fat (or skinny)? Or do you know (or care) if your favorite fragrance contains phthalates?

Extra Chance?
Tweet: GIVEAWAY!   @RoxanaVilla @RosariumBlends


Entries Close Thursday 26th February 2015 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by some fun honest way
The winners will have till Monday 1st March 2015 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

Rosarium Blends Dom by Catamara Rosarium


Post by Azar


Hello APJ,

We all know that perfume evokes memories, changes moods and perspectives, makes us feel beautiful and desirable, serves the purposes of seduction, warms our winters, cools our summers and transports us to lands near and far away. Some fragrances also seem to increase our self-confidence and amplify our power. I wear my “power scents” for the same reasons that some people wear their “power suits”. I have an “armory” (so to speak) of bottles that provide much needed support (power shots) for a variety of occasions and purposes. Today’s review is not about one of those but about a new fragrance, Dom by Catamara Rosarium. Here is a description abstracted and condensed from the Rosarium Blends website:

“Dom – A charm for establishing your sexual dominion. -To lure that which you desire the most. Wear to invoke and manifest your deepest, darkest desires in the flesh. This perfume is for domination in all manner of ways and can be worked with lots of different intentions: [To dominate] a problem in your life, perhaps to dominate your boss, or a coworker, maybe to dominate a spirit… The perfume can also be used to repair damage…giving renewed confidence. The perfume itself is the base for many forms of magic… The only limitations are the ones we create ourselves.”

Rosarium Blends Dom by Catamara Rosarium

The Perfume Power Suit

Rosarium Blends DomPhoto Stolen Rosarium Blends

Rosarium Blends lists these featured accords in one line:
Vanilla, Smokey Vetiver, Neroli, Lemon, Patchouli, Myrrh, Mugwort, Black Storax

As far as I am concerned domination (whatever that means) is only a very small part of personal power. Nevertheless, I find it intriguing that any scent can have these magical effects. This summer I received a small sample of Dom and subsequently purchased a 9.8 ml bottle, which is fast disappearing.

Rosarium Blends Dom Dali Persistence of Memory libguidesPhoto Stolen LibGuides

My first impression of Dom is that of smoke, vetiver and vanilla laced with citrus blossoms and mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris). This mugwort is not at all dry. The vanilla, the sweet black storax (styrax) and the rich, earthy, slightly damp and spicy myrrh amplify the natural resinous qualities of the mugwort (AKA European artemisia). As the fragrance develops it becomes an almost gourmand confection of vanilla, lemon and artemisia (a gothic lemon bar!). After two or three hours this strange, dark treat dries down and finishes with more vanilla and incense. Dom is actually quite tenacious for a natural perfume. Even after 24 hours a little bit still lingers on my skin. Also, the sillage changes with body temperature. The hotter I am the more this fragrance projects, even after several hours of wear.

Rosarium Blends Dom John_Henry_Fuseli The_Shepherd's_Dream WikiCommonsPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

I love wearing Dom but I can’t really say that it fills me with a sense of power. I do find that people are drawn to me when I wear it and that problems and misunderstandings just seem to melt away or are resolved with gracious good humor. The single issue I have with this perfume is that whenever I wear it I tend to lose focus. I find that I am drawn to myself, fixated on the scent, continually sniffing my wrists, completely under the spell of the smell.

Rosarium Blends has $15/4ml spray or $30/9.8ml splash

Azar xx

Giveaway lavanyasrecipesPhoto stolen lavanyasrecipes

Perfume Power Suit GIVEAWAY


This week we will have 2 Winners who will each get a sample each of these 6 fragrances:
Rosarium Blends Dom
Vintage Karl Lagerfeld’s KL (carded)
Vintage Lucien Lelong Sirocco
Olympic Orchids Olympic Amber
Annick Goutal Grand Amour (carded)
Rasasi Amber Ood CPO
P&H to the world


Open to everyone in the world who follows AustralianPerfumeJunkies via eMail, WordPress, Bloglovin or RSS. Please leave how you follow in the comments to be eligible. I must be able to check that you follow so if you have an email address on your gravatar that’s different to your follow address then please email me so I know. Yes, you can start following to enter, in fact it’s encouraged.

You must tell me how you follow APJ


Leave a comment about YOUR power perfumes, which scents do you wear to boost your confidence or are there perfumes that make you feel invincible?

Extra Chance?


Entries Close Thursday 25th December 2014 10pm Australian EST and winners will be announced in a separate post.
Winners will be chosen by pulling names from a sunhat (maybe)
The winners will have till Sunday 28th December 2014 to get in touch (portia underscore turbo at yahoo dot com dot au) with their address or the prize will go to someone else.
No responsibility taken for lost or damaged goods in transit.

Catamara Rosarium of Rosarium Blends: Interview


Post by Azar


Catamara Rosarium is the perfumer, ritual artist, alchemist and master herbalist behind Rosarium Blends. She not only creates stunning, magical natural fragrances and incense but also offers an extensive line of philtres, salves, essential oils and related items as well as consultations on the Rosarium Blends website

Catamara AzarPhoto Donated Catamara

I met Catamara and her partner, distiller and perfumer Marcus McCoy (House of Orpheus), at the second Annual Seattle Artisan Fragrance Salon in May. Catamara generously provided me with a number of samples to take home. I have fallen in love with her rich, energetic fragrances and will be writing more about them in the coming months.

Rosarium Blends RB-Logo

Today it is my pleasure to ask Catamara a few questions for APJ.

I have been wondering about your background in alchemy, herbalism and magick. Did you grow up in the craft? When did you realize that you were drawn to these ancient arts and sciences?

I have been drawn to the craft since I was a young girl though I didn’t have any way to access any real information or know anyone who did until my late teens. I became profoundly immersed into various traditions from 1997 to present. My passion for making herbal concoctions began about 10 years ago and I’ve become deeply obsessed with the ancient arts and sciences involved with alchemy and the herbal arts ever since.

What does it mean to you to be a ritual artist?

I started using the term ‘ritual artist’ as a way I felt best described dance collaborations I was involved with in times past. I integrated tribal belly dance movement with the invocation of particular deities or god forms during the performance –therefore I wasn’t just belly dancing, I was invoking and embodying that energy as an integral part of the performance. The term ‘ritual artist’ has transmuted and has been more directly focused into my work in the plant kingdom. All of my formulas are created in a ritual setting during specific astrological elections, planetary hours and lunar cycles. Each product I create has specific energies I invoke ritually while concocting, drawn down into the matter to charge and assist in furthering the embodiment of the charm.

Rosarium Blends sage_resin

How does alchemy and your working knowledge of the elemental processes figure into the creation of your natural perfumes?

Every plant has specific energies that can be worked with magickally. My formulas are first determined by researching all plants and the lore that may be specifically related (in varying ways) to the formula I wish to create. I do not simply mix scents together because they smell good, I focus first on the energy I want to alchemicalize by combining what I know of each with the other. The process of knowing how much of each scent I select to blend thereafter is an intuitive process.

Your fragrances are created with the help of carefully crafted charms and powerful spiritual personalities and are designed to be used to manifest specific, life changing results. With that in mind do you consider your natural perfumes appropriate for everyone to enjoy casually as beautiful personal scents?

People are attracted to scent for a variety of reasons. When speaking to customers about which blends they are drawn to (before knowing what it was designed for), I often find them to be pleasantly surprised when they learn of the meaning and how it applies in their current life circumstances. While my blends are carefully crafted for various purposes, they will work with great success if worn with intention and on a subtle level. Otherwise I do believe they can be enjoyed and worn casually, and believe that if someone is attracted to the scent it is likely they will appreciate the effects as well.

Rosarium Blends elemi

Can you describe your relationships with green intelligence and the spirits of the plant kingdom? Do disciplines like vegetalismo and curanderismo figure into your work as a perfumer?

Each plant has an intelligence or genii connected to it, is a great teacher, and there is a myriad of ways to connect with them. My relationship is that of a student and they direct me in which ways to work with them. My work with Vegetalismo has introduced me to perfumes shamans work with during ceremony, of which my partner and I have created two blends inspired by this, ‘Agua de Palo Santo’ and ‘Agua de Flora’. Curanderismo factors in by my emphasis on creating blends that have a psycho-spiritual healing effect to cause change.

I have been enjoying the beautiful photos of your “poison garden” on facebook. (Poison gardens remind me of the Nathaniel Hawthorne short story “Rappaccini’s Daughter”.) As a gardener I am well aware that at least half of the plants I cultivate are poisonous. These plants are, for the most part, simply protecting themselves with alkaloids, saponins etc. Why do you maintain a poison garden and what have you learned from keeping a garden devoted specifically to poisonous plants?

I have always been drawn to the beauty, blessing and bane of those plants that are deemed ‘poisonous’. I love sitting with them through all cycles of their life, during the day and nighttime hours in communion and meditation. I am fascinated by the complexity of their blooms, seeds, roots, thorns, leaves, vines, etc, each with purpose. I believe everything is a poison and can harm you in excess. The poison garden requires deep respect, honor, intuition and knowledge.

Rosarium Blends kali

 As a self described “Sorcerous, Hermetic, Alchemist, Tantric, Witch” how do you view the world of mainstream perfumery? Is there any magic left in the corporate world of scent?

The beautiful thing about scent is that it is linked to our brain and connects to our memory. It is deeply connected to our emotional state and has an impact on our behavior whether we realize it or not. Once we have made a connection with it, scent can instantaneously transport us to times past and give us a feeling of comfort, arousal, love, hate, rage, etc. Scent can have positive effects on our mood, reduce stress, trigger arousal, increase self-confidence and much more. This is truly amazing and I believe that any scent whether hand crafted by a witch or artisan perfumer, or mass-produced in the corporate world, has the ability to effect people and trigger emotion or feelings within.

Rosarium Blends perfumes_set

Rosarium Blends have a terrific selection in their Rosarium Blends online shop<<JUMP

Thank you so much, Catamara, for taking the time to enlighten us here at APJ. I am looking forward to reviewing your fragrances in a future post.

*All pictures donated by Rosarium Blends

Annual Seattle Artisan Fragrance Salon 2014

Hello APJ,

It’s May 4th, 2014! Welcome to the Second Annual Seattle Artisan Fragrance Salon (and chocolate show) at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on the Seattle waterfront.


As we enter we see the Olympic Orchids booth tended by perfumer Ellen Covey and friend Stacey Gilbert.  Ellen Covey’s 2013 Blackbird was a finalist in the recent Art and Olfaction Awards and her newest offerings, Sakura and African Orchid, are at least as beautiful as Blackbird.  Sakura, a light and realistic cherry blossom fragrance,  seems to remind my grand daughter Allie that Spring is actually in Seattle, despite the foul weather. Ellen’s soaps and oils are a also treat and I hear she may be venturing into yet another format in the near future. 




We take our time enjoying Olympic Orchids fragrances before moving on to NomadTwoWorlds.  Nomad is by no stretch of the imagination an artisan perfumery.  The house perfumer is the extremely talented master perfumer Harry Fremont who, while working with Firmenich, has been the nose behind over 70 top designer and celebrity fragrances.  That being said, Nomad’s perfumes are lovely.  I especially enjoyed their signature oil FireTree. The company’s commitment to supporting indigenous peoples, while bringing their raw materials to market (via Firmenich?), is very interesting indeed.  Harry Fremont is not manning the booth (no surprise) but here is a photo of a couple of the Nomad crew at work.



For a real artisan, all natural and local experience we head over to Meshaz Natural Perfumes and perfumer Mesha Munyan assisted by her son Evan Winter.  Mesha operates a small farm on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula near Sequim where she grows and distills lavender and creates her own perfumes from botanical tinctures and oils.  Mesha is a nationally known expert on lavender and lavender oils.  My current favorite in her line is Zauvage, but all of her perfumes are exquisite, powerful and carefully crafted, a must try for botanical (and all) fragrance lovers .

IMG_2608We would like to stay at Mishas’s booth for hours but, moving along, we find two new faces at this year’s salon!  Perfumer Kenneth Cory and friend Michael DeLong are here for the first time, in fact this is one of Kenneth’s initial fragrance shows and what a fabulous collection of perfume he is offering!  Son A-1 and I love his entire line, especially Fougere Osmanthus.  I know husband B-Azar will also take a shine to this one.  I am bringing home samples of everything and looking forward to learning more as well as writing more about Kenneth Cory and his beautiful fragrances.
Next door to Kenneth, award winning veteran Pacific Northwest perfumer, Karyn Gold-Reineke,  has set up her Pirouette booth. Karyn’s gorgeous soaps, perfumes and lotions have been enjoyed by so many of us for several years now. My favorite of her fragrances is the botanical perfume Moss Garden.  Her sets of tiny sample soaps are works of art, beautifully scented and exquisitely wrapped. I am buying some for gifts but know I will have a hard time parting with them.IMG_2616


Also, I noticed that Karyn is displaying a small box labeled “Indie Fragrance Criterion”.  This is a sample set of PNW perfumers co-curated by Meredith Smith of Sweet Anthem and Tigerlily Perfumes in San Francisco.  The set includes samples by 6 PNW perfumers including Sweet Anthem, Rebel and Mercury, Sweet Tea Apothecary, Olympic Orchids , Pirouette Perfumes and Blooming Dreams.  Look for more about this set and a possible give-away soon.


As we turn the corner Rosarium Blends grabs our attention.  Catamara Rosarium is the talented perfumer, master herbalist, ritual artist and real live alchemist behind the line.  Her partner Marcus McCoy is an accomplished distiller.  The calibre of their fragrances reflects their depth of knowledge and experience. One of my favorite Rosarium Blends is Satyr. Catamara and Marcus are both fascinating personalities and it would be great fun to bring their perspective on perfumery to APJ sometime in the future.



Our final visit of the day is to JT Siems’ Sweet Tea Apothecary. JT’s love of history and literature inspire her 16 currently available fragrances.  Sweet Tea Apothecary perfumes are rich, mixed media scents with interesting, evolving profiles, classically evocative with timeless appeal. A couple of my favorites are Archibald (for Archibald Menzies, one of the first scientists to explore the PNW) and Dharma Bums (what else but a patchouli fragrance referencing who else but Jack Kerouac)!



I hope you have enjoyed this visit to the Second Annual Seattle Artisan Fragrance Salon.  Now off we go to the Chocolate Show!


Azar xx