March 15, 2017
Project Talisman Art by Gail Gross, Editor
March 22, 2017 will mark the 7th year Anniversary of ÇaFleureBon. Of all the numbers there are, 7 is most people’s favorite number, considered “lucky” and is linked to the spiritual, the mystical and to superstition. I grew up in a superstitious home; red ribbons were tied to my crib, red threads sewn into my underwear, charms to ward off the evil eye were hung around my neck, handmade bracelets adorned my wrists and don’t even ask why there are packets of salt in my pockets. At the same time, I believe in the power of positivity, the law of attraction and ÇaFleureBon is an extension of this way of thinking and has been from day one.
We live in uncertain times; personally, professionally, and politically. No one has a ‘charmed’ life. What makes us feel safe? As an infant, it is the scent of your mother. You are helpless in a world you don’t understand, unable to communicate, to feed yourself, move around on your own but her scent reassures you. Scent is the most magical of all talismans.
I invited eight American artisan perfumers to participate in "Project Talisman. The creative brief was broad, No ingredients had to be used, just suggestions that the fragrance they create would reflect their own beliefs and aesthetic and might tie into talismans or symbols (I named Hamsa for Ellen Covey’s scent and Figa for Shelley Waddington’s perfume). My email of introduction to the project began, “Beware the Ides of March (March 15), knock on wood, black cats, don't walk under ladders, we all have superstitions. Project Talisman is a multi-perfumer project where each perfumer creates a fragrance “parfum de protection” to ward off the evil eye or attract positivity.” I chose American Artisans because of our country's diversity of faith, creed, ethnicity.I also believe there is something special about anything made by hand, as if a piece of the perfumer's vibes are in every bottle.
Digital art created for Project Talisman by Dannielle Sergent
The perfumers for Project Talisman are: Amber Jobin of Aether Arts Perfumes, Angela St. John of Solstice Scents, Catamara Rosarium of Rosarium Blends (who coined the phrase talismanic perfume years ago) Christi Meshell of House of Matriarch, Dawn Spencer -Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes, Dr. Ellen Covey of Olympic Orchids Perfumes, Patrick Kelly of Sigil Scent and Shelley Waddington of En Voyage Perfumes. My gratitude for their participation is boundless; each fragrance was created at their own expense.
Over the course of the next month or so Team ÇaFleureBon will review these fragrances but they are meant for all and many will be sold on six perfumers' websites in the upcoming days. Links to Project Talisman Perfumes that are live as of 12 Noon EDT March 15, 2017 are included in the post.-Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief
Amber Jobin of Aether Arts
Amber Jobin of Aether Arts Perfumes Touchstone: "As humans we have always sought to explain the unknowable, the mysterious. We created rituals and objects as a symbolic representation of these mysteries—a way of having a little bit of control over that which we believed beyond our control. So while I don’t believe in a force called Fate that needs to be appeased by a ritual or a talisman, I do think there are objects that have historically conveyed a sense of ritual safety to many people. But what about our modern age; what makes people feel safe now? We have solved many formerly mysterious events; we are as a result less superstitious as a species. Where did that leave me?
I realized that there was one object that has become ubiquitous, that is always nearby if not on one’s actual person, an object that in some form crosses all gender, cultural, and socioeconomic spaces. An object that possesses great power, that can bring us help, that can connect us to those we love, an object that if we forget it, causes no small anxiety: the cell phone. The cell phone has become the talisman of our modern age. A kind of metaphorical worry stone or touchstone if you will, we can’t keep our hands off it. It reassures us and connects us when we are lonely or afraid and could literally save your life in some situations.
So how to turn the idea of a cell phone into perfume? Cell phones require minerals from the earth in their manufacture and their signals travel invisibly through the aether, so earth and air guided my choice of notes. Many of the minerals used in cell phones are silvery-to-gray in color. Materials like Tantalum, Palladium, and Platinum. So I created a flinty-gray accord with flashes of color running through it to hint at some of the other metals used—Silver, Gold, a bit of Copper—giving it a mineral and a metallic aspect. A spacious aether accord represents the air our signal travels through. Just as a quartz crystal in our cell phone vibrates at a fixed frequency, an actual piece of quartz crystal in the bottle reminds us to be aware of our own vibrations. What signals are we sending out into the world? What is the fate that you create? Mixed-Media (90 percent natural)".
Angela St John of Solstice Scents
Angela St. John of Solstice Scents GUARDIAN: "Guardian is a natural botanical unisex talismanic perfume. It features botanical elements associated with protection which are further enhanced with rowan flower essence and black tourmaline gemstone essence.
The fragrance is a forest chypre with a full-bodied glowing amber core. Top notes of sacred white sage, wild desert sage, clary sage, spruce and bergamot lead to a rich pinyon pine and a dense shadowed forest aroma of fir balsam absolute. The base consists of a radiating and pervasive golden amber accord, sandalwood, oakmoss, Haitian vetiver, aged patchouli, Alaskan cypress, alligator juniper wood, green spikenard, muhuhu, oud and a hint of mushroom absolute. A very subtle addition of shiso leaf provides a crisp, spicy green nuance. Guardian features the amber accord in the foreground with the comforting cloak of thick forest, sticky tree resin and conifer needles delicately encircling it. The dry woods, earth and oakmoss surround the amber on the dry down.The turtle shell is my armor, the spiderweb holds negativity in its sticky silken thread, the venom of the rattlesnake protects me and the eagle allows me to fly from danger."
Christi Meshell, House of Matriarch (from her Antimony video)
Christi Meshell, House of Matriarch ANTIMONY: "The smoky eye in fragrance form rims your third eye with kohl. Anoint yourself with ANTIMONY. This alluring talismanic perfume draws from the noble history of cosmetica and the aromatic materials which have been used throughout time to create "eye shadow" – the most magical cosmetic of all. Charred frankincense, kewra, henna, Palo Santo, nasturtium, juniper, galangal, sandalwood ashes, spikenard, ghee, copal, oud and precious attars were all used in the production of early eye cosmetics, and their aromas transport the wearer to a dimension where cosmetics are still used for their original purpose: RITUAL & MAGIC.
In forgotten times, eye cosmetics were created from powdered minerals and the ashes of incense. In most tribes, they were compounded and applied by a shaman. Sometimes poison is the cure – antimony (kohl) and malachite have been among the minerals used around the eyes due to their reflective properties, bold colors and magical associations. Antimony (the element, as found on the periodic table) is now considered toxic (although the alchemists would argue otherwise) and its use has been largely banned from use in cosmetics. LIMITED EDITION: Vintage 2017. 99.9 % natural".
Limited Edition Cartouches by House of Matriarch
*The first 24 50ml bottles of Antimony are adorned with a handmade copper cartouche talisman – designed Christi Meshell and handmade in San Diego, California under the influence of the Gemini full moon. Each cartouche is uniquely one of a kind and can be detached from the bottle for use as a pendant.
Dawn Spencer-Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes
Dawn Spencer-Hurwitz of DSH Perfumes: Become the Shaman is a fragrance that draws on materials from the New World and the indigenous peoples' spiritual practices for protection and even more, for drawing on the power that comes from within.
Dawn created this art for Become the Shaman; if you look closely she is peeking through
"In an uncertain world we seek a place of safety, comfort, and peace. In troubling times we seek out protection…sometimes through external talismans: an amulet, a symbol, an incantation. But what if the power (and protection) we seek comes from within? What if we all had access to a safe place filled with magic? The invitation is to Become the Shaman.You possess the strength and power to cast all 'demons' aside. When you become the Shaman, you find that true balance and power come from within.
Become the Shaman draws from the animist / nature-based spiritual traditions of native peoples of the 'Americas'. Palo Santo ("Holy Wood") is the focal note for the design and is used by the Incas to purify and cleanse the spirit from negative energies. White Sagebrush and Tobacco (used by Native Americans to cleanse and purify) as well as Copal resin (used by the Aztecs for magic and as a symbol of immortality during funerary ritual) are also called on to imbue the design with richness and protection.
I developed a milkweed accord to symbolize 'transformation', as it is a native plant to the New World and is the exclusive food of the migrating Monarch Butterfly. *A special thank you to Mary Schultz-Williams, for her apt naming of the fragrance (my working title was just "Shaman") which brought the design into greater focus. As always, her insight was spot on.
Notes: Top: Milkweed accord and White Sagebrush, Heart: Palo Santo, Mexican Copal, Guaiacwood, Amyris, Base: Peru Balsam, Tonka Bean, Texas Cedar, Vanilla Bean, Tobacco
Dr Ellen Covey of Olympic Orchids Perfumes
Ellen Covey of Olympic Orchids Perfumes Hamsa -"The Hamsa is a stylized hand-shaped symbol with obscure origins in the Middle East. It serves as a sign of protection in both Judaism and Islam, and often has an eye positioned in the center of the palm to deflect the evil eye. In designing a perfume, I considered the hamsa in the symbolic kabbalistic context of the ten sefirot, which represent the modes or attributes through which G-d is manifested. The Hamsa, with its five fingers, right and left, can be conceived of as a depiction of the sefirot. The two fingers of one side symbolize four virtual qualities, while the two fingers of the other side symbolize the related actual qualities. The center finger symbolizes the first and last sefirot, the origin and the realization of everything.
The Hamsa Prayer via googlesearch
The composition of Hamsa includes both natural materials to symbolize the earth, which supports and protects us, and man-made materials to symbolize what we, as humans, have devised as protective measures both tangible and intangible. The first sefirah, the overarching idea, is symbolized as an invisible veil of olibanum smoke and the tenth, the unification and channel for worldly manifestation, as a solid block of sandalwood. The four pairs of contrasting properties are symbolized by contrasting pairs of materials. The first is palo santo and cognac, an ethereal woody incense paired with ceremonial wine to symbolize the celebration of spiritual ideas; the second is mastic paired with liquidambar, bitter incense and honey-sweetness to symbolize strength and justice tempered with love and kindness; the third is myrrh paired with citron, earthy incense and an aromatic fruit of the earth to celebrate inspiration and the resulting human creations of beauty and utility; the fourth pair is oud and apricot, a resinous material produced by agarwood trees to protect them, paired with a fleshy, sweet fruit to stand for resistance to physical and emotional attack and the fruits of physical and intellectual bonding. The end result is a combination of the hard and the soft, the bitter and the sweet, tangible and the intangible. The perfume is not intended so much as a “magic potion”, but rather as a reminder of the amazing powers that we have within us, powers that we can use to repel evil from ourselves at the same time we use them to help other individuals and the world."
Patrick Kelly of Sigil Scent
Patrick Kelly of Sigil Scent: Proteckt is a resinous, smoky blend of woods, punctuated by fresh tagetes and bubbling citrus notes. This one-of-a-kind perfume is a protective blend of powerful, magical plants designed to ward off all evils. Look inward and light the fire of your spirit with benzoin, to cushion the soul. Steel your resolve with the fearless fumes of sharp black pepper crackling in a freshly kindled blaze of crisp cedarwood and rich frankincense.
The pyre of this procession of plants unfurls in pure ribbons of glorious smoke, trailing over the budding blooms of marigolds and fresh citrus to leave the spirit emboldened and mind at ease.I was inspired by the alchemical symbol for “essence"."
Shelley Waddington EnVoyage Perfumes
Shelley Waddington of En Voyage Perfumes Figa: "People in all cultures have always recognized our vulnerability to people with envy and jealousy, to those who would wish for evil to befall them, and who would do bad things to hurt them. For many centuries most cultures have traditionally carried special objects of protection, talismans, such as the evil eye, the Hamsas, and the figa to protect themselves from evil-doers, and to overcome any evils perceived to exist in their world. The talisman of protection that I have chosen to emulate in fragrance is the Figa. The Figa is a powerful hand-shaped amulet that is used widely in in Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Brazil. It represents a closed hand in which the thumb is located between the middle finger. I chose this talisman because it conveys attitude and I strongly believe in peace through strength.
Figa Perfume is the fragrance equivalent to this powerful amulet and celebrates strength, power, vision and success. Using precious oils, selected for their energetic protective qualities, Figa is slyly political in the face of tough contemporary political issues, and is specifically designed to wear for personal protection from evil, be it from people or governments".
NOTES: Bergamot – A traditional annointing oil for protection from misfortune and physical danger, Geranium – Used for ritual purification, good fortune and assistance, Rose – Induces thoughts of loving affection and promotes peaceful, harmonious vibrations, Jasmin – Worn for blessings, protection and good luck, Violet – Used to ward off evil and to bring calm to quarrels, Patchouli – Wards off evil and negativity, Cedarwood – Enhances honor, wealth, and dignity, Amyris – A Venusian oil used for healing, Sandalwood – A spiritual oil used for healing, Vanilla – Used for soothing, healing, and good fortune, and Labdanum – Brings qualities of focused attention, audacity, conquest of illusion, master-power success and victory.
Catamara Rosarium is working on her scent which will be introduced later this Spring. Eight perfumers, eight is the number of Infinity.
Thanks to the perfumers we have a sample set of these seven Project Talisman Perfumes WORLDWIDE. You are eligible and registration is appreciated but not necessary for this post. Please leave a comment with what resonated with you, which perfumes appeal to you and if you own any talismans. There is no spilled perfume and the draw closes March 22, 2017
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