Los Angeles Report Part II brings us to my enchanted evening at Blunda where Yosh, Persephenie, and many botanical gems were discovered. Before I get to Yosh though, let me tell you about the benzoin! I had never smelled benzoin until this past weekend and could hardly pull my nose out of the jar that held this intoxicating substance which is made from the bark of the Styrax tree via cuts to release the resin. Above all, enticing vanilla wafted from the glass jar. Soft and supple, yet dirty and earthy as if you’d just pulled a piece of wood out of the soil. And the labdanum! I finally got to smell labdanum, another resin, utterly rich and musty. It also struck me as quite leathery with great depth and amazingly animalic for a botanical.
Hundreds of individual essences within Persephenie’s perfumer’s palette remained to be sniffed, but time was short and there was much to smell. Blunda is filled with a delicious array of natural fragrance offerings from Aftelier, Velvet and Sweet Pea, DSH, Artemesia, and Persephenie’s own bodycare line. I could have spent all evening poring over the gorgeous selection. And when one of my favorite perfumers, Roxana Villa walked through the door, I was thrilled not only to have the chance to chat with Roxana, but to experience the fragrances and essences with her was truly special.
Of course we were all gathered to learn more about Yosh Han’s fragrance Winter Rose and the two fragrance installations, Dew and Sombra Negra, she created especially for the evening. Winter Rose is a 100% botanical fragrance that was inspired by Yosh’s travels through Turkey. Four rose attars along with cardamom are in Winter Rose, making for an inspired, authentic and slightly spicy rose fragrance. But it was the evening’s installations that really got my attention. Sombra Negra with its vetiver, patchouli, oak moss, and tobacco went into deep and dark territory that smoldered in LA’s summer heat. A little too much actually. I had to fan myself as I thought how Sombra Negra would be more appropriate in front of the fireplace upon autumn’s first chill. But Dew….Dew was perfection on that hot night. Why don’t more perfumers use fennel? It’s sheer genius with its crisp and refreshing bite. Yosh added honey absolute, citrus notes with lime, petitgrain and neroli and then a hint of sweet floral in ylang ylang. She created Dew in a gel base, which enhanced the cooling effect of the fragrance and heightened the sparkling anise quality of fennel. For those of you interested in purchasing Sombra Negra or Dew, there still might be some available through Blunda if you contact Persephenie.
If you do call the boutique, consider calling in an order for Persephenie’s Linden Blossom Dry Body Oil or the Nanu Lei Fizzy Wonders. I haven’t actually tried the bath fizzies yet because it has been outrageously hot since I’ve been home, but they smell heavenly! A luscious blend of coconut, cocoa butter, citrus, and tropical flowers. I can’t wait for the weather to cool down so I can enjoy an evening’s bath with one of my Nanu Lei Fizzies. I can attest to how wonderful the Linden Blossom Dry Body Oil is, as I have used it several times and it hydrates beautifully and smells like you’ve stepped out of a Maui spa. The linden blossom is warm and citrusy, almost honey-like, and I’m sure Persephenie has enhanced the oil with other citrus elements as well as tropical white florals and a spot of cocount. It lasts many hours on the skin and you can put it in your hair as well where I’m sure the scent would waft sublimely.
Persephenie and Yosh
Blunda is truly an olfactory wonderland. Twice monthly visits (if not more) would certainly be the norm if I lived in Los Angeles. But more than the perfumes, body products and jars of botanical scents…it was the people of these natural perfume enclaves that made my trip exceptional. Persephenie was warm and welcoming; funny and kind. Yosh’s killer smile, along with her sharp intellect and charm-for-days left me giddy in her wake. Roxanna Villa was a joy to finally meet. Her caring, astute, and vibrant nature put me at ease the moment I saw her. And if you read Part I, you know my experiences at Strange Invisible Perfumes and Le Labo were also remarkable. My friend in life and in scent (not to mention fabulous Los Angelean host), duVergne, might be getting another visit from me sooner than she realizes!
Posted by ~Trish
15 thoughts on “Los Angeles Part II: Blunda and Yosh”
Just to up the ante – I purchased Persephenie’s fabulous Nanu Lei Butter Body Creme and it’s Organic calendula oil and helichrysum extract are absolutely rocking my world! In addition to these magnificent, healing and restorative ingredients there are also delicious hints of coconut, rose geranuim, apricot, and neroli!
Ahh, I can’t seem to get enough of this stuff. Everytime I put it on I have to restrain myself. Seriously. This Nanu Lei Butter Body Creme is fantabulous.
And I have to say, the Linden Blossom body oil (I have a sample that is going faaaaast) is similarly gorgeous.
Dew is dewlightful – just as Trish said, the fennel is magnificent and the gel just melts on your skin in the most glorious way.
Ditto on the collection of smart and fascinating scent-revelers at Persephenie’s presentation of Yosh and her botanical fragrances. What a treat to have access to not one, but two fragrances designed just for the evening by Yosh — Dew and Sombra Negra.
What I loved about Yosh’s presentation, in addition to her patient and detailed explanation of each fragrance, was how she used these tiny blue glass vases and issued drops of Sombra Negra into each in order to accentuate and release the fragrance and to explore different uses of it. Quite innovative and scrumptious.
Plus when we purchased the Dew-licious gel, we received a tiny glass vase of our choosing.
Now, admittedly, I may be off to visit Strange and Invisible perfumes again and to say hello to Nic. (I’ve been fantasizing about Moon Garden and Fair Verona all week!
As for returning to LA Trish, come hither, come hither! I and the beguiling fragrances of my city beckon thee!
Thank you for your prosaic additions! The Dew-liciousness has been perfect in this crazy heat we’ve been having up North.
And gosh darnit, wish I could head over to SIP with you!! As you know, Moon Garden is my all time SIP fave, makes me swoon that one. Give it a go when you’re there, can’t remember if you put it on your skin during out 2 hour+ visit 🙂
Trish, what an amazing treat to meet you in person AND share olfactory delights together. I could’ve spent all evening with you and your very refined sniffer. Persephenie and I had the opportunity to do this at Strange Invisible Perfumes counter during the LA Sniffapalooza. There is something really special about experiencing different aromas with special friends.
Thank you for coming to LA. Much gratitude to Persephenie for allowing a venue for the aromatic arts.
I agree with your very fun friend duVergne “come hither, come hither! I and the beguiling fragrances of my city beckon thee!”
We need to have another LA Sniffa, that’s for certain. Not sure how that passed me by the first time 😦 Would love to have more time to talk and sniff…..so wonderful to meet you!
I’d also love to come back for the DSH event at Blunda in October, but I think a trip to SF might be in the works that month. Hope to meet Julie if everything works out!
Thank you for this wonderful review. We met very briefly at Yosh Han’s evening at Blunda. I felt in love with both Sombra Negra and Dew. Although Dew doesn’t last too long on my skin, I find it heavenly and invigorating. Do you know when or if she’ll begin selling these? I cannot conceive the idea of a signature scent as I love too many perfumes. But if I ever did, I believe it would be Sombra Negra. I’m already afraid that I’ll never get a hold of a proper full bottle of it.
I still have a few days here in Los Angeles (I live in England) and will go to the Le Labo store that you wrote about.
I went to Strange Invisible Perfumes and loved Peloponnese, which they only sell at the store, Atlanta and Invisible. I couldn’t make up my mind and ended up not buying any. I should go back there soon. What a treat! I wish I lived permanently in LA.
Yes! I remember meeting you 🙂
I am pretty sure the Sombra Negra and Dew were created just for that night. So if you bought some, you’ll need to use it sparingly or write to Yosh and beg her to make it a part of her permanent collection!
I too tried Peloponnese and Atlanta for the first time while I was in the boutique and was quite taken by both of them. You should go back and treat yourself to a bottle, just flip a coin if you have to!!
Good idea, I’ll write Yosh and beg her to make Sombra Negra and Dew part of her collection 🙂
Trish, are the Le Labo perfumes also organic? I never read anything that would indicate that.
Le Labo is definitely not organic or all natural. They use natural oils, but also synthetics. They do not use phthalates though. Sorry if I wasn’t that clear in my Part I of the LA review. 🙂
I did like the Iris 39 in the shop, but am now feeling like it’s a bit too tenacious for me. I’m so partial to naturals now, and the way they bloom on the skin. Ahhhh…..
I finally went to Le Labo and I have to confess the their Olfactionary intrigued me more than the perfumes. I had never smelled the essence of petitgrain, oakmoss, birch, tonka beans, etc.. it really was a treat. I also liked their Iris 39, it doesn’t have the dirty rooty scent I smell in SF Iris Silver Mist, which I cannot take at all. But, unfortunately or luckily, I didn’t feel compelled to buy anything. I also tried to Oud 27 which was nice at first but turned too musky after a few hours and I’m not a musky person. I also enjoyed Bergamote 22, which became very creamy in my skin after hours, I would have identified it with a soft vanilla, but now I know it’s the petitgrain. The only one I would have bought though was Jarmin 17, had I not just purchased a 100 ml of L’Artisan Tea pour Un Ete. I also took my husband to the Little Next Door and we loved it, so, thank you for the tip 🙂
Oh, also, the other day I went back to SIV and got myself a bottle of Atlantic, wow!!!! What a dream perfume!
Thank you so much for your report! I too had the most fun with the Olfactionary and spent most of my time there and sniffing the goods behind the “bar”. Unfortunately Iris has not worked out for me. It ended up being too musky, and my love affair has come to a close 😦 So no big favorites from Le Labo as of yet. Although I do have my Oud sample as well as the Tuberose NY exclusive sample still to spend time with.
I am so glad you enjoyed The Little Next Door! Isn’t it a gem of a place? And yipee for buying an SIP! I’m so happy for you 🙂
Oops, I meant SIP… sorry.
Thank you Trish!
Soon I’ll be going back to Manchester, England, where I spend most of my time (work…), and if there is anything there in the organic scented world that doesn’t get here and that you may be curious about, please let me know. I’d be delighted to try and send you a note.
I will let you know. Safe travels.