Strange Invisible Perfumes: Limited Editions

Alexandra Balahoutis has created two Limited Edition parfums this season, Flower Powder and Pure Violet. They truly are limited editions as only 6 bottles of both parfums are being offered, each one numbered. The fragrances are only available at the Strange Invisible Perfumes Boutique in Venice, Ca., but can be shipped if you want to buy one unsniffed.


You should know the notes are a guarded secret though, as Alexandra, the creator of Strange Invisible Perfumes, wants them to be mysterious. The press information I was sent consists of Flower Powder: “A powdery floral with an eccentric sense of innocence.” And, Pure Violet: “Despite the fact that violet blossoms cannot be extracted, Pure Violet will even trick the limbic system”.


Despite the hefty price tags of $440 for Pure Violet and $335 for Flower Powder, the 1/4oz bottles are selling, so if you are considering a special holiday purchase either get yourself to the boutique or call in your order quickly.


Posted by ~Trish


Tangled by  RigbyLane on etsy.com

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Strange Invisible Perfumes: Galatea

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Galatea begets an image of a bitter-orange tree corridor. Blossoms opening from a balmy night of late spring. Dark silhouettes of lovers loosely hold hands, fingers intertwined. Boozy thoughts dance above them. The trees emit their balsam, finally released from the first true heat of the season. The bark has become balm and essence. It’s a lovely vision, a bit dark in my mind, and this perfume swirls around it like a trance. 

 

I am in love with Galatea and yearn to have a full bottle. Here’s the caveat; one has to really love this fragrance before buying it as it is only available in parfum strength and is $185 for 1/4 ounce. But neroli is a weakness of mine. I adore its sensual heralding of springtime and slightly spicy undertones. This lovely note of neroli, combined with the sweet warmth of benzoin and the leafy-green resinous quality of galbanum have been orchestrated with an artist’s skill and inspiration. Alexandra Balahoutis, the creator of Strange Invisible Perfumes composed Galatea for herself, which might explain why this is such a perfectly blended fragrance. 

 

To clarify, the benzoin used in fragrance is different from the medicinal benzoin which is a skin protectant and smells like camphor. Perfumery benzoin is a resin from the Styrax tree which is native to Southeast Asia. Cuts are made in the bark to release the liquid secretion, which later solidifies into a resin after being exposed to air and the sun. The resin smells sweet and vanilla-like, and according to Mandy Aftel in her book Essence and Alchemy, “people tend to find benzoin calming, seductive, sensual and rejuvenating”.

 

Tuberose plays its part in this perfume as well. But not in the typical bombshell-floral role it’s usually relegated. In Galatea, tuberose has soft curves that cradle the neroli. So subtle is the tuberose, that it only becomes apparent in the base. Providing a richness to the neroli and an evolution for the fragrance to move into deeper territory. But the resinous, booze-like quality that makes Galatea so dreamlike remains constant. 

 

Galatea is available at  Strange Invisible Perfumes.  Strange Invisible Perfumes does not use any synthetically derived chemicals and all of their products are crafted solely from ingredients found in nature. They use organic beverage-grade grape alcohol as the base for their perfumes. 85-100% of their product is organic and they use organic ingredients whenever possible. Please see their site for more on their green mission.

 

Galatea decants are also available at The Perfumed Court.

 

Posted by ~Trish

Pygmalion and Galatea by Jean-Leon Gerome at Explore-Drawing-and-Painting.com

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Strange Invisible Perfumes: Lyric Rain

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Testament
 
   
  Oh, let it be a night of lyric rain
And singing breezes, when my bell is tolled.
I have so loved the rain that I would hold
Last in my ears its friendly, dim refraln.
I shall lie cool and quiet, who have lain
Fevered, and watched the book of day unfold.
Death will not see me flinch; the heart is bold
That pain has made incapable of pain.   
                                               

Kinder the busy worms than ever love;
It will be peace to lie there, empty-eyed,
My bed made secret by the leveling showers,
My breast replenishing the weeds above.
And you will say of me, “Then has she died?
Perhaps I should have sent a spray of flowers.” 

 

Dorothy Parker

 

 

I had read that Lyric Rain is an intensely strong patchouli perfume, so when I experienced a saturated stargazer lily quality for the first hour, I was taken aback. It was as if the giant flower were hanging from my neck, like an albatross. For me, stargazer lilies are dead weight in a room. Suffocating in their pungent nature, leaving no room for any other olfactory experience. This association might not make a lot of sense, but that was my intuitive response. One that was probably reacting to the highly potent patchouli and jasmine blend. But as the experience finally settled, or maybe lifted is a better word, the patchouli became more clear and also more soft.

 

Lyric Rain took on a lovely vintage perfume essence with soothing jasmine flourishes. But keep in mind, this “mellowing” of the patchouli is in comparison to its overbearing beginning. Lyric Rain is a patchouli scent through and through. I’m not sure this would be the fragrance to turn a non-patchouli person into the patchouli lover they want to become. But if you adore patchouli, this glorious gem will evolve on your skin and allow you to experience your beloved patchouli in new ways.    


The above Dorothy Parker poem inspired Alexandra Balahoutis, founder and perfumer of Strange Invisible Perfumes, to create Lyric Rain. As an interesting side-note, I read the poem after I had the stargazer lily association. Lilies are so often funeral flowers. The flowers we bring to graves, and this poem clearly is about making peace with death, and one’s own burial. Maybe that is why this perfume is so laden with patchouli. Ms. Balahoutis possibly wanted to stir the wetness of the earth, which patchouli certainly evokes. And jasmine echoes the pungent nature of lilies, and also the vintage nature of Ms. Parker’s poem. The mix of poetry and perfume is intriguing and emotive. For a wonderful exploration of the relationship between poetry and perfume, please take a peek at this blog that is no longer active, but certainly thought provoking and beautiful.  

 


Lyric Rain is available at Strange Invisible Perfumes and only in the parfum concentration.

 

Strange Invisible Perfumes does not use any synthetically derived chemicals and all of their products are crafted solely from ingredients found in nature. They use organic beverage-grade grape alcohol as the base for their perfumes. 85-100% of their product is organic and they use organic ingredients whenever possible. Please see their site for more on their green mission.



posted by ~Trish


photograph by shteve on flickr

 

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Strange Invisible Perfumes: Magazine Street

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Magazine Street, the fragrance, opens with what some have called the medicinal note common to Strange Invisible Perfumes. This is the first Srange Invisible Perfumes fragrance that I have found to have a medicinal quality, but it is ever so fleeting and it is not disagreeable. Rather, it is an introduction to the interplay between the earthiness of the vetiver/patchouli duo and the sweetness of the vanilla/magnolia duo. And while the patchouli offers an herbal mossiness, within this dance, it is the vetiver and vanilla that dominate the floor. The patchouli rests quietly at the base and the magnolia flutters gently like a butterfly. Ultimately, both flit away leaving Magazine Street all about the balsamy green vanilla one might be thrilled to wear instead of the glut of foody, cloyingly vanillic perfumes on the market today.

 

Having never been to New Orleans, I cannot muse about the city personally or comment on if the namesake perfume does it any specific justice. But I will say this fragrance could easily be worn on a sultry evening; hold its own in a smoky jazz club and last through several rounds of sazeracs, followed by beignets in the morning. It’s an exceptionally stunning perfume, and I whole heartedly recommend Magazine Street to anyone, not just those who seek natural perfumes. This earthy green vanillic scent will delight you if you wear it, and anyone else who nuzzles in close enough to enjoy it on your skin.

 

Strange Invisible Perfumes creates their fragrances in two strengths, Parfum and Eaux de Parfum (EdP). This review is for the EdP which is less expensive than the very costly Parfum. (Personally I have found the EdPs to last longer than the Parfums anyway). Strange Invisible Perfumes was founded by Alexandra Balahoutis whose shop is in Venice, Ca. Her ingredients are all natural, organic and never synthetic. Please see her website for her comprehensive green mission statement. 

 

Strange Invisible Perfumes are available at Strange Invisible Perfumes and Beautyhabit. Decants of Magazine Street are available from The Perfumed Court.

Posted by ~Trish

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