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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In Fiore: Maia Body Oil (Renamed *Jasmin Supérieur)

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This may seem like cruel and unusual punishment, especially for you jasmine lovers, but Maia Body Oil is heavenly…and it is *discontinued. But keep reading because there is good news at the end. Maia is made by In Fiore, a San Francisco based company founded by Julie Elliott that specializes in skin care and fragrance, using only natural and organic ingredients. Their line includes, among other things, face oils, solid perfumes, skin balms, and the now discontinued body oils. In Maia, Julie Elliott has captured all of jasmine’s desirable facets and balanced them harmoniously. Its tropical lushness is intact, but never crosses the line into a blowsy white floral. Maia plays with the indolic boundary of jasmine just enough to give it full-bodied depth while pushing it away from any hint of metallic tinniness. Yet, I would never call it “animalic” or musky. The bottle’s label states that red mandarin and lavender are also in the mix, but they are woven in quite subtly. The touch of citrus from the red mandarin guides the inherent citrus note from the jasmine, allowing it to gently unfurl. And the lavender might possibly help ground the jasmine, but its herbaceousness is not strongly noted.


Interestingly, a lovely touch of tobacco is also present which quite frankly is intoxicating. So much so that Maia has led me to become a little obsessed with finding the perfect tobacco fragrance.  (Well that, and watching too much Mad Men). The oil itself is very hydrating and sinks into the skin quickly. The scent lasts for several hours, and I love putting it on just before bed. OK, now for the good news. I emailed Ms. Elliott in desperation once I figured out Maia Body Oil was no where to be found on the internet after I’d purchased it from beautyhabit.com. She said that indeed the oils have been discontinued but that she would most likely be making up a batch of Maia Body Balms in March. If any of you are jasmine lovers, I highly recommend getting your hands on a jar. Either that or track eBay like a fiend for the Body Oil, but then you might have to fight me for it.


I will be visiting the store in March to grab myself a jar, and attend a conference for work (oh yeah, that!) and will report back on what I am certain are all of the other gorgeous fragrance offerings at In Fiore. I happened upon this interview, and after reading it, I cannot wait to get a sniff of Rose Noir. Here is the description: saffron absolute, damascena rose petals over a deep rich tenacious base of oud from Assam, galbanum resin, and a hint of rosewood. Just reading about it makes me swoon.


In Fiore is available in a 2oz bottle for $58 at Beautyhabit.com and infiore.net

*Update:  Maia is now Jasmin Supérieur. Same formula, different name.

Posted by ~Trish

Photo by Simian Cephalopod on flickr


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