Chaparral by Roxana Illuminated Perfumes

Back in July of 2009 I was a part of a “Summer Pastimes and Fragrances” blogging event. One of the categories was “Favorite Meditation/Summer Incense Scent” and I chose Roxana Villa’s Chaparral not only for its beauty, but its appeal as a summertime incense perfume. When I look back on what I wrote over a year ago, I realize that I still feel the same way about Chaparral:

“Roxana’s gentle and expert hand with frankincense and sage allow this to be a very accessible and seasonless incense fragrance. Chaparral never becomes weighted down with dark and smokey cathedral imagery. Quite the contrary. California breezes flow on your skin when you wear this, providing a reverence for the “Cathedral of Nature” as you close your eyes and meditate on the breath that sustains you.”

I am wearing Chaparral as I write, and it does indeed encourage more intentional breaths and to revel in its outdoorsy serenity.Chaparral is offered in two forms, solid and liquid. Both are similar of course, but with some subtle, key differences. The solid and the liquid maintain a strong foundation of fresh sage and are undoubtably green and herbaceous. The solid form -in a base of unrefined beeswax, jojoba oil and infused oils- leans more nutty and smoky, like a recently tamped out brushfire. The liquid on the other hand has a tartness to the green/herbal aspect which ultimately gives way to the arid, hazy scent of Southern California’s natural landscape as embodied by Chaparral’s distinct sage and frankincense blend.

Just days ago, Roxana added another fragrance to the Chaparral duo called Tangent. Roxana told me she views Tangent as the cowgirl counterpart to the more cowboy nature of Chaparral. I completely agree as Tangent is softer and sweeter with what I’m guessing is a more generous use of benzoin. The result has a touch of sensual powderiness that the other Chaparrals do not possess. For quite some time now, Chaparral has been my go-to incense perfume, but cowgirl Tangent has clearly made a gorgeous impression on me.

Leave a comment about Chaparral or Tangent and you’ll be entered in a giveaway for samples of both forms of Chaparral. Extra entries if you follow Roxana on Twitter or her blog. Extra entries as well if you follow Scent Hive on Bloglovin,Twitter, Google Friend Connect,Facebook’s Networked Blogs, or subscribe to Scent Hive. Please let me know in your comment what you did so you get the entries you deserve! US entries only. Entries accepted until Sunday Oct. 5th 9pm PST. Drawing now closed, we have our winner.

A portion of profits from the sale of the liquid flacon perfume go to the Chaparral Institute.

Chaparral is available on Roxana Illuminated Perfume etsy site. Chaparral solid compact is $65, Chaparral liquid is $150 for a 7gm French glass flacon, and Tangent is $25 for a 1gm vial.

Posted by ~Trish

Images courtesy of Roxana Villa

Disclosure: Samples were sent to me for consideration by Roxana Villa. The opinions in this review are my own. I was not financially compensated for this review or any other.


Summer Pastimes and Fragrance. My Top 10.

Big thanks to Ayala from Smelly Blog and Ayala Moriel Parfums for organizing this gathering of bloggers to celebrate summer and its scents. The following are some favorite summer pastimes, and my perfume pairings. Please see the bottom of the post for the other participating blogs.

santa monica pier 1920


Sultry summer night in the big city: Ajne’s Fleur Blanche is a bold, sophisticated, true-to-life gardenia fragrance that would be perfect for strolling the streets of the big city, or dancing the night away. Fleur Blanche’s hint of smokey woodiness balances this heady indolic, tropical floral. It remains my favorite gardenia perfume and I consider it a must-try for any gardenia lover.


International travel (or as I call it, the perfume you grab as you are heading out the door on your most recent trip to Canada): Hermes Kelly Caleche EDT is a crisp green floral; harmoniously blended with mimosa, iris, tuberose, climbing rose and leather. Certain floral notes peek out more conspicuously depending on the moment. Mimosa’s high-pitched sweetness often appears in the top-notes, the powderiness of the iris and softness of the rose are sometimes more prominent in the drydown. Regardless, Kelly Caleche is always a gorgeous summer-ready floral embraced by elegant leather. It’s wearable in any situation, whether it be museum going, café hopping, or discovering your city/town on bicycle. Give it another a try if it’s been a while.


Summer siesta: I have two choices for this one; Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Tuberose and Gardenia Face and Body Frosting and In Fiore’s Dayala Body Balm. For sleeptime scents I love the ritual of smoothing a cream or balm on my hands. Even in the summer my hands are quite dry, and both Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Body Frostings and In Fiore’s Body Balms provide exceptional and luxurious hydration. VSP’s Tuberose and Gardenia is quite frankly… addictive. Vanilla bean infused organic jojoba oil creates the base of the scent and organic tuberose and gardenia enfleurage enhance this moisturizer with sensual tropical florals. As for Dayala, its jasmine grandiflorum is rich, luscious, and slightly indolic. Lemongrass in the Dayala blend provides a grassy green brightness, and the overall result is deep and beautiful.


The Farmers’ Market: Farmers’ Markets are filled with smells of fruits, herbs and yummy baked goods so Honoré des Prés Sexy Angelic was the first fragrance that popped into my mind for this summer scent category. I’m going to be lazy here and cut and paste part of my recent June review:

Sexy Angelic is an ideal gourmand scent for the summer. It’s a light air-spun confection that wears easily in the warm weather. Sexy Angelic is centered around a calisson accord which was inspired by the town of Aix-in-Provence in the South of France. Calissons are treats made from a paste of sugar, melons and almonds that are covered with royal ice (white icing). Sexy Angelic entices its wearer with notes of licorice from angelica seeds and I gotta be honest here, I-don’t-know-what from Hemlock flowers. If you do, please let me know!

So I’ll focus on what I do know, and that is that Sexy Angelic is delectable. The calisson accord is loaded with crystallized sugary-almond goodness that is uplifted by the herbal licorice aspect. It’s lovely on the drydown as the green herbaciousness dissipates allowing for honeyed woods to meld into a skin scent. It’s the farthest thing from cloying or heavy and it just might be the gourmand for those of you who don’t typically go for gourmands.


Something you’ll wear while tending to your summer garden: Bonny Doon Farm Rose Creme Parfum is made from olive oil, beeswax, jojoba oil, and Damascena rose wax. I don’t think this creme parfum was meant to be used as a moisturizer, but if you scoop out about a 1/4 teaspoon and rub into the top of your hand, you’ll find this beautifully scented rose perfume solid provides light hydration in addition to fragrance. When I wrote “it smells as if freshly picked rose petals have been infused into your skin, so tender and yet so vibrant” back in May,  I only had a sample of the Rose Creme Parfum. I have since purchased a pot ($16 for 0.5oz at and still feel the same way.


Beach scent: Estee Lauder’s Bronze Goddess. Vetiver and coconut. Guilty pleasure. What more can I say? I love this stuff.


Bar-B-Q scent: Ayala Moriel Parfums Tamya is no ordinary BBQ scent. On this summer menu, you need a Kir Royale as your drink and wild Coho salmon cooked on cedar planks on the BBQ. Tamya is Ayala’s version of a fruity floral; the fruits being cassis and yuzu, the florals jasmine, hyacinth, and frangipani (plumeria). Cedar contributes refinement and vanilla guides the way to a gorgeous drydown. A honeyed beeswax, ambery floral which is delicate yet mesmerizing.


Meditation/Summer Incense Scent: Roxana Illuminated Perfume Chaparral is earthy and herbaceous, using the woody essence of the California Chaparral. Roxana’s gentle and expert hand with Frankincense and sage allow this to be a very accessible and seasonless incense fragrance. Chaparral never becomes weighted down with dark and smokey cathedral imagery. Quite the contrary. California breezes flow on your skin when you wear this, providing a reverence for the “Cathedral of Nature” as you close your eyes and meditate on the breath that sustains you.


Best scent for an overcast day in the summer: Aftelier’s Orchid is perfect for those first days of summer that don’t start off as warm as you’d like. Oftentimes in the Pacific Northwest they are overcast and you need a little something juicy and spicy to snap you out of the doldrums. Orchid’s peppery opening commands your attention, grabs your hand, and leads you down a path of orange blossom bliss. As I said in my review, “It’s green, heady, lush, citrusy, and vital.” Indeed!


Best scent for hiking in the forest: Soivoholé Vetiver n Guaiac is deep and rich in its earthiness, and full of vitality in its lavender herbaceousness. It’s spicy and complex, and continually evolves, as do hikes through Nature’s beauty. Vetiver n Guaiac has terrific staying power to last through a strenuous hike. And just as you complete your journey, you will be rewarded with a sublime vanillic floral drydown.


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Posted by ~Trish

Photo: Santa Monica Pier 1920 from Dr. X’s Free Associations