Wednesday, March 12, 2014

VASHTI ~ A Lotus Crochet Perfume & Pouch Collaboration: Pink Lotus. Nigella. Carnation. Petitgrain. with matching cuticle balm. AROMATIC MUSE MARCH 2014



A Designer Crochet Perfume & Handcrafted Pouch: 

Pink Lotus. Nigella. Carnation. Petitgrain. 

.Lotus Yarn.

...with Matching Cuticle Balm...

Vashti begins with a clear, graceful opening of Petitgrain & Bergamot accord to refresh the spirit and inspire. It is followed by a nuanced, complex, subtle heart of Nigella, Carnation, Acacia & Lavender Honey Absolutes, and a melody of botanicals with honey notes, herbal whims, aquatic suggestions, and intriguing softness.
Drying down into the Pink Lotus roots of the perfume, Vashti unfurls and evolves into a meditative zone - where creativity flourishes and beautiful things effortlessly manifest. 

Vashti perfume is about the creative process. It is about yarn. It is about texture and patterns. It is a companion perfume to your Muse. A date with tapping the creative sap welling up in your being. 
It is the smell of new wet earth emerging in spring.

And it is about Vashti.

Vashti is like a blue topaz, a poem, fine sparkling champagne with a shot of damiana cordial. She is also wickedly fierce, authentic, articulate, and free spirited. She has been an inspiration to me since I was in my early teens. This year it is an honor and delight to feature her work and to thank her for her presence - and so we have the Vashti perfume.

I may not want to you know this, but my teen years were a bit, um, tumultuous. I lived with my mama and we needed a house mate to help rent our space. Vashti soon decorated her lair with flowing blue silk scarves, sacred beads, witch books, and turned her space into an enchanted altar. I was mesmerized.

She kept a jewelry place in her closet ... and on it was a tiny vial of lavender flowers, soaking in almond oil.
You can bet I was curious:    wait what? Perfume oil by soaking plants?! Oh my.

So many moments like this - seminal realizations of a more sensual, connected life - a life of plant potions and magic!
Of hope and emotional growth.

Soon I was extracting reading material (Starhawk!) from her repertoire and observing her impeccable herbal journaling notes. Her handwriting is like fine lace.

Soon, the three of us were all working in the same health food store (Vashti, my mom, and me). They worked in the herb section .... delving into every possible herb and herbal remedy they could. They would bring home Ayurvedic herbs, Chinese herbs, and European herbs to experiment with. We had a continual pot on the stove - where a brew created by one of us always simmered.

We would convene in the kitchen and compare our tasting notes on Dong Quai Gin, on the tastes of schizandra, and just how much stevia to add. We made love potions and rolled our own gotu kola and mint herbal smokes and sacredly - mischievously - enjoyed them together. My friends affectionately called them potpourri joints.

This was a solid beginning to my potion making journey. (beyond the child-play of mixing grass and mud and apple blossoms in the park) I started my own herbal journals and later continued learning more preparations and herbs from my mother. It was also the beginning of my spiritual growth beyond what I had learned in the Vedic community.

I was inspired to listen to my body, to my inner wisdom, and to the magic of the plant world. This knowledge and early inspiration is the 80% Nettle Fiber of my being. 

And there are many more stories I have not space for .... the music (Pretenders, Prince, The Cure), the love lives (and the angry neighbors), the back porch water fights, the trip to Chicago where I wore a completely inappropriate dress to a wedding. The smell of Eucalyptus oil and Summer Iowa thunderstorms. Wild Yam. 

Giant bowls of Rosewater whipped cream.

Vashti has since become an award winning (genius) crochet designer. I have seen those fingers twirl yarn into mathematical spells and it's astonishing! 
She has an impressive resume, a bank of designs in publications and online for you, as well as her newly launched LOTUS YARN ... which is designed and crocheted into your perfume pouch by Vashti herself, in Satin Grey.

If you love yarn, creative people, and crocheting, follow Vashti.

When I asked her what kind of perfume would most accurately portray her spirit, she didn't hesitate to tell me of her connection with lotus. I was thrilled - I have worked with lotus before (Nymphaea, Blue Tara) and have been wanting to create a new one based on Pink Lotus, Carnation, and Nigella.

Pink Lotus seems to suggest to people a bright, fruity-clean smell. In fact, it is not like that at all. It is more like dirty honey. It is subdued, unusual, polleny, textured, slightly aquatic, and slightly rooty. There are sweet earth notes to it, but waxy and hums in a lower key, so to speak, than a rose or neroli might. It responds well to creamy notes, florals, honey, fruits, and herbs, and can be a bit of a chameleon in perfume compositions. The process of smelling this perfume as it evolved and came together was incredibly fascinating.

Carnation is also a similar type aroma, but a little more tenacious and also doesn't really smell like a carnation in its flower phase where it's like clove scented soda. But the honey notes are significant and paired perfectly with the pink lotus and linden blossom included. Nigella added a fruity twist to the foundation of the perfume - not turning it into a fruit perfume but rather augmenting the unique layers of the heart notes and supporting the transition from the petitgrain/bergamot opening into the evolution of wear.

Inside this perfume there are many precious oils, one being an exquisite China Tea Rose that nearly brought tears to my eyes. You may not smell the rose notes exactly .... but it's presence in the perfume created a roundness that was key. Another magic moment in this perfume is a tiny touch of Violet leaf - which surprised me in its ability to buoy a creamy, borderline heavy base, without imposing its grassy voice. 

With these tricky ingredients and more elaborate packaging, I can say I have spent the most time on this perfume and set than any other. I hope it will resonate richly with the infused love and attention.
And since her hands are the weavers of her work, she suggested a matching cuticle balm to care for her fingers and nails. *Perfect. So in conjunction to the perfume, we have a matching nourishing balm for your crocheting (or knitting) fingers. Something to gently scent your skin, heal your cuticles, feed your cells, and be perfectly compatible with your yarn. Herbal oils soothe, and the natural lanolin penetrates all layers of your skin while imparting the nostalgic faint smell of hand spun wool.

Wearing this perfume as I write, I feel a pipeline to my creative feminine nature and I feel supported and held by the whispers of aromatic poetry and dance on my skin. And I am somewhat addictively smelling my wrists.

Vashti perfume is a light to medium tenacity botanical perfume. you may expect about 1-3 hours of close to the body intimate enjoyment. Re-apply as desired, and some natural settling of aromatic material to the bottom of the bottle in this whole, unfiltered perfume is normal.

It also naturally has a little bit of pollen color to it - take care if wearing white or light colored clothing (or anointing your yarn project) as it may stain.

Unfortunately there are no samples available for this perfume or balm as I was only able to create a very limited quantity due to the ingredients.

If you were a lover of my Vaganova, Nymphaea, Tilia's Song, or Ometepe, perfumes, you will quite likely adore Vashti.

I hope that some of you will enjoy wearing this during a spell of crocheting or knitting, too.

Thank you Vashti - for being you. A beacon and role model of magic, hope, beauty, creativity, and wonder for me.


Find your Limited Edition 2014 VASHTI Perfume and cuticle balm set HERE SOON.



Professional photography by Marlaina Donato

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