The Autumnal Equinox Meán Fómhair is upon us, a time to deeply breath in this sacred moment as we begin our preparations for the impending darkness of the seasonal year. On this blessed day I would like to introduce you to my new fragrance Chiaroscuro, first introduced as a sketch last September titled Jasmine Noir.
~ A snippet from a poem by Constantine P. Cavafy
This fragrance is based on a formula created in 1997 during a perfume class with John Steele in Malibu. That particular perfume contained jasmine, patchouli, spikenard, vanilla, sandalwood, nutmeg, blood orange, mandarin and gingergrass. These basic building blocks were the meager beginnings of Chiaroscuro, which now in the liquid form contains more than thirty different botanical essences, including my precious Mysore sandalwood obtained over ten years ago.
The name for the fragrance was supplied by devoted fan and patron Princess Ellie. Chiaroscuro has its origins in the world of painting. The term comes from Italy, referring to the tonal contrasts suggesting volume and modelling of the subjects depicted. The literal translation of the word is light-dark.1 Pricess Ellie suggested this word because she, as well as other fans, noticed a light and dark aspect to the perfume.
The color harmony for Chiaroscuro is a deep violet. The pouch for the solid and liquid, created by Martha of TwoKnit, mimics the shape of jasmine flowers.
Today marks the cross road when we transcend from the light and warmth of Summer into the cooler clime and darkness of the new cycle, Chiaroscuro represents the balance of the two seasons. The fragrance is imbued with a bouquet of tinctured jasmine sambac blossoms I have gently gathered and extracted all Summer long. As mentioned above the palette of botanical essences: essential oils, absolutes, c02 extracts and tinctures is vast.
This fragrance is depicted in two parts, the liquid perfume represents the dark/scuro aspect while the solid is the light/chiaro side. As a set Chiaroscuro is a voluptuous and sensual fragrance, sweet and dark, naughty and nice. The sweetness of the jasmine is amplified by lemon myrtle, citron, pepper, gingergrass and ginger contrasted against patchouli, jatamansi (spikenard) and oud. The liquid aspect Scuro, is very dark and dirty while the solid Chiaro is sweet and floral.
This is a fragrance for those who love oriental amber perfumes, jasmine and patchouli. If you pay attention to the evolution on your skin, you are in for a wonderous adventure. Chiaroscuro is a shape shifter, she is both the beauty and the beast from mythical heroic stories. She is the spell caster, anoint and envision what you want to manifest for the next season. Enjoy! A very blessed Autumn or Spring Equinox depending where you are on Mother Earth.
Chiaroscuro is available at the E-shop as both a liquid and solid fragrance.
Illumination by Greg Spalenka
Beauty and the Beast, by Anne Anderson
Photography Roxana Villa