Archive for the news Category

not perfuming, painting!

Posted in news with tags , on July 6, 2008 by scentedwench

Gah, the painting bug has caught me but good. I wasn’t supposed to, but I pulled out a 16×20 inch canvas yesterday and set to it, in the kitchen. I wasn’t going to do this for another two or three weeks.

While cooking a pot of chicken soup with sweet onions and garlic, and listening to NPR. Lucy watched the whole thing, sitting behind me on the chair at the table, sitting on the floor looking up, looking wistfully at the stove (okay, she was there for the chicken soup… but she was good company).

Now, I don’t consider myself an artist; just a jill of all trades who often gets it right.

And I’m not really a surrealist, or cubist or realist or any of the ‘ists’, so much as I just work at something until I think it’s cooked enough, and then call it done. I do abstract and elaborate on doodles mostly, and sometimes symbolism makes its way into that.

Yesterday it was acrylics, and based around circles that I drew on the canvas with the aid of a drinking glass and a pencil.

We’re heading to Utrecht in awhile to get some more canvases. This is my first go w/ canvas. They had some on closeout when I got a hankering to go there last month, and came home with a beginner set of brushes, a set of primary color paints, and some circular mixing palettes.

I’ll snap a photo when it’s done.

(Part of why we went to the art supply store in the first place was to get materials to make art for our walls, which are still completely unadorned. And a a couple of “Shoot, I could do that”-types… )


can you sign the petition, please?

Posted in FDA, news, Uncategorized with tags on June 26, 2008 by scentedwench

If you haven’t already.

I posted about the FDA Globalization Act of 2008 previously.

Here’s your chance to get active, eh.

In a nutshell, the current draft of the Act spells business closures for most small businesses who move under a certain volume, annually. It is in essence an income stream for an agency that has proven time and again to not serve the public interest, to not protect the consumer, and to be in big pharma’s back pocket. The Act is about monopoly. In this case, the companies that small businesses like myself laughingly refer to as “the Big Boys” will wind up being the winners.

Anyway, Donna Maria runs an org I belong to, the Indie Beauty Network. And she put a petition up on the blog for the org. She used to be a corporate attorney, but is now in the business of helping small businesses get ahead and stay ahead, and just follow their bliss and live creative lives that are lucrative.

If you’re so inclined, I’d strongly suggest you sign the petition. And if you blog as well, and think it’d be a good exercise to post about the topic there, go ahead and permalink her blog link. She’s got a video up that addresses the Act as well, and is hoping to get 100,000 signatures (you are welcomed to embed and link to the video from your site; I cannot figure out how to do this at the moment, so I’ve only got the petition URL linked right now).

Link and petition, here.

Thanks for reading.

Hekate is back!

Posted in mandrake apothecary, natural perfumery, news with tags , , on May 8, 2008 by scentedwench

It’s been on the list of ‘things to do’ for a couple months, but Hekate is finally back in the lineup alongside Demeter.

I’m hoping to add an additional unguent or eau de parfum with blue lotus as a primary note in coming months. I particularly like what it does with rose and spikenard in Hekate.

woohoo! new site and logo…

Posted in mandrake apothecary, news with tags , on May 4, 2008 by scentedwench

I had to learn DreamWeaver by the seat of my pants last week, and managed to completely rebuild my site. It is in some semblance of ‘final’ right now.

And I redid my logo; it actually has a mandrake root in it now 😉

Mandrake Apothecary is carbon-balanced!

Posted in carbon balanced, mandrake apothecary, news, TerraPass with tags , , on May 4, 2008 by scentedwench

A couple weeks ago, I signed on with Terrapass in order to balance out the carbon ye olde Mandrake generates. It was not easy figuring out how much we generate, and I think this is something that makes it hard to take people seriously when they say they’re carbon-balanced or carbon neutral, or whatever.

In the end, I calculated the carbon for what me and the BF and cats generate passive (electricty and gas useage in our abode), what is generated when BF commutes to work in his tiny buttless wonder car (I commute by bike, so…), when he gives me a ride to the PO, if we go buy groceries, etc. And then I added a ton of delivery truck, trucking fleet, and airline travel (not to mention commuting by bus/train) in some attempt to offset the distance that my aromatics travel to me, then the distance they travel via USPS, or pack turtle, or slow boat to China, et al. Shockingly, it still was not much carbon.

Of course, I’m relieved.

In coming months, we’re going to be outfitting ourselves with solar in order to power all our appliances with the sun.

So far, I think that Mandrake Apothecary is the only carbon-balanced perfumery in the US, maybe the world? I’m not sure.

But I’m very very excited!

Hemera, the last of the summer flowers

Posted in mandrake apothecary, natural perfumery, news, perfume on October 10, 2007 by scentedwench

Hemera is the primordial goddess of the day, and Nyx (primordial goddess of night) is her mother.

Her perfume is built around a heart accord of tuberose and violet leaf, bolstered by ambrette seed, and exalted by neroli and petitgrain.  This scent is reminiscent of the sensory overload that is the overgrown and wild summer flower garden, once summer has peaked and the nights are starting to regain that chill they have much of the year.

Hemera is part of our general lineup, and is based in crystal clear biodynamic alcohol.  This perfume began as a torrid blend of florals carried out last winter, which was confined to a bottle for aging several months, before some re-blending and more aging.

Like Nyx (also part of the general lineup), this perfume contains a goodly amount of tuberose absolute.  Tuberose is one of those overwhelming essences that has native peculiarities which can be teased out with accessory notes from other essences.  In Hemera’s case, the grassy green tone (which can otherwise be sensed high up in the nose) is brought to the fore, where it evokes grassy green overgrown hedges in the sun.  The violet leaf, which is green and rather dewy like cucumbers, teases out the green which lies dormant in the flower.

Demeter and Hekate, new unguents!

Posted in cats, charitable donations, mandrake apothecary, natural perfumery, news, perfume on June 18, 2007 by scentedwench

I am offering up jojoba-based unguents this month, Demeter and Hekate. They are available for $25 (5 ml green glass bottle), or as a pair for $45. It is a limited run of 20 bottles of each, and I may produce them regularly, depending on the feedback I get.

Demeter is a meditation on amber, resin, chocolate, coffee, and jasmine. There is also musk ambrette as an underlying base, which marries the above with one’s skin scent. I was looking to celebrate the sweetness and the deepness of life. Demeter is one of those deities who resides in the Olympian pantheon as well as with the Earthly and even Underworldly. So, we’ve got earthy richness, as well as dizzying narcotic sweetness.

Hekate is an adventure into meditation and transcendence, from within a deep place in the earth. She predates Greek myth and when she was written into the pantheon she had many guises. Before she became known as the Queen of Ghosts and a deity of sorcery, she was a deity of the Underworld. Prior to that she was a goddess who presided over births, and a guardian of thresholds and doorways. Ah, domesticity! We see mention of Hekate dating back to prehistoric Anatolia, which, depending on your stance on prehistoric gynocentric culture’s existence, was possibly a civilization of Goddess-worshippers.

Hekate’s unguent draws from many places, geographically, and I chose to play up her sorceress and earthy traits. All witches have familiars, if you want to go stereotypical, and what better familiar to invoke than Bastet, eh. The cat goddess of Egypt was also the patroness of perfumery. Her aromatic in this unguent is the blue lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), an ethereal flower which glows with an underworldly fire. Then we look to Turkish rose, to bring Anatolia into the composition. Clary sage brings in a meditational element. Amber spikenard brings the peaks and airlessness of the Himalayas to the scent, and we cannot forget about spikenard and Mary Magdalene. Henna attar brings India’s vibrant aromatic culture to the heart and base.

Proceeds of sales go to Alley Cat Allies.

Cats have saved civilization a few times, if you think about it. They protect Demeter’s grains from rodents. They killed the vermin carrying Bubonic plague. And hey, I happen to like having two familiars 🙂 There is nothing like having a pussycat napping under the lavender when I’m out weeding my garden. She’s watching over me, of course, in between snores, and keeping me company. And then I have the one who likes to snooze nearby when I’m formulating new blends at my workbench.