Love Cherish Adore


We are proud to be a small part of an exciting new publication which was released this week - Love Cherish Adore. The new publication is aimed at those lucky folk planning their wedding and has been put together by an enthusiastic team led by the lovely Susie, and, importantly, has a focus on South Australian makers, service providers and venues.

Our Arcadia eau de cologne features on a very attractive layout with a range of gift ideas for grooms and the guys in a wedding party.  Thank you Love Cherish Adore for having us onboard for your first magazine and we wish you all the best for the second edition, to be released in autumn.

What on Earth have you been doing?

Drinking tea and eating crumpets!

It might look like it, but it has not been a quiet time here at Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez! I am not the most organized person, so all of my ideas and plans always take a lot longer to come to fruition than those of...EVERYONE else!

So what have I been doing? I've been re-formulating our lipbalms, organising new signage, (by the talented Magic Jelly, of course!) tweaking some of our recipes and making a ton of soap. We have some big markets coming up in August, which I'm really looking forward to. I miss the face to face contact with customers and those chances to show people our products up close. There will be more on the above over the next month or two.

We have introduced a couple of new retailers too. Welcome to the lovely folk at The V-Spot (an online vegan beauty and fashion retailer) and Style House Designs in Aldgate. 

But of course, I have ensured that I have time to relax and think. While doing all this relaxing and thinking, I've been drinking Prince of Wales tea from Leaf Tea, a small (and cute) supplier in Geelong. I haven't had Prince of Wales for ages - I used to drink it a lot in the 80s, before everyone was born. Also purchased in Geelong, a copy of Chandler Burr's 'The Emperor of Scent'. I haven't had a chance to start that yet, but I'm looking forward to getting into it. 

We are also in the midst of some major renovations at chez Shanghai and you'll be shocked to hear that this is stressful! But boohoo me, once it's over, I'll have plenty of space for my supplies and products! Also, more room for tea paraphernalia, books and things.

So, big things are coming for us at Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez, and we're getting ready for it, fueled by tea!


Fontaine de Violette

Introducing our new scent

It has been some time in the making, but I am very happy with the results! Fontaine de Violette is our new fragrance, just released in time for autumn. 

The violet is one of my favourite plants. I say 'plant' and not 'flower' because it is the whole kit and caboodle with the violet! Anyone familiar with the way a violet grows will know how it scents the space around it, even when not in flower. The leaves and roots have a deep, earthy green scent, mixed with a hint of its flower's scent and it is this beautiful combination that I have tried to capture with Fontaine de Violette.

The opening notes are tangy, green citrus, on the dry rather than sweet side. The scent of cut grass and crushed leaves is blended with cucumber notes, which provides a velvety pillow for the floral highlights - iris and violet. Violet is sweet by nature, but I don't find this cloying, it's as fresh as a walk in the woods!

Fontaine de Violette will be available to try and buy at Gathered on Saturday, 30 April and Sunday, 1 May, between 10 and 4. Gathered is in the old Queen's Theatre, Playhouse Lane, off Light Square, Adelaide.  Tester cards will be available in the near future.

The lovely label is by Magic Jelly.  I hope you love it as much as I do!

Autumn Revelry

A Weekend of Making and Dreaming

There has been a lot going on at chez Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez in the last month, so it has been a pleasure having a long leisurely weekend, catching up with friends, doing a bit of reading, a bit of gardening and a bit of making.

Autumn is probably my favourite time of year, though by the end of winter, I'm probably saying the same thing about spring. Now the sting of the heat has gone, but there is still warmth in the air and soil, everything seems to rush forth in a last burst of growth before settling down for the winter.

I have been replenishing my stock of perfume this weekend. I'm very happy to say that my perfumes have been quite popular recently and so there is a lot to catch up on. I now have a new batch of Sleepy Lagoon, Nightshade and Arcadia brewing and these will be ready for our next market, Gathered, at the end of April.

Also, I will finally be able to release our new scent - Fontaine de Violette. I have written about this new scent previously, and I am so happy with it! I can't wait to share it. To give you a bit of a mood for Fontaine de Violette, here's something which I used to love to read in my younger days, which reminds me of this time of year, is dreamy and best of all, is a pleasure to read out as it trips along your tongue so smoothly - the whole poem is perfect:

'From the meadow your walks have left so sweet
That whenever a March-wind sighs
He sets the jewel print of your feet
In violets as blue as your eyes,
To the woody hollows in which we meet
And the valleys of Paradise.'

From Come into the Garden, Maud - Alfred Lord Tennyson

I'm also reading Daniel Chamovitz's "What A Plant Knows - a field guide to the senses".  Naturally, it's a fascinating read and I love the chapter on "What a Plant Smells"! If you've ever wondered why an avocado ripens when next to a banana, here is the answer - and it might surprise you! It's an easy read, but one which makes you think.

Well, I hope you're enjoying a lazy long weekend like I am!

Postage Costs

How much fun can you cram into one box?

I love shopping online. I have time to consider my purchase, I can stalk a number of retailers to make comparisons and I can do all this while wearing my pyjamas!  I don't mind paying for postage as the cost is usually about the same as a return train trip or a carpark in town. Some retailers offer different price points for postage, so I like to know what I can buy to stay within a particular price point. 

So, with that in mind, I'm going to explain something about our postage and what you can get for your money.

We have two postal rates on offer, $10 for up to 500g, and $12.50 for anything above.  To give you an idea of what can fit into a 500g box, here are a couple of options:

Two soaps, two lip balms, two solid perfumes and a face serum.

Two soaps, two lip balms, two solid perfumes and a face serum.

A soap, a face mist, a serum, two lip balms and two solid perfumes.

A soap, a face mist, a serum, two lip balms and two solid perfumes.

These are only examples, of course. You can select any number of items from our store. The postage is all calculated by weight not value, so if you happen to want 18 lip balms, these will fit easily into the smaller box. Of course, if you exceed 500g, the price goes to $12.50, but you can buy whatever you like!

Works in Progress

New Scents Coming Soon

Now that the Christmas frenzy has eased, I have time to relax and reflect.  It has been a very busy year for Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez with a number of new products, wholesale orders and more markets.  Hopefully, we will continue to grow in 2016.

This relaxing time also means I can plan and prepare.  I have a number of new products lined up including a perfume or two, an eau de cologne, some scents for the home and new lip balm flavours! 

One of the new perfumes has reached a point where I think it might be ready soon.  I have been experimenting with a violet based scent for some time, but violet is a difficult scent to contain (for me, anyway!) and I haven't been overly happy with the samples I have made. The latest sample is a blend of cool, green notes, sharp citrus and violet.  While it is yet to really settle (it takes about 4 weeks to really settle down), I can report that the sample starts out with notes of unripened citrus and black tea; as it develops, the florals come out, the green violet and soft hyacinth notes. On dry-down, the violet remains but it is lying in a bed of freshly cut grass. The opening is the only thing I'd like to play around with a bit more, but it probably needs to mellow out a bit. Fingers crossed!

I hope also to release a couple of linen sprays for the home. Linen spray has been the most requested product recently so I am excited to have these products to offer. Given the cost of bed linen, I am keen to ensure the product does not 'leave its mark'. I have seen some linen sprays using quite a bit of essential oil and I just wonder about the oil content and the effect that might have on, in particular, pale linen. Also, I'm not personally fond of strong scents around the house. I prefer scents to be subtle and to be stumbled upon here and there as a pleasant surprise rather than have my senses swamped. So, our linen sprays will be delicate, natural (of course!) and beautifully packaged. I can't wait to show you!

A Commission of Fun

Custom Soap Samples

I have nearly completed a recent commission for soap samples using our coloured ribbons and custom labels.  I love seeming them all lined up and couldn't resist taking a pic of their progress.

I am flexible about what the client wants on the label, including the client's name (for parties, weddings and so on) or logos (for promotional give-aways).  On the rear, I have a label which describes the soap and includes the ingredients.  I think they make very attractive gifts, I'm pleased how they have turned out.

These little envelopes contain a sample-sized Odalisque soap. The room is now filled with the scent of rose geranium and may chang!  I hope the lucky recipients enjoy the gifts as much as I did making them! If you have any queries about custom products, please let me know and we can discuss what options might suit your requirements.

All Natural, Vegan Lip Balms


As the maker at Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez, I pride myself on a number of key attributes at the heart of our range and believe that our products should always be:

  • all natural - that is, made from natural ingredients such as plant-based oils (I choose not to use synthetic ingredients and I never use petroleum based ingredients of course!)
  • vegan - no goat's milk, honey, beeswax or other animal ingredients, and not tested on animals (neither the ingredients or the final product)
  • ethical - this is a broad one but, as an example, I don't use palm oil (if Greenpeace isn't satisfied the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil is working, then I prefer to avoid using palm oil)
  • hand-crafted - that is, I research and develop each one of our products from scratch and I don't use pre-made mixes. It makes my progress slow, but I know what goes into each product and in what proportions.  It is what makes our products unique
  • South Australian - that's right, made right here in sunny Adelaide
  • beautiful - using products with the above attributes can be one of those small pleasures of life. Knowing you have a product which is made from natural ingredients, which is good for your skin and on top of that is packaged beautifully is a small treat.

This leads me to announce, with great pleasure, the release of our range of all natural, vegan lip balms! Some time in the making, I can now show you what they look like, the flavours (natural and organic flavours!) and, as you can see, the wonderful packaging!

I have been working closely with Karena from Magic Jelly, a local artist illustrator and friend of 32 years (!), on the labels for the range of lip balms.  Karena's talent for creating beautiful, nostalgic and original designs has, since the beginning of Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez, been the guiding light for our brand. With this range of lip balms, Karena has done it again and created the exact feel I wanted and more - a swoonworthy mix of old world charm and smart modernity. And look at those colours!  Thank you, again, Karena!

So, the lip balms come in 8 flavours which I have carefully blended to give you a unique and appealing experience:

  • Raspberry Royale - black raspberry and violet
  • Caramelised Fig - fig and caramel
  • French Pear - pear and vanilla
  • Candied Violets - violet and vanilla
  • Persian Rose - rose and pomegranate
  • Raspberry Mousse - black raspberry and white chocolate
  • Jersey Caramel - caramel and cream
  • Rose Creme - rose and white chocolate

Each lip balm is made from a luscious blend of oils and butters including cocoa butter, apricot kernel oil, coconut oil, raspberry seed oil (which offers some sun protection) and jojoba. They are lightly sweetened with a natural, plant-based sweetener and flavoured with a hand-mixed blend of natural, organic flavours. You will be hard pressed to find a more natural lip balm on the market!

I will have the lip balms listed in the shop over the next week or so. Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez will also be at the Pure Veg Food and Wine Fair on Saturday, 12 September and the Playhouse Lane Market on Saturday, 19 September.  The lip balms are available for $8.50.