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!

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!