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!


Heady and exotic

I love making perfume, it's something that brings me a lot of peace.  I experiment as much as I can with the natural essential oils that I have and every now and then I come across a blend which I think is successful.

Of course, it is all subjective, what is strange and compelling to me might be repellant to another, but I don't mind that.

When I put together the Nightshade blend, I knew instantly that this was one of the successful ones.  It smoothly combined a number of elements, elevated the scents I wanted to feature and produced an evocative perfume that I'm proud to have made.

Not for everyone, Nightshade is heady.  It's a late summer's night in Acapulco, a midnight tryst in a winter hothouse or it's the lingering memory of the first time you saw your love.  Nightshade is blended to highlight that most beautiful and exotic of scents, tuberose, with a supporting caste of cocoa and black pepper.  

Nightshade takes its place with One Fine Summer and Sleepy Lagoon in the current range of Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez's all-natural, vegan eau de parfums.  


A new perfume by Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez

I am pleased to release a new fragrance, Nightshade, which will debut at That Dapper Market this coming Saturday.  Nightshade is a beautifully rich and mysterious blend of essential oils, absolutes and resins but the shining stars in this all-natural, vegan fragrance are cocoa and tuberose.  It is heady and would be described as an 'oriental' with a fine sillage and good staying power.  Just in time for winter.

It is always difficult to describe a fragrance, but I can tell you my thoughts on this one.   The floral notes are intense and suggest hot-house rather than meadow.  It is tropical, but out of season, like an orchid delivered in a white box full of tissue in the dead of winter.  It is other-worldly - a visitor from far away, sophisticated and alluring.  The cocoa and the resins underlying the floral notes bring warmth and softness, which is the reason why I think Nightshade is more of a cooler season fragrance than one for a summer release.

Come and sample Nightshade at That Dapper Market and say hello!