Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Equinox, An Offering To A Goddess And a Green Witch

The Spring Equnix is a time of renewal and hope. In my part of the world there are tiny buds on the trees, first leaves and stems of the daffodils and tulips, and even my underachiever dwarf lilacs that we brought with us from the old house are showing signs of life. Just like in ancient times, we wish for a beautiful and bountiful season (or at least that the local bunnies and groundhogs stay away from our broccoli).

To celebrate the season, Roxana Villa of Roxana Illuminated Perfume has created her own expression of gratitude and hope- a perfume dedicated to Tethys, the Titan goddess who was considered the source of fresh water, the nourisher of the earth and later the sea personified. It's called GreenWitch and inspired by a Susan Cooper book under the same name.

In my own wild imagination, I see all the natural perfumers as green witches and wizards- the kind and earthy type, not the Margaret Hamilton lookalikes. They create magical potions from real materials that come from the earth and sea and connect us to times of authentic beauty. Roxana's choice to base her GreenWitch on the traditional chypre formula is especially fitting and poignant in light of the industry's rejection of oakmoss, among other raw ingredients.

GreenWitch is, indeed, a chypre. It is as green as they come with immeasurable depth and richness. It starts with a sharp bite and a jagged edge that lets you know we're talking botanicals here- none of the mellow stuff you'd find in a mainstream perfume. There are  several additional accords taking it to hidden places- a dirty animalic and a sea green thing that I personally don't fully pick as a note but more as a general tangy feel. And it's green, green, green. I've been wearing it every day since I got the sample and have found that the perfume comes fully into life when I'm outside. It doesn't bloom as much inside the house, but once I'm in the fresh spring air I can smell the full body and impact of the strong base. The lasting power, by the way, is phenomenal.

It has also made me realize how much I miss oakmoss in new perfumes. I love my vintage treasures, but like a true perfume addict I always crave more, and GreenWitch is exactly what I want. My personal hope for the upcoming perfume season is to see a change- a return to artful expression, scents with a spine, character and a story that wasn't composed by a marketing intern.

What do you wish to see in new perfumes? Please share your thoughts and visit the other participating bloggers for their own equinox and GreenWitch impressions:

Perfume Posse (review by Tom from PST)
Bitter Grace Notes (review by Ida Meister)
Scent Hive
The Windsphere Witch
Perfume Shrine
Portland Examiner
Illuminated Perfume Journal

GreenWitch by Roxana Illuminated Perfume ($150, 1/4 oz perfume extract) is available now from Roxana Villa's Etsy store. A portion of each sale of this perfume will go to Greenpeace. I received a sample directly from Roxana.

Photo: A Temple to Tethys by Decrepit Telephone on Flickr.


  1. Gorgeous review Gaia! Along with the chypre notes, I got a real beachy/floral experience from GreenWitch. It's so interesting to read everyone's impressions.

    Have a Joyous Spring Equinox!

  2. Glorious opening image dear Gaia! Indeed, there is a bit of the green witch in all natural perfumers, so very true. Thank you for your delicious words and contributing to the circle.

  3. What a pleasure !

    I found that Green Witch went from chypre to fougere very quickly, on my skin.

    No less a delight for the change

    Happy Spring !

  4. Gaia, I see we are once again "Scent twins" with GreenWitch! It's amazingly complex and long-lasting, and I just can't get enough of that green! Wonderful review!

  5. "I see all the natural perfumers as green witches and wizards- the kind and earthy type, not the Margaret Hamilton lookalikes": Some lines are just precious (and priceless and so true)
    I just hope you and your brocolli will enjoy a lovely spring ahead! :-)

  6. I knew you'd love this one. I'm thinking that some of my Tax Refund might have to go towards a bottle of this...

  7. Gaia,
    Such a lovely review of an exquisite new fragrance. I too agree that the natural perfumers are all green witches....they are able to weave such extraordinarily fragrant spells.

    I hope that you have a wonderful first day of spring!


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