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  1. #1

    Default Article: High Fibre Fragrances (or How I Discovered Natural Perfume)


  2. #2
    odysseusm's Avatar
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    Very good article. I'm not surprised you find so much to appreciate in Ayala's scents -- they are works of her heart and creative imagination. She is a charming person to meet, her enthusiasm for scents is contagious, and she is a good teacher.

  3. #3

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    Ahhh....it's wonderful to see a Perfume connoisseur venture down the lush path of natural perfumery and experience a new depth and richness truly only available there! Once you immerse yourself in these, you may find yourself unable to enjoy commercial scents without comparing them to naturals, and, at the very least with a new perspective on them. Really, one does not negate the other, but tuning in to the calmer, evolved scents of earths raw materials is very much like growing up...you don't need to parade yourself with a flaunting smack, as your personal pleasure has now been elevated to a richer plane of experience.

  4. #4

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    Excellent dissertation on these natural perfumes! You make them all sound so enticing.

    I agree with your general approach - perfume just has to smell GOOD, and it's wonderful when you discover that natural perfumes are no longer just the stuff of head shops and DIY mixing.

  5. #5

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    Wow, those scents sound wonderful, Espionage, especially. It will probably turn me into James Bond....without the cool accent of course!

  6. #6
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    Great article ! Good to see an article on natural perfumery . Arbitrary sounds wonderful .

  7. #7

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    very nice article. just yesterday I wore Ayala's Palas Atena and I was reminded of how AMAZING her creations are. the whole endeavor is of exceptional quality, from the ingredients to how they are blended. it's like Chicken of the Sea vs. a beautiful fresh red hunk of toro or some other metaphor that would compare "the norm" or what we have come to expect or accept to the ideal of the form. her technique is incredible, it is matched by her creativity, and and she is obviously totally focused on her mission of natural perfumery. Much respect to a woman who has truly carved out her own niche (no pun intended).

  8. #8

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    Ayala has beautiful perfumes that are unique and stunning.
    Thank you Walker, such a fantastic article with spot on descriptions of her scents. I love to see her get the credit she deserves. So many natural perfumers go unoticed, while most create something infinitely more special than that of a factory perfume maker or a celebrity creator cash cow. Ayala is an entrepreneur in the natural perfume world, sharing her knowledge and creations with others. She has such an array of scents that she could meet anyones perfume desire. Ayala knows how to blend natural essenences to bring out this true beauty in the the world. To me there is no perfume if it is not natural and yes I am one of those whole wheat pasta eaters.
    My favorites of Ayala scents for a Women are Gigi~ stunning Gardenia scent that is very calming and centering; Moon Breath~ warm and inviting amber floral; White Potion~ beautifully sexy, creamy white floral; Viola~ eathy and powdery soft floral; Lovender~ wonderful lavender and vanilla; Fete d'Hiver~ scent of warm spices, wassel and a grand christmas tree; Chrisma~ bright sunny jasmine that will make anyone smile; Palas Athena~ warm and sexy scent
    Last edited by angiefunk; 11th May 2010 at 08:30 PM.

  9. #9

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    I haven't had a chance to smell any of Ayala's perfumes yet, but I hope I get a chance! I've read a bit about her perfumes on various natural perfumery websites, and it's great to hear such positive reviews from others! I hope I am lucky enough to win the samples!

  10. #10

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    Such a great article, Walker, thanks for writing it. It reminds me of many of the "encounters" I've had right here with many other BNers - in fact, the entire world of perfumes has as its foundation a sense of sharing and learning, which I've found to be the most important part. I first learned about Ayala's fragrances through the Memory and Desire experiment with Heather Ettlinger (http://www.ayalamoriel.com/index.cfm...e=New_Perfumes), where she created an olfactory version of Ezra Pound's poem In the Metro called Hanami. At that time, my nose was still fairly uneducated so it was a complete shock to me that anything could smell so profoundly affective. Hanami to me is like the strange smell of someone very familiar - although floral, it transitions into something uniquely urban and comfortable. Unfortunately, I haven't yet had the chance to try any of the other creations but you've convinced me to do something about that!

  11. #11
    queen cupcake's Avatar
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    As I am just discovering natural perfumes, I feel lucky to have found your article at this moment. These perfumes sound so much more sophisticated than I have been assuming natural perfumes to be, in general. Thank you for your wonderful and detailed reviews; they really shed light on an area of perfumery I have been considering more and more, lately.

  12. #12

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    Very interesting. I haven't yet tried Ayala's fragrances, but it would be great to have a sniff.

  13. #13

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    I've never even heard of them til now. I hope to be picked. I'd love to have a sniff of them.

  14. #14

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    I like the analogy to organic food. Often times I get the same impression that a 'natural' smelling fragrance has to be deprived of something. I'm glad you found a brand that gives you the full effect of a good smelling fragrance while still being natural.
    One thing I'm curious about is this line: "...as if the savages in the forest have a beautiful secret flower garden they maintain tenderly while taking a break from grunting and fighting." I'm not sure if this is some kind of ironic use of the word "savage" done in a joseph conrad kind of way or not. I mean you could just have used the term 'native'
    Other than that, great article. You should check out black phoenix alchemy lab perfumes if you haven't already. They have some very natural essential oil based fragrances there too.

  15. #15

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    Great article Walker! You give us a good warning to be kind to our noses-sillage and longetivity are not the only determinants of "strength"-our nasal passages do need clean air to appreciate new smells-olfactory fatigue is a very sad experience! Not only does the Ayala Moriel range sound wonderful-the names are great-Espionage, Bon Zai, Lovender, Arbitrary....It's hard to tell from your descriptions alone which fragrance would be most suitable for my wearing-I totally want to sample her perfumes-just haven't done so yet, as the cost of samples is high for me-but eventually I will have a better-paying job, surely. I would love to experience more natural fragrances, and this line seems full of great examples...I'm inclined to think I'll like them, since your analogy about wholemeal pasta to white pasta is especially interesting-since I'm the odd one out who likes the taste of whole grain pasta and bread much more that more refined versions-I don't always feel the same about fragrances, but the more natural ones I try, the more sensitive my nose is to not-so-natural accords and weaknesses of synthetic fragrances.

    Read more: http://www.basenotes.net/content/412...#ixzz0nen4qMGY

  16. #16

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    ooooooo!!! me! me! me!!
    I bought her fragrances for my borther who is allergic to alcohol , or at leasts reacts badly to it for some reason. We both loved espionage and zohar. Her perfumes and additional information on her smellyblog are both fascinating. If it wasnt so far away i would immediately sign up for her perfumers classes. keep up the inspiring work!

  17. #17
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    I have sampled several of Ayala's creations and have marked many of them as fragrances I will get a full bottle of eventually. I would love to win this sample set.

  18. #18

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    I've only had the pleasure of using one natural perfume, but I loved it. I was initially reluctant to try because I assumed the longevity would be very short. Turns out I was right, but the astounding coherence and smoothness of the scent more than made up for it. It would be wonderful to win this set to find out another perfumer's use of natural scents.

  19. #19

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    i haven't tried anything of hers, and now I want to. I hope I get picked.

  20. #20

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    ............
    Last edited by Descartes; 24th January 2012 at 12:00 AM.

  21. #21

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    your whole meal pasta analogy made me laugh (even though I am guilty of eating whole grain pasta multiple times... I love the earthiness of natural perfume. I love 'smells' so with natural and 'not-so natural' perfume, it isn't an either or for me- I want to smell them all!!
    I have been dying to try Ayala's perfumes so would love love to win this giveaway!

  22. #22

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    your whole meal pasta analogy made me laugh (even though I am guilty of eating whole grain pasta multiple times... I love the earthiness of natural perfume. I love 'smells' so with natural and 'not-so natural' perfume, it isn't an either or for me- I want to smell them all!! I have been dying to try Ayala's perfumes so would love love to win this giveaway!

  23. #23
    smeller
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    My knowledge of Ayala Moriel is restricted to her insightful comments in Basenotes and at her blog. I always had the feeling that her opinions have a strong basis, even when I disagreed in a first sight (how pretentious I was). Natural perfumery is a complete novelty to me. The descriptions sound like a true olfactory experience...

  24. #24

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    Beautiful review. I am also a big fan of Ayala's perfumes. The first time I smelled them, I also sat up and paid attention. She is a true artist and skilled at her work. Her Espionage is on my wish list! Would love to win the set....

  25. #25

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    As a fledgling perfumer i LOVE to read about other peoples opinions on natural perfumes...Ayala is a fascination woman...I read her blog religiously & would love to sample her perfumes!

  26. #26

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    I have the good fortune to live in Vancouver and have been planning for months now to visit Ayala's table at Portobello West Market and smell some of these perfumes ... this article has just whetted my appetite once again. I answered the Perfume Consultation questionnaire on her website and her response was most detailed and generous. It would be so delightful to have some samples to play with!!

  27. #27

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    The small perfumer trend toward naturals is a lovely thing indeed, and if anyone can succeed with this, it's Ayala. I am enchanted by the article and amused (as the previous poster) with the mention of whole grain pasta... the point being, when you work with natural ingredients you still have to hit the right note, the right texture. The natural oils running around out there in the market stalls and faire carts aren't always lovely and definitely (more often than not) resemble the scent version of whole-grain pasta... a little too rough to take.

    A sensitive hand and nose is apparent in Ayala's work, so I give this article my Nice! rating. (okay, so this is the first ever appearance of such a rating.)

  28. #28

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    Hmmm. I thought I had commented, but I don't see it! Delete this if it's a duplicate.

    Ayala's work is lovely and she is just as lovely in person. I’ve been fortunate to have sampled many of her scents. My favorites are Song of Songs, Espionage, Bon Zai, Ayalita, Rebellius, Autumn, and Libra.

    Two things stand out:

    1. I never liked florals until I smelled hers. Hers are exactly like how flowers should smell – spicy and earthy and real. So much deeper and more interesting than those inspid synthetic scents!

    2. If the scent doesn't appeal on first sniff, give it a bit to develop. Her scents are complex. Film Noir didn't appeal to me at first, but it became beautifully rich and pleasant after a few minutes. I was surprised at how much I liked it. The concept is interesting, too.

  29. #29

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    I LOVE PASTA. WHOLE GRAIN? YEP. WHITE FLOUR? YEP.

    I love 'em both. And that is the point: For me, if it smells good, it is perfume, and should be respected as such. If I see: "Win a sample set from Ayala Moriel! " Then I must respond. A perfume is made up of many things, some 'natural', some not. And Ayala Moriel is not the only 'natural' nose in the universe. But: her stuff sounds fantastic, and I would love to bury my face in her scents....So, if I win this giveaway, I will be able to do so!

  30. #30

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    This sounds too interesting, I also held (I guess) the authors same view that natural fragrances was just a joke. However, it seems the jokes on me. We will have to wait and see!

  31. #31

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    My favorite perfumes as a teenager were 1000 by Patou and Bal a Versailles by Desprez. I was attracted to these scents, because I had read somewhere that they contained a lot of natural fragrance material, and of course, I loved the smell. These perfumes also didn't give me the sickly, plastic feeling I got with some other perfumes.

    As I had children, I moved more and more towards natural scents or no scents at all. Most everything I use now is unscented; if they are scented they are scented with natural oils. With my interest in aromatherapy and essential oils, my interest in perfumes returned, but this time I wanted something that only used natural fragrance materials, something that was an extension of your own scent, not something that screamed for attention.

    Ayala Moriel is an inspiration to anyone interested in natural perfumes. I've spent many hours pouring over her website trying to imagine what her creations might smell like. I've learned so much from her Smellyblog, too! I love her unassuming style and would love to experience first hand the works of this prolific master.

  32. #32

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    i have never tried her creations, they sound so interesting.

  33. #33

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    I wish I could find retailer who carry “the fruits of you imagination” Ayala…are your natural perfumes available in California? Lots of love! Brett

  34. #34

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    I haven't tried many Ayala's scents, but I've noticed that many natural perfumes have that "natural touch" which is not always positive, but Ayala somehow manage to wrap it so wonderful that everything is in harmony...
    Because of her creativity, I am more interested and motivated to make natural perfumes myself...

  35. #35

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    I'm interested in trying something natural like this, so far everything I own pretty much falls under the 'synthetic' category.

  36. #36

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    Wonderful article. If the fragrances are anywhere near as beautiful as their creator they will be a delight to the winner of this contest.

  37. #37

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    Fantastic article!

    Ayala is a sparkling gem in the world of natural perfumery, I find her work inspirational. Its natural perfumers like Ayala that keep me dabbling at my own blending desk!

  38. #38

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    My life would not be complete without Ayala Moriel perfumes! Cmon, my miniature collection NEEDS them!

  39. #39

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    Nonsense! Wholemeal spaghetti is vastly superior to standard spaghetti.

  40. #40

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    Great article and commentary on these natural works - you have no idea how reassuring it was to read 'it is difficult to care when it smells this good' re. longevity and sillage.

    I also find it ironic that the once 'demure, polite, hippie dippie' realm of naturals is looking more and more like the true 'cutting edge' radical area of development for perfume as the industry smothers itself in regulations against "shock, horror". . . natural ingredients!

    My only experience with 'alternative' perfumery is some of the work from Mr. Dubrano (profumo.it) and, if I understand it right, some of the Aveda stuff - I have a few tiny bottles from a range they had a while back. I would love to try some of Ms. Moriel's work at some point.

  41. #41

    wicozani's Avatar
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    Thank you for the wonderful article! A try of these fragrances has been on my radar for quite some time, but now that desire is greatly intensified!

  42. #42

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    You made the best point with the pasta, as im sure you've heard. I am one of those long haired whatevers, and and now I get the other side, I couldnt for the life of me understand why everyone didnt love whole.wheat pasta. Now if I could just understand those scents, I always get such a picture in my head from descriptions, but to smell the smell myself, so different.

  43. #43
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    I cannot stand whole grain pasta and prefer to eat no pasta at all! This analogy is perfect, since I am not at all sure about all natural perfumes either.

    I loved your description of an urban quest for the right address with a 21-century web 2.0 industrial mail system induced urban happy ending. I thought Ayala was super nice for sending you a sample set and having a giveaway here.

  44. #44

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    Argh, i cant wait, the end of may cant come soon enough!

  45. #45

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    As a natural perfumer in the making, I was very encouraged and creatively inspired by this article. I, too, thought that "natural" equated with smelling like a hippie from the '70s until I smelled some botanical scents for myself. I had the same reaction as some other's here. The depth in them goes way beyond merely "smelling good." They are somehow a connection with the deepest sensuality of life itself. The complexity (in the hands of a skillful perfumer) can, in my opinion, reach heights not obtainable with synthetics. There is something beyond words there. I have read some very good things about Ayala's scents and would love to experience them first hand.

  46. #46

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    I really love her wares. Really beautiful stuff.

  47. #47

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    What an absolute gem of an article! I could imagine every scent you described and it just made me want to bury my nose in those vials exactly as you did before you knew better and gave yourself a sensory overload!

    Just like you, I love the thought that the ingredients list in a fragrance actually came from the materials stated, and not merely conjured up in a flask in a sterile lab. I've only just been recently introduced to Ayala's shop, and alas, have not had the luxury of sniffing any personally yet. I can't wait to get my hands on some samples now, after your wonderful descriptions!

  48. #48

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    Thanks Walker for sharing your story of how you discovered Natural Perfume. The Fragrance Foundation FIFI Awards need Natural Perfumery category; Ayala scent’s would be a top contender and has my vote.

  49. #49

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    Dear Walker,
    Thank you so much for a wonderful article!
    Hopefully I'll get to meet you in person when visit Vancouver next :-)

    Dear Basenoters,
    Thank you so much for the wonderful comments and ongoing support. If it wasn't for you I would have never been able to be where I'm at now - this forum has always been so much fun with your fresh (mostly) male perspective on the world of fragrance. And you've always been very kind to me.

    I just wanted to clarify something about the giveaway - it's not a sample set, it's a coffret of 8 miniatures (4ml each) of the scents that Walker experienced and wrote about here. They come in an adorable little rectangular splash bottle and easy to carry around. Epice Sauvage might be a good choice if you are worried about running into a savage bear in the forest (just splash it in their face and run for your life ;-).

  50. #50

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    P.s. I'm sure you won't be shocked to learn that I love whole wheat pasta ;-)
    Last edited by Ayala; 12th May 2010 at 08:45 PM. Reason: duplicate

  51. #51

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    I've already ordered some samples but a whole set would be fantastic!

  52. #52
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    Default Re: High Fibre Fragrances (or How I Discovered Natural Perfume)

    I don't eat grains at all, so no pasta... But I do like perfumes.

    It's wonderful that natural perfumery is getting more attention as a viable alternative!

  53. #53

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    Thanks for the detailed descriptions. Clearly I need to rethink natural perfumes.

  54. #54
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    Really love the description of all the frags, I'd really love to try Vetiver Racinettes, and then the rest of the line. Hope I can win this one.

  55. #55

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    Walker, thank you for the terrific article. I haven't smelled any of Ayala's perfumes in person, but I have been to her website and dreamed of the way they smell. Your descriptions and impressions help me to 'see' how each fragrance lives - starts, finishes, fades....

  56. #56

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    Thank you for the lovely article.

  57. #57
    mitochondrialeve
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    Wow, I learned something! Thank you.

  58. #58

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    These are scents whose descriptions and lists of ingredients I would enjoy sampling. I respect, even from a distance, people (in this case, Ayala) who obviously take pleasure and care in their work.

  59. #59

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    These scents sound very intriguing, I'd like a chance to try them out!

  60. #60

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    Wonderful, wonderful read....

    I totally agree with your reviews of Arbitrary and Bon Zai. I'm wearing Arbitrary right now as a matter of fact.

    I'm a fan of Ayala Sender's perfumes, and this article reminded me that it's time to try a few more. Maybe I'll get lucky and win this sample package...

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