the scents

Inspirations come all the time. Some go. Some stick around. The Avalonian Field is vast and has runners and strands that show up wherever you look. And where you don’t look. It leads to Pre-Raphaelites, Rackham, England, Wales and my Garden. These are images I love and find inspiring, relevant, funny, amazing and enchanting. Find something you like? Send me an email.

A Little Help?

Ever feel like your Imram has been interrupted and you are somehow lost on the sea? How did you get there? What are you going to do now?

Sea spray, earth and lavender.

 

 

Applewood

Rackham’s Apple Maiden. Don’t you hate it when your shirt falls off when you’re picking apples?.

Apple and cedarwood. *natural ingredients

 

Baby Mine

I don’t have any babies. I’ve never wanted any. I think they smell funny. So I imagine that they smell like sweet roses and rosy berries. More from Burne-Jones’ Chaucer woodcuts.

Roses, black currants, vanilla and water.

Blossom

In the apple orchard of Avalon. A’bloom. The tall grass was wet, there was dew on everything, It was an Imram come true.

Fantastical spring garden.

 

Blown

Rackham’s Fairy painting called “Leaves.” I’ve been to Kensington Park in the early Summer, all green and dewy. I imagine the autumn, falling leaves, chilly wind smelling of something that makes you happy to be sad.

Fallen leaves, wind and smoke.

Burne-Jones Painted Here

For three years, Burne-Jones lived in this house on Kensington Square. I’ve imagined him painting in the room behind the dormer windows. There is an ancient wistaria vine grown over and around the gate to the front walk.

Wistaria, wood, sunny linen.

Casino

On Catalina Island, the town is called Avalon. The name was suggested by a woman in the family of moguls who built the town. All I’ve been able to find out is that she loved Tennyson and found Avalon to be an apt name for the new town on the magical island. I will find out more about her – my fantasy is she travelled to Glastonbury and met Alice Buckton. The Casino is a huge round dance hall and movie theatre.

Sea spray, eucalyptus, and pine rosin.

Companions

Every girl goes through a horse phase. Some girls never get over it. Who is your familiar? Does she eat hay? Roll in it? Sit on it? My Blanche ate a considerable portion of two houses. Bodie likes her hay and the occasional electrical cord. The Hat eats the hay sometimes, then he pukes. Why do we tolerate this behavior?

Sweetgrass, moss and earth.

Cornish Grail

After a day climbing up and down at Tintagel, a lovely walk out Rocky Valley – past the Labryinth carvings, ruins of a Victorian Mill and spectacular views of the Sea and back – I fell into the valley stream during an attempt to dip my new Labryinth medallion in the water. We drove out of the Tintagel area and followed a sign on the side of the road advertising Cream Tea. It was tea-time and I was freezing and soaked. The delicious treats in a homey garden made everything better.

Black tea, strawberry and cream.

Diana

Rackham’s painting of The Serpentine in Kensington Garden. The Princess Diana Memorial Watercourse is nearby. I’m mawkish, I suppose, but I really did like her and followed her story. It’s a story you’d never believe if it were presented as fiction.

Water, grass and a pile of flowers outside a palace.

Doorway Dragon’s Bane

From Rackham’s paintings depicting Wagner’s Ring. You’ve conquered the cranky beast. Your sword is a little bloody, but, hey, you keep a shovel in the trunk of your chairot. Lori, who loves you, baby?

Smoky vetiver, espresso, incense.

Femi-Nazi Fructis

Rackham’s Cordelia – all braids and knots. Studying the story of Llyr connects to Shakespeare’s Lear. If the stories of Cordelia and her sisters were to be re-imagined by a woman, I’d SO read it. Another scent name suggested by Lori, a warrior in her own right. (And in case you don’t get it – Nazi reference is satirical. D’oh!)

Pear, basil, mud and rocks.

Fix

Rackham’s “Fair Helena” looks like she’s got you in her sights. Or that she needs a fix of something. She’s running around in the woods like a maniac, pestered by fairies, bothered by men, losing her clothes. We’ve all been there.

Coffee. Oh My God. Coffee. With Cream.

Flotsam

I’ve spent some of the favorite parts of my life on a beach. Usually the Puget Sound or the Pacific. This photo is from the tiny town of Towyn. It lies at the mouth of the Dysini river on the central coast of Wales. I love to go out on a falling tide, to see what She’s left us.

Sweetly teak, warm resinous, ocean and sky.

Flow

Rackham’s mad Rhinemaidens leaping up and out of the water. There are monsters in this painting, but I don’t like monsters, so I cropped them. With such a morbid and hysterical imagination, I don’t need more darkness.

Sunny, powdery, tangy happiness.

Grail Maiden

So, I ask my Sisters to Name This. It speaks of Possibility and Sacred Soverignty. (Woodcut by Florence Harrison from Tennyson’s Guinevere and Other Poems.)

Sandalwood, frankincense and myrrh. It is sweet and powdery and resinous.

Grip

Rackham’s Brunhilde getting a grip on the mane of her steed. How many times have I told myself to get a grip? Have you? So, put on that breast-plate and horned hat and get up off your ass.

Woods, herbs, smoke and air.

The Idea of Amber

From across the ages, Amber brings us a moment when the temperature was just so. Almost liquid. Forever. Remember seeing the Amber beads from Bedd Branwen, knowing they hold the energy still? Lyra calls it Electrum, the Boy calls it Amber. Ambaric. Electric.

Ahhhh… Amber.

Isadora Danced Here

Across Kensington Square from Burne-Jones lived the famed actress, Mrs. Patrick Campbell. One night she heard a commotion down on the lawn of the park. She found Isadora Duncan and her brother dancing on the grass. They had nowhere to stay and enchanted, Mrs. Campbell took them in for a command performance. How’s that for a way to be discovered?

Tulips, grass, flowers and water.

Mmm…

Burne-Jones made beautiful woodcuts for William Morris’ “Kelmscott Chaucer.” Someday I will own a facsimile – oh, yes, I will. I don’t know what this woman is sniffing, but let’s imagine it’s something insanely delicious.

Mad rich vanilla and valencia orange.

Over

This is a detail from the background of one of Rackham’s paintings from The Ring. That cliff is awfully compelling. There are times in a woman’s life when the only choice is to jump off that metaphorical cliff.

Pine, ozone, stone.

Rosa

This beautiful climbing rose creates a cascade of beautiful over the door to my studio. Real rose scent material is out of the PSdA budget. So, this is a “rosey” blend of essential oils.

Rosewood and rose geranium. *essential oils only

Scrumpy

One of the Manifestations of the Grail as experienced by Avalonian Pilgrims Plus One. Cor!

Cidery, sweet, a little boozy.

 

Surge

Oh those Rackham Rhinemaidens – so darned crazy. Boy crazy? Rhinemaidens who love too much? Read up on fragrance an the galvanic skin response of the human male. Terrifying, really, and so darned funny.

Lavender, pumpkin, spice.

Tea at the Orangerie

When you go to London, go to Kensington Park. It’s huge. You want to keep exploring, so you need treats. I had tea at the tea garden in the beautiful Orangerie. Queen Victoria needed her citrus and housed it in grand style.

Black tea, orange, ginger and cucumber.

Towel!

What is it with me and those Rackham Rhinemaidens? I could be a Rhinemaiden, I’m part Norse. I used to love to swim but now, not so much. Even a Rhinemaiden needs to get out of the river.

Very clean, citrusy, soapy scent.

Twilight

More Rackham fairy painting. Glowing and blue and dusky purple. The way she’s holding up her skirt is not as graceful as it might me. I think she’s just trying to keep the fairies from treading on it.

Sandalwood, ozone, grass, mud.

Victorian Ruin

On the beautiful Rocky Valley trail, near the beginning, near the Labyrinth carvings there are the ruins of a Victorian mill. Crumbling, sagging, mossy and vine-bedizened. Kind of like how I feel a lot of the time.

Moss, woods, dry roses and earth.