The last basket of the DETOX CSH program…

Community Supported Herbalism

DETOX Spring Basket Program

Prepared by Amber Friedman

DETOX time is a great time to strengthen up your heart and healing from emotional trauma of everyday life.  We spent the past 2 months detoxing our liver, gallbladder, awakening stagnant energy in our bodies. Now the final part of the series is to bring in the love and detox from painful emotions stuck inside of us. This month you will find products that boast roses! Local roses and roses from other countries, alongside local herbs and berries to support our nervous system while detoxing and healing.

Gentle Balancing Heart Cordial.  This is one of the tastiest mixes I’ve ever made!! Yum Yum! Sometimes it helps the medicine go down when you add a spoon full of honey! Peach Leaf Tincture used to be standard gift to someone who lost a loved one, it tastes like almond extract and is really relaxing and supporting. In this combo Peach leaves are mixed with St. John’s Wort flowers, Cherry Blossoms and Hawthorn Berries. Take a dropper everyday or 2 times a day as needed.  Even if you don’t think you are experiencing grief in your current state…I guarantee you that old grief is lingering in you and it’s best to clear it, detox and free yourself.

French Clay Face Mask needs to live in your fridge. It would like you to use it as soon as possible on your face. If it feels like the right consistency slather a layer onto your face, leave it till it is almost dry and then rinse off with a warm face cloth. Once you have detoxed your face with this mask use some of your new Rose Face Cream to moisturize. Roses are an astringent for your skin making your skin very soft and clean.  Green French Clay is a detoxifying clay whose benefits come from it’s unique mineral composition.  It includes dolomite, manganese, silica, copper, phosphorous, magnesium, zinc and calcium.  The green comes from the clay’s iron oxide and decomposed plant matter.

Rose Face Cream is luxurious and moisturizing for all skin types. It is made from solar infused rose oil mixed with almond, avocado, argan, jojoba and coconut oils and rose essentials oils.  Heart healing begins with self-love and roses are here on earth to help us love ourselves and others.  Adding roses into your life is a wonderful heart medicine. If you look around you will probably find roses blooming all around you right now.  The herbs that grow in your area are often there for a reason, they are a gift of healing waiting for you to use them.

The Little Smelly Pillow wants to stay with you and bring you comfort. It is filled with lavender, roses and mugwort. Mugwort helps you to have lucid dreams. Lucid dreams are great medicine for healing, a time to ask questions, visit old friends or meet up with current friends.  Herbs are so complex and they can go everywhere, they want to go everywhere, they want to support you in your life at all times. Hold onto this pillow when you’re feeling down and relax into the shifting energies it can provide.

This is the last basket of this series. Thank you for being part of the DETOX program. I will invite you all to sign up for my next CSH basket program which starts in September and runs for 5 months. The cost is 250$ and it covers immunity, nervous system, self-care, digestion and other fun issues we all have.  Registration for the program starts June 7th 2017. Enjoy!


Amber Friedman.

2nd Basket of the DETOX program is out on May 11th 2017

Community Supported Herbalism

DETOX Spring Basket Program

Prepared by Amber Friedman


DETOX time. Springtime is known in the herbal kingdom as the time to DETOX, Spring Clean Up.  If you listen to the plants, they are all inviting you in to eat bitter roots and cleanse for the new season. Every item in this month’s basket was created to support you in your clearing process. Detoxing can sometimes make you feel a little off, because the toxins are all pouring out of your body. Take some extra time to give your body special care while you go through this detoxing monthly series.

Mineral Rich Herbal Vinager.  Apple Cider Vinager is a standard at our house.  I like to infuse lots of different herbs in apple cider vinager and use the vinager in my salad dressing recipes so that I am getting a daily dose of vitamins and minerals each day.  This combination of Nettles, Burdock, Calendula and Dandelion will work on your liver while also purifying your blood.  The herbs in this recipe also promote healthy kidney functions, and has a positive affect on your skin. Liver is connected to skin.

Daily Detox Tincture is a lymphatic based recipe designed to help move things through your lymphatic system to keep you healthy and strong. Cleavers, Dandelion and Oregon Grape are all wildcrafted here in Powell River, BC. This tincture will be most effective if you take it everyday 3x a day, until it is gone. You can read more about the benefits of lymphatic moving herbs here.

Juniper + Sage Room Spray was designed to clear out different energies that can linger in your space.  Sage is a very powerful cleansing plant, many people use this plant as a smudge to clear the energy of themselves and their surroundings.  Juniper is a new plant to me, it’s growing at the end of the block so I figured I should get to know what it has to offer. I infused some of it in gin for this room spray.  Juniper is also for cleansing and it also brings along uplifting and stimulating properties.

Nourishing Lip Balm is extremely nourishing for you lips because it is full of exotic moisturizing butters like Shae and Mango Butter, there is also joboba and avocado and a soft vanilla scent.  When you are doing lots of personal work and detoxing your body it is good to also bring in the self-care.  Take some extra time to give your body special care while you go through this detoxing monthly series.

Wildcrafting for Breakfast…

Today we had an awesome start to our day. We went out on a mini harvest mission before Cam went to work. We went to one of our oldest sites to harvest Poplar Buds in Powell River.  This was the earliest we ever made it to the trees, and I’m glad I will get a few more harvests in this season.

I’m not sure what I’m going to make with the buds. I want to make a hydrosol, oil, tincture and infused olive oil…

I think I’ll make these ones into a tincture…

Thanks for harvest season coming into full swing with nettles hot on the trail of the poplars, this means it’s time to check out my cleavers patch…

3rd Baskets’ out tomorrow at Ecossentials…

Community Supported Herbalism

Monthly Basket Program. November 2016

Prepared by Amber Friedman

The third basket is here! We are half way through the basket program. Don’t worry if you’re freaking out that there is only 3 months left, I do a Spring Detox that starts when this program ends and I still have spots available! My focus for this month is on REST + RELAXATION.  It is so easy for us to get stressed out over what we think is normal life. Work, Families, House Chores and Personal Work…”not enough hours in the day” can be heard ringing out through the voices at gatherings.  We have to take care of ourselves, our body, our mind and our souls, needs attention and nurturing. It is important to make this time.  Here are some herbs to help you kick back and relax in the darkness.

This month I made an amazing relaxing and infection fighting soap, from Lavender essential oil and almost all the lavender I wild harvested last summer.  It smells amazing and looks so pretty that I made another batch with roses a few days later just to keep up the herb infused soap theme.

Calcium Rich Tea Blend is beneficial for women and men at all stages of life. Calcium really helps people who have a hard time sleeping, people who have heavy and painful bleeding cycles, and really anyone! Lots of herbs you could probably find in your region, over a few seasons.  Horsetails, Nettles, Raspberry Leaves and Peppermint are all easy to grow or find in the region that I live in.  It’s worth looking around for these herbs, or planting them, where you live so you can always be strong.  Try this tea before bed or in the afternoon.

 Herbed Salt & Pepper is a tasty salt to sprinkle on just about anything. I am sure it would be delicious on roasted potatoes, we ate it with tacos one night and it was amazing!  Roses have strong healing powers they help you relax, fight infection in digestive tracts and intestines, they also help to heal a broken heart.   I think the winter season is the perfect time to get into our hearts and do some work.

St. John’s Wort Tincture is another wonderful herb for this time of year to keep your mood high, to help ease any muscular pain from the weather and it tastes great! This batch of St. John’s Wort is tinctured in Grande Marnier for an extra tasty natural medicine. It is safe for children. I find St. John’s Wort works best when you take it on a regular basis. If you have pain at night, try it before bed for a more restful sleep.

Throat Coat Balls could natural medicine ever taste so flavorful and actually kill strep throat and other evil viruses that you might come in contact with?? YES!! These throat coat balls are a longtime favorite of mine.  I have seen them work miracles, and my kids love them.  I suggest taking a few a day if you have an infection or strep throat, otherwise you can use them as a preventative and eat one a day. Cut them in half for kids. The are made from powdered licorice, slippery elm, marshmallow, goldenseal, peppermint essential oil, carob and honey.  I rolled them in slippery elm for their magic finishing touch. ENJOY!

Amber Friedman.

Second Basket is ready for pick-up…

For those who live in Powell River, BC your baskets will be ready for pick-up after noon on Saturday, tomorrow…Oct. 29th. Enjoy!

All those waiting patiently the mail will get out EXPRESS POST on Monday…


Community Supported Herbalism

Monthly Basket Program. October 2016

Prepared by Amber Friedman

The second basket is finally here! It is full of supportive herbal products to help you relax, get your circulation working, help you to fall asleep, soothe a sore throat and support your adrenal glands.

Throat Soothing Tea Blend a tasty blend of licorice root, cinnamon, echinacea root, slippery elm bark + ginger root.  Slippery Elm comes from the inner bark of a tree that grows here in Canada, it is a soothing herb that can be used for healing inflammations, burns, sore throats and digestive issues.  I would use the decoction method to make this tea. Place a 2tsps of the tea in a pot with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil then let simmer, covered, for about 10-20 minutes. Strain out the herbs and drink. If you find the licorice is too strong, steep it a bit less.

Sleepy Oil is a really fun combination that I designed to help people to fall asleep when they are restless.  It has some sedative herbs in it like Chamomile and Tonka Bean. I harvest Cottonwood Buds in the spring and made them into an infused oil that I use for treating people who are experiencing a lot of pain from arthritis to various injuries.  It is very relaxing!  Try it behind your ears, on your wrists, or anywhere, before you go to bed.

The Douglas Fir Bath Salts are another super relaxing and decongesting mix to help you take a rest and clear your mind and body from things that may be bothering you.  Dead Sea Salt is very purifying and clears toxins from your body. If you’re not big on baths, I suggest you make some time to relax in the tub and invite some healing into your life.

Adrenal Gland Tonic  is one of my most popular products, it has been selling off the shelves since it was created.  It strengthens your adrenals by balancing your hormones and stimulating liver function.  Dong Quai is known as one of the most useful female tonics, it is nourishing to the blood, strengthens the uterus and it has a regulating and normalizing influence on hormone production. I think I’ll do a post in the next two weeks going over the health benefits of all the ingredients in this formula. It is best taken daily until it is gone.  If you have high blood pressure or are on heart medication please check with your doctor  before you take this.

Shae + Clay Soap Bar is a very moisturizing soap made with Shae butter and Australian Pink Clay. It is scented with essential oils of peppermint + rosemary. It’s a great wake up soap!  ENJOY!

Amber Friedman.

Baskets are going out in the morning!!

Community Supported Herbalism

Monthly Basket Program. Sept. 2016

Prepared by Amber Friedman


Alright this is super exciting for me! This is the FIRST basket of my 3rd session of herbal monthly baskets. I fell in love with the idea at a Herbal Gathering last summer and I decided to take off with it. I have learned so much about plants and how to make medicine with them and healing body care products. I am honored to share this experience with you. Thanks for signing up for the first time, or again!!  I made this basket a little extra large thinking that was the way to start off the year, in abundance.

This month I choose the theme of a Herbal First Aid kit, most of the herbs I used grow around my house, I love working with plants that I can harvest myself because I feel that they are here for me to use. LAVENDER! This was a really fun product to make, I went on a local plant walk and picked all the lavender that I used to make this Lavender Hydrosol (distilled lavender). Every lavender plant that wanted to be part of it is in there. Leaves, Dried and fresh lavender flowers all together! I would suggest you use this hydrosol to help calm down, to tone your face, and to use on cuts and scrapes because of it’s antiseptic and anti-bacterial properties.

Healing Salve is a group of local plants and honey that is one of my favorite salves to use on basically anything from a cut, to an itch, to eczema and it even works amazing to help clear up hemorrhoids!! Keep this salve around! It is a mix of Chamomile, Plantain, Lavender + Comfrey infused in Olive oil with honey and beeswax.

The Spiced Orange Digestive Bitters is here for two reasons…The first reason is to heal your gut and help your bodies digestive system. If your body is unable to properly digest food than it might not respond as well to Natural Medicine.  Once you strengthen your digestive system you will be healthier and able to hold in more nutrients from the foods you eat, and the herbs you take… ( 2nd reason) I’m thinking of this basket series as  bringing herbs to you that help you  reach a healthier place in your life. It only seems appropriate to start with digestion. I encourage you to start taking the bitters right away, take them after or before meals and finish the bottle!

Immune Boosting Tea is a mix of echinacea root, chamomile flowers, shizandra berries and local peppermint. Shizandra berry is an adaptogenic herb that is helpful when stressed out, it helps physical + emotional depression, increases your stamina, heals the liver and boosts your immune system.  Mixed with powerful virus destroyers chamomile and echinacea this is a powerful blend.

Chamomile is a powerful healing plant for me to work with, and that is why it is in a few of the products this month.  I wanted to send out a few Chamomile Tea Bags that you can use to treat eye infections or any topical infection in a direct application technique.  There are lots of ways to apply herbs directly to your body, like chewing up plantain and putting it on a bee string, or a potato poultice for a migraine. Brew up a cup of tea, drink the tea and use the tea bag on your body.

Last but not least…one of my favorite soaps! An uplifting soap that smells like orange, vanilla + lavender.


Amber Friedman.

An Exhilarating Interview with Natural Perfume Artist Ananda from Amrita Aromatics…

I’ll tell you the background story…I am starting to make perfumes, which is an AMAZING and expensive creative process that makes me feel ecstatic and very young.  Part of what has inspired me to create perfumes is how much I love smelling and a few natural perfumes that exist in my cupboard, and backpack, and car!  I thought if I knew a little bit about the people who made these perfumes and their perfume making experiences I would UP my perfume making education and inspiration…So, I asked a few natural perfume artists if they would do an interview with me for my Solar Infused Beauty Blog.

Well a few of them said yes right away, one never answered and the other answered a couple months after I send my requests (she said yes, next article)…

A couple articles later and I wanted to keep interviewing Perfume Artists, cause I’m loving the stories that they are sharing with me. I come across Ananda and her perfume business in a weekly newsletter that I read from King’s Road Apothecary.  I wrote to Ananda right away to see if she wants to do an article…SHE SAYS YES!!  I am over the moon. The two perfumes of Ananda’s that I fell in love with first were Swoon and Ambreine. I must say though, I love them all.  I love the magic that Ananda is able to put into her perfumes, and I could only dream to grow my collection of her perfumes!

I am totally inspired by the packaging that Ananda does, your perfumes will come in adorable little fabric bags with pieces of dried plant material and/or flowers! It’s really part of the full experience. The other part is wearing her complex scents and feeling Grande.

Thank you to Ananda from Amrita Aromatics for taking the time to share her story with me, I am inspired and in awe!


  1. What is the deeper meaning of your business name, Amrita Aromatics?

Amrita is a sanskrit word meaning “nectar” or depending on which definition you read, it refers to Amrit, a nectar or ambrosia of the Gods that bestows immortality. The nectar of life. The traditional meaning refers to an elixir that one drinks, so perhaps I am stretching the meaning for my intention, but the concept of plant nectars invoking a sensory experience that transcends the everyday and embodies immortality – or emotional/memory imprint in this context – feels really resonant for me. While I don’t speak or write Sanskrit, my name (Ananda) is sanskrit for bliss, and I was raised in Fairfield IA, completely immersed in the Transcendental Meditation community. Yes, this is where the Golden Domes are, and the Maharishi schools are where I attended until age 16.

2.  How many years have you been making perfume?

This is a tricky question, because I was making perfumes and potions before I was consciously aware that that is what I was doing. I was a pretty odd kid – one of my favorite spots was sitting in an apple tree, and I would bring a jar of ground cinnamon and eat it with a toothpick. I was always drawn to sensory and physical experience – scented pencils and stickers, mud and hay bales, sourgrass, and crafts where I could scent things like candles and bubble bath. Meanwhile, being immersed in an ayurvedic way of life, I was raised with aromatherapy, healing herbs and spices, and vedic body oils from the start. We didn’t use conventional medicine, so plants and aromatics feel like my lifelong friends and allies. When I was around 13, I started reading magic plant and aromatherapy books, and mixing together oils I could obtain like rose geranium, sandalwood, lavender, etc, for perfume oils and skin care. I was also madly in love with this patchouli body powder that was my mom’s and I began infusing powders with amber resin chunks I found at the local esoteric bookstore. In the ninth grade I made every person in my class a magical herbal medicine pouch, and made a pentagram in ceramics class … I’m not so sure the administration was fond of my newfound hobbies, but I was in love with this new enchanted world.

I did go through a pretty heavy phase of commercial perfume obsession. No pun intended there, lol, but I definitely had a thing for Oriental fragrances like Obsession but even more so I loved Guerlain perfumes. Mitsouko and Shalimar were my favorites, and I went through a phase of Sunflower, Chanel No. 5, Chloe, and Realm.

One day a woman in my checkout line at the health food store where I worked told me that I was poisoning her with my perfume. She proceeded to checkout while wincing and holding a scarf over her mouth and nose.

While this was a pretty brazen thing to be told, it really woke me up to the toxic, unnatural contents of commercial fragrances, and impacted my choices thereafter.

For many years I made botanical products. As a teen, I learned along side my mom the arts of cream making, salve making, infusing herbs for tinctures and oils, and all manner of body care products.

Although it was my secondary, more free-form vocation (my formal background is dance) it was something I always did, it’s a lifestyle. My mother is my biggest influence and teacher in the area of herbalism and herbal preparations. I have extremely vivid scent memories of packaging stevia and chaparral with her when I was about 6 or 7 years old. We were stocking up on these herbs before the FDA banned them. Today I have stevia growing healthily in my garden outside the window where I type this, and jars of gorgeous chaparral dried from the desert of Arizona in my herb hutch.

After many years of making herbal and aromatherapy products, I realized that my m.o., and most common response from customers was how good they all smelled. That was what really set my products apart from the rest, and so I figured out that botanical perfume was truly my passion and my wheelhouse. The transition to primarily perfume making happened over a period of probably about twelve years, if I’m being honest, because I made them alongside other products for so long. I used to be “Amrita Apothecary” but when I went back to professional dance for a spell (2003-2007) I mistakenly let the url lag. Hence the appropriate change to Amrita Aromatics. Perfume has been my primary focus now since around 2013ish.


3.  Tell me a little bit about the process of designing your perfume Swoon?

mmm Swoon!! I love Swoon. I made Swoon originally for Leah and Chloe of Rising Appalachia and their very sexy song called Swoon. In the song it says “Dip me in chocolate sauce and lick it all off of my toes” and “Drench me in Jasmine vines” … and so I used chocolate and jasmine as the cornerstones, and gave it to them as a gift when they came to play here in Northampton. It was an act of devotion and adoration.

4.  Could you rattle off some of the essential oils you used in making Swoon?

Swoon today has a lot more roses and is more balanced and complex, with sparkling silver fir, espresso, tobacco, juicy mandarin, and jasmine absolute among other aromatics.

My other name for it is “falling in love at a coffee shop on a cold winter’s day in new england” but I can’t fit that on a perfume bottle label. 🙂  


5.  Tell me about how you use tinctures in your perfumes, and what you believe they add to a perfume.

Tinctures are really personal for me, they often times feel like I have added my fingerprint or my signature to a perfume. Most of my extracts I am extremely connected to – I am instantly transported back to the beach on the early summer day when my mom and I spent hours collecting wild rose petals. I recall the very tree on the wintry day where I gathered the glistening, fragrant resin from the trunks of Norway spruce trees. I know just the spot to the far corner of the lake where I found the most luscious patch of elder flowers. I scooted my kayak up the bank and stood barefooted in the mud in my swimsuit to collect the creamy, powdery sweet flowers.

While I don’t wildcraft or grow every plant that I make into a tincture, they are deep communion with nature for me. They are my magic, my alchemy, and my solace. They are my link to the roots of healing and ancient perfumery.

Utilizing tinctures in perfumery came really naturally, but I have had to learn patience and practice with them. Some tinctures can really dominate, while others are so subtle and shy. I treat them as equally as I do all of my other aromatics because they have certain influence.

More practically speaking, tinctures can add dimension to a perfume; sometimes adding lift, sillage, or extension of a note. Some tinctures carry citrus notes further, and some tinctures can illuminate a subtle aromatic, making it more dramatic or noteable. Sometimes it is helpful as a fixative.

Sometimes a tincture or oil infusion is the only way to get something, as in the case currently of  rooibos tea, pinon resin, or poplar buds, for example. My search for just the right earl grey tea aroma has peeled me through many boxes and tins of tea.

I have many favorites, but I particularly adore the sweet clover tincture that I use in Bluegrass which smells like sweet hay, and the kaffir lime leaf tincture that I use in Samara that smells like fresh cut grass and melon rinds. Other tinctures I use often are rose, vanilla, damiana, tonka, various teas like lapsang souchong, earl grey, and mate, sandalwood, lavender, orris, rice, and various resins.

6.  What kind of sensory memories did you have when you were teaching kids at Great Hollow Wilderness School?

White Pine resin is a strong one because we would gather it and make ointment over an open fire. This was kind of like magic for the children and always brought a sense of self-sufficiency to them; a sense of self care agency when you are at a young and vulnerable age can be really empowering.

Wild cherry blossoms and bark. We would gather these in the spring and make cough syrup. The marzipan candy aroma is like no other.

Fire and tinder. We were forever collecting tinder throughout our days. It was imbedded in everyone. Cattails, grapevine bark, punkwood … I was still peeling these out of my pockets and backpack for years after my time at Great Hollow. The smell of sweet campfire, smoldering in the deep woods,  is galvanized into my heart as one of my most treasured experiences.


7.  What are a few things you remember the most from studying with Charna Ethier?

Charna is also a tincture lover!! Her Jasmine rice tincture and cara cara orange tincture are sublime and are definitely one of her signatures. I am thrilled to be returning again next weekend for my fifth intensive with her. She is brilliant, humble, joyful, and incredibly gifted. She reminds us to really follow our noses and hearts, while being patient, attentive, and balanced with methodology and creativity. I have loved learning more about fragrance families and the history of perfume from her, especially how naturals have played the key roles in fragrance, culture, and evolution of scent and how we use them today. Thinking more logically about a perfume formula is something I have learned from Charna that I have actively  applied in my perfumery.


8.  Could you suggest what someone might want to do while wearing a particular perfume that you designed?

One of my favorite conceptual perfumes that I’ve made is Vaganova. I designed this perfume for the annual fundraiser of Amherst Ballet, where my son studied before he moved onto pre-professional training at The Washington Ballet. It is named after the Russian ballerina icon, and is composed of everything ballerina smelling … soft skin, satin, rosin, wooden ballet bars, flower bouquets, and nostalgia. With costly tuberose as the focal point, apricot-like rosewood, a touch of ginger, and sandalwood as the graceful silhouette of this choreographed scent, I highly recommend you put it on and DANCE!

9.  What was your first FAVORITE perfume that you made?

Lakshmi’s Touch. A floral gourmand with Rose, Cardamom, Cocoa, and Patchouli. Total bliss.

10.  What gave you the inspiration to create your Bluegrass perfume?

The banjo! My dear friend Shamana flora and I used to sit outside and burn fragrant herbs like sage and sweetgrass to deter the bugs while she played away on her clawhammer banjo. We co-created a scent called Banjo-Moon, which was really, really intense lol, with ambrette, mugwort, and oakmoss. My love for the smell of freshly harvested hay (at that time we lived on an 80 acre horse farm, where our landlord grew and baled his own hay) and the sound of the clawhammer played by Darcey as well as the aforementioned sisters of Rising Appalachia, all influenced my design of bluegrass – an obvious double meaning of music and grass. As a child one of my favorite pastimes was leaping from one enormous round hay bale to the next, over and over until I could do the long row of them with unbroken leaps. Bluegrass brings back all of these experiences, but without the itchy legs! Bluegrass also has sweetgrass in it.

11.  In what setting do you find the most perfume designing inspiration?

In water. I’m a water sign and water is where I return to equilibrium. My mind clears and my body calms, allowing me to hear myself more directly. This might be floating in my pool, swimming in a river, or simply in a long shower or bath. Other than that, I am profoundly influenced by nature, seasons, plants, landscapes, and experiences.

12.  Are there perfumers that influence your lines? If yes could you tell me about who they are and how they influence your perfume designs?

hmmm … no? I don’t think so. There are perfumers I admire and respect, but if they influence my work it is subconscious. I’m kind of in my own bubble and my perfumes are born of things that are deeply meaningful for me and influence my senses – and hopefully can be meaningful for others in an entirely personal way to them. I think there are overlaps naturally, in terms of aspects like favorite materials, or packaging since there are not many places to purchase small runs of perfume bottles and containers. And there’s the overlap of conceptual scents and landscapes, but I would say usually when I purchase a perfume by another it is because I want to experience something that has mystery 🙂 the fact that I can relax and not know what’s in it is really nice, I can just enjoy being in the art of perfumery as a whole.

In my classes with Charna I met a fellow perfumer who I feel a deep kinship with. Priya of Priya Means Love is a brilliant and beautiful soul, whose perspective on scents open my mind and I have found a lot of growth by spending time with her, at our late night smell parties in Providence, bantering over texts, and asking challenging questions that I otherwise don’t have a sounding board for. When I go out for brunch or date night, it’s often her perfume I will wear!  My favorites are Lavender Seamoss and Russian Leather. Divine.

What I love about Priya’s work is how differently from me she interprets the aromatics and how her love for the palette of non-florals comes through in her sophisticated, unique perfumes and colognes.

13.  If you could recommend one book that has something to do with perfume, what would it be?

Jitterbug Perfume, by Tom Robbins. A classic favorite!

14.  What were the last 5 essential oils you bought?

Rose, Petitgrain, Vetiver, Eucalyptus, and Hay.

15.  Are there any essential oils you are dreaming of acquiring?

I’m ashamed to admit this, but I don’t have any ambergris! So sad. I need to acquire some. Otherwise, if I could capture the true aroma of my husband after a hike in the forest in autumn, I would wear it night and day. I am a hopeless romantic.

On the weird side – one of my favorite smells in the world is the smell of a rubber or marley floor. Being a former professional dancer and a current avid crossfitter – the smell of the floor is the smell of one of my happiest places and experiences of my life. It is the smell of rigorous physical training, of accomplishing goals, of transformation, of focus, of creativity and sometimes shamanic experiences through physical discipline. It’s also the smell of a car tire, which is formerly the prop for a tour de force piece that I co-choreographed and performed for many audiences and holds a special place in my being because it was so challenging, and so rewarding.

Currently, I have no plans for tincturing a floor or a tire 🙂


16.  About how many perfumes do you have in stock?

About 23 at the moment.

17.  Who orders custom made perfume, and what kinds of combinations do they request?

Lately I have LOVED the bespoke perfume projects. In August I designed for my local gym (a work in progress still) for a new bride, and for my friend’s husband’s birthday – three wildly different palettes. For the gym I designed three mods – clean, bright, interesting, and with emphasis on longevity for a fresh scent which can be a challenge. The perfume for a new bride turned out to be the prettiest of bright florals, with French Neroli, Fir, Bergamot, honey, and was just sooo feminine and radiant and perfect on her. Designing for my friend’s husband was a really fun creative challenge, as they are new to natural materials, so it took some mining for scent preferences through his taste in commercial fragrance, which is a really far fetched comparison, but we narrowed in on his tendency for masculine orientals, and then did a scent consult filled with this in mind. We ended up with a super-classy modern oriental with an amber accord + vetiver base, a spicy, muscular heart laced with a contemporary grass note, and a citrus melange top note accord featuring petitgrain, aglaia, pepper, and bergamot. She named it “Bull’s Eye” and I agree we hit the target on that one.

18.  What is the furthest destination you have ever mailed your perfumes to?

I have mailed to Singapore, Greece, and Ireland 🙂

19.  Tell me a little bit about a perfume you are working on for the future?

Currently a new perfume, the third of an Archetypal perfume series collaboration with Ali Schueler of Wild Woman Speaks, is about to be launched. There will be a very limited time to pre-order this bewitching perfume, and you can tune into her or my social media pages to be informed.

My repertoire now is somewhere upwards of 70 perfumes. What I hope to do is refine and return my favorites, seasonally as I can, now that I have let go of my membership and freed up some creative real-estate. People often ask me about Hearth, Cocoa Vetiver, Mead, and Witch’s Talisman among others, but there’s only so many I can make at a time. Botanical perfume making is a slow, expensive, and patient art.

I have been working for years on perfumes based on the Sevenwaters books. I don’t know when or if I will complete them, but the artwork is completed and the perfumes are more than halfway composed.