Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Over the lilies there that wave and weep above a nameless grave!

Esscentual Alchemy Moon Valley

Dear reader:

Happy All Hallow's Eve! Today is the day that all things spooky, scary, eerie, unsettling, and otherworldly come out and have a heyday. And while we're celebrating the unexplained mysteries of the world, let's talk some more about about primordial scents, particularly those that celebrate the mystery of the unseen, shall we?

Today we reach Day Four of Six in our exploration of the Primordial Scent Project: Air Scents. As befits our holiday, I bring you a dark and lovely perfume for this, the Day of the Dead. Esscentual Alchemy Moon Valley, created by Amanda Feeley, is a natural perfume that...
...opens with a hint of the dew that falls at night. Following with a fresh heirloom muskmelon scent, and exotic herbs. Mouthwateringly enticing. Next comes the smell of well-travelled luggage, that has seen alluring, glamourous, and out of the way ports of call, and has stood the test of time, and the rigors of the journey. Ends with a spicy dry down 
Perfume Ingredients: Vetiver, Antique Oakmoss, Hyrax, Orris, Jasmine Grandiflorum, Lilac, Tuberose, Carnation, Peach Accord, Virginia Cedar, Heliotrope Accord
The first time I tried Moon Valley, it reminded me of standing on my front porch on the first real night of winter, wisps of cold night air bringing me the mixed scents of fireplace and woodstove fires inside homes all over the neighborhood, people burning up the night to warm themselves. The smoke snap freezes in tiny crystals that float, unseen, toward me, each one a tiny orb carrying a view into the lives of others, like the floating bubbles of dreams in Jim Henson's '80s classic Labyrinth. FN1.  That smell is one of my favorite winter smells, and it is always best the first night of every season.

The second time I tried Moon Valley, I thought of death. Specifically, I thought of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Valley of Unrest."

Now each visitor shall confess
The sad valley’s restlessness.
Nothing there is motionless—
Nothing save the airs that brood
Over the magic solitude.

The third and final try before I ran out of perfume because I liked it so much, what I thought of constantly was the smell of cracking a fresh package of bleached white lined paper, taking out a sheet, and writing on it in a rich, thick, black blue ink with a fountain pen. Heavy words flow from that pen, words of sorrow or ending or resolution.

Overall, this scent is air meets darkness. It is a kind of liquid night, dry and bitter. Is it wrong to say this is, for me, the perfect perfume for a winter funeral? It is. It is rich and lovely and foreboding. I'd recommend it for Halloween, but this scent lacks the candied fun of children trick or treating. This is the real stuff of spirits, mean and serious, not in the modern torture-porn horror way, but in the way the classic Mexican surrealist film The Exterminating Angel is deeply unsettling without any of the gore that seems to be required today. FN1.

Musically speaking? I can think of no better music than this:

The scent reminds me most closely of INeKE's Evening Edged in Gold, but less fruity or sweet. This is darker, earthier, and more, well, primordial. Less pretty, more...guttural. It comes from a place somewhere in the core of the self. Fundamental. The Quintessence, if you will.

Moon Valley is available direct from the perfumer. You can buy samples for $5, 5ml EdP for $22, and the perfume in 1oz spray for $115, 1/3oz gift presentation for $150.

You can buy the entire Primordial Scent Project: Air Set for $28.00 here.

For more reviews of the Primordial Scent Project: Air Scents, try: Perfume-Smellin' Things; The Perfume Critic; John Reasinger, writing for Perfume Pharmer; Indieperfumes; Donna Hathaway, writing for Perfumer Pharmer.

FN1. The film is available for watch for free on Hulu and I recommend it highly to any of my readers who like art films.  Directed by Luis Buñue, it is considered one of the top twenty films in all of Mexican cinema. Without going too much away, I think is a deeply interesting exploration of group psychology and human beings ability to create hell here on earth that likely exceeds anything we'd have to fear is a traditional hell.

FN2.  P.S. How GREAT is this cover of "As The World Falls Down"? Allow me to answer for you. Really f-ing great.

All photos taken by me, copyright 2012. All rights reserved.


esscentualalchemy said...

Oh! Diana, I'm just overcome at the moment with your words!!! I think you might know I love Bowie, and I adore Saint-Saëns!

I haven't had the pleasure of watching the film you mentioned, so I'll have to go to Hulu

:) Thank you So VERY much for your kind review!!!


Diana said...


The film is slow, but worth it, particularly if you enjoy surrealism. I'd never heard of it and randomly chose it one Saturday night I was home alone. I liked it.

Thanks for the beautiful scent. I'm so glad you were part of my review sets!