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Lilith 2014: Princesses, Ghosts & Superheroes

The first Lil-inspired scent went live when I went into labor, and since that moment, she has been my little muse.

Happy sixth birthday, daughter. I love you. Thank you for the privilege of chronicling our life together through scent.

++The scent series will come down November 8th

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(NOT SO)PENITENT (MINI) MAGDALENE

Lilith, Ted, and I were playing dress up one night, and during her snack break in the kitchen, it occurred to me that she – and the whole accidental tableau – reminded me strongly (and strangely) of Georges de la Tour’s Penitent Magdalene.

So, of course, Ted and I threw together an impromptu 30-second staging with junk lying around the house and took a photo.

Learning art history through role playing and silly photo shenanigans!

Candle wax, smoke, red sandalwood, a dusting of kitchen spices, and a dribble of vanilla ice cream.

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AMICITIA

“We’ll be friends forever, won’t we, Pooh?” asked Piglet.

“Even longer,” Pooh answered.

A tribute to true friendship, and love that transcends distance and time: white sage and chaparral with sweet cedar, caramelized honey, warm fig, and carnation blossoms.

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AVUNCULUS

In hindsight, it was something of an omen that Lilith would be born on Brian’s birthday. He was with her on the day of her birth, and I have no doubt that they will love each other eternally. Yes, they are family, but he is also her friend: her pillar of support, her precious uncle, dearer to her heart than he could possibly know.

I created this scent as much for Brian as I did for Lilith; it is the scent of the summer that lives in one’s heart. Orange blossom honey, white coconut, and pear with flecks of golden amber that glimmers like sunlight on water.

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BLUEBERRY PICKING

I wanted to go with a less-literal name for this scent, but Lilith vetoed me! My little monster is a tremendous help around the garden. She helps me water, plant, and deadhead the flowers, but by far… harvesting is her favorite chore.

Sun-warmed, slightly squishy blueberries plus overgrown grass, overgrown honeysuckle, overgrown lavender, overgrown lemon verbena, and a smattering of un-pulled weeds.

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GHOST HOUSES

Last year, Lilith visited Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 in the Garden District with us. As she walked among the vaults and tombs, she announced to us, “When I get older, I’m going to help ghosts fix their houses.”

Marble, wild grasses, rusted iron, white clover, coneflowers, and daisies filtered through a sepulchral mist.

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GOOFBALLS

This one – name, scent, and photo selection - is entirely Lilith’s. She wanted this scent to smell like “how friendship feels when you’re hanging out in the grass.” Per Lilith’s description: “wet grass and sunshine, dogs and wood, and my feet in warm dirt and flowers I pick.”

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HEARTS FOR GHOST FRIENDS

Lilith named this one, and I think it’s absolutely perfect.

I know I’ve told this story before, but the kindness behind it means so much to me that you’re all going to have to bear with me while I tell it again. The privilege of being the narrator!

While we were at Lafayette Cemetery this spring, Lilith discovered all the beads, toys, and trinkets that people leave on the crypts. As she wandered through the cemetery grounds, she arranged the beads that she found into hearts and pillaged my purse (and Ted’s pockets!) for change and small items she could leave for the ghosts. She told me that people leave things like this for their ghost friends so that the spirits know that their “people friends” are thinking about them, and so they won’t be lonely while they wait for more people to come visit them. Lilith and I still talk about the ghost friends she met in New Orleans that day. Evidently, some of them have taken up residence in my basement and behind our bar because she couldn’t bear to leave them behind. The more the merrier, right?

Friendship beyond death. The scent of ghostly companionship, and imaginary friends that might not be quite so imaginary: oleander and frankincense with white rose, soft carnation, spectral white musk, and velvety magnolia.

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THE HIEROPHANT AND THE EMPRESS

Let the woman be girt with a sword before me: the many-throned, many-minded, many-wiled, daughter of Zeus.

Red and white roses, everblooming gardenia, violet leaf, Oman frankincense, styrax, honey myrtle, mallow flower.

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LILY WITCH

Lilith named this scent, and said this perfume should smell like witches. Her interpretation is swathed in anise, lime, almond, and witchin’ herbs, and holds a bouquet of pale, graceful lilies. The end result is a sweet, nutty absinthe’d lime with a hint of spice and leather.

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MERMAID

Peter was not with them for the moment, and they felt rather lonely up there by themselves. He could go so much faster than they that he would suddenly shoot out of sight, to have some adventure in which they had no share.

He would come down laughing over something fearfully funny he had been saying to a star, but he had already forgotten what it was, or he would come up with mermaid scales still sticking to him, and yet not be able to to say for certain what had been happening. 

It was really rather irritating to children who had never seen a mermaid.
― JM Barrie, Peter Pan

Lilith, I hope you never stop seeing mermaids. I hope your invisible friends always sing with you, and that the ghosts in your attic tell you stories every night. I hope you never forget how to dream, and I hope you never forget why dreams matter.

A tiny siren’s perfume of pink seaweed, lotus petals, Tahitian tiare, white gardenia, orange blossom, sea salt, and vanilla-infused benzoin.

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OM GAM GANAPATAYE NAMAHA

Salutations to the supreme Lord Ganesh, whose curved trunk  and massive body  shines like a million suns  and showers his blessings on everyone. Oh my lord of lords, Ganesha, kindly remove all obstacles, always and forever from all my activities and endeavors.

Lilith’s favorite deity - by far - is Ganesha, inspired by her kindergarten teacher and the works of Sanjay Patel. Her meditation technique, however, is as much a product of her Mom & Me practice at home as her enthusiastic love of Teen Titans. I’d attempted to persuade Lilith to meditate with me many times, but she didn’t have much of an interest in doing so until she started watching Teen Titans again in earnest. Kindergarten was a challenging transition year for her, and meditation was something she employed often to cope with the stress. I tried to encourage her to chant a variety of mantras, and she used many of Ganesha’s, but her go to was always Azarath Metreon Zinthos.

So, thank you, DC Comics, Sanjay Patel, and (especially) Ganesha, for helping give my daughter tools to help her through rough days.

This is a meditation blend that I created for Lilith: sweet frankincense, Mysore sandalwood, and a few drops of rose and clary sage.

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VENUSTAS

Sometimes when I look at my daughter, I feel like I can see the woman that she’ll become someday. This is a perfume for that woman, forever my daughter: frankincense, sweet myrrh, bourbon vanilla, and a hint of willowy, pale fougere.

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VERY PINK SURPRISE CAKE

A few weeks before DragonCon this year, I took ill with a persistent, irritating, gooey flu. To cheer up me up, my crazy, wonderful daughter and her crazy, wonderful dad threw me a surprise party. They decorated Lilith’s room, baked me a cake in the Easy Bake Oven (it tasted very pink), and brought me little gifts, including a ridiculously pink lipstick, some balloons and noisemakers, and a bottle of OxyClean. (Long story.)

This perfume captures the ridiculously pink scent of that ridiculously pink cake. I love my family.

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