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A Fragrant Relationship:

Nail Fetish!

The Role of Perfume in our Lives

The Color Story

Mediterranean Inspiration

Issue 4 Autumn 2011

September 2011

IN THIS ISSUE What we love, what we saw, how we live…

Editor’s Notes


A Fragrant Relationship — The Role of Perfume in our Lives


Nail Fetish!


Color Story


Mediterranean Inspiration



EDITOR’S NOTES Let me tell you this...

Autumn—or Fall—whichever word you prefer for this time of year, is a time of renewal. Although Spring obviously gets the major rep as a time of rebirth, I make the case for Fall. Why? We start thinking about the end of the year. We get new clothing or rework what we have in our closets. We rethink the colors we’re wearing. If you’re like me, you change your curtains and throw pillows to give the home a “new” look. I even re-upholstered my dining room chairs. Already thinking ahead to plans for Thanksgiving and the December holidays, this is a busy time. So, as you’re going about your business this season, think “renewal.” Cast a critical eye in your closet and donate any clothing you no longer wear. Do a “Fall” cleaning around the house. Redecorate by changing pictures, curtains, pillows and objets d’art around from one room to another—you’ll be surprised how new something looks when it’s moved from a familiar place. Finally, think of renewing yourself. Try a new hair color. Wear a shoe with a different heel. Try longer skirts. Change your handbag. Just as you renew your living space, renew yourself. This quarter, we’re renewing as well: our business, our styles, our fabrics, our ideas. In the midst of a dark and scary economic climate, we sold out our entire collection of easy-to-wear silk and silk blend tops. It wasn’t easy. We ventured far afield and went international. Next season, we will introduce some new items, but we’re staying faithful to our design model which is tops that slip on and off easily, fit many women’s bodies, and flatter. We hope you continue on this journey with us. Thank you for reading. To give us your feedback, please log on to our website at or simply email us at We’d love to hear from you. Enjoy the season!

Angela Draper 3

A Fragrant Relationship: The Role of Perfume in Our Lives Perfume, the quintessence of luxury and refinement, has existed in every culture and religion. Through the centuries, perfume has been a part of religious and cultural rites, has had a part in medicine, in the art of love, of desire and of seduction. Since the beginning of time, almost everything has been perfumed; women, men, animals, statues, temples, tombs, homes, churches, palaces, fountains, food‌ A SACRED ROLE Since man’s beginnings, odorous vapors have risen to the heavens as offerings to the gods. In ancient civilizations, perfumes were as mystical as they were precious. Vaporizations had a very important place in religious rites because of their purifying role and their wonderful fragrances. The Egyptians communicated with their gods by offering them perfumes. Resins and odorous essences burned to the glory of gods in all the sacred places and in exchange for these offerings, the pharaohs and their subjects asked the gods for favors. Aromatics played a particularly important role in the rites of the Hebrews. The Bible frequently mentions incense, reserved exclusively for the Lord and his rites. At the top of the famous Tower of Babel, priests lit mounds of incense. Charged with elevating prayers to heaven, incense is in a sense part of the priestly function. The usage of incense, which is universal, always has the same symbolism: it associates man to god, the finite to infinite, and the mortal to the immortal. Egyptians and Hebrews both used incense in their sacred rites 4

The etymology of the Egyptian word for “incense” means “odor of god,” or product that makes one divine. And if one believes the legend, grains of incense are born of the tears and sweat of the gods. Perfume symbolizes memory, and perhaps this is one of the reasons for its use in funeral rites. For the Egyptians, perfumes were a representation of divinity: They prevented the rotting of the human body and gave it a sweet fragrance which made it more lovable to the gods. For the Greeks, the presence of the gods manifested itself by a sublime odor. Since the gods smelled good, perfumed substances were considered to have a divine origin. In Christianity, good souls are said to emit a good odor after death, and that is the criterion for their sanctification. Saint Rose of Viterbe smelled of roses, Saint Catherine of Ricci of violets…This contrasts with the odor of sulfur said to be emitted by the Devil. Incense and myrrh came from the Orient with the Three Kings and they are still in our churches; sandalwood still has a place in the sacred temples of India; the Buddha’s lotus flower, the sign of knowledge, and the Virgin Mary’s lily, a symbol of purity, still touch our spirituality…no one can doubt that the first function of perfume was to establish forever a link between the earth and heaven, between men and the gods… A MEDICINAL ROLE From spirituality to medicine, there was only one step. Men have always believed that perfume has an effect on our emotions and our health. Once the Romans discovered the surprising curative power of incense and myrrh, which had until then been reserved for sacred rituals, odorous materials became an important element in medical therapeutics. To chase away bad odors by good odors – was without a doubt one of the rules that pervaded up to the 18th century. In order to The Three Kings protect themselves against the Plague, they burned perfumes made with sulfur at the city gates, and also burned wood and odorous plants. And, to guard against evil spirits and certain ills, they inhaled aromatic substances which were placed in a so-called “pomander.”


The Plague At the end of the 18th century, vaporizations fell into disfavor and people were counseled to use vinegar because of its disinfectant powers. This was the beginning of the use of “flower waters,” which quickly became part of a lady’s “toilette.” Massaging one of these vinegar waters – containing either rose, lavender, rosemary, camphor or cloves – or to allow it to evaporate so as to take in its vapors – became a daily ritual.

A Pomander 6

A CULINARY ROLE Our sense of smell is not only tied to the odors that surround us, but is also very closely linked to our palate. Many aromas are captured by our sense of smell – and combined with our identification of the salty, sweet, acidic, and bitter – make possible our enjoyment of eating. Cooking raw foods is a sign of civilization, and the addition of aromatics to these foods is without a doubt a step forward in the refinement of civilization. Synonymous with heat and color, spices have been used since the time of the ancient Egyptians to flavor and preserve foods. During feasts that lasted all night, ancient Romans ate prodigiously: well spiced foods and floral perfumes mixed with their wines. Wines perfumed with violets, hyacinth, and rose were very popular. The Arabs, however, were particularly fond of rose water and used it to perfume ices and sweets. They also drank perfumed waters and coffee mixed with ambergris. In the Middle Ages, spices and perfumed products, heretofore unknown in Europe, were brought from the Orient by the Crusaders. The widespread use of these products made spices and their trade a most valuable business.


The expression “as expensive as pepper,” which was common during the Renaissance, attests to the power of spices. As a matter of fact, one could purchase products with grains of pepper or cloves. In the 17th century, different spices were used in cooking; spices such as sage, ginger, cardamom, fennel, anise, coriander, cinnamon and saffron were served in the form of a snack, accompanied by wines flavored with aromatic liquors Since then, much progress has been made by chemistry to introduce us to artificial flavors in our foods. These chemists are the same, by the way, who produce aromas for the perfume industry. Nevertheless, although synthetic aromas have enriched the perfumer’s palette of odors, these synthetics only imitate or replace odors existing in nature. A SENSUAL ROLE Perfume is one of the favorite expressions of love and passion. Perfume and seduction have been forever linked in the game of inciting desire. Choosing a perfume corresponds to the deepest desires within a person and reflects our hidden sensuality. As a matter of fact, a woman wears a perfume much as she wears clothing. Perfume dresses us in an image. It is dual in nature, since it is both intimate and exhibitionistic. Within a sexual relationship, the smell of one’s mate can be intoxicating. A perfumed smell emanating from a loved one’s body can be an aphrodisiac that awakens desire. Whether they are animal essences, soft balms or voluptuous florals, each has a way of inciting the senses. “Smell good in order to seduce,” was a rule that accompanied the rites of marriage of the ancient civilizations.


legend, the panther is the only animal that emits a fragrant odor to capture its victims. It hides and lets its fragrance attract victims. Love potions have been used in every era. And our society is no different. In 1965, pheromones were discovered. These are molecules that regulate the sexual relations of animals, and are thought to be useful aphrodisiacs. The idea of making a man a love slave is such an attractive though hidden desire of many women, that several perfume houses launched perfumes using these molecules – whose power has still not been confirmed scientifically.

A RECIPE FOR A LOVE POTION Combine the following: One drop of Orange Blossom essential oil; 2 drops of Rose essential oil; 3 drops of Sandalwood essential oil; 2 drops of Ylang-Ylang essential oil; 3 ounces of Clary Sage essential oil; 1 ounce of Almond oil. Mix together and store in a dark place. Use for massage. Do use this massage oil with care; it is known as the “Aphrodisiac Blend!”

Perfume’s power of seduction seems great, but it is illusory. Whatever the role one gives it: to seduce, to flavor foods, to help our well-being, or to honor the gods, perfume has always been a part of our lives. Knowingly or not, we use perfume in our daily dealings with others. And while perfume is the most refined expression of our most savage sense, its magic is such that it takes us back in time to our fondest memories.

Isn’t it impossible to imagine a world without perfume?



What is it about nail color that has exploded in the las

from Paris to Sydney, the craze for nail enamel has soli wonderful colors now so fashionable, but once not-to-b the blues, the greens and black; and what of the crack myriad blogs and magazine articles. Movie starlets are their “it girl” quotient. Models wear the range of blues t staple.

The reds, the pinks, the burgundies and the corals of yes the new shades have taken hold and taken off. And t cornucopia of brands and designer names.

The packaging’s fantastic too. Those bottles with their w an attainable fantasy – like all cosmetics do. But there’s L’Oreal, Essie, OPI, Nars, Deborah Lippmann, or Butter Lo pleasure…it’s much the same feeling I used to experien Crayons. Oh my God, but that was awesome! All those b to be touched – in fact – I hesitated to touch them becau appeal.

I’ve felt that kind of excited rush since then: In book s shops. It’s a rush of pleasure from having all those choi that I could, conceivably, choose any of them. I can’t rea shoes (alas!). All the lipstick shades don’t flatter me. M to get all those fabrics…

But nail polish! As long as I have my fingers and toes – I or daring colors. I can try seasonal shades. I can do one go from wearing white on my toes, to wearing raven. I c go bare for a few weeks to give the nails a rest: and then 10


st five years? From St. Petersburg to New York, and dified and grown exponentially. Is it driven by the be-considered for nail polish? Consider the yellows, kles and the mattes? Nail polish is the subject of photographed in marvelous shades that telegraph that are now so de rigueur, that they’re a nail shade

sterday still live on. They are after all, classics. But the new and adventurous brands out there: It’s a

wonderful caps and chic fonts are dreamy. They sell s something about polish….Chanel, MAC, Dior, Priti, ondon. Just looking at the bottles gives me a rush of nce when opening up a brand new box of Crayola beautiful colors lined up in perfect rows just waiting use once used, the crayons wouldn’t have the same

stores; in shoe stores, at lipstick counters, in fabric ices, from seeing all those colors, from the knowing ad all the books that draw me in. I can’t buy all the My mother no longer sews for me, so there’s no use

can adorn them with classic, flashy, innocent, crazy, e color on my fingers and another on my toes. I can can coordinate top and bottom. I can clash. Then I n the cycle starts anew. It’s an achievable fantasy. 11


What’s new in color for Autumn 2011? Let’s take a look at what textiles and women’s clothes will be featuring: Textiles this season are going to be evoking movement. There will be fresh takes on stripes and other graphics. Irisdescence. Fluidity and movement.

Powdery and rich shades. Discreet luxury. Femininity. Soft shimmer; feathery textures. Some shine. Metallics. Delicate transparencies. Layering. Exaggerated stitching.



A soft touch. Handmade looks. New textures. Vibrant colors. Velvety to the touch.

Mysterious intensity. Inky shades. Burnished highlights. Drama and intrigue. From bright shines to subtle sheens. Sparkle. Laces. Silky drape.


Mediterranean Inspiration Just a few inspiring pictures—that speak a thousand words—about Mediterranean color and spirit you can easily bring into your life...Blue and white tiles, terracotta, amphora, bright blue, mellow orange, whitewash...Be inspired!


Mediterraneo: The Lifestyle Magazine  

Lifestyle publication covering items of interest such as the Mediterrean in all its facets, fashion, history, society, culture and anything...