"Perfume from House of Matriarch makes you feel like royalty when you put it on. The smell rises and perfectly lays on your skin. They described their perfume as smoke, and it is just that- intoxicating. Smoke informs the language of House of Matriarch in terms of the voice, design, and philosophy of their house."
Read full article here
Incense is the "original perfume" - the life breath of poets, dreamers and mystics around the world. Enjoy these burnable 100% natural versions of our most popular perfumes. Cast the perfect mood or perfume yourself with a smoke bath. Primitive - and sensual.
Most people don't have the time for (or want the mess of) burning charcoals to enjoy a pure, authentic incense experience. Cones travel easily, burn cleanly and are as potent as dropping raw incense onto an ember. You will experience a noticeable effect not found with conventional ready to burn incenses due to the mild psychoactive nature of the essences.
Our incense is 100% natural - purists will recognize the quality and authenticity of our ingredients immediately. They are extra potent, clean burning and safer than conventional incense for pets and children who share your environment.
Previously containing 24 cones, now we include 33 cones per batch in our gorgeous copper tins.
House of Matriarch's High Perfumery collection is now available at select Nordstrom stores across the U.S. and at Nordstrom.com.
See all nine fragrances and their descriptions below, then pick up a bottle for yourself or as a gift here.
Rare, magnificent and auspicious, the albatross bird is the captain of the air. The natural marine accord celebrates that spirit, the fresh coolness of where the ocean meets the sky. Salty Salish Sea breezes meet the soft warm notes of cork, driftwood and cottonwood evoking images of seafaring vessels, creosote-soaked timber, and barnacle covered hulls. Set your sights on the horizon, feel the wind in your sails.
Black No 1 Leather
A living work of liquid art, our first cult classic was launched as BLACKBIRD in 2012. Named “SEXIEST SCENT” at the International Artisan Fragrance Awards, TOP MEN’S FRAGRANCE by Men’s Journal Magazine and BEST OF THE WEST by Sunset Magazine, this worldly and penetrating perfume contains hundreds of exotic natural essences and has a living spirit of it's own.
Black No. 1 has evolved in it's identity while retaining all of her original magnificence; only the name of this perfume has evolved; the formulation is exactly the same. Renaming a top selling fragrance is an unprecedented act in the fragrance "business", however Black No. 1 captivates the wearer to a deep and enchanting mystique as it whispers "anything is possible".
Coco Blanc Gourmand
The “Gourmand Gold Standard”, an irresistible vanilla musk. The perfume explorer does not need to be a fan of exotic niche fragrances to enjoy this perfume. It is a universally loved accord of the highest quality noble materials which are lactonic, vanillic and warmly appealing to almost everyone. Not overly sweet like mainstream gourmands, Coco Blanc is exceptionally long-lasting on the skin and perfectly unisex in the dry down, finishing with soft woods and spicy organic vanilla.
The ultimate incense perfume: massive and timeless. Revered across cultures. The primaeval depths are almost inexplicable and volumes have been written praising this classic arrangement of two key notes: frankincense and myrrh. Resinous, dry and cold with alternating warm and spicy nuances, it’s a whole universe encapsulated in each waft of scented breeze.
Forbidden White Floral
Rooted in layers of historically feared and even outlawed aromatics, Forbidden begins with a erogenous absinthe and damiana opening, then sweetly drops into an intoxicating heart accord of tuberose, wild mushroom and papyrus. A smooth finish of precious woods, snake leather and sweet baked earth complete this long-lasting unisex perfume.
A fragrance born of the Northwest. Dream-inducing lavender fields mingle with towering cedar trees swaying gently in the misted Pacific breeze. An underlying sense of exploration, imbued through a Vetiver base note, keeps this ancient Northwest spirit youthful and exotic. Madrona, whose bark itself look like it was forged of polished bronze, lends more than just a note to this fragrance — it lays the roots of its name.
Genuine ambergris is sparkling, earthy, musky and effervescent: grounded yet ethereal. Resins lend an exotic oriental accord and regal coolness to the amber. Natural honey adds a liquid gold note, enhancing the spicy and leathery qualities that this exquisite amber perfume offers. Dancing between a fresh cleanness and the salty patina of ocean-kissed skin, this fragrance Is an intimate experience, improving throughout the day as it washes you with nuanced waves. Subtle by design.
Sex Magic Precious Woods
A blend of thirteen varieties of cedar, exotic sandalwood, and a touch of oud. Unquestionably vivid and sonorous, these woods sing with the ancient resonant voice of the aboriginal didgeridoo. These aromatics hearken back thousands of years and their smoky venerable tones play upon the collective unconscious of the wearer. They feel distinctly Tantric in their power. Gandhi root and leather add drama, depth and offer great silage.
Trillium Fresh Floral
An invitation to an enchanted tea party. Steeped in a long and noble history, this tea and white floral fantasy fragrance was brewed to capture the spirit of the elusive Great White Trillium flower. Fresh in its unfolding; tart notes from rooibos, exotic flares from aglaia and mimosa and a touch of coffee flower meld, as double blooming Roman chamomile dances above.
Last week we launched the first fitness-optimizing fragrance, FITNESSENCE at the Emerald Cup Bodybuilding and Fitness Competition in Bellevue Washington. Lots of people were attracted to our booth, all with a fabulous, upbeat energy about them. Both men and women resonated with the ancient technology that we presented, and everyone loved the smell. Many people felt the effects immediately, and some circled back for more. It was so well received that at the end of the expo we only had one full size bottle plus an almost empty tester remaining!
We were thoroughly impressed at the quality of people that were attracted to what we were doing. Attendees and contestants alike were knowledgeable and understood the aroma chemistry that make FITNESSENCE the next x-factor to your workout.
To top it all off, it was such an inspiration to be around a room full of people from all ages who are in great shape. Everyone was there with their own inner ideal of perfection, but with the understanding that absolute perfection is unattainable, and proud that they have worked hard and done their best. It truly takes so much going into a competition like this knowing that there is only one top winner, yet many competitors do it for the sport of it. Even more motivating is that while they are competing, they are also supporting each other.
A competition like this gives off a whole different level of energy. It is real. This is the sort of thing House of Matriarch likes to be a part of. Emerald Cup competitors bring true effort and value into what they do, much like what we believe in putting into each of our fragrances.
Lastly, a huge thank you to Elaine and Brad from Craig Productions for inviting us into their world. A fitness-optimizing fragrance is a totally new concept and they were completely open to letting us join the show. We were proud to be one of the only local companies representing a product on the floor.
If you couldn't make it to the Emerald Cup Bodybuilding and Fitness Expo, FITNESSENCE is now available for purchase! It's efficacy is backed by scientific studies, it smells amazing and you will feel it working! Gender neutral: refreshing; slightly spicy and earthy, yet cooling with a woody, amberesque finish.
"What fabulous fragrances. Daft Love reminds me of wonderful older teenage moments. Oh My Stars reminds me of expensive fashion and sex. That's within the first hour. It's nice when you can't distinguish specific scents but the outcome is smooth and becomes one single scent/moment." - House of Matriarch customer, Robert Bradford
CHRISTI MESHELL, the owner and nose behind the Bellevue-based line House of Matriarch High Perfumery, dips her finger into a jar of tobacco-leaf extract and rubs some on the top of my hand, and in an instant I am transported back decades to my grandfather’s tobacco farm in Kentucky. Sticky-sweet tobacco leaves, old barns, haylofts, manure — the scent-memory is unblemished, like a perfectly preserved photograph.
It gives me goose bumps.
Meshell, with her flowing black hair, sumptuous silk prints, sparkly platform heels and fairy goddess grin, is an agent provocateur of scent, melding wildly intriguing elements into luxury fragrances that defy easy descriptions.
She was raised in oil country — Port Arthur, Texas — but she’s a Northwest hippie medicine woman at heart. Every morning she drinks a glass of water infused with frankincense essence. “It’s good for you,” she insists.
Meshell leads her guests past a to-scale human skeleton hanging by the stairwell that leads up to the plush design studio of her atelier, which is decked out like an eccentric sultan’s parlor (that’s a unicorn bust hanging on one wall; that’s a live white dove perched in a picnic basket by the window; that’s loungy electro by Thievery Corporation blaring on the speaker system).
Meshell sits cross-legged on the floor and begins the interview by burning a series of opulent tree resins: Pine, then dragon’s blood, then oud, which is so precious a piece no bigger than a fingernail costs $5.
The smoke rises and curls like a dancing ghost and forms a cloud above our heads.
“This is the original ‘perfume’ — it literally means ‘through smoke,’ ” Meshell says, during a mini-lesson on the evolution of fragrance, from its use in fumigating living quarters and hair to its use in prayer, ceremonies, courtship and other life pursuits.
Meshell says her sense of smell is so exact, she can tell that a man is smoking a Cohiba cigar from a block away. She says she can smell textures, too. Put a cactus close to her face and its physical prickliness will tickle her imagination.
“Your nose is kind of the last real touch point to the natural world,” she says. “It’s like you’re being touched by nature.”
This allows Meshell to work like a collage artist, composing multilayered fragrances with spectacular resonance that project something of the wearer onto everyone who comes near.
“It’s the last thing you put on before leaving the house,” Meshell says. “It’s that mood that you carry with you, your essence, your invisible aura.”
The smell of Puget Sound seaweed mixed with evergreen extracts, cannabis, animal musk and about 300 other ingredients brings a chilled-out, mystical and sexy vibe to the Blackbird perfume Meshell made in a collaboration with the Seattle fragrance brand.
For some customers, she says, her long-lasting, $120 to $300 full-size perfumes are the only material indulgence they allow themselves.
As Meshell shows off a wall-length bookshelf with hundreds of bottled ingredients, she says that some are derived directly from the Pacific Northwest. A blazingly intense lavender essence comes from plants grown in Redmond. She makes seaweed essence with washed-up kelp she gathers on beach walks.
Her favorite place to visit is the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula with its hanging moss.
“This is the last enchanted forest, and we live in it,” Meshell says of the Northwest in general.
“Nature,” she says, “is the ultimate luxury.”
Tyrone Beason is a Seattle Times, Pacific NW Magazine staff writer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Alan Berner is a Seattle Times staff photographer.