Posted on September 01, 2016 by Matriarch Blog
Posted in #vanilla, 100% natural perfume, 2016, 2016 rose perfume, american made, aromatherapy, Art and Perfume, best fall fragrances, best perfumes, best winter fragrances, christi meshell, conceptual fragrance, discover, Enchanted forest, fabulous fragrances, feel good perfumes, fifth sense, fragrance, gender neutral, gourmand perfumes, house of matriarch, indie, indie beauty brand, indie brands, indie perfume, indie perfumer, indie perfumes, juju, leather, luxury, luxury fragrance, luxury perfume, luxury perfumes, made in Seattle, made in USA, magic, mood, mood boards, natural essences, natural fragrances, natural perfume, natural perfumes, natural vanilla, new perfumes, NICHE, niche fragrance, niche perfume, organic, perfume, perfume house, ritual, spiritual, top perfumes 2016, unisex, Unisex Fragrance, Unisex Perfume, vegan, vegan perfumes, We Believe in Magic
Posted on January 10, 2016 by Matriarch Blog
Posted in aromatherapy, artisan fragrance, artisan perfume, artisan perfumes, beauty, connoisseur, epicureanism, essential oils, fragrance, fragrance ingredients, healing, incense, indie brand, made in USA, meaningful luxury, natural perfume manufacturer, natural perfumes, nature, nature is the ultimate luxury, olfaction, sacred, spiritual, vegan, vegan perfumes
Posted on February 02, 2015 by Matriarch Blog
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.
Posted in agent provocateur of scent, american made, art and business, artisan, artisan fragrance, artisan perfume, Bellevue-based, cannabis, christi meshell, custom fragrance, custom perfume, eastside, Enchanted forest, enchanted forests, evergreen extracts, fine fragrance, fragrance design, fragrance house, high perfumery, Hoh Rain Forest, hookah perfume, house of matriarch, indie perfume, indie perfumer, Local perfume, locally sourced, luxury fragrance, luxury perfume, matriarch, natural, natural perfume, natural perfume manufacturer, natural perfumes, nature, nature is the ultimate luxury, new luxury brand, new natural perfumes, new perfumes, niche, niche fragrance, northwest, Northwest Essence, northwest hippie, olfaction, Olympic Peninsula, original perfume, Pacific Northwest, Pacific NW Magazine, perfume house, Perfumer, private label fragrance, Puget Sound seaweed, raw materials, Redmond Lavender, Seattle, seattle art, seattle fragrance, Seattle fragrance brand, seattle perfume, The Seattle Times, through smoke, tobacco, top artisan perfumes, ultimate luxury, united states, vegan perfumes, washington, west coast, woman owned business
Posted on January 10, 2014 by Matriarch Blog
There are reasons why certain folk do well in the Perfumed World. It's no accident that Christi Meshell's House of Matriarch following continues to gain momentum: she's a hardworking, resourceful perfumer with enormous imagination and talent. Her presentation is beautiful and the perfumes themselves are innovative and delightful.
The floral heart of the matter is pure decadent opulence, a riotous profusion of white flowers who have swooningly yielded themselves for our pleasure. It would be brutish not to appreciate their sacrifice, would it not? Sweet loves salty, so why not wed choya [choya nakh is the result of roasted seashells distilled in Himalayan cedarwood oil; choya loban is Indian frankincense distilled in the same Himalayan cedar base], so smokily divine, to the witches brew?
The woods and resins are venerably aged and hypnotic. Effervescent amber? I have no clue whatsoever, but if there is amber, count me in.
These are so many of my favorite things, I feel positively spoilt. It is as if someone asked me what I loved the best, and then proceeded to deliver my heart's desire in a vial.
Initially headstrong [the word têtu expresses it better for me], voluptuous and high-spirited, Bohemian Black becomes the Pashmina Perfume, glowingly warm without undue weight. BB clings affectionately to the skin and clothing for hours. It is the perfect thing to wear if you wish to entice someone into your lair. You won't need a negligee. Thank you for always sharing your creations, Christi.
|Ida Meister (chayaruchama) has been an avid collector and sniffeuse for over 40 years. She adores consulting and collaborating with niche, budding and independent perfumers. Her hypervigilant nose has been of great help in her profession as a neuroscience/ oncology nurse, where she often smells fear, suffering, stress, and can identify most micro-organisms, medications, stages of disease, and has written about the amygdala. As a Senior and Natural Perfumery Editor, Ida has participated in many blog events with natural and mixed media perfumers and other writers. She has also been a teacher, translator, opera singer, dancer and caterer.|
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