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July 14 2014

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2 posts tagged "Persephenie"

The Fab Five: Little Holiday Helpers

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The holidays are a time of giving, receiving, family gatherings, and fun. But all of that can also add up to a seemingly unscalable mountain of stress. Between shopping, traveling, and, in a few very special instances, cooking and playing host, too, there’s a lot on your plate right now. We don’t have the answers for dealing with unexpected guests, feuding relatives, and recipes gone awry, but we do have a few tried and trusted beauty remedies to help you stay calm and carry on. Here’s to a boatload of yuletide cheer—and the four-day weekend that comes with it.

The Perfect Pair
21 Drops Be Happy Duo
Packaged in a festive red box, this new seasonal set combines the aromatherapy brand’s #10 Calm, which boasts sweet orange fruit rind, vetiver root, and jasmine flower essential oils, and #12 Uplift, which features a blend of rose flower, lavender flower, helichrysum flower, and German chamomile flower oils to soothe stress—before assisting in a much needed attitude adjustment.

Code Orange
Kneipp Stress Free Bath
If you have time to steal away to a safe haven, which in all likelihood will be your bathroom since large family gatherings typically mean that living rooms, kitchens, and even bedrooms are considered part of the public domain, draw a nice hot bath and add one capful of this mandarin and orange essential-oil-spiked soak. A few deep breaths will melt away the memory of all five times you were asked when you’d be getting married in the span of a single hour.

Sniff Test
Persephenie Mental Clarity Smelling Salts
Packed with organic rosemary, ginger, lavender, and wild frankincense oil-infused Mediterranean sea salt and menthol crystals, L.A.-based perfumer Persephenie Lea‘s amber glass bottle holds the key to an afternoon second wind—with just a few whiffs.

Striking Oil
H. Gillerman Organics’ True Relaxations Stress Remedy
As part of H. Gillerman’s line of holistic, noninvasive therapies that target back injury, chronic pain, computer-related injuries, and stress comes a simple, pure answer to possessing the self-control not to say things you can’t take back. A few dabs of this serene lavender/citrus/woodsy oil on pulse points is meant to help you find the composure to make “thoughtful choices.”

Burn Notice
Aveda Warmth Candle
Adorned with sustainable lokta paper packaging, which is produced by the Himalayan Bio Trade Private Limited (HBTL) cooperative, and handcrafted according to the ancient tradition of Nepali papermaking, Aveda’s latest holiday candle is scented with spicy aromas of ginger, ginger lily, and clove. The festive scent should keep you in the mood for merry-making, while easing away any lingering anxiety.

Photo: Courtesy of

Perfumer Persephenie Lea Goes Beyond Bespoke

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At the base, Persephenie Lea is an artist, but she’s got a mad scientist top note. Surrounded by extract-filled test tubes, droppers, and apothecary bottles, the exotic perfumer mixes up customized, scented potions for a select clientele at her appointment-only studio off L.A.’s W. Third Street. Last year, Lea made herself slightly more conspicuous with the launch of Persephenie, her debut line of naturally scented body butters, oils, powders, and balms. “I wanted to create products that people could use as part of their daily ritual,” she says of the decision to branch out. “Something special, but not so special that it was reserved for occasions.” She ended up with five different products, including Jade Camellia Organic Body Balm, Linden Blossom Dry Body Oil, Nanu Lei Fizzy Bath Powder, Nanu Lei Butter, and Neroli Infusion Organic Body Oil with Marula Oil, the lattermost of which is hand-pressed by a women’s collective in South Africa. This month, she’ll go a step further with the introduction of four ready-to-wear fragrances along with a line of aromatic jewelry (think: rosary riffs made from baked flowers soaked in rose oil, pictured at left in photos lensed by Lea’s friend and fellow artist (and former Jojovich-Hawk designer) Carmen Hawk). Below, the L.A. native breaks down each of her new eaux and shares her excitement at finally being able to “dive into all the different musks that are out there!”

What first inspired you to become an artist and professional tinkerer?

My father is a pawn broker, which had a huge influence on me. I grew up with all this vintage jewelry. And he’s an eccentric person. In his own way, he lives like an artist. He’s always creating weird, wonky mechanical things. My mother is also crafty.

How did that translate into creating body products and custom fragrances?

I got into botanicals because I love incense making. I explored medicinal/therapeutic uses for essential oils, but ultimately my artistic nature drove me to prioritize beauty and layer them for perfume. There are no schools in the U.S. [for this]; it’s more about individuals who have figured things out for themselves. I collected books and took courses with Jeanne Rose, the grandmother of aromatherapy in America. But the best learning experience was creating custom perfumes for actual people because I had to play with new ingredients. So, I think my best teachers are my clients.

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