Electrum is an ancient word used to describe the smelting of gold to silver. This union, in alchemy, of the silver-symboled moon and the golden-decked sun, represents the sacred union of opposites. Electrum is also an old word for fossil baltic amber.
The perfume began with an extraction of chips of fossil baltic amber from a friend in Lithuania who makes jewelry and beads. The resulting scent is like that of an ancient temple bordering a dry oak forest, with sun-warmed notes of conifer, pitch, and the tanned leather notes of dry earth and stone. It smells ancient and has a long wear time on the skin. Known as an ancient medicine, baltic amber is has always been used during ceremonial times, as a gift for marriage, birth, or times of bereavement. It represents pivotal changes and offers a very old form of protection.
I wanted to create a luminous contrast with this special sacred amber, and so I added a very rare, pristine oil of white plumeria, so round, plush and hypnotic as to be the dress worn by the moon. Silken, and full of lush notes of peach and late harvest wine, the duet of sun and moon carried out in gold amber and silver flowers began.
I then started bridging these scents with vivid, joyful citrus, to lighten the amber and accentuate the golden aspects of the sun; wild orange, yellow and green mandarin, and lime kumquats which I candied in musky, heady pumpkin blossom honey.
Then I began rounding out the plumeria, creating a nightscape of jasmine vines, and a trance of temple roses. At this point it felt like the perfect time to complete this sol-lunar temple, and I added all of the oldest trees I know.
First I added a sizeable dose of Yakusugi, a 1000-3000 year old Japanese Red Cedar (Cryptomeria) from a sacred island from which the story of Princess Mononoke was based. Then I added the heartwood essence of "Big Tree" the giant douglas fir who fell a 1000 years ago on my home land, who we revere and worship as a family clan. Then I added pieces of pitch and traces of bark from bear and cougar torn trees, and the tears of red resin from lightning stricken giants. Lastly I added a single drop of Queen Sitka, my mentor and leader, who still stands as the oldest Sitka Spruce in North America.
After this, the perfumes stopped humming and speaking. The colors calmed in my mind. As the sun set a perfect moon rose up through willow, maple, and cypress. The scent, covering me in silver and gold, washed through my hair and hovering on my amber necklaces, took a bow and settled into bottles where it will wait to meet the people and animals it wishes to speak to. A harmony of elders in a bottle. Though many of these trees no longer stand, cut to the ground in bloody cruelty, they live in these bottles. What you choose to do with these scents is only half of the experience, what the elders ask of you is the other half.