In love with the ephemeral
Like floral designers, expert bakers and side-walk-chalk artists, my medium is impermanent. I actually LOVE that about henna, good food or a thoughtful event: so much effort and energy for something that is ephemeral. We are forced to pay attention and enjoy the moment.
...a quick word on permanent. Nothing truly lasts forever, and nothing really disappears. We can wax poetic or be scientific. Henna is as permanent as anything, because the lawsone molecule from the plant bonds with the protein in your skin (permanently). It is your skin cells that renew, leaving the illusion the design has disappeared.
Alchemy is popping up inside June & December
Bringing all kinds of amazingness: botanical perfumes, henna body art and rituals for a more contented life!
Find me inside June & December, Berkley!
In 2011 when I started my business, finding the right name had me stuck. I landed on Alchemy because it is the perfect blend of science and magic. All that I do at Alchemy is at that intersection where the decisions and outcomes can be explained by science: but FEEL more like magic.
And plants are the thread tying it all together... henna, perfume, and rituals.
The Art of Slow Living
BS Recreation & Leisure Studies
Indie + Natural = Synthetic Free Scents
Botanical Perfumery is rooted in alchemy and ritual: borrowing the natural materials of aromatherapy, while sharing the goals of commercial perfumery - and aesthetically pleasing modern fragrance. Where the big companies rely on labs and advances in chemistry to synthesize ingredients, Indie Natural Perfumers harvest ours from nature.
Indie + NATURAL
Synthetic perfume sales are down at department stores. Consumers are savvy and are craving authentic fragrances just as they do farm-table food, craft beer and cocktails and vegan options. Our clients are increasingly aware of the dangers of synthesized fragrances and are choosing niche, natural, boutique brands.
Our new line of purse and pocket friendly perfumes are now available at Made Studio + Market and online at alchemyslowliving.com
Etched Incense and Ritual Guide Cards
Burning incense has a symbolic meaning that helps focus the attention on the purpose of a ritual and cleanse the air. At times a particular fragrance is chosen for the purpose of specific goals.
Palo Santo has gained popularity. And we LOVE it. But find Sandalwood is a lovely option when seeking physical and emotional healing.
There is a subtle and soothing fragrance to the wood that is an intentional reminder of peace. Sandalwood is thought to attract positivity, and promote a tranquil state of mind.
Our raw incense sticks are etched with incantations and mehndi-inspired designs: gift sets, etc available in person at the studio or online at alchemyslowliving.com
“How much does it cost” is a reasonable question, right? You want to know a couple of things: value for your dollar AND how to budget. It makes sense.
Answering the question isn’t as easy though. Yes, I could have a design book and a price list, but that would mean that I do the same pieces over and over and over. You wouldn’t get a unique piece of artwork, and I would have stopped doing henna a long time ago out of boredom (plus, I wouldn’t grow or be challenged as an artist).
When it comes to henna, the question of ‘how much does it cost’ is a little like asking the clerk at the gas station ‘how much do I owe’ before you pump the gas.
The analogy isn’t pretty, but it’s apt. At the gas station you can pay ahead $25 and the pump will stop. Likewise, if you want $25 in henna, I can do that. Or, I can ‘fill ‘er up’!
To give you an idea of how much henna you get for $20, please refer to the photo on the left... the photo on the right would be $40 each, or both for $75.
(to complicate things further, if you wanted super dense, fiddly, detailed henna that covered the same space, the henna would be more).
There’s a bit of mental algorithm I use based on these sketches and the looseness of the design.
Still not sure? Feel free to reach out.
Big Companies have coopted the language of small business
Every since I heard an ad for Amazon's music streaming app, I've been thinking about the real meaning of words. I mean, really. Amazon 'hand curates' your playlist?... or Busch makes craft beer (they have purchased some companies that used to make craft beer)...and Estee Lauder doesn't make niche anything (they own the Jo Malone and Le Labo brands).
As a maker of products in actual small batches I find myself surprisingly resentful that the multinationals refer to their products as niche, or small batch... hand crafted and branded as locally made.
As a SMALL business owner who relies on words to communicate what Alchemy is all about; I think it would be great if we all understood words to mean the same thing. That natural means the product is made with materials actually found in nature. And that SMALL actually means made by a small (sometimes very small) company, not a ginormous conglomerate.
Consumers have a craving for authenticity and nostalgia; in fact the movement toward local, and real is cutting into the profit margins of BIG, which is why the BIGs are branding products as niche and small batch and authentic. They spend a LOT of money selling that story.
The authenticity is probably more authentic if you're purchasing from a closely held (SMALL) business, your local perfumer, artist or maker.
BIG Food in 'small' packaging (Artisinal brands that masquerade)
Natural Wellness Brands (like Toms of Maine) owned by BIG
Fragrances from Fruits and Flowers
A fresh and feminine take on botanical perfumery... and a natural evolution of my love of plant-based beauty products. Applying traditional and modern techniques to create sophisticated and complex perfumes that are free of synthetics.
Niche, natural perfumes - a passion project at Alchemy.
Niche Perfumes - 100% synthetic free - Naturally
Slow Fragrance and the Art of Slow Living
The art and science of creating perfumes from plants has become a passion on parallel with my love of the artistry of henna. A natural evolution of working with plant essences for skincare, perfumes are the new direction of Alchemy. I will continue to make products on-demand for the studio, teach workshops and use my recipes for facials, but I won't be making batches for online sales or retail.
I would love for you to take advantage of the sell-down of skincare online and in the studio (until May 31, 2018). They are wonderfully nurturing and effective.
As I write this, the designer is working out the exact dimensions of the labels and then will order the plates for printing labels for a new line of purse-sized atomizers. The perfumes will be available Mother's Day weekend.
Alchemy remains the Art of Slow Living and curate a collection of rituals for self-care and sensory experiences seasonally.
...some new releases!
Answering the call for compact, travel-friendly bottles, Alchemy is launching a line of purse-sized atomizers. Still 100% plant essences, the perfumes are in 10mL Italian glass bottles, with the same premium misters as the larger 'vanity' sized bottles of Meiuke and Madeline.
Priced at $35 and perfect for gifting; to yourself, or a loved one.
le Fete - Apricot & Rose
Bougie Carnival - Champaca Flowers
Khus Attar - a traditional Indian Vetiver perfume
Bunny - Ylang Ylang and Vanilla
Fleuriste - a traditional cologne with citrus top notes and herbaceous finish
Kodama - Saffron and citrus with aromas of damp woods and sacred space:named for the mythical protectors of the forest
New Natural Fragrances* by Alchemy Perfumes
Just a couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough travel for an advanced workshop lead by Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume.
One of our challenges was to create a fragrance with just a few premium ingredients: authentically original, pleasing, balanced, memorable and lasting. Two new natural perfumes by Alchemy are directly a result of this challenge!
The new fragrances will be available in time for Mother's Day!
It's true that just listing 'fragrance' on a label lets the manufacture out of a whole slew of disclosures, but it's also true that there are a LOT of ethical, natural perfumers working with plant-based, natural essences to produce gorgeous fragrance.