If you live in the Los Angeles area, then you may have noticed the almost too perfect weather we’ve had the past couple of days. It’s been warm with the faintest hint of a perfect breeze and I couldn’t be happier. It really makes me want…perfume. Yes, that’s what it does and the fact that I get slapped in the face with the most gorgeous scent of freshly bloomed pink jasmine every time I step outside, doesn’t really soothe my one-track mindedness either. In fact, it really helps narrow down what I need. I need the most beautiful, yet natural white floral. I need jasmine. Not a medicinal, cold jasmine, like so many takes on the beautiful flower I have smelt, but something more warm and heady, like a real bushel of pink jasmine mixed with air. So, my search began, like the crackhead of a perfume addict that I am. Countless hours on Luckyscent and Etsy, reading description after description. Well, about 45 samples later (no, really, that’s how many I ordered), 2 trips the Scent Bar and about 12 hrs of research, I have found my summer gems.       Turns out jasmine wasn’t what I was looking for at all! Rather, it was the perfect gardenia that was missing from my life, and let me tell you, it was worth the dinero and the hrs. Go out (or really just open a new window on your computer) and order a bottle of Starlet perfume oil, by Lulubeauty on Etsy. OMG! OMG! AMAZING! This fragrance makes me wanna either be naked, frolicking through a field at about 5 o’clock on a warm summer evening, or, at least be in a super long, chiffon, waist cinched, creamy blush summer dress with an over-sized hat, but hey, to each her own. Phew! I thought I would die if I couldn’t find exactly what I was smelling in my head! But, thank my lucky perfume gods I did and now we can move on to something a little more personal.

Okay, so here it is. I. Am. A. Hippie…at heart. I know this hippie (maybe I mean gypsy? I’m both, okay?) heart has always been there, but I think it really started to flourish the first time I visited Ashland Oregon with my husband and his lovely family (well, they’re really MY lovely family, they just happen to have blood relation to him). They have been going to the Shakespeare Festival, that Ashland is famous for, every 4th of July, for 40 some odd years. The moment I stepped out of the car, and on to the street fair of Lithia Park, surrounded by hippies, patchouli, the smell of food and incense wafting through the air, I knew I was home. The designer jeans came off, and the newly purchased cheap hippie dress went on and the rest is history. So, now, at about this time, every year, when the air is warm and fragrant, I begin to get that Ashland itch. Real bad. The summery air makes me long for the balmy, warm summer nights sitting under the stars of the Elizabethan Play House, watching another brilliant rendition of Shakespeare, drinking mulled wine and holding hands with the love of my life. I think to myself, “I could do this for the rest of my life. I could just pack up, move my little family to Ashland, raise little hippie babies, open a little studio and just be a hippie photographer who gets payed in play tickets and essential oils. Ya, I could do that”.

If you’re still with me, congratulations! I’m getting to a point, I swear! and this is it… fragrance and memories are to me what spices are to a chef. It has to be just the right spice or herb and just the right amount to take a dish from delightful and good, to something that is unforgettable. For me, I HAVE to have a fragrance to accompany my memories. It has to be the RIGHT fragrance. Something special, thought out and unique, like an amazing recipe. Each year I associate a new fragrance with Ashland. It’s always a summery scent (or maybe I just think it is because it reminds me of Ashland?) and brings me back to that feeling every time I get a whiff. So, in my struggles to find the perfect white floral, I was also having what I call a perfume conniption fit. I was torn between my clean floral mindset, and my dirty hippie heart. So, I did what any good perfume addict would do, and spent a bunch of money on both! My trips to the Scent Bar helped me realize that there is no perfect jasmine perfume in production for a gal like me (remember, because it was a long time ago, it ended up being gardenia, which I found here), but there IS a perfect dirty hippie one!

OK, so it’s not really dirty and I don’t think any hippie would be purchasing it any time soon, but it was EXACTLY what my hippie/gypsy heart was looking for, and I am proud to say that it will see the night of Ashland. It’s called L’Air Du Desert Morocain and it is magic in a bottle. When I was describing the feeling I wanted to convey to the sales associate, I said, “look, to put it bluntly, I wanna smell like an expensive hippie, do ya get me?” He did and this is what he gave me. Turns out this perfume has a huge cult following, so I’m not alone in the obsession. And, no, you will not wreak of patchouli. You will smell warm and beautiful, mysterious and magical,  like its name, Moroccan desert air. Or, if you’re me, you’ll smell exactly like what you dream about… you’ll smell like Ashland.

Random shots of the lusciousness growing in our yard…
Mexican limes and their lovely little blossoms. I like to squeeze these babies onto chicken and then throw some round slices on top before roasting. Makes for a very pretty culinary treat (and makes me look super fancy to dinner guests)!
The delicious pink jasmine that is responsible for my perfume relapse.
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