“Where should one use perfume? Wherever one wants to be kissed.” – Coco Chanel
As I took a stroll down the chic Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice — matcha latte in hand from Shuhari– I glanced through a perfume shop window: Strange Invisible. The inviting perfumery caught my curiosity, so I went inside to the sample bar and began testing a few blends. There were many intriguing scents and nothing artificial. These are pure botanical fragrances– amber, moss, ylang ylang, hydro-distilled rose, lemon, orange, marjoram, sandalwood, among other natural ingredients– all custom blended. Each plant, flower, seed, wood, and resin essence combined into a collection of beautiful aromatic fragrances.
For instance, Magazine Street. Inspired by New Orleans history and balconies of black iron lace, this lush perfume has notes of magnolia, vanilla, vetiver & botanical musk. It took several moments to notice the mysterious changes this particular perfume as it mingled with my body chemistry. Personally, I’m well aware of the many interesting scents of New Orleans, both delicious and awful, having lived there for several years.
One note reminded me of a favorite French Quarter bookstore, then another note, the warm humid nights, then the scent after a rainstorm when the fragrance of magnolias are heavy in the damp air. The complex scent changed so many times that it blossomed into something more than just a pretty smelling fragrance to wear.
“No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory.” – Gabrielle Chanel
The other scents at the Perfume Mini Bar that made me swoon:Fair Verona jasmine blossoms, bergamot, pink grapefruit, sandalwood, mimosa absolute.Aquarian Rose hydro-distilled rose, orange, marjoram & sandalwoodEpic Gardenia fresh gardeniasL’Invisible lemon, bergamot, mandarin, vanilla, rose, ylang ylang, jasmine, oakmoss.Peloponnesian orange & lime, cypress, orange flower, mountain sage honey & botanical musk
Botanical perfumer Alexandra Balahoutis creates each fragrance as an original perfume blend. Certified organic, wildcrafted, biodynamic, and hydro-distilled essences, she makes limited batches blended by hand. The perfumes are crafted with a base of custom-distilled esprit de Cognac, aged for a minimum of six months. All Strange Invisible Perfumes are completely botanical and unfiltered.
“I did not want factory-born flowers. I wanted the real thing, so I had to make it.” – Alexandra Balahoutis, Strange Invisible Perfumer
Since it took some time to decide (I couldn’t choose just one perfume) I decided upon the perfume minibar. The hand-made purple box contains an extensive sampling of the Strange Invisible Signature Collection. I’d recommend this for the first-time buyer so that the magical quality of each perfume may work its wonders upon your own senses, allowing their botanical essences to create their many layered mystique.
The Strange Invisible Signature Collection is available online as well as in their Venice store. There are also the Perfumes of the Zodiac which are unique blends inspired by each zodiac sign. The Ojai home fragrances and bath and body lines are beautiful ways to surround yourself with botanicals in every aspect of your life. These quality hand-crafted scents are par with some of the finest.
Strange Invisible, 1138 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291