Catalyst Magazine

Heaven’s Alchemy
The good-smelling parts of history (in a bottle)

Coming to work at the CATALYST office, you never know where each day’s tasks may send you. This particular day began with the unwrapping of a mysterious box containing one of the most beautiful crystal bottles I have ever seen, which catalyzed a 15-day world tour.

“It’s perfume,” Greta said, opening another box filled with small glass vials bearing names of cities – St. Petersburg, Casablanca, Alexandria, Paris, New York. Greta thinks almost all perfume stinks. But she was excited, knowing this stuff was different. We were about to encounter pure, undiluted perfume oils: no alcohol, chemicals, additives, artificial colors, parabens or phthalates.

I picked one out of the box, Zanzibar, pulled the stopper and inhaled: delicious scents of citrus, rose, sandalwood and musk. Suddenly I was standing in a busy street market with colors and sounds and smells chaotically swirling around me. I returned – no telling how long I was gone - trailing the exotic city’s scent with me the remainder of the day. This was my introduction to Heaven’s Alchemy.

This journey is exactly the perfume maker’s intention; to whisk you to another land where you are sensually transformed, inspired, in love, all through the simple act of smelling. These perfumes are the creation of a husband and wife team who combined their talents, their love of travel and romance, to embark on this most worthy adventure. They not only wanted to create exotic scents that took one to exotic places, but they also desired to provide perfume without alcohol, color additives or chemicals that are rich and complex, they change subtly and oh, so sensually as they blend with one’s skin.

The bottles are yet another aspect of beauty; each city’s unique bottle is handcrafted crystal and just like its smell, captures the essence of the city through its design.

I spent the next two weeks exploring a different "city" every day. I could sense the essence of the cities where I have actually traveled and by this, I knew this perfume was authentic. My favorite of all the places I traveled this week, Jerusalem, contained delicate notes of amber, jasmine, exotic woods and musk.

Its description: “Like the smoldering flow of incense, Jerusalem washes over you. Rare and royal treasure from deepest history mingle in this exotic, soulful potion”. This perfume is less expensive than an overseas plane ticket, doesn't plague the conscience over carbon offset credits, cures its own jet lag and I swear it improves air quality. Highly recommended.

-By Carol Koleman

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