Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Holiday Pastiche - Yule 2008



A Holiday Pastiche

Yule 2008


I do believe the ZOMG! Conjure Oils Holiday Contest will indeed become a staple in the annual traditions of this little perfume house that could. Compared to last year, the entries quadrupled - not just in size, but in sheer creativity as well. Submitted was everything from fragments of notes, to evocative titles to elaborate fleshed out stories with accompanying illustrations. Entries were varied, diverse, gorgeous - united in the theme of collage and random scraps of art, story and memory.

So it is with great pride that I unleash the fourteen entries that won the 2008 ZOMG! Conjure Oils Holiday contest out into the world! I hope I've done justice to the creativity with which I've been entrusted.

~Vajra

Available in 5ml, 10ml and pip sets.
$17.50 5ml, $27.50 10ml, $40 for 10 pip set.

The Anti-Claus

Santa's evil twin who, come New Year, delivers the consequences of too much holiday cheer!

Peppermint schnapps, coal dust, cigar smoke, and wooden switches

Karen Shibuya,
Virginia

Beiwe

Celebrate the Sámian Sun Goddess of fertility and sanity worshiped for millennia by the indigenous peoples of Fennoscandia who inhabit Northern Norway, Finland and Sweden as well as the Kola peninsula of Russia.

According to legend, Beiwe travels through the steel grey skies of Lapland with her daughter Beiwe-Neia in a ship made of reindeer bones delivering the first green shoots of vegetation to the earth so her beloved reindeers may thrive.

During the festival of Beiwe, celebrants slather their doors with butter to fuel Beiwe and her daughter during their verdant travels and call on her to cure the insanity that only the relentless long dark nights of winter can induce.

A restorative blend of reindeer bone dust , butter, charred amber, myrrh and fragile Scandinavian green herbs

Jennifer Teixeira,
SF Bay Area, CA

Celestial Cow

Then this god said to Nut:
I placed myself on thy back to be elevated; what then?
So said he, and Nut became the sky.
The majesty of this god begged:
Be far from them and elevate me, that I may see (them).
And the On High came into being.
Then the majesty of this god looked into her, and she said:
Make me into a multitude!
And stars came into being.
The majesty of this god, let him live, be safe and in good health, said:
Peaceful is the field here!
And Sekhet-Hotep (the Field of Peace) came into being.
Oh, I shall plant green herbs in it!
And Sekhet-Aaru (the Field of Reeds) came into being.
From the Book of the Heavenly Cow

As winter drew closer around the northern hemisphere, the ancient Egyptians celebrated the Establishment of the Celestial Cow - a time of joy, humble offerings, and thanksgiving. Nut, the goddess of Heaven, takes Ra on her back and lifts Him up high, to his place as the Sun - and so, the universe is restored to order and harmony.

A blackberry sky sparkling with vanilla stars, a cup full of celestial milk from the Cow, and warm Egyptian musk

Jenny Mathiasson,
UK

Christmas in Sydney

Move over eggnog, Yule log and heaps of snow! Time to soak in the summer sun and celebrate with friends at the beach, twilight barbecues and a dip in the Ocean!

Frangipani, jasmine absolute float in the air. Bodies slathered with coconut oil and cocoa butter and freshly mown grass and sea-spray in the distance

Dominica,
Sydney, Australia

Flannel Pajamas

Wrapping paper scraps litter the floor, gold and silver boxes of treasured gifts are stacked precariously in corners showing signs of hasty abandonment caused by the intoxicating smell wafting in from the breakfast table.

Piping hot buttermilk pancakes, Oregon blueberry compote, whipped cream, raw sugar and raspberries with a hint of maple syrup and a touch of golden honey

Alex Cully,
San Leandro, CA

Gloucestershire Wassail

"Wassail, Wassail, all over the town
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree
With the wassailing bowl we'll drink to thee

So here is to Cherry and to his right cheek
Pray God send our master a good piece of beef
And a good piece of beef that we may all see
With the wassailing bowl we'll drink to thee

And here is to Dobbin and to his right eye
Pray God send our master a good Christmas pie
And a good Christmas pie that we may all see
With our wassailing bowl we'll drink to thee

So here is to Broad Mary and to her broad horn
May God send our master a good crop of corn
And a good crop of corn that we may all see
With our wassailing bowl we'll drink to thee

And here is to Fillpail and to her left ear
Pray God send our master a happy New Year
And a happy New Year as e'er he did see
With our wassailing bowl we'll drink to thee

And here is to Colly and to her long tail
Pray God send our master he never may fail
A bowl of strong beer! I pray you draw near
And our jolly wassail it's then you shall hear

Come Butler , come fill us a bowl of the best
Then we hope that your soul in heaven may rest
But if you do draw us a bowl of the small
Then down shall go butler, bowl and all

Then here's to the maid in the lily white smock
Who tripped to the door and slipped back the lock
Who tripped to the door and pulled back the pin
For to let these jolly wassailers in

Wassail, Wassail, all over the town
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree
With the wassailing bowl we'll drink to thee"


Apple orchard Wassailing is held on the Old Twelfth Night, January 17 as the villagers form a circle around the largest apple tree to hang pieces cider-soaked toast in the branches for the robins who represent the 'good spirits' of the tree. A shotgun is fired overhead to scare away evil spirits and the group sings, the following being the last verse:

"Old Apple tree, old apple tree;
We've come to wassail thee;
To bear and to bow apples enow;
Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full;
Barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs "


Sugary maples, sweet cloved cider, fresh sage, crisp white pine boughs and the memory of smoky warm hearths from the once-great crumbling castle halls


Meghan Moyer,
Hoffman Estates, IL

Hanerot Halalu

Hanerot halalu anachnu madlikin
Al hanissim ve'al haniflaot
Al hatshuot ve'al hamilchamot
She'asita la'avoteinu


"We light these lights for the miracles and for the wonders, for the redemption and for the battles that you made for our fore feathers."

The bright reverence of the Festival of Lights: Cypress , myrtle, sweet cloves, citron, olive oil, and melting candle wax with a hint of smoke

Nikki Imai & Michelle Parker
Irvine, CA/Ottawa, ON

Hannukah O Hannuka

Come light the Menorah
Let's have a party
We'll all dance the Horah
Gather round the table
We'll give you a treat
S'vivon to play
And levivot to eat


All the sweet treats of Hannukah!

Strawberry-filled sufganiyot, a dusting of powdered sugar, honey-crusted sesame seed candies and milk chocolate gelt

Nikki Imai & Michelle Parker
Irvine, CA/Ottawa, ON

The Holly King

Men, women and children begin the journey through the long, darkened days of Winter's reign. The scent of peat moss burning on a vivacious fire drifts through the frigid air as the defeated Oak King secedes his reign to the Lord of the Winterwood, the Holly King! Be emboldened with the knowledge that though the fertility of the earth may have temporarily ceased, the strength and virility of the Winter Lord will see his children through the dark half of the year.

Midnight musk, peat moss, balsam fir, charred oak kindling and holly berries heavy with frost

Zola Pickett ,
Greenville, MS

Krampusnacht

Observed on December 5th, the eve of St. Nicholas' Day, Krampusnacht is an old European invitation for masked devils and dreaded mummers to torment sweet little boys and girls by rattling terrifying chains and ringing hellish bells.

Revel and dance in this ancient revival of a Saturnalian tradition!

Conjure Oils' Apothecary Dragon's Blood slathered in Devil's Food Cake and smoked cocoa

Vajra,
Portland, OR
(Yeah, I had to get at least one of my own in here!)

Little Match Girl

The Little Match Girl
By Hans Christian Andersen
first published in 1845

"Most terribly cold it was; it snowed, and was nearly quite dark, and evening-- the last evening of the year. In this cold and darkness there went along the street a poor little girl, bareheaded, and with naked feet. When she left home she had slippers on, it is true; but what was the good of that? They were very large slippers, which her mother had hitherto worn; so large were they; and the poor little thing lost them as she scuffled away across the street, because of two carriages that rolled by dreadfully fast.

"One slipper was nowhere to be found; the other had been laid hold of by an urchin, and off he ran with it; he thought it would do capitally for a cradle when he some day or other should have children himself. So the little maiden walked on with her tiny naked feet, that were quite red and blue from cold. She carried a quantity of matches in an old apron, and she held a bundle of them in her hand. Nobody had bought anything of her the whole livelong day; no one had given her a single farthing.

"She crept along trembling with cold and hunger--a very picture of sorrow, the poor little thing!

"The flakes of snow covered her long fair hair, which fell in beautiful curls around her neck; but of that, of course, she never once now thought. From all the windows the candles were gleaming, and it smelt so deliciously of roast goose, for you know it was New Year's Eve; yes, of that she thought.

"In a corner formed by two houses, of which one advanced more than the other, she seated herself down and cowered together. Her little feet she had drawn close up to her, but she grew colder and colder, and to go home she did not venture, for she had not sold any matches and could not bring a farthing of money: from her father she would certainly get blows, and at home it was cold too, for above her she had only the roof, through which the wind whistled, even though the largest cracks were stopped up with straw and rags.

"Her little hands were almost numbed with cold. Oh! a match might afford her a world of comfort, if she only dared take a single one out of the bundle, draw it against the wall, and warm her fingers by it. She drew one out. "Rischt!" how it blazed, how it burnt! It was a warm, bright flame, like a candle, as she held her hands over it: it was a wonderful light. It seemed really to the little maiden as though she were sitting before a large iron stove, with burnished brass feet and a brass ornament at top. The fire burned with such blessed influence; it warmed so delightfully. The little girl had already stretched out her feet to warm them too; but--the small flame went out, the stove vanished: she had only the remains of the burnt-out match in her hand.

"She rubbed another against the wall: it burned brightly, and where the light fell on the wall, there the wall became transparent like a veil, so that she could see into the room. On the table was spread a snow-white tablecloth; upon it was a splendid porcelain service, and the roast goose was steaming famously with its stuffing of apple and dried plums. And what was still more capital to behold was, the goose hopped down from the dish, reeled about on the floor with knife and fork in its breast, till it came up to the poor little girl; when--the match went out and nothing but the thick, cold, damp wall was left behind. She lighted another match. Now there she was sitting under the most magnificent Christmas tree: it was still larger, and more decorated than the one which she had seen through the glass door in the rich merchant's house.

"Thousands of lights were burning on the green branches, and gaily-colored pictures, such as she had seen in the shop-windows, looked down upon her. The little maiden stretched out her hands towards them when--the match went out. The lights of the Christmas tree rose higher and higher, she saw them now as stars in heaven; one fell down and formed a long trail of fire.

"Someone is just dead!" said the little girl; for her old grandmother, the only person who had loved her, and who was now no more, had told her, that when a star falls, a soul ascends to God.

"She drew another match against the wall: it was again light, and in the luster there stood the old grandmother, so bright and radiant, so mild, and with such an expression of love.

"Grandmother!" cried the little one. "Oh, take me with you! You go away when the match burns out; you vanish like the warm stove, like the delicious roast goose, and like the magnificent Christmas tree!" And she rubbed the whole bundle of matches quickly against the wall, for she wanted to be quite sure of keeping her grandmother near her. And the matches gave such a brilliant light that it was brighter than at noon-day: never formerly had the grandmother been so beautiful and so tall. She took the little maiden, on her arm, and both flew in brightness and in joy so high, so very high, and then above was neither cold, nor hunger, nor anxiety--they were with God.

"But in the corner, at the cold hour of dawn, sat the poor girl, with rosy cheeks and with a smiling mouth, leaning against the wall--frozen to death on the last evening of the old year. Stiff and stark sat the child there with her matches, of which one bundle had been burnt. "She wanted to warm herself," people said. No one had the slightest suspicion of what beautiful things she had seen; no one even dreamed of the splendor in which, with her grandmother she had entered on the joys of a new year."

Dying matches, splintered wood, bitter snow and the tantalizing visions of apples and dried plums fading from a vision

Atalanta & Fawxe,
Texas

Snegurochka

In Russian folklore, there is a snow maiden named Snegurochka - daughter and helper of Grandfather Frost who has the jolly task of delivering presents to children on Christmas. In one old fairy tale, Snegurochka yearns for the companionship of mortal humans and falls in love with a beautiful shepherd named Lel. Unfortunately, her heart is frozen and unable to know love. Her mother - Mother Spring - takes pity on her dear Snegurochka and gives her heart the capacity to love. However, her heart of snow and deep ice melts in the heat of passion.

Snegurochka, how cold it is!
Vitreous soul
It does not wait my love
It knows all secrets in advance
How difficult it is for me
What more can I say?
And my heart aches
Ice heated
And difficultly selected words
Where is your accordion?
Where is the light of love?
Do you not know?


romantic and withering iced rose warmed with a heart of oud and ignited with spicy ginger

Christine D.,
Portland, OR

We Three Kings

We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts we traverse afar
Field and fountain
Moor and mountain
Following yonder star


Strange travelers from exotic lands, following their faith in the promise of a star.

Red amber, dark patchouli, sweet clove, Ceylon cinnamon, frankincense, Moroccan myrrh, and warm vanilla, all on an Eastern wind

Nikki Imai & Michelle Parker
Irvine, CA/Ottawa, ON

White Dove of Peace

May peace, goodwill and justice prevail on Earth!

Pure white lilies, gossamer musk, vanilla orchids, white peach and olive blossoms

Saribeth K.,
Chicago, IL

Yule After Hours

Late at night after the little ones have gone to bed, the adults gather around a massive dining room table for a celebration of their own - drinks and gambling!

Irish Cream, wisps of cigar tobacco, the faint smell of the Yule tree and just a hint of the ubiquitous holiday scent of cinnamon and baking spices

Erin Leigh,
Cherry, IL

But wait! There's more!


Too good to be gone forever! Five scents make an encore from 2007's The World Celebrates - Yule 2007 line!

Available in 5ml, 5ml sets and 10ml sizes.


Bhai Dooj 2008


a Hindu ceremony performed on the second day after Diwali in which siblings honor and celebrate one another. Sisters draw sacred Tilak markings made of sandalwood or vermilion paste on their brothers foreheads with unbroken grains of rice as an expression of love and gratitude for their support and protection. In turn, brothers shower sisters with luxurious gifts, jewel toned flowers and promises of continued love and loyalty

a fiery blend with a heart of sandalwood paste and a soul of incense, basmati rice, dried ginger, comforting allspice and a daub of ghee

contributed by Julia Ingber, New York, USA 2007

Ded Moroz 2008

Ded Moroz, or Father Frost, is a character akin to Santa Claus in the Ukraine and other parts of Eastern Europe. He delivers gifts in person to children with his granddaughter Snegurochka,"Snow Maiden", donning his heel-length, crimson fur lined coat, hat and valenki boots. Celebrate a true Ukrainian Christmas with perennially popular Eastern European cookies baked special for Ded Moroz and Snegurochka! Cut into rounds, stars, or crescents, they are often hung on the lower branches of the Yule tree as treats for the younger children

notes in this delectable offering are warm and dry ginger, golden peach honey, orange peel and toasted almonds with a just a hint of spice and a delicate dusting of powdered sugar on top

contributed by Jennifer Tonapi, Ohio, USA 2007

Festival of Lights 2008


Hanukkah, the Hebrew word sometimes translated as "dedication" or "consecration", is celebrated on the 25th day in the month of Kislev, falling anywhere between late November to late December. It is marked by lighting candles each night on the Menorah just after dusk to invite miracles, wonders and to express gratitude.

a scent for Hanukkah, warm and inviting: fresh baked loaves of Challah, golden tendrils of honey, sweet beeswax candles, frankincense, saffron, and clove

Contributed by Shawna Morse, Georgia, USA 2007

Misa del Gallo 2008

Misa del Gallo, or "Roosters Mass" is a name used in Latin America for the Catholic Tradition of Midnight Mass. It comes from the belief that the rooster was one of the first creatures to witness and then announce the birth of the infant Jesus.

celebrate midnight mass in an ancient cathedral: dark amber, sweet myrrh, olibanum, candle smoke wafting heavenward, raw chocolate, desert chaparral and sweetgrass

Contributed by Gary Lodato, North Carolina, USA 2007

Saint Lucia 2008

Observed on December 13 in Scandinavian countries, it is the Feast Day of Saint Lucia, whose name means "light".This is represented in the yearly tradition of choosing one lucky little girl to wear a flowing white gown, don a glowing candle-studded crown and lead a line of candle bearing maidens trailing behind her to represent Saint Lucia overcoming the darkness of her blindness. The Saint is often portrayed holding a golden plate containing her own eyes that some say were plucked out by enemies, yet other sources claim that she gouged them out herself. It is of no surprise then that she is venerated at the darkest time of the year

an illuminating blend offering the sweet scent of lucia yeast buns baked with cardamom and saffron then slowly drizzled with sweet orange glaze rounded out with just a hint of lingonberry twigs from the candle wreath warmed by the candle's steady glow

Contributed by Lindsay Van Acker, California, USA 2007

A Holiday Pastiche - Yule 2008 will be offered until the New Year, or until supplies are exhausted!

Thanks for your love and support!

All the best,

Vajra

2 comments:

Tessa said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Ruth

http://muffinsnow.com

Anonymous said...

very useful read. I would love to follow you on twitter.