Friday, December 17, 2010

Indonesian artist F. Widayanto

F. Widayanto is a ceramic artist practicing in Jakarta, Indonesia. He has his own studio that is open to the public for ceramic experience and gourmet lunch by appointment. Here are some of his latest work featured in the exhibition and the book called Narcissus Narcissus at Galeri Nasional Indonesia in 2007.
Here is the link to the studio site to read more about Mr. Widayanto. On my next trip to Java, I will visit his studio from Jakarta on the way to Bogor.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Brand new Perfume from Hawaii

I special ordered this perfume from Hawaii. It is inspired by the flowers Telosma cordata. I love this flower since I was a child. I would go with my Mom to the market to buy them, the seller will wrap them in banana leaf or newspaper. The flowers were then washed and we would cook the winter melon soup with small cubes of meat, shrimp, mushroom and corn and then the winter melon will be in cubes too. Then when ready to serve, we will put the Telosma flowers in the soup bowl and pour the soup on top. The flowers are crunchy and fragrant.
Now I still eat the dish like this with flowers came from Vietnam by air.
The long flight made the flowers lost the fragrant. There is no hope to cultivate the plant as our gray sky and cold weather in winter will kill the plant.
Saffron James' Ipo opens with a strong top note of lemon, more precise the smell if bruised lemongrass, so it is a combination of lemon and ginger with an air of lemon sorbet. Then it settled down with a hint of violet and sweeter smell helped by orange blossom. It is actually quite beautiful. I think it is a great summer fragrance.
The painting I have chosen to describe the scent is young man in a fantastic costume ready for dancing or battle.

Widespread from eastern India to southeast Asia, Pakalana (also known as Chinese Violet) was introduced to Hawaii by immigrants from southern China around 1823. An ancient Chinese tale contends that a troop of savage warriors once seized an enemy castle but that night the aromatic powers of this dusk-blooming flower over took them and by morning the enchanting fragrance had inspired such tranquility, they inexplicably abandoned their conquest.

Since then, like the full moon, the captivating scent of this local favorite has earned a reputation for rousing the most unexpected behaviors.

Got New Perfume

Caron's Aimez-Moi is a beautiful violet scent with light citrus opening and deep violet and rose heart with lots of spice and very warm base hugging the skin and a little bit last and last and the silage is fantastic. The scent is sensual and sexy, best put on a see thru black lace shirt or something in velvet. This is my image of it.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

thinking about new fragrance

I think I am going to Penhaligon's Violetta next, just a 50ml to last for a while. This violet scent is more sharp and long lasting, a soliflore with strong sillage. But the citrus opening and strong violet heart and geranium accord is balanced by the musk drydown. I am already using the handcream which is powerful. I will think of a drawing to describe the scent.

Friday, November 19, 2010

new perfume purchased

I love violet scent and after smelling a few different brands, I decided to get another one to alternate with L'Artisan Parfumeur's Verte Violette. It is Borsari's Violetta di Parma. It is beautiful and subtle, a little more spicy and just a touch of powder. Compared to Penhaligon's Violetta which is crisp and old fashioned, Borsari's is more private and gentle.
Here is one of my painting to go with the scent.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Japanese film

This is the film that I saw at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the director was there talking after the screening. The subject is so shocking and the film is well done and a lot of fun.
Adult themed though!
Here is the web site and go for the trailer, I love the music and the big cat "Kuma" is so cute!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Niche Perfume and my art: I am trying to draw some correspondances of these niche perfumes that I have to my paintings

L'Artisan Parfumeur Verte Violette: green scent with purple vision

Parfumeurie Generale #19 Louanges Profones: smooth, mystical floriental with playful caresses of angel's feather

Carthusia Ligea la Sirena: powdery, intoxicating scent near the ocean

Parfumeurie Generale #05 L'eau de Circe: deceptively sweet, cunning and eloquent, ready for transformation

Tocca Florence: young and carefree

Fragonard Fleur d'oranger: classic and masculine

L'Artisan Parfumeur Fleur de Liane: cool, intriguing and labyrinthine

Serge Lutens Datura Noir: intoxicating, corrupt and decadent

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834: mysterious, dark and ancient

Penhaligon's Amaranthine: hothousy, becoming

Monday, October 4, 2010

Parfumerie Generale L'Eau de Circe

I gave this perfume a second chance and love it. I have been collecting the soliflore (single flora scent) and although the scent of jasmine, lily of the valley, narcissus etc. is all pretty, but kind of lacks drama or story telling.
Finally I tested L'eau de Circe on my left arm and Psychotrope on my right. 5 minutes later the flora top in Psychotrope disappeared and all left on my arm was leather, and my whole arm and right body smelled like a leather couch! I was horrified!
My left side of the body smell fruity from an application of Violette in Love from Parfum de Nicholaii and L'Eau de Circe. I am not so used to the raspberry in Violette in Love. I already got a greener violet scent. So I am more happy to choose L'Eau de Circe which is smooth as silk, powdery and very sweet that is not from fruit. It smells like bitter sweet herbal thoat candy and the scent has great sillage, so everyone around me can pick up on the sweetness but the scent is very private too not in your face. I got used to the scent after a while but once subjected to a sudden change of temperature as from warm to cold, the scent come rushing around me again.
L'Eau de Circe is the magic potion from the Greek Goddess that turned Odysseus men into pigs.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vietnamese new style cuisine

I deepfried the Vietnamese chip and also some Sesbania grandiflora flowers and for sweetness, use a passiflora or Akebia or Descainea pulp mixture.

Buddhist Flower of the other shore, Higanhana

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Fragrance Profiling at Penhaligon's

This is the result from my fragrance profiling at Penhaligon's. I am glad that Nazrin at the Perfume Shoppe in Vancouver also chose this one for me. The scent is beautiful and suits me well.

Dear Victor,

Thank you for taking the time to answer the questions in our online Fragrance Profiling Service. Your answers were interesting and illuminating. I would like to recommend the scents pictured below and explain why I have chosen these particular fragrances for you. I trust you will enjoy my choices and choose a Penhaligons’ fragrance that is perfect for you.

Two fragrances for you Victor, one a wonderful tropical scent thick with banana, spiced oils and milk, the other a swirling dark coffee tinted wonder.

My first choice may be a risk. You said you have moved away from the sweeter side of things but i want to tempt you back with something not sweet exactly, but sticky and tropical with libidinous notes rising and falling as it engulfs the skin. Amaranthine was launched last year to critical acclaim and client love/hate. It is a challenging fragrance. I LOVE it, love the way is dirties up the skin, love its confrontation, from its plantation banana leaf and cardamom oil top to its fleshy ylang heart and the soothing milky drydown. Every moment of this journey is wonderful. This scent is decadent but intensely private too, everything seems to contradict and harmonise at the same time. I love its seemingly prim and proper surface and the dark sensual forces swirling beneath. It sends out a coded warning.....beware, beneath my tailored exterior, savage waters run. So clever and vibrant, shimmering with stifled emotions and unspoken desire. Amaranthine is not for everyone, it is cutting-edge fragrance at its best, but if you fall for its charms, it will sweep you away.

My other choice is very different. A soft, swirling coffee-tinted scent called Endymion. It is semi-oriental fragrance built around a gorgeous latte style heart with fragrant nutmeg, sage, mandarin and a spicy undertow. It feels velvety and very sensual on the skin, all the elements smoothing into moonlit strolls in soft lit gardens, everything glowing in the moonlight. It is sweet, but gently so, as the skin warms up, mysterious resins rise up with hints of creamy musks and cardamom, all wrapped in the softest of leather. Endymion just works, smells fantastic and will add something a little different to your scent wardrobe.

I hope you enjoy exploring these fragrances further and find something that fits you. Have fun and do let me know how you get on.

Kind Regards

Alex Musgrave

Saturday, September 11, 2010

European goodies

Thank you so much for my friend Sawako who brought back so many goodies from France. The Laduree cookbook on sweets is beautiful and I will follow the receipes to make wonderful macarons and cakes. The french candies are all very sophisticated, especially the Forestines, I had tasted them when I was very small. This brought back very sweet memories of childhood's goodtime.
I think we had great time exploring the niche perfumes. Thank you again.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Aristolochia tentaculata

This beautiful vine is finally flowering after I cultivated it for almost 7 years. Aristolochia tentaculata is nice and I have the first flower today, and a lot more to come.
I am sketching it along with Aristolochia gibertii which I have never painted.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

New Painting

This is the costume I am working on. The form is from Northern India. The patterns modelled after a batik cloth by famous Indonesian batik artist.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Painting Wayang Wong Costume

The costume is inspired by the velvet jacket worn by members of the royal family at Yogyakarta of Central Java. The matching trousers and headress along with the selandang (scarf) finished the look.

work work and work

I am very busy lately working. But I am looking into researching more about Batik and painting more of the interesting batik patterns from different regions in Indonesia.
This picture is painted about 15 years ago after reading a line from Kojiki.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Macarons! Macarons! Macarons!

Here are the wonders of the world. I made some macarons, totally addictive! Beige colour is Orange Blossom with Passion Fruit; Green colour is Pistachio; Violet colour is Grape.


This delicate Japanese candy is made by me using a wooden mold crafted by a master in Asakusa. I bought the mold 8 years ago I think and I used Wasanbon sugar with a bit of Kudzu and colour. The result is alright but not perfect and too fragile. I need to improve on the technique. The only way I am afraid will be to take a class in Kyoto at one of the famous Wagashi Houses.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

french candies

Beautiful Violet candies from France

tindora fry

Indian special dish:
1. Tindora which is coccinea grandis, washed, and sliced thinly.
2. Deep Fry tindora for less than 5 minutes in hot oil.
3. Stir fry some spices (tumeric, pepper and salt) with candlenuts and peanut crushed, then add some green celery or celantro chopped finely, when fragrant, then add tindora and turn off heat.
4. add some mint or herb on top to garnish.

lovely wagashi

This box is from my friends in Japan. The wasanbon is simple and lovely, melt in your mouth and straight to the heart!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

another beautiful scent

The Violet scent is beautiful. I tried a few brands before settling on L'Artisan Parfumeur Verte Violette.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

wagashi again

Another one from Kyoto's Kanshudo. The tea bowl is made of rice powder and sugar, along with Portuguese style candies and traditional Japanese wasanbon shaped like Genji's incense game. The set is too beautiful to eat.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


I bought this fragrance for myself today. The scent is quite strong and linea but I like it. It is very powdery, just like all the fragrance that I most enjoy. Lots of white flowers and a bit of light citrus and bitter orange. Ligea la Sirena is about the victim of siren. Here is the animation of how the perfume is made on this little Island of Capri in Italy.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Wonderful Fragrance

Tocca, Florence, the scent of linden blossom, pear and white flowers and musk

Beautiful name of the legend of Sirens

Beautiful name of the water of Circe, her magical potions that turn men into pigs

Intoxicating Brugmansia after sundown
Dried chocolate as the base after several hours of sharp Indian Ink smell

Wonderful Louanges Profanes (Love with the Angel)

I went on my day off to an exclusive perfume shop downtown here and sampled 20 different fragrance. All the brands are from Europe and these are niche perfume. That is the perfume are not sold in Department store at all, they are developed by famous perfumeurs. My friend and I sampled Penhaligans first from the UK and hated all the scent: bluebells, Lily, English Fern, Violetta, all have baking soda smell and the flower scents has not much of a depth... so we changed to smaple french perfume. Last time I bought L'artisans Parfumeur Fleur de Liane, love it but it is not long lasting. Serge Lutens is much more long lasting, I got Datura Noir to wear at night (intoxicating Trumpet flower scents) and Borneo (horrific top note of Camphor and Patrouhli that I can't bear, smell like Indian ink that I had bad expeirence of in my childhood, but 5 hours later mellow out in the dry down to beautiful chocolate smell). And I got Sawako the Fleur d'oranger of Serge Lutens. So I explained to the lady shop keeper that I need something that last for a long time even when I am cooking chocolate, and it needs to be white flowers with a dash of green notes. So she started recommending here and there and we tried more, and I was interested in the line Parfumerie Generale, so first I tried a couple and then I wanted to test the L'eau de Circe on my wrist, and did and top note is sweet white flowers and not too special, the name is beautiful (Circe is the greek goddess turning men into pigs) and then 30 minutes later my wrist smell like burnt chinese medicine, horrible, I said I hated it. In between I tried one beautiful scent #19 Louanges profanes of PG. It is a winner, so complex and smooth and soothing. So I bought it.
Here is a link on you tube explained by the parfumeur his concept of this fragrance I think it is a great practice on french.
Here is a summary.
The story behind the fragrance is wonderful: A friend and client of Pierre Guillaume told him to make a perfume that reflects the „absolute feminine happiness“. Guillaume imagined a night of love with an angel combined with innocence and sensuality and chose ingredients with a religious background: orange blossoms that are put into the hair of a bride in France, the white lily of the Madonna, frankincense, which has a cathartic effect, benzoin used by oriental clerics and the precious wood that Noah used for his ark. This combination makes a beautiful floriental which has something very special: a light and creamy note that reminds me of a suntan lotion from my childhood days and which contrasts sensuality with purity. A balancing act made by a genius.