Elysium, in Classical mythology, is akin to the Christian version of Paradise.
In Virgil’s Aeneid, Elysium knows only perpetual spring and shady groves, with its own sun and lit by its own stars:
solemque suum, sua sidera norunt (Aeneid, 6.641.)
Surely — this Otherworld smells of roses!
Brooklyn-based perfumer Julianne Zaleta of Herbal Alchemy and myself, Kirsten Schilling of Los Angeles-based Arabesque Aromas, have both created our own unique, Elysium-inspired, rose-drenched, natural perfumes.
Herbal Alchemy’s “Elysium” is a maceration, meaning that the roses were picked fresh and added to alcohol with freshly grated orange peel and vanilla pods. The mixture is allowed to age for a period of time and then strained off and filtered. It is light yet rich and full bodied, delicious!
To order the perfume or a sample of Herbal Alchemy’s “Elysium,” visit Julianne Zaleta’s Etsy Shop:
Inspired by the idea of perpetual spring and shady groves, I created “Elysium,” an Eau de Parfum, as a bespoke Arabesque Aromas scent in 2010.
A sweet, light, floral fragrance made for only the serious lover of the true Rose scent, with subtle undercurrents of Neroli and Cedarwood, the perfume is available via sample or half ounce bottle:
And speaking of Neroli…
No discussion on Elysium would be complete without mentioning my two favorite, simple, yet utterly ambrosial, summertime recipes. Delectable treats for every God or Goddess, Greco-Roman or otherwise…
Orange Flower Water & Honey Greek Frozen Yogurt
32 oz Greek yogurt
1/2 c. Honey
2 tbsp’s of Orange Flower water, or to taste
Mix ingredients well and pour into the chilled bowl of your ice cream maker.
Churn on the low setting for 30+ minutes and serve immediately.
Suitably Divine organic Orange Flower Water can be purchased from the Herbal Alchemy Etsy Shop:
Store in the refrigerator.
Bellinis were created in Italy in the late 1930’s, and though now champagne is more commonly used to make Bellinis, they were initially made with Prosecco, which is how I prefer them.
The ratio is 2 parts Prosecco to 1 part fresh pureed peaches.
(This time of year, Bellini’s are particularly amazing with white peach puree!)
Add the peach puree to the glass, or a pitcher, first, and then pour the Prosecco (or Champagne, if you wish… ) onto the puree.
Julianne Zaleta’s Own Cocktail Recipe “The Summer Crush”
1.5 oz. lemon verbena infused vodka
1.5 oz. passion fruit nectar
one drop petitgrain essential oil, 10% dilution
Just give the combined ingredients a good shake and strain into a chilled martini glass.
Julianne provides further instruction for making the Lemon Verbena infused vodka on
her wonderful blog:
The essential oil of Petitgrain, the unripe green fruit, stems and twigs of the bitter orange, adds a unique flavor to the libation. This small bottle of essence, also made by Herbal Alchemy, is diluted so that only one drop is necessary per cocktail (an undiluted drop at full strength would overwhelm) and contains 90 drops.
It can be found here:
So sing. Dance. Drink your ambrosial libations. Tend to your golden chariots and otherwise, be merry. And until my next blog entry, I will leave you in the excellent good company of the lovely and talented musician, Sasha Soukup, and the German poet, Friedrich von Schiller…
Past the despairing wail–
And the bright banquets of the Elysian vale
Melt every care away!
Delight, that breathes and moves forever,
Glides through sweet fields like some sweet river!
Elysian life survey!
There, fresh with youth, o’er jocund meads,
His merry west-winds blithely leads
The ever-blooming May!
Through gold-woven dreams goes the dance of the hours,
In space without bounds swell the soul and its powers,
And truth, with no veil, gives her face to the day.
And joy to-day and joy to-morrow,
But wafts the airy soul aloft;
The very name is lost to sorrow,
And pain is rapture tuned more exquisitely soft.
Here the pilgrim reposes the world-weary limb,
And forgets in the shadow, cool-breathing and dim,
The load he shall bear never more;
Here the mower, his sickle at rest, by the streams,
Lulled with harp-strings, reviews, in the calm of his dreams,
The fields, when the harvest is o’er.
Here, he, whose ears drank in the battle roar,
Whose banners streamed upon the startled wind
A thunder-storm,–before whose thunder tread
The mountains trembled,–in soft sleep reclined,
By the sweet brook that o’er its pebbly bed
In silver plays, and murmurs to the shore,
Hears the stern clangor of wild spears no more!
Here the true spouse the lost-beloved regains,
And on the enamelled couch of summer-plains
Mingles sweet kisses with the zephyr’s breath.
Here, crowned at last, love never knows decay,
Living through ages its one bridal day,
Safe from the stroke of death!
– Friedrich von Schiller