Kirsten at La Mosquée, Paris, 2011

A perfumer, cat lady, baker, tea-drinker and candlestick maker, I regard the natural world, and my work with plants, with the highest sense of enjoyment, scholarship, and reverence.

I have a background in art, art history, writing and literature. I began researching plant folklore and authentic medieval-Renaissance-era aromatics in 1999 with a burning desire to smell history, and have been creating handmade artisanal perfumes, and other aromatics, from the heart, ever since.

A spontaneous visit to the Islamic decorative arts wing in the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, with my friend Brandi in 2008, became the inspiration for Arabesque Aromas.

Arabesque Aroma’s hand-colored arabesque insignia

I was mesmerized by the sumptuous color and intricate designs in the exhibit, noticing that many of the most striking patterns featured stylized plants or flowers. These mesmerizing patterns, I learned, were known as “Arabesque,”  a Western term to describe an Eastern style of decorative art.

The Arabesque – a word I never tire of saying – is arranged symmetrically and extended indefinitely over a flat surface such as that of a textile, a decorative tile or art object. A characteristic of the arabesque is to morph into fantastical forms unlike anything in nature.

The thought occurred to me that, as in art, a similar abstraction occurs in perfumery when mixing different aromatic ingredients together… and Arabesque Aromas was born!

(The Arabesque description was paraphrased from the V&A Islamic decorative art exhibit, with thanks.)


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