L.A. boutique is a treasure-trove of beauty
Scent and Sensibility1 of 8
By Laura Vogel
Tucked into a light-filled storefront in West Hollywood is Persephenie, the latest destination for in-the-know Angelinos. The boutique is the creation of the one-named Persephenie, who is a perfumer, jeweler, painter and mother. The shop is based around its proprietor's body-care and fragrance line, which includes everything from lip balm to incense to body lotion. In a big-box world, her Old World apothecary is the place for small-batch, hand-crafted products—available to all of us via her online shop.
Light My Fire2 of 8
"It was my love of incense that started me on this whole path," Persephenie says. In her shop, she carries incense imported from Japan, France and India, in addition to her own handmade sticks.
Smoke signals: The first record of incense use comes from the Neolithic Era—more than 10,000 years B.C.—in China.
Couture Cologne3 of 8
"I was very interested in natural botanicals, so I started delving into old perfumery books, and studied with noted aromatherapist Jeanne Rose. I then began making custom scents and making perfume for my friends," says Persephenie.
Flower power: Rose oil, a staple of Persephenie's natural perfumes, costs about $400 per ounce and takes thousands of flowers to create.
Body Beautiful4 of 8
In creating her own line, Persephenie focused first on botanical body-care products. " I wanted to make things that felt good and transported people," she says.
Know your oils: An essential oil is derived directly from the source plant. An infused oil has a neutral base (olive or grape-seed oil) made either with drops of essential oils or by steeping it with parts of the plant. Essential oils are much more potent—and pricey.
Botany, Bottled5 of 8
"I began studying aromatherapy about five years ago and I am constantly amazed at the healing power of it," says Persephenie.
Top notes: Jasmine, one of Persephenie's favorite scents, is featured in her most popular perfume, Datura. The mysterious fragrance also includes notes of the night-blooming trumpet flower (datura), rose, sandalwood and musk.
World Traveler6 of 8
"Travel is endlessly inspiring to me—my two favorite destinations are India and Kauai," say Persephenie. "Lately, I have been incorporating Ayurvedic principles into my products."
Harmony and healing: Traditional Ayurvedic medicine is native to the Indian subcontinent and is centered around plant-based cures.
Great Vintage7 of 8
In addition to scent-based products, Persephenie also displays and sells jewelry (including her own modern designs and vintage Native American pieces) and decor (such as clocks and silver snuff boxes). "I like to fill my shop with anything that catches my eye—it's a mix of old and new," she says.
Pretty precious: Much of Persephenie's jewelry is crafted of druzy crystal—the sparkling surface of agate that takes thousands of years to form—wrapped in 14-karat gold.
Crafted With Care8 of 8
"All of my products are made in small batches here in the store, and everything I do is with the aim of creating calm and balance," says Persephenie.
Aromatherapy 101: Persephenie offers private perfumery and aromatherapy classes in her Los Angeles shop. Students can take classes for a few hours up to a full apprenticeship.
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