San Francisco’s Chocolate Salon announced the awards to the chocolatiers for the 2015 event but the salon also featured some elegant and chemical free perfumes and gender neutral scents by the innovative and independent. Mesha Munyan of Meshaz Natural Perfumes comes from the valley outside of Seattle that rivals Carmel for beauty, where so many lavender farms operate the valley hosts a spectacular lavender festival each summer.
Related: SF Chocolate Salon a healthy taste of innovation
The Sequim Lavender Festival, free to the public and with live music, will take place July 17, 18 and 19 this summer. Locals pronounce it Skwim and it’s the 19th annual festival. It makes the most lovely girls’ day out or Mother/Daughter event along with the presence of a few male good sports.
Mesha Munyan of Meshaz Natural Perfumes visited San Francisco’s Chocolate Salon and at home in Sequim, Washington. She creates her own award winning line of scents, sophisticated, seductive, unique and synthetic free. She cultivates, harvests and distills her own and then blends original perfumes with a myriad of floral and herbal ingredients. She calls herself a lavender sommelier, with the flower instead of grapes and teaches classes. She trains noses to compete nationally.
Sommeliers smell felt to purify their nose, she says. Mesha herself learned in New Zealand, where she studied how to judge. She says France has long been known for having adulterated perfumes. “France corrupted theirs . . . We don’t know what harm synthetics do to us she says. We are bombarded.”. So, cultivars or varietals come from England, Australia and New Zealand.
Her valley itself produces many different kinds of lavender and she notes she grows 20 of the 500 different kinds of lavender. She owns five acres and works with her sister. She says English smells sweeter and comes in a more violet color. She recalls creating one scent for an outdoor rock concert with Roger Fisher, the guitarist for Heart. He performed near her house in Lakeland and she used ingredients to smell like what went on there. She uses citruses for photosynthesizers and says bergamot that’s sobergaptine-free won’t burn in the sun. It’s safe for consumers.
Blackbird in contrast sells at a men’s shop in Ballard, the Seattle city known for Norwegians and other Scandinavians. Yachts get lifted or lowered to Puget Sound with the public lochs. There salmon jump and swim against the current back to fresh water and visitors may view them underwater from a museum-like space. Blackbird features blackberry since that’s a Scandinavian fruit and blackberries grow wild around Seattle.
It’s a unisex blend. Blackbird includes blood orange, bergamot, Virginia cedarwood, lavender, bay and ylang. Ylang is a sweet flower that takes off the edges. This complex blend also has nutmeg and a cardamom tincture, a sweet spice used in Scandinavian breads. Frankincense, Benzoin, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Vetiver—grass. Her Absinthe smells of anise, fennel, coriander seed, ginger and holly basil. Mesha puts a “z” in the names of her blends, after her name. Mesha outlined the elements of a blend in general. Blends smell different on different bodies. Top notes act the most volatile, she likes citruses for top notes. She listed heart notes then base notes which linger. She’s selective on base notes for the skin.
Mikmoi and A Wing & A Prayer
Other perfumers participating included Mikmoi of San Francisco, a company of Michael or Mik Coyle. He offers unisex blends and sells them in a shop in San Francisco. He created a scent bracelet and also pocket size leather cases with viles of select scents. Jane Cate created A Wing & A Prayer or WAAPP, putting solid perfumes in one of a kind compacts, one a silver locket. WAAPP debuted new fragrances including Bellini, named for the Italian adult beverage of champagne and peach syrup. She has a line of California scents as well including Big Sur, Filoli Rose and Haigh & Ashbury along with San Francisco Mist and Tahoe.
Related: Off the Grid food trucks and market at Fort Mason
For more information: SF Chocolate Salon, Meshaz Natural Perfume, Sequim Lavender Festival 2015, Wing & Prayer, Mikmoi