Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Roxana Illuminated Perfume: To Bee or not to Bee?

The resounding answer to above question is to Bee, all the more so since bees are a reminder of the endless circle of existence and renewal in nature. Because To Bee is that unusual thing in our days: a holistic fragrance inspired by the perfumer's own apiology experiences. When was the last time you heard that? Vaguely referenced in Moss Breches by Tom Ford, but I doubt very much mr.Ford has ever ventured really close to a bee hive, let alone tended his own pet bees. Yet this is exactly what Roxana has been doing, chronicling her efforts on her journal.

To Bee is emblematic of the warm, musky scent of the hive. Indeed, few animalic scents are naturally available these days, due to ethical concerns on the treatment of animals (see Musk deer) and increasing concerns on the sustainability of those which come from cruelty-free sources (ambergris is truly scarce).
Lusty basenotes have been crafted into a series of accords with spice and clover. The result is a delicious inviting aroma at once sweetly impassioned and steadfast.

Smelling To Bee I find myself lulled into a childhood reverie of sipping honey-laced smoky tea in the evenings, on the cusp of summer entering into autumn, when the gardens were getting duskier and duskier by the day and the approaching chill of the night made its appearence like an owl fluffing its feathers upon awakening. The dark colour of the liquid in To Bee somehow cements this impression; boozy, nuanced sweetness creeps underneath the smoky muskiness (coming from mimosa absolute, an intimate and at the same time staggeringly beautiful aroma) creating a mysterious, resinous trail which is not entirely about honey, but so much more. Those who are averse to plainly sweet, foody fragrances will find a nuanced scent to transition them into the harvest delights of autumn.

The synergy for the perfume is made with: essential oils, c02 extracts and absolutes (Resins, Wood, Spice, Mimosa, Sweet Clover Absolute and Beeswax Absolute) with many of the perfumer's own unique accords in a base of tinctured and infused honey comb from local bee rescues in Los Angeles.The best surprise is probably that unlike many other natural perfumes, this one, thanks to the resinous basenotes and the beeswax, lasts quite well.

To Bee is available both as a liquid and solid perfume. Find samples, perfume lockets, compacts and flacons at Roxana's E-shop

imagery ©RoxanaVilla, used by permission
In the interests of disclosure, a sample was sent directly from the perfumer.


  1. Moss Breches - oh yes! I didn't make the connection myself, but now that you have mentioned it I do see the familial resemblance. Moss Breches was one of my favourite of the Tom Ford Private Blends, it is a shame it was discontinued.

    I love To Bee, and agree with every word of your review.

  2. GL,

    glad you liked the review! And thanks for commenting , hope you like it around here.
    It's a shame that MB was discontinued (and I bet it was a slow seller too), but then I see most of the really individual ones in the line were as well, which leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
    Oh well, there's now To Bee. :-)


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