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quinta-feira, 12 de maio de 2016

Essence of Chi: Chinese Horoscope and Feng Shui Now Bottled

In Chinese traditional medicine, the ancient theory of the Five Elements is a philosophy that describes the world in dynamic states or phases of constant changing. The Five-Element philosophy uses the laws of Nature to bring balance and harmony to the body, mind and spirit.
Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. All of these elements rule the Planet and each one of us, according to the Chinese traditional philosophy. Deana Wyland-Fries is a pioneer lady who had the idea of translating this knowledge into fragrant compositions that represent all of these energies. We met at the Global Art of Perfumery expo in Dusseldorf and she explained what the young brand Essence of Chi is about.
Deana, can you please explain your journey from Feng Shui to Perfume?
First of all, I am a Feng Shui and Chinese Horoscope master. I have travelled all over the world and I lived in Dubai for 8 years. One day I was wandering in my garden and I was eating a tangerine, when I picked a kumquat flower and I crushed the two together. Then I saw that this was pure Wood Chi, Wood energy. And that was when it hit me and I thought: what if I created perfumes for my clients, based on the principles of Feng Shui, which is centered on the theory of the five elements, like in Chinese medicine? These 5 elements encompass the entire universe. The entire universe is made up of five elements. Each of us is a part of that grand picture.
So we all have these five elements within us?
Well, some people don't have all five elements. That's the whole thing.
We can have more of one and less of another?
Exactly, and so by adding a certain element, we can balance that. Or you might be going through a phase in your horoscope where you need one element more than you need another. So, what I would do is: I would open my clients' horoscopes and when I did a Feng Shui consultation I would see that they are missing Wood, for example. So how do I give them Wood? They can eat certain things, they can wear this color... But smell is the strongest sense we have, it goes directly to the brain.
But what does Wood energy represent, for example?
Wood represents springtime, the liver, the gallbladder, creativity, thinking. If your Wood isn't clear, your thinking won't be straight. If your liver is imbalanced, then you tend to flare up very quickly. So from a traditional Chinese Medicine point of view, all these elements flow through your body. Also, if one organ is sick, then another organ will try to compensate, right? So there is this whole intricate relationship. My idea was: how can I get this to my clients and translate it into fragrance?
Fragrance itself is something which carries a lot on energy... For example, when I was a young student and I had to study for an exam, I would keep myself awake by smelling perfumes.
Yes, and probably perfumes that were citrus, right?
No, actually I would smell heavy spicy orientals and it would work better than coffee.
Ok, for me that would mean Fire element. It's the same principle. And you know, I am a weak Wood. I need Wood and Water. And because I have a lot of Earth around me in my horoscope, I need to drain that to let the Earth and the Wood shine. So I need a bit of Metal just to drain that Earth. And so with a bespoke perfume you can do that. But trying to find someone that would do this with me was hard. At the time when I was at the garden, I ran to my husband and made him smell this pure Wood Chi. And he saw that this was a brand. So he went off to Beautyworld, which is a large expo in Dubai and he got all the brochures, got me tickets and said “go!”. Talk to people but don't tell them too much. And there I was showing this to clients and trying to make individual perfumes, but they were all like “don't even bother”.
When was this?
2007, I think. I spent two days walking through the fair and I am like “you know what? These guys don't get it, I am out of here, I can't take this any more. They are all treating me like I am some kind of idiot”. While I am just about to walk out the door, there is one person I haven't seen yet and so I walk over and say “this is what I wanna do”. The guy looks at me and says: “that is every true perfumer's dream. I'm in!” And for four and a half years, Sylvain Fourre and I did Research and Development. He taught me perfumery. I taught him the Five Elements. And together, we were able to somehow marry the world of haute parfumerie with Chinese philosophy for the first time in the world. Together, we set to work on the incredibly complex task of discovering how to create a balance between the Elements, Yin and Yang, Earth Chi, Human Chi and Heaven Chi all within a perfume.
And you started creating one perfume for each element?
No. First of all I started creating bespoke perfumes for my clients. This is a line of beautifully handcrafted individual perfumes, created according to a person's Chinese Horoscope. Each perfume is truly a work of art, in a hand-blown and numbered bottle, embedded in a hand-made box with your personal horoscope. And then we did an exhibition where I was presenting the bespokes in an art gallery. For this event, I created five perfumes that incorporated the elements and all of their features. There is aromatherapy here, there's perfumery, there is all of Sylvain's and my knowledge inside these bottles. They were so successful at this event that nobody cared about the bespoke! I kept getting orders. Later on, I moved to Germany and here I met someone that wanted to launch the line. And so I launched these five perfumes a year and a half ago and haven't looked back since.
Here at the Global Art of Perfumery expo you are introducing a 6thfragrance in a limited edition. Can you tell me about it?
This is a fragrance for 2016, the year of the monkey acording to the Chinese tradition. Every year is born at the winter solstice. That's usually the 22nd of December. So I did the horoscope, I Ching and Numbers according to the time of birth of the year. And then I created a formula for this perfume and I am planning to do one for each year.
While we were talking, Deana told me to smell all the perfumes and see which was the one I was instinctively attracted to. At first I selected Fire, and she was not convinced. So I tried Fire and Metal on my skin, beacuse I was pretty sure it wasn'tWaterWood or Earth. And Metal was the one that had really good chemistry with my skin. Deana told me that I couldn't have a lack of Fire. I didn't know what that meant. She explained to me that Fire means power, passion, sensuality. And she could see all that coming from my eyes. So the element that I actually needed was Metal. Metal represents leadership and in fact, I can't even lead my friends to the restaurant of my choice, let alone run a team of people to do something important. I still do not have a great knowledge about this philosophy but it's very interesting to start exploring a new perspective on life, and is there a better way than through perfume?

Top notes: Black Pepper, Juniper, Black Currant
Heart notes: Lavender, Clary Sage, Violet
Base notes: Ambre Gris, Seaweed
Water is the source of life on Earth. It is gentle, yielding and yet powerful. Elementals Water is an exquisite blend of ocean treasures, flowers and spices that conjure up the clarity and freshness of a mountain stream after the first melt of snow.

Top notes: Lemon, Grapefruit, Cedar
Heart notes: Bamboo, Fougère, Cabrueva
Base notes: Sandalwood, Moss, Guaiac wood
Wood represents Spring and the rising Energy of the East. Elementals Wood is like a walk in the woods on a sunny Spring morning. Precious woods are combined with uplifting citrus notes to kick start your Chi.

Top notes: Red Cedar, Cinnamon, Bitter Orange, Ginger
Heart notes: Rose Otto, Geranium, Red Currant, Neroli
Base notes: Cashmere Wood, Red Pepper, Morrocan Rose
Fire is the pinnacle of Yang energy. It is about power and passion. It is sensual and fickle. Elementals Fire combines rare woods and sensuous blossoms with a splash of Ginger and Bitter Orange that warms the heart and awakens the spirit.

Top notes: Acanthus, Chamomile, Immortelle
Heart notes: Mimosa, Broom, Ylang Ylang
Base notes: Ambregris, Guaiac Wood, Olibanum, Silver Birch
Earth is the most complex Elemental Essence as it contains the 'treasures' of the other four Elements. Elementals Earth is a sensual and soothing blend of woods, florals and spices that embody the hidden beauty of all Five Elements.

Top notes: Coriander, Cardamom
Heart notes: Jasmine, Casablanca Lily, Tuberose
Base notes: Birch, Resins
Metal is about power, leadership and introspection. Elementals Metal is an unusual marriage of pure white blossoms with pungent herbs and spices and a hint of birch tar, resulting in a fragrance that is both regal and divine!

“The Fire Monkey is charming, fickle and astute. He gives us clashing energies of Fire and Metal right from the outset. 2016 is set to be an exciting one, full of challenges for all. To benefit from this innovative and tempestuous energy it is important to stay grounded. The 2016 Essence starts off full of power on a spicy citrus note with a touch of saffron. The heart is a floral composition that represents Fire – an opulent bouquet of rose otto and neroli rounded with violet that becomes grounded in a sense of luxurious embrace with fine resins and rare woods”.
The Essence of Chi Elementals perfumes come in 100ml for the price of 110 euros and the Annual edition comes in a 100ml bottle for 180 euros. Essence of Chi can be found at the brand's official website and also in selected stores in Switzerland, Norway, Germany and Dubai. This year the brand will enter the UK and Italy.

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