Lightning In A Bottle
Pink Tahitian guava (grown in LA), Ataulfo Mangoes (Coachella Valley also hit with lightning), star jasmine and greenery (Venice), pink, red, and golden champaca (small distillations from India which experienced a sharp increase in lighting in 2021), Incienso Rojo, Sangre de Grado, with a touch of Malaysian D'Or/ Sik Oud distilled by Taha and 20 year old Mysore Sandalwood.
On October 2, 2021 it was a balmy 90 degrees in Los Angeles. Early on in guava season the first fruits picked were smelling so beautifully. People were going to the beach, sunbathing, surfing, roller skating. It was feeling like endless summer. Just two days later on October 4th, as the sky began to open up to a kind of rain that feels like joy incarnate, the kind that almost evaporates on the hot pavement. In LA where we have around 300 sunny days a year the first big rain can be very exciting but none as exciting as this one. In the span of 24 hours over 4,000 lightning strikes hit Los Angeles- a large number by any standards. The electricity seemed to spread, this excited feeling of surprise and wonder. People went out and danced in the rain (myself included) despite that lightning striking down opposite the music of the thunder. It was a moment that every Angeleno felt at least a touch of being under a kind of spell. Yes the rain on hot pavement smell mixed with greenery and ozone was at once it’s own source of intoxicant, but what was to follow was just majestic. You see, lightning helps make nitrogen available to soil at a much more intense level. Which means the plants have had their fill and come out sparkling with all of that gorgeous lightning. They are larger, juicier, more electric and full out special. Two and three weeks after this storm, the guavas and the mangoes were speaking a whole new level of poetry and song. It is for those beautiful lightning fruits that I am making lighting in a bottle- this one vintage for this one great storm. I’ve chosen to age it with fulgarites (rocks formed from lightning) so it’s the perfume can tell the stories of those rocks as well. Today I had a little sneak peak and it still brings me back to that stormy day, and the days that followed as I pulled those perfect guavas and mangos from their trees. After all isn’t part of the joy of the natural world remembering these little moments that make up a season, a moment, a vintage? I only hope that I have saved even a little bit of that lightning in these bottles.