Reviews of The Scented Djinn Perfumes and Sundries

It's been a long, long time since this page was updated. Yes, I still create perfume though I've got my fingers in many, many aromatic projects. 


The Selvas – LYLLI BLEU by Marlen E. Harrison

Designer’s Description: “This isn’t about water water, it’s about the current scent status of my entry into the Primordial Scent Project hosted by Monica Skye Miller/Perfume Pharmer. I chose water almost immediately because at the time the choice was made, it suited my current headspace. It still suits. In that headspace, I associated water with the act of birth, of bringing life into the world in a gush. The most elemental, the most primal, of waters. And in that headspace, I was immediately taken deep into a dark forest where the scent of olive-toned mosses clinging to glistening wet rocks emanate a specific dankness that is very nearly the same as the scent of birth water. A perfect blend of swirling warm turquoise water, damp black earth, heady breathy-voiced mosses, airy feathery leafed pond foliage, and thick petaled lotus flowers reaching up toward the light. This isn’t a scent of the sea, nor the rush of a rolling river. It is the scent of calm. The scent of expectation.”

Notes: “Blue Lotus ~ Mitti ~ Santal ~ Neroli”

Type of Water: It was a tough choice…my initial thought was to go with the Lotus Eaters of Homerian fame, but the image of a dark, wet forest just dominated my thoughts, perhaps because of Lylli Bleu’s similarity to Bogner’s legendary and sadly discontinued Deep Forest (1995). Once I started reading about the Central and South American rain forests, I knew I was on the right track: “The high temperature and heavy rainfall produce luxuriant vegetation in these areas. There are dense equatorial forests known as the Selvas. These are largest evergreen forests in the world. These forests always look green, as there are no prescribed seasons for growing, flowering and shedding of leaves. The deciduous trees shed their leaves at sometime during the year, but is always possible to find many deciduous trees in leaf. The most remarkable feature of the equatorial forest is the great variety of trees. Sometimes, several varieties of trees are found in a very small area. The forests are dense. As the trees struggle for the sunlight, they grow to a tremendous height of 40 to 50 metres. The trees usually form a thick canopy, and the sunlight is prevented from reaching the forest floor. There are various types of lianas (climbing plants), tree ferns and parasitic plants (which grow on other plants), which also prevent the penetration of the Sun’s rays to the lowest floor. Thus, the whole region looks dark, damp and gloomy. When light can penetrate to the forest floor, thickets of low trees, shrubs etc., grow. Nearly, all the trees are of the broad-leafed evergreen type. Most of them are hard-wood trees like mahogany, rose-wood, ebony, iron-wood, green-heart, cincona, rubber, etc. Palms and tree ferns are also found in most equatorial forests. In coastal areas and swamps, mangrove forests thrive.”

The Bottom Line: Lylli Bleu was a true surprise. Not at all what I had anticipated based on the other scents in this group, I appreciate perfumer Justine Crane’s explanation that this is not necessarily an interpretation of water but rather an inspiration based on the element in nature…in this case a damp forest. And in my opinion, she succeeds totally. The inclusion of mitti (an attar of baked clay and sandalwood) is the first surprise here in a water-inspired fragrance. Darren at Floracoepia explains that mitti is “The fragrance of the earth, derived from distilling cakes of mud into sandalwood. This rich, earthy, soothing, and exotic aroma was created by the ancient Indian perfumers to capture the smell of the first monsoon rain on the soil.” What this note offers then is an ambery, slightly spicy basenote against which the other notes rest. Although the florals, lotus and neroli, are present, in no way is Lylli Bleu a floral perfume…I’d describe it instead as an oriental. The second surprise is that Lylli Bleu doesn’t really seem like an all-natural perfume – its overall vibe as well as projection is more in keeping with a mass-market designer scent. For anyone who appreciates incense, chai or sweet wood/resin scents, this one is sure to please…absolutely stunning.

Perfumer: Justine Crane


The Scented Djinn - O True Apothocary!

Indie Perfumes ~ Lucy Raubertas
This past week it’s almost impossible to discern personal perfume while walking beneath the linden trees as they are pouring out their fragrance these humid days and nights. Some of the lindens in the park nearby are three stories tall and are flooding the air to such saturation, it reaches into my fourth floor rooms across a wide field and the street. Other lindens punctuate the side streets keeping up the heavy mist of fragrance from corner to corner.
Certain perfumes do enhance an atmosphere like this. Natural perfumes generally do, especially if they have notes that complement what is going on in the environment. Then a person wearing them becomes like the detail in a traditional landscape painting, put there for scale or to be the bright spot and focal point. I used to prefer landscapes without that obligatory human or animal figure in the foreground, but it’s different when it’s you. When it’s real and it’s trees in bloom, it’s like participating in something celestial, to be moving through vast amounts of scented air, while your own physical matter, your weight, holds you down from being swept along in a torrent of fragrance. This is a great time of year for natural perfumers, because the humidity brings out all the delicate notes to their fullest expression.

I obtained a set of samples from Scented Djinn on Etsy, on the recommendation of Scent Hive. It was good timing, with the lindens going full blast, for Serj Eau de Parfum with its notes of fir balsam, hyacinth, orange juice and ruh khus (a special form of fresh vetiver). The ultra soft subtle evergreen note is like stepping on fallen dry fir needles, releasing scent moved up by the orange, with the blend of tinctured hyacinth and ruh khus, is a combination of high and dry low notes both soothing and striking. I love evergreen notes, but they are less often used in perfume than I wish they were.

Another highlight is Oshiba Eau de Pafum, with key notes of osmanthus, hiba wood (a Japanese wood, similar to cedar) and labdanum. The opening sweetness is a hint of delicate osmanththus inlaid into aromatic wood. The floral burns off quickly and the labdanum balsamic blends with the hiba, which over time then settles down into something close to a powdery cedar.

The names of the scents, Jameel, Sahar, Khodum (beauty in the hand of wickedness, as the perfumer says) give you the flavor of the references to a classically Persian style of perfume of this suite of perfumes. There are others on the blog site, which appear to come and go with the seasons, of a more Spring-like floral theme. I am interested in the Viridian Grotto Creme Parfum, with its lavender and coriander and frankincense notes, I believe it would be beneficial for a tired head at the end or beginning of the day.
The Scented Djinn, aka Justine Crane, conducts year long studies in perfumery (Natural Perfume Academy) online and in person. She's been making perfumes for a long time, and there's a lot to explore there.

Sample packets at O True Apothecary and at the Etsy shop, which carries the full line of soaps and body products, hand made, very well priced and made entirely by hand with beautifully wholesome ingredients.


The Scented Djinn: Reviews and Giveaway

A djinn is a supernatural creature, a genie in Arabic folklore, that can either do good or evil in the human world. Justine Crane, the woman behind The Scented Djinn, has thankfully decided to use her creative powers for the good of scenting us humans. The fragrances of The Scented Djinn are all natural and several of the ingredients have been handcrafted by Justine herself. When she’s not busy overseeing her fragrant lair, Justine can be found teaching classes, writing her blog Oh True Apothecary!, or tending to the business side of things, which she has been doing since 1996.
Oshiba Eau de Parfum
Oshiba began with a take-charge labdanum and frankincense blend, which created a dark and leathery mood that was familiar yet compelling. Think of a similar atmosphere to Donna Karan’s Black Cashmere, but less wood and more pelt. On The Scented Djinn website, labdanum is mentioned as a basenote, but to my nose, the top was all about this rich and resinous essence. The fragrance meandered effortlessly through its labdanum intensity towards a delicate powdery lavender mélange. Oshiba’s final destination was a soft vanilla, with remnants of a hushed labdanum. Earthy, soil stained sweetness of benzoin kept this finespun drydown grounded and close to the skin. The weather here has been schizophrenic to say the least. A couple of weeks ago it was in the low 100′s but when I wore Oshiba it was 30 degrees lower with a hint of autumn in the air. What a perfect scent to summon crisp air and cooler evenings.

Ianthe Eau de Toilette
When I read Ianthe’s list of notes; violet leaf, rose de mai, ambrette and orris, my gut told me this would be my favorite of Justine’s creations. Indeed, I was correct. She calls it a “violet nymph” and by golly this is an accurate description as I have fallen in love with this beguiling creature. She’s sweet but not too sweet. Ianthe has her hands in the soil, digging for those ambrette seeds, so the fragrance is well-grounded and does not begin delicately. The rose was not apparent to my nose, and the orris seemed only to illicit more of the violet tones of Ianthe, becoming more honeyed and delicious rather than heavy, soapy or woody. And then, my skin was left with a gauzy haze of violet pastilles that was more like a memory rather than a confection in my mouth. A true pleasure for violet perfume lovers, and presented in a darling 10ml corked bottle.

Khamsa Eau Fraiche
Justine’s Khamsa Eau Fraiche is made with cilantro, citrus, patchouli and frankincense. In fact, the frankincense and lemon hydrosols were created by Justine, as well as the fresh lemon essential oil, all used in the fragrance. I loved the opening of Khamsa. The cilantro/citrus kickoff was unique, enjoyable and refreshing. It even allowed for an interesting evolution into the warmth of the next phase; patchouli and frankincense. But then the drydown, on my skin, was exclusively patchouli. If you’ve read any of my reviews, you know I am not a big fan of the patchouli. I wish I were, because Khamsa has one of the most fascinating fragrance openers I’ve experienced in a while and I am loath to have the lovely bottle Justine so generously sent me go to waste. So all of you patchouli lovers, step forth and stake your claim!




Justine Crane: O So Much More Than Le Parfumeur Du Jour!

by Nicole Meredith

I've used one word to describe Justine Crane's products before, and I'll use it again here: sultry. We're talking about someone who is a scent maven, who will get under (and all over) your skin in the best way. Justine hennas her hair bright red and rides loud bikes and writes sort of like Steinbeck (one of her favorites), even if it's just a short, friendly email. She's kind but not cloying; she's fun; she's going to have to hang out with me if I ever do follow through with my threat to move back to California! And when it comes to scents, I haven't found anyone like her. No, I'm going there: I haven't found anyone better.

Justine, the perfumer behind
The Scented Djinn Perfume Apothecary (which we will get to shortly) has been making scented soaps and butters and salves and candles and powders for a looong time; long enough to have mastered the perfect bar of soap, I will testify right here, and (for me, at least) it's J's deceptively humble-looking, ccrreeaaaaaammy Patchouli soap:

"Ambrosial, sweet and musky is an apt description of our smooth Patchouli Scented Soap. Pogostemon Cablin of Indonesia origin, and organic Pogostemon Cablin of Madagascar are combined in a soap base of extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil, organic shea butter and organic cocoa butter."

direct from the site. Definitely do visit J's online skincare shop,
, to get a sketch of what she's up to, though to get the special seed-textured, rough-edged, multi-colored, wooden-box-molded artisan soaps and whatnots you might have to write her personally. The soap du jour is often just not advertised online. So you might write to order one thing and perhaps she'll slip you this other mysterious thing in with it, as a little gift, like a sample or a potion, and that's it: the spell is cast, and you are hooked.

I have yet to try my coveted (and mouth-watering) bar of J's legendary Organic Yellow Tomato & Holy Basil Soap, but it is definitely on deck. A girl can only keep so many bars running at once!

It's hard to pick favorites out of J's menagerie of specialties, but I'm going to have to say
perfumes. The ones I've sampled (or seen described on her site) are liquid, in a grape alcohol base. From what I've gathered from our conversations about perfumery, her methods are intriguing (though precise). And her aesthetic is definitely old timey and romantic. I remember my delight at ordering my first mini bottle of scent from her (At - ahem - $7 a pop? Is it a mistake? No, J is just quirky and generous and mysterious like that. That must have been the most valuable $7 I have spent. Quite a gift, eh?). The small glass bottle of perfume came with its cork sealed in rosy-red wax with an old-fashioned D stamped into it. Tres Anachronistic. Drool.

But ok, the scents themselves - downright magical. Reviewing perfume makes me nervous, but I can confidently say this: Justine is not afraid to take risks. Try, and you'll see. A fresh melon-green note tendrils up from your wrist when you'd least expect it, yet it WORKS SO GOOD. She uses a bold, glimmering note of ginger to nudge open
Eye of the Dawn (which eventually mellows into a hypnotic, almost candyish honeyed floral-wood). And sometimes the surprise is a powdery Victorian stink so addictive you have to keep smelling it; it's frankly narcotic (Here, I'm referring specifically to the alluring Tempest, which opens with notes of tinctured dried fig and tinctured fresh strawberries). If you haven't yet visited The Scented Djinn Perfume Apothecary, please do not pass go.

It's not often that you meet someone who's this talented AND dedicated to their art (o yes, i said ART) at the same time. Who, um, also happens to be generous, funny, and just REAL. I've sampled my share of perfume from the "biggies" in the world of "natural perfume," and J's stuff is, plain and simple, my favorite. And - you have my word - that proclamation holds true even if i didn't like her and hope to be iced-tea neighbors some day. ;)

(Pictured soaps - with scattered perfumes - are, clockwise from the top left, Patchouli, Ylang, Blood Orange, Jasmine & Cocoa Butter Soap; a mystery hunk o' lather that I have yet to decode; and the playing-card molded Amare Mezzanotte, a perfumed glycerin soap with jasmine grandiflorum, styrax, myrrh, frankincense, bergamot, galbanum, tagettes, clove, petit grain, and oak moss - with added jojoba. "Perfumed soap?" I would say so.)

Tonie Silver ~ Delicia Skincare has done it again! Justine Crane, purveyor of insanely beautiful, completely natural bath, body, & skincare products, has just created yet another masterpiece.

Behold Delicia’s Chamomile & Rose Crème Cleanser ~ a most delicate blend of Delicia’s own fine handmade soap, virgin olive & coconut oils, rose hydrosols, shea & cocoa butters, coconut milk, honey, chamomile flowers & concrete, & essential oils.


Use this precious blend to cleanse your face and as an indulgent shaving cream.

While you’re there, be sure to check out Delicia’s other beautiful products ~ the selection changes often.

(559) 485-SKIN

A Midsummer Night's Dream Perfume Event Reviews! 

WAFT ~ Ah Justine has created a beautiful , resonant scent with great finesse . This is at once sunny and deep , grassy , floral , resinous . I love it !

I consider this a very sophisticated composition , the top notes are unusual with her tinctured wheatgrass adding freshness and green tinged sunshine , the heart is well blended , the base is deep and earthy ( love the mitti , she has used it with a deft hand ! ) . I will wear this joyfully .


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