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For your honey, exotic fragrances from L'Oeil du Vert

February 07, 2010|By Max Padilla

If your Valentine prefers local and handmade over generic and imported, L'Oeil du Vert makes handcrafted artisanal fragrances in an impromptu beach bungalow lab in Santa Monica.

Hayley Alexander van Oosten, a Pasadena native, founded L'Oeil du Vert five years ago after becoming interested in ethnobotany -- the study of how cultures have been using plants for generations.

The ingredients aren't all local; Van Oosten travels the world sourcing frankincense from Oman and Peruvian black copal to create custom fragrances for clients such as A.P.C. and Malibu's Freecity Supershop. The Four Seasons Hualalai in Kona, Hawaii, consulted with Van Oosten on its spa apothecary and sells L'Oeil du Vert's scents Ume (green tea and yuzu notes) and Koa (sandalwood, ginger and plumeria) in its Seaside Luxe boutique. These are also available at the Santa Monica studio.

The Carmot collection, available at the studio and online, consists of four fragrances: Raven, made from black copal resin and tuberose blossoms; Doves at Dawn, brewed from pandanus and white rose and water lily blossoms; Peacock Tail, crafted from yarrow root, jasmine and blue lotus; and Phoenix, which features pink lotus, myrrh and agarwood oil. The Carmot fragrances come in hand-carved wood and glass bottles. Prices are $95 for Aqua Vita, an artisan-distilled spray; $255 for Oleum bath and body oil; $1,330 for the fragrance (14 milliliters); or $4,900 for the complete set of four scents.

L'Oeil du Vert's most recent collaboration is the Kawili Project for the Four Seasons' Seaside Luxe store (or contact the studio to buy it.). Van Oosten worked with local Hawaiian elder "Auntie" Alapa'i Kahu'ena for a blend featuring organic herbs, flowers, salts, essential oils, Kona coffee and macadamia nuts. Prices start at $20 for soap and body tea bags and go up to $150 for a scrub set that includes body oil. Proceeds from the sale of body teas go to a community organization dedicated to preserving indigenous Hawaiian knowledge of local plants.

Van Oosten also gives custom fragrance consultations (starting at $7,500) to divine custom scents based on hobbies -- say the smell of vinyl records -- or on desires such as a clean break with the past -- frankincense is associated with rebirth.

For appointments, call (310) 490-1607 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday or e-mail


Carol Malony Valentine's Day Preview at Luxe Lingerie on Tuesday: Ladies and gents are invited to preview Malony's lingerie collection on models. The boutique will take 15% off either the Carol Malony Haute (priced from $150 to $250) or Signature Collection ($85 to $175) that evening only. Beverages and drinks will be served and valet parking provided. RSVP to the boutique at (310) 247-8477.

363 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 247-8477. 6 to 9 p.m.

Valentine's Day Trunk Show to benefit cystic fibrosis on Wednesday: Anne Michelle boutique in Beverly Hills hosts a Valentine's Day-themed trunk show featuring jewelry from Adesso ($100 to $1,200) and other gift ideas starting at $50. Twenty percent of sale proceeds that evening will be donated to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

181 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills. (310) 275- 4066. 4 to 8 p.m.

Bourbon and Brassieres at Jenette Bras from Thursday through Saturday: Jenette Bras, where "the alphabet starts at D," is having an event to assist men in buying Valentine's Day lingerie. Gift ideas include the $100 Arabella set featuring black lace and pink ribbon detail and the Savannah push-up set in sapphire-colored lace ($119). Guys can also buy gift certificates for a custom in-store fitting for their gal.

4308 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles. (323) 665-7490. 6 to 8 p.m.

Jewelry Trunk Show at Strange Invisible Perfumes on Friday and Saturday: Local apothecary hosts a fine jewelry trunk show in time for Valentine's Day. Jewelry collections from Rachael Chyna White, Demitasse Jewelry, Jamie Joseph, Brooke Gregson and others will be offered in addition to an extra 10% discount plus cards and gift wrapping. Strange Invisible will also preview Peloponnesian, a new men's scent that will be available in limited quantity before its spring release. Champagne and cupcakes provided.

1138 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice. (310) 314-1505. 2 to 7 p.m. Friday. Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday.

Pamela Anderson at Sears on Saturday: The actress will make two Los Angeles-area store appearances to promote her new fragrance, Malibu by Pamela Anderson. Anderson's fragrance comes in two versions: Malibu in blue and Malibu Night in pink. It sells for $39 (1.7-ounce spray) or $49 (3.4 ounces).

Del Amo Fashion Mall, 22100 Hawthorne Blvd., Torrance. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

South Coast Plaza, 3333 Bristol St., Costa Mesa. 2:30 to 4 p.m.

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