Here’s our friend Cat Marx, perfumer extraordinaire at Deep Midnight Perfumes and gorgeous witch, since any autumn missive would be remiss without a discussion of all those delicious autumn scents we all love:
But first, look at this lovely letter Cat sent us, from “Pamela C.,” who discovered Cat’s perfumes in our magazine a year or so back and reached out to her:
Dear Cat, I absolutely love your artistry and am very inspired by your work. I am a performing artist in Chicago and have used some of your scents as a way to connect more deeply to my characters. I adore Vaudeville Ghosts and use it when I perform in “Burning Bluebeard” each year around Christmas. It is a play that is performed by 6 clowns who are the ghosts of the infamous Iroquois Theatre fire tragedy of 1903. This play has been a great success and has been featured twice in the New York Times. I also perform for a company called Vaudeville Chicago that brings intimate performance experiences to Elders in Senior Living Centers. One of my characters that I bring to the seniors is a nature fairy called Acorn. Since most residents have little to no contact with nature, I am looking to expand their experience of connection to nature and its healing essence by adding scent to my performance. In addition to the grounding and calming effects I anticipate they will experience, I am also intrigued by the possibility of stimulating their memories. The world needs your magic and I for one have benefited from it greatly. I also wanted you to be aware of some of the ripples of wonder you have sent (scent) into the world. Thank you! Pamela
Isn’t that lovely? We asked Cat a few autumnal and scent-related questions below:
Can you talk about some of your autumn traditions?
Autumn and Halloween are my favorite times of the year. I love the smells, colors and the general deep and dreamy mood this time of year puts me in. Early in autumn I love collecting acorns from the different types of oaks trees that grow in the area where I live—white oak, red oak, pin oak and burr oak. Later in the fall I enjoy walks or car trips to look at the fall colors and collect leaves to press. This is also a fun time to cook cozy and nourishing foods, like pies and tarts made with fresh apples and pumpkins or root vegetable stews. Watching fun Halloween movies like Hocus Pocus and Beetlejuice or binging Harry Potter movies also seems to be tradition in my family. The 31st also marks the Celtic New Year and a time when we look back and honor and remember our family members who have passed away and all our ancestors. I enjoy putting together and displaying an ancestor’s memorial table with photos and mementos of my loved ones who have left this mortal plane.
What does autumn smell like to you? And how do you create scents around that?
Autumn smells like changing winds with crisp and dry air and loamy earth; dried leaves and spices; bonfires and baked goods; apples and pumpkins; sweet candy and milky coffee. I try to create scents that remind me of those things and combine the notes in unique and pleasing ways that make me remember favorite fall memories, especially from my childhood. I hope they do the same for my customers.
Can you tell us about some of your favorite scents you’ve created, and do you have a favorite scent generally?
That’s always a very hard to question to answer. I tend to move between favorite scents during the seasons of the year, and I also tend to develop new favorites as new scents are released. I also have different favorites for different reasons. I created Seven Veils for myself and shared it with my customers and was delighted that it became a fan favorite. I love Prairie Gothic because it is just so strange, yet compelling. I love Cinderheart for its deep resinous spicy notes on my skin. Some favorites were created for family members, and I love them for that reason. Other favorites from my early days in perfumery are Samhain Night, Black Throne, and Sangreal. I really enjoy the seasonal scents as well and some of my favorite Winter Holiday scents are Jack Frost, Winter Queen, Naughty Nutcracker, and the customer favorite White Christmas (which smells just like my family’s home from my childhood memories). All my Fall and Halloween scents are like children to me so choosing just one from the huge batch feels wrong, but I do love Elspeth and Onyx, Grimmsbane, Grimalkin, Pumpkin Fiend, Wildwood, Griselda’s Garden, and the newly released Amor Fati which is from my new Haunted Souls Collection.
Do you believe in magic?
I do believe in magic! Magic can mean many different things to different people, and I believe in it in all its aspects. It can be science we have yet to tap into, it can be seeing our intentions manifest for us, it can be the simple everyday beauty in the world like when a dragonfly lands on your arm or a squirrel lets you feed it out of your hand. It can be the soul deep connections we feel with other people. I also believe magic is fundamentally about creation, whether it’s experiencing the creation of living things, creating art, writing a story, or making our intentions manifest for good. It’s about opening a door from the real to the possible.
How do you stay enchanted?
I enjoy surrounding myself with beautiful and unusual things: a piece of music that stirs my soul, a smell that takes me back to 20 years ago, watching a spider move about on a dew strewn web, reading a book that whisks me away to a wondrous fairyland, holding a cool and clear piece of quartz crystal, feeling the warmth of a pet’s fur in my fingers, gazing at a piece of art full of color and light, indulging in a food that makes my taste buds soar. Ultimately the key to being enchanted is realizing that you can see the beauty in everyday life and tap into an endless source of inspiration to create. Being enchanted is choosing to be inspired.
Thank you to Enchanted Living Magazine for making the world more beautiful and magical, and for allowing me to be a part of it. Thank you to Katina Elizabeth Photography for the amazing witchy photoshoot and to Sparkle Shop Studios for the fantastic space. And as always, thank you to my dear and wonderful customers worldwide. I so enjoy emails from my customer about how my scents touch their lives in special ways.
Have a beautiful autumn everyone!
And then here’s Cat reading our witch issue in the exact manner we imagine all of you do:
What are your favorite autumn scents and memories? Let us know and we’ll share some of your answers in this very space!
And, until next time, stay enchanted!