Tuesday, September 10, 2013


The legendary Vodou Queen of New Orleans

Marie Laveau, famed Vodou priestess of New Orleans
On September 10, 1794 in New Orleans - 219 years ago today - Marie Laveau was born.  Her father was a prosperous white planter who served in the Louisiana state legislature.  Her mother, like Marie herself, was a Creole free woman of color, a gens de coleur libre

In 1819, at age 24, Marie married Jacques Paris, a Haitian immigrant, one of many Haitians who came to New Orleans following the Haitian revolution.  Their marriage was short-lived,  as Paris died in 1820.

The label of my fragrant tribute to Marie Laveau
Marie Laveau worked as a hairdresser following the death of her husband, eventually taking a lover, Louis Christophe Dumesnil de Glapion ("Christophe").  They lived together in her mother's home in the French Quarter until he died in 1835, and had many children - some reports claim 15!  

There are many stories about the occult power of Marie Laveau.  During her lifetime she was a Vodou practitioner - a priestess, or mambo - of high renown,  In the manner of so much of the African diaspora (which often confuses some people with whom I speak), she remained staunchly Roman Catholic until she died.  She was well regarded throughout her life, reserving her curses for those whose unkindness and ill-treatment of others was unrepentant and extreme. Her ability to wield effective curses generated fear in others, however, her kindness and willingness to help those in need was equally legendary.

This interesting article about Marie Laveau was published in the New York Times on June 23, 1881, a few days following her death.  As always with such period pieces, remember the different sensibility of the times.

Jasmine grandiflorum
I am lighting a candle for Marie Laveau, and offering her some champagne and something very special -  a new perfume!  I am launching, today, a pure botanical perfume formualted in her honor:  La Belle Reine Marie Laveau

As with all of my formulas, this perfume is deliberately enchanted, spending time on my altar before making it's way to your home.  This is a gorgeous, rich botanical perfume..  Unlike my Spiritual and Conjure Oils, which are subtly fragrant, the aromatic profile of La Belle Reine Marie Laveau is highly saturated.  As with all pure all-natural perfumes, the scent blooms close to the skin, and the sillage  remains intimate and close to the body.  I truly believe la belle Marie would be pleased.

The all-natural fragrance notes of this perfume include rich, creamy vanilla, deep, sacred woods,  dark honey-sweet labdanum, tobacco blossom, and piquant black pepper, over which floats a beautiful, transparent, fresh jasmine in a base of organic jojoba.  The balance of the green jasmine and deep, translucent amber notes is wonderful.  The jojoba has been infused with magically potent secret botanicals:  this perfume is designed to draw luck, positive attention, and love!

Wishing you all good magic,

Dara Anzlowar
September 10, 2013 - the birthday of Marie Laveau

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