Watch for the Greenwitch!

“Hazel for the framework,
Rowan for the Head,
The body is of Hawthorne boughs and Hawthorne blossoms.”
~ Susan Cooper

In honor to the White Lady
A Green Chypre Perfume

By Roxana Villa

Initially I intended to follow a traditional floral chypre formula when I set out to create this fragrance. A basic floral chypre consists of a Labdanum, Oakmoss and Patchouli base, floral heart notes with citrus at the top, Bergamot being the most favored. Some formulas from my books include Vetiver and Sandalwood in combination with the prior mentioned trilogy. Being a fan of Vetiver I choose to include it in my chypre base. The first step included experimenting with different chypre bases to get a nice melding of Oakmoss, Vetiver and Patchouli. Two base accords were created; one with a light use of Oakmoss, the second a traditional formula which utilized copious amounts of the lichen resin. As the different chypre accords melded, I created a vegie musk accord and several floral accords, one of which went very green. I called the green accord, Fern.

The book on tape I was listening to at the time period of creating these formulas was “Greenwitch” by one of my favorite authors, Susan Cooper. Inspired by the story, I decided to create a green chypre using the very green floral accord, Fern, as the heart of the perfume and calling it Greenwitch. Green notes in the botanical/natural perfumers palette include primarily Galbanum, in a variety of forms and Violet Leaf.

For the tinctures I initially decided upon Kelp and Onycha for the sea element of the White Lady and both Hawthorne flower, leaves and berries for the greenwitch herself. I was not able to strain the special tinctures I made in time to add to the first version of greenwitch, due to the deadline. In the final edition I will also add tinctures of Hazel and Rowan. Other planned additions include Birch to the base and more Rose since the Hawthorne and Rowan are from that family.

The story of the making of the greenwitch seems to be associated with the vernal equinox. The creation of an offering to “Tethys, the ancient ocean goddess and Queen of the Wild Magic”, also called the White Lady. There are references to the greenwitch also being termed as the bride of King Marks. I would love to know if there is an actual making of the greenwitch in Cornwell as described in the book or if it is a fictional rite.

“The making of the an old spring rite...
for greeting summer
and charming a good harvest of crop and fish.”

“Hazel for the framework, Rowan for the Head,
The body is of Hawthorne boughs and Hawthorne blossoms.”

~ Susan Cooper

Hazel, Corylus avellana - Betulaceae (Birch) family
Rowan, Sorbus aucuparia L., Rosaceae – Rose family
Hawthorne, Crataegus monogyna, Rosaceae – Rose family

I created several versions of the fragrance. My favorite is labeled number one, however, a few friends adore version number two. The second version is more in line with a classical Chypre fragrance, which is perhaps why I am not as keen on it. I tend to be drawn to creating unique aromatic combinations.

This is a list of the essences that are included in the first two variations:

Monsoon Rose Attar
Jasmine Sambac Absolute
Orris CO2
Tonka Bean
Geranium Absolute
Galbanum Absolute
Bergamot, Italy
Petitgrain, Lime

A Veggie Musk Accord: Ambrette, Cassie, Africa Stone, Spikenard, Cumin and Beeswax
Chypre Base Accord: Haitian Vetiver , a dark Indonesian Patchouli and Oakmoss Abs.

Grape Spirits + Grain Alcohol

Tincture of Onycha

for the Greenwitch:
Seaweed Absolute
Celery Seed Absolute
Labdanum Abs.
Peru Balsam

I have put a few 1 gram vials of this first trial edition up for sale on my Etsy shop for those who wish to explore the fragrance. Just in time for this Friday’s Spring Equinox.

Roxana Villa is an award winning visual artist and a botanical perfumer. Ms. Villa creates hand crafted perfumes utilizing ancient techniques of alchemy with modern technology. All the perfumes are formulated by her own hands in her studio in the Santa Monica Mountains of California.

Read an interview with Roxana here at Sniffapalooza Magazine

Roxana’s fragrances can be found at her website:
and She writes daily on her blog:

Images ©Greg Spalenka, at top a cropped version of Emerge and below it is Imagination Vibration. My daughter Eve was the model for both these pieces which were commissioned as posters. See more at the Spalenka website,

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