It's an Amy Winehouse and seed catalog kind of day. My friend Jade is an avid gardener of the perfumery type, and she turned me onto a new-to-me seed company, Floret. I didn't order much because I haven't done much inventory on the seeds I already have. Last year was a bust in terms of getting seeds started as my greenhouse sat in a box for weeks during late winter, early spring, waiting for its turn in construction. With so much to do, it's difficult sometimes to prioritize, but this year, plants are number one on the list of 'things to do'. 
A few things did work out nicely in the plant department. A cutting of rose geranium that was sent to me is flourishing, grown big and bushy and happy in its little raised bed. I expect when it blooms, there will be plenty to harvest for hydrosol and oil and incense. 
So far I know that there are seeds of blue water lily (yay!), purslane, lotus, sweet pea, tons of orange and yellow poppies, palmarosa, santalum, black con…

Brugmansia and Red, Red Wine

Reminiscing on the nights spent with new friends in Brazil, and I remembered something that I felt was beyond magical and pretty much summed up the trip in general, even though it happened on the very first night I was there.
A small group of us went to dinner after a long day at the congress (conference). It was a vegan shop where the menu items were named after Brazilian feminists. The only one I can remember is Marielle Franco. I remember reading about her assassination earlier in the year and feeling a little trepidation about the trip, but I quickly squashed that feeling because I don't live in a utopian society either. Far from it. However, I was moved that there was this level of mourning for this extraordinary woman who was doing her best to level the playing field for women and POC in her city, Rio de Janeiro. 
Yes, it was a restaurant, and, yes, it was only a menu item, but in a country on tenterhooks about what can be said and done due to political turmoil, it was, at …

Kyphi Egyptian Incense & Perfume

It's time again to revise and edit the Kyphi booklet, revise and edit the Kyphi course at the Natural Perfume Academy, and begin work on more soulfully engaged Kyphi projects. With the exception of a Kyphi class here and there, and the occasional student in the Kyphi course at the Academy, it's been pretty hands-off of Kyphi for the past couple of years.

I feel the urge to engage with Kyphi again, to dig into its raw materials' list and determine which element represents what part of the god. With the help of a former Kyphi course student, some of the puzzle pieces have come to light. Now to research and dig and tumble down the rabbit hole until my eyes blur and understanding is realized.

2012 marked the year that the flame was lit for Kyphi, and we have walked this crooked little path ever since, sometimes holding hands, other times walking far behind or far ahead of Kyphi. It's time again to walk with Kyphi, to finally learn all of his secrets.

I'm giving away Ky…

Ferula gummosa, F. galbaniflua

Galbanum resinoid. Ferula gummosa, F. galbaniflua. Love it? Or hate it?

Galbanum is grown in the northern slopes of Persia, a climate of dry summers and balmy winters typical of the Mediterranean.
The scent is absolutely delicious. Warmly green and slightly floral with memories of salt-water marshes and dried, cracked lake beds. The scent swirls like a djinn from its lamp, light and sparkling and airy one moment, and deep and smoky and rich the next. There are glimmers of ash and tobacco and weighty emerald green velvet, warming, smooth and relaxing. A headiness wafts from this resinoid, a dense, heavy, swollen cloud ready to burst with drops of balsam and green pepper

. There are none of the bitter cigarette butt notes that are often found in the essential oil; this resin possesses a whole, round, enveloping dark greenness; a multitude of mosses and leaves in convergence.
Jasmine grandiflorum and galbanum resinoid are elegant lovers. Build from these two and you can create something…

New Natural Perfume Course Opens March 2019


See website for details:

Tolu Balsam

Tolu! Tolu! Tolu!

Myroxylon balsamum.

I purchased this from Dan at Apothecary's Garden (on Etsy) a few weeks back and after sharing it with friends at our bi-monthly book club meeting, I decided to take a crack at evaluating it.

Dan describes it as 'a delightful vanilla & spice scent with dry, powdery fruity/floral notes'.

To my nose it is sweet, warm, vanilla-like with slight tonka bean undertones, cinnamin-like, fleshy-floral (think frangipani) with barely ripened banana fruit notes. This is at 100%, zero dilution, so I'm pretty sure some of the more obscure notes will pop when diluted to about 20%. Maybe even more than that, a 10% dilution would probably be spot on.

This tolu balsam would be ideal in a tropical themed perfume providing a foundation for heady tropical florals and fleshy sweet fruit. Tuberose and this tolu would be a match made in heaven.

It reminds me very much of the oils I sampled while in Brazil, those grown in Brazil, that were richer and dee…

Oranges & Lemons

Yuzu looks like an orange.

Bergamot looks like a lemon.

It's a game I've been playing with everyone in the house -- Guess the Citrus. You'd think the name written on the inside cover of the box would be enough of a hint, but it's not.

This nifty little gadget was a gift from my friend Ane, who bought it for me as we walked the stalls at the Mercado Market in Belo Horizonte. The market had everything you could imagine, from birds to cheese, a lovely restaurant, and fresh sugar cane juice to sip while strolling. Guess what Ane uses this for? Guess what I'm going to be using it for? Subtract the cup and add a beaker. Yes! Filtering small batch perfumes! Though I am sorely tempted to make the coffee instead.

Don't forget to comment with a question (relevant, no trolling) for your chance to win something from The Scented Djinn -- this is a monthly thing now.