Sunday, January 01, 2006

White Lotus Aromatics

The Goodie Bag

Patchouli Absolute from India ~ Oh My Gosh! Black like tar, smoky like old burned wood, and the best part? Wine! Smells like a nice, rich, oak~y glass of Merlot or Shiraz. Now THIS is what you use in perfume, not straight up patchouli with its powdery top note, but this stuff, with big, heavy feet and a lush, robust bottom! Love it!

Artemesia (eo) from South Africa ~ Pushes out of the bottle like it's exhaling. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Smells like a combination of German chamomile FLOWERS, not eo, yarrow FLOWERS, dry grasses and bits of sage and lavender. Beautiful oil. Would make a luscious top note for a lavender theme perfume.

Petitgrain Bigarade, organic from Egypt ~ I think petitgrain is my favorite oil in the non-earthy tableau of essences. It has some of the same floral notes as neroli but lacks the heavy sweetness. And petitgrain 'sticks', whereas neroli, expensive as it is, is an extremely fleeting essence. In combination, they're a one-two knock-out punch! I'm experimenting with a perfume oil for my granddaughter using lime, petitgrain, neroli and beeswax absolute ~ so far I've got a delicate, feminine, sweet, citrusy, well-grounded girleh scent that I think she'll enjoy. Smells a little like candy. As for this petitgrain, I'm so NOT disappointed by it at all. It's the best I've smelled yet and it should prove itself well in some of the blends I've already been working with.

Ambrette CO2 from India ~ back a year or so ago I ordered some ambrette from another supplier. I remember not being terribly impressed and basically not 'getting' the brouhaha that all the natural/botanical perfumers were making over it. Now I get it. This is the musk note I've been looking for. That animalic essence that digs its fingers (paws? hooves? horns?) into the ground and won't let go. However, it has a funky top note. Kind of like dill for a fleeting second, then the musky, sweetness comes through. You have to remember, all these descriptions come straight from the bottle. When diluted and blended down or into other aromatics, these essences take on a different tone completely. I'm really looking forward to playing with this stuff.

Vanilla CO2 ~ smells like vanilla. Rich, heavy vanilla. I only bought a sample bottle so I don't really have a lot to go on. I do like it, though. It's rounder, fuller and sweeter than any other vanilla I've used. I once bought a vanilla oleoresin from a supplier on the east coast ~ that stuff must have had something in it, synthetics or solvents or something, because everything I used it in ended up smelling like rubber! And it was darker. This CO2 is cream colored and looks a little like butter cream frosting. Cool stuff.

Lavender Absolute ~ no further information was provided except that I got it for free. I ordered an ounce and was sent a sample ~ must be out ~ too bad, because it's divine. Lavender absolute is as different from lavender eo as patchouli absolute is from patchouli eo. Richer, fuller, rounder, more floral than herbal. It has a sweetness and heaviness that lavender eo lacks. Absolutely perfect for perfume and I'm thinking it would be great in soap as well. Since an ounce is something like $24 (or less), it's well worth it to get something more out of your lavender products.

Aglaia Concrete from China ~ aka Peppery Orchid Tree ~ oh, dear. Light, airy, floral, fruity ~ smells of peaches and baby's breath and fresh breezes. I have no idea how I'm going to use this essence, but I'm surely looking forward to it! Top note ~ definitely a top note!

Rosa Bourbonia Absolute from India ~ aka Edward Rose ~beautiful! Nice, fat, heavy floral rose with a hint of earthiness. Has almost a tobacco~y back note to it ~ really nice. This isn't the kind of rose you'd use in a girleh girl type perfume. This is the kind of rose you'd use in a WOMAN's perfume! Bold and voluptuous and confident and fearless ~ that's what this Edward projects.

Jasmin Auriculatum from India ~ I've been looking and looking and looking for this jasmine! Completely different from sambac and grandiflorum in so many, many ways. Auriculatum is a hopping sprite intent on mischief whereas sambac is a lusty woman intent on you-know-what, and grandiflorum is the 1950's Hollywood diva/whore. This is the jasmine you smell in the tropics. The jasmine on the Hawaiian breezes that makes you wanna run barefoot in the sand and kick up your heels. This is a coy, prepubescent jasmine compared to the other two 'lady' jasmines. Ahh, I can't wait to play with this one!

Champa Concrete ~ this smells unbelievable. For a split second, at the beginning of the sniff, you *almost* smell wintergreen ~ *almost*, but not quite. It doesn't fill out and suddenly you smell ~ a massage parlor! All these different scent molecules bombard your head and it's very hard to distinguish what's what. Really, I can't even tell you what it smells like ~ like a hundred different things at once, all soothing, all relaxing. Perhaps the scent will separate a bit once it's been diluted. It's almost too much to take in the way it is. I really, really like it.

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