Monday, May 29, 2006

Artemisia, Sweet Artemisia


I loves, loves, loves me some Artemisia Natural Perfumes! Lisa Fong of Artemisia NP has created the most ambrosial perfumes I've ever had the pleasure of drenching myself in. I also love my friends who so graciously send me little samples of some of their most favored stinky goodies. Without them pointing me in the direction of these beautific scent designers, I wouldn't have a blog to write!


Saffron Eau de Parfum - this eau de parfum has a surprisingly lovely character. It starts out all citrusy and bright, then quickly, and I do mean quickly, fades to a warm, slumbering sandalwood. Sandalwood and 'aged patchouli' and Himalayan cedarwood make for a balmy, sexy, sultry dry down. There is still a thin sheen of citrus, blood orange, to be precise, but it isn't nearly as overpowering as the initial dip. All together these elements produce a lush mosaic of olfactory brilliance.

Lavender & Clove Eau de Parfum - okay, so I'm not a huge fan of the lavender, and I'm not a huge fan of the clove, so why is it then that I find this eau de parfum so totally captivating? It has an almost cloying, candy-like feel to it, as if it wants to be food and sedation, but has changed its mind at the last moment. Layers of spice blanket heavy florals without the herbaceous slap typical of most lavender perfumes. This is made with lavender absolute, which is indisputably different than lavender essential oil, which, in turn, makes this eau de parfum perfect.

http://www.artemisiaperfume.com

Wonderful World of Will


Eden Botanicals is one of my very favorite places to find rare and beautiful smelly things. Over the past few years, Will Lapaz of EB has been diligently seeking out those ingredients which natural and botanical perfumers love to possess. He consistently obtains some of the most exquisite scenting elements the world has to offer.

Here is a short list of some recent goodies I received.

Orange Blossom Water Absolute - in a word -- luscious! I do so love orange blossom over neroli. Orange blossom is full and robust and brings to the forefront of my mind hidden childhood memories of cool, breezy evenings and the scent of blooming orange floating on the air.

Linden Blossom Absolute - linden is a choice find for any perfumer. Most linden, I've heard, are fakes posing as the real deal. This bewitching contribution to natural and botanical perfumers is well worth that gamble. It is real. Dark and oozy and resinous, like thick, blackish honey, so unexpected in its appearance and texture. The scent is indescribably lovely - very honied and wine-y with osmanthus-like attributes, those sweet, boozy tones overlaid with fruitiness. I equate this particular fruit essence to prunes - not a very appealing idea, I agree, but there's much more to this multi-faceted essence than that. So much more.

Cardamom CO2 Select - I'm not a huge fan of the CO2 extractions. They oftentimes seem to enjoy an unreasonable added expense for so little return. Not the case with this cardamom CO2. A sweet, fruity and spicy essence hastens from the bottle, a little bulldozer of scent intent on making you love it. And you probably will. Swirling around the sweet fruitiness is a shade of camphor - not much, and certainly not enough to relegate this gem to the eucalyptus-peppermint-tea tree shelf of topical self-medications. Used sparingly in a perfume blend, I can see this delightful little CO2 adding just the right amount of fruit 'n spice.

Clementine CO2 Select - Oh, my darling Clementine! Another CO2 extract that makes itself worthy of its price. Clementine is just the sweetest, most darling little thing! I'm a big fan of red mandarin essential oil, all snugly in its candy-like blanket of essence, but this - this beautiful clementine is a true Tootsie-Pop wonder! I want to eat it. I want to pour it in cake batter and frosting and tea. I want clementine kisses and clementine tears. I have big plans for this deliciously heady little citrus. No, I'm not really going to eat it - ah!

Nagarmotha Cyperus - this is the very first nagarmotha I've ever sniffed. At first I thought it smelled like my father's old boot polishing kit with all its funky balms and blackened flannel strips. Then it took on a cedar-like character, not the warm, creamy scent of Himalayan cedar, but the bitter astringency of Virginian cedar. It's warmer than VC, though, and not so similar that one would mistakenly think it cedarwood. But still, that leathery, boot-polish tone could be quite useful. I like it, odd as it is.

Lavender Seville (absolute) - Wow! This is different. If someone where to hold the bottle under my nose without telling me what it was, I would never guess lavender. This stuff is sweet and jelly-like (in scent, not texture), fruity, berry-ish. It reminds me very much of fruit leather! This nectareous little essence can, and probably will, be used to create a faux berry parfum that may turn out to be nothing less than irresistable.

http://www.edenbotanicals.com

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Berries

Boysenberries bring home cobbler and ice cream and purple fingers and seeds stuck between teeth.

Blackberries birth jelly and syrup; decadent, sticky sweetness.

Raspberries kiss tarts.

Strawberries herald summer, the red, white and blue, and fireworks.

So why can't natural perfumer's create a true-to-life berry perfume?

Well, they can. Not a huge market for it, but probably a fun project, nonetheless.

Not Perfume Smelling Things

I like scented things that are out of the ordinary, things a bit unusual and strange. Not too strange, though. I'm not a big fan of mother's milk soap or perfume that smells like cheese, but I have been known to bury my nose in the pages of an old book just to smell the aging ink and musty, wilted paper.

Other unusual or non-perfumey things I like to point my nose toward are . . .

the scent of new money . . .

the rich, warm scent of a new baby's head . . .

line dried sheets - as a child I'd tell my mother that the sheets smelled of apricots when dried in the sun . . .

rusty window screens . . .

the upholstery of an old pick-up truck . . .

the scent of rain on hot asphalt . . .

warm, black tea . . .

ice . . .

San Francisco at dawn . . .

the scent of the woods and water at Big Sur while sitting on Adirondack chairs placed in the middle of a winter-cold stream . . .

a box of my father's possession sent to me after his funeral . . .

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