Saturday, December 29, 2007

Bags and Tosses

Bagged this book, 'The Toilet of Flora' off Ebay. Perfect, perfect, perfect condition -- almost like a brand new book. Published in 1939, it's a reprint of an older edition dated 1779. It's one of those books where the 's' is written as an 'f'. Reading it makes my brain feel like it has a speech impediment. Juicy brain fodder anyway. The book seller is 'The First Edition, too' in Moran, MI. The owner, Mary Carney, sells a lot of old books in great condition. Check her out on ebay.

Tossed (will toss) my online business for the better part of 2008 - alas, it shall return bigger and better, I promise.

Bagged an edition of Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin by Steffan Arctander for -- get this -- $85!!! Brand spanking new, hot off the press, and obviously listed at the wrong price on Amazon. These babies go for $349 through the publisher; can't find the reprinted editions at Amazon anymore, just the first editions that start at a shocking $800! As much as I'd like to recommend this to student perfumers, I cannot. I may have in the past, but I take it back now. It's cost prohibitive for a newbie. Buy everything else first, then when you're about two years in, buy Arctander. Or borrow it from a library.

Tossed my naivete about the integrity of some of the suppliers I've heralded out the door. If it looks like a skunk, smells like a skunk, and bats its monochrome tail like a skunk, then it's probably a skunk. Or a compound. 'Nuff said.

Bagged an edition of 'Une Vie au Service du Parfum' by Edmond Roudnitska. It's in French. I can't read French. Yet.

So that's it. For now.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

For the times they are a-changin'

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin' ~ Bob Dylan

A few things became apparent to me over this past year about natural and botanical perfumery ~ about the marketing, artistry, accumulation of friends and foes (sometimes they're the same person), the utter horsesh*t being bandied about 'out there', and, most importantly (to me), who had earned the right to call themselves a perfumer. Certainly, I discovered, not I. And the term 'nose', for some as yet fully defined reason, pisses me off. Boils down a bit to credibility, I suppose. Call me a nose and I might punch you in yours. That's all I'm saying. Unreasonable, I agree. I feel the same way when someone calls my respiratory therapist husband 'doctor'. Uh, what? Chaps my arse more when he doesn't correct them.

So, here's what I've done: Shut down 'The Scented Djinn' temporarily (9 or 10 or 11 months) and begun a stringent, self-motivated perfume education with the help of two equally scent possessed persons of future perfumer status. Then maybe, somewhere toward August/September of 2008, I might feel comfortable with the moniker natural, botanical perfumer.

As I wrote earlier, it's a matter of credibility.

So, yeah, times are changing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Opus Oils Holiday Discount!

Scents of Imagination

We want to wish you a very Happy Holiday Season!!!
Please keep us in mind for your special gift needs...

We would like to offer our preferred clients a discount of 20% off all
purchases made by Jan 1st, 2008. To redeem, send us an email listing the items
that you would like to purchase, and we will send you a bill with the new total.


All of us at Opus Oils

P.S. Feel free to pass this special along to all your friends!

High quality, unique couture perfumes hand blended and poured in the
traditional methods of the artisan perfumers of centuries past, with an
emphasis on natural ingredients... We also do Bespoke Fragrances!

For questions or samples please contact us at
or call (323) 851-0714

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Underworld ~ A Natural Perfume by Liz Zorn

Underworld. The name evokes dank darkness and wicked biting things creeping low on the ground -- or under the ground. Slithering, slimy fearful things, all fangs and glowing red eyes. Ok, so I have a very active imagination. Thankfully, Underworld is none of the above.

Instead, it is resinous and oudhy, floral with a soft powdery sweetness that grows in intensity as the 'fume lies on the skin. An anise-like quality twines about this perfume, and is tempered with roses and dark spices. Smells animalic. Not the musty, fusty smell of unwashed fur, but the clean animal smell that floats off the skin of a well-loved cat.

An underlying ambery vanilla chord gives the entire perfume a warm, candy-like feel. And booziness - there's a boozy, barroom-on-a-dark-rainy-night, -blues-playing-on-the-juke-box essence dancing around too.

The gourmandy part of this perfume is luscious. Chocolate and Sen Sen breath freshener, burnt coffee and cinnamon. To top it off, there's also a thread of old leather glove, firewood, smoke and ash.

This perfume is definitely dark. But dark in a way that is alluring and sensual.

*Notes: vetyver, cinnamon, cocoa, coffee, ginger lily, labdanum, pomegranate, rose, geranium leaf, birch, vanilla, 'sweet amber', jasmine A., angelica, 'mosses', 'woods'.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

White Lotus Aromatics

This month's White Lotus Aromatics newsletter is focusing on Artcander style monographs of absolutes; absolutes which did not exist during the writing of Arctander's now famous book, Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin. Arctander did a better than fine job of outlining and defining hundreds of scent and flavor materials. Mr. McMahon is picking up where Arctander left off.

To read the latest . . .

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Misetu ~ A Natural Perfume by Liz Zorn

Liz Zorn of Liz Zorn Perfumes has been creating perfumes since the 70's, learning her craft from various old books, through experimentation, and by taking art theories (she's also an artist artist) and applying them to perfumery.

Misetu is only one of several natural perfumes Ms. Zorn has created. It is a sweet, honey-floral, fruity parfum with a powdery, soapy, only faintly leathery drydown. The intense magnolia evolves to bitter warmth and floral powderiness, turns slightly urinic (which IS NOT a bad thing), and skips toward sweet, warm, dry, honied skin. Like a fresh, new bottle of parfum in an old, dusty boudoir. Very old-fashioned feel to it. Girlie. On a scent strip, the perfume is singularly magnolia-ish ~ hardly a move in evolution from the point of application to the end (when the strip gets tossed), so it has to be worn on the skin to truly get the 'feel' of it.

The duration of the perfume is decent (naturals have a tendency not to 'stick' as well as synthetics), about 3 - 4 hours on my skin, and throughout the drydown it retains the fruity magnolia 'n honey essence.

What I find most interesting about this perfume is that *urine note; a certain sweet, creamy, maple~y, honied mustiness that oftentimes wafts off Australian sandalwoods. What's so interesting? Well, according to the list of essences, there isn't any sandalwood in this perfume. So I'm going to blame that note on Ms. Zorn's artful blending. A residual effect from the combination of elements used to build this perfume? Who really cares? It's splendid regardless.

However, having observed that last bit, this perfume isn't really my style. Well blended, pretty, has longevity, is imaginative -- yes! Would I wear it? Probably not. It's no reflection on the perfumer, simply a reflection of my tastes.

Parfum's notes: red grapefruit, jasmin sambac, magnolia, white lotus, elemi, guiacwood, vetyver, tobacco, aglaia flower, clove, geranium, "spices", lavender, ylang~ylang, Peru balsam, orris.

*Ms. Zorn states on her website that she's built an 'animalic inspired earthiness' into the perfume; this is simply a dispute (not really) of our terms. She says 'animalic', I say 'stale pee pee'; either way, it's good.

Leather and Lace

So are you thinking of Stevie Nicks? Well, this has nothing to do with her. It has to do with another gorgeous creation from Ruby's Jewels -- Leather 'n Lace Pure Botanical Perfume.

The first thought that pops into my mind when I wear this perfume is 'sultry'. It reminds me very much of old-school perfumes, pre-80's stuff (80's = aldehyde horse-kicks in the teeth). The top note, from the bottle, is a fleeting green and yellow spark -- citrus and green peppers and cardamom -- or some other such green 'n yellow combo. On the skin it turns all powdery and sweet candyish with an undertone of something dark and heavy. It never turns resinous or solidly leathery, instead it mellows and gives hints of leather; leather under piles of spices and flowers, like a chamois drenched in floral potpourri.

However, I must point out that this perfume has, since my receiving a sample, been reformulated. Ms. Y entreated two famous European indie perfumers in an effort to make something great even mo' bett'a, and with their suggestions in mind, made some adjustments to this already spectacular perfume.

You gotta watch for this woman, 'cause she throws surprises out one after another, when you least expect it, and, to date, not a single one has been a disappointment.

Artwork courtesy of Mz. Bella, Kimberly Ayers, The Queen's Obsession,

Sunday, November 25, 2007


No pic. Just a short note.

According to the latest media, Black Friday shoppers showed their 'resilience' toward higher gas prices by braving the early hours, long drives, parking horrors, the unwashed masses and tomorrow's credit card nightmares so they could 'get the deals', and to make the wealth rakers even wealthier.



Sunday, November 18, 2007

Buy Handmade

This post is a continuance of a previous post about becoming a non-commercial consumer and buying or making handmade gifts for the holidays.

One or two of you have written to say that yeah, it's a good idea to make handmade gifts, but what happens when, or if, you can't? For whatever reasons, some folks are only good at making messes.

Try Etsy. There are so many wonderful craftpersons on Etsy selling handmade items in all price ranges, all your shopping can be done right there. You'd be supporting a small businessperson who needs your attention more than Walmart or Macy's does, and if enough folks join in, we might possibly send a message to the corporate machine that we're sick of them force feeding us what they think we should buy.

Also, try your local farmer's market. If you've got a goodies' lover on your list, why not get them a jar of locally made jelly or jam? Dress it up with a bow and slip it into a handmade cloth bag?

So many great handmade ideas are out there. Go catch one!

Oh! And make the 'Buy Handmade Pledge'.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Lost Treasures

In 2001 I joined a Yahoo group called Blue Lotus Moon run by this crazy chick who loaded the group with more crazy chicks, myself included, who were doing some crazy stuff with soap and shea butter and exotic aromatics. Before this group, the very idea of pouring jasmine grandiflorum absolute into a soap base never even crossed my mind. That year, the group decided to put together a holiday swap. Man, that was the best swap I have ever been involved with. The stuff that was shared was so over-the-top luxurious I hardly have words. Whipped butters made of light and air and fragrant botanicals; fat, chunky soaps made with lush floral waxes and odd scent combinations that worked unbelievably well together; scrubs laden with rose otto, and a creme perfume whose scent could make your toes curl. Really.

So here it is, 2007, and I'm still koo-koo for the scent of that creme perfume. So crazy for it, in fact, that its creator made me a special one-of-a-kind bottle in liquid parfum form. It misses absolutely nothing from the original creation. It is so beautifully blended that I can't even concentrate on it long enough to pick it apart -- is that jasmine? Tuberose? Vanilla? Tonka? Honey? Don't know. Really don't care! I immediately go into bliss mode when I get a sniff'a this botanical dope. It's my own personal catnip.

It smells like-- honey. And lush white flowers, tropical blossoms, warm, powdered skin~ jasmine, tuberose, gardenia, ylang, vanilla, rose. It's an intoxicant. Makes the head all swimmy and the body go limp. Didn't I just say it was botanical dope?

Maybe it's all in the psychology. Maybe because it was my very first, true botanical, real perfume experience, opposed to simpler blends and AT blends, I've grown an unnatural attachment to it.

Naw! It's really that good.

Amulette. By Ruby's Jewels.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Natural & Botanical Perfumery Education Resources

Le Parfumeur Rebelle, its editors and contributors, cannot stress enough how important a solid natural and botanical perfumery education can be for those who wish to be natural and botanical perfumers. Most are self-taught (myself included) through intensive book study and olfactory training, or by joining more structured blending groups that offer free and valuable information, but there are plenty of wonderful education resources for those who wish to fast track their education, and spend more than a few dollars for it.

Here are LPR's recommendations:

Ayala Moriel Perfumes
1230 Haro St., Buzz #295
Vancouver, BC
(778) 863-0806
Class: Foundation to Natural Perfumery Course

Jeanne Rose
Natural Perfumery & Exotics
219 Carl Street
San Francisco, CA 94117
March 14-16, 2008

Perfume Classes by Kedra Hart
(323) 851-0714
Opus Oils

Grasse Institute of Perfumery
Natural & Summer School Courses
Grasse, France

Here are some great books for those who choose the self-taught path:

William Kaufman's 'Perfume'
Published 1974

G.W. Septimus Piesse
'The Art of Perfumery, and Method of Obtaining the Odors of Plants'
p. 1857

Steffan Arctander
'Perfume & Flavor Materials of Natural Origin'

Edward Sagarin
'Science and Art of Perfumery'

William A. Poucher, Ph.C.
'Perfumes, Cosmetics & Soaps

Eugene Rimmel
'Book of Perfumes'

Elizabeth Barille & Catherine Laroze
'The Book of Perfume'

David H. Pybus & Charles S. Sell
'The Chemistry of Fragrances'

Michael Edwards
'Perfume Legends; French Feminine Fragrance

Richard le Gallienne
'The Romance of Perfume'

Louis Appell
'Cosmetics, Fragrances & Flavors; Their Formulation & Preparation'

Jill Jessee
'Perfume Album'

Well, there are more. Many more. But this should help to get you started.

'Oh, True Apotheary!' Turns Two!

OTA turns two on November 20th.

Terrible twos? Oooooooh!


'Tis (almost) the Season!

This is a trying time of year. Holidays zoom up, money woes turn to nightmares, consumerism peaks, people get stressed. It can be scary. It doesn't have to be. Rather than rush the malls to buy things that will end up in the trash by February, why not donate money to a small, obscure charity, or volunteer your time, or write individual holiday cards with personal notes of gratitude to whomever you give them, or MAKE gifts, or give movie tickets or season tickets to the local playhouse? A gift from the heart is a much grander gesture than a store-bought, possibly unnecessary, bauble. I'm just passing the idea along, here, folks.

I'm making 'green bags'. I'm sewing up muslin grocery bags for each person on my list and filling the bags with handmade goodies: lotions, potions and brews. Maybe a bottle of organic wine for the older set; bottles of skin potions for those who are younger. Food is good. I'm thinking of printing the receiver's favorite recipe on card stock and decorating it with glitter and glue and rubber stamp art and yarn tassels. Fun stuff. Homemade cookies and candy are always a hit. Arm warmers are easy to make and can be decorated to suit the receiver's tastes. Simple things. Made and given with love. I'm even making dough art tree ornaments this year, something I haven't done since 1994. My 4-year-old grandson will be 'helping' ~ ha!

Wouldn't you rather be at home on a Saturday afternoon baking cookies or gingerbread men or blending up a wicked lovely smelling skin potion than being elbowed and pushed through the teeming crowds at the mall to buy things you can't afford? You can bet your buhdunkadunk you won't find me within 100 feet of any mall this year. You might find me at the fabric store or the grocery store, though.

It's still early enough to plan a day or two of at-home time to put some simple, inexpensive things together. And who knows? You might even have some fun.

Monday, November 12, 2007

What Work Isn't

I occasionally go on about cleaning my workspace, how tedious it is, how I put it off until it's nearly unmanageable, how crazy it makes me. But really, deep down, I love it.

The initial getting started part is always the most difficult -- like getting ready for the j-o-b and walking out the front door -- it's the first step toward getting to the work that is where the dread lies. Yes, dread is a good way of describing this feeling.

Once I begin, though, the feeling moves from dread (where will I put all this stuff? How will I organize it? How will I keep my workspace clean?) to magic. Something happens, something powerful, that changes the idea that this is work to the idea that this is play.

I rediscover forgotten bottles -- rare, sweet babies that throw their arms around me, drawing me down, and in there, too, lies a tiny kernel of dread.

For the most part, unless I'm working on a project, I avoid my workbench. It's cluttered and covered -- every inch of it -- with bottles of essential oils, absolutes, concretes, dilutions, projects stewing until their presentation dates arrive, stacks of notebooks, jars of glass pipettes soaking in alcohol, blending bottles, scales, perfumes for review- well, everything! Most of the blending I do is done at my computer desk, away from the amber glass menagerie, away from the temptations.

Because if I go there, if I walk to the bench with dust rag in hand, I will sit down. Then I will pick up a bottle, wipe it off and set it aside. Then I will pick out another bottle, wipe it off and I will not set it aside. I will open it and fall into its essence and work bottle to bottle this way until hours have passed and the workbench is still a cluttered mess and kids are coming home from school or from playing with friends and dinner is late and laundry isn't done and I have forgotten to pick up the cat from the vet's . . . and I am once again completely inspired, and out of time.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Lovely Lemon

Lemon, as common as it is, is quite a sublimely beautiful scent. When you ask someone to describe the scent, they almost always say, "Citrusy" or "Lemony", or if you've got a real joker on your hands, "Furniture polish!".

Cold-pressed lemon oil, as a perfumery ingredient, is much more complex than any of these descriptions, running the gamut between aldehydic notes that are sweet-fruity-floral, to notes that go all musty and old paperish and take on a powdered lemonade scent.

The time it takes for lemon oil essence to move from its most-loved (in my opinion), and most recognized, fruity-tart-sharp-cool notes to musty-crackling old paper is a matter of minutes. The old paper scent remains for hours, though. Then it's gone.


I've been reading and studying distillation lately, since I was gifted this gorgeous copper alembic a couple of months back. Its capacity is very small, less than one liter, but perfect, I think, for my experiments.

You can tell that I've only been studying distillation and not actually distilling by the lovely dust-prints covering the alembic.

During my research of distillation, I found this video ~ awesome!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

New Month, New Giveaway at LPR

No pic. Just a message.

Enter this month's Le Parfumeur Rebelle monthly giveaway for your chance to win 2 mls of Sri Lankan sandalwood generously provided by Nature's Gift.

Good luck!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Le Parfumeur Rebelle's first Monthly Giveaway Winner

Le Parfumeur Rebelle's first monthly giveaway was very successful. Lots of folks from all around the world entered, from Modesto to Moscow.

So without further adieu, I'd like to announce the winner.

Siobhan McDowell of Belfast, Northern Ireland, won 2 mls of Motia Jasmine Attar (Jasmine sambac codistilled with sandalwood), and two Professional Formula carrier oil blends, #'s 1 and 4 from Sunrose Aromatics.

And an LPR t-shirt.

Congrats to the winner.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Arctander's 'Perfume & Flavor Materials of Natural Origin' ~ The Natural Perfumer's Bible?

Yeah, got it from Amazon for $85 new.

Glitch? Who cares? Me and a handful of ecstatic natural perfumers got in on this deal.

Regular price? $349.

Now I can join the ranks of the snoots who proclaim, "Well, Arctander says . . ."

What do you think of those black nails?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Who'd You Do?

This is every natural perfumer's dream - which celebrity will come knocking at their door requesting a custom perfume.

Well, here's your chance to choose your celebrity.

The question is: Who'd you do? And, why would you do 'em?

Friday, October 19, 2007


Looking ahead. Way ahead. Started a new project which has blown new life into the onward and upward motion of my perfumery education. Can't talk about it now. Maybe later.

Petitgrain. I just love petitgrain. Especially this time of year when everyone is loading up on cinnamon and cloves, nutmeg and vanilla. Here I am, cuddled up with Italian lemon petitgrain, sniffing happily away.

I have a sweet little Myer lemon tree in my front yard that I planted over the summer. Every day I marvel at how quickly it grows ~ delicate lime leaves unfurling against darker, mossy leaves. Every so often I'll pluck a leaf, break it up in my hands and inhale deeply ~ ahhhh! This lemon petitgrain smells similar to the Myer's fresh baby leaves, but sweeter, juicier. Lemonadey.

I also picked up a petitgrain bigarade, also Italian. Tart! Sharp little green teeth that nibble at the edges of your senses.

These are lovely clean notes, fresh and sparkling, and two of my very favorite things.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Harvest Arts

This photo is from the show I did the weekend before last, and not from the Harvest Arts Festival ~ but the soaps displayed are the same, and so was the display layout. Jumbled country style?

This year's Harvest Arts was a blast! This is the first year I've done the show where the time flew by so quickly, I was surprised when they rang the end bell! I sold TONS of soap, got two hook-ups for teaching both soap and perfume-making classes, and was invited to contribute to a 6-week long indoor holiday craft show. It's up in Shaver Lake, my old childhood stomping grounds. So it was a fun, successful weekend.

On a down note ~ you could feel this coming, couldn't you? ~ I agreed to barter some soap with the now infamous 'goat soap lady' of Harvest Arts, and when I took three of my premium olive/shea/org. cocoa butter artisan style soaps to her booth to complete the trade, she tells me, "Y'know, I love to barter, but I don't want to use your soap. I've used only my soap for the past ten years and I just don't want to use your soap." Pause. "But you can take one of mine as a sign of good will." I could have slapped her. I did take one as a sign of MY good will, then I got bitchy as I walked away and threw her stinky feta rank soap into the trash can. I was so mortified while she was going on about not wanting to use my soap, I couldn't even speak. I just stood there thinking that now I know the reason why her soaps haven't evolved from what they were 7 years ago, when I first started doing this show.

She had come to my booth earlier in the day and we spoke a bit about soapmaking and the problems (hers, not mine) associated with soapmaking, and that's when the barter agreement came into play, and I was actually giving her advice. She bragged about her ten years of soapmaking experience, yet didn't know what a stick blender was, and was under the impression that NO metals could be used in the soapmaking process (she was speaking on the metal blade of the stick blender). I had to wonder as she was standing there if she used a steel pot to blend her soaps, or was she so paranoid about the metal issue that she was blending in plastic -- or wood? And she still stirred her soap with a wooden spoon, taking an hour to do what a stick blender does in four minutes. As I stated earlier, now I understand why her soaps haven't evolved from the curdled feta stage.

This was the second time I tried to befriend this woman, the first time we did complete a trade, but she was very unpleasant and touched the soaps I gave her like they were contaminated with ebola. I ended up throwing out the soaps she gave me because they smelled like milk-fed baby vomit scented with lavender.

On an up note (ha!) when I asked how she did this year she said, "Well, I still have to pay my booth fee," $110, "but, uh, I guess I did ok. I think I did." I did do well, though she didn't ask. Made my booth fee and nearly four times more than that.

So maybe all of this means I'm no better than she is as a person. But I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have blurted out to her face how I really feel about goat milk soap, and that she's the primary reason why I feel the way I do about them. No. I just kept my mouth shut. Until now :)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I have a love/hate* relationship with perfumery. On the one hand, I can't imagine quitting -- ever. On the other hand, I hate all the bullsh*t that comes with the study of natural/botanical perfumery, the self-doubt, the motivation, the obsession, the condescending personalities. If it is just 'one big happy family', as some like to call it, it's the most screwed up dysfunctional family I've ever encountered.

That's all I wanted to say.

Monday, October 08, 2007


That's the frank/myrrh/gold soap. I called it 'Three Kings' for this show. Aren't they lovely?

Anyway. This was a spur-of-the-moment show, not one I normally do this time of year (or ever). It was something of a disappointment. I sold almost nothing. I won't make any excuses. The people at this show just didn't like my stuff. It happens.

This next weekend is my 'big' show, the one I do every year, and have done for the past six or seven years. I always sell out at this show. Lots of repeat business. Lots of faithful customers. Lots of fun.

If you're in the area, check it out here.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Devil Wears What?

For Immediate Release: Contact: OPUS OILS
Ph: 323.851.0714

Opus Oils Announces Release Of Satan's
Angel "Queen Of The Fire Tassels" Perfume

Hollywood, CA - Sept. 19th, 2007 - Opus Oils, a Perfume Atelier located in the heart of glamorous Hollywood, CA announced today the Official Launch & Release of their new Satan's Angel "Queen of the Fire Tassels" 1oz Eau de Parfum. Strong and wild like the Lady who inspired it, this sultry, narcotic floral bomb explodes with key notes of Gardenia, Narcissus, Tuberose, Stargazer Lily, Jasmine, Bergamot & Pink Grapefruit, and finishes with a velvet Chypre dry-down reminiscent of glamorous days gone by... Just a Spritz is all it takes to awaken your inner Burlesque Queen! It comes in a 1oz/30 ml Eau de Parfum Spray that retails for $40. It will be released at the 2007 Tease-O-Rama Burlesque Convention, located at Bimbo's 365 Club in San Francisco, CA on Oct. 5th-7th, 2007. After that, it will be available exclusively online at SATANSANGEL.COM

About Opus Oils

Opus Oils is a Perfume Atelier located in the heart of glamorous Hollywood, CA with a European Division/Workshop in Paris, France. "Our goal is to create high quality, couture perfumes, made in the traditional methods of the artisan perfumers of centuries past. Our specialty lines of Boutique Fragrances are hand blended, 'aged,' and poured in small batches by our Master Blender, Kedra Hart, one of the developers of The Apothecary at Barneys New York in Beverly Hills. "We are one of the few, niche perfumers involved in the quickly growing field known as 'Natural Perfumery.'" Opus Oils have 160+ products available.

About Satan's Angel "Queen of the Fire Tassels"

Satan's Angel is a living Burlesque Legend & is the Original "Queen of the Fire Tassels". She has worked all over the world with some of the biggest names in the business of Burlesque; Gypsy Rose Lee, Ann Corio, Barry Ashton, Jess Mack, and Harold Minsky just to name a few. She also toured with Bob Hope in Vietnam, dated Clint Eastwood & ran with the Rat Pack. Satan's Angel has appeared in several movies, among them, "Bullit", "Skiddo" and her staring role in "Shortcut To Terror". She currently speaks at University & Social Clubs, does Radio and TV-Talk Shows (She just did a show for Maury Povich on obsessive fans which airs Sept. 19th 2007) & makes personal appearances at different pageants, Tease-O-Rama & Exotic World are a couple of her favorites.

For Additional Opus Oils Info & Samples Contact: Lili Thomas, Director of Public Relations, Opus Oils Ph: (323) 851-0714 Email:
8035 Hollywood Blvd., #10 Hollywood, CA 90046-2576

Clean Fun

Ain't they purty?

Just a little sampling of the small artisan-style soap batches I've been whipping up lately to sell at various craft shows.

The front line is Old Fashioned Lavender. Right behind those are the fabulous Frankincense, Myrrh and Gold bars that, all modesty aside, I think turned turned out perfectly. I don't often get impressed by my own work, but I must say, this particular batch is as close to my best work as I've gotten ~ so far. The little orange muffin shaped soaps are Pumpkin Pie ~ with real organic pumpkin! The beige stack next to the Pumpkin muffins are the scentilicious Vetyver Pour Homme soaps. The stack with the mossy green streaks are the Patchouli soaps; behind them are the ever popular Poppymint soaps. What you can't see so well are the full-bar Pumpkin Pie soaps, the Geranium Pour Femme soaps, the Amaretto soaps, the lovely cool green Oceana soaps, the Vanilla Almond soaps, the Citrus Grove soaps, and last, but not least, the Oat Groats soap.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sunday, September 30, 2007


I could not resist tempting YOU with this rare buy!

Collectors, come out, come out wherever you are!

Saturday, September 29, 2007


I've been culling my collection. Getting rid of non-essential, out of my interest era perfume items. This particular sample box is from the 1950s. Out of my era of interest, but not out of my olfactory interest.

I was going to put this up on Ebay today. It is just taking up space, and I haven't opened since the day I bought it, so I figure it's a non-essential. Except that it holds sentimental value for me. The scent that wafts from this box when it's opened is like having a door to another time in my life swinging wide, beckoning me to come inside.

My maternal grandmother is in there, so are my older cousins with their giggles and Mystery Date Game, and the little two-bedroom house on 9th Street is in there too. And the mulberry tree, the tire swing, the dusty dirt driveway, the almond tree hanging over the doghouse, black patent leather shoes, the scent of old wood in the garage, black widow spiders weaving their webs inside the fuse box, Smokey the Bear, pageboy haircuts, boysenberry cobbler, scraped knees and stubbed toes.

I can't sell all that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

When Something Wrong is Right

Recently, I created a custom perfume which had no top notes. None. I felt guilty about this. I felt bad that I didn't blend it right with traditional top, middle and base notes. But the guilt and uncomfortable feelings I got from doing this were tempered by the scent of the perfume created ~ mossy, dank, quiet, strong, and quite tenacious. The customer, by the way, loved the scent.

It's a testament to intuition. Bag tradition. Sack the so-called experts (well, maybe let their heads out some ~ they do have experience on their side), and do what you do from your heart. This is maverick thinking, rebel talk. The culmination of doing what you're told year after year without result, then kicking it to the curb and doing your own 'thang' in complete, near orgasmic bliss. We see this every day. People who train hard, learn their craft (or sport or profession) and then mold their experience into something new.

Well, there's really nothing new about blending perfumes sans an accord. Joy doesn't have any base notes and it seems to have enjoyed great success.

I guess the point is to work it your way, put your spin on it. And try not to be afraid.

Back to perfumin'.

Since We're On the Subject

I thought this was fun. It's a test to determine your abilities for deceitfulness.

I scored a 53.

Go play!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Vetyver is like catnip. It's one of those heady, luxurious scents that make me want to rub my face against it -- whatever form it's in.

It's been a long while since I made vetyver soap, so I made a batch this morning. I added just a tiny bit of clove to it, to keep it masculine. That does not mean I won't slather up with it -- oh, no.

J'adore le vetyver. It speaks to me. Earth and fire and air with a touch of dampness. A humid, sticky scent that whispers and teases.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Le Parfumeur Rebelle's New Monthly Giveaway

LPR's first monthly giveaway is sponsored by Sunrose Aromatics.

The winner will receive 2 mls of luscious Motia Jasmine Attar, a co-distillation of Jasmine Sambac and Sandalwood.

Also included in the first giveaway are two of Sunrose's lovely Professional Formula (#'s 1 & 4) oil blends.

And a special secret prize from the editors of LPR.

To enter the October 2007 LPR giveaway, go here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


This one is really quite beautiful.

Perfume Bottles

Pretty, pretty.

Oh, here they are.

Poucher on Ebay

Not the full 3-volume set, but you get the idea here that these books are rare, or at least, very expensive.

Way Off Perfumery

I have this for sale on ebay.

Please do not lambaste me for buying dead skin. At the time I felt leather was necessary to prevent ROAD RASH in the event I dropped my motorcycle. I'm in the market for one of those funky, lumpy vinyl jobbers with elbow pads and breast plates. Gawd, they're ugly.

So, yeah, it ain't perfume and it's me selling something again.

Get over it.


Ho, mateys!

There's another marriage on the horizon in my wicked little family, yargh. My middlish son is marrying his high-school sweetheart, yargh. He's the wildest of the bunch, yargh. Aye, he's committed his fair share of mutiny in the family. He works as a 'refer man', which, if you have any imagination whatsoever, can go two ways -- I'm not explaining this any further, yargh. He's also a singer in a punk band, ho ho! And he's the only person I know who marks September 19th on the calendar every year with a big eye patch and actually celebrates 'Talk Like A Pirate Day' -- yargh.

For their wedding gift, we (that would be me and the hub) paid for their honeymoon in lovely, unimaginably quiet San Simeon, CA. The more personal gift I'm giving is a bottle of my very own spicy amber body oil.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Alas, my poor, poor perfumer's corner is awash in cobwebs! This picture is from earlier this year and in no way resembles the condition of the table right now. I've been periodically checking a few blends that I made a month back and noticed that my table is very dusty and that a sneaky, fast spider has set up shop in the shade of my lamp. I really need to get in there to clean.

The amber blend I've been stewing is coming along quite nicely. Remember a few posts back I mentioned it was too labdanum~y? Not so now. In fact, I'm quite surprised by it.

I made a soap yesterday that I have to recycle into another batch. I overdid the scenting and ended up with bleeding pockets of unmixed scent that made the end product look pocky and volcanic. So chop-chop, and drop into another batch. It smells bitchin', though, full of vanilla, almond, coffee and cocoa.

I am awaiting the arrival of a new copper alembic from a company overseas. Too bad it's just a garden decoration and not a working alembic -- gah! I plan on getting one of the smaller units later this year to distill some of my own eo's. A friend of mine will grow some lavender and rosemary for me on his farm -- I can hardly wait. I could always hit up Jane over in Carmel and sit in on a harvest and distillation session next summer . . . hmmmm.

I need to get out more.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

Okay, even though I'm in the throes of a full-fledged COLD, all stuffy and sniffly and sneezy, I'm still feeling perfumey.

Taking time off from regular stuff is always good, so long as off is less than on.

Since teaching my class in August, I've kind of been laying low, revamping the beginner's class outline, mixing a few accords, working out an oracle-type perfume on paper.

There's some more nastiness going on out there. Name-calling and such. It's best ignored. In the grand scheme of things, it matters not a whit. And neither do the people being nasty.

I blended up a simple amber accord using Siam benzoin, ambriene and vanilla. It needs some tweaking. It's way too balsamic and not enough sweet. I'm also partial to spicy ambers, so I'll probably split this accord into four parts and experiment with spicy and floral blends. It still has about two weeks before it's done brewing and I can make the final evaluation. Besides, right now I'm in the midst of a cold, as I stated earlier, and nothing much is making its olfactory presence known.

I've got two important shows coming up, but they're mainly focusing on soap and skincare. I hope to garner more interest in perfumery at these shows, hooking people up with class information and getting something more regular going. The students from my first class have shown an interest in furthering their educations, so I have to begin work on a more advanced class.

I hope to be posting here more often as the 'season' kicks into high gear.

Please sign up for the giveaway on Le Parfumeur Rebelle. We're working on a monthly giveaway, so you have plenty of chances to win throughout the year. Good luck!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Giveaway on Le Parfumeur Rebelle

Le Parfumeur Rebelle is hosting another giveaway.

Apothecary Box

I adore these old apothecary boxes. This is an antique apothecary, quite nice, if the pictures are doing it justice. Sweet buy, too.

And yes, it's on ebay.

I've yet to purchase one of these antique jobbers. I have plenty of apothecary-like boxes around. In fact, I give quite a few away. My entire portable perfumery is held in antique reproduction medicine and apothecary boxes. They make beautiful presentations for classes, and they hold everything so snugly.

If you've got the ducats, do buy. Not this particular box, necessarily, but any apothecary style box you run across. They add a lovely touch and fulfill their function very well.

Yes, I've Gone Mad

Antique copper whiskey still. You have to check out the other picture -- it shows a coil inside the galvanized bucket for cooling the 'whiskey' on its way out.

Don't you just love ebay?

See it here.

I Just Love This Stuff

This is on ebay too. A copper alembic, not antique, but damned cute anyway, no?

Given space, and money, I'd fill a room with this kind of stuff -- my own museum.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Check It Out!!

Another rare ebay find! An antique alembic.

This bit of perfume history would look gorgeous in your collection, wouldn't it?

Antique Alembic.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Soap season has begun.

The first offering from Sierra Soapourri's holiday line is this luscious yum-yum -- Vanilla Almond Goatmilk Soap. Yeah, I know, thought I hated goat stuff, didn't ya? A lot of goat milk soaps I've tried (nearly all, actually) stunk. Like goats. My little dream bar here doesn't. Smells warm and sweet and delicious -- like candy, yet has all the decadent skin-loving goodness of goat's milk.

Limited supplies, so get yours while they last.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Pssst! Civet stinks!

My deliciously beautiful, lovely divine and generous friend Nicole sent me a teeny bit of civet dilution -- eeeeyuck!

I must say, though, it smells quite a lot like hyraceum -- butts and pee and wet fur.

Thanks, N.



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