Monday, April 23, 2007

Debra's Rhapsody

I've been holding these little perfumed gems of Deb's for some time now, waiting for the exact moment when my nose, the weather (yes, I blame the weather), and my hectic life were calmed down enough to give them a thorough look-see.

Whipped Body Creme ~ Yes, yes, yes! A gorgeous scent blend of vanilla, rose, jasmine, sandalwood, and 'many others'. I get a bit of a citrus kick from it -- blood orange or mandarin? -- whichever, it makes the whole concoction smell of candy. The texture is spot on lush. Made with a combination of great skin-loving oils, which include shea, coconut, meadowfoam seed and rose mosqueto, it sinks right in and leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturized. Nice creme!

Luxury Spa Perfume Ananda ~ Yuzu and vetyver abound in this luscious perfume oil. The evolution on the skin is amazing, beginning with the yuzu *pop* and the earthy, bitter vetyver hovering nearby, then it slowly fades to a soft, powdery, fruity scent which lingers for up to an hour. I'm a vetyver hog, so pretty much anything with vetyver in it will win me over. I especially like this perfume oil because it's light on the vetyver, giving just a bare hint of its delicious splendor, adding depth to the composition instead of stealing the show.

Luxury Spa Perfume Spiritual Journey ~ There are roses by the truckloads in this lovely blend! Roses and soft amber and incense. This perfume may have existed in another time -- perhaps it was the perfume of a wealthy Venetian merchant's daughter, or the most expensive and sought after perfume in a Roman unctuarium. This one I highly recommend.

Saumanasa Perfume Oil ~ This one is FLORAL. Very floral. Roses and jasmine with vanilla and sandalwood, and other little goodies, make this lovely perfume oil a perfect choice for the flower lover. When I sniff this, my imagination takes me on a ride to a world where art nouveau sculptures of semi-nude nymphs grace bouquet ridden parlors of wealthy English matrons. I get dark mahogany furniture, showy safari trophy heads and vases of peacock feathers. Opulence.

Debra's Rhapsody

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Orange Blossom Tincture & Funkiness

The orange blossom tincture I've been working on these past few weeks has turned out --well-- funky. Good funky, not butt funky.

During the first soak, I added a few new orange leaves to the mix. I do so love the scent of orange leaves, tart and sweet and all that. The next soaking, with fresh orange blossom petals, I left out the leaves because I didn't want them to overwhelm the sticky sweetness of the flowers.

I was going for a third soaking, which turned into only a 2 1/2 because I ran out of blossoms, then the winds hit and all the blossoms on the tree I was harvesting blew away -- so, basically, I've got a 2 1/2 times tinctured orange blossom/orange leaf blend. That smells a bit funky.

Like wet dog. And orange blossoms. Oddly enough, I really, really like it. As this weird concoction dries on a scent strip, more of the blossom and less of the dog evolves until it's sweet and powdery. On the skin this blend evaporates very quickly and only the orange blossom is left, very faint and quiet.

Strange revelations.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

The ParTea Planner Mother's Day Giveaway

Tea, anyone?

The ParTea Planner is offering a Mother's Day gift giveaway with all sorts of tea related goodies.

Go to Risa's blog here, then after signing up for the giveaway, hit up her business site here.

Tea, tea, as far as the eye can see.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Eugene Rimmel's The Book of Perfumes has been the resident reading material in the bathroom these last two months. Yes, it's official, it takes two months of 'going' to finish up Rimmel.

It's not a particularly useful book in terms of teaching perfumery. It is, however, a very nice book for beginners to wet their toes in the idea of creating perfumes. It provides a time capsule of information with regard to beauty practices throughout history. Poetry abounds within its pages. So does racism, sexism (in a genteel manner) and other inaccuracies.

The most useful part of the book, in my opinion, is the very end. Chapter XII, Materials Used in Perfumery is the most applicable bit of information in the entire book. It lists contemporary (1865 contemporary, not 2007 contemporary) perfume classifications, which are extremely interesting. I made a rough sketch of all the things used in 1865 and earlier against what is available today to natural & botanical perfumers, and it doesn't compare. Our modern palette is flush with aromatics and botanicals that hadn't been used in earlier times. Although, I would love to get my hands on a bit of their violet essence. Or narcissus and jonquil.

It's a good book for reference and history. Don't run out and buy a first edition unless you're a collector of antique books as well as a perfumer. The reprinted version from Elibron will suffice. And, as I mentioned earlier, it makes a great bathroom read.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bees, or Lack Thereof

If you've been keeping up with the current bee dilemma, you may be surprised to learn that the prevailing theory on their disappearance could lie with your trusty cell phone.

Read the full article here. I'd like to thank EM for posting the article on the Botanical Perfumery Yahoo group this morning.

I don't have a cell phone anymore. And I've learned that I don't really need one. After a series of unfortunate events, beginning with a string of $400 + monthly usage fees, one misplaced cell phone (the technical term here is LOST BY IRRESPONSIBLE GIRL-CHILD), then the replacement striking a wall at about 20 mph and breaking apart, and finally, the last replacement, which was nearly eaten whole by our dog, I realized the Universe was telling me, "No. You can't have a cell phone."

And I lived happily ever after.

But will the bees?

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Scent On the Wind

Everything is blooming here in Central California -- absolutely everything. It's wonderful and terrible at the same time. Wonderful if your sinuses are clear and you can actually smell the scented air; terrible if you're one of the millions of allergy sufferers. I used to be one of those stuffed up, 'can't smell rotted flesh if it were on my head' types, until I started using various homeopathic cures. Now I get an occasional throbbing headache when the wind's been blowing a bit more than usual. Otherwise, I can smell it all.

Early evening walks are sublime -- sometimes. Roses are everywhere in our neighborhood, their scent wafting on the wind. Add to that jasmine, orange blossom and rock rose, and what we not-so-lovingly refer to around here as 'cum tree' blossoms, which are (I think) ornamental pear trees, and we get a sort of after-sex effect, sans the cigarette smoke. (This is an R-rated blog :D). We're extremely happy when the cum trees stop blooming.

Speaking on the topic of SEX, I had the most pleasant conversation with my 11-year-old son about how, as he puts it, flowers are the hoo-hoos and winkies of plants. Hmmmm. I asked him how he felt about plants showing their junk like that in public, and he just giggled and said, "Well, they look a heck of a lot better than ours do, so I guess it's ok." He then went on to poke the 'winky' of a stargazer lily blossom and exclaimed, "Ooh! It's gooey!"

Friday, April 06, 2007


The orange trees are in full bloom! Ah, what a scent.

I took a tablecloth and spread it under a tree and then tapped branches until the cloth was covered with luscious waxy white blossoms.

They're stewing in organic grape alcohol. We're on two-fold moving to three-fold tomorrow.

Skin time is up to 20 minutes.

Mmmmmm, blossoms!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Innovation and Discovery

I've learned a lot over the past few years about scent and people who create scent. One of the most surprising and pleasant discoveries was that they're not all in it for the money, or the fame, or even accolades on a small scale. Some are in it because they're artists. Mostly unschooled, but definitely not uneducated, wildly talented, and almost completely unthreatened by those others, the pushers and pimps and glory seekers.

I have a great deal of respect for those who draw outside of the lines and still manage to create something innovative and unexpected and completely beautiful. And then they move on. They don't beat to death their last shining moment; instead opting to discover the next one. So maybe it isn't good business acumen to seem so indecisive. Maybe, just maybe, that isn't it at all. Maybe these blessed souls are tapped into some higher power that stretches beyond the all mighty dollar. Maybe it isn't business at all.

Diluted mate absolute about a week ago -- what a special scent it is. I used to burn mate smudge sticks and loved the way they smelled. Almost like vanilla or tonka, but herby and green and pot-like.

Also hooked up with hiba wood. Very spiritual. I 'get' temples and incense when I smell it.

The famed 'Ivy Challenge' is finally, definitely and completely (for me, anyway) done. The last bit of the puzzle was the mate.

Innovators of the Week:
Sheryl Karas
Laurie Stern
Sara Phillips
Roxana Villa

Discovery of the Week:

Mate absolute blended with orris root butter.


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