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 . . .


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