Natural botanical perfumes and their creators are just beginning to come into the limelight in the perfume (see commercial perfume) world. More and more perfumistas, bloggers and magazine editors are seeing the validity and value of beautifully created natural botanical perfumes, and they're letting the world know about it. Granted, they (nbp'ers) aren't getting the same recognition from molecule-trained perfumers who apparently see this kind of perfumery as archaic and restrictive. No disrespect to the classically trained perfumer, but they aren't the target market.
And there are dozens of reasons why people become natural botanical perfumers: sensitivities to man-made molecules traditionally used in perfume; aromatherapy hitched to the nth degree; availability of raw materials, and, quite possibly, the simple beauty and mystery of creation using the earth's bounty.
Natural botanical perfumers are autodactic -- they learned the art through reading books, joining blending groups, taking short classes, repetitious experimentation, daily nose training. They did not learn by taking a 9-month course in Natural Botanical Perfumery given by a famous French perfume school because famous French perfume schools don't teach nbp.
So this new-found recognition, which has been growing exponentially over the past three or four years, shouldn't come as a surprise -- these perfumers know what they're doing, and most of them are very good at what they do. Some, I would hazard to guess, work as hard if not harder than the "normal" perfumer -- they have bigger obstacles to jump. Public and professional opinion, fragmentation of the nbp community, keeping themselves updated on regulations (a daunting task as best), and they're doing all this alone. No big conglomerate is feeding information into a company database for these nbp'ers -- there's no market trend info streaming in as if by magic, no regulatory changes, no epic new material that's going to change the face of nbp'ery. These perfumers do it all, and they manage to create some really extraordinary perfume in the process.
Try these phenomenal Natural Botanical Perfumers the next time you're in the market for a truly remarkable and unique scent experience:
Mandrake Apothecary ~ Natural Perfumes & Unguents -- might I suggest you try Dawn Perfume - "the top accord of this creation is punctuated by the faintly insolent green tones of galbanum, a mainstay of complexity and surprise in perfumery; galbanum plays off of cold-pressed lime, mandarin, and a touch of grapefruit which ricochets into a sunbeam of jasmine auriculatum tempered with the powdery sweetness of frangipani, and the fruity base of jasmine sambac, honey, and green tea; this is a bright glittery jasmine with galbanum to keep it both earthbound and genteel" If you love jasmine, soft and feminine, with a mere hint of smoky galbanum green in the opening and warmth and sweet fruitiness in the background, Dawn Perfume is for you.
Velvet & Sweet Pea's Purrfumery ~ Hand Blended Natural Botanical Perfumes -- let's talk a little about Terrain & Songbird. Songbird is "A luscious, mouth-watering blend of citrus, spices, and sweet, narcotic flowers sensually unfurls towards a soft, powdery finish. Antique cinnamon, blood orange, tuberose, and Tasmanian heather are only a few of the notes in this sexy, complex melody. This ambrosial blend is warmed by its base of Tahitian vanilla infused alcohol." Songbird is ambrosial. It is lush, exotic and sweet. It hangs heavy just above the skin inviting nuzzling and up-close sniffing. My recommendation is that this be worn by those with naturally dark hair and darker complexions. Terrain is a cologne, though there is no discernible loss of scent strength compared to VSPp's full-strength perfumes ~ "Bold, spicy, and stimulating – a sweeping survey of the land’s richest scents. Mexican lime invigorates this self-assured mix with wild Bulgarian geranium, frankincense and Japanese yuzu." There is a piquant spiciness crossed over light-as-air citrus in Terrain -- it's a little in yer face for a while, then settles down to a soft, resinous/citrus skin scent. Great tenacity for a cologne. Works on women as well as men. In fact, it is not overtly masculine at all, nor is it feminine. A true unisex scent.
While visiting Laurie's site, drop her an email and ask about her new perfume based on fir balsam -- it is inspiring.
Who is your favorite Phenomenal Natural Botanical Perfumer?