Monday, August 31, 2009

Quip

You know the state of the essential oils and absolutes business is in jeopardy when certain infuential people in the business get freaked out when you ask them about the prevalence of adulteration.

Dirty Sexy Wilde

Are you feeling Dandy?.....
Then slide on down to The Jitterbug Perfume Parlour!
In honor of our Hollywood Boutique's 1 year Anniversary
we will be launching our latest Fragrance "Dirty Sexy Wilde",
Please join us for an evening of fun & celebration!

*** Costumes Encouraged ~ Feel free to express your Inner Dandy
or whatever festive attire you feel***

Start time: Saturday, September 5, 2009 @ 8:30 PM
End time: Sunday, September 6, 2009 @ 12:30 AM
Location: Opus Oils' Jitterbug Perfume Parlour
Street: 4959 Hollywood Blvd
City: Los Angeles, CA
Phone: 323-667-3379
Email: opusoils@msn.com











Saturday, August 29, 2009

Feeling Inspired


That list I wrote about earlier -- it's working splendidly. Things are actually getting done.

I've got a whole new line-up of stuff coming for the Fall and Winter seasons -- sexy stuff, exotic stuff, stuff that'll make you feel beautiful.

Ana, Kimberly, your stuff is going in the mail on Monday -- if I can get it all together in these next two days -- truly feeling inspired, so watch out!

Violet Leaf Supreme Soap by Eleneetha


Really. I'm not making this up. She makes it with violet leaf wax ~ makes your mouth water, doesn't it?

Chant by Eleneetha ~ you gotta go get you some.

Scrub Queen

My daughter is the Scrub Queen. Look at that skin, that smooth little face. She's nearly 16 and has never had a pimple. Well, maybe one or two.

I started her out on scrubs when she was very young. I wanted her to know how to take care of her skin early on, something my mom didn't do for me. When I was 14, I broke out in the worst pimples ever, along the T line, forehead, nose and chin. I washed with soap, used up entire jars of Noxzema, Clearasil pads, even bottles of rubbing alcohol. Nothing worked. Until I started washing with honey. That worked, and it worked pretty quickly. So I learned something ~ the kitchen cabinet was a better medicine chest than the drug store. I've used oatmeal, cornmeal, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, coconut shreds, ground lentils and rice ~ almost everything edible has been on my face at one time or another ~ ha!

So, my daughter, the Scrub Queen, has taken over where I left off. She makes scrubs for everyone now. "Mom! Chelsy needs something for the bumps on her legs, I'm making a scrub!" Out comes the bags of organic raw turbinado sugar, organic poppy seeds, crushed black rice, virgin olive oil, hemp oil, coconut oil, all getting dumped helter skelter into small mason jars and flown off to someone in need. She's got everybody hooked. They'll ask her how she keeps her skin so silky smooth and clear, and she smiles and says, "Sugar," and their reply is, "I want some."

She makes special scrubs for her face, one for her arms and legs, and another for her back, bottom and tummy. She's turned scrub making into an art, and I have to admit, she's gotten pretty darned good at it.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Labdanum

As if I don't have enough to do, I've committed to, and actually initiated, a little labdanum lab between myself and another nose. Why? I'm not sure. Seemed like a pretty darned good idea at the time. But guess what? Just days after suggesting it, I caught a cold. The day after the workshop, I had a slight sore throat and thought it was because I'd talked myself purple the day before, but alas, it's a cold. Moved right on up into my nose and is just sitting there, making me unable to smell anything.

Cistus ladanifer ~ labdanum

Labdanum absolutes can come to you with an extra bit of an amber note, or an incense note, making choosing which one to buy for your perfume building a bit difficult. Labdanum is a key note in an amber base accord.

And there is cistus creticus, the "true" labdanum, thought by some to be the myrrh of biblical times.

There's a lot of research and nose work to do here. I'm sort of looking forward to it. When the cold abates. Then we'll have a little haiku round robin back and forth deal going on -- all about labdanum.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Organization is a Dirty Word!


I've come to the conclusion that I just have to live by the list. I despise lists. My step-father used to leave my mother lists of things for us kids to do while he was away at work -- things like picking up his cigarette butts that he threw on the lawn, weeding the rose garden until not a speck of green showed on the bare naked earth, picking up every single miniscule, minute, microscopic fiber of paper off the lawn, hand-plucking the grass from the edges of the sidewalk and curbing, endless hours of raking bare ground -- every single day of summer vacation, so he could see that we'd actually done something, that we hadn't wasted the summer away. If there was a single cigarette butt or an old looking rake mark on the dirt, he'd send us out without dinner and make us do the entire yard again. I'm sure as kids we did a piss poor job -- kids' eyes don't work like grown-up eyes, they don't see garbage on the grass, overgrown weeds or asymmetrical rake marks, they see a place to play, bushes to hide behind, fun to be had. At any rate, this is where my list loathing began. My husband is a list maker. When the kids were still all at home, he'd make lists for everything -- how to do the laundry, chores' lists and then lists that explained how the chores were to be completed, lists on how to wash dishes, in what order and how hot or cold the washing and rinsing water should be. He'd print his lists on the computer in the largest fonts he could find, ultimately wasting gallons of printer ink (which is why I hated his lists the most). Lists were everywhere -- posted over toilets, on bathroom mirrors, on bedroom doors, on the refrigerator, inside and out! To me, those types of lists are for one thing and one thing only -- control. They don't teach anybody anything except that perhaps the guy writing the list is too lazy to walk the steps out with you and show you how the work should be done, respecting your abilities to complete the tasks and giving you a little credit for the two brain cells you possess that may or may not bump into one another on occasion. I placed a ban on creating lists using the computer and since then, lists have become fewer and farther between. See? I wasn't kidding about that lazy part.

Anyway, I'm finding myself in need of a list. A different kind of list. One that reminds me which projects I have coming up, which ideas I should experiment with and explore, who in this business I need to have a sit-down with. I need to give myself deadlines. I need to be more organized. Ew.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Time Management

There hasn't been much time the past few weeks to really get into formulating and developing new scents, not with school shopping, re-registering kids for school, a funeral and all that entails, temporarily losing vital materials for a project that's due next Monday and all the drama that went with relocating the materials, getting ready for the workshop, and . . . well, it's been hectic.

That outside project, the one in which I'm to create scents for candles using synthetics, that's been put on hold for a bit. The creatives in that project have been bumping heads, and it's sort of spilled over to what I'm doing for them. Not that I'm all that heartbroken over it -- after a while, like 5 minutes, I get sick of smelling the bland linear scent of white musk and raspberries! It also really brings home the truth that everything is scented ~ everything. Walking down the aisles in the stores, I can pick up scents and almost name them, even with this extremely limited molecule-synthetic nose-vocabulary I've developed. Especially the berry scented stuff (room fresheners, girlie eau de toilette, shampoo, conditioner, et al) ~ damn! Does everything have raspberry ketone and aldehyde C16 and nectayrl in it? And you can't really get those smells out of your sinuses right away. They follow your nose around and linger at its edges, the tenacious buggers. I was so frustrated with working with the synthetics that I almost made one scent out of two introductory scents the company wants for their candle line just so I could quit and move on to creating with naturals again. That didn't work. We've got two distinctive, yet in no way original, candle scents meant to mask the smell of burning and non-burning marijuana. Yeah. I said it. Super strong to cover the super skunk scent of ganja. Woot.

That other project, the one due on Monday, that one's been a bee in my bonnet for weeks. I got all the research done, it's putting it all together in a cohesive report that's really giving me fits. I used to be good at this stuff. About two kids ago. Before my brain turned to brie and was eaten by mice. I just need a few hours of uninterrupted time to pull it together and I'll have it done in no time. It's finding those few hours of uninterrupted time that will be the difficult part.

The workshop. I haven't written much about it because I kind of wanted to let it soak in, give it a little time to gel before filing my report here. It was, by far, the best class ever. For one, I was not even the slightest bit nervous. I just refused to think about it that way. I said to myself, "Those butterflies, that's excitement, not nervousness. You're excited to be teaching this workshop." And for once, I believed me! I was excited and it spilled over and touched the students, and they were excited too. The class didn't start as it usually has in the past, with me introducing myself in a stiff, my-head-is-too-big-to-fit-in-the-room kind of way, lauding my accolades like a some new age guru, testifying that I have vast amounts of experience which began with my first breath. No. Didn't do that. We just started talking. And talking. And before long, it was teaching and talking, then it was just full-on, here we are to learn, this is the meat of the matter, full-blown workshop. One of my main concerns for the day was the weather. August in Central Cali is notoriously sweltering. Temperatures of 100 degrees Fahrenheit plus are not uncommon -- in fact, they're expected. Unhappily expected, but expected nonetheless. Thankfully, it was in the low-mid 90's, with a heavy cloud cover, which, under different circumstances, would contribute to the humidity -- but for some reason, it wasn't that bad. It was warm, but also breezy at the nursery, which I think is at about 3000 ft. We were under a porch awning that was draped with wild grape vines, standing on cool terra cotta floors, with a pond of gorgeous pink lotus on one side, and a clear, unobstructed view of the Sierra Nevada mountains on the other. The day was perfection. And as I said before, I just flapped my yap about natural botanical perfumery, answered questions when they arose, and commented repeatedly on what a wonderful day it had turned out to be. If I can get one of the students to write a little review of the workshop, I'll post it or link it here -- another perspective is definitely in order, eh? *Student review here!

So now I'm off to try and get my daughter back into public school after a homeschooling fiasco last school year. The school district is -- well -- not the most sympathetic and may end up trying to send her somewhere else, like Moldova or the Republic of Georgia. She has a track record for being a bit rebellious. Hmm. Wonder where she got that from?

Have a great day, readers.

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Stuff Coming Soon

I'm really excited about some new items that are in the works 'round here. Gearing up for the harvest and winter rushes are always my favorite times of year. This year we're building amazing new scrubs ~ I'm thinking forbidden rice ground up with some raw hemp seeds, a little honey and organic sugar, maybe a few drops of neroli and honey absolute, maybe go in a whole new direction and "do" a blue lotus combination. Nothing's solid yet -- ooh! got a big jar of organic shredded coconut to add to some scrubs. I'm thinking some of the less commercial scrubs will have their recipes debuted here, what'd'ya say?

Burning out the coffee grinder out here ~ ha!

Friday, August 21, 2009

New Blog Links!


SpaGoddess speaks

Faerie Made Soaps











Artwork by Natalie Shau

ScentHive's Natural Deodorant Reviews

Great review on natural deodorants that contain no phtlalates, petrochemicals, parabens or aluminum (not anti-perspirants).

The Magical & Ritual Use of Perfumes

I only just began reading this book, but having flipped through it, I have to say I'm fairly impressed. Metaphysical perfumery. We'll see if it earns a permanent space on the all-things-written-about-perfume shelf.

Authors: Richard Alan Miller & Iona Miller.

Amazon link here.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Warped

Yesterday my son played Warped Tour here in Fresno. His band was one of four chosen out of hundreds of local bands to play. The show was good, the day was miserable. I was going to take a bottle of frankincense hydrosol to spritz on us during the day -- it was a humid 103 degrees Fahrenheit here yesterday, and the city promoters chose the Save Mart Center's asphalt parking lot as the premium venue to hold this event -- dumb asses -- but I forgot it at home! My son was so excited, getting to play in front of a few dozen people (they were first to play and the gates had barely opened to allow the screaming masses in), he hopped, jumped, yelled, and sweated buckets, all the way to the emergency room, where they refilled him with two bags of fluid and a cup of antiemetic. Yeah, it was that fun.

Came home after making sure the kid was ok, jumped in the shower to rinse off the day, then sprayed Khamsa all over myself, head to toe, to cool down. Today I'm nursing a sunburn with shea butter (that after 30 spf sunscreen, a canopy and a doo-rag), rubbing my aching feet and praying that next year they don't get picked for Warped again!

Went to sleep with a bag of lavender -- as if I needed it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Discounts!

Discounts at The Scented Djinn Etsy Apothecary (read about it here) -- we'll be doing this until people get into the habit of checking The Scented Djinn business blog for The Scented Djinn news and updates, 'k? Okay!

Opus Oils Limited Collector's Edition

"Afraid of the Dark" Perfume Collection


The Scented Djinn Review & Giveaway


I know, I said I wasn't going to mix business with this blog, but I've redirected reviews before, and this isn't any different . . . right?

So, without further adieu, The Scented Djinn Review & Giveaway by ScentHive.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Scented Djinn Perfumery and Apothecary Blog

I'm separating the business side of my blogging and putting it where it belongs -- on the new The Scented Djinn blog. Check there for updates and whatnot regarding my perfumery, apothecary and classes.

No more shameless plugs.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Again With the Shameless Plug

I am teaching a natural botanical perfumery workshop on August 22, 2009 -- that's next Saturday. If you live in the area (Prather/Auberry/Fresno/Clovis CA), and you're even remotely interested in natural botanical perfumery, I encourage you to check out this workshop. It begins at 9am and goes on until it gets too warm or everyone is exhausted -- it's a perfume workshop overload, but in a good way.

Contact Bonnie at www.intermountainnursery.com for more details.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Enjoy the Process

Easier said than done.

It seems that I'm back to that old place, the place where I hold everything too closely, too tightly. Specifically, aromatics. The only way past that is to create. Use the fig tincture that smells of honied, crystallized, sugary fruit, blend it with that rare tea rose that Christopher sells, add a little vintage tolu, just a little because we don't want this to turn into a cinnamon bun or bring the "authorities" banging on the door due to excess usage levels. So. Much. To think. About.

Just enjoy the process.

Some might wonder why I'm not as prolific as other natural botanical perfumers, why do I have just two perfumes on my site, a single eau de toilette, zero colognes and a just one eau fraiche? Because I'm slow and meticulous, and I procrastinate. I have thousands of ideas and play with them all the time, yet I don't rush to finish any one of them. Serj took almost a year of solid work, daily evaluations, formulating and reformulating before I felt it was ready for exposure. Oshiba was inspired by the essences themselves, and took only 4 or 5 months to complete, also with daily work and reformulating. Khamsa was around at the same time I started building Serj, but I really took my time with it. Played a lot with dilution levels and hydrosols with this one. There is another that is near completion, one that I've worked off and on for the past year, that we'll just call "Ji" for now -- I know Ji's character in my olfactory mind, I know exactly how it should smell, but in reality, it's just not there yet. For Ji I wanted to utilize some of the tinctures I have, I wanted to bring something else to the table, something unusual perhaps. Thus far it's too resinous in the base and I'm working on different elements to tone that down. Unless I really dedicate my time and spend every day with Ji until it is complete, it may not be ready until next August.

I tend to over think scent. I tend to wear the prototypes of perfumes until I can't tell whether I like them because they're a truly well made perfume, or because I've gotten used to their scents. I need second and third and fourth opinions, but noses don't live on every corner. Simply saying, "Yeah I like it," or, "Nope, not good," isn't enough. I want to know why -- why do you like it? Why isn't it good? For example, I can tell you why I don't like the modern version of Mitsouko -- it smells like a plastic doll's head straight out of the package. Can someone give me that? "I don't like Serj because it smells like a Christmas tree farm." "Oshiba smells like frozen metal." "Khamsa smells like salsa meets hippie meets orange grove." "Serj smells like iced fruit." "Oshiba smells like temples and ocean wind." "Khamsa smells like fresh cut herbs and wet earth."

Maybe I'll post a Ji giveaway soon, with multiple "winners" and ask that they each use a descriptive sentence to tell how it smells. Good or bad, but with an explanation. Yeah, maybe I'll do that.

Guest Poster ~ Tonie Silver "does" Powder Puff 2U


Interview
by guest poster Tonie Silver

We're here with Barbara & Ade of the UK's Powder Puff 2 U ~

TS: Hi Guys, and welcome to OTA


PP2U: Hi everyone. Nice to be on OTA.

TS: Tell readers a bit about yourselves. Let's talk about your education~ are you self-taught or formally trained?

PP2U: We have both had formal educations; Ade games programming, and I (Barbara) estate management at university. Ade does all PP2U's designs and does a good job.
Ade: I had never designed for a skincare product before, so that's self-taught.
Barbara: I started selling pure Ghanian shea butter, then went on a soap making course. Soap making, to me, is like cooking. I'm ot afraid to experiment with new ingredients. It's a lot of fun. Everything else has come to me as an idea which I have tried out. That's a blessing.

TS: I'm smitten with your powdered cleanser masks~ tell us about your inspiration for them and how you come up with your formulas.

PP2U: Ade is the inspiration behind the powdered cleansers. I needed to create something for him without preservatives, something simple and quick to use. It's just like most of our products. They are quick and easy to use with no preservatives because they are in powder form.

Each culture has its own beauty regime that works for them, and with our African heritage, where the use of clays, herbs, pods (eg cocoa pods) are commonly used in skin and haircare, it makes it easy to go back to our roots to draw out what's there. The older generation have lots of ideas. My grandmother, I'm told, used to make soap with rose water. I do that too and it's lovely!

TS: Are you able to source ingredients locally in Old Blighty, or do you have to come Across The Pond?

PP2U: Our ingredients are from all over the world. Butters from Ghana, herbs and powders from India, and other ingredients sourced locally. We just love America. There are oils upon oils 'Across The Pond'. Barbara just drools over the sites that have the oils. And, yes, some of our ingredients are shipped in, and that's fantastic.


TS: Favorite product?

PP2U: Our favorite product . . . hmmmm. Barbara is very impatient when she creates a product. She can't wait to try it, so for her it's always the next one. She makes it, she tries it there and then, with the exception of the soap, she has to wait weeks for it to cure first, that's hard for her to do. My favorite is the dry face washes Barbara makes for me. And the hair creams. Colivico is a big favourite. It works well for my hair as it's short. Barbara also likes the lotions. At the moment, it's the hibiscus lotion that didn't quite go according to plan.

TS: What new and exciting products can we expect from PP2U?

PP2U: Just like her cooking, she'll mix up anything, so . . . look out for combinations.

TS: Thanks guys~ you're great~ keep up the great work!

Look for the upcoming product review on Le Parfumeur Rebelle, and visit PP2U's Etsy site @: Powderpuff2u.etsy.com. Their UK site is in the works as we go to press.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

As If By Magic . . .

. . . the lost/stolen camera and its accompanying charger have "reappeared". Yup. I'm sure one of the transient souls who meander in and out of my home (open door policy in full enactment here) thought better of their actions. So I have my camera back. No questions asked, though they do linger in my mind . . .

This new project I'm working on is killing me. But in a good way. I guess. I get so enraptured by what I'm researching, time flies as it did in the days of self-study, when dinner was never on time, dishes piled high on the counters, monuments to the memory of Dr. Seuss, laundry entangled anyone attempting to cross the threshold of the laundry room to -- anywhere else beyond it -- and I get nothing done. Except the project at hand. The more I dig, the more I dig up. Like contradictions. One source says this guy and this year are the perfumer and launch date, another source says something else. Different perfumer, 20-year discrepancy in launch dates. It's somewhat self-defeating. But I soldier on. Because I like it.

It's almost time to crack out the soap pot, and dealing with the dilemma of sourcing raw materials that are fair trade, low carbon footprint and affordable. Which is why my soaps -- well, at least their bases -- are rather simple. Just extra virgin olive oil, which can be gotten right here in California (for a price), virgin organic coconut oil (Mexico?), water (home filtered and distilled), and lye (which is shipped in from Texas). I usually add a bit of hemp oil, a little shea butter, cocoa butter is my favorite -- but that's pretty much it. Less about bells and whistles and more about skill and intent.

Well. That's that. I'm still hesitating (procrastinating) on putting together another batch of Khamsa as this current batch is really and truly almost gone. I don't know why I do this. I love formulating and bottling and labeling and all that -- I think I hesitate because I'm afraid I'll irreversibly mess something up. Yeah. I think that's it.

Saturday, August 08, 2009


Have you ever considered the time line of fragrance and how natural botanical perfumery fits? NBP fit in the beginning, of course, as it was the only perfumery available. Most perfumes were regional -- rosemary, lavender and violet blends being common in northern European countries as that is where these herbs and flowers grew abundantly; frankincense, myrrh and spices in the Middle East and Egypt because that's what they had on hand, and so on and so forth with India's abundance of narcotic flowers, and China's floral and spice contributions. This isn't a history lesson, but an observation of how this perfume revolution, which began some time in the late 19th century with the invention and introduction of synthetically created perfume, has made a sort of whiplash course change with the advent of these new natural botanical perfumes and their creators, who, in my opinion, aren't getting the respect they deserve. They (we) are no longer restricted by borders and boundaries. The modern NBP'ers palettes are full to overflowing with the rich and exotic, the deep and tenacious, the heady and narcotic or wispy and entwining. These perfume creations don't run a straight line course. They curve and curl in upon themselves, they open to reveal pieces and bits of their character in short bursts. They're mutable, like us.

In 1868 William Perkins synthesized coumarin, and the race was on. In 1882, perfumer Paul Parquet created Fougere Royale for Houbigant, a lush synthetic and naturals soup of mosses, vanilla, heliotrope, carnation and clary. Next came Jicky by Guerlain, created in 1889 by family member and perfumer, Aime Guerlain, uncle of Jacques Guerlain, who, it is said, was also called "Jicky". These were French perfumes; we in America were still dabbing on violets and roses in an effort to preserve our perceived chastity -- or so the story goes according to writers of the time (Mrs. M.L. Rayne). Overly perfumed men and women (in America) were considered of loose moral character. So there.

Okay, back to Europe, where they really knew how to party like a rock star. Houbigant again stunned the perfume wearing world in 1912 with the creation of Quelques Fleurs (perfumer Robert Bienaime), a snazzy little blend of civet, sandalwood, musks, rose and violet, heliotrope -- well, I imagine it smelled damned awesome. Along came Narcisse Noir by Caron, a spicy little oriental, and L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain, a floriental of epic stature. Coty whipped up Emeraude in '23, Chanel presented No. 5 in 1921, Joy made its debut in 1930, and Ms. Shiaparelli shocked the world with Shocking in 1937. Jean Carlos introduced his hoochie blend Tabu (which is still one of my favorites -- the vintage, if I can find it), Guerlain laid it out again with Vol de Nuit; there was Dana, bringing us the ever so sweet Chantilly in 1941. And then there was Femme, a fruity chypre, created by Mr. E. Roudnitska, c. 1944. These seem like the glory days of perfumery, don't they? I have a few of these in vintage form and all I can say is, these are bold and gutsy, of mythic proportions. I digress. Again, Edmond Roudnitska hit the graduated cylinders and created Miss Dior in '47, Diorama in '49 and Diorissimo in '55 -- it was a Dior overload! Also during this time frame, L'Air du Temps by Nina Ricci came along, Le Dix by Balenciaga, Miss Balmain, Cabochard and the American made, Youth Dew, though it was technically a bath oil. Calandre, Fidji, Charlie, Opium, Dune, Escape, Poeme, Poison, Obsession. We should start naming hurricanes after famous perfumes . . .

What will the next generation of perfumers create? Which perfumes will stand the test of time? Will there be a natural botanicals' list with Underworld by perfumer Liz Zorn among the stand outs, with a geneology and back story to accompany it? Or will there be Hanami, Charisma or Cabaret by Ayala Sender gracing the pages? Vera, Chaparral, Vespertina by Roxana Villa?

The race is on -- again.

Friday, August 07, 2009

New Links at OTA

WAFT . . . what a fragrancefanatic thinks ~ perfume blog link.

Scent Hive ~ perfume and natural body care blog link.

Scent of Abricots ~ perfume blog link.

These are all linked here in the links section of this blog.

Happy Blog-Hopping!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Messing With Molecules aka Toeing the "Dark Side"

I've been commissioned to work on a special project for a special company creating overpoweringly strong perfume scented soy/hemp candles in little cans. I keep all the molecules well away from my naturals -- in another room, in fact, in a box, covered and just short of locked up. Why? I don't know, maybe it's a mental thing. Last night I tried out the first formulation, a white musk requiring strange sounding perfume ingredients like velvione, ambrettolide and ethylene brassylate. It turned out okay. Being a musk, however, it created a bit of confusion within the household -- those who sniffed it either couldn't smell it at all or had a difficult time *picking it up. I, on the other hand, still smell it, 24 hours later! I'm not sure I like that much. Not that the scent isn't nice, because undoubtedly it is, but I'm used to my perfume -- closer to the skin and mutable, remnants left after hours instead of the same scent from beginning to end. The initial formulation was strictly molecules, no naturals in sight, and the results were, to my nose, a bit bland. It lacked depth. So I added patchouli and vetyver, and today or tomorrow I may add a few top note elements -- naturals, of course. I'm thinking of using the white musk formulation as an accord in this scent instead of the primary.

It bugs. I'm not really loving making perfume this way. But I'm an open-minded person, and so long as I don't break out in hives or have a sneezing fit or go blind, I think I can do this.



*Some of the comments from the household included:

"Why are you making pickle scented candles?" (There was a jar of pickles on the counter in the kitchen that someone had just opened)

"It smells like . . . like . . . like someone I don't want to mention!" (The ex)

"Smells like fat."

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Phenomenal Natural Botanical Perfumes

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?

Monday, August 03, 2009

*For the record, this is not about lovely Nicole. It's the result of hearing, for the third time in so many weeks, that another person I know and love is very close to shutting the door for good. Nicole is fighting hard and is rallying bit by bit, and she still needs all our love and support to get past this.

Life has a real sh*t way of reminding me to live. Every day. While I often sit here spewing snark and brimstone -- at everyone -- over stupid, silly, not important at all things like dirty dishes and missing bath towels, nasty ass people on the internet, stupid insecurities (which turn into snark/brimstone toward mankind), and all the other tiny, minuscule, not-moving-the-world-along complaints I have, someone is dying. They don't get a tomorrow.

They don't get to "get better" and ride the motorcycle that a bad back has kept them off of. They don't get that last camping trip, or the final family reunion -- at least not the happy kind. They don't get to see their dreams of France fulfilled; their opportunity to 'expand' their horizons has passed them by -- forever.

And the saddest, most heart-wrenching fact of all is that they are going to miss us. Oh, we'll miss them too, but think about it -- they will miss us, wherever they are. They will miss it all. The dirty dishes, the missing bath towels, the ass on the internet, their stupid insecurities -- though with their new-found perspective, they see all that sh*t for what it really is -- nothing.

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