Saturday, July 31, 2010

If You Consume Products Made by Artisan Perfumers . . .

. . . please sign the petition opposing HR 5786, the so-called Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010. As written, and if passed, nearly ALL small producers of Natural Botanical Perfumes and natural skincare will be in jeopardy of closing their doors ~ forever. As a consumer of natural cosmetics, you already know that the safest raw materials on the market are being used in your products -- it is the primary reason many of you chose to use natural skincare -- because we don't fill it up with chemical soup!

Again, as a consumer, you must oppose the bill as written or you stand to lose your favorite natural skincare producer and Natural Botanical Perfumer to over regulation.


Friday, July 30, 2010


No, No, NO, turn down the heat! You're scorching my molecules!!

New Giveaway at LPR

Sponsored by Sunrose Aromatics, the August 2010 giveaway includes samples of whole botanical perfumery oils:

Hiba Wood
Lavender Absolute
Tagete Absolute
Tobacco Absolute

Enter for your chance to win!

I Am Creticus! Scented Super Hero Saga continues . . .

at LPR.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Received Dabney Rose's distillation booklet (thanks Dabney! -- oooh, the jasmine hydro sample is to die for!) and quickly skipped over the al embic set up part and went straight for the meat of the matter -- distillation and temps, read it as quickly as possible, then set up the al embic and am currently, slowly and carefully, distilling white nectarines for hydrosol. Tasted the first spoonful from the receiver tube and damn near passed out! It is unbelievably delicious. Smells like sweet luscious nectarines. I'm the impatient sort but this stuff is worth waiting for if the entire batch turns out like that first spoonful did.

Nectarine hydrosol. Can you just imagine?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Oppose HR 5786: Safe Cosmetics Act

Sign the petition to oppose this bill which could put thousands of small companies, including mine, out of business.

You might be interested to know that at least one of the co-sponsors of the bill, Congresswoman Barbara Lee also voted in favor of HR 5297 which is set to loan small businesses growth money from a fund of $300 BILLION, while simultaneously co-sponsoring a bill that will cut the legs out from under the very businesses she claims to want to help! How is it possible that someone can be both for and against small business? Easy, lobbyists and failure to read the fine print.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Key Lime Hydrosol Facial Spray and Cake!

The small batch distillation of key lime turned out beautifully! Everyone in the house loves the fresh citrusy lime scent of the hydrosol-- I've been spraying it on myself, on the air currents created by the fans, in my hair. It's deliciously amazing. And it made me hungry for key lime something, so I whipped up another cake, a light yellow type cake with key lime hydro and vanilla tincture for flavoring, then made a delicious key lime hydrosol and peel icing that I poured all over the fluffy cake. The cake was so spongey and soft it literally soaked up the icing creating this ooey gooey citrusy delicious sweet summer confection. I don't suppose I have to say that it's all gone. People were scooping up the cake with big spoons and scraping their plates to get every little bite.

I think key lime hydrosol is going to be a staple hydro around here, for both spritzing onto heated summer skin and for infusing into food. I put a tablespoon full into my iced water and it was amazingly refreshing and zesty.

Off to refill the little spritz bottle with more key lime hydro and then I'm off to read in bed.


Sunday, July 25, 2010


I've been busy lately with keeping up with the submissions to LPR and other perfume business. I ordered Dabney Rose's distillation booklet, which I cannot wait to receive, and, since I am the impatient sort, I'm currently distilling key limes in the copper al embic. Just a little note on those key limes -- I distill the whole fruit when I "do" citrus, so I cut the little bitty limes in half and tossed them into the blender with about a half quart of filtered water and-- nothing. The blender decided at that moment to give up the ghost. What'd I do? I juiced 'em. Right now I'm halfway through the distillation process with 16 ounces of key lime hydrosol and a surprisingly thick oil slick of eo floating on top. The downside of this distillation business is it really heats up the house. Can't wait until I get my mechanically inclined metal soldering son to build me an outdoor set-up. Then it's limes beware! I cannot wait to utilize some of Dabney's techniques to make perfect hydrosols. Back in December when I visited the Berkeley perfumers, I was gifted a 2 oz bottle of Dabney's raspberry hydrosol. It's been a real skin saver these past couple of days with the dry heat. Plus it just smells good!

I'm awash in perfume consults. Yes, awash. It's lovely.

Two New Interviews on LPR

Working the Bench features Jill McKeever of For Strange Women ~

An interview with Incenseur Nathaniel Musselman ~

and more to come!

Friday, July 23, 2010

More New Features on LPR

Just a few new things added to Le Parfumeur Rebelle in the past week:

I Am Creticus! The Adventures of an Aromatic Super Hero ~ just for fun

Scented Recipes ~ food recipes utilizing essential oils, absolutes and other perfumery ingredients

FAQ's of Hydrosols by Dabney Rose ~ frequently asked questions and tips for the home distiller (click on the booklet image for information about purchasing Dabney's home distillers guide)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Jameel's Poetic Review

At Hortus Conclusus.

I'm Sorry!

I apologize, profusely, for changing the background on this blog so often, but in the past Blogger didn't offer very pretty backgrounds so I had to go elsewhere to find nice "Apothecary" approved backgrounds. Just received a notice from Cutest Blog on the Block that my background was going bye bye on July 23rd and I'd better go pick a new one or else! Everyone else in the blogosphere must have been thinking the same thing because I could never get through to the website, so I gave up and used one of Bloggers new nifty spiffy layouts. Apothecary approved.

Public announcement over and out.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I know . . .

I've been spending a lot of time promoting Le Parfumeur Rebelle (see? I did it again) and less time talking about Natural Botanical Perfume. I don't know what to say about that. I definitely see them as two separate entities: LPR is more educational while my blog, my ramblings, are more about the experience of creating Natural Botanical Perfumes. And LPR is a group effort, while this blog is just little ol' me.

So on with the rambling ~ I finished up the incense perfume and I couldn't be happier with how it has turned out. I've field tested it on no fewer than 10 human bodies and all of them, to the last, has said it is a dead ringer for the incense stick from which it was inspired. Not bad for having few clues to the ingredients used in the incense stick, not to mention it's definitely made using synthetic scenting materials.

I've decided to call this new concoction Kush Bakhur. Not to be confused with Kush x NL or regular Kush, winner of the Cannabis Cup. It's incense perfume, not pot perfume, though that is an intriguing idea.

Now I'm free to finish up two blending expeditions, and batch the gingered amber perfume I've been talking about for the past two years. And what this all means to me is ~ I've finished what I set out to do! I said four finished perfumes by the end of summer and I'm almost there. Two of the four have been stewing in my brain for years, and the other two were given as briefs.

Khodum ~ brief, wicked perfume, done.
Atay ~ inspired tea perfume, done.
Kush Bakhur ~ brief, floral incense perfume, done.
Unnamed ~ inspired amber perfume, needs batching.


Sunday, July 18, 2010

NOT about Perfume . . .

But noteworthy.

Urban gardens. Do it. Make one. Hire someone to make one for you, whatever it takes, grow your own food. Perhaps one of the top 20 most satisfying things in life is picking tomatoes and patty pan squash, or whatever you're growing, straight out of your own food garden. We've got several different varieties of tomatoes in various stages of growth, from little youngsters in full vegetative state to full grown mothers sprouting tomatoes every five minutes. There's also a huge cucumber plant spreading no fewer than 12 feet across popping out with blossoms and teeny little cukes, a jalapeno doing the salsa, cilantro, sage, chives, and wonder of wonders, those cute little "name that squash" plants that turned out to be patty pans! We've also got pumpkins and watermelon going like mad, and an ancho chili and a bell pepper. We live in a great growing area and can grow these crops up to and through October, then the fall plantings begin with lettuces (lettuci?) and snow peas and whatever other cool loving crops we can find.

And we're planning a hothouse for those more delicate plants.

So not about perfume, no, but worthy, very worthy of note. While the backyard is designated for grocery growing, the front is designated for perfumery with jasmine and hyacinth and peppertree and roses. Perhaps a little about perfume and a lot about self-sustainability.

Fresh New Face in NBP ~ Review @ LPR

Introducing: Jaymie Smith Parfums!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

New Stuff at LPR

LPR's got a slightly different look, still full of rebellious souls and fabulous perfumers, suppliers, information, interviews, reviews and articles ~ AND ~ there's more to come! New writers are on board with new perspectives and fantastic observations. I think you're going to like it.

Get a preview of the new LPR here ~

The other editors and I are aware that some of you are having a hard time finding LPR (le parfumeur rebelle) because of the long and strangely spelled website name ~ BUT! ~ if you go to, you'll get there just as easily -- perhaps easier. So go! Look! Contribute, if you dare!

GREAT Interview with Avery Gilbert by Trish Vawter at ScentHive

Right here!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Natural Botanical Perfume

For some, Natural Botanical Perfumes are an acquired taste. Like raw oysters or caviar or boiled beets. And some give it little credence at all -- there are still those out there belittling the art form and the artists who create Natural Botanical Perfume, calling them hacks and frauds and dreaded members of the growing tribe, The Wannabes. A lot of this belittling goes on within the community itself with industry leaders shamelessly disgracing peers. No wonder we're not being taken seriously.

There is a perception that a lack of experience runs rampant within the community. To some degree this is true. However, there are a few spectacular "new" NBP'ers, and more than a smattering of well-seasoned NBP'ers, creating some of the most daring and avant garde perfumes ever seen in the genre. Yet we still get no respect.

Are Natural Botanical Perfumes supposed to behave like a synthetic concoction? Are we supposed to create something with 48-hour endurance and sillage you can see with the naked eye? Do we need to create some natural concatenate of essences that mimic the scent of candy floss and ocean breezes and air and diamonds lying in ice? What do you think?

In the meantime, I have a fresh batch of desert air eau de parfum bottled up and ready to go in my newly invented non-alcoholic, non-oil-based medium -- more air. Hot off the desert. The bottles come with little silk balloons.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Creating and Perfumer's Block

I don't get it often, that perfumer's block. In fact, I don't believe I've ever really had it. What I get, usually, is perfumer's anxiety. First, is there enough of diluted essence A, B, C, D, E, F and so forth to create this mental masterpiece? Second, if not, are there enough dilution bottles in stock to make them? Third, if so, how the hell long is that going to take? Fourth, four days later, when all these tasks have been completed to fruition, do I have any damned energy left to formulate?

Jesus said, and I'm paraphrasing here, "Don't stress on tomorrow because today is stressful enough." (Matthew 6:34)* To me, the reference to "tomorrow" can be fifteen minutes from now, when I'm checking volume levels in dilution bottles and realize I have to "whip up" a few extras. Why trip now? I usually call this procrastination. To defer action. To put off till another day or time. To borrow another phrase, this time from the venerable Nike, "Just do it!" Like now, man.

So this is how this creative thing usually goes down: I build a brief or one is handed to me. I think about it. Write notes. Dream on it. Sniff bottles. Write more notes. Write a bit of poetic prose to go along with the brief, to liven it up, give it breath, and then I think about it some more. I talk about it to my peers or someone I don't know while bagging my groceries at Winco. I discuss it with the Jehovah's Witnesses who come to my door every other Tuesday at 9:30 am sharp. We make trades. I hand them scent strips and they hand me The Watchtower.

I converse with my mother's ass as she's face down in her garden pulling weeds on the delicate issues of champaca golden vs. davana or magnolia. "Patchouli essential oil or absolute, mom?" I ask after explaining their differences. Her ass does not reply.


She lifts her head from the weeds and says, "When are you taking that damned mimosa tree? Every time I look at it, I just want to weed whack it." Her anger toward mimosa's fragile flowers falling on her carefully manicured lawn shows in a flash. She continues pulling at the weeds. I do not get my answer.

I speak about the newly born (in my head) perfume with my daughter, sharing scent strips drenched in heart notes. "How is this?" I ask. "Smells like pickles," she replies. And I remember that this is her patent answer for every scent strip thrust under her nose. In teen-talk it means, "Leave me alone. I'm not the least bit interested in your hobby."

I chase down my grown live-in son, the perfume whore, in hopes of finding a partner in crime. "How's this?" I ask, spritzing his arm as he cringes.

"'S' okay," he says, noncommittally.

"Okay good or 'just' okay?"

"It's okay. Now will you get out of the bathroom? I have to wipe my butt."

So after all this research, writing, and trial formulating, I finally have it. The finished fantastic product. Three years after I started.

Whimsicality ~ this has been running through my brain for days now . . .

*The real verse in King James reads: Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Saturday, July 03, 2010


I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)
I am never without it (anywhere I go you go, my dear,
and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my

I fear no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet)
I want no world (for beautiful you are in my world, my true)
And it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
And whatever a sun will always sing is you

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky
Of the sky of a tree called life which grows higher than the
Soul can hope or mind can hide)

And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)

ee cummings

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Le Parfumeur Rebelle Raises its Fragrant Head

LPR hasn't gone anywhere. Nope. Still there. Restructuring, rebuilding, adding, subtracting . . .

Current giveaway is from The Scented Djinn (shameless plug). A 5ml bottle of La Tubereuse Eau de Toilette.

Go to the main page and click on the contest/giveaway link to enter for your chance to win. Check back for more giveaways from other NBP's. Check back for new information, education links, rants and raves, primers and instructionals.

Thursday is for Conjuration

Good business conjuration. Intent for success.

I've been resisting posting anything today because I felt like there was nothing to blog on. That's a flat out lie because there's always something, lots of something, going on in my head all the time, mostly relating to perfumery, though perhaps not anything you'd be interested in reading about.

So, let's meander through the festering cesspool of aromatics within the djinn's smoky brain, shall we?

Bloggers blogging on too many blogs of the same subject. Big deal. It's not like too much radiation, or too much fat in your diet, or too many cancer cells, or too many funerals to attend. I like being a fly on the wall, don't you? Some walls I cling on a bit longer than others. Some walls I won't go near at all. It's only too much if you try to visit all the walls. Who has time for that? Certainly not me. I have perfume blotters to land on.

The scent of emotions. Like expectation. This comes from a student who wrote that a letter in the post smelled like expectation. This intrigues me. I know exactly what expectation smells like. Right now it smells like kombu, salty and smoky and pungent from the sea. Later today it will smell like fresh, raw, organic lemon juice, coconut milk, macerated lemon peels. Tonight it will smell like conjuration, waxy blue candles, sandalwood incense, warm golden light and silvery moon glow . . . tomorrow it will smell like freshly turned soil where watermelon and pumpkin plants will go.

Etsy fees. I feel like I'm paying them every week. I know that's a good sign, good business and all, but . . . geesh. Fees. It feels like the world is being fee'd to bankruptcy these days -- I'm not talking about Etsy anymore. General usage fees. Nice. Reminds me of when I escorted my friend to the local pound with her potentially rabid dog and the SPCA worker, a hunched over sort with a phlemy chain smoker's rasp, said, after my friend turned the dog over, "There's a fee for that," then blew smoke in our faces. We walked away discussing the possibility that we'd just met the twin brother of Juno, the social worker from the movie Beetlejuice.

Atay, that new perfume extrait that I'm waiting on, has finally turned the corner from ew, sweetie, your dirty vanilla knickers are showing, to oh, baby, aren't you just the spicy little thing!? I knew it would, but it was scaring me there for a while. The vanilla bourbon CO2 I used is a real monster, a monster in that she kind of sits on top of all the other elements in a composition, like a more regal, prettier, feminized Jabba the Hutt. Squatty? Can vanilla be squatty? Squatty for about 3 weeks, then lifts a leg or flipper or fold to let everyone else out.

The perfume-in-progress, the one based on Indian incense, is still being worked out. All the major parts have been cast (champaka and tonka), and the minor parts too. The initial trials were done using that squatty vanilla and I just couldn't handle it. I was ready to smash the trial batch against the wall. So I fiddled and fussed and figured it out. I'm thinking linden might work here too, but that'll take a few more trials . . .

So that's it for now. There's more in there, but I have other things to do.


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