Monday, October 04, 2010

Kush Bakhur & Flashback to Bella Cimitero

Kush Bakhur. It is a perfume based on a sample of agarbatti sent through the mail. The person to whom I sent the finished perfume sample, the same person who'd sent me the agarbatti, reacted a little less enthusiastically than I'd hoped. But I soldiered on. I like this perfume. It's intense, otherwordly, like nothing I've ever attempted before. It opens with powdery notes of -- well, what? It is not easily pinned down. It is sweet, floral, slightly minty, has a dark drydown that is both creamy and earthy. I wore this perfume to a couple of my son's shows and a few of my friends were grabbing my wrists for sniffs, or hugging me with relish, their noses pressed to my neck. This is just something they do -- I am the perfume lady, after all. At the last show, a stranger who had been standing near me in front of the stage walked up and said, "You smell really nice," then walked away. Could have been the Cuervo talking, of course.

Kush Bakhur is composed of head notes of white champa leaf, davana, spearmint and labdanum, heart notes of champa, tuberose, rose damascena, jasmine sambac, ylang-ylang and nutmeg, and base notes of tonka, patchouli, sandalwood (vintage), mitti attar and vetyver.

Bella Cimitero -- a walk down memory lane. A perfume created years ago (by me, of course) to portray the beauty and sadness of an old cemetery, specifically the cemetery in Columbia State Park, Columbia, CA. The problem with Bella C. is she's not entirely natural. No. She contains a piece, a mere crumble, of jasmine amber essence. Her other parts, her bones, consist of labdanum, patchouli, vetyver, sandalwood, cepes, neroli, caraway, black pepper, bergamot, davana and galbanum. Quite the hairy scary. And undiluted. This is the perfume which both attracted and repelled shoppers at the grocery store. Comments such as, "smells like wormy dirt!" and, "oh, it's nice! It smells like the dirt after the first rain!" were common. Then I realized, Ook! I can't call this a natural, now can I? Borrowing a term coined by famous perfumer Liz Zorn, I could call this a "mixed media" perfume, yes? Well, anyway, the dregs of Bella Cimitero have been bottled and labeled and are intended for Halloween gifts to my mixed media friends. Then I shall either reformulate using all natural components, or simply allow her to fade into history.

On the natural isolates front: I used a bit of my kit chemicals to create a rose scent for a test melt and pour batch of soap. I have to admit, it is quite astonishing. And a little disconcerting. A rose by any other name? It's flush with rosiness and is very tenacious. Most naturally rose-scented soaps tend to fade in scent unless well wrapped and well stored, but this stuff is -- again, astonishing. Strong. Still straddling that line . . .


  1. Anonymous6:45 AM

    Ooh, I'm liking the sound of that rose scent that you included right at the end.

    And what luxury to be able to dispense with socks for part of the year - that's what I understood from the Bag O'Socks reference. I can't do that here - blue-purple toes wouldn't float anyone's boat.

    How lovely to have a rose scent with oomph to enjoy at this time of year, when most roses are turning up their toes at the autumnal cold. (See, I can bring two themes together - I'm not just rambling, honestly!:-)

    cheerio from sunny but getting colder Edinburgh.

    Anna in Edinburgh

  2. Yes, we put the bag of socks away in mid-May and it reappears in late September, early October, when needed. Toes are on full display for nearly six months out here :)

    I'm a little leery about using the natural isolates. My natural botanical upbringing causes me to pause a bit. But the soap is lovely and rich.

    I thought there was a theme here with the roses and toes(es)? ~ ha! Very good.

    Thank you Anna :)



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