Saturday, April 30, 2011

Two Weeks Until the Perfume Exhibition & Scent Event

This event has been primary on my mind of late, as well as the perfume event hosted by Amanda Feeley, the much lauded 'A Midsummer Night's Dream Perfume Event', and another scented event hosted by Lyn Ayre on the subject of fougere parfums. Though I'm not a perfume participant in the scent event 'Summer of Patchouli Love' hosted by Monica Skye Miller, I am a supporter of other perfumers and a few of my perfumer friends are submitting their work to this event. I look forward to reading what the many talented bloggers on this event are writing about the perfumes submitted by this very talented group of perfumers.

But, of course, most importantly on my mind is my own scent event, here in Fresno, CA, my hometown. I went out yesterday to drop off more flyers at different local businesses and one location admitted giving away all their flyers (somewhere in the neighborhood of 100) in less than a week. I happily restocked her shelves with more, and moved on to the other patrons in the neighborhood. Today I will be dropping off flyers in another area of town, about 200 flyers. I have a certain wine tasting room in mind. If I'm not allowed to drop off a handful of flyers, I will certainly ask the proprietors of the establishment to come. They host events in their tasting room every month or so and I may wiggle my way into an event there as well. Who knows? Thus far I've dropped off, mailed and handed out close to 800 flyers. As it is, with the out-of-towners coming in, we have a full house -- or -- er -- garden, rather.

The setting for the event is fabulously vintage. Through the side garden gate into a well-tended backyard boasting tall trees with heavy foliage, a lush lawn, roses to the left and a water pond of koi to the right. A white canopy dominates the setting under which a long table set with linens rests, perfumed cookies and other aromatic offerings are set upon one end of the table, while the other is set with parfum and its accoutrement. Birds chirp in the trees and butterflies flit from blossom to blossom, the air is filled with the scent of gardenia and osmanthus tea . . .

At least I hope that's the image portrayed ~ ha!

Still working on the story board and time line of the event. I realized yesterday that some of my flyers indicate the event times from 2 to 4 and other flyers read "2-5". It really doesn't matter as I often become so engrossed in the subject (as a teacher) that I go well beyond the allotted time. Sometimes by hours, to my hosts chagrin. I cannot promise it won't happen again

I hope to see you there, my friend, May 14, 2011, 2-4 (or 5!), 835 N. Van Ness Avenue, Fresno, CA 93728 ~ RSVP to

Friday, April 29, 2011

Viola Odorata

Viola odorata, the much coveted cucumbery scented violet leaf that NBP's carefully dose into their compositions is getting a whipping over at my mother's house. For years she's complained about these "weeds", or what she also often refers to as, "Phyllis' weeds" -- they grow prolifically in and around the trees and garden beds of mum's domain, not to mention that they grow into her carefully tended carpet grass. I have seen her many times on her knees in that grass, swearing at and tearing out the creeping viola, attempting to corral it into the brick walled bed. To no avail. Mum happily parted with some of her dreaded weeds so that I too will now mother-eff the viola as it attempts to hop the front walkway into the jasmine bed. But alas, this is a battle I am set to win -- you see, this viola is marked for extraction.


Peace, love and patchouli. Okay, it is a crazy mantra, but it works. Give yourself a PLAP on the back early in the morning and things won't seem so bad later in the day when crappy stuff happens.

I've written about patchouli before and most of you who read this blog know that I adore the stuff. There have been times, however, when I didn't. I'm much more discerning these days about patchouli choices. I have favorites and they're in the organ listed as such -- Grade A, B, C, D, and so forth, my own classification method which has little bearing on how the rest of the world may perceive these individual patchoulis. I'm always delighted when I find a sweet, floral patchouli -- I have to admit, those are my favorites. But I am partial to the sooty variety as well.

Perfumes in The Scented Djinn arsenal which highlight or simply have patchouli in their composition are:

Khamsa Eau Fraiche ~ special order scent, available in 50 and 100 ml spray bottles

Serj ~ at ~ available in 1ml sample bottles, 5 ml perfume bottles, and 9 ml flacons

Ghusun ~ at ~ available in 1 ml sample bottles and 5 ml perfume bottles

Kush Bakhur ~ at ~ available in 1 ml samples bottles and 5 ml perfume bottles

For more fabulous patchouli perfume choices, be sure to follow the Summer of Patchouli Love scent event at Perfume Pharmer.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Perfume Event & Perfume

On the ground,
sleep sound
I'll apply
to your eye
Gentle lover, remedy.

Puck's Love Juice


The Scented Djinn

Coming June 2011

Art by Bella Ayers

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Long Wait For Perfume to "Mature" ~ Like Watching Grass Grow

Both Puck's Love Juice and Peaseblossom are happily aging in their bottles, periodic bouts of zippy zapping action to speed the process is being implemented, and, of course, good old fashioned time. And since I now have some spare time (not really, I have four more perfumes in the works -- ooh! Five!) I played around a bit with some packaging ideas for Puck's Love Juice and Peaseblossom (I keep saying Peasebottom in my head) that I think are appropriate to the theme.

The jasmines are driving me mad! The bush is just outside my living room window which I keep open just a crack -- the fragrance rushes in and fills the house. I keep thinking I need to make something with jasmine, as illustrated by the previous posts in which I made scones with jasmine one day, and an entire banana jasmine pie the next! The jasmine evulsion smells delicious and richly jasmine floral. One of my daughter's friends was over yesterday and I dropped a bit on the back of my hand and had her smell it -- she said, "That smells like those flowers out front! How'd you do that?" She thought I made a perfume to mimic the scent of the jasmines outside.

The Perfume Exhibition & Scent Event is only 18 days away and I'm still trying to get it all organized and . . . someone suggested a story board to work out the big picture, so I'm going to do that. I'm usually a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type, very spontaneous, rebellious against the strictures and confines of "rules", impulsive. The perfume exhibition isn't the time nor place to display those wild go-with-the-flow characteristics. I must plan, plan, plan!

In the meantime, I play, play, play! More tincturing of jasmine, more gardening, more trips to the sea.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Devil is in the Details

Yesterday was a fairly productive day. I finished up the base and heart of both Peaseblossom and Puck's Love Juice, got more jasmine blossoms in the alcohol (going out now to get more), and worked a bit in the garden. Then I decided to bake. Something. Anything. I was in a baking mood.

While picking the jasmine for the evulsion, I noticed a slight banana note emanating from the blossoms, that sort of creamy, vanilla-thick banana in cream pies, so it hits me! I'll make a banana jasmine cream pie! I pull out all the main cast -- flour, eggs, sugar, bananas, jasmine gourmand food essence, milk, cream, more bananas, jasmine flowers from the garden, and corn starch. I mix up a shortbread crust, sans jasmine gourmand food essence, and while it's baking in the oven, I set to work on the cream pudding. Into a saucepan I poured in the required amount of corn starch, added milk, cream, sugar and stepped away from the pan for a moment to check the crust. When I returned to the pan, literally 30 seconds later, it was foaming. Huge foamy bubbles of milk were threatening to pour over the sides of the saucepan -- was that really corn starch I poured into the pan? No. Baking powder. Down the drain that went and on to a new batch of cream pudding.

So today there is a banana jasmine cream pie in the fridge awaiting it's topping of jasmine whipped cream and jasmine flower garnish. I'm not 100% happy with the cream pudding, though. Perhaps the mishap with the baking powder threw me off my game. The cream pudding tastes lovely, vanilla and jasmine flavored, but the texture is more like a gelatin than a pudding.

I wanted to top the pie with more bananas, but last night the free range monkeys who invade my house while I'm sleeping ate all the remaining bananas -- and some ramen, chicken salad, beans and rice, a box of cereal and something that should go in a microwave if I had one but ended up sitting overnight on my stove.

Friday, April 22, 2011

More Scones & Lemon Curd & Gardens & Alcoholic Beverages

Being on the computer for any length of time exhausts me, sometimes to the point that I'm too tired to work on perfume or write or study or work in the garden or prepare dinner. So I've been shortening my "work" time on the computer of late and the results have been phenomenal. I'm making real headway with the two fougere parfums I'm creating, the garden is making it in little by little, I'm journaling more, and I'm baking with perfume essences on a regular basis, and dinner is on the table almost every evening between 5:30 and 6:00 pm, even when there isn't anyone here to eat it but me.

I finally finished up with the gourmand baking essences -- well, I've been finished up. These three essences (absolutes/ottos) have been used in my baking for two or three years now. I've just begun making larger batches and bottling them up. They will be formally introduced at the perfume exhibition/scent event in May. Nothing fancy schmancy, just the essences I use most in my baking, like rose otto, jasmine sambac and petitgrain sur fleur neroli. These three essences, plus lavender, make some of the most beautiful smelling (and flavored) shortbread cookies, scones, cakes and ice cream, and flavor enhancement to creams, curds, puddings, and jellies. I still can't wait to make the frankincense ice cream Trygve Harris mentions on her blog "Absolute Trygve". I have a bucket of frankincense resin to experiment with, plus several frankincense essential oils and a frankincense absolute. I have a bartender friend who has been helping me develop a series of cocktails using eo's and absolutes as well. Not a new idea, but one I think I can add my own unique twist to. For example, a few years ago a friend of mine "loaned" me the idea of a lovely perfumed summer cocktail that I served at my son's 21st birthday bash -- a middle-of-summer-pool-party-with-live-band kind of thing. It was made with Hangar 1 Mandarin Blossom Vodka, jasmine green tea and honey. Because I am who I am, I also dropped in a single drop of a 1% dilution of jasmine sambac into each glass I prepared before pouring in the tea. No one could taste the vodka and the "tea" ended up being a big hit at the party. Nobody got dangerously drunk or anything like that -- I hate when that happens -- everyone was mellow, sitting poolside sipping their tea and gossiping. Ever since then, when I see folks who attended the party they'll ask me, "Hey, can I get the recipe for that tea?" Now that California mixologists have the green light to create some of their own bitters, tinctures and tonics for making spectacular one-of-a-kind cocktails, a project like this seems much more viable to me. Have I mentioned before that I've also been talking with a wine maker? More on that later.

So yesterday, after shutting down the computer, I made a larger batch of the fougere base I'm using in the two new fougere "flavored" parfums, then I plucked more jasmine and put them in the zippy zapper, then I went to the garden and pulled up the bulbs and planted strawberries, then I prepped the other vegetable bed, then I washed up and started in the kitchen making jasmine scones (it must have been because I've been smelling jasmine all day long) with regular lemon curd. And once again, the thirty odd scones I made yesterday afternoon are gone. So is the lemon curd. I think everyone here has finally gotten used to the idea that anything edible that I prepare has a very high likelihood of being "parfumed".

Just imagine ~ champaka and osmanthus tea cookies.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Puck and Peaseblossom

Puck and Peaseblossom, two characters from A Midsummer Night's Dream who may come to life in scent for this summer scent event. I'm working on the fougere base again -- making a much larger batch than the first time 'round. I incorporated a lovely aged ambrette hydrosol that melted right into the juice -- usually hydrosols create a really cloudy effect in alcohol based perfumes, but after a few times in the zapper and a day or two of settling, the juice clears up and smells so darned good!

I'm also toying with the idea of creating perfume for a baby. Lily or iris based.

I'm on to round 3, or is it 4 now?, of the jasmine evulsion. Zippy zapping away as I write this. I had a small handful of orange blossoms and a small handful of sweet pea blossoms that I co-tinctured -- we'll see how that goes. I'm certain more orange blossoms are in order as the juice is quite weak at this point. I had initially thought the jasmine juice was a bit weak as well, but the scent jumps from the skin on the dry down. Very nice. And I notice a distinctive banana note in the fresh blossoms that I may, at some later date, attempt to duplicate with eo's, absolutes and natural isolates -- perhaps a little butyl butyrate is in order? A bit of the old black banana essence? Could be the start of a lovely dark jasmine fragrance, yes? Too many questions, I agree.

The garden goes into the dirt today. I'm starting with the strawberries as they are already throwing out little white flowers and a few small green berries. I've never grown strawberries before, but mum does in her box garden and they perform beautifully every year. It's strawberry season here in the central valley and all the fruit stands are selling the locally grown ginormous berries -- we bought a half flat (six baskets) the day before yesterday and by early yesterday morning, they were all gone. I forgot strawberries are diuretics and ate a half basket before bed -- yep. Was up three or four times during the night taking care of business.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Drunken Sweet Peas Hobnobbin' with Sweet Orange Blossoms and Juiced Up Jasmine

Jasmine & Orange Blossom

So most of the morning yesterday I spent plucking bloomed jasmine flowers from the bush out front and poking them down the narrow neck of a bottle filled with organic grain alcohol. Most of the evening was spent plucking sweet orange blossoms off orange trees and today I'm going to start poking them down the narrow neck of a bottle filled with organic grain alcohol. Right after I pick more jasmine to poke down . . . well, you get it, right?

Today is a day filled with plucking and poking. And working on perfumes.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Jameel Natural Botanical Eau de Parfum

Jameel Eau de Parfum is a scent of exquisite white florals and citrus. Jameel is bright and effervescent, the epitome of spring. If you love white florals, then Jameel is your girl.

She begins with a bright flash of citrus & gorgeous green, fresh petitgrain, then mellows to sweet, white flowers (neroli, gardenia) and segues into osmanthus, oudh and labdanum ~ luscious and feminine and tenacious, lasting a few hours before re-application is necessary. The gardenia used in Jameel Eau de Parfum is a many times over infusion in fractionated coconut oil, and it is surprisingly tenacious; lends a lot of its lush white floral to the composition. Jameel Eau de Parfum is created in organic grain spirits.

Key Notes: Neroli, gardenia, oudh and osmanthus.

Also includes ~ bergamot, creticus evulsion, tarragon, opoponax, lemon petitgrain and peach evulsion.

Sold at

Friday, April 15, 2011

Once Again . . .

Announcing Fresno's first ever Natural Botanical Perfume Exhibition & Scent Event

May 14, 2011

2-4 pm

835 N. Van Ness Avenue

Fresno, CA 93727

Perfumed refreshments will be served


(Drop-ins will be turned away as space is reserved)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Current Project ~ Puck's Love Juice

I don't think I'll stick with that as the official name of the perfume I'm creating for the perfume event A Midsummer Night's Dream - or maybe I should, just to keep things real ~ ha! The theme of my perfume is -- well, it's self-explanatory, isn't it? Or is it? Remember from the play? Puck's love juice? The stuff he sprinkled over Demetrius and Lysander? I've got a good start on it, and of course it's going to be in the fougere family (it has to be, I mean, Puck is a creature of the woods). On the other hand, I am intrigued by Peaseblossom . . . the name alone conjures all sorts of lovely imagery, doesn't it? Then again, Bottom has its appeal. Hehehehe.

Puck's Love Juice, PLJ for short, features a heavy base of three oakmoss "types" - a tincture/evulsion, an new absolute, and an antique resin. In the first trial version of this perfume, I used a bit of heliotropin natural isolate (sourced from sassafras oil), but for this next final version, I will exclude it. I'm going another way, some place just astray of a classic fougere. I would love to effectively incorporate mountain misery into the juice, and perhaps a heavy(ier) dose of vetyver-mitti. For the lighter version of this perfume, I would love to incorporate roses. My vision is to create a sheer, gossamer rose scent. Perhaps this could be Peaseblossom? Just as Ghusun conjures the heavy warmth of dark green velvet, so this Peaseblossom should conjure images of soft pink and green gossamer, wisps of wind and fluttery wings of delicate rose and moss . . . would that it were that easy.

Day Three of the Roofers. It's becoming nearly unbearable now. I have someone coming over later this afternoon to learn soap making and perhaps begin a little bit of work in perfumery. I'm worried that the roof stompers will still be here and disrupt the quiet process of creating beautiful soap. We may end up naming this particular soap (patchouli/lavender/clove blend) 'Hammer' or 'Thud', or even 'Jiminy Crickets, They're Falling Through the Ceiling!'

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Rose Scones with Lemon~Rose Curd

Yesterday, at about 4pm, I made a huge batch of scones that I flavored with rose otto, then continued on to make lemon curd with more rose otto.

Yesterday, at about 9pm, the 30 or so rose scones and their accompanying schmudge of lemon rose curd were gone.

They're eating perfume!

Now, if I can just get them past the osmanthus and green tea cheesecake . . . it would be official.

A Midsummer Night's Dream ~ Perfume Event

A Midsummer Night's Dream ~ Perfume Event is an event of scent with:

13 perfumers

11 blogs

oodles of fun

Hosted by Amanda Feeley, new NBP extraordinaire, proprietress of Absinthe Dragonfly.

Participating Perfumers Include:

Charna Ethier ~ Providence Perfumes

Lisa Fong ~ Artemisia Perfumes

Yuko Fukami ~ Parfum Phyto

Shelley Waddington ~ Envoyage Perfumes

JoAnne Bassett ~ JoAnne Bassett Perfumes

Ambrosia Jones of Perfumes by Nature

Libby Patterson of Libby Patterson Organics

Ane Walsh ~ Artesã Perfumista

Justine Crane ~ The Scented Djinn

Lisa Abdul-Quddus ~ Blossoming Tree

Ayala Sender ~ Ayala Moriel Parfums

Ankica Milic ~ Be-Bellatrix

Amanda Feeley ~ Esscentual Alchemy

Participating Blogs Include:

Bloody Frida



Perfume Smellin’ Things

Feminine Things

All I am – a Redhead

Perfume Pharmer

Le Parfumeur Rebelle

Scent Hive

The Windesphere Witch

Fragrance Belles-Lettres

Perfumes will be released into the wild :P on and around June 21, midsummer. Magik and Fairies will abound…

And remember, it's all about the perfume!

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Repost from 2007


I've been culling my collection. Getting rid of non-essential, out of my interest era perfume items. This particular sample box is from the 1950s. Out of my era of interest, but not out of my olfactory interest.

I was going to put this up on Ebay today. It is just taking up space, and I haven't opened since the day I bought it, so I figure it's a non-essential. Except that it holds sentimental value for me. The scent that wafts from this box when it's opened is like having a door to another time in my life swinging wide, beckoning me to come inside.

My maternal grandmother is in there, so are my older cousins with their giggles and Mystery Date Game, and the little two-bedroom house on 9th Street is in there too. And the mulberry tree, the tire swing, the dusty dirt driveway, the almond tree hanging over the doghouse, black patent leather shoes, the scent of old wood in the garage, black widow spiders weaving their webs inside the fuse box, Smokey the Bear, pageboy haircuts, boysenberry cobbler, scraped knees and stubbed toes.

I can't sell all that.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Great Video of Kedra Hart and Tiger Powers of Opus Oils

My dear friend Kedra Hart sent me this link and I HAD to share -- please be warned! DO NOT EAT OR DRINK while this video is in play -- it could be detrimental to your monitor and keyboard to do so.


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Wheat Grass Tincture

I love the color green, and I've always wanted to create a perfume that was truly green and vibrant, as most Natural Botanical Perfumes turn gold or amber or brown. So I grew some wheat grass as I'd read years ago that tincturing grasses makes for lovely, agrestic, mown hay scents and gorgeous green colors, and then evulsed it in organic grain alcohol to really pull out the color. I'm not looking for the scent so much, though it is very grassy and green scented--it's that color -- this picture hardly does the tincture justice. One of the fougere's, perhaps the ladies' fougere, will be tinted pretty green using this wheat grass juice. I also have a dark, mossy green from a rosemary evulsion of last year -- that can be used to tint as well, and the scent is delicious!

Oh! I also wanted to tell you to not open or reply to mail in your email accounts from a Kathy Lagoli -- the reference line looks legit, like this person has information about you that might be on forums you post on and blog posts or your online business. It's a hacker. Delete, delete, delete! The one I received (actually, I received two in two different accounts but deleted the second after googling this stuff) had "about your sample of Amber Parfum Extrait" in the reference line. Since I never sent this person a sample, I googled her name, and voila! There's about a million google searches on her and all are saying DELETE, DELETE, DELETE!

Butaflor ~ A Registered Trademark of Robertet

*UPDATE! Butaflor is no longer a registered trademark of Robertet's -- registration expired March 4, 2006. So, butaflor it is!

From Steffan Arctander's Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin:

"Butaflor is a registered name (P. Robertet & Cie.) given to a series of highly concentrated perfume materials produced by extraction with butane at subnormal temperature. The solvent is recovered by evaporation at room temperature (boiling point of butane is -- 0○.50C.). The low extraction temperature and the selective solvent result pale-colored, almost waxfree and terpeneless product. The method is particularly useful and advantageous when applied to the very delicate or heat-sensitive botanical materials, e.g. lilac flowers, lily of the valley (muguet), orange flower, jasmine, rose, etc. Certain staple materials are also treated in this method, e.g. ginger rhizomes. It should be kept in mind, that not all Butaflors are completely alcohol-soluble."

I'm planning a little butaflor exhibition for the perfume event (in May -- yes, I know, I'm repeating myself). I think I'll go to the florist and grab up a bouquet of stargazer lilies for the experiment, since they have such a gorgeous, deep, sweet, sticky floral essence. Someone suggested I distill something whilst everyone was milling about checking out the fragrant goods, but distillation takes a long time and nobody likes watching water boil, because, y'know, it never does when you're watching it.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

ZETA ~ Got't'a Have It Parfum From Andy Tauer

ZETA is the newest perfume from Andy Tauer, niche and quite-a-lot-of-naturals-used perfumer based on the delicious blissfulness of linden blossom.

There's a HUGE giveaway at Perfume Pharmer here where you can enter your name in the draw to win a FULL bottle of Andy's latest fabulous creation. If you're a naturals' purist, try to get it for your mama -- Mother's Day is right around the corner. Or, heck! Even your papa as ZETA, though somewhat feminine, smells right at home on man skin. Trust me.

Samples of ZETA are also being given away at Perfume Pharmer, so there's more delicious blissful fragrance to go around.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Fougere. I am entranced. I have a full pint of an undiluted fougere base accord, just the very bones of a fougere, maturing in a lovely corked bottle. Every day it becomes more and more beautiful; deep, sensual, velvety and warm. This base accord can go in any number of directions from this point. I had initially planned three versions of a fougere, but am now planning to add a fourth; a fruity fougere, taking full advantage of a handful of natural isolates I have to boost the sweet, fruity aspect and add a lightness to the top notes with a naturally derived acetaldehyde. How many fougeres are too many fougeres? I don't know. You be the judge.

I just finished up writing a review of Andy Tauer's ZETA-A Linden Blossom Theme- perfume which launched yesterday. It's a bit pricier than some of Andy's other creations, and turns in a more delicate, feminine direction than his other work does, yet it maintains that standard "Tauer Touch" that all of us who love Andy's perfumes recognize immediately. I hate to make the comparison because it cheapens Andy's work, but the "Tauer Touch" is as recognizable as Guerlain's famous "Guerlinade". The remnants of the sample I received are off in the arms of the no-longer-resident Scent Whore, Scott Ellis. Scott was here when the sample arrived and I had to share -- he's such a pig when it comes to fragrance -- and the moment the juice hit his skin, he went into full bliss mode. His eyes actually rolled up in his head. I know. It's disturbing. After working with the perfume for a couple of days, I passed it into his eager hands for further review. I'm curious to see what he writes about it. He recently received a big package of natural incense for review -- once done, it will be posted on the Le Parfumeur Rebelle blog. He seems quite impressed with this company's products, so it should be a pretty good piece.

Well, the jonquil and paperwhites finally bloomed, then a big hailstorm hit and left the blossoms in tatters. I managed to salvage one perfect bloom, which I cut and put into an antique pharmacy bottle. The wild hyacinth have yet to make their appearances, and they'd better hurry because the chives and onions I planted between the rows of bulbs are sprouting and will soon take over. I haven't put the potatoes in the ground because . . . well, we may be moving soon! Remember I said a while back that I was working my way back into the Tower District? It looks like we may be moving there, lock, stock and perfume barrel! More on that later as nothing is set yet.

I just want to shout out for a minute here -- to you, about you. I want you to know I thank you every day for coming here and reading and commenting and sharing in this journey with me. I cherish my freedom to say and do as I please without restriction, and I appreciate from the bottom of my heart that you are here.


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