Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Musk Accord

I've been working on a botanical musk accord as part of a project I'm collaborating on with my friend K. Musk is going to be a component in the final composition of the perfume, and instead of just adding a single musk-like material (ambrette, musk root, costus) I chose to build an accord. Yet. Another. Accord. While digging through my big Green Book (that's my original perfume notes' book) I found an entry for a lilac accord, which I had copied with variations from an old perfume book, probably Poucher or Sagarin, I can't remember. It's been a while since I've gone through those books. Anyway, I subsequently found the actual lilac accord I built all those years back and wowie-zowie! It smells EXACTLY like fresh blooming lilac. 'Xactly.
And judging by the amount of concentrate left in the bottle, I'd say I probably used a lot of it in trial compositions or custom perfumes. So what I think I'm going to do is begin building a better library of scents. Catalog this little bit of juiciness and place it in a smaller bottle and use it for coursework when I begin teaching in person next year. I think having the ability to recreate these rarities from unrelated materials is a goal all NBP's should aspire to, even if you think you may never use them in a composition, building a library of accords and finished compositions gives you a platform from which to sell your particular skill. Part of the problem I have is that I undersell my skills. Or I don't sell them at all. But when I find these gems in my stash and can be impressed by them, then why shouldn't I toot my horn? They're good. My skill set is good.

So back to that musk accord. The perfume we're collaborating on is going to be a bit on the dark side, but not nearly so dark as the Bella Cimitaro I built some years ago that smelled of fresh dug earth and dead roses (on purpose). This new composition is allowed to have fire and life and is dark in the sense that the power within is immense and quiet until it needs to be heard. I realize you probably don't understand what I'm talking about, but that's okay. Let the finished composition speak for itself, if it can. This musk accord is very loosely based on a shared formulation from Harry Roth, owner of Alchemy Works. It was by far the most accurate in terms of muskiness of a non-animal based composition that I had found, and after tweaking it, I was able to put my stamp of authenticity upon it. I added a few elements that weren't included in Harry's formula, and eliminated one or two that felt redundant to the current project. When going for tonality in an accord, adding too many elements that send it off in the wrong conceptual direction is easy, plus the rest of the composition must be taken into account, for example, if you use vanilla in an accord, you will have to judiciously dose vanilla elsewhere within the composition if vanilla is part of the grand scheme or you'll end up with an overdose.

The jury's still out on the final evaluation of this new musk accord. So far, so good. Tomorrow could be another story.

The soap is nearly ready to package up for sale. Balsam fir and earthiness prevail! It turned out exactly -- 'XACTLY -- the way I wanted it to. Watch for it on The Scented Djinn Etsy Apothecary, probably in a week or so.

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