3 Jan

How do I know I’m right, with all my very strong opinions on the art of perfumery? The first thing people notice about my perfumes is that they’re very long-lasting; I figure that has to be a sign. Most folks say they haven’t come to expect “long lasting” from natural perfume; to me, it’s a simple matter of composing perfumes correctly. I had one client who said she wore a sample of Dionysus eau de toilette and it lasted all afternoon; that’s surprising to most people. I had one man who reviewed my perfumes and he was impressed that Ares eau de cologne lasts as long as it does. Of course, it takes some experimentation with different materials; I’ve found benzoin, orris, and ambrette (the first time I smelled ambrette I immediately thought of concrete/cement; I guess it’s a good fixative), among others, make for long-lasting perfumes. Pine needle, hay, and tobacco I think work too.

Made from dried roots of iris, orris is one of the best fixatives.

Boronia is a heart note but it helps a perfume last. Then again, there is a number of heart notes, and top notes, I frequently add. Chris, owner of the Perfume House in Portland, Oregon (the only store of its kind in the whole country: they sell only high-end perfume), said to me many times that there are three things in all perfumes: sandalwood, rose, and jasmine. He was talking about synthetics, but I’ve found the same thing with natural perfume: I don’t use much sandalwood (a little), but I definitely use different kinds of woods; rose and jasmine I do believe should go in every perfume, rosewood and petitgrain too. This is to put meat on the bones of a perfume, to add complexity, and depth, and power. I worried at first that all my perfumes would, in this way, smell the same. Not so. The odor intensity of each different aromatic is each vastly different, and so you end up with different, distinctive, and unique perfumes (if you know what you’re doing), no matter how many notes are the same.

Boronia. Smelling, to me, like lychee fruit, it might also be a good fixative.

I decided I should do a big give away. Fragrantica, that huge perfume web site, whom I wrote for, on the subject of natural perfume, is going to help me with it. Check out http://www.fragrantica.com to enter; it will be coming up soon. I will give full sets of my perfumes to five people. A number of others will get smaller packages. This is great PR; my perfumes are pretty profound and delightfully fragrant (I would say powerful), but it’s hard to get people actually to smell them. That’s why a free give away is so great: folks don’t have to visit your web site; it comes to them by mail and for free. If they love your perfume, you’re sure to have repeat customers. I’m also planning to go to Henri Bendel, a fancy department store here in the city, to ask if they’ll carry my line. They carry Mandy Aftel’s perfumes. If I explain that I studied with Mandy, that I’m a certified Professional Perfumer, and that everyone who smells my perfumes loves them, I have a chance; of course I’ll bring all my perfumes. My friend John Reasinger, who reviewed my perfumes, says my perfumes deserve to be sold at Henri Bendel. John is a great champion of Lord’s Jester.


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