Archive | March, 2011


29 Mar

I’ve long desired to make moisturizers and “cold creams;” the thing is, regular lotions require preservatives (I guess creams would too, just to be safe). Typically used to preserve lotions and creams is propylene glycol, otherwise known as _antifreeze_. Why a person would want to put antifreeze on her or his body everyday is beyond me; perhaps most folks don’t even know what is used to preserve lotions and creams. Nevertheless, I would only ever produce creams, not lotions. And I would try to match them to a given perfume, especially a custom perfume. On the subject of creams, Anya McCoy suggested that I might try a décolletage cream. Very sensual idea. I like it. Meant for the the top of a lady’s breasts, and also could be used for the neck. I have a formula for a true antioxidant, moisturizing neck cream, which will work nicely as décolletage cream. Creams are made with various fats/oils, healthy, whole, antioxidant; lotions add water (which then requires use of preservative).
From Wikipedia: “Décolletage (or décolleté, its adjectival form, in current French) is the upper part of a woman’s torso, between her waist and neck, comprising her neck, shoulders, back and chest, that is exposed by the style of her clothing. However, the term is most commonly applied to a neckline which reveals or emphasizes cleavage. Low-cut necklines are a feature of ball gowns, evening gowns, leotards and swimsuits, among other fashions. Although décolletage does not itself prescribe the extent of exposure of a woman’s upper chest, the design of a décolleté garment takes into account current fashions, aesthetics, social norms and the social occasion when a garment will be worn, and exposing of nipples or areolae is almost always considered toplessness or partial nudity, and not considered socially acceptable in most modern cultures, though that has not always been the case.”
The thing is, about creams, deodorants, etc., you don’t want to make them in your own lab; you want to use a so-called “contract manufacturer” (CM); this is to ensure sterility in the making of the product. A given CM makes a large quantity of a given formula, exactly to your specifications. Unfortunately, for creams and deodorants, etc., they generally require on minimum order of, say, 20 gallons, which depending on your formula, could be quite expensive. They will, however, put the products into final packaging, and even label the products should you choose. I’d love to make underarm deodorants too. I have good formulas for alcohol deodorants; with stick deodorants, I haven’t quite perfected how to add extra deodorant properties. Baking powder works, but it’s hard to keep dissolved in the hot oil one uses to make stick deodorants. Maybe I could let a CM worry about that.


17 Mar

The Fragrantica give-away was phenomenal. I got at least 125 comments on the announcement about the give-away. People who were fans of synthetic perfumes exclusively wrote in to say they wondered what my perfume smells like; die-hard natural-perfume lovers wrote to say they’d be delighted to win my perfumes. There was a great deal of discussion–and certain points I’ll have to clarify in yet another article for Fragrantica. I’ve already got two out of five names and addresses (one of whom is a client). Then, I have no idea what will happen with the Facebook perfume give-away; the drawing is later today (Uta will be drawing names from the “hat”/jar). Then I have to get addresses for the five Facebook winners. Everyone of the Fragrantica winners gets the same thing: nine perfumes in .4-ounce bottles, and three solids in 7.5ml tins. The grand prize for the Facebook give-away is nine perfumes in .4-ounce bottles, and three solids in 20ml jars. One perfume I’ve never mentioned is called 10,000 Flowers (in Chinese when you want to say a lot, you say 10,000; in French perfumery it’s always been Mille Fleur (1000 Flowers)). I don’t know about others, but my 10,000 Flowers contains failed perfume experiments, a few individual extracts, combinations of extracts, etc. I want it to be complex and rich. It’s been maturing for at least two years, so I should probably get to bottling it. I got the whole idea from Natural-Perfumers-Guild president, Anya McCoy; she was explaining what she does with perfumes which aren’t quite right. As a perfumer, you want to be very careful about what you discard and what you hold on to; in some cases a perfume you didn’t think much of at first turns into something sublime. I’m still kicking myself about Phoebe: at some point I had a perfect iteration, but I lost the formula. One must be very careful to keep formulas straight! I want to emphasize this fact: natural extracts have life force, as evidenced by the colored halos seen when a photograph is taken with Kirlian photography. Synthetics appear completely blank with Kirlian photography. The waves and halos with naturals correspond to people’s responses to given aromatics, it’s heavy, sharp, it’s pink, etc. Synthetics have no life force, and so they are completely unable to affect us deeply, profoundly, or memorably. It’s not just that synthetics are different; they cannot possibly affect us powerfully. Chemists have been working for more than 100 years; it still is not possible for synthetic jasmine to come anywhere close to the effect of real, natural jasmine. Real jasmine is rich, complex, and powerful; synthetic jasmine is completely lacking. It cannot possibly affect our memory as intensely as the real thing. They’ve been working all these years and the results are lame. Long live naturals!


5 Mar

I already started my own give-away on Facebook; if Fragrantica ever gets to my give-away, that’ll mean I have a fair amount of perfume to give away. I was tired of waiting, so I decided to do my own on Facebook, where I’m friends with quite a number of natural perfumers, and a number of non-perfumer friends and clients, some “perfumistas,” as they say. With luck, I’ll be able to generate enough interest. How could a person NOT want free natural perfume? I’m very proud of my perfumes, all of them (except for two which aren’t perfect yet, Chronos eau de cologne and Phoebe eau de parfum). I’m so confident that I’ll put myself out there for all to see/smell, and possibly criticize; no one’s ever said anything critical, except for Sidney and Melanie, who complained some perfumes were strong at first (Sidney about an old version of Ares eau de parfum, which was quite strong, Melanie about Daphne eau de toilette). I think, compared to synthetic perfumes, I’ve got nothing to worry about.

When I talked about Piesse and peau d’Espagne, I failed to be clear that any perfumed leather is commonly known as peau d’Espagne, not just leather journal covers. Piesse’s problem with perfuming letter paper seemed to be that perfuming letter paper would interfere-with/inhibit the writing ability of a given pen; I suppose back in the 1800s when everybody used fountain pens that would have been something of a problem. These days, with ballpoint pens ubiquitous, it shouldn’t be a problem; I’d have to say up front, “Not for use with fountain pens,” but that would take part of the fun out of the experience (I used to love to use vintage fountain pens, when I could still write, but now my penmanship is non-existent–and I used to write calligraphy!).

From Nature’s Gift Aromatherapy Products: “Cassie is a delightfully fresh, sweet floral note. A complex aroma that Burfield describes as “fresh, somewhat green, sweet floral with powdery-balsamic notes.” To my nose it has a sweet almost honeyed note, as well.” Oh my goodness, I get absolutely none of that. To my nose, it’s not green (maybe a little bit, but it’s barely perceptible as green) or floral or sweet (honey? no way); it smells to me like licorice, and Uta and I agree it smells like Chinese medicine. Maybe I get some balsamic notes, but they’re very faint. Overall, I’m not impressed, and I had been lead to believe cassie absolute was relatively precious. This kind of thing makes me think my nose is not so very well schooled. How could their impressions of cassie be so different from my own? I’m going with the idea that I have a unique olfactory sense. Hyacinth, on the other hand, is absolutely delightful, a true floral-esque floral, with hints of fresh carnation and gardenia. I’ll be experimenting with good companions for it.