Archive | September, 2011

092611

26 Sep

 Fashion Week Tampa Bay went very well. At least one reporter from a local periodical wants to write an article about my company. And I was invited to contribute to the bag for the Annual Creative Artists Agency’s Young Hollywood Party, which last year featured Colin Farrell, Renee Zellweger, and Eva Longoria, among others. The lady who helped Tami at our table, Alyssa, pointed out that I should take the various literature I have, history of the company, reviews, descriptions of perfumes, and make an actual catalog. I had already been thinking the very same thing; the main problem with the idea of a catalog is that it’s very likely some, or all, of my perfumes will change over time. I suppose we can print another catalog if (when) they change; for now, I’m sure I can pick several I will always sell. I’m hoping this catalog will become a hot item in the fashion world. I can talk about the relatively complex process of making custom perfume, at which not enough people are aware I’m excellent.
 The first real break I got in natural perfume was at a crafts fair at Tiga Bar on NE Killingsworth in Portland, Oregon (http://tigabar.com/); they have great food (helped in part by my friend Melanie, who absolutely _loves_ Anthea solid (she told me that during her pregnancy, she would wear it and constantly be smelling the place where she applied it)), and it’s one of the first places I’ve known to make and sell their own house-infused liquors, infused with everything from vanilla, to cinnamon, to rosemary, etc. One of my friends knew that I’d been making natural perfume for some time, knew that I consider natural perfumery to be an art, and invited me to attend the fair as a vendor. So came my first sales experience, and my first experience making literature for my perfumes, and the first time I bought cards for the business (I still use the same place, vistaprint.com). The night before the fair, it snowed heavily–which never happens in Portland! That snowfall didn’t stop a single person, however; the fair was full of people, of both sexes and all ages.

At the time of that fair, I was calling the company Eros Aromatics. A fine name, but I made the mistake of trying to trademark it. I thought I was good for nearly three years, but then the lawyers came out of the woodwork in opposition. I still think that was incredibly cruel–to leave me to think I had the trademark in the bag, and wait until the very last minute to object. I would rather be calling the company Eros Aromatics; the first objection I had to Eros Aromatics was that I had the trademark in a retail class; a company called Eros objected to that classification. They wanted me to do it in the perfume class, but then other objections appeared; I decided since I’d already paid a lawyer extra money to work out the details of fixing the objection, I’d better leave well enough alone. My last name means “God’s jester” in German; I realized that I had to make that work, so Lord’s Jester Inc. it became.

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091511

15 Sep

 Lord’s Jester Inc. will have a booth at Fashion Week Tampa Bay, which takes place at Innisbrook Golf & Spa Resort at Inverness Hall, 36750 U.S. Highway 19 North, Palm Harbor, FL; my booth will be featured on the 23rd of this month, starting at 6pm (there will be a fashion runway show at about 8:30 following the boutique buying leg of the evening). This will be my first ever exposure in the Tampa-Bay area as a certified Professional Perfumer; the idea that I get to have my own booth, with all my perfumes, cotton balls for sampling, the ability to give away and/or sell samples, sell whole bottles of perfume to people who like what they smell, hand out flyers about the business, etc., makes me very excited.
 In the last installment, I wrote that Hemera is based, in part, on “New Caledonian sandalwood;” in truth, I could care less about the place of its origin. What I care about is to get a really good aromatic that suppliers like White Lotus Aromatics or Essential Oil University won’t sell out of. When I first began making professional natural perfume, intending to sell it, it didn’t take me long to figure out how important consistency was/is. The first time I made a perfume with a given ingredient, but from a different supplier, I was literally stunned to discover that changing the source of a single component is enough to ruin or change a given composition radically. I don’t care at all about the geographic origin of a given aromatic (I can’t tell the difference between (endangered) Indian sandalwood and Australian); I care about having access permanently to exactly the same aromatic from the same supplier.
 I recently got into trouble because I made a perfume, for a Guild project, which used some rare absolutes; I didn’t know that when I first made the perfume, but suddenly the place where I got the aromatics, White Lotus Aromatics, is completely out of rosa bourbonia, and they only have 6oz of jasmine auriculatum left. Both those are essential to this particular formula; I’m even finding auraucaria, also essential to this particular EDP, is suddenly hard to find. The world, as my friend and #1 fan, John Reasinger, needs much more than three cups of this perfume; I am able to make a max of two more cups, with the materials I have now.
 I spoke too soon about Chronos: it’s not in fact perfected yet. All along I intended this cologne to be an homage to Annick Goutal’s Sables–it is quite far from being of the same caliber as Sables (Sables is synthetic, so my idea is not to make an imitation, but something inspired by Sables, even better _because_ it’s natural). This is the first time I find that when I go back to the drawing board on this particular formula, I feel I should aim to make something full strength, then work back to eau de toilettes and eau de colognes from there. A perfumer cannot afford too many perfumes–it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of them all, let alone keeping track of _materials_ for each perfume, and making sure I can afford the money for each given aromatic. I dream of creating a relatively massive body of perfume work, so I need to start picking and choosing what’s my best work as of yet, and choose very carefully going forward.

090411

5 Sep

 I’ve worked on two custom perfumes lately. One for the wife of a friend of mine, Ericka and Paul Tullis, one for my girlfriend, Mary. The former is a delightful, refreshing eau de cologne, called Gaia (personification of Mother Earth), the other a deeper, richer eau de toilette, called Hemera (goddess of the daylight). With Gaia (which I have permission to sell to the public), it took only one try to get the aroma I wanted, and the aroma that Ericka sincerely liked. With Hemera it took two or three tries; the first two were indistinct, not full of a clear enough character. Finally, I looked at the formula, and I realized that while frangipani may be nice on its own, I needed to add orange-flower to the heart and neroli on top. That was exactly what the brew needed; what was somewhat indistinct became what I think of as tighter, clearer of character. This is is the first time I’ve witnessed the combination of orange-flower/neroli actually appear to tighten up a composition. Gaia is based on the combination of linden-blossom absolute in the base and linden-blossom essential oil on the top, along with a couple of citrus notes also on top (15 notes altogether); Hemera is based on New-Caledonian sandalwood in the base, honeysuckle in the heart, and a touch of ginger on top (16 notes altogether).
 I’ve also perfected Chronos and Phoebe; I will remove the “limited edition” notices from the web site (with Phoebe, ylang ylang was unnecessary). I also came up with a full strength, eau de parfum version of Ares; it goes well with eau de cologne version, just as Selene eau de parfum is a nice combination with the solid version–one can choose which they’d prefer to apply, as the experience of an eau de parfum is less intimate than the experience of a solid. I also have another secret, soon-to-be-revealed eau de parfum, one I’m extremely proud of. And I’m planning to have Tana at the Beck Gallery, where they reframed the Rockwell Jester, take photos of my perfume bottles again; this time, instead of having a drop down button with a choice of sizes (and a photo of all four sizes, or, in the case of solids, all three sizes), one will be able to link to a page only for the size one wants, with a photo of the exact product one is to get. While the old bottle photographs are perfectly nice, it’ll be better to have it so one can link to the exact size one wants. The other somewhat bad thing about the old photos was there was/is only one bottle in focus, the smallest one (I didn’t know any better when I talked to Meredith Zinner).
 I’ve decided I’m not satisfied with simple formulas for incense; the old recipes I thought I liked turn out to be, now that Tami and I have made a few of them, not so great after all. Maybe it’s the change from a somewhat humid place (Portland Oregon) to a more massively humid and extremely hot place that makes the difference. Regardless, I want incense that smells great no matter who you are or where in the world you are. I’ve also decided I won’t dip incense in essential oils; that process makes incense that almost smells fake–it smells fake and “cold,” or so I say. I can think of no better way to describe my sense when I smell incense which is dipped in essential oils. For example, Fred Soll has an incense called Joyous Rose; at first it smells nice, then the overabundance of rose essential oil begins to wear on your olfactory senses. On the other hand, I have some incense from Mother’s Fragrances in India; because none of them are dipped in essential oil (it’s all just a combination of aromatic powders, binders, and probably some sort of aromatic water), I greatly prefer them to Fred Soll’s Joyous Rose, for example.
 Yesterday, my father and step-mother were over here, and we got on the subject of incense dipped in essential oils as compared to incense which is just a combination of aromatic powders. I burned some of Mother’s Ananda Nagchampa; Carol said she’d never smelled anything like it before. As she was a serious hippie in the 60s, I’d imagine she’s smelled a fair amount of incense. If I can make incense anywhere near as good as Mother’s array of Nagchampas, I’ll be extremely happy–overjoyed, I should say.