16 Oct

 Back when I still didn’t fully understand the concept of natural perfume, Chris Tsefalas, owner of The Perfume House in Portland, Oregon, used to spin me literal fairy tales on the origins of certain perfumes. Perhaps best of all was the legend of the “Snow Rose.” As Chris told the story, 300 years ago (maybe 400 now?), a European nobleman was hiking in the Himalayas (as only the wealthy could afford to do); one day he fell into a ravine without anyone noticing. He was trapped in the ravine for at least three days, and everyone was sure he was dead. Miraculously, he lived, and he swore that at certain times while he was trapped in the ravine, he could smell roses. This was so high up, there were no plants, and the few trees barely survived. None of the locals believed the man, but being from a noble european family, a perfumer was hired to come all the way to the very top of the Himalayas.
 Sure enough, the perfumer found that every morning, little tiny roses would poke their way through the snow and ice; they apparently lived for only a day. So the perfumer took a syringe-needle and sucked the aromatic principle from the plant; it took some time, because the roses were very small and there were many of them that sprouted up for a day. Then I found something about the basics of extracting an aromatic principle from given plants; roses are typically distilled. I called Chris back, and asked him outright, “Tell me again how snow rose was extracted?” He stuck to his fairy tale, and emphasized that the stuff was very rare because the perfumer 300-400 years ago had only been able to get a small amount. He was trying to sell me synthetic swill for $200 per ounce. That’s when the idea came to me of “liquid grifters,” whose aim was simply to separate a given mark from his hard-earned (or otherwise) sizable amount of money–expecting us, in blissful ignorance, to pay big money for what we’re told is rare and precious when in fact it’s nothing more than synthetic fragrance chemicals.
 That clinched it for me. From that moment on I dedicated myself to becoming one of the best natural perfumers the modern world has yet known. I literally felt wronged by the entire perfume industry. Here I’d come to think of certain perfumes as precious, when in fact, in the main, they’re all fakes. I thought when people talked about particular notes in particular perfumes, they were talking about actual essential oils. I didn’t know that after Chanel No. 5 was released in 1921, all perfume became synthetic; I bet most perfume lovers don’t know that either. That’s why most people generally abhor the perfume counter in a department store; you can’t help but be exposed to offensive, overwhelming, and literally toxic fragrances. I decided to become the best natural perfumer because, to be honest, that’s just the way I roll. I’d say I’m on my way, but work needs to be done on my business, my web site, my choice of perfumes, PR stuff, getting my perfumes into stores, etc.
 I wish I could say there’s time but, unfortunately, there’s just not. It’s not just because of my poor health, which is getting worse by the day. It’s because there’s simply not enough time for me to become a household name, as my heart desires. Unless something big happens soon (I know I should be _responsible_ for making things happen), I just don’t know much longer I can continue sinking money into a business which is not even making any sort of profit yet. I have some money, many thanks to my mother, but it’s not limitless, the way that it is for many people I grew up with in New York. The truth is, the time will come when I have to say no more money into the business, which basically means I’ll stop making perfume altogether. First I have to make my web site universally accessible; right now, you can’t use it at all with Internet Explorer (which, therefore, is the enemy). Once I update things, I suspect business will start pouring in. Let’s hope so!


7 Responses to “101611”

  1. Bellatrix October 17, 2011 at 6:21 am #

    I’ve just wrote you message on FB.
    I love this dedication that you are speaking about…
    embrace it! :)

  2. Sandi L October 17, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Adam, your latest creations are bound to be a hit. I loved the reviews by all the bloggers! Congratulations and continued success.

  3. divine life Perfume October 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm #

    I sure can relate to what you speak of in the perfume industry! Keep up your fantastic work and I am excited about your incense project as well.!
    Good luck Adam,

  4. Flora October 31, 2011 at 12:39 am #

    Well, fairy tales notwithstanding I would be surprised to learn that the Floris perfume is the same “Snow Rose” that The Perfume House sells, unless Floris is the company that owned the formula all along and their current offering is an extreme dilution of the oil version in the Private Reserve collection. I don’t think that Floris is producing perfumes as good as that, if they ever did. I know that The Perfume House promotes that one above all the others, but it’s far from my favorite of the group.

    I do believe that most mainstream perfume companies use smoke and mirrors to sell perfume and most of it is just that much fluff, and in the end it all comes down to quality and integrity – if it’s not good, people won’t buy it, or at least not again. Your own perfumes are very good and it’s easy for me to tell that they are made with truly outstanding natural materials, and people really appreciate your straightforward approach to perfume making. In these days of IFRA and bad PR, people want to know just want it is that they are getting.

    • Adam Gottschalk October 31, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

      I appreciate your thoughts, Flora. Thanks for the compliment.

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