Archive | November, 2011

112811

28 Nov

Other participating perfumers in this Natural Perfumers Guild project are:

Anya McCoy, Anya’s Garden, Ms. McCoy’s blog
Christi Meshell, House of Matriarch
Elise Pearlstine, Belly Flowers, Belly Flowers blog
Jane Cate, A Wing & a Prayer Perfumes
JoAnne Bassett, Ms. Bassett’s blog

Ca Fleure Bon, designated bloggers, Michelyn, Mark, Neil, Ida, Tama

“Ophiuchus is a large constellation located around the celestial equator. Its name is from the Greek Ὀφιοῦχος “serpent-bearer”, and it is commonly represented as a man grasping the snake that is represented by the constellation Serpens. Ophiuchus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It was formerly referred to as Serpentarius (English pronunciation: /ˌsɜrpənˈtɛəriəs/; also Anguitenens), a Latin word meaning the same as its current name.”–from Wikipedia
 Aphelia was the personification of simplicity for the ancient Greeks. I made this perfume, not because it fit with any of the ideas behind the 13th sign, but simply because I used 12 aromatics, which, when combined with jojoba-oil/beeswax (both organic, btw), makes for 13 basic materials. It’s a stretch, but it basically fits? If the perfume weren’t as good as it is, I wouldn’t get away with tossing the perfume in there with the others. It’s basically an ode to rose.
 Aphelia solid (for each section, in order from greatest concentration to least):

Base:
1 Orris CO2
2 Vanilla CO2
3 Ambergris oil, homemade by me

Heart:
4 Rose
5 Rose gallica
6 Araucaria
7 Hyacinth

Top:
8 Rosewood
9 Cedar
10 Geranium sur fleur (rose)
11 Palmarosa
12 Pink pepper

13 jojoba-oil/beeswax

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112711

27 Nov

More copy for my upcoming renovated web site:
 “Heracles EDT 7%
The Legend: Heracles (Hercules in the Roman) was the son of Zeus and Alcmena (the last mortal woman Zeus embraced). He was from birth stronger than a full grown man, and strangled two serpents Hera sent to kill him and his mortal twin brother. He is the most famous of the Greek heroes. He completed Twelve Labors, vanquished many a monster and villain ravaging his Greek homeland (and Asia Minor). He went to the edge of the world for one of them and descended into Hades for another. There was nothing that he could not do. He married many times and had many affairs and countless offspring. One feat (often called his Thirteenth Labor) was siring 51 sons on the 49 of the 50 daughters of Thespius in a single night! He was a legendary lover, a true hero and an unstoppable fighter. He eventually ascended into Heaven (Olympus) and, forgiven by Hera, was wed to Hebe (goddess of youth) and became an immortal.
 “The Fragrance: A dry spicy and clean woody opening gives way to a heart of flowers, both elegant and sensual. A beautiful essay in contrasts between vigor, strength and loving tenderness; this EDT is strong, but never overbearing. A finish of sweet resins, musky woods and seeds is balanced by warmth and a subtle oriental accord of sandalwood and amber, kissed with cassis leaves. A scent that is at once sexy and seductive, like a passionate lover clad only in a lion’s skin…”
–John Reasinger of Journey in Smells
 “Phoebe EDP 11%
The Legend: Phoebe was from an older race of Gods called the Titans. The last offspring of Gaia (Mother Earth) and Ouranos (Father Sky), they were twelve in number. The were the first “gods” and ruled during the Golden Age of Mankind. Phoebe was “radiant” and was the original goddess of the Moon and lit up the night sky. She married her brother Coeus and had two daughters Asteria (mother of Hecate, goddess of witchcraft) and Leto (the mother of Apollo and Artemis). In the War of the Titans, she sided with her brothers and sisters against the Olympians and was, after their defeat, confined in Tartaros (the deepest darkest pit in Hades).
 “The Fragrance: A bright blend of greens, and warm blossoms with a hint of spice greets the nose, invigorating and intoxicating all at once. A thick heady chorus of flowers begins to sing, weaving its spell of sensuality and mystery. Warm and sexy yet refined, Phoebe leans more towards the feminine but is utterly unisex. Osmanthus is the star here, majestic she is surrounded by flowery resins, giving an air of incense, vanilla and woody musk. A regal scent for those in touch with their own divinity…”
–Also by John

112011

20 Nov

 The following “copy” will part of my upcoming professionally renovated web site. I programmed the old one myself, and I just can’t get around the fact that Internet Explorer users simply can’t use my site (which involves, mainly, Internet Explorer not using the same CSS standards every other browser uses). I don’t know what to do, but I can detect in advance what browser a given person is using–but then all I can tell them is not to use Internet Explorer to view my site. A person simply can’t use my site at all in Internet Explorer (panes overlapping other panes so that you can’t see all the links or all the text on a given page). With luck, the renovated site will solve all that.
 “Demeter EDT
The Legend: Demeter was the goddess of grain and all growing things. She was the daughter of Cronus and Rhea (Titans) and sister to Zeus, Poseidon, Hera, Hades and Hestia. Her mother Rhea was worshiped as Ops, Cybele and many other names; she assumed her mother’s duties and divinity. She ruled planting, growing and reaping, and many of her rites and rituals involved all three of her aspects (maiden, mother and crone) though she is normally looked at as the fertile mother. Her daughter (to Zeus) was Persephone, goddess of springtime and flowers; who became the bride of Hades (god of the underworld and afterlife). Her power was so great that in her grief over Persephone’s disappearance; she forbid anything to grow. She is the “heart” of the earth, the giver of life, and was offered the first fruits and vegetables of every harvest.
 “The Scent: An opening of dark pine cones, spices and warm blossoms creates something utterly unique, reminiscent of the forest in late autumn . As earthy and dark as it is beautiful, this becomes softer and slightly more subtle with summery flowers, while retaining a depth and and mystery about it. The finish is a blend of drying hay, tobacco and pine-green, but more dry and dark. Hints of woods and oozing resins give it strength, while the aroma of libations of fruits and wine surround you. A scent for those who are not frightened by the “darker” side of nature, and revel in its mysteries…”
–by John Reasinger of Fragrantica
 “Daphne EDT
The Legend: After being chided by Apollo to “leave the bow and arrows to the grown ups”, Eros (Roman: Cupid) shot Apollo with a golden dart of burning love…but pierced the heart of Daphne (nymph and daughter of the river god Achelous) with a bolt of lead causing unrequited love. Apollo pursued Daphne, but she was not interested in the least, preferring to hunt with Artemis and roam the hills and valleys of Greece. When the golden god could no longer suppress his lust, he gave chase to the young lady, whispering sweet words in her ears and promising to make her his Queen. She fled from him aghast, yet he pursued her…and just as he was about to overtake her, she called out to her father to save her. Immediately, she was stopped in her tracks, her feet became roots, her skin bark and her hair the leaves of the Laurel tree. Apollo, still madly in love with her, plucked the leaves of the tree and fashioned a crown. Laurel became his most sacred tree. Oracles chewed these leaves to receive visions from the god and foretell the future.
 “The Fragrance: An opening of dry flowers, spiciness and sharp greens echo the bewitching beauty that first captured Apollo’s attention. Here is grace, elegance and vigor; all blended seamlessly. As the heart of this scent beats, it warms (as the god’s did) with a melange of flowers ranging from sensual and seductive, to warm and sweet. As enchanting as it is serious, Daphne develops slowly, in typical chypre fashion, as it ranges from bright to floral and full, before it becomes earthy and haunting. A woody warm resinous sweetness lingers on the skin, hinting at the transformation of the poor nymph’s form from skin to bark. Dark woods coated in sweet saps blended with warm vanilla and amber combine with dry airy moss to create something altogether majestic and alluring. A scent for someone who love the feel of fresh earth beneath their feet, and is in touch with its beauty…”
–also by John

111611

16 Nov

 “On initially discovering the Lord’s Jester line, Ares was the first perfume that caught my attention. On receiving the samples Adam was kind enough to send me, I was quite smitten with this scent! Ares EDC is a warm, sexy fragrance that lasts on my skin (despite its Eau de Cologne concentration) and gently balances warm golden ambery incense aromas, with spices and sexy flowers on ancient dried woods. When I found out that he did an EDP of Ares, I jokingly said (having not yet tried it): “I want at least a half an ounce!”. He said “Try it first.”, so I did. On a cold cloudy PA autumn day, I spritzed Ares EDP on and went to town…
 “All throughout my day, I was HAUNTED by the warm beauty of this fragrance. It is not sweet like a gourmand or like a dessert; but it reminded me of molasses and how it is thick, and darkly sweet and so very comforting. Every time I moved (or my shirt did), I got this heavenly whiff of Ares…and sighed! I got no less than four comments on how good I smelled that day (from complete strangers)!”
–John Reasinger of Fragrantica, on Ares Eau de Parfum
 I cannot express well enough how good that first crafts fair at Tiga Bar in Portland Oregon was for my gumption; it was the first time I was in the spotlight with my perfumes. I was added to the line up for the crafts fair pretty late in the game (as far as I remember). It was a mad rush partly because I was making small batches at the time; I remember that for each perfume I only had enough of a given perfume to fill a few small bottles. Then came literature: I had at least to make basic descriptions of the perfumes (bits of which are still seen on my website). And I had to have business cards delivered by 3-day mail/UPS/FedEx/etc., from Vistaprint.
 I’ve been using Vistaprint ever since that first time. The business cards, car magnets, cups, t-shirts, pens, all look great; sometimes the pens don’t work very well, but it doesn’t matter much–it feels very professional to be using a pen customized for my own business. They’re quick (whether you do 3-day mail, even overnight, or not), efficient, precise about the way things should look (well, you kind have to pester them about precision). Overall, I’ve only had very minor mistakes with this company. They offer, for business cards, recycled 100-lb card stock for a little bit extra, and you can even get a little recycled logo on the back. The following card, to me, looks elegant and quite professional:

110911

9 Nov

“This deep, green, woody scent is an ‘80’s powerhouse of natural fragrance. A green, earthy, boozy floral, it has a musty retro feel that turns back the grandfather clock and never stops. One moment, you’re in a freshly mowed field after a rainstorm on a summer’s day, with wet, cut, wild grasses all over your boots. The next moment, you’re lost in the stacks in an old library, carrying a brandy snifter. And it wears differently every time. This is natural perfumery that doesn’t blink, doesn’t run, and doesn’t compromise.”
–Neil Sternberg for Ca Fleure Bon, regarding Hermes EDP

“The vividly mossy stain of the fragrance does not bely the scent itself: it’s rather mossy and quite animalic all right; musty, tart, very dry and earthy, but with a floral depth opening soon.”
–Elena of the Perfume Shrine, also regarding Hermes
 John Reasinger’s Hermes review:
“How happy was I that Adam took my patron god (if I had to pick one) and made a fragrance (and an EDP, at that) inspired by him?? Hermes was the child of Zeus (king of the gods) and Maia (a daughter of Atlas). He was born in a cave, on Mount Cyllene, as Maia (though immortal and a goddess herself) sought to keep the child a secret from Hera (Zeus’ eternally jealous wife and queen). On his very first day of life, he crept out of the cave he shared with his mother and created the lyre (from a tortoise shell and innard strings), stole his brother Apollo’s sacred cattle, hid his tracks and the cattle…lied about it (to Zeus) when questioned and then made Apollo trade the caduceus (and all it represented) to get them back! He presented the lyre to Apollo as a gift.
 “My kinda guy; Hermes was sly, clever, inventive and a real “go getter”. He was the patron and protector of travelers, messengers, gymnasts, athletes, shepherds, liars and thieves. Not only did he do all these things, but when a person died he was their guide to the gates of Hades (the underworld). He was married to Chloris (goddess of flowers) and was the lover of the youth Hyacinthus. He was androgynous, handsome, eternally youthful and the voice of Zeus himself to mortals. He figures in many myths (from early myths to the Trojan War and even after in the Aeneid and Odyssey), had many lovers (both male and female) and a multitude of children and offspring.
 “He loved mankind and man’s curiosity and ingenuity. He lived in Heaven, had run of the Earth and the keys to the Underworld. Few gods had his far reaching power or his energy! He wore winged sandals (the talaria) that allowed him to move as quick as thought itself. His symbol was his staff and his sacred plant was myrtle. Hermes was a gentle god and more of a lover than a fighter, and his essence (in all of its aspects) was caught well, here in this scent…
 “A thick moist wind bowls you over, right out of the sprayer, with fresh dense linden flowers and buckets of lime juice and their zesty peels. Though Hermes is all natural (as are all Lord’s Jester scents), there is something beguilingly harsh and at the same time fresh and sparkling; not unlike the newborn god himself who was at once innocent, yet devious. The citruses in the opening fade in their fury, somewhat, and a sunny sweet orange and dry woody marigold peek out. The heart of this magnificent perfume is like the heart of the god himself: sweet, yet masculine, and sensual. Rose bourbon (climbing roses from the Reunion Isle, off the coast of Madagascar, believed to be a hybrid of turkish Damask and “Old China” roses) adds a unique warm floral fullness to this, along with two types of thick jasmine (sambac and golden jasmine) and boronia (a wild climbing flower from Australia, with very intense smelling blossoms) that result is the epitome of genderless beauty and an edgy androgynous sexiness.
 “The components of this perfume are from the four corners of the globe, symbolizing (maybe even without the perfumer’s knowing it) the god’s travels and worldwide duties. Hints of woody green balsam develop after a while, adding yet another facet to this crafty and complex character. The heart notes, to me, smell of a drier green wind; heavy with the scent of mysterious flowers and exotic, far way places. The dry down on Hermes is as fascinating and as elegant as the two stages that came before it. Still green with a thicker linden blossom absolute and the essence of green cognac-it is enchanting, only now it is nigh on intoxicating with its vapory warmth and smoothness. Ambrette (hibiscus seeds or musk mallow) is combined, and balanced perfectly, with hyrax (or Africa stone) to create something altogether musky and deeply sexual while never smelling too aniamlic (or “pissy”).
 “Where most fragrances (on the mass market) tend to end in woods, resins or vetiver; Hermes is, yet again, original in the addition of flouve (also called “buffalo” or vanilla grass) which keeps it “green” but adds a dry, rather sweet grassiness to the overall composition without ever getting too earthy or “dirty” smelling. Hermes is, indeed, one of a kind. He is, from start to finish, an enigma…yet strangely familiar. He is precocious, beguiling and each successive wear reveals more of his charms and subtle magic to me. Hermes is NOT for those who would rather smell like spices, woods and musk; but for those who crave something a bit different, something unique and something strong…but not oppressive. He is now running a close second to my beloved Heracles.

“Sillage: great
Longevity: excellent
Overall: 4.75/5

“Hermes first concentration was a bit lighter than this one; I vastly prefer this heavier one. My mother, on the other hand, likes the lighter one and is not all that fond of this one. To each their own…I always say. What strikes me most about this particular version of Hermes is that it is actually much more in your face in the beginning, with an uncannily thick concentration of citruses, and then it matures and mellows as its softer (but nowhere near weaker) side appears. In the final drydown, it is essentially the same scent it always was just more earthy, almost dark, while keeping its strength and youthful exuberance but reigning them in a bit. He is now more “laid back”, but just as strong and every bit as beautiful as he was at first.
 “Some words that came to mind as I tested Hermes: WOW!, weird, green, enthralling…and most of all–unique! Hermes was Adam’s contribution to the Natural Perfumer’s Guild 2011 project: Brave New Scents. It is indeed brave in its use of little known aromatics, new in how it is blended and balanced (I have NEVER smelled anything like this one) and man…WHAT A SCENT! Some may not care for it, and some may find it artful yet not all that appealing. Me? I think I am in love…”

110211

2 Nov

 I have a number of new perfumes of which I’m quite proud. In addition to Hermes EDP, which is a green (linden-blossom absolute and flouve), boozy (cognac), mossy scent with a bright citrusy top (along with linden-blossom essential oil) [14 notes altogether], I also have Anthea EDC. At first we made a 7% eau de toilette, but that was too strong compared to the solid, so we made a 5% cologne; it smells equally as delightful as the solid does, soft, not overpowering the way that first EDT was. We also worked on a cologne, Artemis, which I hope will be my first successful lavender perfume; I tried for several years to make a lavender perfume, and they always turned out stinky (there’s something particular about lavender which makes it so that you must choose exactly the right complements for it). Now that I have a superior knowledge of how to construct professional perfumes, I’m hoping this latest try will be successful.
 Also I’m pleased I now have eau de parfum versions of two which had been eau de colognes only, Ares and Chronos. Ares eau de parfum is without a doubt my favorite perfume from my entire collection. Others are close, but I feel Ares EDP is the essence of me, my spirit, my ego, my self-confidence. At least that’s what I like to think when I wear it. It’s also the first successful perfume I ever made. At the time, in 2006, I called it Adam’s Amber. One other successful one I was making was what eventually became Phoebe; I called it Oz simply because it has osmanthus in it. Chronos EDP is exactly what I was going for: it’s sweet, maple-like, and mysterious, a fitting homage to Annick Goutal’s Sables. Now I have to see if I can create a cologne version based on this same basic theme.
 I’m also pleased to introduce Aphelia; where Anthea is a seven-note ode to jasmine, Aphelia is a 12-note ode to rose. I called it for the Greek name for the personification of simplicity; it may have 12 notes, but they’re all basically rose-type aromas. Rose absolute to me is a little cold, so I added things to warm it up a bit: it’ based on orris concrete and vanilla in the base, araucaria (a complex and rosy aromatic) and rose gallica in the heart, and cedar and palmarosa on top, all of which are warmer than rose absolute. As far as I’m concerned it’s every bit as pleasing as Anthea, but with the difference of Aphelia being a rose-type perfume where Anthea is a simple jasmine-type perfume. Along with Anthea (jasmine), Aphelia (rose), and Artemis (lavender), I think we’ll have all the basic scents that people want–every other person at Fashion Week Tampa Bay asked what I had that smells like lavender. I had quietly to say I had nothing.