Archive | December, 2011


22 Dec

 Ms. Youngers loves her custom perfume! She said she’s wanted a custom scent for years, and Rhea is exactly what she was looking for. She was impressed, as many others have been, with my obvious talent, especially at making custom perfumes. I have a particular knack, a finesse, a facility, when it comes to constructing custom-perfume formulae. Some of my best perfumes, moreover, if you ask me, are solids, Anthea, Aphelia, Selene, Rhea; with liquid perfumes it tends to be more difficult for me to see the big picture. Some are only just now becoming what I wanted them to be all along, Chronos EDP, Ares EDP, etc. I think I’ve said before on this blog I feel Ares EDP is the essence of me; if you could distill me (in some absurd universe), Ares EDP is what you’d get.
 Still working on a lavender perfume, which I’m calling Artemis. The one solid we made smelled too much like Rhea, which isn’t bad necessarily–I’m just hoping for more of a lavender aroma. I’ve tried to make liquid lavender EDPs; I’ve found lavender can be a difficult aromatic with which to work. I’m hoping the solid form will make it easier on the nose, more pleasant, not stinky the way liquid lavender perfumes can be, at least in my own personal experience. I’m determined: I think this represents a major hole in my line: no lavender perfume? Any self-respecting natural perfumer should have something which smells like lavender; however, that’s only my own personal radical notion.

John Reasinger’s copy for Chronos EDP:
 “The Myth: The personification of Time itself. Chronos was the second oldest of all beings (according to Hesiod) after Chaos, from which all things rose. Time cuts down all men, no matter how rich, or how mighty, eventually. It has seen the rise and fall of man, of empires and the birth of the universe itself. Somewhat of a mystery to the ancient Greeks, they named him but did not worship him in temples or with festivals; though they were keenly aware of his presence and his power over them. Somehow, Cronus (the titan father of Zeus, Poseidon, etc), lord of the Harvest, who ruled the world in the Golden Age became confused with Time itself. Now we have Father Time who carries a sickle (symbol of the harvest) and symbolizes the end.
 “The Fragrance: A thick green balsamic opening, redolent with warm spices (both smooth and sharp), permeated by an amazingly clean and pungent woodiness catch your attention immediately. As the fir needles and spices fade, but never quite disappear, an extremely sweet floral bouquet greets the nose. Built around the immortelle flower (and its delicious aroma), this covers one like a warm cloak of flowers, woods and spices woven together seamlessly. Roses, jasmine, magnolia and ylang all dance, joining their aromas like a chorus of voices, celebrating the sweetness and beauty. Drying to an earthy blend of moss, orris, and resins kissed with woody musk, here is where Summer meets Autumn. Days, though still long and sunny, grow cooler and shorter. Time marches on. A scent for those who like sweeter scents, and love the crunch of leaves underfoot and the feel of an earthy forest wind.”



14 Dec

 I recently made a custom-perfume _solid_, believe it or not. Bianca Youngers said she wanted a solid instead of a liquid; I kind of agree with her–a solid (concrete de parfum) is very intimate, only those who hug or kiss you get the aroma. The whole point of perfume, good perfume, especially natural, is that it should be, first and foremost, sensual. After two tries, I got something I thought she might like. Who knows–I may be in the wrong ballpark entirely. The formula will be secret of course, but a few notes in it are sandalwood, magnolia, and bergamot, out of 14 notes altogether. I’ll get back to you in the next installment about exactly what she thought about the stuff, Rhea I call it.
 I recently created Anthea eau de cologne; we started with a 7% eau de toilette, but that was too strong (compared to the solid), so we ended up making a 5% cologne. I got the idea to make a 25% extrait, or pure perfume; we tried Anthea and Daphne. Anthea was the clear winner; I may jack it up to 30%, but that would such a small amount. Small price to pay for something that smells truly magical. It is all the best parts of Anthea, but multiplied and even more extravagant, delectable, and sublime. My ode to jasmine hit all the right marks in all its forms, solid, cologne, and extrait. It, along with Ares EDP, are my two main prides and joys.
 I’m also determined to make a lavender perfume–every female at Fashion Week Tampa Bay asked what I had that smelled like lavender. I tried for several years to make a lavender perfume, and each time I failed miserably. Now I have a better idea how to properly construct a professional perfume, I thought I’d try again. We made a couple of liquids, which were only okay, so-so. So I decided to make solid; I have lavender CO2, which not many perfumers know is essential to making a solid. I feel I have an uncanny ability to create beautiful solids. I think on the new website I will end up calling them concrete de parfum.


7 Dec

 This appeared as part of my review on Ca Fleure Bon, all about a Natural Perfumers Guild project on the 13th sign. Regarding my Aphelia solid, Neil Sternberg had this to write:

“Snake: Yeah. Well, now that I can wear it openly, I gotta say it’s my new holy grail in rose scents. I mean, it’s kinda weird being solid and all-natural and everything, but this stuff rocks. The rose – dammit – it’s just good. It’s so smooth and so together, you’d figure it was made by some big-ass company that spent a million dollars figuring out how to make it just right. But at the same time, it smells complex and harmonious like a natural. Cause it is. Just weird as hell.

Joey: Well, for once we agree. I have to say it’s two big thumbs up on this one. Adam really hit this out of the park. I don’t know if it’s the solid format, or the composition itself, or a little bit of both, but the rose here is supported so well, I almost wouldn’t believe that it was done as an all-natural. The longevity isn’t spectacular, but the ride sure is. It’s the rose equivalent of an amusement park. Where they serve excellent booze, I might add. It’s 100% Adam, but I’ve gotta be blunt – about 15 minutes in, this stuff reaches a magic moment that knocks the socks off of a lot of top designer and niche rose fragrances. And it hangs on for quite a while. Rose lovers simply must try it. No excuses.

Snake: What did he say was in it?
 Joey: 13 ingredients to be exact. The base is fascinating – orris, vanilla and ambergris oil. The heart is rose and rose gallica, supported by araucaria [a rose-like scent] and hyacinth. It’s a very clear and simple rose, but very beautiful. The top is rosewood, cedar, geranium sur fleur (rose), palmarosa [also rose-like], and pink pepper. Item thirteen is the carrier – jojoba/beeswax. Well, there you go – beeswax – there’s your pomade. Not just manly and American – it’s old-timey and natural, too.

Snake: Damn – I knew there was more reasons I liked it. But I still don’t get why he called it Ophelia.

Joey: It’s Aphelia. Ophelia is a character in Hamlet. Aphelia is the spirit of simplicity in Greek mythology. She was nurse to Athena. A related word is still used today for “naïveté”. Rolling eyes NOW.

Snake: Cool. Simple is good. So how are we going to explain to people just how good this sexy beast is?

Joey: The only way we possibly can. By abusing classic literature. Horribly.

Snake: Hell yeah! Who are we this time?”
John Reasinger’s take on the legend and scent:

“Aphelia Perfume Solid

“The Legend: Aphelia is the personification of simplicity. The Greeks often gave life to to qualities that they were attempting to understand, or wished to glory through poetic expression. The simplest answer is most always the best (Occum’s Razor) and how thinking too much can actually cloud the solution is something we all need to remember. The more we attempt to dissect and analyze something, the more chance we have of missing its intrinsic beauty.

“The Fragrance: Composed of roses, the sacred flower of Aphrodite (goddess of love) but not defined solely by them, this scent showcases all the beauty and evolution of a rose, as it evolves subtly and slowly. From its first bursting buds on the vine: woody, ever-so-slightly spicy and green with delightful fruity nuances, to its full fragrant many petaled blossoms: rich and luxurious, accented with green woody balsamic notes. A rose in the country, a rose in the wild; this dries to something almost yet not quite oriental, with supporting notes of smooth sheer vanilla, iris root and ambergris. A floral creation that exalts the beauty of a single flower with complimentary notes that bring its richness to the fore and enhance it without overpowering or diluting it. A scent for those who like to stop and smell the roses…”
 This was an old review of Dionysus, on, also by Neil Sternberg. I had no idea this existed until two days ago; it’s Dionysus meets Star Trek. Neil is the character Redneck Perfumisto. A small excerpt here:

“Redneck perfumisto (RP): Oh yeah! The green thing at the beginning, plus the animalic part. I noticed some similarity to Verdigris. I’m assuming it’s due in part to the use of Africa stone which Adam mentioned. All the facets and notes – animalic, grassy, tobacco, oud, earthy – they’re all there.

Dionysus: What about skin? I like skin. Any differences?

RP: The tobacco and oudy notes seem stronger. Definitely more boozy. And it has these “antique wood” notes that are just pretty amazing. You know how a really old cedar drawer with old papers can get this kind of strange odor that just takes you back? Yeah. Big-time.

Dionysus: How about a lighter application? Not that I’m asking for any particular reason…

RP: Glad you asked! At a lighter spray, it has a lot in common with Guerlain Homme Intense – although I personally like that one more. The same kind of herbal thing, but less sweet, less gourmand. It tends to be more elegant and subtle with a light misting application, more powerhouse when applied wet to skin.
 Dr. McCoy: What about longevity?

RP: Can we talk about something else?

Spock: If I may answer, longevity is typical for naturals, meaning moderate at best. One does get a fairly long-lasting skin scent with heavy application.

Dionysus: How about development? Either of you…

RP: It’s there, but it depends. The big wet spot holds its form pretty well. The misted arm develops faster, but it’s gone quicker.

Spock: He also found the heart notes very compelling. There is a region where the herbal aspects are diminished, but the woody, oudy, and especially the boozy aspects predominate. That is something of a holy grail moment.

RP: Yeah, I really liked that part. Maybe that’s the cognac-and-spikenard thing. Whatever it is, it rocks.

Spock: In answer to your original question, there is substantial development, but only moderate longevity, unless applied strongly.

Dionysus: I don’t know why everybody is so worried about longevity. To paraphrase, ‘Fragrance is short, memory is long.'”

Dr. McCoy: What the heck does that mean?

Spock: If I may.

Dionysus: Be my guest.

Spock: Our lifetime as intelligent biologicals is fleeting, and is composed less of the things we want to remember, than of our reminiscences of those things. Therefore, it makes more sense to create a few really good memories and recall those, than to demand that less enjoyable things persist as both less enjoyable events and less enjoyable memories of those events.”