Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Art of Making Perfume

This week my perfumer's organ came together into a more elegant arrangement as all of my essences are being assorted and placed in their proper categories; top notes, middle notes and base notes. 
I transplanted some of my oils into beautiful bottles that I recently purchased,  and it is exciting to see how the colors of the  shimmer against one another and the gold stripes of the bottles. Each oil has a rich and colorful history and story to tell. This week I fell in love with Cistus, as known as Labdanum. This oil comes from Spain and as I opened it to pour it into a new bottle I was overcome by the richness and beauty of the scent. It is sweet, dark, and like honey. I wondered if my Andalusian family from Spain used it and how they might have known this precious gift from nature. 
This resin comes from the shrubs of cistus ladanifer, it was historically collected from the beards of sheep and goats that grazed on this plant. Special combs were used by shepherds in the Mediterranean countries for removing the resin. Labdanum resin and oil also have many medicinal and cosmetic uses. 
When I am blending custom botanical perfumes, I often see in my mind's eye several  images and I  create a scent  that matches the story. There is a very specific process that takes place that is difficult to describe, its a bit of alchemy; a knowing of the materials and a connection with the person that I am blending for, all of it comes together with grace. One of my favorite parts of making scents for people is asking them what is happening in their lives, how scent may support them, and seeing how I can match the oils to the intentions set with my knowledge of the plants.
I am currently working on a custom solid perfume that is spicy, balsamic and earthy.  Cistus called to me with a whisper, so did Champa. I have built the perfume around these two scents and I am now allowing the melding process to take place before it is set into solid form. 

These images came together for me as I am making perfume. The hooked rose piece is a seat cover made by my grandmother Isabelle May. The round piece in the top center photograph is one of my violet glass containers for the solid perfumes. The far right watercolor I painted for my new perfume business card, the Camellia flower and bee picture was taken after the hurricane, my new gold stripped bottles are photographed on my grandmother's crocheted pieces and the print of roses on the green ground came from a quilt that my grandmother also gifted me. As for the roses, one can never have too many!
Below,  is my new card. 


I am now taking orders for custom solid perfumes. These perfumes are made with great care and are lovingly poured into their special violet glass containers that protect the integrity of the botanicals. Please feel free to contact me for more information and pricing. 

Wishing everyone a sparkly week!

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