Category Archives: Perfume

Hyacinth Enfleurage Pomade

New in the shop, enfleurage pomade made with Hyacinth flowers, using the cold extraction method. This process was definately a labour of love. I spent two months diligently recharging hyacinth flower on to a layer of organic shea butter. Each flower exhales its scent which gets absorbed in to the fat. The scent is delicate and true. The character notes are floral, green and buttery. Works well as a delicate solid perfume.

What is enfleurage?
Enfleurage is a beautiful ancient technique of extracting fragrance from delicate flowers. The botanical is placed on to a layer of fat that absorbs the scent of the fresh breathing flower. The flowers are replaced every day for an extensive period of time, until the scent is captured. The base that absorbs the flower scented molecules is called a ‘pomade’.
This method was devised in 18th century France using animal fat, and then the fat was further distilled with alcohol.
However, I stop at the ‘pomade’ stage, so NO alcohol is used, and the fat I use is organic and 100% plant based. Pomade was also historically made in ancient Egypt and the Near East, using the same technique of applying flowers to a base of fat.

My enfleurage pomade is mindfully made in very small batches, when the botanical is in season (the Hyacinth are grown in my garden). It really is labour intensive, but also a labour of love. The scent is subtle and true.

New Vintage Chai Botanical Perfume

botanical chai perfume

Sunrise over the haveli, awakened with the cries of an old fashioned chai walla, welcoming the haze of the morning mist with a daily ritual of black malty tea, dark spices, steamed milk and traces of saffron and jasmine.

New for 2020 is Vintage Chai botanical perfume. Malty black Assam tea is infused for a couple of months to give the base. Added to this is a number of chai spices such as Cloves, Cardamom, Star Anise, Nutmeg, Pepper and Coriander infusions. There are floral notes from Jasmine Sambac, Osmanthus and infused Saffron. The base notes are heavy with musky Ambrette seed, Labdanum, Sandalwood and warm comforting notes from Benzoin and ethically sourced Tahitian vanilla which I extracted myself. The character is gourmand, spicy, floral, oriental and incense like.

Dianthus Enfleurage Pomade

enfleurage pomade

My summer adventure with enfleurage has continued and I’m so please to offer this beautiful Dianthus carnation flower enfleurage pomade to my shop. Made from fresh flowers laid on to a bed of shea butter and jojoba wax and recharged regularly until the scent has transfixed itself on the fat. The result is a subtle scent of the flower. It works beautifully as a single note, soliflore perfume.

My enfleurage pomade is mindfully made in very small batches, when the botanical is in season. It really is labour intensive, but also a labour of love. The scent is subtle and true, like laying on a fresh bed of flowers.

New Botanical Perfume ‘Birdsong’

birdsong botanical peach perfume

A Midsummer’s day when the light hits the trees, and the branches sway in the colours of a gentle wind. Scattered crushed peaches lay on an orchard floor, accompanied by a sea of iris. Overhead, there is a symphony of tiny winged creatures, and the scent, is that of birdsong.

Birdsong is an earthy grassy gourmand I have been working on for a while. I must admit I have spent months perfecting this scent, made with extract off macerated peaches, essential oils, and plant, seed and bark extracts and all mindfully made with organic, wild crafted or ethically sourced botanicals.

Opening notes are Fresh Oranges, Bergamot and Elemi merged with herbaceous Pettitgrain. Galbanum adds the scent of grass, helped along with the extracts of Green tea. This leads to a heart of crushed peaches, merged with iris root, evoking a hint of violets. Osmanthus is fruity and narcotic and then there is a subtle mention of Gardenia. The base ends with Sandalwood and the golden warmth of Amber, Vanilla and Benzoin. Labdamen is also incorporated and juxtaposed with the earthy scent of Vetiver.

The Nature Of Botanical Perfume

When it comes to botanical perfume, it has a completely different nature compared to synthetic perfumes that are mass produced and created in labs.

The colour
Botanical perfumes take on the hue of the botanical ingredients. Perfumes with a high percentage of darker materials such as Oakmoss, Oud or Labdanum will give a darker colour. Perfumes with a larger percentage of light coloured botanicals will have a lighter hue.

Sediment
My perfume making methods are motivated by ancient civilisations. The Egyptians, Greeks and Arabs used botanicals and oils to produce their scents. The ingredients come from plant, seeds, spices, flowers, bark and resins and are obtained through tinctures, infusions, essential oils and absolutes of these plant materials. As a result, my perfumes may have some sediment from the raw natural ingredients. This does not effect the scent in any way, just shake the bottle before application.

Slight variation in scent
As with anything in nature, botanicals vary from season to season, depending on their environment. I think this is the beauty of a botanical perfume as you capture the true essence of the plant in a bottle, as opposed to chemically formulated identical perfumes.

Longevity
With botanical perfume, the durability depends on the alchemy between the botanical ingredients and your body temperature. Therefore it can vary from person to person. Typically a scent can last anything between 3 – 6 hours. Main stream synthetic perfumes have a chemical fixatives that keep the scent at an intrusive level and makes it lasts longer. As there are no chemicals in my perfume, I use plants that are natural fixatives to help lengthen the sillage of the perfume. These can include Sandalwood, Vetiver, Cedarwood, Ambrette seed, Violet leaf, Vanilla and many more wonderful botanicals.

New Botanical Perfume ‘The Bookist’

Cosy evenings, darken days, dusty books, serendipity old bookshops, orange peel, steaming hot ground coffee and decadent chocolate. This is a description of my new perfume ‘the Bookist’ a multifarious fragrance with a character that is gourmand, earthy and woody.

I wanted to create a scent to wear for autumn and the winter season. When nights draw in and there’s a feeling of nostalgia as summer has ended and the leaves have fallen. The feeling of comfort when sitting in an old armchair, reading an old book, drinking bitter coffee and the comfort of eating sweet chocolate treats.

The notes include Bitter Orange, Bergamot, Magnolia, Damascus Rose, Pepper, Black Cumin, freshly brewed Coffee, pure Cocoa essence, Vanilla, Amber, Vetiver, Benzoin, Amyris, Cedar and Ho wood. An enveloping elixir, that is reassuring and calmative, perfect for this time of year.

The Scent Of Mountains And A New Solid Perfume

Recently, I took an impromptu trip to Turkey, to the small town of Gazipasa, a district of Antalya Province on the Mediterranean coast. A quiet agricultural town, renowned for its banana plantations and surrounded by cliffs, mountains and pine trees. Not on the tourist map, Gazipasa has many undiscovered coves, an underground cave, ruins, and also home to the Caretta Caretta sea turtles.

I arrived late at the hotel due to flight delays and the first thing I could hear was the sound of crickets. The scent that hit me immediately was of a mixture of sea and herbaceous plants. Having only a couple of days in Gazipasa, I didn’t get a chance to go to many of the places I wanted to, however I did go the rugged area of Zeytinada with its fir, cedar, juniper and black pine clad mountains.

Walking through the forested mountains, the scent was not something I had sensed before. The air was heavy with a green mossy, herby piny, peppery scent, but also something resembling a touch of burnt wood and dead vegetation. The heaviness was possibly from the humidity and being so close to the sea? Being surrounded by years of ancient wooded trees and dirt and also the stillness of the sea and the rock cliffs added to the atmosphere and fragrance. A unique aroma, one that was overwhelming and at the same time calming. A bit like trying a new perfume for the first time and not being sure of it and then later on, actually loving it.

Inspired by the scent of the mountainous region of Zeytinada, I created my ‘Wild Mountain’ solid perfume, on my return. The perfume includes essential oils and extracts of Galbanum, Lavender, Juniper, Palo Santo, Vanilla, Amber, Cederwood, Oakmoss, Vetiver and Birch tar. A strong characterful scent, not for the faint hearted.

Mitti Attar

Mitti Attar is the Indian equivalent to ‘petrichor’ – the scent of the first rain. The term ‘Mitti’ means earth and ‘attar’ is the staple perfume of the Middle East and South East Asia which is usually a herbal or floral blend of concentrated oils in a base of sandalwood (Santalum album) oil. Mitti attar is the essential oil extracted from dry clay earth.

I first came across the term Mitti Attar a few years ago and asked my parents to bring some back from their annual trip to India, which they did. I received two different types, one in a lighter sandalwood oil and one in a darker sandalwood oil. Both smelt amazing, however I preferred the light oil version as the earthy rain smell was more distinct. Mitti attar is mainly made in Uttar Pradesh, in the city of Kannauj, known as the ‘perfume and essential oil capital of India.’

The process of attar making is centuries old. Archaeologists have excavated clay distillation pots dating back to the ancient Harappan civilization of the Indus Valley. These same process’s now capture the scent of rain. The method includes removing clay from topsoil and then baking it in a kiln. The baked clay is then immersed in water and goes through the traditional extraction method of hydro distillation, a process which extracts natural oils into water. The finished essence is usually blended with Sandalwood oil. The result is a captivatingly soothing and grounding aroma that is deeply connected to the earth. It really does smell like the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather. It is said to have the therapeutic properties of healing and calming.

With the Mitti attar I received from my parents, and also finding a good supplier of the essence, I’ve been busy creating perfumes for the last few months, and these will be available in my shop very soon!

 

mitti attar