Monday, December 6, 2010

Toasty yummy new scents on Etsy and a a personal challenge realized?

Howdy,
 Um... I apologize for the nutty last post. Boy I am afraid that I would lose some customers after that! Well, it is the trials of natural perfumery. Since then it has been smooooth rolling.
 I created a custom scent for my friend. She wanted to smell like her favorite tea.   I mortar and pestled hazelnuts I had roasted, cardamom and other spices. I infused it with fresh vanilla beans, carob, chicory even using butter absolute. I pulled it off to perfection (to my relief) making her a cologne, perfume solid and oil. She named the fragrance and wrote me: "...the name for the new perfume - I think Ostia would be perfecto! Ostia was the ancient port city for Roma and many of these exotic spices and herbs probably came through there at some point. I believe Ostia is a rough translation meaning mouth in Latin. Which is perfect because I just want to eat that all those spices and anyone wearing this scent!”
You can read more on the making of Ostia here: Ostia on Etsy

I created what I think is one of my 1st complex composition challenges. It is called: Hollywood Babylon.  It is completely realized creation to be experienced for hours like an epic movie from the top to bottom notes. It lasts and lasts. The first notes express as if stepping out into the winter air then your suddenly wrapped in the softest of furs. NOT that I would ever wear furs. I am a animal compassionate person. I did have my house bunnies so I know how soft they could be. In composing Hollywood Babylon I wanted a retro, golden age of cinema inspired powder perfume. I have hated powder perfumes in the past. I wanted to make one I would crave to wear. ( This was the challenge.) 
The perfume would start with a fresh, spicy top note then lighting fast move to a powdery middle and amber woods base.
 I ended up using oils I never thought possible could be mixed together, but they worked. One was parsley seed.  Parsley seed. It is an odd one. But one I am liking more and more.
My budget began to break as I knew I needed carnation and other floral absolutes, orris 3%   more sandalwoods and ambrette.

More on here Hollywood Babylon:  Hollywood Babylon on Etsy

Oy!
 I have to get to the post!
 More on my newest creations soon!
 Take Care!
 Kait

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The importance of being earnest, manic, "get it done",don't give up! etc..

this is a manic, sleep deprived slightly koooky, deranged texted blog from the depths of some submarine. So much amis in the olfactory department. This is a tale of me as a chicken with it's head flying off for days. Three bottles of Ashes of Roses just are not turning out as the sublime beauty of the first bottle. By accident I put 15 drops of ylang into the bottle that was as closest to the first beauty of original "Ashes...There isn't even Ylang in Ashes of Roses but the Ylang was for another fragrance I was working on moments before. I had to dump the whole perfect Ashes of Roses. All three rose absolutes in that bottle amounted to over an 1/2 ounce gone, not to mention all the sandalwoods. 
This has been three days of torture and I have orders to fill. Eager, happy, excited to get the humble packaged bottles, little knowing of the maddness of the making of perfumes. Oh but some of them do, as this order I am filling is the same as the one I had to break to just a week before of the accident that had befallen "Smoke Follows Beauty" but I shall not dig myself deeper into that. A big no no as well is that these perfumes I will be sending will be newborns. I feel so ashamed. What a sin!(if I believed in sin) I what to make these customers pleased and be a better part of their day with my perfumes. But breaking more bad news that another batch may take a month makes me feel ill.
I know what I send will be fine( oh please oh please)
14 tester scent strips later:
I took two kolonipins, made a cheese plate and collapsed on the couch and watched some Dexter.
Three days of no sleep. My nose is fried. Maybe it is because I just had my molar removed?
I am terrified but know the "Ashes.." orders must go out. This is the unholy terror of working with natural botanicals.  Each new batch of essentials and absolutes you buy from suppliers varies slightly. your compositions will be slightly different.Even making my own mascerations is a crap shoot. Some vanillas turns out more floral, some lapsang more berry-like and less smokey. Will the customers be understanding? I feel like I may be run outta town like some ol' snake oil seller. Oh, I am being over dramatic. I just want to please my customers so bad. They really are my partrons of this art. Without them there is no way I could afford on my own the quality products I use. I can't stoop to lower quality either. You become a fragrance junkysnob after smelling the best the world has to offer. 

I have new fragrances to introduce. 
"Hollywood Babylon" and "Orpheum"
if only I had the picture to go with the visioning my head.
"Hollywood.." Hollywood is covered in snow it is a photographic snapshot from the 1950's frozen in time of a starlet blowing a frosted kiss. a powderpuff plume of dust just settles from an over zealous ancient makeup artist. the starlets exotic lover is off to the side holding her coat of many nameless furs. 
It is fantacy. the fragrance it fresh and powdery, velvety and soft.

"orpheum" is a bergamot heavy citrus chypre. It lasts and lasts. it started as a custom scent for a friend's sister. we all used to hang at this coffee/ movie house in the 1980's called "The Orpheum" up in Juneau Alaska. 
there is even a facebook fan page for the place that I shall putup when I am not rabidly texting.
I was going to tell you of my other fragrances two customs,a heavenly pink lotus dbl Jasmine celery seed amber magic blend and another blend for a friend inspired by her favorite tea. it has me mascerating hazelnuts, chickory, carob, buttersotch, vanilla beans and a host of spices. Then there is, "00elGuapo" but my boyfriend said I need to, "stop, relax, stop thinking about perfumes. You look really pale and have bags under my eyes."
Sheesh! Next I will be eating brains.
I shall edit this later this week I am sure. Add a little more sanity and clarity to it. Sleep is my friend.
Peace to all,
Kait

Monday, October 4, 2010

the surprise in Hēdonē and "Great Galbanum"


I am finding that because of the agarwood in Hēdonē it is really transforming into something magical.
Agarwood has that power to create even more depth to a perfume as time passes. At first I thought it was a little heavy on the agarwood. I do unfortunately feel I released it too early and there for may have turned some people off to their purchase. Hopefully if they have shelved it they will give it another whirl.

I am brewing a heavy galbanum creation as of late. It is called "Great Galbanum!" As in the exclamation, "Great Scott!"
I hope the translation won't be lost on my customers.
I had accident with my 5/8 dram bottle of galbanum weeks back that had enough scent power to level a village. I was making a spritzer for my home and I grabbed what I thought was my diluted bottle and proceeded to dump all but a tiny amount in the mister. Whoops! It was the full strength 5/8 dram. My eyes watered and my throat tightened..then I moaned for the loss of the precious amount of resin I had carelessly tossed. It was ironic as I had just conversed with a woman through Etsy about galbanum. She asked if I ever worked with it.
Oh yes I do!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Words of thanks


I just wanted to text in and say how much I really am thankful for all the wonderful words of support.
People have been so gracious in their feedback on my Etsy site. It is so helpful when I receive detailed information about a person's thoughts on a perfume.
I will be introducing a fragrance for men this week but am stuck on a name. "Rooted" Is a big runner up.
I made an amber accord then layered woods of organic rosewood, sandalwood and cedar. There are roots and leaves of og vetiver, og patchouli, costus ,orris angelica and clary sage. For the top a tiny bit of Seville lavander absolute, bay and bergmot.

"Ashes of Roses" will debut on Etsy tomorrow.

I hope you all are happy and well where ever in the world you are.
-Kait

Monday, September 20, 2010

Coming out of hiding

Well, I had to take a break. I won't go into details but some good came of it.
I was able to compose a rich rose version of Hēdonē, a new sweet decadent floral called,"Baudelaire" and "Tamar" a spicy, davana creation with a heavenly sandalwood base. All are in oil form and up on Etsy.
I also have waiting in the wings,"Ashes Of Roses". It is as it's name suggests.
I do not have much time to write but I would like to share some of the notes with you. For more info on the other perfume's notes you can have a look at my Etsy site.

I hope you all are very well.
Kait

Review by Scent Hive





Vireo: Scents of Nature
Aug 15th, 2010 by scenthive


Kaitlyn ni Donovan is a musician and natural perfumer, as well as a fellow Portlander. It seems like the Pacific Northwest would be fertile ground for botanical alchemy, but she is the first that I have discovered from my environs. Actually, I found Kaitlyn via a reader’s suggestion and am thankful for the tip (thanks Angie!) as Vireo: Scents of Nature features some lovely gems. Her entire line is created from 100% botanical ingredients, some of which are homemade infusions like her Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla bean (in Coco Violette) and Lapsang Souchong (in Smoke Follows Beauty).



Kaitlyn finds inspiration from her natural surroundings and states, “Oregon influences my work because of its great natural beauty, diversity and accessibility to just about any landscape you are craving within an hour’s drive.” Luckily, you don’t need to drive an hour to find lush forest greenery in Portland which her Coco Violette evokes. The “violette” in this perfume stems from violet absolute which possesses a deep leafy green scent that’s unlike the powdery-sweetness typically associated with violet perfumes. By contrast, Coco Violette ushers in the pleasure of being shaded by basalmic branches and walking along trails of rich soil.



Coco Violette exudes a fruity/herbal quality as well. A twist of blood orange and a pinch of cardamom attenuate the earthiness of the violet absolute, giving body and fullness to its leafiness. Coco Violette is further grounded with orris root’s warm and mushroomy texture augmented by cassie’s soft and honeyed floral absolute. It’s here in the heart that Coco Violette becomes really pretty. Not that the opening spices, citrus, and deep greens are unappealing, quite the contrary. The topnotes are exceptional, but they make me pause and take note of what I am experiencing. Alternately, the heart allows me to simply enjoy the beauty of a lovely floral perfume, like settling into your favorite spot on the couch as you ponder that interesting thought that was with you moments before.



The base has notes of cocoa absolute, vanilla bourbon absolute,Tahitian and Madagascar vanilla bean, and costus, the result being a milky chocolate that is neither too sweet nor too foody. The creamy cocoa settles into its drydown among earth and warmth, which is a fitting resolution for Coco Violette.



Kaitlyn has created another warmth-filled fragrance called Smoke Follows Beauty which is perfect for sandalwood admirers. It’s not complex or wildly innovative, but it wears with a lovely clarity and purity that I have not found in most sandalwood based fragrances. Alongside sandalwood’s distinctness, is a softness that seems to emanate from smoky embers. High quality, sustainable sandalwood (from Vanuatu in this case) has creamy buttery undertones that Smoke Follows Beauty possesses in just the right amount. The softening of woody edges remains in the background, never disrupting sandalwood’s distinct scent.



Fir, guaiac, vanilla, hay, frankincense, and lapsang souchong are listed in the notes, and they give Smoke Follows Beauty fullness and warmth that would otherwise be missing in their absence. Nevertheless, sandalwood is the focus of this elegantly named fragrance that in my opinion holds its own against more well known sandalwood perfumes like Diptyque’s Tam Dao and 10 Corso Como.



Coco Violette and Smoke Follows Beauty are available on esty. 1/8oz for $12.

Image: She Danced in the City at Night by stilettoheights on etsy

Posted by ~Trish

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Review by Earthy Reality

Earthy Reality was kind enough to review a few more of my scent creations.
She has a wonderful blog with a personal touch. I encourage you to check out her site: Earthly Reality.



Hedone

The composition on Hedone is well constructed and illustrates great romance and strength. The story of timeless love that is what Hedone brings to me, as a child watching black and white films the glam of a time unforgotten. A solid foundation of the sacred and very pricey Agarwood that lends a dark resinous and oriental note to this solid perfume cream , this balances perfectly with four different roses and laces well over other notes of frankincense, myrrh, orange, labdanum and vanilla.
The opening of Hedone is somewhat rich and spicy it warms up nicely on my skin, wear this perfume cream when you’re feeling romantic, sultry and like a sex kitten.


SweetGrass

A meditative oil home grown, home brew sweet grass infusion, with a lending hand from other essential of lavender, clary sage and vanilla that come alive when applied to skin warm, sweet and relaxing. Other notes of hay and carrot seed on the dry down without reading the ingredient list I smelled oakmoss but I guess hay and carrot seed will give that impression. Wear this when you’re going to meditate, do a little yoga or to bed. HUM

Lapsang Tea

Black Lapsang Tea infusion sets the tone this is a smoky, fruity smell. Mix it with a little vanilla, mix it with a little rose use it on its own. It’s good like that and so very different from anything you've used in the past. Wear this whenever you take your next nature walk to the park and enjoy as the sun warms your skin and the scent of Lapsang Tea sings scented melodies. Enjoy

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A new review and a cozy adventure

I am very happy to post a review of a few of my perfumes by Tonie Silver from the site Le Parfumeur Rebelle.
I will be sending some requested samples out for a sniff for another possible review. I am a shaking in my shoes!
I am excited to introduce my perfume,"Tamar" to the Etsy crowd. I wonder if some will be up for a fennel adventure?
I know, it is easy for some to, "poo poo" on anything remotely liquorish but the composition in a whole makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I want to be smothered in the stuff even in july! It turned out to be the the comforting scent I needed when I was down. I can't think of a sweeter hug than the base notes of vanilla bourbon, Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla and 3 different kinds of sandalwood. The spice notes, tamarind and fennel are smooth as gourmet ice cream when married to sandalwood and vanilla.
I wish I could embrace with empathy and love people who are despondent with that base or any other uplifting, comforting blend that might appeal.. Is it not amazing what natural smell goods can do? "The Giving Tree" is a cheerful blend to be released with fir absolute. Ahhhh.. fir absolute.. I think I am on to making my own antidepressants!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I want to thank you all for the kind words of support and being behind me taking a break. I have to put Etsy on "vacation mode" during this time. I am the sort who has to force myself into just doing nothing. I have that perma squirrel preparing for winter syndrome.
I shouldn't be bringing up fragrances, (No! Step away from the oils, Kait) but a small .5oz batch of "A kiss from an old flame" is ready. There is also a new complex perfume, “Cloisonné" I am debating on selling. It has my home infused tamarind, Indonesian spices, davana, golden champaca, jasmin sambac, 3 different kinds of sandalwood, vetiver, and frankincense. It is very exotic. That davana shines through creating an impact of apricot brandy. Hopefully it won't off put anyone at first whiff before the other notes shine.
There is also a sweet fennel, tamarind, spice and vanilla bourbon perfume. Hmmmm I think I may have a hard time winning some people over. It is really quite heavenly! It makes me feel if I am laying on a soft, downy cloud. It may be called, "Tamar". I have a couple other names floating about. It was inspired by my friend who described these yummy fennel pastries she would indulge in on her way to work. She asked for a scent like that some time ago.
There are other creations in debate to be sold, like children in line waiting for their name to be called up to the plate. That may have not made sense. Some artist call their creations "children". I always thought that term a little fruity.

I am going in with some samples Tuesday to a store interested in selling local goods. It is owned by a friend of a friend of mine. So my chances may be good.
I am thinking oils, organic and maybe discussing a custom perfume after the store?
The Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla might be a winner. Perhaps the Sweetgrass?
There is extra "Nerola Verde" I spruced that one up with more jasmin sambac.
Another consideration was a organic bug repelent spray that smells wearable and does the job.
Solids? Pheww, they take so much oil unless I decide to use less expensive, powerful ones.
Maybe an organic lavendar absolute hand salve? A "get outta the rain blend" that must feature the ever cheerful blood orange. I should be huffing blood orange and petitgrain right now.
Goodness! Two cups of coffee and I am blabbering.

I hope you all are happy and doing well out in the scentual world.
-kait

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Scentual healing

I need a little healing or why not just say it, a lot right now. I had an old friend decide to end his life.
There has been a bit of this sort of this kind of death around me in my life and has always been traumatic.
I find some comfort between the feelings of my chest tightening anxiety and the lump in my throat through music and the making of natural perfumes.
It wasn't going so well with the grief and composing of both music and perfumes. I broke a string on my guitar and I seemed to ruin an ounce of what I had thought was a clear vision of what I wanted in in my mourning perfume. Left with my feelings I realize now is not the best time to be making perfumes. I am glad there is a lull in Etsy sales right now. The timing is perfect even though I have new perfumes to release.

Lovely review on "Earthly Reality"

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 2010
http://earthlyreality.blogspot.com/2010/06/vireo-part-1.html

Vireo (Part 1)



PART ONE OF A THREE PART REVIEW

Are you one for scents that tells a story, a scent that goes beyond top, middle and base notes, scents that are alive and has a journey that takes you to a far away time and place, scents that lives on? If you are, you've come to the right place because this the first installment of a three part scent journey into vireo's world. I enjoy this new space on ETSY, her energy draws me into her space, her description takes me to what she sees and its just magical.



Coco Violette

Her description for this is almost edible and it sure is, its supple and sweet feminine without the flowers but captivating and cozy. This scent is yummy with notes of blood orange, cardamon, violet, Cassie for a touch of spice, coco absolute for warmth, and vanilla for a little sweets, my only wish for this scent is for it to linger a little longer and guess what she listen and now it comes in a more amped up version. I would imagine if I could make Violette ice creams these would be my ingredients. Yum


Smoke Follows Beauty


Dark and moist, green and lush, tantalizing mossy twigs. It wraps up together in one to create this breath taking rich scent. With notes like hay, Guaiacwood these two are at the beginning of this scent and as the journey goes on I get what might be the Lapsangs souchong (Vireo infusion), and at the end sandalwood and vanilla takes it home. Long lasting, stayed with me all day.



Madagascar & Tahitian Vanilla Oil


Yummy Yum Yum goodness I have never smelled a vanilla infusion so rich, sweet, syrupy, dripping caramel yumness. Wow this takes me to someplace good I wanna taste it it looks edible and smells delectable. She sent me a sample of this and I had to get a vial for my stash.



I enjoy these creation and will be on the look out for new listing on Vireo.


Coco Violette $12 1/8 oz dram vial

Smoke follows beauty $9 1/8 oz dram vial

Madagascar & Tahitian Vanilla oil $9 1/8 oz dram vial

Friday, July 9, 2010

Oh, how superficial top-notes can be...

I think top-notes in perfume are akin having that first time greeting with someone at a party. You usually judge the whole package quickly, forget their name and move on. I want to get to the meat and potatoes of a perfume and people's personality. We can put up a front, all bright sunny citruses with a rosy heart and solid woody base. But there is more stirring with-in us.
I don't want my perfumes to be as heavy and lumbering as "The Song of The Volga Boatmen" but dealing with those top- notes....sigh..Do I have too?
I guess so, we can not go around the world not saying,"Hello." to each other now can we?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

"a kiss..." delayed "ramos fizz" and "the giving tree" on it's way, " nerola verde" changed

I have been sick so no perfume for me. It is so hard not to play with the smell goods.
"a kiss from an old flame" needs to be completely redone. I think I may just stick to the formula I started with or mellow out the Davana which took over. I found myself with 2 full ounce bottles of perfume I had to dump. Ouch!
I really hoped to debut it sooner but now I have to buy all the notes as I well used them up.

I have a confession..,
"nerola verde" was or actually released before it was ready and started as "ramos holiday". I excitedly I used too much variations of petitgrain and I felt inner pressure to release something on Etsy. I have fixed it into a pretty vision. It took a hearty amount of Jasmine,organic Jasmin sambac, sweet grass, vanilla and more neroli to help cure it's ills.

I made the "ramos fizz" which may layer well with "ramos holiday"
I decided on both Ramos creations because I wanted one to be a singular tribute to the incredible drink the other a daydream vacation.
The Ramos fizz won't have long staying power as the only base note is vanilla bourbon.

After I feel a bit better I will release them to... what kind of audience?
I also have a small batch of a comforting amber- veggie musk blend of all base notes except for a smidgen of cinnamon bark. I am going back and forth on naming it. Oh, and I almost forgot the childlike scent, "the giving tree". The yellow manderin and fir absolute give it a fresh tart jam quality.

I hope everyone is happy and well!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Update:"a kiss from an old flame" now tres exotic! "the giving tree" now for the inner child?

Wow, the perfume, "A kiss..." has taken a whole new turn. I was a bit dismayed when my in house tester had a whiff and thought it smelled medicinal and incensey. I knew I wanted to add more depth and felt it too sweet. I noticed on my note card I had forgotten the galbanum. I love how it can lift a whole perfume adding a green leafy quality, mixing well with florals and spices.
I picture and wanted to create a scent that was exotic, sensual, floral and spicy. I had been waiting patiently for an order of oils to come in I just knew the scent called for some Davana and Tagetes. Davana smells like fresh, sweet apricots to me. I can see how woman would want to wear the flower in their hair in India. The hypnotic, very sexy fragrance must attract who ever is around like bears to honey.
The Tagetes is helpful in that it tones down some of the overwhelming sweetness I was fighting and complements the davana perfectly. You need a light hand with tagetes oil as it is very herbaceous, ripe and green.
This is the most strongly scented and complex perfume I have produced thus far.

In other news my fir balsam absolute laden, "the giving tree" has turned child-like in scent. It is like a kid wanders into a make-believe, ultra viridian green forest and sits to read his/ her favorite book chewing grape bubble gum. Sounds unwearable but it is actually an adorable scent. Something for revisiting innocence, pretend play and daydreams as a child. It would be especially effecting on someone who grew up near or played in forests as a kid.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"The giving tree" and the girl that is chewing grape bubble gum

Well, I guess "The Giving Tree" may be the name of the fir balsam absolute based scent. It got a thumbs up from the house tester/ guinea pig.

Boy, I was swimming in orris today as I was filtering my infusions of it. Orris is soft, violet-like, woody, rooty and a powdery scent in a comforting way, not a "gag! I am being strangled by great grandma's closet!" way. If you want to buy the real concrete on line from a supplier, an arm and leg may be lost in the process. I have a sample of the real deal and it is no wonder it is so costly. Luckily, I am still able to infuse a much lighter version that can be used in perfumes.

I used a nice amount of orris and citrus in this new "The Giving Tree" scent. In a strange turn of events my guinea pig noticed that just the two notes of orris and a citrus(they were on my right arm at the time) smelled like grape bubble gum! He was right! Now, I am huffing "The Giving Tree" with a whole new nose!
In a little science note, Fir Balsam has been used as a vanilla substitute.
This perfume is now slightly candied, with the already jam-like vanillic quality of the fir balsam, it has turned my picturesque walk in the woods perfume into me as a child turning the pages of the actual, "The Giving Tree" book.

So, the perfume journey/story goes on. I aged in reverse in this tale though, if that makes any sense. I started the scent as a worn out adult suddenly strolling through the pristine woods looking for comfort, escape and a sense of joy. What I ended up with is a girl in the the forest playing, wide-eyed and free, chewing grape bubble gum.
I am going to go put some vetiver in this composition this minute!
Bye bye bubble gum!
ok... The little girl can stay..just for a while though.

Back in a heaven of sorts.

I am back in heaven as my supplier finally got in their Fir balsam absolute and my order finally arrived.
When I first smelled the absolute many months ago from a tiny sample I purchased, I was almost moved to tears.

Some might think it a wintery-holiday scent but it is more to me as with a whiff, I was knocked unconscious by a velvet hammer and awoke with my life's pain erased, walking through the most peaceful, ideal imaginary forest setting. It seems a little dramatic I know, but it is an example of the power of scent.

I finished the blend I have been eagerly awaiting to compose with the fir. I feel so happy and at peace...ok, and a little excited.
I have few names but "The giving tree" selfishly invites because this fragrance note gives so much to me: serenity, sense of peace, happiness, forgiveness, purity, clearing of mind, it's refreshing, calming, introspective, meditative, joyful and a mini pristine forestry vacation in a bottle. I also like something with the idea to do with "Serene" or being an asleep, forest walker?
I could call it "Fir-giving" yuk, yuk,yuk. hmmm "Firgiving"? Both not very glamorous.
I better take some time with this one, fir-sure!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The three or 4 about go to the Etsy store and absurdism

"A Street Car Named Bananas" natural perfume oil has a quizzical name but I like that it reflects my sense of humor and nature that is part absurdest mixed with Bugs Bunny. In my previous blog I paint the rather silly vision behind the "Street car.."scent.
"A Street Car..." smells good enough to eat. It has notes of my own toasted banana infusion, cocoa absolute, florals and sandalwood. I like that the banana is subtle and on the green side. Overripe bananas...ewwww.

"Lovers Patchouli" is a version of my "Dbl Patchouli" solid but now in oil form, romanticized with a 2 dozen roses ala a big heart of 2 rose ottos and the pricey flower golden champaca. This version seems almost to shimmer and feels like a layer of scented silk against the skin. There are other jewels in the mix ala extremely rare real amber resin and Agarwood. I believe it has a 29.6% chance of winning over a patchouli, "Poo-pooer".

"A Kiss From An Old Flame" is a rich and spicy floral oriental, natural oil perfume. It was inspired by a sweet Mercury Rev song (link is to itunes sample of song) and 2 custom perfumes I made. I had a kiss from an old flame that ended up as my current relationship of 4 years. It is quite the romantic tale...
The full name of the song is : "A Kiss From An Old Flame (A Trip To The Moon)"
The perfume's base note is the highly underrated Amyris. The oil is often used to adulterate sandalwood. Excellent quality Amyris is warm, smooth and slightly spicy. It reminds me of Vanuatu Sandalwood (my favorite sandalwood it's very rich and creamy) and Caledonia sandalwood, which smells peppery and masculine to me.
I use cinnamon bark and cardamom to represent the hot, "flame" other exotic floral notes are to induce the reminiscing.

"Ramos Holiday" will soon be released, but I may call the first version I have been composing, "Nerola Verde". "Nerola Verde" is a vision of fresh, clean citrus and light woods with a heavy heart of orange blossom. Because of a delay receiving an order of orange blossom water absolute. My idealized version of "Ramos Holiday" will have to wait. This may be for the best as I may just want to have a Ramos Gin Fizz perfume.





"A KISS FROM AN OLD FLAME" lyrics:
With a wink from a starlet's eye a string of pearls come to life
Who knows what black and crazy thoughts swim inside a girlfriend's heart
No brighter jewel is there above than the gem of a girl still in love
Below the horizon the last crown jewel pales among the stars at noon
When out of the blue a rainbow rockets thru
A kiss from an old flame A trip to the moon
Endlessly falling my way downtown someone to throw both arms around
Who knows what black and crazy names swim around inside her brain
adrift across the silver screen just imagine you and me
Our strolling make-believe ballroom glides set the rainbow room afire
Off into the starlit night two fools rush in you and I
Feel the rough hand close behind above the Heaven's Open wide...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Street Car Named Bananas. or... it could be me going...

I warned a while back about my toasted banana infusion...well..
This child of Frankenstein is alive! Alive I tell you!
and with this abomination I made something so decadent, so WRONG but so right.
It is like a chocolate banana cream pie but you can hardly tell the banana is there. The banana is more like a flower.. and it is mixed with... mimosa blossoms and Jasmine sambac!
The scent picture is as if you are wearing a gorgeous gown highlighted with jewels with a tropical flower in your hair while eating chocolate pudding with a wooden spoon!
Maybe you decided to ditch a date that was going to fly you to Monaco. Why would you do that? Who knows? Maybe you wanted to watch your favorite tv show, but... there you are on your couch looking fabulous ..eating pudding.

So again.. a name? I need a name A name for this pudding, banana, sandalwood, mimosa devil-may care scent.
I bet Vivien Leigh would have liked this in her, "Blanche DuBois" days.
Oh, how I loved her as a kid.

needing a name for the "Ramos" perfume

Oy, This Ramos Fizz, citrus, floral perfume is about ready to be thrown into the world. It needs a name to express it's cheery, escapist, bright, sunny nature and hint of Ramos Gin Fizzes.(I love this bio link for a bit of it's fabulous history)
This morning I thought of:
"Ramos Holiday". A play on the words after after the movie "Roman Holiday" with Audrey Hepburn.
My boyfriend thought of, "Ramosa". There is a tiny it of mimosa in it. But I don't think enough to qualify for the name.
It had a strong runner up of, "Monteray Bay Fizz"
Others included:"Ramos Fizz at the Lemon Bar" (donated by a helpful customer)
I contemplated, "The fizz" sounds a little too much like to many other rhymes of a obscene nature.

There is a bit more floral to the mix which ups the complexities of the name.
My brain hurts.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Mother stands for comfort.."

"Mother stands for comfort.." That is from a Kate Bush song.
I created a perfume blend this morning dedicated to mothers and the support and comfort they can bring. I was pretty heavy with emotions I have been feeling a bit blue. I could use one of those hugs that only a mom can give.
My mom passed Christmas Eve 2004. Her hugs were smothering..actually I couldn't breathe and would try to squirm out of them but when I was sick I wanted and received her full attention. She would buy me a book and sign it, there would be a treat and a little gift. this was always a great surprise as we were poor as mud.
She was a mom that would always let me know she loved me. She would always say, " I love you to pieces!"
That was kind of funny because it made me think of an axe murderer as she said it in her chipmunk-like high voice.

In creating this scent I wanted a big comforting, reassuring hug. The kind when you are at your lowest and feel the most vulnerable and damn, you just admit you could use a mom's love at that moment..
We all have complicated relationships with our parents but this is a scent celebrating history, nurturing and safety. I used all of the notes that give me the most relaxed of feelings. I became emotional making it, but felt wrapped in a blanket as well.

I used vegetable musk for the mamma element, sweet balsams, my infused vanilla for feeling like you could use a blanket. Myrrh (my home infused) and frankincense for a mom's wisdom. Labdanum, organic patchouli and vetiver for when I was born. (1969 my mom was a free spirit and had bone straight hair black hair and looked great in a mini skirt.)
I didn't hold back using my my favorite sandalwoods, rose otto and ylang 1, It represents the heart and that the notes speak of how she always believed I could do anything, told me I was beautiful and encouraged the arts. She also always called me, "rose bud lips" She would coo that I had that shape of mouth as a baby.
The single top note is in tribute my mom's cinnamon rolls that I wish I learned to make in a tin dab of delicious cinnamon bark. Her homemade rolls were the most gooey, soft carmel dessert I have ever had. We would stand around for hours waiting for those suckers. She also would make those round Mexican Christmas cookies with the powdered sugar and the walnuts all the time. YUUUCCKK I hated walnuts!

Anyway, I think I am going to put the blend on Etsy as the blend is a hug for everyone. I am trying to figure out a name for this big hug.
Hugs to you all!
-Kait

Saturday, June 19, 2010

customer inspiration and the thrilling aspect of making perfume

Excuse my sloppy writing as I texted this on my iphone..
Still no sun here in Portland. Anyone feel like sending some our way it might banish some grey skies and a cloud raining doubts upon me. "Hogwash!" I know. I should have more confidence in my intuitive compositions. I have the nose and skill as well. It just becomes a bit intimidating out here in this big world of perfumery. I must just stay true to myself!
ANYWAY... On to brighter pastures. The other day a kind of beautiful turn had occurred in my Ramos Gin Fizz, lemon bar, escape (no name yet obviously) perfume composition.
I had shared a bit of the story to a customer on Etsy, how i imagined the vacation- like patio setting on a beautiful, sunny afternoon with friends drinking Ramos Gin fizzes. She wrote me back saying that she used to live in California. She would go to brunch at this restaurant with an incredible back, brick patio with hanging flowers and cypress trees and have....Ramos Gin Fizzes! She said I could make the memory come alive again for her. She lived my vision. How wild is that!
The fact she added her experience made the story of the scent much more alive and meaningful. So, instead of my simple vacation escape with sweets, booze in an idealized imaginary setting, I have a real sense of a place, memory and feelings to go along with it.
The only way I can explain the full excitement of this addition of her story is explaining the roots of my over active imagination. When I was very young growing up on the island of Juneau Alaska it was cold, wet and isolated. My idea of the whole world was through the two channels of tv we received or the many books I devoured. Fresh fruit was impossible to get. I don't think I ate a mango until I was in my 20's. The first fresh fruit I ate off a tree (a mandarin) was in the middle of a pool in Palm Springs while on a paid vacation from my boss. (This mandarin, mind blowing experience happened in a condo complex full of old people who never used the pool. I was 26.)
I have a hunger for learning and information. One of the many things I cherish about people is that we all have a story and history to share. You can learn something new from anyone you meet. People are extraordinary!
Now this perfume has taken on a whole new life and vision also new fragrant notes.
I added cypress from her story of going to the restaurant which blends well with the juniper and other notes.
I feel/would like this perfume to express a sense of real inner happiness, confidence and peace, a person taking a break for an hour, a day or on vacation with a bit of libation and a gorgeous view of nature.

The fragrance notes are too many to mention yet the composition doesn't seem cluttered. Right now I have three kinds of petitgrain an orange blossom, hesperidic notes, florals, black currant, ginger lilly angelica, light woods and styrax. So far it is a bright, clean scent with impressive staying power.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ohh excited to release my Sweetgrass oil

I just listed this on Etsy:

Hierochloe odorata.
I have sweetgrass growing around the outside of house and have been infusing it.
The smell is reminiscent of new mown hay, with a touch of vanilla and soft lavender. It is also known by the name "Vanilla Grass".
It is a scent that is deeply relaxing and can be used to help enter a meditative state.


I made "Sweetgrass" keeping true to the infusion. I used over 2/3rd of my sweetgrass infused oil as the base. The rest is fractionated coconut oil and vitamin e. Other added notes are just barely audible hints to accentuate sweetgrass's beauty. *This scent becomes stronger as it warms to your skin. It especially likes sunshine warmed skin. Do not be dismayed if it seems very shy at first.*
The accent notes are all diluted absolutes except for my own infused vanilla. I added only one tiny drop of each in the whole composition. They are: carrot seed, galbanum, hay, lavender and clary sage and vanilla.
This scent is also in memory of my little 10 year old house bunny named, "Fairbanks" who recently passed away. He is now joined with his departed mate Stella. I like to think of them dancing (Yes, bunnies do dance.) among peaceful fields full of their favorite herbs, strawberries and grass.

I am selling "Sweetgrass" in little only 5/8 dram bottles because I have so little of the blend and I would like to share it with as many people as possible. Please view the photo to the side for a size example.
To learn more about the plant please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sweet_grass


PLEASE NOTE: I cannot attest for allergen content of sweetgrass. It is a wild grass. Please do a small skin patch test first before using. I personally have had no problem but you never know. You may open the bottle and sneeze.. then be tickled and delighted! I never understood those people who have those "feel good sneezes", I am missing out!

Wikipedia says: "Sweet grass was, and is, very widely used by North American indigenous peoples. As a sacred plant, it is used in peace and healing rituals.."

It makes me want to hug people and then take a long nap.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

What is a-brewing: A Ramos Gin Fizz Lemon Bar oil..

I was asked on Etsy if I planned to make any oils out of my solids.
It is funny because I was almost thinking the other way around because sending glass through the mail always gives me the oogies.
But not so much after a understanding customer told me of a southern heat exposure that melted one of my expensive solids I sent her full of Agarwood...weep.


So, the weather has been unusually more fall like than late Spring headed to Summer in Portland Oregon.(understatement!)
There was one break this weekend after a 50 plus day rain spell. Egads!

My Ramos Gin perfume story started with an adaptation of a solid I made in tribute to friends who love lemon and lemon bars. At some music rehearsals (I am a musician as well) my very sweet band mate would bring some of her homemade lemon bars. Yum! I gave her a lemon bar nickname to suit her perfectly made treats. Sweets are always a must have at every practice, without there might be a mutiny! Anyhoo...For this oil I have started:
I have this fantasy picture in my head of an idealic patio. I'm with joyous friends on a warm sunny afternoon. We are being served rounds of the most perfectly made Ramos Gin Fizz This cocktail has a fascinating history and is most tedious and complicated to make. I could inhale about 10 in a sitting. It took me weeks to prefect the sweet angel kisses, fluffy, light as air, delicate, pie in a glass. It is hands down my favorite cocktail and about impossible to find except in New Orleans.
Oh, I was talking inspiration. Now I am plain thirsty.
In the perfume there are notes of everything in a Ramos gin fizz except the egg white and soda. Other top and middle notes are expressed by the idea of the scent of lemon bars mingling with the summer afternoon rising temperatures. The middle notes express a lightly-scented garden patio, trellised in flowers. Friendship warms the body of the fragrance with three different kinds of sandalwood and styrax.
Sounds like a little vacation. One I wish I could go on right now....sigh.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sweet grass and Fairbanks passing

After months of grieving the loss of his beloved mate Fairbanks passed away last night in my arms.
Fairbanks was my 10 year old Dutch bunny. He loved and insisted on giving me nose kisses. After Stella died the nose kisses went up about 90% along with him asking for loves which he wasn't prone to do with Stella around. He went from a strapping 7 pound bunny who had never once been sick to under 4 pounds quickly after Stella left. It was terrible and painful to wittness. I know now he isn't sufffering without his mate anymore.
He is buried next to her now under a pine in a strawberry patch. Rabbits love strawberries.


I checked my sweet grass infusion and it seems ready. I will put it up on Etsy. With Fairbanks on my mind for inspiration, I am imagining some sweet grass, lav, hay and clary sage absolute, carrot seed with vanilla with it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Finding out, "less is less"

Well, I had been nail biting and nervous, awaiting feedback from Etsy. Feedback now rolling in, it has been all positive but there is a theme going on which I feared. The staying power of some of my scents is not quite up to snuff.. or sniff. I am the kind of sort that is mortified, wants to apologize and is flogging my self but knows I just need to fix it in the future. One of the scents is a really lovely floral solids that is a bit too light. Do I put them on sale? I shrink knowing people spent money on them. If I could fly I would wisk my way around the country and replace them. Oy.
"Hedone" a new fragrance is out. Too light again I fear. Only 2 are on the market as one sold today.
I guess I need to learn that working with wax in a solid perfume is the fragrance eater.

"When in doubt, leave it out." has always been a motto of mine. " "Less is more" I have always strived for. In this case less is just.. less.
Now I will think, "When in doubt, don't put it out!"

Monday, June 7, 2010

getting crafty

oy... packaging.... not my strong point especially on a budget. I was never born for crafts. I always admired people who had an eye for color could turn a piece of paper into a two story mansion.
As I just posted on FB...(yes I am back on..sigh..maybe for just a week) I am like a drunk driver with a pair of scissors.
I think I expressed it another way, but you get the gist.

I am discovering that balancing to get the internet series soundtrack completed each month and putting out the Etsy orders is a major challenge. I am sure it will get easier once I have a system and I am not running round like a newly decapitated Chicken Little. It doesn't help that my car is out of commission. Oh no! I have to walk to the post. Forced exercise!
I have met some new folks in the perfume community and feel less of a loner in the world bordering on olfactory fetishism. I mean, when you smell something good or bad and it gives you get a a rush as if you are jumping out of an airplane, that kind of intensity doesn't fall into the usual category of your everyday, scent-stunned, numbed or just don't care, fragrant unaware fellow.
I think the first step to start becoming awake to the world of scents is to read: Patrick Suskind's "Perfume". Even if you read just the first page or second paragraph especially. There was a move adaptation made as well.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Etsy store scents

Ii thought I would post my new scents on Etsy for the record.
Some time soon I will get back on FB and let my fiends and family know I even have a shop and am selling. I am the worst self promoter.

"Le Sortilège" or "The Spell" is a dreamy, hypnotic and airy solid perfume. It's faint floral starts as a shy whisper than warms up to your skin making it's presence know.

"Le Sortilège" features a green, very slight, spicy top note and a heart of sensual florals of absolutes: linden, mimosa and orange blossoms, tuberose, jasmine, ylang ylang 1st, and my own heavenly infused organic Tahitian and Madagascar vanilla oil. The base has a hint of organic vetiver and Australian sandalwood carried in fragrant oregon honeybee and light soy wax.

This is a sensual, narcotic fragrance for moments when you want to be to be seduced by flowers or create a romantic atmosphere. I imagine some Charles Baudelaire poetry would compliment the perfume well.




Smoke Follows Beauty. Smoky And Sensual Inspired Natural Perfume.

I have lots of friends looking for a woody campfire scent. Living in Oregon you don't have to travel far to be olfactory hypnotized by the scent of trees and then suddenly you are wistfully counting the days before vacationing by a lake or in a favorite camping spot.
I love natural scents and that memories can be instantly triggered by them. Why not bring a vacation in the woods right to you. So, for my friends and lovers of the outdoors I offer you my romantic, very smoky, "Smoke Follows Beauty"
It has seemingly odd notes that work well together. What is a camping trip with out the sweets? Smores anyone? Some of the very intriguing notes include: Fir balsam, vanilla and hay absolutes, cocoa, guaiacwood, lapsang souchong and Vanuatu sandalwood. The perfume oil is in a light, greaseless base of coconut oil and vitamin e for a longer shelf life.


Coco Violette-an almost edible natural violet perfume.

"Coco Violette" is my signature scent, an almost edible, decadent, fresh, pastille inspired take on the Violet.

Top note: Blood orange, cardamom absolute, greens, violet leaf absolute
Heart: Orris, cassie absolute
Base: cocoa absolute, vanilla bourbon absolute,Tahitian and Madagascar vanilla bean, costus

I am offering the oil exclusively on etsy.
I made it personally out of decadence for myself to wear. The ingredients are expensive jewels of the natural perfume world.

A must have for the lover of violets!


Organic Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla bean natural oil

This is a real maceration and infusion of the beans and caviar of Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla beans in Fractionated Coconut oil. The long lasting oil is for wearing as as a perfume or adding to your own natural perfume creations. Fractionated Coconut oil is excellent for it has a longer shelf life than jojoba, is lighter weight and dissolves in grain alcohol.


It takes many many many beans to make a bit of oil. The outcome is heady and dreamy. Instead of wearing a synthetic oil why not wear the real thing?

The difference between Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla beans is that Tahitian beans have a more delicate floral note and Madagascar have the more rich, edible smell that we are used to in our vanilla bourbon extracts used for baking and such.

The vanilla oils are sold in dram sized bottles.
That is about an 1/8 of a fluid ounce (3.75ml) for $8.00.
The bottle is about two inches high by a half an inch

The beauty of this oil is that the scent is rich enough to be added to your natural perfume compositions or worn alone. I enjoy in my own natural perfume creations the floral end edible notes it produces.


Lapsang Souchong Tea oil infused for perfume

I was tired of searching for lapsang oil so...I made my own! I had to make it available to other "campfire" scent lovers.
If you are a lover of this aroma please read on.

Lapsang Souchong
is a black tea from the Fujian province in China and is traditionally dried over pine or cypress wood then placed in barrels to ferment. The leaves are then fried and placed over smoking pine to absorb the smoke flavor.

At Vireo we macerate and infuse the Lapsang in fractionated coconut oil with a touch of vitamin E. We use fractionated coconut oil instead of jojoba oil because of its lighter base, better absorption, shelf-life, and its ability to handle higher temperatures.

An oil maceration requires large amounts of raw material, and for best results, low heat, a lot of stirring over weeks and patience over multiple slow filterings. The end results are worth the wait. The color of Lapsang oil is a magnificent bejeweled green. The odor is rich with smoke, leather, fruits, flowers and history. There is a minute bit of smooth sedimentation that exists at the very bottom of a bottle of a thrice filtered batch. I call it the, “charm of the green dragon”.

A note on... notes:
Lapsang’s gorgeous, smokey, plum-like aroma blends with a boggling number of notes. A few may surprise you, such as a beautiful blend we suggest featuring cedarwood, violet leaf and a small amount of cocoa. Other suggested blends could include:
citrus, resins, incenses, balsams, chaii spices, florals..(Jasmine yum!), woods, herbs, roots, vetiver(of course!) patchouli, cassia absolute, guaiacwood, cade and juniper.
Because it is made with fractionated coconut oil you can add it to your grain alcohol perfume creations and no separation should occur.
This Lapsang is strong enough to be added to your natural perfume creations or worn alone.


VEGAN ORGANIC PATCHOULI HAY SALVE

This is a super fragrant perfumed salve or long lasting perfume. Its notes consist of a gorgeous iron free, spicy, warm organic patchouli from Sri Lanka and a deep, mellow, dark patchouli from Indonesia. Adding to it's gorgeousness are very subtle nuances of bay and frankincense, organic vetiver, amyris and hay absolute. The oils are held in a creamy base of fractionated coconut oil, vitamin e, jojoba oil and soy wax.

Take a roll in the ze hay!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

and they are off..like a herd of turtles!

Off to market they go! All three perfume solids? Nope All FOUR!
Nothing stops inspiration, perspiration, desperation and an overdue long past deadline..
In order of my favorites:

1. "Coco Violette"
2. "Baisers Fleur"
3."Lavender Petitgrain" perfumed salve
4."Lemon Bar"

"Lemon Bar"? "Lavender Petitgrain"? How did those slip in there?
Ok, there was a rush.. I had to think fast, fresh and was inspired by a couple gals whom I made single solids for.

I opened an Etsy Store..now to get some product in there......It will be called simply, "VireoPerfumes"

Monday, May 17, 2010

"baisers fleur" perfume solid

"Baisers Fleur" French for "Blossom Kisses" is the second official offering and the name I finally settled with.


"Yes, we have no bananas...we have no bananas.." in this version of the perfume.
Be warned! I am still threatening to make my toasted banana and mimosa perfume.

The gorgeous notes in, "Baisers Fleur" are:
Galbanum absolute, neroli, Roman and German chamomile
jasmine, mimosa and linden blossom absolutes
ylang ylang 1st, and sandalwood

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

decisions decisions....

Hmmm. It is so hard to pick just three.... I shouldn't post until rightly decided. Having adhd is NO help being a perfumer!
So "Coco Violette" is FOR SURE. It makes my few test subjects dive their nose into their arm and glue it there.
The others solid perfumes in line waiting to be picked like in a pageant.... Sigh....
My dilemma...
As expected the vanilla caviar can be a little messy at the bottom at the container.
The amber smells great though, perhaps I will make a version sans bean.
"Parasol" is a bit muddled and needs to be refined with a more distinct top note and less busy heart.
My mimosa.. well, needs more mimosa which I get this week. I will be tincturing banana.. that sounds odd but can be done. "banana?!" you barf.. I try to convince, "No really, I will burn it and make it caramelized and, and..."
BUT it is NOT my job to convince the smeller.
They hopefully will come along for the scent story and journey and make it their own.
No convincing how incredible and what souls these living essences have. Synthetics I have a problem with. Soulless, they are linear and without depth. They force themselves upon everyone like an uninvited, impolite a close- talking, nosey guest. And talk about the clinging! Oh how they cling to everything around. How many times have you been to a movie, coffee shop or restaurant and you come out smelling of grandma's or some gal's eye watering musk?
"Poo, poo!" I say!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"Exotic amber with vanilla bean" ( literally with bean) also hmmm what to name...?

Here is another addition to sell at the market. I am two weeks delayed. My printer is on the fritz, so making labels was put to a halt. I hope to launch next saturday.

I decided on these three solid perfumes: "coco violette", " exotic amber..." and
a beautiful mimosa perfume that I am weighing names for.
I love it's confounding aroma. Something like a night fragrant tobacco flower with a hint of a just about ripe banana.

About the "Exotic amber..":

"Exotic amber with Tahitian vanilla bean slice"

A rich, resinous, spiced, amber infused with a slice of Tahitian vanilla bean and it's caviar.
Notes include:
Chaii spices, resins, balsams, vegetable musks, agarwood, spikenard, incense with Madagascar vanilla.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Next up on the brain storming table.. "woodsman and teacher"

"huh?" you maybe thinking. Well, I have a picture and a poem in my head for this scent that has to come out.
A dead giveaway note is incense cedar. I imagine a gazillian sharpened penciles and scent memories. Perhaps some hopes, wishes, love letters or dreams to be time sealed, buired somewhere below a floorboard or in an attic. Anyhoo... More to come about this story scent....

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Make what you love, do what you know: "Coco violette"

So Parasol may be in the editing room for the while but what is most def in is "Coco Violet"

Coco Violet is version of "io".
"Io" was a feral violet that I composed and loved.
I think Coco Violet will appeal to a lot of folks for it's fresh but also make you melt and weak in the knees by it's
delicious edible base.

Top note: raspberry, cardamom absolute, greens, violet leaf absolute
Heart: Orris, cassie absolute,
Base: cocoa absolute, Tahitian and Madagascar vanilla bean, costus

I am working on another meadow scent with hay absolute called, "Bunny Love" It is inspired Fairbanks and Stella and the idea behind "Parasol" but with a more apple, honey and hay notes. I wanted to throw an absinthin as a top note but rabbits HATE wormwood! I couldn't do that!
"Bunny Love" will be a healing scent for the heart and mind.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"Parasol" all natural solid perfume

I created Parasol while needing some comfort. It will be the 2nd solid natural perfume I will sell at the market.
I decided to add the rose absolute and helichrysum because I was feeling so upset about my sick old rabbit named "Fairbanks" and that the fact I may have to have him, "put to sleep". He had never been ill his life. When his beautiful mate "Stella" passed months ago he started declining rapidly. I had Stella for 10 years she was my baby and a queen of the house. So, in their romantic spirit and my distress I had to pull out the big guns and not edit my intuition of what I feel the whole of this grief dealing, healing, visual, escapist perfume should be.
I knew the most healing of oils I have and love is the organic helichrysum. I also wanted it's fresh honey, hay-like note. I was in a "dammed the price" as I used it and the Moroccan rose absolute.

I was really worried featuring it to my extremely honest, "guinea pig" as florals are not a favorite, especially with vanilla in it.
(he doesn't like "foody" scents) I was in luck! He said, "Don't change a thing!"



"Parasol" all natural solid perfume

Parasol is a deeply romantic, soft floral with notes of violet leaf, linden blossom, clary sage and Moroccan rose absolutes. Calming chamomile and healing organic helichrysum relax your worries as the base notes of dreamy Tahitian and Madagascar Vanilla plus amber create a serene and naturally comforting perfume salve.
 

Monday, April 26, 2010

"clearing" solid perfume

"clearing" is a much simplified, "omega man" from an earlier post. I will be selling it at a market. It is a scent more up a man's alley. My boyfriend loves it the more, "eyeblinding" I seem to make it. By "eyeblinding" I mean heavy handed on the petitgrain, and coriander leaf.
My natural desire is to soften all the edges but as soon as I do it is a thumbs down from my male testing audience...well my one trusted guinea pig.


"Clearing"  all natural solid perfume 

Clearing is a herbaceous, escape to the outdoors, uplifting, and sensual scent that is 
naturally inspiring, clarifing and euphoric.

Top notes: Bright and bitter citrus of petitgrain married with sweet cardamom.
Heart: Clary sage absolute, fresh herbs and soft precious sandalwood.  
Base notes: Balsamic rich amber and smoky incense.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lapsang Souchong infusion for sale

Lapsang Souchong
is a black tea from the Fujian province in China and is traditionally dried over pine or cypress wood then placed in barrels to ferment. The leaves are then fried and placed over smoking pine to absorb the smoke flavor.

At Vireo we infuse the Lapsang in fractionated coconut oil with a touch of vitamin E. We use fractionated coconut oil instead of jojoba oil because of its lighter base, better absorption, shelf-life, and its ability to handle higher temperatures.

An oil infusion requires large amounts of raw material, and for best results, low heat, a lot of stirring over weeks and patience over multiple slow filterings. The end results are worth the wait. The color of Lapsang oil is a magnificent bejeweled green. The odor is rich with smoke, leather, fruits, flowers and history. On a test strip, the scent lasts for days. There is still some smooth sedimentation that exists at the bottom of a thrice filtered batch. I call it the, “charm of the green dragon”.

A note on... notes:
Lapsang’s gorgeous, smokey, plum-like aroma blends with a mind boggling number of notes. A few may surprise you such as a beautiful blend we suggest featuring cedarwood, violet leaf and a small amount of cocoa. Other suggested blends could include:
resins, incenses, balsams, chaii spices, florals..(Jasmine yum!), woods, herbs, roots, vetiver(of course!) patchouli, and citrus.
PRICE: Our Lapsang is currently priced at $50.00 for a 4 oz bottle .

For an intensely rich and smooth blend please allow us a week’s advance notice, more if possible, for a truly amazing lapsang batch.

Other oil and grain alcohol infusions are available in smaller batches.
They include: a drool worthy Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla, costus, angelica, orris, and myrrh.
At Vireo we offer thoughfully composed custom solid or oil perfumes and healing salves. Solids perfume and salves come in a hand engraved rosewood screw top container. A favorite right now is an addictive violet pastille inspired creation.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This was a fb post for friends regarding fir balsam absolute

I posted this on fb in feb. As somewhat of a joke I made up a perfume called, "Omega Man".
The end product was a custom scent for my partner. It has sharp green top notes with heart of clary sage absolute and juniper. The base is balsam and incense.

2/2010
Just wanted the men folk to know that you are not excluded from this whole custom scent thing. If you have never smelled fir balsam absolute you have not smelled heaven.
It is like being in a the most sweet, fresh, pristine forest that only exists in your most wildest "What would it be like if the earth existed untouched by man?" fantasies.
I can give you that fantasy in a little container. This all purpose balm can be used on rough hands, as a salve, scent, lip balm etc... or I can send it to you in a small bottle in liquid form as an alcohol based cologne or jojoba based scented essential oil.
If you want it...$15 bucks...heaven...oh yah. This Fir Balsam absolute is not some regular thin essential oil. It is a sappy gooey resin that takes some time and love to work with.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Starting to sell: have a Lapsang bid and farmers market

Well, this is a wee success for me. I stopped into a oil shop and gave her a sample of my Lapsang tea oil tincture. We had talked about tincturing Lapsang so so long ago I think she almost forgot. She was thrilled, loved it and said how people were always coming in looking for a "campfire smell" She the brought it back to her boss who told the sales gal that I should bring in a price sheet to sell my oil there. I couldn't believe it. Lapsang is such a love/ hate tea. One friend said, "I like campfires but not in my mouth.". My best friend hates the tea and gave me a tin from a leftover gift she had received.

With this "price sheet" ( I have no idea what the hell to charge) I am going to add some " blends with.." notes such as Vetiver, sandalwood, patchouli, juniper, cedarwood, amber...etc

So I have been frantically brewing more. I would take more time but the tea seems to be responding well to the coco oil and method I use. Lapsang seems to need a fixative with some strength. As a preservitive and base support I have added a minute amount of diluted benzoin. It isn't probably even doing squat at the level. I'm talking 4 drops in 4 oz. For a carrier, this time in frac coconut oil. Jojoba took forever. It doesn't have as long a shelf life and I don't care how much people praise the stuff, it makes me break out.

Now I have to settle on a business name. My bestfriend suggested, KiND Scents or Scents of Nature. I suggested combining the two."KiND Scents of Nature".
I still love, "Vireo Natural perfumes"(or custom perfumes)

By May I have to have my act together for selling at a friends amazing herb market stand. I am pretty sure I am going to compose solid absolute perfumes contained in small beautifully carved rosewood screwtop containers.
Because I am using such high end products I am broke always living on a disability. Oy! I must be nuts! But if you have ever smelled cucumber fresh violet leaf absolute, heavenly fir absolute or the strange feral, berry like but addictive black currant perhaps you would understand.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

get some butter, I'm on a roll!

I am on a making scent magic roll since buying from Eden Botanicals.
These are so good I can't even write them down. Sigh I am deeply, madly in love with natural scents.
 Anything else gives me a headache from hell.
I'm feeling the elation of a composing lucky streak. Flying through absolutes from Cocoa to the the cat urine smell of Black Currant. Making magic I tells yah!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"io" The violet and rose perfume

Ahhh the fleeting violet. So modest, so lady like. The "Fleeting" in "fleeting violet" comes from the fact that some people cannot perceive the smell of violets at all, or the scent "flees" back and forth. What a tease that violet!
We all know Volets were the favorite perfume of Josephine Bonaparte. 



The Greek gods loved their violets in tales. The Violet was the symbol of Aphrodite and her son, Priapus. Venus made the Violet blue. One of Zues's gazillion lovers "Io" (pronounced /ˈaɪ.oʊ/ EYE-oh ) was turned by Zues back and forth from a beautiful white, black and yes sometimes violet cow to hide from Hera his wife. Hera was suspicious of this "cow" and demanded it as a gift. Hera then made violets for Io to eat and sent a gadfly to pester her. How nice of Hera!
In another famous tale, Persephone was walking through a field of violets when Hades fell in love with her and dragged her to hell. She then, because the world mourned so, could walk the earth from spring to fall.

Violets signify springtime and new beginnings and immortality.
From "plant bulb": If you send violets to someone you are sending them a message of love, humility, modesty, resurrection, spring, and the immortal soul.
Known to be the flower of shy people and modesty though violet leaf oil is said to help people over come shyness.

When I am feeling like I want to give in to dramatic flights of fancy, popping violet or rose pastilles and sitting down with an 18th century novel is an excellent escape.

Anyway, in February (which I just found out is the violet's month) I became obsessed with
making a violet pastille perfume. The liquid perfume is sharper with a bit of anise, like the candy. For the history of the violet's honor I used the highest quality natural ingredients. These are concretes and absolutes. The most concentrated forms of the flowers. I bought organic when possible. I wasn't going to mess around! The Company from which I purchased is called Eden Botanicals. I highly recommend them. I have shopped at many an oil store I have found Eden and Liberty Natural to have the finest quality so far.
"Io" smelled directly from the container (which one should NEVER judge. Always sample on
your arm and let it sit a bit.) could/might be almost off putting because of the Black Currant. It is a note that is FERAL, fruity, full of pheromones and animal like. Like many plant extracts that are used for musk replacements it can create magic mixed with other notes. Believe me, it will cozy up like a kitten to you later.

You could choose between a perfume solid or a Eau de perfume (When the liquid
perfume is ready I would let you know.) The solid comes in a beautiful
soapstone round container for $20 paid whenever. You can donate more if you like. :) The
$20 is under covering costs plus shipping. If you could e- mail me your address if you want one. I could make more I just need to order more oils.
I will custom blend you a perfume as well.

Below are the perfume notes. "Io" mellows to a gorgeous soft floral with such a delicious vanilla you will seriously want to eat your arm. The base of the solid is Oregon organic honey beeswax (very fragrant with honey), shea butter, jojoba, vit e, and soy wax.
To give you an idea what high quality these oils are I put the price per just a quarter of a
teaspoon from where I buy from. I have only been able to afford smaller sizes. Get ready to drop your jaw. 

Notes:
Black Currant Bud:
Aroma: Warm, fruity, violet, animal-like aroma
Note: Base note
is used in perfumery for its tenacity and animal like/pheromonal action. $56.00

Organic Bulgarian Rose Otto :
Aroma: fresh, warm, deeply floral and rich with hints of fruit and faint pepper undertones It has a deep yet soft and hypnotic fragrance
Note: Heart note $136.00

Cassie Absolute:
Aroma: Deeply woody and earthy reminiscent of Violet Leaf with hints of powdery balsam undertones – very tenacious.
Note: Base note $36.00

Galbanum resin:
Aroma: fresh, earthy, green $22.30
Note: Base and top note

Orris Root C02 10% irons:
Aroma: is valued in perfumery for its violet-like aroma and its unique fixative qualities.
Note: Base and heart note $94.00

Vanilla Bourbon CO2 Total
Aroma: Sweet, rich, delectable $42.00
Note: Base note

Violet Leaf Absolute:
Aroma:Green leaf, herbaceous aroma cool, crushed green leaf aroma of Violet Leaf Absolute turns to a soft dried grass and faint floral note during its long dry out.
Note: Heart note $32.00

I also tincture my own organic Madagascar vanilla bourbon vanilla beans in oil, orris and benzoin which I added. Yum!


Story of Io by Aeschylus

The story from Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound
But the high hand
Of Zeus bear hardly on the rein of fate.
And, instantly-even in a moment-mind
And body suffered strange distortion. Horned
Even as ye see me now, and with sharp bite
Of gadfly pricked, with high-flung skip, stark-mad,
I bounded, galloping headlong on, until
I came to the sweet and of the stream
Kerchneian, hard by Lerna's spring. And thither
Argus, the giant herdsman, fierce and fell
As a strong wine unmixed, with hateful cast
Of all his cunning eyes upon the trail,
Gave chase and tracked me down. And there he perished
By violent and sudden doom surprised.
But I with darting sting-the scorpion whip
Of angry Gods-am lashed from land to land.

Monday, March 1, 2010

1 perfume solid eczema and arthritis be gone.


I made a perfume salve for healing, calming and a woman's eczema. It was in a base of shea, soy and bee's wax.  no rosehip seed oil in this one..I was in a super rush. Turned out quite lovely and has actually helped my arthritis a lot.
  • Benzoin
  • Chamomile
  • Geranium
  • Helichrysum
  • Rose
  • Madagascar vanilla
  • Vanuatu Sandalwood
  • Amyris
  • Ylang Ylang
  • 2 tiny drops of labdanum and cardamom

Friday, February 26, 2010

Gretchen's perfume

Gretchen came to one of my shows last month or so and loved the perfume I was wearing. It was one of my creations. I told her I would make her some. One problem is that I don't remember what all I quickly slathered on me before the show.  I have a couple concoctions that I mix or layer. 
 I have the bottle from what I was wearing that night but it is a mixture of oils in alcohol and separation of course occurs. (unattractive) I don't want to present her with that!
So, her creation may be lacking a few oils I had on such as: much more rose plus vetiver, patchouli and nutmeg added to the mix.


 Gretchen's perfume will be in an alcohol base. 
Even though they are considered base notes the galbanum (well base and top), frankincense and fir absolute are adding some lift to the other heavy notes.  I am crazy about base notes than more than anything. For this mix I wanted a blend something akin to a hypnotic cuddle.  So far so good.


My chosen absolutes and oils were from Liberty Natural and Eden Botanicals with my own tinctures of vanilla, lapsang tea and myrrh.


Cardamom, nutmeg, galbanum, fir absolute 
Organic Damask rose from Egypt, 
clary sage, ylang ylang, lapsang tea 
Vanuata sandalwood, frankincense, 
amyris...tiniest bit of vetiver and patchouli 
and my big ol' balsam amber accord: 
madagascar vanilla, myrrh, peru balsam, labdanum and benzoin



Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fresh Violet pastille solid perfume

I posted on fB:




 Indescribable heaven. Smooth soapstone rounds for solid perfumes (picture doesn't do justice to their beauty), newly arrived finest oil absolutes and perfume bottles. Sticky Vanilla bourbon beans from Madagascar tincturing.
This is super comforting since having to take a music break because of arthritis.




 I am obsessed maybe because of spring approaching with making a violet pastille perfume solid/salve perfume.
It will be all essential oils and absolutes in a base of beeswax(or soy) jojoba and shea and an alcohol based perfume.
 It will be sweet with a bit of green notes on top. It is inspired by my dear recently departed 9 year old bunny Stella.
She was such a queen and moviestar rolled into beautiful charismatic ball of fluff.





I received an order from Eden Botanicals so heavenly I could weep. They also included some samples which trumped all the companies I have bought from in the past.

 It is incredible the inspiration when you have such quality oils and absolutes to work with. I put in another order today.
I decided I am going to sell my perfumes.now I just need a name...
 I have had enough disasters and sacrificial pancakes to have perfected a few winners.

An oil I am really enjoying right now is Helichrysum/Immortelle.  immediately felt a reaction to marry it on my skin with blue chamomile, vanilla, sandalwood and rose.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tincturing

I have been tincturing like a mad woman.
The price of oils is maddening.
So stewing in oil and jars of grain alcohol are in my closet at the moment:
 Vanilla Bourbon, Angelica (excellent),  Myrrh, cardamom, orris, blue chamomile, benzoin, labdanum, styrax, costus, etc...
 I have been so bad leaving out so many custom scents for friends. I need to keep that up as there have been requests for refills.

"campfire" will be "wood and smoke"

All of the recipes are in the toilet now that I have received the soul stirring Fir absolute.
 My heart raced and I swooned when I smelled it.

so... These are nice but do not cut it now.


version 1.
lapsang, sandalwood, vetiver, cardamom

2. lapsang, peru balsam, 1 cedarwood, 1 fir , 1 sandalwood, 1 vetivier, 1 cardamom 1 patchouli 1 benzoin

3.lapsang, sandalwood, benzoin, cardamom

 thinking of labdamum

4. lapsang, peru balsam, 1 cedarwood, 1 fir , 1 sandalwood, 1 vetivier, 1 cardamom 1 patchouli 1 benzoin
labdamum, cedar, frankincense, rose

5. One that is a custom for a friend: Palo Alto, Clary sage, lapsang, peru balsam, 1 cedarwood, 1 fir , 1 sandalwood, 1 vetivier, 1 cardamom 1 patchouli 1 benzoin
labdamum, cedar, frankincense, rose

daphne spring scent

will be editing as I compose this scent


2table spoon grain alcoha

1 teasp ginger lily
4 sandalwood
0.2 styrax and benzoin

3 drops galb
0.4 angelica.mm
0.1 lavemm
0.1mm cardamom

2/6/10 added  to old resedu of lab/benzoin van resin in big jar added. .5 oz orris tincture

2/12 added .5 0z orris and drop of tolu

in small caviar jar 1/4 perfume. 5 drops Na vetiver filled with distilled water

smoke and wood

Palo santo, cardamom, cedar v,
lapsang alch b. vetivier, labdamdum alc based