Monday, July 11, 2011

Composing /interpreting perfume to all the arts ie: Rothko, Matisse, Satie, Fellini, Donatello, Joyce, Newton.

am happy to again be busy with soundtracks but also my overactive mind keeps me up some nights until 4a.m. with visions of the artistic potential and excitement that I know is abuzz with natural perfumery.
I love the idea of combining poetry, music, visual arts and storytelling with natural perfumes. Not necessarily all at once, mind you. Yikes! Sensory overload!  I have always been a fan of very visual writing, poetry, impressionistic era music and cinema. Combining artistic vision with perfume asks the wearer to have patience to use their nose and really "listen" to the notes. Such as if you composed a perfume to a classical piece of music that lasted a half hour or a olfactory soundtrack to poem or film where there were fragrance clues. In all art it is open to subjectivity. 
I feel composing natural perfumes is like sculpture and painting as well. 
Just think of recreating a later Mark Rothko olfactory with perfume. He used great intense, soul wrenching blocks of symmetrical contrasting colors, counterpoised yet that work beautifully together.
Take for an example the Rothko painting below called,"Magenta, Black, Green on Orange". 
One could compose a perfume evoking the feeling and range of colors (open to personal interpretation of course!)  from this pallet of naturals. (colors may vary if you are using absolutes, co2's etc I only have the basic color from the template but you get the idea....)
Fathomless black- browns of:Labdanum, vetiver, oakmoss, tobacco & angelica and cardamom co2.
Greens:Wormwood, tarragon,
Absolutes of: hay, fir balsam, clary sage, coriander and an infusion of sweetgrass .
Yellows, oranges, reds/magenta: Lemon, tuberose, rose 
 These are seemingly odd combinations that actually blended judiciously work well for a very artful perfume composition.

As for literary references while working on my perfume, "The Lotus Eaters" I not only turn to the Lotus Eaters chapter in the epic poem "The Odyssey",  I look to one of my favorite writers James Joyce. In his own epic novel "Ulysses". One of my favorite chapters, #chapter 5 is ironically called "Lotus Eaters". It is fantastically descriptive, a bit vulgar for the time it was written.( I skipped using Tennyson's lotus eaters poem) Joyce's "Ulysses" may come across as grotesquely decadent, ugly, truthful, sensual, incredibly visually descriptive, erotic, obtuse, sickly and slightly stomach churning. Ahh, all the things I love to hate to love. Perhaps Ulysses is almost comparable to not being able to realize how sick or guilty you feel as you eat the best gargantuan piece of chocolate cake and chug a huge bottle of fine port while having an affair with a young model on a gazebo in Monte Carlo. This makes no sense because this is someone's dream (not mine, mine would involve me looking like a Helmut Newton model, a yacht, Monte Carlo, champagne and Leonardo Araújo the coach of Inter Milan).
Here is a very small snippet from chapter 5 "Lotus Eaters" from "Ulysses"

From chapter 5:


P.S. Do tell me what kind of perfume does your wife use. I want to know.

He tore the flower gravely from its pinhold smelt its almost no smell and placed it in his heart pocket. Language of flowers. They like it because no-one can hear. Or a poison bouquet to strike him down. Then, walking slowly forward, he read the letter again, murmuring here and there a word. Angry tulips with you darling manflower punish your cactus if you don't please poor forgetmenot how I long violets to dear roses when we soon anemone meet all naughty nightstalk wife Martha's perfume. Having read it all he took it from the newspaper and put it back in his sidepocket.

Friday, June 10, 2011

cluster headache dilemma

hmmm..trying to figure out how to balance my Etsy shop and having chronic cluster headaches.
Clusters tend to be seasonal and tis the bad season for me on top of getting a couple clusters every month anyway. I have to stay away from having orders during one as there are a couple natural oils that can exasperate a cluster or other headaches. I don't want my customers to see me as flakey when the store is opening and closing all the time.
For you migraine and chronic headache sufferers I would be wary of large amounts of heady florals, ylang ylang, sandalwood, frankincense and clary sage during a cycle.
My friend suggested that I remove all oil triggers from my perfume organ. I just think that is like telling a painter to paint with only a select number of colors.
Maybe I should tell him that as an example as he is a commercial painter for a living.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Lotus Eaters Perfume

"The Lotus Eaters" is the newest story based perfume that is a-brewing.  It is a bit late in the evening to go into the whole making of it but I am basing it off the epic Odyssey poem and research from historical evidence of plants believed to have been growing in the supposed area/s of "where" it took place. It has been fascinating as not only lotus has been a player but clover, persimmon, sweet grasses, fenugreek in what I have read.
I am working from different translations as well. In a quick nut shell about the section of the lotophagi ....The Lotus-Eaters – "Rounding to the south, Odysseus and his men were blown off-course, towards the land of the Lotus-Eaters. While Odysseus was scouting around the land, some of his men mingled with the natives and ate the local lotus grown on the land. Soon, everything went hazy and the men found themselves under the heavy influence of some intoxicant that caused them to fall asleep. The lotus flowers they had eaten were narcotic in nature and made them forget all about their family and homeland. These men wanted to stay on this land and eat lotus for the rest of their lives. They refused to go home."

Notes in "the Lotus Eaters" so far have: infused fruits, lotuses, narcissus absolute, fig, fenugreek, aglaia, jasmine, peru balsam, vanilla, sandalwood, tolu, africa stone, honey abso, sweetgrass, genet, and....

So I have decided to hold my "Chang Er" Story based perfume until September. That is when the festival takes place celebrating the story and the Osmanthus blossoming.
It hasn't stopped me from working on other osmanthus perfumes. In my love to combine poetry or literature with perfume making I found a few osmanthus poems. I recently encountered a haunting poem from a W.S Merwin book of translated poetry that is never far from my reach. In the few powerful, picturesque lines I related the poem to my never ending and taunting cycle of disability.

Birds Calling In The Ravine by Wang Wei

I’m idle, as osmanthus flowers fall
This quiet night in spring, the hill is empty.
The moon comes out and startles the birds on the hill,
They don’t stop calling in the spring ravine.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chang Er inspired osmanthus perfume and the bad oil debacle

A company I infrequently get my organic fract coconut oil from seems to have become shady. I never had problems with them before but this last supply of oil ruined all of my newly diluted absolutes, concretes and perfume compositions. This was obviously a huge set back. Having to trash much of my stock and in a stupor I set my sites on a new perfume based around Osmanthus. Osmanthus absolute was a a note upon first whiff almost made me gag.  It reminded me when I was 8 of the bottle of apricot flavored liquid penicillin I had to take for weeks that lost its cap in my school backpack. I was determined to come back to Osmanthus and give it another chance, kind of like I do with beets every year to see if I my tastes buds have changed regarding "the root of all evil".  Well, I mixed a tiny bit with aglaia absolute, copaiba balsam and mandarin and George I found how I could make the apricot note of Osmanthus work to my liking. I discovered the green mandarin as a good pairing from eating a mandarin earlier and having the scent still on my hands. Then I had the potential opportunity to make a osmanthus custom. I maniacally made something off the cuff in one day. It smelled quite nice! Then customer decided she already had osmanthus and wanted something else.  So, I put that composition aside.  I often challenge (must be some sort of masochistic neurosis ) my "yuck nose buds" to make what I think is a poo into flowers. To create a osmanthus perfume I would wear (and sell) would be some sort  of psychological phoenix from the bad oil disaster. I needed an osmanthus muse to build the perfume around I became super excited when researching osmanthus I found the the ancient Chinese fable of The Moon Lady, the Rabbit, & the Woodcutter. It is a wonderful story which I have posted below from the site that I composed the whole perfume from. I used literal words taken from the story below.  I had decided on the name “Moon Garden” but I was saddened to find it is already taken. I may call it “Chang Er” or "Garden of the Moon”. I can’t list all of the notes err I grow a long white beard...It has notes of citrus, exotic cedarwoods, hinoki wood, herbs, osmanthus, aglaia and fig supported by other florals.
The base is incense heavy, with balsams and tobacco I also added snuck in some sweetgrass and vanilla tincture. the rest...?
Here is the intro and link to the story from which I composed and was inspired to make the perfume. The link has information about Osmanthus as well.

Sacred to the gods & goddesses of Taoism & of Northern Buddhism, numerous species of osmanthus are grown on the grounds of Chinese & Japanese temples. To kneel before the late winter flowers to smell them is the same as bowing before the Divine. Several species of Osmanthus receive special honors of week-long festivals in autumn, the time when the majority of species flower, but if you are absent from the autumn celebration, Delavay's Osmanthus permits spring honors for the Moon Lady's Tree.
Chang ErThe Moon Lady is shown at right in a portrait by Yoshitoshi (1839-1892). Her name was Chang Er, or Chang Oh, the fairy-wife of the heavenly archer Hou Yi, whose bow was the sliver moon. 

In the beginning of the world there were ten suns that circled the earth & each lit the world in turn, & these sons were the pious children of the Celestial Jade Emperor. But one day Hou Yi heard prayers from the Earth, where there was famine & drought because the ten suns had arrived in the sky all at the same time.

"Do not rise together at one time!" Hou Yi chastised the ten suns, but they said, "We are the Lights of the Jade Emperor. We will do as we please." So with his arrows, Hou Yi extinguished nine of the ten suns to save the world.
By this act, Heaven's Jade Emperor had his sun-bath spoiled, his lights extinguished, his children slain. Wrathfully he said to Hou Yi, "You like the Earth so much you would destroy the brightness of heaven? In that case, you are banished from the sky, & can live among mortals without your immortality."

Hou Yi indeed loved the Yellow Earth & became a good ruler thereupon, where he was incarnated as the Tang Emperor Xuanzong. His wife so missed the court of heaven that she stopped speaking, & no loving act of the emperor would induce her to speak. But while her husband slept, she would burn incense & pray to the Full Moon for deliverance, saying, "My husband, not I, was banished from Heaven. Why must I suffer with him? Why must I grow old beside him as a mortal? I long for eternal youth & court life in the Celestial Pavilion with its splendid gardens & riches!"

When her husband caught Chang Er in her prayers of infidelity, a rift grew between them, & in his anger Hou Yi became a less & less kindly ruler, so that rebels rose up among the people.

On a warm autumn night, on an evening of the Full Moon, the emperor & his wife were seated in a garden viewing station observing the beauty of the swollen moon, eating dainty sugared flowers taken from the osmanthus shrubs. A Taoist priest, Luo Gongyuan, came before the emperor & empress & fell upon his face below the moon-viewing station. He pulled from his priestly robes a folded paper & a goblet of osmanthus wine. He unfolded the paper & poured from it a sparkling powder into the wine.

Handing the goblet up to the emperor, the priest said, "This medicine will restore your immortality." Hou Yi thought to himself, "Forces are against me. This priest may be trying to poison me. Before I drink of this cup, I will test it on Chang Er." Aloud he said, "Fair wife, you have lamented your mortality, you may take the first sip."

But when she took the goblet, Chang Er was thinking, "My husband has become a tyrant. How the earth will suffer if he is made immortal!" So she gulped down the entire brew. Hou Yi was so furious he drew his bronze sword & tried to behead his wife. But as soon as she had taken the herbal brew, she discovered could fly.

She planned to escape to heaven, & flew upward laughing. She got only as far as the Moon when she discovered her ability to fly was weakening. She landed at the gate of the Moon's Vast & Frozen Palace.

At the main gate of the jade & jasper palace there grew an enormous, redolent osmanthus tree, beneath which squatted a jade rabbit with mortal & pestle, manufacturing the herb of immortality.

The Vast & Frozen Palace with its gardens had all the things that she had missed about heaven, but soon she realized nothing dwelt in the forest except that rabbit. With only her pet beside her, she wandered the wilderness of osmanthus, lamenting her infidelities that had resulted in this loneliness.

But others say that Chang-Er is like a bhodisattva who was rising to heaven upon her moment of enlightenment when a great pity for the world rose in her, & she chose to rise no further than the Moon, so that she would be close enough to the Earth to hear their prayers. At the time of autumn's Harvest Moon, she returns to the earth, & grants the prayers of those all deserving who beseech her.

Centuries after Cheng-Er arrived upon the moon, there lived an earthly woodcutter, Wu Kang. One night he slipped by stealth into the garden of the Temple of Xi Wangmu the Queenmother of the West, in order to cut up one of Her ancient osmanthus trees & heap up its many branches to sell as firewood.

Wu Kang heaped the branches upon his back & slipped away by moonlight, but was suddenly overcome with drowsiness. He lay down a moment to rest, & when he opened his eyes, he was in a fabulous garden. He came to the place of the jade rabbit under the gigantic osmanthus which grows upon the moon, the shadow of which is visible from the earth.

"Rabbit," said Wu Kang. "Where is this place?"

"It is Chang-Er's Garden of the Moon," said the rabbit, setting aside his pestle.

"Why are you in this place?" asked Wu Kang.

"Long ago," said the rabbit, "three sages disguised themselves as beggars & set out to test the generosity of the Fox, the Monkey, & myself. They asked the Fox for some of his food, & the Fox gave grapes to each of them. They asked the Monkey for some of his food, & he gave each a piece of melon. But when they came to me purporting to be starving, I had only grass to eat, which cannot sustain beggars. Feeling pity for them, I told them to skin & dress me & have me for their meal. As reward, my spirit was made immortal, & I live in this splendid garden where I am happy to practice herb lore. It's a good life for me, but for human beings, the Moon is vast & cold."

"Why have I awakened in your garden?" asked Wu Kang.

The rabbit told him, "You cut down a sacred osmanthus in the Temple of the Moon Lady. That osmanthus was the grandson of the tree that overshadows the Red Pavilion & the Garden of the Moon. The Jade Emperor has banished you to this place as punishment. But you can return home as soon as you have cut down the Moon's osmanthus."

The woodcutter, missing his family, was eager to return home. So he began hacking at the redolent tree. Every time he cut into a limb, it healed instantly. He is there to this day, cutting & cutting, to no avail.

Now the story is not told whether Chang Er & Wu Kang ever became friends. But because Chang Er's sin was infidelity, we may presume she has some relief of her loneliness thanks to the presence of the woodcutter.

The variously called Aroma Festival, Reunion Festival, or Mooncake Festival celebrates the Moon Lady, the Rabbit, & the Woodcutter. It is held during September's full moon, when the majority of nearly two-dozen types of osmanthus species are a flower. But Delevay's Osmanthus waits until winter's end to bloom, & the scent of it is Chang Er's & Wu Kang's nostalgia.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

pill box hero with stars in her eyes

Well, my Etsy site will certainly be having a makeover as I will be offering many vintage pill boxes and other unique items for solid perfumes. I would like to encourage people to try single or few note floral concrete solids. I have more examples of pill boxes I will be selling on my "Vireo scents of nature"  Facebook photo page. I am sorry for how long my Etsy site has been down. There has just been so much work to do. Please keep an eye out for a reopening. Thank you!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Ramos Gin Fizz cravings, Spring perfumes and antique pill box

Somehow somewhere in this flu bug I got the most intense desire for a Ramos Gin Fizz.
I made a bottle of Ramos gin fizz perfume last year and may just drink it in my feverish state. It sounds so cool and refreshing.
Sigh.... Some folks have had this bug for over a month and are still in miserable conditions. This is worrisome news. I have been feeling much better though and hope to open the store back up in a couple days. I can't wait as I have some dainty antique micro mosaic pill boxes to sell with just gorgeous spring-filled concrete perfumes. I don't have pictures up of them yet.
One perfume is inspired by the hope that Spring brings to one's soul and impressionistic classical music of the likes of Debussy, Ravel and Satie. I think I may call it, "Song Of Spring". It is bright and beautiful with concretes of: Mimosa, damask rose, rose centiflolia, jasmine grandiflorum, sambac and carnation. The heart is joyful with jonquil and orange blossom absolute. Top notes are: galbanum, nerolina, bitter green orange, petitgrain, clove absolute and organic rosewood. Base notes are: angelica absolute and a hint of Haitian vetiver and Australian sandalwood.
"Shrubbery" is another Spring perfume I will be releasing in oil and solid form. It has green top notes as if you've brushed against just blossoming, rain soaked shrubs. I suspect as well it echos months of longing, staring out the window patiently (or impatiently) waiting for my Charlie Brown Christmas tree looking Daphne to grow.
The initial top notes of "Shrubbery" are rather sharp and green with the lovely clean, eucalyptus, lilac note of nerolina, the tea, honeyed and herbaceousness of linden blossom and herbaceous and balsamic note of rhododendron. There are many flowers and blossoms in the heart and the base has balsams and vanilla.
I have other bottles of creations just waiting to be finished, topped off or filtered.
The Hawaiian Lei series will be loads of fun as I have the Maile Vine absolute that the real lei's are made from.

I also found in my pill box hunt a trinket box carved with the image of golf legend Payne Stuart. I will be putting a fougere solid perfume in it called "Tee Time". Hmmm maybe I should call it "Par 4"?  There will also be an oil based version. I wanted to name it after the cute knickerbocker pants they used to wear golfing but I think they were called, "Plus 4's".
 I should go rest a bit. I wanted to post a little follow up to let the few of you know I haven't fallen into a well. Below are photos of some of the antique pill boxes I broke down and purchased. Unfortunately none of the mosaic floral boxes from Italy are featured.
 Have a great day! Kait

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Poetry and flowers

Sick with flu stopping the creations and the store for a spell. Oh my.
I've been emotional and reading Walt Whitman today made me cry.
So many perfumes a-brewing and running around in my mind.
Lilacs have always held a deep poetic meaning in my life and a symbol of Spring, love and death. I have a perfume ready to be filtered called "Shrubbery". The Lotus Eaters mythology perfume will cost quite a bit of money to make but I just have to go on this adventure.
I have two South pacific garland fragrances, a lost island tuberose based fantasy perfume named "Calypso". A woman sent me an original sample of Cuir de Russie for me to make a natural interpretation from. Two ladies are looking forward to it. It shall an amazing and challenging journey.
My Spring fever and the flu. Sitting on my hands until I can be a mad composing scientist with the flowers. In the meantime I have some poetry to get weepy and introspective over. Masterpiece Theatre is always a great escape as well.
I hope you all are very happy and well!

Friday, March 4, 2011

My guinea pig has just been fired

"ohhhhhh, smell this! It's frangipani absolute!" I said quite over the moon.
"Smells like a cheeseburger", said my perfume tester guinea pig.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Weapons of stinky destruction

So I let my car die and didn't renew my insurance. Instead am spending the money to buy supplies for my shop. Funny the things you do when you are addicted to having smell goods!
But the perfume organ must be restocked and expanded! I have a obsession to be a scent adventurer! It is like exploring new lands with out leaving your home or a painter given free pick of the art supply store after only having three colors to use. It is that kind of excitement receiving a new oil you haven't smelled/worked with.
Holy beans did I buy some goodies to play with! ( disclaimer: these were by no means large amounts) Floral concretes, more floral, citrus absolutes, organic extracts, rhododendron leaf, saffron, cepes, many woods, yuzu, strange and wonderful shrub oils, a well aged patchouli, more patchouli, restocked 4 sandalwoods. Ahhh! To bathe in that beeswax absolute and vanilla bourbon. (sorry bees)(sorry savings account!) Hey I can still work living in a cardboard box.

As for revamping the shop the scents will be more focused, less cluttered and intimate. There is a problem with working with oils as a carrier in that compositions can become heavy.
The problem with buying such expensive materials is that you can be terrified of making mistakes that will send you flogging yourself for days.
Then there is the ever constant of trying to polish a poop. You just think you can fix it by adding a little of this or that and then you have a weapon of stinky destruction on your hands. Sometimes these bombs turn into flowers over time so it's hard to throw them out.

Hmmmm. Now about those alcohol based perfumes I been hiding all these years...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Interview on Scentual Sountracks and my date with Frankenstein

Well I am still recovering after drunken' Frankinstein messed up my spinal tap when I went into the ER for a cluster headache. I destroyed my bottle of Decadence today,
In good news Shanesha from Scentual Soundtracks was kind enough to interview me. She is a talented an great mind. It would be rather intimidating if she wasn't so dang sweet and gracious.
The link is here: Scentual Soundtracks. Her blog reviews products and focuses on the artist behind natural creations and is quite informative. I give away more personal rambling info than I like and leave out more eloquent details of this beautiful exalting aspects that I wish I would have mentioned.

Many fun decadent products for the future. Boy, I just spent a lot of beans and corn but it will be so worth it when customers are able to become so close with these natural odors. What gifts!
I am making a tuberose vanilla blend with a faint gardenia undertone for dear Shabra who had been so patient and kind. I had been working on "Boozy Chauntusey" for years. It's a torch singer, say Edith Piaf in a little bar before she was a star but with the same bravado! There is cognac and a rum accord. Laura from Urban Eden came up with a perfect limerick for it already when it goes up on Etsy.
I have a custom dark iris perfume ala Cuir de Russie and a couple story perfumes,curious infusions,solid perfumes and a face healing and scar oil in the wings.

This interview reveals what I was going to hide but what I am sure some have suspected.
It is a daily battle. There is more to the story which exasperates the condition. I been told I should write a book on my life. Well, someone else would have to write as I compose a sentence like a monkey and a dolphin trying to use parchment, quill and ink.
The disease and the little circles around it effects every part of my life.I sometimes describe it as being a cat in a cage with it's tail on fire, a scientist firmly believing with every fiber of his being and unmeasurable joy that he can fly a toilet paper roll rocket ship to the moon and has the backing of all his co-workers. Then wakes up the next day finds out it was all a joke or another feeling I experience of being so low it feel like your blood is being filled with rust and every branch on a tree is a way out. There is some relief just having it out there now. I don't have to play "normal" anymore. Well, that can never be helped. I am loved and have love for so many people and support in my life and that gives me hope. There have been words of such kindness from people on Etsy that have brought tears to my eyes. I truly appreciate everyone of those people so much!

Ok! Enough of my babbling over!
I have a FaceBook page now:Vireo Perfumes Scents Of Nature By KnD
I can't wait until I do not have to type these out with one finger on my phone.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Etsy store down as the cluster beast takes hold

It has been a rough week. I am very eager, wanting to list new perfumes, update Etsy and so on but I have been loosing grip on the cluster headache beast. Yesterday I had to go to the emergency room. This cluster was the worst and with out a doubt the most extreme pain I have ever experienced. I thought I was going to die or die from wanting to die the pain was so horrific. Think Spanish inquisition style torture. They even (to make my hospital stay more enjoyable) did a spinal tap. Wikipedia states woman who experience cluster say it is worse than child birth and also the worst pain a human can experience. I will not disagree as yesterday turned me into a animal who would chew it's own leg off to be removed from the trap.
During these cluster cycles I have to stay away from anything that may trigger or rapidly make my headache worse. Unfortunately a couple essential oils and strong odors in general can. I am terrified to bring on another headache of yesterdays magnitude so I can't go near my perfumes.
I just wanted to write and apologize if the shop seems to be open then closed. I have to force my self to not do anything (I am always running around like a jacked up squirrel!) just stay away from the oils and not potentially fill orders.
I do have some lovely new perfumes to list. When this cluster cycle passes I will get those up. I have to cut this short as typing on the iPhone/staring into light hurts my head.
I hope all of you are happy and well,
~ Kait

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Soooo there is even more about the bottles

After sterilizing 1/2 the bottles I decided to keep, I discovered upon closer examination and measuring that they were not dram size. They are just about .5ml now that is quite a bit more and makes a difference in what I am selling. Oy! Looks like I will be shipping 99.9% of the lot back to them. Which will total over $40.00 in shipping when all is said and done.
So a word of warning to all you budding perfumist. There is a lot to be aware of. Even in a fancy cataloge it may say "dram" but won't be a dram. It may looks all nice and shiny but it may be delivered covered in dust reeking of musky synthetics from their wearhouse.
Yes, I may have to sheepishly ask another perfumer if they will give away where they get their roller applicators. Hmmmm, now who to ask? Who to ask?

I would like a "doggy downer" about now.

Yay! My glass shipment just arrived! Ooh weeeeee! Bottles of different shapes, colors and sizes!
Noooooooo! They messed up the order AND the bottles, caps and rollers are dusty! My clean freakism over bottles has me very upset.
Time to dust, boil, sanitize, sort 320 items. :(
Headlines: Kaitlyn ni Donovan found snorting lavender and chamomile!
Then the article would go on saying I was found wandering the street with a bottle of home brewed wormwood quoting Poe. Alas never to be seen again.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A laugh about the last post

So, I told my fiancé the name ideas I had for the new perfume and he said that it sounded a bit "Halmark card" and "Harlequiny" (romance books) and that, "you might as well call it "Dinner with Hugh Grant".
That really cracked me up!

Another perfume of mine that has had a make over is "A Kiss From An Old Flame".
I toned down the ylang and amyris, upped the jasmine sambac, jasmine grandiflorum, galbanum and amber accord. I think it will knock some people's socks off. Fans of this will flip for
"Decadence" when it goes up on Etsy. As it is very alike sans the Ylang and with Pink lotus absolute and celery seed. It also has more of the base of my perfume "Hedone" with the agarwood as well. The woman who requested the making of Decandence wanted a combo of "A kiss.." and "Hedone" with out rose and ylang.

New goal, new perfume

New goal: simplify perfumes by reducing the number of notes. I need to calm the manic mad scientist and create compostions less cluttered to my nose.
Just getting one whiff of a few of my perfumes can start my head spinning.
"why did you need to add more? It was fine where it was at!"

I made a lovely velvety soft, serene but melancholy perfume today. I again challenged my disliking for powdery perfumes and created a much simpler blend than Hollywood Babylon. It is more refined and lacks the green top notes. Actually it is quite different.
My fragrance recalls a tiny bit of the perfume, L'Heur Bleue without that caustic lingering middle I do not like and sans the hoarding of old perfume from drugstores grandma. Sorry drugstore hoarding grandmas!

I may call my eau de parfum oil, Her answer was always,"Love". I know that is a bit long.
Hmmm. How about, "Love, Always"? I also debated the French word for serene. Boring.

Notes in the perfume include absolutes of basil and violet leaf, bergamot and anise
Heartnotes of absolutes: tuberose, jasmine grandi and rose Moroc, orris root
A base of: vanilla bourbon, amber accord, tonka bean

Friday, January 28, 2011

Making some changes on Etsy.

It's been treasury happy on Etsy which is wonderful. People have been nice enough to pick my shop pretty often. How do they find me?
I didn't seem to notice that I am a "featured" seller. I am a little short a stick of a bundle making my way around that site. My page goes against all the successful marketing tools.
Actually I am content of the turtle pace of my shop. I do not need orders having to fly out the door everyday. That would be stressful.
Though as I said me being "one short stick.." I have under-charged all my products on Etsy since I opened. This is in part due to some serious self doubt in my abilities. O.k. There I said it.
But I can't keep these prices so low any longer for the quality I demand.
Then there is the fact recently my brand new batches of perfumes have gone up to Extrait strength! The whole time I have been selling my perfumes at Eau de parfum %'s and not even realizing (or admitting it to myself.) What a dummy I am. So now I have put up a section on Etsy for "Eau de parfums". Even though all my oils are at that strength. My weird guilt of feeling bad at charging people causes me to not up prices to full value because I LOVE giving people things for free ever since I was a kid! Even though I am as poor as snot. I just love people being/making people happy.
I am one of those people, people. I love people. I think everyone has a story to tell and should be treated with empathy and compassion. On the other hand I am a bit of a recluse. Being a musician for 20 years and a bartender can do that to you.
Blah blah! What is this? A Kaitlyn tell all?
What I guess this all is leading up to is a long winded, guilt ridden explanation that I have to raise my prices. I WILL have colorful bottles with roll on tops, the perfumes will be a tad stronger(though god knows they are bomb strength already) My packaging will be a bit more neat. I'm trying to not be so bad a wrapping it looks like it was done by alcoholic X-mas elves.
There will also be deluxe extrait offerings, more solids and aromatherapy sprays in the future.

A heads up to those who have bought "Great Galbanum" has been given a bit of a makeover. I felt it needed more lighter citrus and cyprus on top.
The version of "Smoke follows beauty" is amazingly resplendent with sandalwoods. Boy, That one just just jumps to the sandalwoods and balsams.
"Lovers Patchouli" has more rose absolute, golden champaca and patchouli Co2 in it.
There are a few other slight differences in blends that are to be expected working in such small amounts.
Oh, I must find time to put up a FB page. If I announce that "Smoke follows beauty" is in another treasury my friends will hide me.

Take care my smell good friends!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Simple pleasures of new bottles ordered

So it has been a little while since my last update.
I just put in an order for dram sized roller bottles of different colors for my Etsy site. It is exciting! I have bemoaned my simple packaging for a long time. The labels will still be made via my "drunken scissor hands". The roller ball is an upgrade I think my supporters will like.

There is a new perfume up called,"Orpheum" It is a fresh citrus chypre with a real mossy base.
I wanted it to recall the wet, rain forest, mountainous, seaweed laden, rocky beaches where I grew up in Juneau Alaska. Since it started as a custom there is a strong bergamot top note as the woman I made it for loves the note.

My latest batch of vanilla is sublime. I feel almost guilty for the last. I can stand firmly behind this one pronouncing it about as rich as a CO2. Yummy! I just need a tiny bit in my perfume blends.

On Etsy I am going to have an extravagence section where I will be selling an Extraits. The first one is called, "Decadence". It was a custom that I thought would be too expensive to sell. But I decided it was just too gorgeous not to share with the Etsy folks. I was able to make a just over a wee 1/2 ounce. It is a grand tribute to jasmine with a heavy amber base. The woman had aninteresting and fun request of her custom perfume being something between my two perfumes,"Hedone" and "A Kiss From An Old Flame" with out any Ylang Ylang or Rose. I used 2 different jasmine absolutes and pink lotus absolute for the heart. It is a SWEEEET blend.

Most all of my perfumes on Etsy are eau de parfums I always forget to mention that. Sigh...I notice that I way undercharge as well by the looks of most other natural perfume sites using the same or lesser naturals. It is almost laughable! I mean I saw on one a person charging $30.00 for a 5/8 dram size sample! The oils where not that outstandingly expensive in it.
Now, I know these people can't be using any absolutes or botanicals fancier than what I buy so am I insane?
I did decide to explain more on my Etsy site how I can use such high quality botanicals. One, that I buy in such small amounts and two, I make such small amounts. Wait...I gues I don't need to explain #2.

Anyway, I am so happy that I have my return customers. They keep me going and I feel almost like I have developed a few far away friends.
I hope everyone had a great New Year!
Take Care, Kait