The difference is that now it's starting to get attention in the media. Heck, I wanted to launch my latest line, Anya's Garden Food & Drink Oils, way back in 2006. At that time, I wrote a letter to a local chef who was opening a new restaurant, pitching her the idea. She never replied, I got toooo busy with life and work, and had to put my line on the back burner.
Now, the timing is better, anyway. There are several mixologists who have been hosting perfumed cocktail soirees for the past year or so. Menket Prince, whom I knew from aromatherapy groups back in the mid-90's, wrote a book Cooking with Essential Oils. If you google "cooking with essential oils" you'll find over 136,000 hits.
From my Heart: Pushing a Trend, Pushing baby birds out of the Nest
I'm always one to push a trend, especially for the members of the Natural Perfumers Guild. Well, even before the Guild, when I hosted, for free, the Natural Perfumery website. I had been hosting the yahoo NP group for several years, and realized that the perfumers need to get the word out on the Internet about this new trend, natural perfumery, and that by grouping together on one site, they would benefit from google ranking, more hits, etc. I was then going to establish the Natural Fragrance Association, but I had the defunct Natural Perfumers Guild given to me, so I went with that as a platform for promoting the art and the artisans.
After receiving several awards from Internet bloggers in 2009, I encouraged other perfumers to get out on the Internet more, send samples and take advantage of the heightened recognition of natural perfumery. Then Guild perfumer Dominique Dubrana had the idea of a competition centered around musk. I felt the perfumers needed a different platform than a competition, so I developed Internet projects that would help push the baby birds ;-) out of the nest: They were the Mystery of Musk and the Outlaw Perfume projects. What great successes they were! Previously-unknown-to-the-general-public Guild perfumers received the attention they deserved, and Ida Meister of Cafleurebon exclaimed: "Who knew there were so many talented natural perfumers out there?" regarding the July MOM project. (Was it a subconscious slip that the acronym for the slogan I created was "mom", being a list mom and Guild mom"? ;-) The Outlaw Perfume project of November 2011 was even a bigger hit.
Now I want to share with the Guild perfumers, associates and suppliers the idea that they develop a line of culinary oils. Think up a fun phrase, please don't use Food & Drink (mine) or Chef's Essences (Mandy Aftel's). First, use the links I provided to find recipes and test them yourself. Offer courses at local community colleges, farmer's markets, or offer stand-alone workshops. This is a great way to expand your line and introduce people to your natural perfumes at the same time. I'm excited to think that some perfumers in other countries, like Australia or England might be trailblazers in their countries. Like tea? Create perfumed teas, or coffees, if that's your drink of choice. Be creative!
This is the root of my philosophy in running the Guild, and I stick by it: encourage others to get out there, ride with a trend, help each other, and the natural fragrance world will be the better for it.
Leave a comment, as I'd love feedback to see what you think - and feel - about my "pushing the baby birds" and this new trend, and you'll be in the random drawing for two of my Food and Drink Oils! Please post before 10 a.m. Saturday morning, April 23.