Sunday, November 06, 2011

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, November 6, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

I'll be in the garden today, planting more vegetables, herbs and flowers, but I'll check in periodically to answer your perfume questions.

Planted yesterday: Seeds:  red carrots, scallions, two types of zinnias, sweet peas, purple alyssum, Spanish pimento, Tigerella tomatoes, romaine lettuce, more I can't remember right now.  Lots!

Today my gardener will be bring by the very fragrant flowering plant yesterday, today and tomorrow, and the tropical lilac, with highly fragrant leaves that smell like tobacco and spice.

14 comments:

  1. I just want to be with you. You paint such a vivid, sensuous picture with your words.

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  2. Hello Anya! Today I pass by to wish you a great day. All the goodies being planted sound so wonderful and the fragrance description of the leaves has me wanted to sniff them but I am smelling them in my imagination.

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  3. Hi Anya,
    I absolutely (pun semi-intended) love the scent of tea in a perfume. I have some black tea absolute, but after experimenting with it, it seems to be fairly weak, and to have a noticeable tea note in a perfume it would have to be composed of something like 80% tea abs. So disappointing as the stuff is expensive, dark, and not always easy to find either. I guess I could try tincturing?? not crazy about tinctures as they too are too subtle I find.
    Suggestions??

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  4. Hi Anya,

    As someone who is new to (and super excited about) perfumery, I so appreciate the opportunity to ask my questions of an expert! Thanks so much for your wonderful blog!!

    I have a pretty naive question... I've been formulating bodycare and skincare for a while, and when I use essential oils I always try to be mindful of the side effects of my ingredients, for example some of the citrus oils (bergamot and expressed lime) and angelica root causing photosensitivity and cautions about the use of many essential oils during pregnancy. Aromatherapists tend to be really cautious when using substances as powerful as essential oils.

    But when I look at resources on perfumery (natural and synthetic), I see that bergamot, for example, is used all over the place, and I've never seen cautions about phototoxic side effects - and people apply perfume on exposed parts of the skin (necks, the backs of knees, wrists) all the time. It seems to me that many of the cautions about essential oils are ignored in the context of perfumery. And yet the concentrations of essential oils are so much higher in perfumes than in bodycare. I'm so confused about this!! I'd love to be able to craft perfumes using natural ingredients based only on scent, but the cautions keep playing over and over in my head. I'd greatly appreciate any light you can shed on the subject!!

    Thank you!
    Priya

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  5. Caren, that's so sweet of you to say! Today was spectacular in the garden. I had my yesterday, today and tomorrow plant delivered, harvested a bunch of aglaia flowers, some ylang ylang flowers, had two mystery jasmine plants delivered. My gardener found them at a tiny artisan nursery in the next county, and he said the fragrance was beautiful from morning to late afternoon yesterday. There aren't any flowers on them now, but should be tomorrow. You can come and visit the garden anytime you're in Miami, there's sure to be something in bloom or ready to harvest!

    xoxo
    Anya

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  6. Hi Naheed/Snowflake:

    Today was such a beautiful day! I'm glad you can enjoy my tropical paradise vicariously.

    xoxo
    Anya

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  7. Hi Fallah:

    Tea can be a skin irritant, so you do want to limit the percentage used. Have you tried mate absolute? Yerba mate is a popular tea, and the absolute may be stronger than the one you have.

    When tincturing, you can recharge the alcohol many times with the tea until it reaches the strength you want. I have white champaca, deers tongue and many other tinctures that are stronger than the absolutes!

    HTH,
    Anya

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  8. Hi Priya:

    Most are using safe bergamot now. Sadly, the expressed, pure bergamot contains bergaptene, a furocoumarin that can cause Berloque's Dermatitis, and is limited now due to liability issues that you touched upon. Instead, they're using bergaptene-free bergamot, which is created through distillation. It doesn't have the sweet, uplifting character of regular bergamot. You may wish to sample some to see if you wish to use it.

    HTH,
    Anya

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  9. Hi Anya,

    Thanks so much for your reply! It does help to know that perfumers really do take into account these issues. I have a bergamot fcf that I use in some of my bodycare formulations, and it's quite lovely if not quite as round and full as the regular expressed bergamots I've smelled.

    Do perfumers also use modified lime and angelica to avoid phototoxicity? Are there any modifications that perfumers use to avoid risks during pregnancy or for other health conditions (I've read that cypress leaf, which I love, isn't recommended for those with high blood pressure...).

    Thank you again! By the way, your garden sounds amazing!!

    Cheers,
    Priya

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  10. namaste anya!

    i thought it might be fun to hear what the strangest request for a perfume you've had might be? for example, there is a synth mania for so-called "blood" perfumes right now... ever have anyone ask for a perfume that smells like blood? diesel fuel? maybe shag carpet? *grin*

    cheers to you! einsof

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  11. Hi Priya:

    There is a distilled lime that they can use. It's very candy-like, not crisp and zingy like expressed lime. About angelica, well, it's such an intense accessory note, only a minute amount is needed. I'm not sure of the limits on it, and perhaps some research into the science behind it could be done, if you wish to pursue it.

    About all the other "risk during pregnancy" oils, and there are many that there are rumors about, I suggest you follow Robert Tisserand's blog. He may have already have answered the question. He also accepts questions from readers, but I suggest searching his posts to date.

    HTH,

    Anya

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  12. No einsof, I've never had a weird request. I'M the one who comes up with weird stuff, like when I originally wanted MoonDance to smell like the inside of a slightly sweaty spacesuit worn by an astronaut on the moon, an astronaut with an inherently beautiful body odor. Plastic was involved. Heh.

    xoxo,
    Anya

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  13. Thank you, Anya! I'm mostly curious to know how perfumers regard aromatherapy advice on the use of essential oils. I know there's often a wide gap between that advice and what you can really prove based on solid scientific evidence (I love Tisserand's blog, which I think I found through your blog, for squaring the two). Anyway, thanks for answering my questions and for your insights!! Have a great night!

    Cheers,
    Priya

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  14. Anya, I am working on tincturing some resins and understand you are working on a new perfume with resins! I am in a state that I can purchase everclear, what are your thoughts about the use of this as opposed to the organic grain or grape?

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