Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pineapples, guavas and tomatoes

Nothing is better than a good night's sleep, then walking out into the garden. The pink guavas are adorable, but the baby pineapples are cuter!  An heirloom tomato and smoked mozzarella makes a lovely breakfast.  Warm, breezy morning in Miami, and I'm enjoying every  minute of it.




Monday, February 27, 2012

The Vintage Vault - Aromatic Beauties from a Perfumer's Collection

Tonquin Musk and Sweet Birch - from Anya's Garden Perfumes Vintage Vault


These Fritzsche bottles are very rare.  One perfumer told me the musk  one is museum quality due to its rarity and design.  I've also a suspicion that the Sweet Birch one contains the pre-IFRA really great salicylic-rich sweet birch that is the type that was used in leather fragrances such as Cuir de Russie.  I'm having some trouble getting the stopper out of the Sweet Birch bottle, but if you leave a comment, you'll be in the running for a half milliliter (enough for a sniff and a few applications) of the Tonquin musk.  There were some grains left in the bottle when I got it, and I rehydrated them, plus added a few musk grains of my own.  The comments must all be in by 11:59 PM Feb 28th.  Good luck!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, Feb. , 2012 - until 10 PM EST

Happy Sunday, Everyone! Enjoy the refreshing hyacinth visual as I enjoy my first Ask the Perfumer Sunday free of my stalker.  Yes, this blog, my websites and my Facebook page have been haunted for some time now.  Everytime I checked my stats, there she was.  I can't tell you the relief  I'm feeling.  I'll blog about that soon, as keeping a secret, hiding the abuse she heaped on me for years, only made the problem worse, and the stalking more creepy.

I feel sort of reborn today, and I'm excited that I can post with such freedom.  Please send me your perfumery questions, as they keep me connected with the pulse of what is happening in your life, even if you are anonymous to me :-)  For almost ten years - ten years! - I have been at the nexus of the growing natural perfumery community, through the educational Yahoo group I host.  There, I have answered thousands of questions, freely and with lots of love.

This public forum, where you can pick my brain on any aspect of natural perfumery, reaches a far wider audience than the 2200-member Yahoo group, and I'm happy to be here for you!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Vanilla Orchid Flower Blooming in Miami

I recently blogged about all of the vanilla orchid flower buds on my vine.  They've been opening in the past week, and I admit I missed a lot of the blooms because of the ongoing hospitalization of my mother.  Also, I never got around to making the special paintbrush that I would have needed to hand pollinate them.  So today I'll just be sharing the tropical beauty of this flower.  Vanilla is the only species out of 20,000 orchid species that has a usable "fruit", the vanilla bean.

You can click on any image to enlarge it.




This flower is half open.  I like how the Jasminium officinale leaves are intertwined with the vanilla vine.

This is a spent/unpollinated vanilla flower.  Isn't is similar in looks, if you look at just one segment, of an aged, glistening vanilla bean?




Friday, February 24, 2012

Frankincense Friday - Magickal Katlyn's beautiful stash



Katlyn Breene of Mermade Magickal Arts is a lovely artist in two realms: graphic arts and fragrant arts.  I have written about her before, praising an incense warmer she sells which allowed me to experience incense again, since an allergy had not allowed me to "burn" incense.  Then I blogged about another gadget of hers, a vaporizer.  This little vaporizer allows the incense maker to quickly evaluate a new resin, wood or other material to determine if it has a nice fragrance for a blend.

She is known for sourcing the most beautiful and rarest fragrance ingredients.  She was on a quest to obtain some Hojari recently, to replenish her supply, which goes into her incense and is also for sale on her website as raw material for incense makers.

Here are some wonderful photos she shared with me of her recent acquisitions.  Oh, so wonderful!



Thursday, February 23, 2012

Can someone help me block an obsessed stalker?

The gloves are off.  Don't people understand when you back someone into a corner, try to destroy their businesses, and stalk them, there will be consequences?

For Mandy Aftel and Carrie Meredith - Update - see below.  The stalker has a stooge.  Harsh words, but those who try to injure someone, and then keep poking that injured party, should be ready if the injured party - me - has had enough and outs them.

Click to view - 433 visits from someone who tried to harm my businesses constitutes stalking.

The blogger who was groomed by Aftel to do her bidding, and who instigated a boycott against the Guild (can you imagine such an act from someone who is on the Fragrance Foundation's Indie Committee?!) is checking my blog for Aftel, as Aftel did stop obsessively clicking here after the outing the other day.  These folks need to disappear from my life.  Please, just go away. The blog stat image of the stooge blogger is included, below.

Carrie Meredith of Eyeliner on a Cat who started the boycott against  the Guild - because the Guild put a member on suspension for violating the Guild code.  What business is that of hers?

Like most business owners, I check my stats for trends and information about who visits my webpages.  I have my perfumerie, the Guild, and my perfume classes pages.   Someone who is fanatically obsessed with me, and who has tried to harm my businesses, shows up on the stats to the point it's stalking.  She also visits my Facebook pages and this blog ALL the time.  I have put her and her abuse behind me, but she obviously lets me occupy a big part of her brain.

I blocked her on facebook, and I never visit her website.  What do I care?  I'm able to move on and not care about bad people.  I want the shocking moments when I see she's been on this blog, or the Guild page a dozen times in one day, to stop.  I want to feel every post I make about my classes, my food & drink line or a review isn't been scanned by her.  I knew she held grudges against other people, and has had many ruined business relationships, but she views me as someone in natural perfumery with some recognition and respect, and she wrecked our relationship because I refused to put up with her screaming like a harpie over the phone..  Meh.

How can I ban her IP from here, my websites, and the facebook pages?  Any and all help is appreciated.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute - Extraction Methods and Products

Cold Enfleurage - Vietnamese gardenias from Anya's Garden

I recently blogged about production methods in the aromatics industry, and how important it is for students of the Natural Perfumery Institute to be knowledgeable about them.  A basic course needs to cover these topics so that the student perfumer will be able to converse and communicate intelligently and effectively about the sources of the aromatics used in our art.
Vietnamese gardenia from Anya's Garden

Many students, if ambitious, can extract aromatics from plant material, animal derivatives and soil themselves if they wish.  Here is a list of the topics covered in Module 2 of my textbook.

3.2:  Extraction Methods and Products  
                                                              
Distillation                                                                                                               
Steam Distillation                                                                                               
Hydro-distillation                                                                                                
Hydro-diffusion                                                                                                   
Cohobation                                                                                                         
Fractional Distillation                                                                                          
Rectification                                                                                                       
Vacuum Distillation                                                                                            
Destructive Distillation                                                                                        
Expression                                                                                                             
Enfleurage                                                                                                              
Concretes                                                                                                               
Absolutes                                                                                                               
Floral Waxes                                                                                                          
CO2 Extraction                                                                                                       
CO2 Extraction for Essential Oils or CO2 Selects                                             
Supercritical CO2 Extraction for Totals                                                              
Tincturing                                                                                                               
Infusing                                                                                                                  
Ultrasonic Extraction                                                                                              
Isolates                                                                                                                   
Natural Isolates: From Rejection to Acceptance                                                
How are Isolates Made?                                                                                    
Isolation Methods                                                                                               
Ongoing Study of Extraction Methods

Hot Enfleurage - a Batteuse was used in earlier French extraction processes


 http://PerfumeClasses.com

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012 - until 10 PM EST

A photo of the flowers of the Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow plant.  Do you know why the plant is named that?  Do you know how many of them I have?  First correct answer wins a 15 minute consult with me for your perfumery question.  The consult will be over the phone or Skype.  Good luck!
This is one of the busiest weekends in Miami, as it's the height of the "season" - tourist season.  The Boat Show, The Coconut Grove Arts Festival, The South Beach Food & Wine Festival, and many more.  Whew!  Time for us locals to stay close to home.  I met an old friend at the Hyatt downtown Friday night, and traffic, the lobby, and the entrance to the adjoining convention center were jam-packed.

So as I laze around today - did I mention it's going to be 87-degrees Fahrenheit today?  - I'll only venture out to water some newly-transplanted scented plants like Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - I'll be available for your perfumery questions.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Vanilla Flower Love in Miami - plus some edible and perfumery plants

The aglaia tree in the front garden is in full bloom, the mimosa, too!  Yet, my heart is pulled to the shady area on the back fence, where my vanilla vine is budding out.  Probably due to the warm winter, the vine, which rambles in and out amongst three varieties of jasmines, is full of buds.  I've never seen so many on it, and I've had it 24 years!  I may succumb to the fantasy that I'll be able to pollinate the buds when they open.  There's a very specific way to bend a small paintbrush to reach inside.  I think it's angled to 40 degrees, and I'll have to check the specifics.  There is a moth that pollinates it in Madagascar and other regions where it's grown commercially, an I don't think that moth lives here in Miami.  I've also read how laborious it is to properly age and develop the vanillin in the beans once they are harvested.  DON'T look to eHow for any advice!  Mercy, how wrong they are on everything. 

There are several dozen flower bud clusters like this!  I'll post photos as they open, and the progress I have - or not - pollinating them.
PS Maybe the ants will pollinate the vanilla beans?

Are these bananas ever going to ripen? Vanilla and banana - a great recipe combination!  That's my huge Thai Lime tree behind them.

The Thai lime is so easy to tincture for perfumery use!  I believe this can be grown indoors as a potted plant and harvested for food and perfumery use.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Do artisan/indie perfumers need to use a scale? Anya's Garden Natural Perfumer Institute requires one.

I wanted to post this answer I gave to an Ask the Perfumer reader as a separate blog entry for several reasons. 1) The questions raised a lot of interest in blog visitors.  My stats show that many came back today for the answer, which I couldn't provide late last night as I was tired.  2) It's critically important for a student to elevate themselves from hobbyist and use the tools that truly reflect a professional level of expertise.


http://PerfumeClasses.com
Hi JC:

Wow, your question must have resonated with a lot of readers, as the "hit" count reached an all-time high for the Sunday forum, and I see many have returned this morning to see my answer.

Let's say you're working with aromatics that are thick, like labdanum, or a concrete. You're also working with aromatics with a thin, watery consistency, like blood orange or lavender. A lot of absolutes are thick, and also quite pricey.

The first things my student learns to do is to dilute the aromatics, both the thick and the thin, in alcohol to a 10% dilution. That's 10% aromatic, 90% 190 proof alcohol.

Using uniform droppers, without squeezing the bulb, but instead applying gentle, consistent pressure, they practice making accords with the diluted drops. The only way they've used the scale so far is to measure the bottle, alcohol and aromatic. And added bonus: that expensive jasmine grandi or orris is stretched further in your budget.  I couldn't image using 100% expensive drops!  Plus, the alcohol "opens up" the aromatic, showing its true scent profile.

Granted, for the final perfume they submit, they're using drops. Maybe 15 drops of this, 10 of that, 5 o another, maybe 2 of an accessory note, 10 more of another, etc. Nothing crazy like 100 drops of a thick, undiluted material, never!
For Intermediate and Graduate level students, they learn about specific gravity. Using the SG of an aromatic, I have a software program I developed that allows them to convert the diluted drops into undiluted aromatic, which they weigh out in grams to reproduce a perfume, at any concentration, and at any amount.

Long answer - a professional perfumer must use a scale. It elevates, simplifies and brings precision to their work.

Thanks,
Anya

---------------
Added:

I'm a rather strict Instructor:  I hold my students to high standards as they progress to become active, professional perfumers.  I do not accept students who wish to begin a perfume business right after completing the course, with rare exceptions.  Perfume study takes years of experimentation, and the perfumer must challenge themselves.  Learning the basics in the most correct, systematic manner is what I educate them about at http://PerfumeClasses.com

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012 - until 10 PM EST

I hope last night's dip in the temperature, down to the upper 40s, didn't harm the vanilla flowers that are ready to open.  I'm not dressed to go outside yet, so I haven't evaluated them yet.  In the meantime, as you think of your perfumery questions to ask me, look at this lovely old postcard from South Carolina, and imagine how lovely the garden smells when the magnolias are in full bloom.



Don't miss two events:  The Love the Guild event, where you can receive membership into the Guild at a reduced rate, and be in the drawing for some great prizes.  Click here.

And my latest post about treasures in my Vintage Vault includes a giveaway to a lucky winner of one ml of some rare, beautiful neroli.  Click here.

Now I'm off to find my slacks and a jacket.  I only own three jackets - I hate the cold, and I hate dressing for it!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Vintage Vault - Aromatic Beauties from a Perfumer's Collection - Lautier Neroli - And a Giveaway!

After roses, I'll bet that orange blossoms, when in season, are the next most popular flower in a bridal bouquet.  Sweet yet seductive, the orange blossom has persisted through the centuries as a floral symbol of love.  Neroli, the distilled essence of the flower, if cherished for its ability to raise the spirits by generally providing an uplifting, beautiful aroma.

My vintage neroli treasure comes from Lautier et Fils, a Grasse-based perfumerie and distillery dating back to the 18th Century.  I have found bits and pieces of the history of this well-regarded company on the Internet, most of it in French.  This was the only bottle from them I ever found.  When I took it from the refrigerator to photograph the other day, the glue had dried up, and the majority of the label started to fall to the floor.  As I reached to catch it, due to its age, it broke into pieces.  Using perhaps not the best solution, in a panic, I used tiny bits of double-stick glue to reattach it.  I will be calling the Miami Arts Conservatory next week to see if they can remove the label, perhaps brighten it up a bit, and reattach it.

Click to enlarge
I have photographed the front, back and side views.  The label reads Laurier Fils Grasse France and the angled slim label on the shoulder of the front of the bottle reads Made in France.  The contents are identified as Neroli Pistils pur  and the lot number is No. 1048 N.Y. and the bottle contained 50grs.  The back of the bottle reads Tare 55grs Sans Bouchon (cork) Net 50grs.

The side view shows the bottle nearly half full of a treasure.  Despite the original cork being loose, the contents are still lovely!  Merci beaucoup!

I will decant a one ml sample of this rare, aged and beautiful aromatic to a randomly-picked lucky person!  All I ask is that you subscribe to my newsletter between now and 12:01 a.m. Feb 15th. You can see the link in the right-hand column of this blog.  If you are already subscribed to my newsletter, either subscribe to my personal page on Facebook, and/or share this link. I'll announce the winner on Feb 15th.  Good luck to everyone!  I know how excited I'd be to win a bit of this lovely bit of history ;-)

In the end, I want to excite people about vintage aromatic treasures, and invite them on the journey with me as I post more on this topic.  Welcome aboard this fragrant journey!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Frankincense Friday - High humidity and butterflies!

More on the ongoing love and revelations about the frankincense trees of Oman.  All photos are by Trygve Harris of Enfleurage, who lives in Oman.

In Trygve's words:  Here are some pictures--these trees are from a high humidity area by the sea. They get rain during the summer and there is lots of fog. But they are ridiculous creatures as you can see! White butterflies pollinate them. I had no idea until I caught the butterflies in the act.

The flowering spires of the Boswellia sacra tree in Oman being pollinated by white butterflies.
This is a beautiful artistic composition: the striated rocks, the gnarly branches of the Boswellia sacra and the finer-textured sand/rocks of the ground.


Is this a double-trunked frankincense tree, or two trees? The flowers are emerging before the leaves on all the trees, I believe.  I vote this is a sprawling single tree.

The ability of the frankincense tree to emerge in what looks like a barren, hostile environment is probably the reason for its survival for thousands of years. I see a butterfly!

Close up of the flower clusters.  Can you see the white butterfly with the grey banding on its wings?

A number of butterflies seem to be enjoying this frankincense tree.


Any old crack in the rocks can be home for these amazing trees.


Doesn't this beat all?  Ridiculous creatures, indeed!  Love them!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute - The Production of Natural Aromatics

Arabic distiller
How detailed is the Basic Perfumery Course?  Very.
How comprehensive is the Basic Perfumery Course? Very.


One example comes from the well-illustrated section in Module 3 on the Production of Natural Aromatics.  As the head instructor, I believe that a student needs to have a working knowledge of basic information on how the aromatic makes it from the field to the bottle they buy, whether it's rose, vetiver or some new boutique oil.
3.1: The Production of Natural Aromatics                                                             
Assaying Raw Materials                                                                                         
How Cost is Determined: Crops, Labor, and Demand                                           
3.2:  Extraction Methods and Products                                                                 
Distillation                                                                                                               
Steam Distillation                                                                                               
Hydro-distillation                                                                                                
Hydro-diffusion                                                                                                   
Cohobation                                                                                                         
Fractional Distillation                                                                                          
Rectification                                                                                                       
Vacuum Distillation                                                                                            
Destructive Distillation                                                                                        
Expression                                                                                                             
Enfleurage                                                                                                              
Concretes                                                                                                               
Absolutes                                                                                                               
Floral Waxes                                                                                                          
CO2 Extraction                                                                                                       
CO2 Extraction for Essential Oils or CO2 Selects                                             
Supercritical CO2 Extraction for Totals                                                              
Tincturing                                                                                                               
Infusing                                                                                                                  
Ultrasonic Extraction                                                                                              
Isolates                                                                                                                   
Natural Isolates: From Rejection to Acceptance                                                
How are Isolates Made?                      (Being rewritten)                                                          
Ongoing Study of Extraction Methods

There has been a good discussion on Rose Geranium Essential Oil Bourbon in the Natural Perfumery Yahoo group I host.  I know that the term Bourbon refers to the island of Bourbon, now the Island of Reunion, but I think it also refers to the process of extraction.  In my textbook, I want my student to get an idea of the hard work and often unseen things that go on in the production of aromatics:


From Steffen Arctander, Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin (1960)


Geranium OiI, Reunion.
Also called Geranium Bourbon from the old name
of the island of La Reunion (Ile de Bourbon),
Geranium Oil, R&mion is the most important of
all the geranium oils. It is produced in hundreds
of small, mainly primitive stills which treat often
less than one metric ton of plant material per
charge. The daily output of oil from one still may
be only a few kilos after many hours of work at
two or more distillations, not to speak of scores
of hours of back-breaking work in the field,
ploughing, weeding, cleaning, fertilizing and cut-ting on steep hills where not even wheel-carts can
go. The small lots of oil are sold to middlemen,
who in turn sell larger lots to the brokers. The
latter are usually French exporters or wholesale
brokers. They bulk the oil lots, and this stepwise
bulking of very small lots explains why the various
drum lots of Geranium Bourbon Oil are fairly
consistent and uniform in odor, but it also explains
why the appearance of the oil is often poor:
water, mud, precipitate and other worthless
impurities may amount to several percent of the
oil, and this can cause a sizeable loss for the buyer
who wants to clean, filter or strain the oil. It is
certainly no fun to buy water and dirt at the
price of U.S. $ 55.– per kilo. It should be kept in
mind, however, that certain exporters do filter
the oil and remove the water before the oil is
shipped overseas. The average temperature in
Reunion island is about 25” C. At this temperature,
the oil will dissolve more than one percent of
water. Most of this water will “fall out” of the
oil when the drums are shipped (particularly when
airfreighted!) to the buyer. The latter will find a
significant amount of water at the bottom of his
drum with the expensive oil. But in most cases,
this water separation cannot be blamed upon the
bulker or exporter in R6union. The water must
be accepted as a calculated risk. It ean only be
satisfactorily and finally removed after arrival at
its destination.


We're rather lucky, and a bit spoiled, aren't we?


I designed, along with the help of Andrine Olson, the editor for my textbook, with revisions by Bruce Bolmes, Guild Associate, a very modern, beautiful Production Flowchart for my students. I'm not sharing that because of intellectual property rights, but I have to say I'm very proud of it.  It's quite the accomplishment, as I've never seen anything like it in any book.

BTW, I need to blog on the natural isolates conundrum/confusion that has arisen since the textbook was originally published.  I'm waiting until the Guild members vote on natural isolates in the next week.

Online and offline study options are available. 


http://PerfumeClasses.com

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Casa Jasmin - Anya's Garden Perfumes: Jasmine grandiflorum photo

I need to photo-document all of the jasmines growing at my home here in Miami, Florida.  If you're visiting this blog, use Casa Jasmin to search for images.  I'm inaugurating this topic today, Feb. 8, 2012, but I have published many photos of the many fragrant plants, not just the jasmines, that I grow here.  I'm not up-to-date yet on coding the search for the entire blog, so maybe the search term flower will suffice in the meantime.

I took this photo yesterday morning of two stupendous Jasminium grandiflorum flowers by my front door.  I took out the Jasminium auriculatum that grew up the wrought-iron pillar, and transplanted the J. grandi in its place.  I'm going to cut it back in March to encourage a strong topgrowth over the summer.

Click to enlarge. Isn't this photo almost a bit surreal?  I feel the jasmines glowing, giving out energy. The green mound in the background is Jasminium sambac var Maid of Orleans, the jasmine used to perfume tea and rice.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Vintage Vault - Aromatic Beauties from a Perfumer's Collection

I've decided to get serious about creating a photo album of my perfume treasures.  I have never had the heart to break this bottle to get at the contents.  I have tried every method possible to get the stopper out, but to no avail. I adore cassie absolute, so you know I have great self control - and a respect for a true antique.
1906! I think you can click the image on to enlarge it.  You can see the one-ounce bottle is about 2/3rd full.  Another perfume once told me to smash the bottle with a hammer and filter the contents. NO!

Monday, February 06, 2012

Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute - Fragrance Families and module objectives illustrated

Further refinement of the understanding of Fragrance Families - from Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute Module 2 - Copyright All Rights Reserved

At the beginning of each module in the textbook, the students of Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute's Basic Course  are given the objectives for the module.  I blogged a portion of the aromatic groups recently, and here I'm sharing a refinement of the fragrance family graphic in a way that places the fragrance families into the conventional scent pyramid.  In the textbook many more fragrance family iterations are explained, the above graphic is for summation purposes only.

Module 2 Objectives
At the completion of this module, you will be able to:
§       Name the categories of aromatics sources, and the components of each category.
§       Discuss the difference between organic, wildcrafted, conventional, and endangered sources of aromatics. 
§       Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of what constitutes the scent profile of various aromatic groups.
§       Quickly, and with certainty, place a new aromatic that you are evaluating in the appropriate aromatic group(s).
§       Determine which fragrance family a perfume belongs to, either by reading a formula, or by looking at a list of the notes, or by smelling the perfume and using your nose and Scent Memory.
§       Conceptualize a perfume that you wish to create by focusing on a fragrance family and its characteristics for your selection of aromatics to develop that perfume. 
§       Understand how to use fragrance families for marketing purposes.
Note:  At the end of this module, you will find a blank copy of each of the forms, charts, and sheets that are used with this module.  These are also available as downloadable files on the course Web site.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012 - until 10 PM EST

What a glorious day in sunny, warm Miami!  I have a lot of gardening to do today, but I'll be sure to answer your questions about perfumery when I take breaks.  I'll post a photo here later day, showing how my pineapple patch is starting to fruit.  It's very early for this, and I guess it's because we've had a very warm winter.  Usually the pineapples don't start to fruit until late March/April and the fruits are ready to harvest in June/July.

There are so many fragrant flowering plants right now, I can hardly keep up with the harvest for tinctures and enfleurage! I hope you saw my post yesterday about the aglaia.  I really wish I could be a virtual Anya Aglaiaseed and get this fragrant wonder into everyone's home!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

February Flowers in Miami

  It's 79F in Miami right now, and I just came inside after photographing some flowers in the front garden.  I'm going right outside to work on the veggie garden in the back, but I had to stop and share these photos with you.  Jasmines and aglaias are easy to grow indoors.  Have I tempted you to get some for yourself?

The underside of the glorious Jasmine grandiflorum has a slight pink tinge, hinted at in the unopened bud, below.  I so adore this plant!  I don't harvest the ones from my garden for enfleurage or tincture anymore, I just like to enjoy them scenting the air in my garden.
This is a big cluster of aglaia odorata flowers.  I cannot urge you strongly enough to grow this!  Even if you're in a studio apartment, you can easily grow this carefree, extremely fragrant plant.  Each cluster panicle of flowers you see is a little bigger than a thumb.  The flowers are tiny, but their scent "throws" out about 30 ft or 10 meters!  They don't' get diseases, they get by on little water, no pests bother is, in essence, a glorious addition to your garden or home.  I got mine from logees.com years ago, a tiny 6" plant, and now it's a trimmed back 10' bush/tree.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Frankincense Friday - Hojari, Howjari, Howjary

I'm beginning a weekly series about frankincense for a number of reasons:

1.  I love the resin warmed in an incense heater.
2.  I love the essential oils from all the various species.
3.  It was probably the first plant harvested for its fragrance, for incense.
4.  It was probably the first plant made into unguents, and used medicinally.
5.  It is, according to some sources, on a path towards endangered status, for various reasons.
6.  My friend Trygve, of Enfleurage NYC, lives in Oman, takes hundreds of pictures, and has shared them with me, and I'll share them with you.  PS. She makes frankincense ice cream!
7.  I have a tiny sapling of Boswellia sacra, and I call "him" Baby Franco.  I'll chronicle his growth here.
8.  Two types of frankincense, an oil and a resinoid, form the base of my Light perfume.  The frankincense highlights and bridges the various citruses used in Light, and makes for a seamless, long-lasting cologne.

Here are true "hojary" or "howjary" trees, regarded as the finest quality frankincense.


Trygve's note: These crazy creatures are up a wadi called Jufa. It's the beginning of the "howjary" area. 

Jufa frankincense






Photo credit:  Trygve Harris

Did you know that the resin is only collected during the deciduous season (when the trees are leafless)?

In future posts, I'll write about the history, cultivation and processing of frankincense, but right now, I'm just enjoying the visuals of this historic fragrant plant.  Stunning raw beauty!

Do you have a reason you love frankincense?  Please leave a comment. 

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Love the Guild - Natural Perfumers Guild membership event now through February 14th

"Love the Guild" membership event - Now through February 14, 2012



 We'd like to invite you to join the Natural Perfumers Guild during one of our rare membership events.  Now through February 14th, all new members will enjoy 12% off the membership fee, and will be eligible for the drawing of natural perfumery-related gifts. Please visit http://naturalperfumers.com and use the code 1B6DE36B0C for the discount.

The Natural Perfumers Guild is an international organization dedicated to all aspect of natural aromatics - history, growing, distillation and extraction, supply, regulations, perfumers, associates, suppliers and friends. 
Now in our fifth year, the Guild boasts a dynamic community discussion forum, several committees that address issues and opportunities and high Internet visibility due to several successful and thought-provoking blogging events such as the Mystery of Musk, Outlaw Perfume, Brave New Scents, Joy in January and more.

Please visit our website and let me know if you have any further questions.  We hope to see you in the Guild!