Friday, June 30, 2006

Intro and Ideas

After many hurricanes in the past year, launching the Artisan Natural Perfumery Guild, taking on several business enterprises, various health and home issues -- Anya's Garden will soon debut at

The garden where perfume - naturally - flows from is the culmination of decades of botany, horticulture, perfume study and generally being a gadabout. Time out for landscape architecture, land planning, photography, journalism and whatnot, it is all very pleasing to be back to what I loved as a child - perfume.

My first perfume line was launched on South Beach (Miami Beach) Florida in 1992. They were sold under the Anya's Tropical Essences name, and the simple flintglass bottles held a quarter ounce of perfumes with names like East Africa, India Wood, Riviera, Ancient Amber and Roots. Many stores in the area, and some hotels carried them. That led to private label work with hotels, and bespoke perfumes commissioned by lovers of natural aromatics.

In 1991, I started a chat group on for natural perfumery, and in 2002, I moved the group to yahoo where the Natural Perfumery group has grown to almost 1000 members.

I decided to launch in June 2005 to showcase talented perfumers from the yahoo group. Later that year, Mandy Aftel, author of Essence and Alchemy generously gave me the Guild, which she had closed due to business demands. Mandy felt I had a knack for managing a group, and in June 2006 I revived the Guild, which is off to a great start, with wonderful members from all corners of the world, all united in their love of natural perfumery.


All of that caused me to have to postpone the launch of Anya's Garden.

The physical launch. The mental, emotional and heartfelt launch occurred last year. Once I had the name, the very concept of taking my decades of fragrant gardens, my love of perfumes, and my progressively sophisticated perfumes and blending them all together, I began to blend. In my head.

That, of course, is where all perfumes must start. You must have a concept, an intention, a theme. I want to create, and I have created three so far, perfumes that capture the unique character of botanical and fantasy gardens that I am obsessed with. All imagination is is the cumulation of memories, knowledge and intent, and from my imagination the snarling beauty of the narcotic flowers of the tropics, so heady they threaten to smother you, or at least, stimulate you so you find it hard to sleep sweep over the salty shoreline of Biscayne Bay, pulling along the sweetness of citrus blossoms and the herbal decay of oakmoss in an incredibly strong, challenging, rewarding perfume.

More next on my romantic, young-at-heart garden Riverside, a sensory and emotional opposite to the wildness of Fairchild. And let me tell you about Pan, wild and crazy Pan, clipped of almost reputnant scent gland hairs, tamed by hay and wood and lotus. Oh, Pan, you Jitterbugging God, you ageless lover, speaking to us from Arcadia and our dreams. Tell us more, Pan.