Wednesday, March 21, 2007

First Press Coverage for Anya's Garden Perfumes

I got a call two months ago from an associate editor at Palm Beach Cottages and Gardens Magazine, published by Conde Nast. She said they wanted to put a bit in their "What's New" section for the March issue. The magazine came out on Friday, and I got my copy in the mail today. Pretty good coverage for a perfume line that was only officially launched in December. Click here and follow the link to see my homemade photo positioned above a $730,000 Mont Blanc pen!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Focusing on the Network to Protect Our Rights to Use Natural Products


Time for a break from blogging again. Time to network more with the people around the globe who are aghast at the bad science, bad attitude and outright bias that International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and also the European Union (EU) are exhibiting towards natural perfume materials.

Just when natural products are enjoying a 20% annual rise in sales, and traditional products only 3-4% rise, they want to severely limit our access too these gorgeous, lovely natural aromatics. Yes, perhaps some essential oils or absolutes, if used in an excessive amount *may* cause a rash in in some people; wine causes allergies, too, but we don't see the EU limiting it, or banning it.

My time has been eaten up by the learning curve necessary to work on this. On Sunday I had to take a few hours to cobble together a printout for an esteemed ethnobotanist and natural perfumer because he is without a computer, and I couldn't just send him links to websites. I'm glad I took that time to work on getting almost 30 pages of information together for him, because there were two great outcomes: he notified very influential people, and the work I did gave birth to what I'm loosely calling the Primer on the IFRA and EU issues and the gathering rebellion against their ability to represent us, the users of natural materials. It will be revised soon, so check back at the Artisan Natural Perfumers Guild page where it is downloadable as a PDF.

I have many projects that have been neglected due to this call to arms in the naturals industry, and cutting out blogging is the best way to free up time and energy. The 1200+ members of my natural perfumery yahoo group will be kept up to date on a more regular basis. See you in a naturally-fragrant future, where, hopefully, the devious powers in the IFRA and EU circle will be kicked back on their Machiaeveillian butts and sanity, logic and good science will reign without the threat of their Walmart-like tactics to put the little guy out of business so they can move in and take over the town (20% increase in annual sales). It's all comes down to money and power, and manipulating the press.

We're going to respond with ethical, positive actions, like networking via transcontinental phone hookups to brainstorm; finding key industry movers and shakers at big events like this weekend's Natural Products Expo in California, where 2,600 vendors and 43,000 attendees are expected. The revolution against Totalitarian government control of our access to essential oils, absolutes and CO2 extracts of plants is starting, and I hope the halls of Brussels hear the opening salvo of the cannon of dissent being aimed their way, and that it thunders and echos with a sound that keeps them awake at night. Their reign of terror over small business, in the guise of overweening "Big Brother" protectionism is about to be shaken to its core.

The network is spreading, the lights are being flicked on worldwide as to illuminate the machinations of IFRA and the EU, and it will light every corner of their corrupt empires.

Friday, March 02, 2007

It's the synthetics, stupid. (to quote an American political slogan"

Tony Burfield's recent work challenging IFRA and the EU has forced
them to show their hand, and here is the plain, awful truth, which Tony said all along was their agenda:

They're insisting that synths are good, and naturals are bad and expensive. Baloney (well, ok, some naturals are expensive, let the market find it's own level.)

Funny they cite Calone: it was the first perfume ingredient that ever caused a respiratory reaction from me. For my entire life, despite dousing myself in perfumes that yes, contained some synths, when Calone was introduced, it, and the other harsh synths that followed, caused both me and a lot of the general public to rebel against heavy, harsh perfumes. I had no idea what, at that time, had changed perfume, I just knew everyone was complaining.

Before that, I remember people would complain someone was wearing "too much" perfume, but after the age of harsh synths came in, governments and workplaces started banning perfumes. It's not the naturals, it's the harsh synths, and yet IFRA is promoting them. Too much oakmoss, used by an imprudent perfumer, can cause a rash and sensitization: too much calone and other synths can cause severe respiratory distress, watering eyes, etc.

Additionally, many synths are just plain flat and boring, linear and stiff. Naturals evolve and waft gently, and bring a sense of the real world, not chemistry lab sterile hallways, to the wearer.

This HAS to be a wake up call for all of us.
I spoke with someone in the Cosmetics industry yesterday who recently attended a workshop on California's Prop 65 that limits perfume ingredients. The packed room of 150 industry insiders had NO idea that IFRA/EU and Global Harmonization are coming our way. They are scared silly and just starting to muster responses to it all. I'll be networking more and more over the next few months to build a coalition to address a fair and sensible way to counteract this bureaucracy that aims to put naturals out of the market.

Warning labels should suffice - in a properly-regulated, non-Big-Brother word they would, as they currently do here in the states. Think you may be allergic to perfume? Don't use it. Don't let bullies take your favorite perfumes away from you, or cripple the future of creative artists who wish to blend the beautiful naturals.

Ban the stuff that makes eyes water in elevators, or severely limit their percentages in perfume. It's all such Machevellian nonsense to go after naturals.

Just when naturals are gaining in popularity,
the very growers and distillers, suppliers and manufacturers of these materials can be shut down or have their business severely curtailed. Very sobering, scary stuff.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Tony Burfield's Letter to IFRA regarding the petition and issues surrounding the 40th Amendment


1st March 2007

Dear Sirs,

Please find attached the petition posted up at

You will note that there are approx. 740 signatories to date, including perfumers, natural perfumers, MD's of aroma ingredient companies, aroma technicians, academicians, soap makers, staff from cosmetic & natural products companies as well as natural products commodity end-users from countries as diverse as Russia, Iceland & USA. There are a number of anonymous signatories, and to avoid any unfair accusations of ballot-rigging or signature duplication, we are quite willing to submit the owner's version of this petition (which reveals fuller identity details), to an independent 3rd party (who will need to agree to absolute confidentiality), if the need should arise. I think you if you read the comments section of the petition - scroll through - you will be taken aback by the depth of feeling many have about over-regulation in cosmetics and interference with respect of freedom to use natural products generally.

Cropwatch believes IFRA has lost its way in recent times, and has effectively become over-influenced by the views of aroma megacorporations and career toxicologists, to the detriment of the perfumery art. We believe that IFRA's precautionary-principled interpretation of health & safety, does not find widespread public support, is sometimes based on selective interpretation of the available scientific evidence, & has knowledge gaps & shortcomings, some of which may due to limitations of available funds. Further, the window-dressing provided in the Jan 2007 IFRA Newsletter, designed to 'soften-up' industry over the 40th Amendments QRA scheme, does not fool us. The fact is that perfumery has become a somewhat tawdry money game, where the principle players have nothing to do with the art.

We believe that it is a very unhealthy situation: that IFRA/RIFM, being such influential bodies, are not independently financed. We believe that their findings & policies should be completely opened up for public discussion, and the existing exclusive & secretive 'Brussels regulatory club' reorganised in the interests & transparency & democracy. Further and most importantly, RIFM needs to be overhauled so that its capabilities can cover a proper risk/benefit analysis for all cosmetic ingredients - rather than delivering a mere risk analysis, as at present. Additionally RIFM/IFRA as powerfully influential bodies, have a social responsibility to those people they disadvantage and put out of work with their safety policies. Where natural ingredients are restricted or prohibited, they need to work with producers & manufacturers to find ways of reducing adverse reactions, which can be applied across the board to all natural ingredient producers - including the economically disadvantaged ones.

Finally, as is indicated by of the petition comments, IFRA needs to show 'joined-up-thinking' with other regulatory bodies as far as ingredient legislation is concerned. It's no good that FAO other EU Commission Depts, or Nation State Government Departments providing funds to farmers & producers to grow aromatic crops, if IFRA or the SCCP are subsequently going to recommend their restriction or banning in cosmetic commodities. It just makes for more unnecessary regulatory incoherence and social hardship.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Burfield
for & on behalf of Cropwatch -
the Independent Watchdog for Natural Ingredients.
proposing the Boycott of the 40th IFRA Amendment, for reasons set out at