Friday, February 29, 2008

The Natural Perfumers Guild welcomes Albert Vieille as a Supplier

There are several French suppliers with pristine reputations for supplying pure and natural aromatics, and fewer still that have a history of continuous manufacturing since the 1920's. Albert Vieille is such a company, and the people that work there are a delight and also very helpful, so it is a pleasure to work with them. The Natural Perfumers Guild is pleased to welcome Albert Vieille onboard as a Supplier member, and this membership is one more step forward as we join forces with those we admire and respect in the natural aromatics field.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kaffir and Temple perfumes from Anya's Garden reviewed on NowSmellThis blog

I completely missed these reviews when I was offline due to eye strain. Thank you Robin, the Queen of NowSmellThis for letting me know about Kevin's reviews.

The Natural Perfumers Guild is Honored to Welcome Three Industry Icons as Associate Members

The Fragrance Foundation + Mindy Green + John Steele

The Natural Perfumers Guild is proud to announce the addition of three new Associates to our membership roster. Two of the new members, John Steele of Lifetree Aromatix and Mindy Green of Green Scentsations are noted aromatherapists, authors and educators. Neither has a website, so the links above are to websites that summarize their illustrious careers. Trained in aromatherapy, John has taught natural perfumery, and Mindy wrote a seminal book on Natural Perfumery. Mindy is also the Clinical Aromatherapist for the Aveda Corporation, a founding member of the American Herbalists Guild and associate editor of the American Herb Association Newsletter Their careers are devoted to natural aromatics, writing, education and promoting the industry, and we are honored to have them on board.

The Fragrance Foundation is the educational arm of the international fragrance industry. The Guild, just one-and-a-half years old, is honored to be recognized by such an august organization, and delighted to have them join us. In speaking with John Steele this afternoon, I found out that he has known Annette Green, the founder of the Foundation since 1985, and that she invited him to Summit 2000 at the Lincoln Center, New York City in 1990 to speak on natural aromatics. It is wonderful that two paths cross again in the Guild.

The Fragrance Foundation hosts the annual FiFi Fragrance Awards, the "Oscars" of the fragrance industry, trains perfume sales representatives, has a research and development institute - The Sense of Smell Institute - plus many, many more dynamic and ongoing projects. Two years ago the Fragrance Foundation hosted a James Beard Foundation dinner in New York, and Mandy Aftel, Guild founder, presented natural aromatics to the dinner attendees. Rochelle Bloom the Foundation President then invited Mandy to return to NYC in a few months later to be on a panel discussion of natural aromatics, and thus our relationship with the Foundation was forged.

It is fulfilling ot see the players all come together. If you read the blog previous to this, Janita, who is mentioned there, grew up with Mindy Green. When emails between Mindy and myself got snagged in spam traps, Janita was able to reconnect us, thus facilitating Mindy's membership. It is the connection between all of us that facilitates our moving forward with our goals of education, growing the art and community and working on legislative issues that affect us.

There are many projects in the works for the Natural Perfumers Guild in the coming year, and the addition of these members is helping us kick off 2008 as a year that will help define and shape our role more in the fragrance world. It is very exciting and a great time to be a natural perfumer!

Separated at birth? Two natural perfumers with a huge link

Left box and bottle: Ascent Natural Perfumes Right side: Janita Haan Perfumes

In August 2007 the Guild welcomed natural perfumer Rohanna Goodwin Smith of Ascent Natural Perfumes onboard as a Professional Perfumer. I noted that the similarities between her packaging, down to the size and shape of the box, the color of the box, the shape of the perfume bottles and the delicate, sophisticated style of her perfume was nearly identical to that of Janita Haan, another Guild Professional Perfumer, who joined June 2007. My photograph here does not show the color similarity so well. I think the flash brought out too much red in Janita's box, the one on the right with the larger bottle. The gold drops you see behind the bottle are from the sealing wax.

When anyone joins the Guild they submit some items to me for the Guild Library, so I've seen a lot of packaging, but never anything like the similarities between these two perfumers.

When Janita saw the name of Rohanna's company, her heart sank. Janita had been using the name Ascent Natural Perfumes for 10 years. Here's how she signed on the Natural Perfumery group: Janita ascent established 1998 I don't think that site is up anymore, at least not just now when I checked. It was a site that hosted a lot of artisans, and Janita's page was found by clicking on perfume.

She didn't (still doesn't) have a website up, so the Ascent doppelganger didn't register with me. I spoke with her, and we didn't know quite what to do. Janita called up Rohanna, and in the spirit of good will decided to drop her claim on the name Ascent Natural Perfumes and go with Janita Haan Natural Perfumes. What a lovely and generous thing to do in this day of challenges over Trademarking. Janita is a quite famous person in her own right as the lead singer (great vintage photos here, and some video) of the Babe Ruth Band, so she'll go with a eponymous name for her company and website. Janita is also involved in several artistic projects in the UK such as The Flowers of Myddfai. She's a really, really, good person who chose to build bridges with another perfumer rather than burn bridges or cause a ruckus.

But that's not the whole story. Until I told Rohanna and Janita about the design and visual similarities, and aside from the name duplication, I found out they're both Taureans and both are singers. I think there are a few more elements I can't remember at this time. Well, they both live in remote, rural areas, Janita in Wales, and Rohanna in British Colombia. Some day they will have to meet, these two very lovely ladies, and compare notes. Two noses, separated at birth ;-)


Ascent Natural Perfume
Same shape box for packaging
Almost identical color for box
Same shape bottles
Life in remote, rural areas

Just a nice little story to share.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Great reading on Cropwatch

Illustration for the article chosen for no reason other than its beauty - a bunch of blue lotus flowers.

Bravo to Tony Burfield for waging a tough negotiation and getting two great copyrighted articles in this month's Cropwatch newsletter.  Downlload the .pdfs, such as the one that is a very funny speech by Kim Kleimann, President of Berje Inc. titled "What you'll never hear from your boss." Mr. Kleimann pulls no punches, but there are lots of punchlines - in the form of very comical takes on the state of the raw materials industry. No one is sacrosanct - REACH, buyers, Scandanavian dermatologists (what a back story that is to the current state of regulation!), IFRA, sellers, anybody. I like Mr. Kleimann - he's a real straight shooter.

The WFFC that this speech was presented at is the Women in Fragrance and Flavor Commerce group in New Jersey.

Robert Tisserand, noted aromatherapist and I'm proud to say a member of the Natural Perfumers Guild, gave a brilliant, detailed speech on essential oil safety at the Alliance of International Aromatherapists conference

At that conference, Robert was given a well-deserved Lifetime Achievement award, and his paper titled "Challenges Facing Essential Oil Therapy: Proof of Safety" illustrates why. His writing is well-researched, backed by decades of experience and all is communicated in a clear, concise manner.

Tony's amazing coverage of the coumarin controversy is found in "Coumarin: The Real Story", a must-read for anyone stumped by all the confusing, conflicting information out there on this lovely-smelling component of many natural aromatics.

Thank you Tony and Kendra for a great newsletter!