Showing posts from July, 2008

About That Clean, Fresh Scent

What Madison Avenue Touts to the Detriment of Health - from Cigarettes to Plug-In Air "Fresheners" et al Just a quick follow up to the previous blog on chemical sensitivities causing problems for perfumistas. This appeared a few days ago in the Washington Post. A brief quote from the article: "Collectively, the six products gave off nearly 100 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including acetone, the eye-stinging ingredient in nail-polish remover and paint thinner. (VOCs are compounds that vaporize easily, like fumes from paint and gasoline. Many VOCs are known to be harmful.)" It's very clear to me, and has been very clear for a long time that we are in a state of sensory overload due to savvy Madison Avenue brainwashing. My prediction? In a few years the fragrance fumes of the grocery aisles, the plug-in "air fresheners", the scented candles will all be as rare as cigarette smokers, smoke-filled restaurants and offices and will be viewed as harmful.

Perfume Seems to be Doing some Perfumistas In - Bloggers Report on Having to Stop Wearing Perfume

Synchronicity has struck. In one day I stumbled upon three perfume bloggers who have written how they have either had to stop using perfume altogether, or at least drastically cut back on their use of perfume. I was idly searching back through the Urban Farmer blog and found this post , dramatically titled The End of Scent. When I read the comments, I noticed that Heather of Memory and Desire discussed her problems with scent and having to stop using fragrance entirely. I was wondering why she hadn't blogged since May - now I know. With Heather, it's headaches, for Lou, well, she had a litany of problems. Savvy, they cut back on scent usage. It's tearing their souls up, but their bodies are healing. It's been barely three years since the birth of perfume blogs. I'm wondering if we're now seeing the "canary in the coal mine" syndrome starting to surface. Often I have read on forums snarky comments from perfumistas about those who complain about st

Sign the Petition - Fight the Planned Destruction of Small Cosmetics Companies by Global Harmonization

You don't have to be Einstein to recognize the disastrous effect this unfair corporate-sponsored Act will have on the small independent business owners who make cosmetics, perfumes and other body care products. STOP THE FDA GLOBALIZATION ACT OF 2008 Today I took part in a meeting of a Coalition of small business owners/organization leaders who are very concerned about the proposed FDA Global Harmonization Act of 2008 here in the USA. We are pooling our membership rolls into building a groundswell of grassroots efforts to give us strength in numbers as we work towards stopping the FDA. The most articulate message I have seen so far on this subject is by the President of the Indie Beauty Network, Donna Maria Coles Johnson, and I urge you to visit her blog and view the video she prepared on this. Then, PLEASE sign the petition on that site, and don't forget to use your full name and city and state. The short story? This GHA will effectively put many of the small perfumery, body ca

Pre-Registration for Fall 2008 Online Natural Perfumery Course

Anya's Online Basic Natural Perfumery Course - Registration Beginning Currently there are 40+ students enrolled in the Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 course. Read some of the testimonials from them, below. More available upon request. Enroll now for the Fall 2008 session. Click here to Register now - secure you place in the most dynamic, interactive one-year online class in perfumery! Whether you want to study perfumery for fun or with the goal of becoming a professional perfumer, you'll enjoy and establish a firm foundation in perfumery basics by taking this course. Imagine - a full year of interactive, professional education from a teacher with thirty years experience working with natural essences! Read on... Your Tuition Helps Others! $50 of every student's tuition is donated to a worldwide charity on Global Girlfriend. Donations so far have included providing goats to a Rwandan family, sending two girls to school in Afghanistan, and buying a cookstove for a refugee family in

Interview with Anya McCoy on Perfume Critic

The interview was conducted a few months ago, and Part 1 appeared soon after. The current intstallment is Part 2, and I must say that Marlen, an old Internet buddy who went on to found Perfume Critic really made me feel welcome and opened me up conversationally during the interview. His questions were those only someone who has known somebody for a long time could ask :-) You can find Part 1 here ad Part 2 here . If you leave a comment, you may win a generous sample of my Temple perfume.

Anya's Garden is Giving Goats - and Grants

Earlier today my assistant Giselle blogged on the Natural Perfumers Guild blog about a microgrant program that is being started to provide assistance to growers and distillers of botanical aromatics worldwide. The Guild will help those involved in our industry, while I have chosen to "pay it forward" to a wider variety of folks. I've donated a percentage of my income from Anya's Garden to the Red Cross and other rescue agencies since the garden began. Living in Miami, my heart goes out to those in need because of natural disasters. We've been slammed so many times down here I've lost count, and organizations like the Red Cross always come through. Now as my business picks up, I have the need to give more. I'm fortunate and blessed, and grateful, and when I lay my head down at night I want to feel I've made the world a better place - and I'll be you do, too, so maybe you'll follow my lead on this. Let's face it - perfume is a luxury, and nat

The perfume of Aglaia odorata in the garden - more Independence Day for perfumers

I adore neroli, but the neroli that is what we call the essential oil distilled from the blossoms of Citrus aurantium does not compare to the scent of those blossoms in the garden. I first created a natural tincture/absolute of those blossoms about 30 years ago at the University of California, Riverside, armed only with a bucket of vodka. ;-) Into the vodka went the blossoms where they were left to tincture for a day, and then the vodka was recharged with more blossoms three or four times. The resulting extraction was true to the blossoms' scent, and cherished by me for several years as I used it to make perfumes. Aglaia flower is often called Chinese lemon tree or Chinese perfume tree among other names. The scent of the blooms in the garden, again, like the neroli, is quite different from the concrete or absolute we perfumers purchase. While glorious, fruity, floral, with a touch of tea, the commercial extract is missing the beautiful soft, uplifting nuances of the flower. The flo

Independence Day as part of a business plan - Protecting Perfume at the Source

Jasmine sambac "Grand Duke of Tuscany" from my garden As an artisan who grows much of her botanical aromatics, I made a conscious decision not to rely on the vagaries of the open market for many of my supplies. Of course, I have to buy concretes, absolutes and essential oils - but not that much anymore. I have a huge stash of stuff I've stocked over the years, all properly stored to preserve freshness. I am increasingly aware of the fragile nature of the supply chain, and I hope you, artisan natural perfumer, if you're reading this, are too. Heck, if I were a perfumer who used synths in my perfumes, I'd be quaking in my business boots. Even worse if I used bases from major supply houses. You're completely at their mercy. That stranglehold on supply, as more and more smaller supply houses are gobbled up in the EU-fueled stranglehold on the supply of processed aromatics - combined with the weak US dollar, typhoons that destroy crops, adulteration, and the warine

Getting Your Goat - Perfume Musk that is Fragrance without Guilt

Back in 2006, I revealed that I was using a new form of animal musk scent in my perfumes, one that was tinctured from the hair of a rutting billy goat. The adorable goat, Frontrunner, donated some of the hair from the area where his scent glands are located, which is the top of his head. Tinctured in organic alcohol, the reminiscent-of-goat-cheese scent quickly gave up its muskiness and later debuted in my Pan perfume which was created in honor of the Goat God Pan. Roundly mocked by some for this bold step, I have to smile now, after hearing they're all picking up on the goat hair, evaluating different tinctures as if they were fine wine. I don't get that carried away - this stuff really stinks, and it is the skill of the perfumer in figuring how to blend it that I believe has made Pan perfume such a runaway hit. Words like warm, sexy, pheromonic, and "I had a crowd gather around me, and they obviously loved the perfume" or phrases to that effect were sent back to me