Thursday, December 30, 2010

Anya's Garden Perfumes - Light, an Outlaw Perfume Wins a "Best of 2010 Scents" award

I almost missed this mention of "Best Natural Fragrance" on Elena's list on Perfume Shrine!

Here's what I wrote on Facebook about the award: 

I adore my Light perfume. I was almost afraid to release it, as it went against my typical style, yet I was consumed with creating a modern "cologne" perfume, beautiful and wearable 24/7, year-round. Well, listen to your passion and don't hesitate, because Light was named Natural Fragrance of 2010 by Elena of Perfume Shrine.

The Best in Scent 2010: Rising Star of 2010 Award: Natural Perfumers Guild "Outlaw Perfumer (doing what they darn please."

I'm just soooo happy that the perfumers from the Guild followed me into Outlaw territory and won this award from Elena of Perfume Shrine:

Rising Star of 2010: "Outlaw" perfumers doing what they darn please irrespective of perfumery restriction, just for the heck of it. It was about time...

Natural Perfumers Guild Wins "Best Buzz" Award from CaFleureBon's Best of Fragrance 2010


MICHELYN: The Natural Perfumer’s Guild Blogger Events: The Mystery of Musk and Outlaw Perfume
As Ida wrote,  It seems inconceivable that there can exist so many gifted natural perfumers, of whom one has never heard”.

Anya's Garden Perfumes - Makes a Top 10 list for 2010 - Keep Warm Without Getting Bored

Monday, December 27, 2010
6. Anya's Garden: Kewdra - An all-natural and botanical dirty musk, as carnal as it gets and then some.

The Natural Perfumers Guild Honored by Ca Fleure Bon's The Fragrant Year in Review - Best of Scent 2010

The perfumers in the Natural Perfumers Guild worked very hard this year to create perfumes to fit themes that are close to our hearts - botanical and cruelty-free musks, and declaring our independence from nonsensical IFRA constraints.

Ca Fleure Bon recognized our efforts in their Best of Scent 2010 awards.

December 29, 2010

The Fragrant Year In Review: 2010… From Top to Bottom Notes

One of my favorite trends of 2010 was the emergence of Natural Perfumery. Under the auspices of The Natural Perfumers Guild I was honored to participate in two projects they held this year; The Mystery of Musk and Outlaw Perfume. These projects exposed me to some very talented perfumers who I think are the rising stars of not just Natural Perfumery but Perfumery. Those names you should be looking for are Charna Ethier, JoAnne Bassett, Alfredo Dupetit, and Jane Cate.
This is not to mention the “old hands” like Anya McCoy, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz and Alexandra Balahoutis.


Anya's Garden Perfumes Kewdra Selected as one of the Best of 2010 Fragrances

Cafleurebon – Best of 2010 Fragrances
Dec. 30, 2010

Kewdra  by Anya McCoy for Anya’s Garden Perfumes. 100% natural.
Anya McCoy’s scent Kewdra is named after Kudra the heroine of Tom Robbin’s novel Jitterbug Perfume. I have read this novel several times and have to say my little Mona Lisa smile reveals my “hat’s off” agreement with Anya’s interpretation of this classic heroine.
Kewdra is a very sexy sultry 1st -2nd Chakra perfume concentrating on a “down and dirty” theme with lots of earthy musky mushroom like scents suggesting sexual fluids and golden honeyed florals giving rise to the image of a healthy fertile woman. I heard that Kudra likes to get down with the God Pan. But you didn’t hear it from me…
Notes: Kewda flower, Chinese gardenia, golden boronia, musk.

Natural Perfumers Guild Wins Nod for 2010 Projects - Mystery of Musk and Outlaw Perfume

From The Non Blonde's Best Perfumes of 2010:

This is a "Best Of" list, so I'll address one of the most important movements of the year- the growing public interest  in independent artisan perfumery, including all natural/botanical scents. The Natural Perfumers Guild and its current president, Anya McCoy, made a huge contribution to educating the public and promoting the cause and concept of natural perfumery as a luxury product made of the finest ingredients by artists committed to creating beauty.

Between the Mystery Of Musk project and the Outlaw Perfumes initiative, McCoy and the Guild pushed several very small lines into the limelights and encouraged the creation of some of the most interesting and vibrant perfumes of recent years. Showing the world what a talented perfumer can achieve when freed from bureaucratic restrictions, I hope the Outlaws will forge a new path and inspire others to take a stand against IFRA. How awesome would it be?

Reminder: Scour websites for best deals on perfumery books

I've built up a great library of perfume books by systematically revisiting websites, looking for a good deal.  The latest is David Williams Perfumes of Yesterday.  The image below is from amazon, and it shows I got the one copy that a seller undervalued for $45.  The almost-$200 cost shown for other copies is more in line with all the other websites.  You have to "sniff" out these bargains, perfumers!  Try not to weep! You, too, can be a perfume book collector: it just requires persistence.
Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

"Bloomerang" lilac could be wonderful for natural perfumers

Well, you know how some (me!) natural perfumers love to grow and tincture/infuse/extract the scent from plants in our gardens.  I can't grow lilac here in Miami, but this new plant looks to be a winner for those in more northern climates. 

Syringa Bloomerang!   What a name ;-)

NPers tincture lilac blooms, but have to devote several years to getting a well-scented alcohol, because of the short blooming season.  Several changes of blooms are needed to reach that well-scented goal, and perhaps Bloomerang can solve that.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Kewdra Perfume from the Mystery of Musk project named as one of 10 Mid-winter perfumes that will keep you warm without getting bored

Well, maybe Gaia of The Non Blonde blog goes a step further - she notes that Kewdra is "An all-natural and botanical dirty musk, as carnal as it gets and then some"  My online store is closed until Jan. 5, 2011, but you can place an order now and it'll be shipped Jan 6th or so.  Use the code "holiday" (without the quote marks) for 10% off. 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, Perfumers - and the gift is another of Edmond Roudnitska's scanned articles

This is a wonderful article, from a Dragoco Report circa 1986.  Some of the parts of the article are a bit dated, yet much of it still has a lot of relevance to perfumers in 2010.  The title is The World of French Perfume. How did we get where we are? Where do we go from here? The link will take you to a page where other, previous articles are available for download, along with this latest one.

I had a bit of trouble scanning this article.  If I scanned it in color, to capture the beautiful illustrations, the text suffered.  I'm not an Adobe expert, and if anyone would like to help me rescan this, please contact me.  In color, it was 116MB, and in black and white, under 3MB.  The only problem is that the photos are very distracting in black and white, and will use a lot of black ink.

The article is scanned in landscape format, due to the size and orientation of the pages.  It will print out very nicely in portrait format.

Many thanks to Michel Roudnitska, who entrusted me with these article over a year ago.  I got so busy, and have been so frustrated with the Acrobat PDF problems, I only scanned four previous to this.  There is one more article, and then the series will be complete.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute: Now offering chat group for offline students, free aromatics kit, plus much more

Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute is the only perfumery course that allows offline students the chance to take part in daily chats with other students and the Instructor!  Anya has many years experience hosting lively perfumery chat groups and has extended this to her offline students. Nobody left out in the cold!

Earning a living as a perfume artist is the goal of every hobbyist, and it must start with well-made perfumes! This year has been a very rewarding one for me, and I have a higher income now than when I was working at a very well-paying corporate job.  It may take years to build up your hobby into a real career, but it can be done. Several of the perfumers who were in the two Guild projects this year have reported to me that they have had great sales as a result. The economy is definitely improving, and you may wish to gift yourself with an investment in your future as a perfumer by studying with me.

I have spent years mentoring folks in this group, and more recently, adding the students who are enrolled at into my circle, checking their assignments, giving feedback, and encouraging them.

Be sure to check out the entire site to fully appreciate what is offered.

Offline enrollment is a great value, and, if the student wishes, can be upgraded to online status at any time.

Certification in Basic Natural Perfumery is rewarded upon completion of the course.

Now through Dec. 31st, the first Aromatics kit is included free-of-charge to online students.

Natural Perfumers Guild members receive 10% off their tuition fee - see our current Discount page after you log in on the Guild site.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Innovative Perfumery Raw Materials Supplier Ecomaat of Bulgaria has joined the Natural Perfumers Guild

Certified Organic products that include those used in perfumery, aromatherapy, medicine, and the flavorings industries.

In early summer, 2009, I contacted a Bulgarian aromatics supplier, asking for samples of some of their very exotic raw materials.  I was particularly interested in the lilac CO2, and some SCO2 extracts of rose alba, linden blossom and others.  I blogged about the lilac here.  I gave them feedback, and started a correspondence with them, as they were astounded they had gotten feedback - they say people either buy or they never hear from them again.  I felt they were innovative and taking chances, and I support any supplier in the industry who does that.  I do believe the lilac CO2 has a place in aromatherapy - the fleeting nature of the top note wouldn't matter too much if the psychological effect for a jolt of scent memory was all that was needed.

During the evaluation session noted in the lilac SCCO2 blog, the student and I also went through the other materials, and the linden blossom knocked us out.  The honey note was incredible, and since neither of us is familiar with linden blossoms, we took it at face value as a terrifically beautiful material.  

Imagine my surprise when, about a month ago, the folks at Ecomaat applied to join the Guild.  It's official now, they're Guild-approved suppliers and we welcome them and their gorgeous materials.  They don't just carry aromatics, they have a number of related products, including a UV-inhibitor I wish to check out.  I'll probably host a Guild group buy so that our members can sample Ecomaat's aromatics, some of which are not listed on the website.  I can easily see linden blossom and the rose alba on the buy. 

They also produce a line of bio-cosmetics under the Spa Maat line, and I must try some of them soon, they look wonderful!

Ecomaat and companies like theirs are to be commended for their pioneering spirit in the aromatics industry.  It's a positive sign that the natural perfumery industry will continue to be supported by this type of supplier who has a spirit to match ours - we will go forward in the 21st Century with even more raw materials than we could have dreamed of just a few short years ago.  I like to dream, and I encourage the folks at Ecomaat to keep those dreams going, beautiful, scented dreams.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Perfumery course at Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute

Earning a living as a perfume artist is the goal of every hobbyist, and it must start with well-made perfumes!
Be sure to check out the entire site to fully appreciate what is offered.

I can share my skills of perfume creation with you with in perfumery course I offer.  So far, just the basic course is offered, but next year the Intermediate course, which delves into refining your blending knowledge, along with scientific approaches, will be held at my studio, and also perhaps online. Then there will be a Graduate level that will also address the details of marketing and sales.
You can sign up now and start your studies immediately.  In February, there will be another semester sign-up for students who wish to study in a group, and any student can enter that group and move through the study modules with them.

I am available to the online students at any time to help with their studies. The basic course online enrollment includes lifetime access to the website so that you can take advantage of new material as it is added - and it's always being added, whether it's a new podcast, video, etc.

Offline enrollment is a great value, and, if the student wishes, can be upgraded to online status at any time.

Certification in Basic Natural Perfumery is rewarded upon completion of the course.

Now through Dec. 31st, the first Aromatics kit is included free-of-charge.

Natural Perfumers Guild members receive 10% off their tuition fee - see our current Discount page after you log in on the Guild site.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Natural Perfumers Guild deal: Liability Insurance for the Bath and Beauty Microbusiness Community

I am posting this ad for Stratus Insurance. I was in negotiations with them for both the Natural Perfumers Guild and the Yahoo Natural Perfumery group and the natural perfumery community at large.

They're offering great rates to the Guild, and some folks might want to join to save over non-Guild rates.

For Guild members $1/M/$475
non-Guild: $1M/$525

BTW, if you have a business that is not 100% natural perfumery, you can still join in the Stratus deal. I did negotiate on behalf of the NP community, but I realize many here may use fragrance oils or aromachemicals. You can still get this insurance.

Just make sure you use this page to apply:

At the bottom of the page, if you're not a member of the Guild, check off if you are a member of the Yahoo NP group. I will work with Natasaha Gray to confirm Guild members at this time, since we've had about a dozen new members in the past week and they're not listed on the website yet. In the future, the Guild will have a separate application page. Also, for the non-Guild and non-NP group members, they're going to reword this to be more inclusive in the future, perhaps "Found via a link from Anya's Garden."

For Guild members $1/M/$475
non-Guild: $1M/$525

Limits are as follows:
$1,000,000 General Aggregate Limit
$1,000,000 Products-Completed Operations Aggregate Limit
$1,000,000 Personal and Advertising Injury Limit
$1,000,000 Each Occurrence Limit
$100,000 Fire Damage Limit
$5,000 Medical Payments
For additional $55 they can increase Aggregate and Products to $2,000,000 at any time during the policy.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, December 12, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Got the blending blues?  Can't figure out what the filter is going on? Ask away.  I'll see if I can be of assistance with your perfumery questions.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Are Human Pheromones in Perfumery just bunk?

Avery Gilbert, Guild Associate and general raconteur on all things olfactory, finds a book that confirms his theory that the hoo-ha over human pheromones is just bunk. 

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, December 5, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

I'm a little late getting this started today, but I will be here the rest of the day.  Post away!

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Anya's Garden Perfumes Eight-Day Hanukkah Giveaway continues

I'm going to try to find a fragrance-related image for each night.  This dreidel-shaped perfume bottle surely fits the bill, and is a lot of fun, to boot.

To be in the running to win a 3.5ml mini of any of my perfumes, or the 10-sample set, please visit my Facebook fanpage and use the "suggest to friends" option.  That is, if you are already a member yourself.  If not, please join - and still use the "suggest to friends" option.  The drawings will be held on Dec. 9th and announced here and on the Facebook fanpage.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Anya's Garden Temple Perfume Reviewed on Bois de Jasmin

Victoria of Bois de Jasmin blog honored me with a surprise review of Temple, a perfume I launched in 2007.  Lovely review, thoughtful and touching on spiritual and timeless threads.  Temple was meant to be a limited edition, due to the cost and rarity of the aromatics, but so many crave it, I decided to keep it in stock.  It's wonderful when a few years later, a review pops up that was expected, and validates my dedication to producing quality, timeless perfumes.

The Eight Gifts of Hanukkah - a perfume giveaway to celebrate Light

Anya's Garden Perfumes Celebrates the Festival of Lights with an eight-day perfume giveaway.

The Jewish tribe of the Macabees regained control of their temple in 167 B.C., and celebrated the event by lighting an oil lamp.  Despite the fact that there was only enough oil for one day, the lamp burned brightly for eight days.  This is the birth of the miracle of the Festival of Lights, known as Hanukkah, or Chanukah, and is commemorated each year.  Typically, foods such as latkes, a potato pancake, are fried in oil in remembrance of the long-lasting oil of the Macabees.

I was raised in a "mixed" household, where I was made to attend Catholic school, but where I was allowed to light the Hanukkah candles by my Jewish relatives, while often still wearing the Catholic school uniform, having rushed over after classes to attend the sundown ritual.

I'd like to up the ante on Hanukkah gifts, which are often responsible, everyday items like socks and sweaters, by hosting a giveaway of more Christmas-like gifts, such as perfume.  There! I've combined the two holidays in one. Well, sort of ;-)

To take part in the giveaway, you'll need to either join Anya's Garden Perfumes fanpage on Facebook, or if you're a already a member there, "suggest a friend" to join that page, and post about it.  Winners will be chosen from posting on the Facebook page between Dec. 1st and Dec. 8th, the eight days of Hanukkah.

You'll have your choice of any 3.5ml mini pure perfume from Anya's Garden to select from, and a sample of another perfume will be included.  You may also choose the 10-sample pack of pure perfumes, if you wish. Please let me know what you wish for your prize when you post. That's all there is - a fragrant bit of Hanukkah happiness may soon be yours, sincerely, from the heart of Anya McCoyberg (what my aunt used to introduce me as to her Jewish lady friends)!

PS: my latest perfume is Light - how cool is that - and my Temple perfume was reviewed today on Bois de Jasmin - a very nice coincidence!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, November 28, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Please post your questions, and forgive my slight delay in answering during the morning hours.  I will be available on a timely basis the rest of the day.

Natural Perfume lovers: "there has never been a safer time to spray yourself in synthetic fragrance (even though no data exists for some 20-30% of fragrance ingredients). "

You know I can't take an outrageous statement like that lying down.  It comes from this poorly-written and poorly-researched article:

They don't allow comments there, but I welcome them here, where they will be out on the Internet.  Please post your feelings!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Light and Amberess Perfumes included in new 10-sample set from Anya's Garden

The new sample set from Anya's Garden Perfumes now includes the latest releases, Light and Amberess.  You can read more about the two very different, very beautiful perfumes in my post immediately preceding this one, which is about the Outlaw Perfume project of the Natural Perfumers Guild.

Each sample is about a half a milliliter, enough for two applications.  The cost for the 10 is $65, and if you use the voucher code outlaw at checkout, you'll get 10% off the price.  They're included in the new Anya's Garden fabric pouch, so they can be carried in a purse, or stored together.  Each order comes with a card that describes the order in which the perfumes should be sampled.  Think of it as a perfume guide akin to a wine-tasting guide.  You'll want to sample the softer, lighter perfumes before the powerful, full-bodied ones, much like a flight of wines.

The samples now come in a satin fabric pouch with Anya's Garden Perfumes embossed on the fabric.

Don't forget to use the discount code so that you may experience these creations from my heart at a very reasonable price.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, November 21, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

The outlaw is in the house ;-) I hope y'all have been following the Outlaw Perfume project and it's fired you up to be one, too.  Use that rose and jasmine in appropriate amounts.  IFRA and the EU are getting pushed back at by some artisan perfumers! Well, outlaw or not, you're welcome to submit questions on perfumery today from 10 to 10.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Outlaw Perfume Project - A Natural Perfumers Guild Artistic Statement

Soon after I started blogging in 2006, I began to write of the incredibly restrictive and unreasonable "guidelines" of the International Fragrance Association, and the resultant laws from the European Union that effectively killed perfumery.  True, they also ranked some synthetics as "dangerous" (brain disruptions), but the list of naturals, which had been used for centuries without major problems, was overwhelming.  I rarely bother to blog about these issues anymore.  I discovered I was the ONLY perfumer doing so at the time, and it cast a bit of a bitter pall over my blog.  I'd rather be blogging about the beauty and luxury of naturals, so here I am.

I passed the ball on to other bloggers! Nine bloggers will be participating this week, and you can find their links at the end of this post.

They're all insightful, intelligent and passionate about perfumery.  Their readership far outstrips mine, and the Outlaw Perfume project is a great way for them to spread the word about this abomination against natural aromatics. They also get to sample the gorgeous perfumes created by the Natural Perfumers Guild members (disclaimer: I'm the president of the Guild) and offer a giveaway of the Outlaw Perfume on their blogs. 

I've always been someone who challenges authority. In the 60's, I marched for civil rights, against the Vietnam War, and for women's rights.  This IFRA and EU-driven blacklisting agenda against naturals must stop.  Readers, please remember that they're stomping on *your* rights to choose what you put on or in your body.

Anyone can use common sense and not put perfume on skin that is exposed to sunlight, so, there, the photo-sensitization problem of some of the citruses, angelica root, etc., solved ;-)  Think you may be a bit sensitized to oakmoss? Wear the perfume in your hair, or on your clothing, or in a perfume jewelry piece. 

I'm taking photos of vinaigrettes and perfume lockets that I'll share later this week.  They're a beautiful addition to a jewelry wardrobe, and serve a double purpose of gently releasing your perfume. It's all about our choice, and not bowing down to nanny-state governments.  How simple if a warning label, some perfume dabbed in your hair, or on your clothing, or in a piece of pretty jewelry solves this problem.  Or, if you're a daring outlaw like me - wear it on your skin!

I originally planned to release only one perfume for this project, but found I was finishing up it alongside another perfume that was truly outlaw in nature, so may I present Light and Amberess.

Amberess, the Princess Outlaw

Although I have created many custom Floriental perfumes for clients, I have difficulty wearing amber perfumes, my skin just can’t handle them. How ironic, since I adore the fossilized amber resin, and have a lot of amber jewelry.  Many years ago, I was given a small sample of true amber oil from Egypt, and I treasured it.  Then, Will at Eden Botanicals sourced the first commercially-available oil of fossilized amber, from the Himalayas. It is a wonderful oil, and a treasure to add to the natural perfumer’s perfume organ.  And it’s untested – so feh to IFRA! Even better, it works well on my skin, so I’m delighted by Amberess.

The very rare, very expensive, UNTESTED 
                                   Princesse de Nassau Rosa moschata aka Musk Rose

Top notes: none, in the true Oriental style
Middle notes: Zambian  Princesse de Nassau Rosa Moschata African musk rose otto and Musk rose absolute, Madagascan ylang ylang, South African rose geranium sur fleurs
Base notes: Indonesian patchouli, Himalayan amber oil, Turkish styrax, Greek labdanum, Peruvian tonka bean, Salvadorean balsam tolu, Balsam of Peru, Chinese benzoin, Madagascan vanilla

*red denotes untested or prohibited/limited aromatic


I originally called this perfume Aglaia, the genus name of the utterly delightful tiny flower of the Chinese perfume tree, Aglaia odorata, since I was building the perfume around this absolute. The name change was a natural – it is light, breezy, floral and citrusy, so Light it is.  A classically-composed “cologne” style perfume, the aglaia flower is truly the soliflore that sings the beauty of less is more. The color of the perfume is a sparkling bright yellow – so sunny!

The aglaia flower so so, so tiny! I grow the tree in my garden and make a very concentrated tincture that takes a long time to make. Why? Harvest for about an hour and you might have an ounce of the seed!

How is Light, so delicate, so innocent, an outlaw? The notes of this charming perfume that are either limited by, or untested by IFRA are shown in red.

Top notes: Sicilian cedrat, Israeli yellow grapefruit, French juniper berry.
Middle notes: Chinese aglaia flower, French genet flower, North Carolina ambergris.
Base notes: Hojari frankincense oil, edible frankincense sacra resinoid

I believe this is the first perfume to feature aglaia as a soliflore.  The genet supports is beautifully, adding a bit of a musk note!  The drydown reveals the true aglaia scent, which can last for two hours or more on your wrist or neck, many hours on your hair or clothing, or in a perfume locket.  The light, lemon-tinged frankincenses are the perfect base support for this soliflore. This is my wear-anytime, go-anywhere perfume. I adore it.

I have blogged extensively about Aglaia flowers here on my blog, and you can search for posts.  Aglaia was the name of a Greek goddess, and I suspect this is the origin of the name of the plant. Wonder if she was an outlaw-type goddess? ;-)

Participating Perfumers:

Participating Bloggers:

Guild Perfumer's Blogs:

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, November 14, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Ask the Perfumer is open and I'm waiting for your questions about perfumery, especially natural perfumery and natural raw materials.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Anya's Garden Perfumes Selected for Holiday Gift Guides


How very lovely that two of the four bloggers that grouped together for the Holiday Gift Guide selected my perfumes, Guild, and perfumery courses for inclusion.  I haven't sent any samples to one of the other bloggers ever, and the other in a year or more, so they're not up-to-date on my offerings.  Lucy at Indie Perfumes did make me blush with her praise!

I will be offering 10 perfumes come Monday, Nov. 15th, 2010 when I launch Light and Amberess, so that's a little pre-release leak: the 10 will be offered for $65 for the sample size, a wonderful value.

Here's links to Lucy and Elena's Holiday Gift Guide picks, so you can read about their choices:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Giveaway drawing and 20% off Natural Perfumers Guild membership through February 14th, 2010

The Natural Perfumers Guild is having a membership drive. There are vintage and contemporary perfumery books and article included in the membership, plus many prizes to be awarded in a random drawing of the names of the new members. Fees are marked 20% off the usual rate, and can be found at here. The dozens of books and articles that new members can download are listed here.

Deadline to join at the reduced membership rate and be in the drawing is Nov. 30th. Winners may state their choice of prize from the following list:

*Five one-year Basenotes Supporters memberships A $59 value*

Thinking of starting a perfume business? Take part in the chat on the most active perfume site on the Internet. The Basenotes Plus (née Basenotes Supporters) is a great way to connect to the community.

*One Basic Natural Perfumery textbook A $500 value*

This is the textbook for Guild President Anya McCoy's Basic Natural Perfumery course. 349 full-color pages. Winner will be emailed a .zip file of charts, forms, alcohol regs in several countries, MSDS and CoA forms and much more.

*Gift basket from Arly's Naturals A $95 value*

Pamper yourself with these all-natural aromatic goodies.

ARLYS Gold Oval Gift Basket containing:
1- 16 oz. Awakening Shower Gel
1- 4 oz. Bulgarian Rose Hydrosol
1- 10 ml. Serenity Synergy
1- Travel Pocket Diffuser
1- Nefertiti Mini Perfume Bottle
1- Sm. Lavender Sachet

*Catalogues from Mandy Aftel's exhibit at Bendel's NYC *

These illustrated catalogues are collector's items for the natural perfume lover.

*Eden Botanicals Aromatics Kit #2 A $190 value *

These kits are created for Anya McCoy's Basic Perfumery course and contain 59 essences. Winner will be emailed supporting aromatics monographs and information.

Note: this current offer is open to new members only, not renewals.

Sign up here.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, November 7, 2010 - until 10 PM EST

Turning the clock back has me up early, and I'll get you are, too, with perfumery questions. Ask away!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, October 31, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Ask the Perfumer is open this stormy Halloween day - don't ask anything spooky of me! I will be blogging later today or tomorrow about the new textbooks arriving for my online basic natural perfumery course - with pictures! After looking at it on a screen, and only printing out sections at a time, I am impressed by the book in its glory. 349 pages, many with color illustrations and photos, the most helpful charts I could design, great evaluation and recording forms, including Excel-based ones that can hold all your info - wow. Sorry for the excitement, but I really am pleased with the book, and four get mailed out tomorrow to new offline option students. Happy, happy.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, October 24, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

I'll be here on and off all day to answer your perfumery questions. Hope y'all are enjoying the weather and having fun!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, October 17, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Ask the Perfumer is open for questions. I almost forgot to post today, as I was out early and running most of the day. Sorry about my tardiness, but I'm here now, so ask away.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, October 10, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

I'm blending new perfumes today - what are you doing? Ask the Perfumer is open for this cool Sunday in Miami.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, October 3, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

I'll be here on and off all day to answer your perfumery questions. Hope y'all are enjoying the weather and having fun!

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Sharing image from perfumery article on Grasse perfume industry

I have been reseraching on the Internet for years, and I stumbled across an article, in French, on the early Grasse perfumery industry.  I laboriously translated it into English, and copied and pasted the twenty or so illustrations into the English version. What a lot of work, but worth it for my students!

This image is just so lovely. It's of the pomade room at Robertet in the 1800's.

Here's another image:

This image is of the Roure Bertrand plant, and those are orange blossoms on the ground, and people with shovels, scooping them up into the distillation units you see around the wall. Neroli!
If you click on the image, you will see it in a larger version.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Vintage Givaudan business card - and a perfume alchemist

I have a !signed! first edition (1945) of Edward Sagarin's The Science and Art of Perfumery, and I love the fact that I got a lagniappe when I purchased it. Tucked inside was the business card of a Givaudan employee.  I had high hopes that when I scanned the card, the perfume alchemist image would be clear, but age, and the texture of the card worked against my wishes. However, it is still fun to look at, so I'm sharing it with you.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Perfume Accessory Notes Podcast

I hope every perfumer who has ever struggled with a perfume that went "muddy" or was overwhelmed by one or two of the aromatics learns some tricks with this podcast.  The trick is learning to evaluate an aromatic and seeing if it might be an "accessory" note.  Accessory notes can be very wonderful in a perfume due to their uniqueness and ability to add a distinctive scent, but because they are also very intense in nature, they can ruin a blend.

I'm posting these podcasts on my perfumery education website, and I'm posting them here until I learn how to create RSS feeds there.  Heck, I hope the RSS feed I'm trying to create here works.  If it doesn't just visit the podcast page on the website.

UPDATE:  I have the RSS feed working on the AGNPI website, so you can grab it there.

A look back at the articles I've written, and blogs, since 2004

I posted this on the Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute's blog after I realized the recent list of articles on the Institute's website had never been listed before:
Director and Head Instructor Anya McCoy, natural perfumer of Anya's Garden, just published a list of articles she has authored on the subjects of natural perfumery, perfumery and book reviews since 2004. They are available for download from

McCoy, A. - Natural Perfumery:  A Fragrant Evolution (pub. Aromatic
McCoy, A. - Steve Earl - Position Paper: Defining Natural Perfumery (pub. self)
McCoy, A. - Robert Tisserand, Tony Burfield - IFRA/EU Boycott Primer (pub. self)
McCoy, A. - The Beauty of Botanicals Made Liquid: The Passion of Natural Perfumers (pub.
McCoy, A. - The Stages of Public Acceptance of Natural Perfumery (pub.
McCoy, A. - Book Review: What the Nose Knows (pub.
McCoy, A. - Book Review: The Essence of Perfume (pub.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, September 26, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

I got a late start today after an early visit to my mother, but I'm back in the studio now, so if you have any perfumery questions, ask away.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Anya's Garden Perfumes mentioned in Chinese Vogue

I rarely check the stats on my website, but I did the other day, and found someone had clicked through to my educational website Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute from Chinese Vogue. What the heck?! LOL.  There's a picture of 190 proof Everclear alcohol, and my name stands out in the chinese words, for sure, so I just had to run the copy through Google translator software. I like that 100% of the respondants wanted to make their own perfume!

Here's the translation:

Even if you are not an alcoholic, there is a wine you should know, not whiskey is not vodka, but Everclear, has recently been widely used home-made perfume. Everclear (pictured) are specifically fermented wine produced in cereal brands, only alcohol 75.5% (151proof) and 95% (190proof) two kinds of wine. Wow, even more than Erguotou "Lie" is much more alcoholic drink should be and it is no different.
DIY for the natural fragrance of Modern Alchemy
The modern trend in terms of the pursuit of personalized, traditional synthetic fragrance was really very monotonous, businesses have ordered a few years ago to launch perfume service. But in addition to expensive, but also the fun of yourself less. If you wish, now you can also create their own perfume absolute self, you can think of myself as an alchemist. Of course, homemade perfume also involves suppression of stem, leaf, petal to get the flavor, is a complex process. But even so, it has become increasingly popular in foreign countries, and as such, fragrance instructor training courses popular in foreign countries to not work recently.
Can not go on training courses abroad, it does not matter. Network has provided fragrance division Anya Mccoy online courses will teach you step by step how to create your own perfume. But I want to remind you, make your own perfume need more practice, natural perfume high price, but also a very broad value-added space. Probably tried later, you wanted to be a natural fragrance perfumers it!
(User vote, I will pick one to send a small prize, prize information published in the next issue of the "Edit Favorites")
1. If possible, you try homemade perfume?

1. I will! I would like to try Votes: 38,100%

2. No, I'm not interested

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday September 19, 2010

I'll be available to answer your perfumery questions until 10 PM EST.  I'm happy to help!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, September 12, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Ask the Perfumer is open for today, so ask all your natural-perfume-related questions.  I can also answer questions that apply to mainstream perfumery, if you keep it in the technical area, like weighing, specific gravity, etc.

PS:  In case you missed it, I posted two podcasts on - more to come.

PPS:  I also started a Facebook page for my online perfumery course - join it to receive timely updates.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, September 5, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Are you laboring over perfumery issues this long, hot Labor Day weekend?  Let's see if I can help you solve them. Ask the Perfumer is open for questions.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Public Perfumery Lectures Posted Soon to the Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute

 © Copyright Anya's Garden - 2010 All Rights Reserved

I have been posting lectures in the online perfumery course I teach since 2007.  Previously available only to registered students, some of my short, informative lectures will be uploaded to the Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute's website within a week or so. These lectures will be available on the "public side" of of the website, where no log in is required.

I'm thinking of uploading the pronunciation key, a short advisory on accessory notes and another topic I haven't determined yet. I hope you'll enjoy my Philly accent and a bit of humor I can't help but interjecting into the lectures occasionally. The lectures will probably be only five to ten minutes in length, in comparison to the more extensive lectures the enrolled students enjoy, which are often 20 to 30 minutes.  I'll post here when they're available.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, August 29, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Can you believe the summer in the Northern Hemisphere is almost over? Perfume wardrobes will be changing for those in temperate climates. Ask the Perfumer is open, thinking of hemispheric differences and the perfumes that love them.

PS:  I've started a page for the Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute on Facebook - you can click to join there.  I'll be updating that page frequently.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, August 22, 2010 - 10 a.m. to 10 PM EST

Hi Everyone:

I'll be here to answer your perfumery questions today, so please submit them via the comments option.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Contribute to the Lobbying Effort to Defeat the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 - SCA2010

The Natural Perfumers Guild is onboard to help fund the effort to defeat
the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010. We've registered a recurring monthly donation to the lobbying fund, and I urge you all to do the same because the future of your business is in jeopardy due to the SCA2010.

The Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild has started an advocacy fund so that they may hire a lobbyist to go and fight this Act. See the page at the link below.At the bottom of that page there is a link that connects you to a place where one can make a donation, the smallest increment being $5.00. The donations can be one time, monthly, etc.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Natural Perfumers Guild is Opposed to the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010

This bill, as written, will effectively destroy all small businesses that produce natural care products, such as natural perfumers, aromatherapists, soapers, etc. The Natural Perfumers Guild is opposed to the passage of this bill, and urges everyone to sign the petition against it at

Due to an ongoing family crisis, I have been unable to blog for some months now, since I have to focus my energies on the healing process for my mother.  On July 27, 2010, I posted a link, via the private forum for the members of the Natural Perfumers Guild, to the petition against the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010.  Shortly after that, I started a blog on the subject, wanting to state the Guild's position and to link with others opposed to this egregious Act that will put us out of business, but I was pulled off the post by my family obligations - I just didn't have the time, nor could I focus to write a good, informative blog.

Guild Associate Robert Tisserand has graciously allowed me to post his recent blog on the matter here, and on the Guild blog, and use it as the Guild's position on this matter.  Thank you, Robert, for coming to my aid in this time of stress.  Robert helped me co-author a position paper against the proposed 40th Amendment of IFRA in 2007, and I always appreciate his logical and precise way of getting to the heart of the matter and writing in a lucid manner about a subject.

Here is the link to Robert's blog:

Here is the text of his blog:

The Safe Cosmetics Act 2010

The Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 (SCA 2010), now before the House of Representatives, is an inappropriate and seriously flawed attempt to make cosmetics safer. You can read the full text here. The thinking behind it is identical to a bill that was proposed (and defeated on March 1st this year) in Colorado (see Tunnel vision). Both are the brainchild of a group including the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (SFSC) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) which are in turn linked to the Skin Deep database. SCA 2010 is being opposed by groups representing small businesses such as, the Indie Beauty Network and Personal Care Truth which also reflects the views of many cosmetic chemists. A petition opposing SCA 2010 can be found here.

SCA 2010 is unscientific, unworkable, and if passed as is, would likely cause widespread job loss in the cosmetics industry. Far from being a step in the right direction, it would be a leap into regulatory chaos, as well as targeting small businesses and natural products.
Yes, cosmetics could and should be safer, and cosmetics labeling in the USA does need more transparency. Safety can always be improved in any field, especially in the light of new scientific data, but SCA 2010 over-reaches what is needed to such an extent that, with the possible exception of distilled water, I cannot think of any cosmetic ingredient that would be acceptable under its terms.

These require that there is “data demonstrating that exposure to all sources of the ingredient or cosmetic present not more than 1 in a million risk for any adverse effect in the population of concern”. Unfortunately, “population of concern” is not defined, but SCA 2010 further states that, in establishing a safety standard, “no harm will be caused by aggregate exposure for a member of a vulnerable population to that ingredient or cosmetic.” “Vulnerable populations” are defined, and include “pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.” Would “infants” include pre-term babies? Would “people with compromised immune systems” include those who do not get sufficient sleep, or who suffer from frequent colds? Much of the wording of the bill is vague and open to many possible interpretations.


“Ingredient” includes every substance present in an ingredient “at levels above technically feasible detection limits.” This last phrase is not defined, but it could be as low as one part per billion (ppb, 0.0000001%) or one part per trillion (ppt, 0.0000000001%). SCA 2010 specifically mentions contaminants, and in foods and beverages they are commonly measured at these levels.

Most essential oils contain about 100 constituents. The above data – for example no more than 1 in a million risk – must be demonstrable for each one of these constituents. Otherwise, the essential oil may not be acceptable in cosmetics, according to the terms of the bill. I can think of of no substance, natural or synthetic, that is known to cause no adverse reaction of any kind in less than 1 in a million people. In human tests for skin reactions, there are sometimes data covering tens of thousands of patch tests. But, that’s still a long way from a million, and there is no cosmetic ingredient that, if patch tested on one million people, would cause no more than one reaction. Except for distilled water perhaps.

“Any adverse effect” is not defined, but is not as simple as it might seem. Linalool, for example, has caused CNS depression when inhaled by animals. (Alcohol is the classic CNS depressant – in large enough amounts, it causes loss of muscular control, slurred speech, stupor and other effects.) Linalool is one of the most common constituents of fragrant herbs and flowers, inhalation of which could therefore be regarded as hazardous under the vague terms of SCA 2010. In reality, linalool has no more than a mild calming, anti-anxiety effect when inhaled by humans. It’s one of the main constituents of lavender oil.

The issue of dose and concentration is not given much consideration. “The Secretary shall presume that any ingredient or cosmetic that induces cancer or birth defects or has reproductive or developmental toxicity when ingested by, inhaled by, or dermally applied to a human or an animal has failed to meet the safety standard.” This is a complete reinvention of the science of toxicology, which up until now has been based on the principle of dose and of threshold levels. Above certain amounts toxicity may occur, below them it will not. This is why there are permissible levels for substances such as hydrocyanic acid (”cyanide”, restricted to 1 ppm) which naturally occurs in some foods.

There’s also the question of the interaction between the constituents of a natural substance. Basil herb, for example, contains two known carcinogens – estragole and methyleugenol. Pesto is a particularly concentrated form of basil, yet the WHO has determined that the amounts in basil/pesto are so small that they present no risk to humans. Since that ruling, research has been published demonstrating that basil herb contains anticarcinogenic substances that counter any potential toxicity of the two carcinogens, and is itself anticarcinogenic (Alhusainy et al 2010, Dasgupta et al 2004, Jeurissen et al 2008). Some basil essential oils have been shown to have anticarcinogenic effects (Aruna & Sivaramakrishnan 1996, Manosroi et al 2005).

Probable or known human carcinogens, such as acetaldehyde and benzo[a]pyrene (BaP) are ubiquitous in fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat and fish at low ppb. I’m not saying this is a good thing, I’m just saying it’s a fact, and these foods are not regarded as dangerous, because the toxins are present in such minuscule amounts. BaP is one of the many carcinogens found in cigarette smoke, but it is also found in American drinking water at 0.2-2.0 ppb, and in olive oil at about 3 ppb. Olive oil is actually anticarcinogenic, because of its content of antioxidant polyphenols, squalene, β-sitosterol and linoleic acid (Sotiroudis & Kyrtopoulos 2008). It’s the same story with fruits and vegetables – they are generally anticarcinogenic due to a very much higher content of antitoxic substances.

Many essential oils, herb extracts and foods contain tiny amounts of single constituents that alone, and in substantial amounts, are known to be toxic, but the parent natural substance is not toxic. However, this scenario is not taken into consideration by the CFSC or EWG. These organizations are, wittingly or unwittingly, campaigning to have natural substances banned from use in cosmetics because of their “tunnel vision”  and “parts per billion” approach to safety.
The thinking behind the wording of SCA 2010 is naive because there is an assumption that substances are either “safe” or “toxic”, and that if we simply eliminate the toxic ones from personal care products, the world will be a better place. It may seem like an excellent idea, but once you start talking about parts per million or lower, it is unnecessary and unrealistic. Not even foods are regulated to that degree, and our exposure to foods is far greater than our exposure to cosmetics.

SCA 2010 requires that every constituent or trace contaminant of every ingredient be listed onthe product label. This arguably discriminates against natural products, since their ingredient lists would have to include hundreds of substances, if they could be proved to be safe under the terms of the bill, and if there was some way of actually listing that many ingredients on a label. A product containing what would normally would be regarded as five ingredients – olive oil, blue chamomile extract, and essential oils of orange, rose and vetiver – would require an ingredient list looking something like this:
oleic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, squalene, hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, oleuropein, ligstroside, elenolic acid, acetoxy-pinoresenol, oleocanthal, α-tocopherol, herniarin, hyperoside, umbelliferone, methylumbelliferone, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid, quercetin, rutin, flavanone, isorhamnetin, quercimeritin, anthemic acid, choline, triacontane, patuletin, patulitrin, apigetrin, apigenin-7-glucoside, apigenin-7-apiosylglucoside, luteolin-7-glucoside, apigetrin-7-acetylglucoside, luteolin-4-glucoside, luteolin, patuletin, matricin, matricarin, galacturonic acid, d-limonene, citronellol, geraniol, myrcene, linalool, α-pinene, sabinene, β-phellandrene, geranial, neral, decanal, citronellal, (Z)-β-ocimene, β-pinene, valencene, β-elemene, terpinolene, dodecanal, γ-terpinene, β-sinensal, α-sinensal, δ-cadinene, α-copaene, γ-muurolene, nerol, δ-3-carene, (Z)-3-hexenol, perillaldehyde, octanol, cis-sabinene hydrate, undecanal, nonadecane, heneicosane, 1-nonadecene, 2-phenylethanol, (E)-β-ocimene, methyleugenol, eugenol, 1-heptadecene, eicosane, trans-linalool oxide, β-caryophyllene, 1-tricosene, α-terpineol, α-farnesene, farnesyl acetate, citronellyl formate, pentadecane, α-guiaiene, benzaldehyde, (Z)-β-farnesene, terpinen-4-ol, geranyl acetate, isogeranyl acetate, farnesyl propionate, methyl salicylate, citronellyl acetate, hexanol, α-humulene, methyl geranate, α-terpinene, cis-rose oxide, isogeraniol, β-bergamotene, δ-2-carene, cis-linalool oxide, octadecane, heptadecane, α-phellandrene, cis-rose oxide, β-maaliene, ethyl benzoate, geranyl acetone, 3-methylbutanol, docosane, 1-heneicosene, p-cymene, 1-eicosene, bourbonene, γ-cadinene, hexadecane, 1-tricosene, octanal, nerolidol, 2-undecanone, benzyl benzoate, α-muurolene, 2-phenylethyl phenylacetate, farnesol, geranyl formate, guaiol, heptanal, allo-ocimene, 1-octadecene, 2-phenylethyl-3-methyl valerate, hexadecanol, hexanal, 3-hexenyl formate, 2-phenylethyl benzoate, khusimol, vetiselinenol, cyclocopacamphan-12-ol (epimer A), α-cadinol, α-vetivone, β-vetivenene, β-eudesmol, β-vetivone, khusenic acid, β-vetispirene, γ-vetivenene, α-amorphene, (E)-eudesm-4(15),7-dien-12-ol, β-calacorene, (Z)-eudesm-6-en-11-ol, γ-amorphene ziza-5-en-12-ol, β-selinene, (Z)-eudesma-6,11-diene, salvial-4(14)-en-1-one, khusinol, cyclocopacamphan-12-ol (epimer B), selina-6-en-4-ol, khusian-ol, δ-amorphene, 1-epicubenol, khusimene, ziza-6(13)-en-3β-ol, ziza-6(13)-en-3-one, 2-epi-ziza-6(13)-en-3α-ol, 12-nor-ziza-6(13)-en-2β-ol, α-vetispirene, eremophila-1(10),7(11)-diene, dimethyl-6,7-bicyclo-[4.4.0]-deca-10-en-one, 10-epi-γ-eudesmol, α-calacorene, (E)-opposita-4(15),7(11)-dien12-ol, prekhusenic acid, 13-nor-eudesma-4,6-dien-11-one, isovalencenol, spirovetiva-1(10),7(11)-diene, 2-epi-ziza-6(13)-en-12-al, (E)-isovalencenal, preziza-7(15)-ene, (Z)-eudesma-6,11-dien-3β-ol, intermedeol, isoeugenol, isokhusenic acid, elemol, eremophila-1(10),6-dien-12-al, juniper camphor, khusimone, eremophila-1(10),4(15)-dien-2α-ol, eremophila-1(10),7(11)-dien-2β-ol, (Z)-isovalencenal, allo-khusiol, methyl-(E)-eremophila-1(10),7(11)-dien-12-ether, (E)-2-nor-zizaene, (Z)-eudesm-6-en-12-al, funebran-15-al
No contaminants have been shown here, only natural constituents of the five ingredients. Whether this list of 200 chemicals would be useful for consumers is debatable, and it would be one of the shorter lists, since most natural products contain much more than five ingredients. Even single synthetic chemicals are not really single chemicals at all – they also contain some minor and trace constituents. Most fragrance chemicals for example are about 95% pure, the other 5% consisting of “impurities” which of course would have to be listed. So synthetic chemicals are not exempt from this challenge.

This is one of the reasons that a naturally-occurring chemical is not the same as a synthetic one – the impurities present in the synthetic version. Synthetic coumarin, for example, causes skin allergies because of the impurities it contains (Vocanson 2006, 2007). But, SCA 2010 treats all chemicals of the same name as equal, which may be expedient if you are trying to pass legislation, but it’s not really scientific.

SCA 2010 proposes that hundreds of ingredients should be assessed for safety in unrealistically short amounts of time, with no proposal as to what form this assessment process will take, who will undertake the work, and exactly what criteria will be used. The wording of the bill shows very little understanding of either toxicology or cosmetics science. It also assumes that any existing legislation in other countries must be good legislation, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth.

I happen to believe that incremental legislation is generally a good thing. It at least allows for the possibility of public debate, and for finer points to be properly considered. Legislation as sweeping as SCA 2010 will cause chaos in the cosmetics industry, especially since States will be given the option to add further safety standards as they see fit. So, each State could have different standards – a manufacturer’s nightmare, and a pointless provision. Even without it, how any agency could enforce legislation involving hundreds of thousands of existing products, with hundreds of ingredients to consider for each one is mind-boggling.

SCA 2010 will cost unknown millions or billions of dollars which the consumer will ultimately pay for. It will probably have no more than a negligible effect on cosmetics safety, but it poses a serious threat to many businesses especially those making natural products, those supplying natural ingredients, and the farmers that grow the plants they come from.

In health news...

SCA 2010 is especially onerous to small businesses (any corporation with a turnover of $7 million or less.) It requires each manufacturer to not only declare every constituent chemical of every ingredient on the label, but to also test each finished cosmetic to ensure that there is not even a trace amount of some toxic chemical that might have been formed during the making of the product. Most small personal care product businesses will not survive if SCA 2010 passes, a fact that may possibly be attractive to larger corporations.

However, the bill has been criticised by Lezlee Westine, President and CEO of the Personal Care Products Council, which represents the larger cosmetics companies. Her statement includes the following: “We are concerned that the Safe Cosmetics Act of 2010 as written is not based on credible and established scientific principles, would put an enormous if not impossible burden on FDA, and would create a mammoth new regulatory structure for cosmetics, parts of which would far exceed that of any other FDA-regulated product category including food or drugs. The measures the bill would mandate are likely unachievable even with the addition of hundreds of additional FDA scientists and millions more in funding and would not make a meaningful contribution to product safety.”

The Skin Deep database, mentioned in the first paragraph, gives an insight into the thinking of the CFSC and EWG. Skin Deep exaggerates toxicity by being selective in its reporting. For example, limonene, the major constituent of citrus essential oils, is flagged as being developmentally toxic in large doses. This is true, since when pregnant mice were fed 2,363 mg/kg limonene by stomach tube on days 7-12 of gestation, there was an increase in the number of fetuses with skeletal anomalies and delayed ossification (Kodama et al 1977).
However, what is not stated by Skin Deep is that in the same report, when pregnant mice were given a lower dose, 591 mg/kg/day, there was no developmental toxicity. The higher dose is equivalent to daily human ingestion of 5.7 oz of limonene, and the lower dose is equivalent to 1.4 oz. If ingestion of 1.4 oz per day for 6 days is known to be non-fetotoxic, then there is no reason to believe that the use of limonene in cosmetics is likely to be in any way hazardous during pregnancy; in fact, quite the opposite (especially since stomach tube feeding generally increases toxicity).

The Skin Deep page on limonene also mentions, under “cancer” that“one or more tests on mammalian cells show positive mutation results.” One reference is given. However, this ignores the fact that eleven other studies found no evidence of mutagenicity or genotoxicity for limonene (Anderson et al 1990, Connor et al 1985, Florin et al 1980, Haworth et al 1983, Myhr et al 1990, Pienta 1980, Sasaki et al 1989, Sekihashi et al 2002, Turner et al 2001, Watabe et al 1980, 1981), and two further studies reported antimutagenic effects (De Oliveira et al 1997, Kim et al 2001). This 13:1 “score” is part of the weight of evidence used to assess risk in toxicology.

Mutagenicity testing is used to identify substances that may be carcinogenic. However, 85% of substances that are not in fact carcinogenic test positive in a least one mutagenicity test (Kirkland et al 2005). These are “false positives”, and present no risk. The one study cited by Skin Deep for limonene is a false positive.

If you want to imply risk, it’s possible to do so simply by being selective about which facts you choose to report. Many small cosmetics manufacturers have become disenchanted with the manipulative ways of the CFSC and EWG. If they were sincere in caring about cosmetics safety they would welcome any pertinent opinions and facts, but they don’t. They either ignore or stridently oppose anything that does not accord with their fear-driven political agenda. It’s a shame, because a few of their concerns are genuine and well-founded, but their focus has become highly distorted.

I urge you to oppose the Safe Cosmetics Act 2010. Here are some steps you can take.


Alhusainy W, Paini A, Punt A et al 2010 Identification of nevadensin as an important herb-based constituent inhibiting estragole bioactivation and physiology-based biokinetic modeling of its possible in vivo effect. Toxicology & Applied Pharmacology 245:179-190

Anderson BE, Zeiger E, Shelby MD et al 1990 Chromosome aberration and sister chromatid exchange test results with 42 chemicals. Environmental & Molecular Mutagenesis 16(Suppl. 18):55-137

Aruna K, Sivaramakrishnan VM 1996 Anticarcinogenic effects of the essential oils from cumin, poppy and basil. Phytotherapy Research 10:577-580

Connor TH, Theiss JC, Hanna HA et al 1985 Genotoxicity of organic chemicals frequently found in the air of mobile homes. Toxicology Letters 25:33-40

Dasgupta T, Rao AR, Yadava PK 2004 Chemomodulatory efficacy of basil leaf (Ocimum basilicum) on drug metabolizing and antioxidant enzymes, and on carcinogen-induced skin and forestomach papillomagenesis. Phytomedicine 11:139-151

De Oliveira AC, Ribeiro-Pinto LF, Paumgartten FJ 1997 In vitro inhibition of CYP2B1 monooxygenase by b-myrcene and other monoterpenoid compounds. Toxicology Letters 92:39-46

Florin I, Rutberg L, Curvall M et al 1980 Screening of tobacco smoke constituents for mutagenicity using the Ames test. Toxicology 15:219-232

Haworth S, Lawlor T, Mortelmans K et al 1983 Salmonella mutagenicity test results for 250 chemicals. Environmental Mutagenesis 5:3-38

Jeurissen SM, Punt A, Delatour T et al 2008 Basil extract inhibits the sulfotransferase mediated formation of DNA adducts of the procarcinogen 1′-hydroxyestragole by rat and human liver S9 homogenates and in HepG2 human hepatoma cells. Food & Chemical Toxicology 46:2296-2302

Kim MH, Chung WT, Kim YK et al 2001 The effect of the oil of Agastache rugosa O. Kuntze and three of its components on human cancer cell lines. Journal of Essential Oil Research 13:214-218
Kirkland D, Aardema M, Henderson L et al 2005 Evaluation of the ability of a battery of three in vitro genotoxicity tests to discriminate rodent carcinogens and non-carcinogens I. Sensitivity, specificity and relative predictivity. Mutation Research 584:1-256

Kodama, R, Okubo A, Araki E et al 1977 Studies on d-limonene as a gallstone solubilizer (VII). Effects on development of mouse fetuses and offspring. Oyo Yakuri 13:863-873

Manosroi J, Dhumtanom P, Manosroi A 2005 Anti-proliferative activity of essential oil extracted from Thai medicinal plants on KB and P388 cell lines. Cancer Letters 235:114-120

Myhr B, McGregor D, Bowers L et al 1990 L5178Y Mouse lymphoma cell mutation assay results with 41 compounds. Environmental & Molecular Mutagenesis 16(Suppl 18):138-167

Pienta R J 1980 Evaluation and relevance of the Syrian hamster embryo cell system. Applied Methods in Oncology 3:149-169

Sasaki YF, Imanishi H, Ohta T et al 1989 Modifying effects of components of plant essence on the induction of sister-chromatid exchanges in cultured Chinese hamster ovary cells. Mutation Research 226:103-110

Sekihashi A, Yamamoto A, Matsumura Y et al 2002 Comparative investigation of multiple organs of mice and rats in the comet assay. Mutation Research 517:53-74

Sotiroudis TG, Kyrtopoulos SA 2008 Anticarcinogenic compounds of olive oil and related biomarkers. European Journal of Nutrition 47:69-72

Turner SD, Tinwell H, Piegorsch W et al 2001 The male rat carcinogens limonene and sodium saccharin are not mutagenic to male Big Blue rats. Mutagenesis 16:329-332

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