Sunday, July 04, 2010

The Mystery of Musk Project is a wonderful effort on so many levels

I posted this letter today to several Yahoo groups I host: the huge natural perfumery group I started in 2002, the Natural Perfumers Guild group, and a subgroup of that, the professional perfumers group I started where we can discuss special projects, such as the current one, the Mystery of Musk.

Hello Everyone:

Here's what I wrote on Cafleurebon today to accompany the review of Nick Jennings' perfume:
"It makes my heart happy to see the first line "It seems inconceivable that there can exist so many gifted natural perfumers, of whom one has never heard." Nick really is a wonderful perfumer. In 2005 I created to try to get the perfumers on my yahoo group "out into the world" and it did help to a certain extent. However, it was the birth of such great perfume blog sites such as this that are the real messengers to the world. Thanks so much to the Cafleurebon crew!" I can add here thanks to so many other bloggers who are taking part in this project. The response is overwhelming and the reviews are simply incredible, from the very serious, thoughtful feedback to the wonderfully hilarious posts on Basenotes.

Yes, it was five years ago in May/June 2005 that I created - what a wonderful trip it's been! JoAnne and others were on the big NP yahoo group, and we 550 strong at that time - and now there are 2000 members! Wow.

But at that time, the perfume blogs were new, and many perfumers didn't have websites, and were trying to get recognition. did get covered on Now Smell This All of the comments seem to come from "Anonymous" but that glitch happened when Robin of NST switched servers and the original posters names (mine included) were lost.

Since 2005, I, and other perfumers, have been slowly building awareness of natural perfumery on the blogs, and it has really started to have wonderful results. The Mystery of Musk project was really a collaborative thread that started when Salaam, our perfumer in Italy, got inspiration from a blog by Ambrosia, our perfumer in Australia, about musks. Salaam had had a great success with my ideas how to reach out to the Basenotes forum when he launched his Mecca Balsam perfume. He thought a competition among Guild perfumers on the subject of musk would be a good idea.

I contacted several perfumers and we weren't keen on a "competition", we wanted a collaborative effort. I'm so glad we went in that direction instead, because it allowed us to have a greater number of perfumers involved. The visibility we now have because of the Mystery of Musk project is wonderful. The perfumers will have the musk perfumes for sale, a 'decant service' will be contacting us soon to obtain the perfumes to offer as samples, and the links to our websites will increase google rankings and much more.

The Mystery of Musk project is a great success, and we still have three more days of reviews to look forward to!

We're going to have another Guild perfumer's projects in mid-November, and this one also has a great theme and will be a showcase for our members. I can't wait!


  1. Anya,

    I am happy to hear that the perfumers are enjoying the different reviews that the blogs are doing. At Cafleurebon, where I am the Managing Editor, we have been delighted at the breadth of natural perfume The Mystery Of Musk has placed before our noses. This has felt like a truly collaborative effort and when we all look back at it I think it might possibly mark an inflection point for Natural Perfumery.

    Mark Behnke, Managing Editor of

  2. Hi Anya -- Just checking in on the giveaway prize(s) -- mine is Verdigris by Bellyflower. Do the perfumers plan to send bottles directly to us and, if so, do I need to get in touch with "mine" so that she has the correct postal info? Am sending this to Elena also. Thanks!

    email is olfactarama at att dot net

  3. Mark, this project is turning out to be bigger, more exciting and more "wow" than we could have imagined. Thanks so much to Cafleurebon and the crew there for all the support!

  4. Pat, all you have to do is forward the name and mailing address of the winner, and the perfumer will mail it out to him/her. That's the way all the full bottles are being shipped.


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