Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, August 28, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

The Internet is very quiet this morning. Hurricane Irene is impacting tens of millions of people in the mid-Atlantic to NE USA.  I'm watching the minute-by-minute coverage on TV and feeling the stress of those in the path of the hurricane.  Here in Florida, we have PTSD two ways: pre-traumatic stress disorder (the wait for the storm to hit) and post-traumatic stress disorder, which is the emotional hangover.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the folks up north.  If we can find some fragrant levity today to alleviate the mood, let's go for it.


  1. Hi Anya

    I can never get the tag below to work because I am a technophobe. This is Johanna, I know you on Facebook. I hope you guys are all ok over that side of the world - the pictures we are getting here are really eerie. It must be terribly frightening. I'm sending thoughts and prayers to all those who may be affected.

    I have a perfumery question for you but am in no hurry to have it answered. It is almost spring here, and shortly the honeysuckle will be out. You once said to me in a short note that you can enfleurage honeysuckle. I subsequently read somewhere that it's not possible to extract the perfume of honeysuckle. If it is, though, what do you use as the medium? I would like to be prepared and actually try it this year, because the smell of the acres of honeysuckle round our house does something to me - it is the smell of summer and it is delicious.

    Many thanks in advance and like I said, if you do not reply at this time, I understand. Be well.

  2. Dear Anya:

    I was made homeless by hurricane Hugo in 89 and I still have nightmares about it. We thought we were going to die! We left South Carolina and never looked back.

    On a happier note, your samples arrived this week, and Kewdra is my new love. I love all of them, but Kewdra is spectacular because of its beauty, warmth, uniqueness and lasting abilities.

    Hugs and much love,

  3. Hi Johanna:

    Is this Johanna from NZ who organized a meetup for perfumers via the NP Yahoo group? There is a lot of flooding occurring in the mid-Atlantic and northeaster US states, some of it very devastating. A number of people have died from storm-related accidents. At first, we thought that Irene was going to hit here in Florida, but it turned north, so we were spared. These natural disasters seem to be increasing in frequency and damage, and the folks in NY were particularly rattled because they just had an earthquake! Let's hope everyone has a respite from all these Mother Nature issues for a while!

    About honeysuckle - it can be enfleuraged, and quite successfully. The problem is the shape of the flowers. Since they are quite large, they take up a lot of room. You might consider using a big, deep bucket with a tight lid. In that, you would smear the sides with unhydrogenated vegetable shortening (easy to get in the USA, often organic) and then have a porous container that would fit inside, not touching the sides of the bucket, and you'd put your flowers in that. You can also smear the inside of the lid with the shortening. Leave the flowers in for a day or so, using your judgement when they are "spent" and recharge the insert container with new flowers. Repeat until you find the shortening has taken up as much of the scent as possible.


  4. Dear Allison:

    So sorry to hear of your hurricane history. I hope you're safe and secure now, and that eventually the nightmares will stop! My brother, who is crippled from a stroke, so I especially worry about him, said that they didn't even lose power from Irene. He's just outside Philly, and there was a lot of damage and flooding around there. He did say that last night was "interesting" and that he had never heard such howling winds and racket.

    I'm glad that Kewdra has a special place in your heart.


  5. Anya, I just want you to know how I am 100% behind you with the sneaky perfumer issue. That's how I see it. I'm terrified to write about it on Facebook because I'll get attacked by the rabid haters. When the guild backs down and accepts those who want to use a big dose of synthetics in their recipes, then I'll be MAD. Hold your ground, Illegitimi non carborundum.

    How are the guild members taking it? I would join but money is short.


  6. I am looking for a natural way to fix the scent of essential oils, that will be used in oil perfumes, candles and soap, do you have any suggestions?

    thank you

  7. Ah, Natalie, it's all much ado about nothing. Dawn had the opportunity to fix her confusing pages and get right back in the Guild. Instead, a destructive campaign emerged, even after I apologized for hurting her feelings - twice. The Guild members are rather unperturbed by it all, judging from their lack of chat in our private group.

    Here's what it boils down to, and it's a stance that the Guild will be taking even more strongly: It's all about edited quoting - what is natural and what is not. In the fragrance industy, the Guild as to give the term Natural a real meaning, a truthful meaning. The committee will define it down to every "i" dotted and ever "t" crossed. I'll admit we were foolish to try to accommodate Dawn, with her feet in both worlds, and it backfired on many fronts. She has every right to create any type of perfume she wishes, and she makes beautiful perfumes. They're just not a good fit in a trade association devoted to 100% natural perfume. In the future, you'll not see any such controversy of this type: only perfumers who use 100% natural aromatics will be Professional Perfumers in the Guild.

    Thanks for writing,

  8. I understand this Anya. Now if only other people would.


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