Showing posts from December, 2011

Happy New Year and Welcome to New and Renewing Natural Perfumers Guild members!

I was going to write a year-end roundup, but time constraints and the general holiday duties got in the way - maybe tomorrow or early next week. I am so happy to share with you that the Natural Perfumers Guild is pleased to announce that noted aromatherapist and author Victoria Edwards has joined us as an Associate.  After returning to the USA from seven years in France, Victoria will be relaunching her website in the upcoming months.  An aromatherapist since the 1970s, Victoria wrote a chapter in her book The Aromatherapy Companion on natural perfumery ( available on amazon ) waaaay back in the last century :-)  Her essential oils and absolutes are stellar, and I have used several of them in my perfumes, so I welcome her reopening her store.  She also makes all-natural body creams and balms, and other aromatherapy products.  Welcome back, Victoria. PS: Next week, the Guild website will have a new look, mid-month, the Guild members will have a very joyful b

Fruits of Warm Climates by Julia Morton - An Economic Botanist's Legacy

Green bananas just two days ago - ripened into the lovely fruits, below I'd love to share a wonderful resource with you.  This is for all who live in warm climates and who love to grow their own.  I just harvested some rare small bananas from my garden today (unknown variety) and received an email query from a Guild member, asking for an ID on a sour orange someone had given her.  She intends to macerate the skin in some fixed oil.  I sent her the link with a joke - more info than you ever need to know! Yummy hand of organic small bananas harvested  today, Dec. 27, 2011 in Miami  - some missing because the cook had dibs. In 1977/78, as I was in my senior year at the University of California, Riverside, one of the world's great think tanks, I asked my major professor, Dr. Gene Anderson, if I could obtain a change of major from anthropology (ethnobotany), which I was working on under him, to economic botany, since I felt closely aligned with Julia Morton, who ha

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, December 25, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

There won't be any Ask the Perfumer this week or next, Dec. 25, 2011 or Jan. 1, 2012.  Do subscribe to this blog, or check my links from various sites, because I will be blogging about natural isolates, frankincense and some other topics of interest to the perfumery community. Best Wishes for you and yours in celebrating the holidays this time of year, and the most wonderful wishes for a prosperous and healthy 2012.

Don't Panic About the Frankincense Panic! Let's Make Plans for Plantations, though! A tree grows in Miami!

!!!Debunking alert!!! - Joking with all the exclamation points, including those in the title of this blog, but c'mon, what an overwrought, slightly incorrect article we're talking about.  In case you haven't heard, the perfumery media is buzzing with alarm over the doom and gloom article cited below. Who doesn't love Scientific American?  Well, they posted an "EXTINCTION ALERT" (my caps, as a salute to the tabloid-type hype they incurred a few days before Christmas) on frankincense that has the perfume world alarmed.  Repeating some rather scary stats from the Journal of Applied Ecology, everyone is now on edge that frankincense, the Biblical, historical iconic resin tree that has survived for thousands of years in some of the worst growing conditions on the plant, may only last another 50 years. I say baloney. The headline "Bad News for Christmas: Frankincense Future Uncertain" only adds to the sensationalist nature of this article, in a suppo

Repotting and Growing Instructions for your Frankincense Tree

Guild Supplier Trygve Harris of Enfleurage with Frankincense Tree in Oman - read more about Frankincense on her blog EXCITING update!  Trygve has sent me about 20 photos of different-looking Boswellia sacra frankincense growing in different regions in Oman.  I'll be adding them as I post more about my little tree.  Here's the very informative email I got from Bob at Arid Lands: Most of our customers are used to dealing with bare root plants and general care of succulent or "special" plants, such as Boswellia, so thank you for reminding us to include care instructions. They are on our website, , and I will repeat some of them here. Boswellia sacra/carteri is considered to be the same species by taxonomists. This hemisucculent plant stores water in its trunk, thus producing the aromatic sap, but that also allows it to be shipped out of a pot. That species is a summer growing one and will go dormant in the winter (now); as well, it tends

A Frankincense Tree Arrived in Time for Christmas - Day One

      Boswellia sacra - first day.  Click on image to enlarge A recent New York Times article on frankincense tree growers provided links, and I ordered one from Arid Lands in Arizona.  It was sent priority mail with a heat pack, since it is winter.  I paid $40 for a "one gallon" sapling plus $8 shipping and $2 for the heat pack. One gallon is a trade term, and it generally means a pot that meansures about 7" tall by 7" wide.  I was a bit surprised when the plant arrived bareroot.  It makes sense that it was bareroot, but that information was lacking on the website.  (I have received one-gallon potted plants) Also lacking were any repotting instructions.  I've ordered from many mail order nurseries in the past, and repotting information, also general care information, was always included, and perhaps duplicated on the website.  I've written the Arid Lands people, since there is no phone number contact for them.  I'll report back when I've heard f

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, December 18, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

What are your favorite holiday smells?  Christmas tree? Brisket? Mulled apples and spices?  Well, except for the brisket, the others are easily made from essential oils.  You can make a room spray to perfume your nest this time of year.  Any perfumery questions today? I'll be here until 10 PM.

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, December 11, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

Ask the Perfumer is open for questions this balmy Sunday in December. Feel free to ask perfumery questions until 10 PM tonight EST USA.

When you LOVE a perfume, but your skin hates it

I wrote an article for CaFleureBon that gives you alternatives. Introduction: "Scrubber"; the dreaded word of every die hard perfumista . We want to love you  Guerlain's Vol A Nuit, but you can be a swamp thing on our our skin, Carnal Flower by Dominique Ropion can be a venus flytrap, Chanel No 5 is an adehydlic nightmare and Fairchild by Anya McCoy is an unloved-child.   So what do you, if you love the fragrance  but not on you? You ask a perfumer who created a difficult scent to wear…(Disclaimer: On Editor's skin all of the above people have been known to run away in fear). Anya McCoy of  Anya's Garden :  When you go to a department store, perfume boutique, or buy a perfume sample online, the first thing you should do, after smelling the perfume out of the bottle or on a scent strip, is conduct a skin test. Most of us just dab or spritz on our wrist

Fragrantica Chooses all 12 of Anya's Garden Perfumes for the Perfumed Horoscope Week Dec 5 - 11, 2011

I clicked on the link and was truly surprised and delighted - Fragrantica chose my entire line of 12 perfumes to feature this week.  Each perfume is linked to an astrological sign, according to the selection by Hieronimuss, the astrologer for Fragrantica. Click here to read his savvy suggestions. I'm offering all of my perfumes and botanicals for 25% off to celebrate this fun event. Click here and use the code fragrantica for 25% off through Dec. 11th.  For 10% off my perfumery course and kits, use the code F73480022F at the Natural Perfumery Institute page by clicking here.    

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, December 4, 2011 - until 10 PM EST

Good morning/afternoon all!  I went out early today and didn't get Ask the Perfumer posted before I did.  I'll be here until 10 PM tonight, so please feel free to submit your questions about perfumery, any aspect of perfumery. PS Doreen and Sandi - I didn't see your messages for the 13th Sign post until today.  I announced the winner for the drawing the other day, but she hasn't responded yet.  I'll wait one more day and put everyone, you two included, into another random draw for White Smoke - a lush, floral, pretty ambery perfume.  Good luck!