Showing posts from January, 2012

Millefleurs - When a perfumer knows that to waste not is to want not

If you have bits of essential oils and absolutes made from some of the flowers and fragrant leaves above - aglaia, roses, stocks, frangipanis, eucalyptus, carnations, chrysanthemums, citrus leaves - don't fret over bad mods, bits left in the bottom of the bottle - make Millefleurs! Here's a very helpful tip to the beginning student, and perhaps even experienced perfumers may find this useful.  Waste not, want not! Millefleurs - French, def: a thousand flowers. The definition from my Natural Perfumery Institute's textbook: Millefleurs – A Creative Use of Aromatic Odds and Ends Millefleurs is an industry term for the creative reuse of bits of unused or slightly degraded oils and dilutions, where any left over amounts of aromatics or discarded blends are poured into a bottle together for later use, rather than being thrown away.  This creates an impromptu, happenstance mélange that often smells quite nice.  It can be used as a room spray, put into a diffuser, used t

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, January 29, 2012 - until 10 PM EST

A busy Sunday is in store: tying up a zillion loose ends for the Love the Guild project, still thanking all the respondants on Facebook who replied with love and loyalty to the statement below, planting veggies, visiting mother and giving up on my mimosa enfleurage project, going for the tincture instead.  My blooming mimosa tree Acaci farnesiana I'll be here until 10 PM tonight EST to answer your perfumery questions.  Hope you have a great Sunday! ----------- Here's my FB post: May I ask a favor of you, and I rarely ask favors, so please bear with me. Would it be possible that you "share" and "like" when I post about the course I teach or the Guild? Why? Last year on this date, someone decided to try to harm my businesses, and a lot of behind the scenes maneuvers were done for months to try to make my businesses less competitive. I decided to wait it out, not take any action, and to take the high road. It took a lot for me to open

Anya's Garden Perfumes - A Foodie Fragrance Review of Amberess

It's lovely that Amberess awoke the food and scent awareness of Sigrun, a lovely blogger from Sweden.  Check out her review of Amberess and see if you want to duplicate her experience! Amberess and Light were launched as part of the Natural Perfumers Guild Outlaw Perfume project in 2010

Natural Perfumery Institute - Excerpt on how to make aromatic dilutions for study

htttp:// The Natural Perfumery Institute's textbook for the basic course in perfumery was edited so that students who are not native English speakers could easily follow the information and instructions presented.  The technical editor I hired previously worked for Microsoft and Boeing, writing manuals for engineers from all over the world.  Engineers are known for their ability to pick apart and question what is presented to them, honing the written word down to its most precise and understandable form.  As you can see by my writing, I'm not so precise, so I knew I needed Andrine's expertise.  She's also a natural perfumer and alchemist, so I had the best of both worlds when rewriting my original textbook into its present form. Here is an excerpt from the textbook, instructing the student how to make dilutions.  The student has already read about the type of bottles, droppers, scale, etc., for this exercise, and now the student has the equipment b

What a Student of Perfumery Must Learn Early On - Groups and Families

Image In Module Two of the Natural Perfumery Institute's textbook, I introduce the students to the differences between aromatic groups and fragrance families.  It is mandatory that the students understand the characteristics of aromatic groups before they move forward in their studies.  Committing the aromatic group's essences to their scent memory allows them to concisely and correctly identify not only the aromatic group oils they study in the course, but to have that knowledge of the characteristics to allow them to independently identify what group an aromatic is placed when they come across a new one in the future.  Once they fully understand this, they move on to what I term a "Certain Perfumer" - one who is certain about their choices and how to defend their naming an aromatic according to the group it belongs in. After that, fragrance families are a piece of cake!  Fragrance families are an invention of the perfume industry.  They're

Sharing Their Story: Natural Perfumer Guild members, in their own words

Sharing Their Story - an occasional series hosted by Anya McCoy.  Featuring the accomplished and  creative members of the Natural Perfumers Guild, the series is debuting with one of the lights of aromatherapy, and a pioneer in natural perfumery, Victoria Edwards of California and France.  Alongside Chrissie Wildwood and Mindy Green, two other accomplished aromatherapists, the three are, to my knowledge, the only aromatherapists who wrote about natural perfumery, and called it natural perfumery, in the 1990s. Visionary and prolific in the art of aromatherapy, please enjoy Victoria Edwards, in her own words:  I love this photo of Victoria, taken in France.  Doesn't she look like a good friend, animated and in high spirits, relating a story?  Well, this is her story. Biography of Victoria Edwards I was born in Chicago, grew up in Louisiana, my mothers family is from New Orleans. My Father is Swiss and I lived in Germany and Switzerland from 4 to 10 years old. My family

Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute - Basic Natural Perfumery Course

Is 2012 the year you will take the big step and enroll in natural perfumery studies?  Since 2005, I have witnessed the phenomenal growth in the number of natural perfumers and the integration of them into mainstream perfumery.  Many reviewers now say that they will judge a perfume on its merits, not whether it's composed of all-natural ingredients or contains synths.  This is a huge step for us natural perfumers, because in 2005, the opposite was true.  Natural perfumes have come a long way in being accepted on one major criteria: they smell great. I began teaching basic perfumery in 2007, because members of the natural perfumery group I host on yahoo demanded it of me.  It was good they did, because I had not shared 30 years of accumulated knowledge since I started studying the art.   I had started a natural perfumery line in 1991, Anya's Tropical Essences, and in 2006, I launched Anya's Garden Perfumes. The perfumes were lauded for sophistication and professionalism, when

Sunny Sunday in a Perfumer's Garden - photos

Miami gardens have a slow season, too.  Still, there is beauty to share.  Today I was going to spray my Angel's Trumpet with a pyrethrin spray because I noticed white flies on it.  Imagine my surprise when I found ladybugs!  I've never "inoculated" the garden with ladybugs, figuring they fly away just as soon as they're released.  These dear little things found my organic garden on their own, and I'm blessed.  They're having a white fly feast! One of many ladybugs on the Angel Trumpet leaf.  I think the brown marks are made by the ladybugs, but that's OK, they're eating the white flies, so they can do their little bit of damage, it'll be replaced by new leaves. Here are some of the Angel Trumpets the lady bugs are saving. Pretty for a January day, eh? First time I've ever noticed a fruit on the Aglaia odorata tree.  You can see the tiny flower bods to the left.  The tree is ready to burst into bloom! The HUGE hibis

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, January 22, 2012 - until 10 PM EST

I slept in really late today, until 10 a.m.  Must be the joy still spilling over into my dreamland that kept me from wanting to wake up, a "hangover" from the wonderful "Joy in January" project. If you missed it, the kickoff was Monday here . Any questions for me this warm and beautiful day in Miami.  I hope to get some gardening in this afternoon, after I bottle up the boronia absolute that arrived last week in the yearly Guild group buy.  It's especially gorgeous this year, soft and spicy, sparkling and golden with the freesia-like topnotes. Yummy!

Joy in January - A Natural Perfumers Guild project and Three-day Giveaway - Winners Announced

I'm so pleased to announce the winners of the three random drawings in the Joy in January blog event of the Natural Perfumers Guild Day 1 winner of 15mls of Light EdP - HollyF Day 2 winner of four Food & Drink oils - Dana Day 3 winner of the complete set of 12 of my perfume samples - Hemla Please write to me by midnight, June 21st to claim your prize. Thanks again to everyone for helping the Guild bring a little Joy in January by sharing your storie!

Joy in January - A Natural Perfumers Guild project and Three-day Giveaway - Day 3 of 3

If you're reading this on the third day of the three-day blog event, you can read my initial post about SAD and natural aromatics on day one here and day two here .  There is still time to leave a comment on  day one and day two to increase your chances of getting some joy this January with a naturally-fragranced win ;-) Here's the second story of a move I made to an overcast, cloudy town, and besides some joy, there's some gratitude mixed in with this, a story of small town manners. Corvallis Oregon was the northern locale my then-husband was relocating to for a post-doctoral position.  I knew very little about Oregon, less about Corvallis.  In November, 1978, we packed up Roxy the Rastapoodle and Bootsy the cat and drove nonstop to Corvallis.  The professor who had hired my husband had rented a townhouse for us and we moved in the night we arrived. Corvallis Oregon - courtesy of gardengrumblesandcrossstitchfumbles The next morning we awoke and I was driving him

Joy in January - A Natural Perfumers Guild project and Three-day Giveaway - Day 2 of 3

 Joy in January - a three-day blogging event to help you deal with your SAD-ness this month. If you're reading this on the second day of the three-day blog event, you can read my initial post about SAD and scents here . When I moved to Syracuse, New York in 1980 for grad school, it was a very impulsive move on th part of my (ex) husband and myself.  He was offered a great job, and we welcomed a move from a very remote small Florida town where the biggest thrill was guessing how many alligators were in the lake across the road. I knew Syracuse was super-cold and super-snowy, but I didn't know it held the rather dismal record as having the least amount of days with sunshine in the USA -- only 55 days of sun per year! That's the number I remember reading in the paper there, but some latest data I looked up doesn't support that .  Still, it's up there in terms of cloudy, rainy, snowy days.  I know that it snowed so much, every day in the winter, that many of us

Joy in January - A Natural Perfumers Guild project and Three-day Giveaway - Day 1 of 3

 Joy in January - a three-day blogging event to help you deal with your SAD-ness this month. The Natural Perfumers Guild is an association of perfumers, suppliers and associates dedicated to the use of 100% natural aromatics.  Whether it be a perfume, body spray, soap, candle, lotion or other fragrance product, we concoct them with one goal in mind - to exalt the beauty of the product by adding a gorgeous scent. The Joy in January project is fourteen of the Guild members blogging about how naturally-scented products may help alleviate the depression and lethargy that often overcomes folks who live in dark, cold northern climates. The lack of sunlight during the short days of autumn and winter is a real problem, and those afflicted with this problem are said to suffer from SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder. Please read what we share with you about our reaction to the SAD phenemona, and leave comments on our blogs to be entered to win some SAD-alleviating naturally fragrance p

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, January 15, 2012 - until 10 PM EST

I'm very excited because tomorrow, Jan. 15, 2012, fourteen of the Guild associates, suppliers and perfumers will launch the Joy in January blog event!  Check back here and leave a comment when I post my first blog on Joy in January, and visit all of the other blogs, since we'll all be hosting giveaways of our naturally-scented products for three days.  Good luck! I'll be here through 10 o'clock tonight, EST USA, to answer your questions about perfumery.  It's heartwarming each Sunday to see the stats of the loyal 300 or so visitors.  Y'all might not be posting, but I'm sure you're enjoying the questions and answers.  I've always been about the educational forum in natural perfumery, and this is just another facet of it. Can I share a bit of fun as I move forward to Jan 28, a day that an "advisor" (read dictator) violated a written agreement?  Why a "bit of fun"? Because it feels so good to be out from under the thumb of an ogr

Ask the Perfumer - Sunday, January 8, 2012 - until 10 PM EST

Happy New Year everyone, and welcome to the first Ask the Perfumer forum of 2012.  I've been busy over the holiday.  Two huge containers full of lemon petitgrain leaves were harvested and dried, and will be distilled soon. Several new fragrant plants were introduced to the garden and are being coddled through the transplant phase. I got lots of writing done, and am mulling over an anniversary post for Jan. 28 regarding the Guild.  A number of new students enrolled in the past few weeks, so day-to-day details were addressed to get them settled into the basic perfumery course.  We're working behind the scenes for the next Guild Internet project, due to launch next week, and I'm creating a new perfume for the Prima Aroma line. I hope your holidays were a lot of fun and productive, too! I'll be here until 10 PM EST, so feel free to submit questions until then.

The Natural Perfumers Guild Welcomes French Natural Perfume House Honoré des Prés and Nose Olivia Giacobetti as Professional Perfumer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MIAMI, Florida /January 5, 2012 Noted French Natural Perfume Company Honoré des Prés Joins the Natural Perfumers Guild Honoré des Prés’s perfumer Olivia Giacobetti’s is recognized as attaining Professional Perfumer status in the Guild. The Natural Perfumers Guild is an international Association dedicated to perfumes and fragrance products made only with natural aromatics. The Guild is pleased to announce that Honoré des Prés, a leading French fine fragrance company, has joined the Guild. Honoré des Prés was established by Christian David in 2008 with a goal to create 100% natural and artistic perfumes with an urban flair.  All Honore des Prés scents are eco-certified and don’t contain any synthetic aromachemicals, colorants or phthalates. The fragrances are composed by renowned perfumer Olivia Giacobetti. Honore des Prés has been widely lauded for its commitment to the global environment and is a favorite among celebrities such as Jessica Alba and Ra