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

Good morning, dear friends!  I started drinking high-octane coffee again this week, and I'm wired and have already been very productive this not-very-hot-or-humid morning in Miami.  My front garden is a floral wonderland today, and I'm sharing my photos with you.  I hope they inspire you to grow your own fragrant botanicals, whether you harvest them to scent extraction or not.   I'll be here today, working on my hush-hush new fragrant product, so I'll be answering your natural perfumery questions.

Gold Champaca
Greeting me at my front door - a vigorous Jasmine grandiflorum plant

Not scented in the morning - night-blooming jasmine

A closeup of the pretty little nightblooming jasmine flowers

Tahitian gardenia - yes, the one Monoi is made from

My ylang ylang tree is loaded with blooms

A harvest basket before 9 a.m. Wonderful work if you can get it!


  1. What a glorious sight from the cold depths of winter here. I wish I could smell.

  2. Hello Anya,

    I'm sure that you're loving everything blooming right now. I'm sure it's a sight to see!

    My question today for you: What do you tell your students before they blend their first fragrance?


    p.s. Tell Frankie I said hi

  3. Hi Sophia

    I had no idea it got *that* cold in SA. Do you have freezes? Are you able to somehow keep tropical flowers going?


  4. Hi Rachel:

    I tell them so many things in the 250 pages of the textbook that come before they start to make mods! One thing: to thine own self be true. Sounds corny, but don't try to step outside your comfort zone as a person. If you like florals, don't try a chypre because it's trendy. I also warn them to be lighthanded with the accessory notes. I've often had to make them re-do the perfume because of an overabundance of vetiver, labdanum, patchouli or lemon myrtle.

    I know I'm the only instructor who does that - has them re-do their mods, if necessary. I tell them no easy pass in my course, because I'm there to give them constructive feedback.

    xoxo and thanks for stopping by,

  5. I hope your secret perfume has a kiss of Champaca!

  6. And my question of the day is, what is that terrific note I detect in many of your fragrances that is almost a liquor or mead?
    It reminds of a childhood european scent plum and oak and honey. But not. Thanks Anya. J

  7. Dear Darlink:

    No, no champaca. Maybe next time ;-)

    My heart accords, although made of different aromatics each time, have a honeyed sweetness about them. It's just something I must do unconsciously each time.

    My next product, the non-champaca one, will have a lot of the honey note!



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