Sunday, November 30, 2014

Two New Colognes and Some Further Experiments


This year's Cologne Experiments are filtered, bottled, labeled, photographed and posted.  It was a long process but I'm happy to have all of the bottles I collected this summer (and scrubbed and sterilized) filled with my fragrant elixirs.

This year I made two new colognes, Eau Who and Noir, as well as tweaked the recipes on Florida Water, Violet Water and Bay Rum.  Eau Who is actually a re-creation that I worked on last summer in an attempt to replicate the classic cologne 4711.  This year it came out better than ever, I'm very pleased with it, so designed a whole new label for it.  It is no longer an "experiment" but a formula I'll be repeating.

I also finished Noir which has been coming along for a few years.  Every year I strain it and add more to it so it is a triple strength formula.  It's dark, rich and full bodied.




Bay Rum and Florida Water also got a bit of a makeover.  The Bay Rum is made with bayberry leaves and berries from the beaches of Brooklyn, as well as hand-dried orange peels and fresh herbs and spices.  Florida Water is composed of my own grown sweet woodruff and lavender as well as freshly ground spices.  Bay Rum is bottled in vintage amber apothecary bottles and Florida Water in green medicine bottles.

I love this process of making botanical colognes, I hope you enjoy the results of my experiments!

Gift Certificates for Custom Natural Perfume Consultations


Give the gift of a private perfume consultation!  You'll be giving a unique and very personal experience.  Your gifted one will learn how to blend a selection of scents into their own personal perfume. In a step by step process they'll be able to choose from over one hundred essential oils, absolutes and concretes, some rare and exotic, to create a fragrance that is uniquely theirs. This fun, sometimes surprising and sometimes revealing journey into scent memories and preferences will result in a perfume that is theirs alone, one that works with their individual body chemistry and reflects their personality and interests. 
I've teamed with clients to create fragrances for different mood, occasions and seasons, fragrances that evoke memories or the unforgettable qualities of a particular location or experience.  A perfect gift for the bride to be.  This is a one-on-one consultation in Julianne's studio.

$190 for an hour and a half consultation, includes 1/4 ounce vial of perfume.  Call (718)788-6480 or email info@herbalalchemy.net to make an appointment or purchase a gift certificate.






















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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Review of Flora on EauMG

Once again the lovely Victoria Jent  of EauMG has reviewed one of my perfumes, Flora.

"Flora is a dusty, aromatic lavender in a haze of clove ciggie smoke. It opens with peach skin and spice. The heart is like a delicate, peachy green carnation smoothed by a soft, milky sandalwood and boozy vanilla. Flora dries down to a mélange of close-wearing exotic, earthy woods."

Many thanks to Victoria for her kind words and enthusiasm for the much maligned and neglected carnation.

Hydrosols

For centuries we've enjoyed and benefitted from the most commonly known hydrosol, rosewater.  A true gift from nature, rosewater is intensely floral in scent and taste, a quality that lends itself brilliantly to delectable deserts.

Hydrosols are the distilled water by-product of the distillation process which creates essential oils. They are infused with microdrops of essential oil as well as water-soluble plant components which gives them their scent and therapeutic qualities.  They have taste, scent and a chemical makeup that makes them therapeutic.

Spritz them on your face, neck and body to cool and refresh yourself in summer’s heat or moisten the air in winter’s dry indoor heat. Spray in the dryer before loading your clothes or spray on clothes during ironing to beautifully scent your laundry. Refreshen the air in a stuffy room. Hydrosols act as air-borne virucides and may be used to disinfect the sick-room, hotel room or airplane. Use on hands to disinfect them when soap and water are unavailable.

Rosewater: The most popular hydrosol. Rosewater is a toner for all skin types and is the best for aging skin. It eases nervousness and is an aphrodisiac. Rosewater is also used in cooking and is popular in many Middle Eastern and Indian dishes, both in deserts and savory dishes. Check out this article from the New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/01/dining/01power.html?th&emc=th 
Lavender Water: Lavender hydrosol is very gentle and balancing for all skin types. It cools burned skiing, reduces mental fatigue, relaxes and refreshes. Great for jet lag. 
Chamomile Water: Chamomile Water is very soothing for dry, inflamed and sensitive skin. One of the best all-purpose waters, spray on your face, neck and body for cooling relief from summer's heat. Because of it's effect on the nervous system chamomile is a useful aid in stress reduction, depression and insomnia. It can be mildly euphoric, instilling a feeling of well-being. Useful at bedtime for physical relaxation and a restful night. Chamomile water is wonderful for skin care calming rashes, sensitivities and redness. It is the number one choice for baby care. Diaper rash redness and pain can be soothed with dilute chamomile.










Monday, November 24, 2014

Lovely Review of Sol de la Foret

Victoria Jent of the fragrance and beauty blog EauMG.net has written a lovely review of Sol de la Foret.

"Sol de la Foret is a dark as a forest during the new moon. The heart introduces a spicy, clove-like carnation floral with a musky sage, still retaining a balance of bitter and sweet.The dry-down radiates warmth with a dry oakmoss and hay – sweet and musky. Overall, the fragrance has a lush vintage feel and to me, this is absolutely gorgeous."

I'm over the moon (although a bit tardy in posting this!).
Thanks Victoria!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Fragrance Parties and Private Classes

A private class in my home studio.
I've been asked to do quite a few private classes and perfume parties this past season.  I'm getting calls from a lot of brides (and bridesmaids) to book showers and bachelorette parties and some event planners have gotten in touch to book private affairs.  I was recently hired to do a private party in a 42nd floor three bedroom penthouse suite at the Ritz Carlton.  Some days I just love my job!

I can accommodate five or possibly six students in my home studio in Park Slope.  There is a two hour minimum booking at $350, $125 per hour thereafter.   Parties offsite are $500 minimum for two hours plus $25 per head.  Call (718)788-6480 or email info@herbalalchemy.net for more information or to book a party or class.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Flora, a Perfume with Carnation at it's Heart

Carnations, underrated and maligned, are actually one of my favorite floral fragrances. Not the mass produced carnations available in every florist shop and displayed in funeral arrangements across the country. Those carnations have been hybridized to be big and showy but most have no scent whatsoever, and if they do it's faint and rather stinky. I'm talking about old fashioned carnations like the ones my mother grew in her garden when I was growing up. At that tender young age I wasn't put off yet by the florist industry so my appreciation of them was pure. 

I was approached recently by the floral industry giant, Teleflora. They were possibly interested in having a fragrance created to celebrate a new line of arrangements they were launching. At one time in my career I was a floral designer working for high end designers in New York City. We cringed at companies like Teleflora and FTD and the use of carnations in general. At first when I got the offer I wondered how I could reconcile my disdain for mass produced arrangements with the possibility of being hired to create a fragrance. Alas the job fell through almost as soon as it was offered but the challenge stayed with me. It became a quest to create the most beautiful carnation floral fragrance I could muster. 

The result is Flora, a spicy, earthy floral with carnation at it's heart. Mitti, an Indian attar of sandalwood saturated in baked earth, is the foundation of the perfume. Warm vanilla absolute bonds with the vanilla notes in the carnations to bring it's sweetness all the way into the dry down. A touch of agarwood co2 and dark patchouli add darker and more tenacious nuances. 

Clove bud absolute brings out the spiciness in the carnation which is sweetened just a bit with orange blossom concrete and apricot isolate. Wild lavender adds a floral aspect to the top with blood orange lending a touch of sweetness and linalool rich ho wood acts as a bright and warm invitation. 

"Flora evokes the kind of fairy that hovered around Juliet's bed just after Romeo left. Flora has Juliet feeling sultry and lustful, shimmering in that innocent radiance at its fullest when a maiden has found her naughtiest dreams come true." Victoria O. 
samples are available


Top notes: ho wood, wild lavender, blood orange 
Heart notes: carnation absolute, clove bud absolute, apricot natural isolate, orange blossom concrete 
Base notes: mitti attar, vanilla absolute, agarwood absolute, dark patchouli


You can purchase Flora from my website, herbalalchemy.net or my Etsy store, etsy.com/shop/herbalalchemy.