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.



Friday, April 18, 2014

Lights! Camera! Action!



I was recently interviewed by the lovely Christie Clements for Cosmo Times.  Christie and I made a perfume together while the cameras rolled.  It was my first time being interviewed on camera and I learned a lot!  For all of you wondering what a custom perfume consultation is like...


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Little Love From Marie Claire

My perfume organ where I do bespoke perfume consultations.
My custom perfume consultations were listed in the Beauty Secrets of the Supercool in Marie Claire this month!  So proud, check it out!

Consultations are $125 per hour and include a quarter ounce vial of perfume.  A session generally lasts about an hour and a half.  By appointment only:  info@herbalalchemy.net, (718)788-6480.


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Lovely Review of Sol de la Foret in Cafleurebon

So pleased to offer up this stunning review by John Reasinger of Cafleurebon.  John is a Senior Editor and the Natural Perfume Editor for the venerable blog.  I don't think I or anything I've ever created has ever been written about quite so rhapsodically.

"Without being dated or trying to be "fresh" this fougere radiates gentle green, but also timeless strength, in a unique almost brooding manner.  Its power is evident from the first sniff.  It is, however, in its restraint and poise that Sol de la Foret truly impresses me.  Old world charm and sophistication in a modern all natural perfume that still keeps its classic grandeur is indeed wonderful."

Sol de la Foret
available on Etsy



Thursday, January 9, 2014

Hawthorn Berry for Heart Health

This past fall I started to feel unwell.  It began on a walk home from a friend's in September, I noticed a heaviness in my chest and a burning pain.  Thinking it was an aberration I went out again the next night for my evening walk up and down the historical streets of my Brooklyn neighborhood but it happened again.  It continued until I finally made an appointment to see my pulmonologist.  She sent me for a slew of tests and had me make an appointment with a cardiologist who sent me for an MRI of my heart.  They found an area of ischemia which I learned was a restriction of blood supply to tissues.  While we were deliberating what to do about it my symptoms worsened and one afternoon while in my doctor's office he declared that he wasn't going to let me leave the hospital without an angiogram.  Frightened and anxious I underwent the procedure and was informed that I had one blocked artery, 99% blocked.  I had been reading about stents and seriously didn't want one but in this case it saved my life.  I spent the night in the hospital while staff regularly stopped in to congratulate me for walking into the hospital before actually having a heart attack.

It's been a wake up call, to say the least.  I have a pretty good diet, usually eat pretty low saturated fats, almost always choose whole grains, careful with sweets and even grow my own organic vegetables. Clearly there is room for improvement.  Living in the city I do a fair amount of walking but I realize I need quite a bit more exercise and plan on joining my local Y.

Aside from those changes I've also added some heart healthy herbs.  I'd heard about Hawthorn Berry (Crateaugus oxycanthus) many years ago on one of the many weed walks I've attended in Prospect Park.  I've known of its action of regulating blood pressure so took another look at it.  It's used to promote the health of the circulatory system and treats angina, high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia.  It's known to strengthen the heart and is used widely in Europe as a safe and effective treatment for the early stages of heart disease.  It's ability to strengthen blood vessels makes it particularly enticing to me as I'm now on meds to thin my blood (to ensure that the stent works its wonders).  Bruising and small cuts are going to be an issue so strengthening my capillaries is especially important.

There are other herbs including bilberry, horse chestnut and ginkgo that are known for improved heart health but considering the meds I'm taking I decided to keep it simple.  Every winter I drink oatstraw daily so I've combined the two together with a little horsetail.  Oatstraw is great for your nerves, it lowers cholesterol and helps strengthen bones.  I simmer the herbs in a quart of water for ten minutes and drink three cups throughout the day.

Last fall I collected wild hawthorn berries and tinctured them so I'm happy to have tincture handy in case I can't be fussing with the tea.  It's available at my Etsy store here.

I should mention that you should check with your doctor before starting any herb regimen, especially if your health has already been compromised and you're taking medication.  Better safe than sorry!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Gift Certificates for Custom 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 moods and occasions, fragrances that evoke memories or the unforgettable qualities of a particular location or experience. A perfect idea for the bride to be.  This is a one-on-one consultation in Julianne’s studio. 

$175.00 for an hour and a half consultation, includes 1/4 ounce vial of perfume.  Call (718)788-6480 or email at info@herbalalchemy.net to make arrangements.