Checking In, and Amber Incense Review on Colognoisseur

Amber Incense was reviewed today on Colognoisseur. I like the categorization as an “intimate incense” because it does stay closer to the body as an all-natural scent. All bottle sizes are now available on the site.

I have two new scent formulas in progress. I started one of them quite a few months ago and am just getting back to it now; it’s an all-natural version of Forest Walk. The other new scent is something that I just started recently and am excited about. I’ve been wanting to play with a beautiful new rose oil in my ingredient collection, and I have a yummy blend started with that rose, apricot, patchouli, jasmine, oak, benzoin, violet, heliotrope.

I just harvested the first zucchini yesterday in the garden. The plant has five more zucchini that will be ready in the next few days. The lettuce plants are extremely prolific right now (I’m sharing the harvest with my parents because I can’t keep up), and the tomatoes are looking great. I’m growing all the veggies in pots with some organic dirt that seems to be making a big difference this year. It’s a special potting blend with organic nutrients and micro-organisms, and it seems to help nurture very healthy, strong plants.

You may have read about the aromatic compound called geosmin that is partly responsible for the smell of moist dirt and the smell of the soil after rain. It is produced by bacteria in the soil and the odor is so strong that the human nose can detect concentrations as low as 5 parts per trillion, which this article says is equivalent to a teaspoon in 200 Olympic swimming pools. Our water supply has to be monitored for geosmin because water quality can be degraded by very small amounts. In very low concentrations outdoors though, the scent is quite pleasant if you like the smell of fresh soil. :) Geosmin is available for use in perfume (dosed in incredibly small concentrations), and you have probably smelled it in some scents that conjure dirt notes (Demeter Dirt and L’Artisan Voleur de Roses come to mind).

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Amber Incense is up!

I have added all sizes of Amber Incense to the site except for 34 ml. I’ll add 34 ml after another batch is ready. I also have a new batch of Cocoa Sandalwood almost done so I will soon be able to add 34 ml sizes back for Cocoa Sandalwood too.

I got some fun new ingredient samples and can get sniffing on those. :)

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Garden Pics Spring 2015

This morning was bright but cloudy, perfect for taking some photos in the garden.

Here is Climbing Pinky rose on the left and an overgrown Jacques Cartier rose on the right. Oak trees in the background.

Here is Ballerina rose, a hybrid musk.

Here is Iris pallida, the iris that is grown to produce roots for use in perfume (orris root).

Here is my lettuce garden on the back porch. Love the new spring green leaves on the oaks that wrap around the cottage.

Here are my tomato and strawberry plants on the front porch.

It’s a beautiful time of year. Soon it will become hot and dry, and the plants will suffer, but spring is bursting forth for now. :)

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Testing, testing, 1,2,3…

I have been testing small batches of Amber Incense as I scale up the formula, making twice as much each time. I think I will put samples on the site within a few days. I’ll post again here when I put them up. It’s always hard to let a new one go and call it done. :)

We’ve had some beautiful spring weather, so I thought I’d share a couple of recent photos. Here’s a perfect blossom of the rose called Memorial Day.


And here is a gorgeous anise swallowtail butterfly that my assistant hatched and brought over for me to see before she released it.


She’s an expert at feeding and caring for the caterpillars that then turn into these magnificent butterflies. We can help them out in our gardens by planting host plants (monarchs need milkweed; anise swallowtails like fennel, Queen Anne’s Lace, and parsley; pipevine swallowtails need Dutchman’s pipe vine), though do your research because some of the host plants can be invasive and may be best contained in pots or designated areas. If you’re interested in butterfly gardening, you can find a lot of info on the net.

I’ll be back soon with news about Amber Incense, and then I can get to work on the next new formula. It’s always fun to work on something new! :)

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Checking in…

I wanted to give a quick update. Today I’m expecting delivery of the kilo I need for Amber Incense. My assistant will be gone all next week for an Easter vacation with family, so I will plan to release Amber Incense the week of the 13th after she is back, if all goes well.

We’ve had summer-like weather here, and we’ve planted our tomatoes. The Sweet 100 is looking strong and actually formed its first two little blossoms today. The strawberries are forming lots of berries too. Looking forward to yummies. :) I’m also enjoying the scent of fresh cut sweet peas, pink jasmine, and roses in my room. Will have to get some pics.

My brother and his family will be coming up Friday for the holiday weekend. Happy Easter! :)

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Pre-release Amber Incense Drawing and Review on Cafleurebon

The formula for Amber Incense is done (yay!), and I am just waiting on delivery of a kilo of one ingredient to be able to make a large batch. I will be making some samples from a smaller batch in the meantime. Many thanks to Drew and Michelyn for a beautiful review on Cafleurebon today. Anyone who is interested can head over to enter a drawing for three pre-release samples (one sample to three winners). I will update here when I know the release date, but it is still several weeks away. Getting closer though! :)

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New Site is Up!

The new website is up! I hope you like it! I’m really happy with how it turned out. The format is prettier, we’ve added new content, and the site is now responsive to varying screen sizes and mobile devices.

The Home page has a new slide show full of photos that I have taken in the garden and in the lab. Other pages have new photos as well, and you’ll find lots of new content on the Ingredients page.

We’ve also linked the ingredients into all the scent description pages so you can read about ingredients with their pop-ups right from all the scent pages.

The old Fragrance Shop page has been split into three pages. Most of the scents are found on the Mixed Media page. The three 100% natural scents have moved to the Naturals page. And there’s a new page called Archive that holds the “by request scents” as well as anything that may be in short supply.

The Archive currently holds four scents. Two of these scents used to be the by request scents, Cameo and Lieu de Reves. I happen to have a little of both in stock so they are available in smaller sizes right now while stock lasts. Sienna Musk is in the archive because I can no longer get an ingredient for it, so it will be retired when I run out. I’m so sorry about that! Rose Volupte is in the archive because I may not always have it in stock, but I currently have no plans to discontinue it (I can still get all the ingredients).

On all three purchasing pages, you’ll find small pictures of the bottle sizes by the purchase buttons to help make it clear what the item looks like. There are multiple ways to get to the scent pages (from the navigation menu at the very top of the page, or from the navigation menus in the sidebars of the purchasing pages, or from the descriptive lists in the body of the purchasing pages).

I think the site is self-explanatory, but if you have any questions feel free to ask! :)

I should also say a huge thanks to Alexis and Eric at Bitclone in Portland, Oregon for their website wizardry. They are truly fabulous to work with!

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