Catching Up

The photo above shows some Tabac bottles before they shipped out.  I’m catching up with the orders that came in after the Tabac launch, and things should get back to normal in a few more days.  We have beautiful warm weather here, enough to create spring fever, so I’m really looking forward to having a few minutes to get outside.  It’s in the 80s today!

I’m hoping to get back to gardenia this weekend.

Quick Update

I’ve had a bigger than anticipated influx of orders for Tabac Aurea, so it’ll take me longer to catch up than I had originally thought, but I’m still getting orders turned around within 4-5 days, with many going out in 2-3 days.  I think things will get back to normal after a week or two, but for now all I can do is fill orders. 

I’ve just run out of shea cream and it so close to the warm summer season that I will hold off on another batch because I’d like to switch to a lighter formula for summer; therefore, I took the shea cream down from the site for now.  I’ll get back to it when I can, but the perfume is my top priority.

I can’t wait to get back to work on Gardenia Musk, but I just don’t have a spare few minutes for that right now.  Gardenia Musk will be my top priority after I catch up with orders.

I’m very happy by the great response to Tabac Aurea so far; people are liking the samples they are receiving and are coming back for bottles.  As always though, I suggest sampling first before buying bottles to be sure it’s a good match for you.

Tabac Aurea is on the site

I just put Tabac Aurea on the site.  Samples are available, so take advantage of that and sample first.  🙂  Turn-around time on orders will be a few more days than usual for about a week because of the probable influx of orders, but I’ll do my best to mail each order as quickly as I can.

Here’s the web page for Tabac Aurea:

After I finish this Tabac release, we can get back to some other topics on the blog!  And I’ll get back to Gardenia Musk at that point too.  For now, I’ll be working on orders…

Thursday should be the day…

for Tabac to go on the site.  I had quite a few bottle orders come in yesterday (not for Tabac) so I’ve been delayed in my prep for the release, but I’ll add Tabac to the site Thursday morning and will send out a newsletter.  Turn-around time on orders will be a bit longer for the first week or so after Tabac comes out, but then I’ll be caught up and things should go back to normal after about a week.  There’s always a flurry of activity when a new scent comes out, and Tabac has generated a lot of interest, so I expect a busy week.

It’s a beautiful evening here tonight.  It really feels like spring; we still have daffodils and leucojum, and the tail end of the crabapple tree blossoms, and now the geraniums are starting and the trees are all leafing out (oaks and maples).  It’s warm and light enough to go out on the porch at dinner hour — spring!

On Track

Finished my taxes (yay!) and prepared a newsletter and finished the first little batch of Tabac so that I could photograph the first bottle.  I need to finish the next, bigger, batch now and I’m on track to add Tabac to the site probably Wed or Thurs this week.  The first little batch came out great.  I scale up the batches a little at a time for new scents just to be sure all goes well before making a lot of it at once.  I won’t be able to pour more bottles until it goes on the site because I don’t know how many half oz versus one oz to prepare, so I’ll need to make up each package as orders come in, as usual.

Blog Drawing and End-Of-Week Update

Wow, there’s a very generous drawing right now for some Sonoma Scent Studio bottles on the Nathan Branch blog, so go on over and express interest if you see a bottle you’d enjoy having.  One bottle is the new Lieu de Reves, which may interest some of you. I like his product photos; I’ll have to get more creative with my camera. 🙂

I have my tax paperwork under control now and want to finish it up this weekend so I can put Tabac Aurea on the site next week as planned. Thank goodness for Turbo Tax! I could never do my taxes myself without a program like that.

The Perfumer’s Organ

The recent photo on PerfumeShrine of Isabelle Doyen’s organ at Annick Goutal made all who saw it sigh with appreciation; it’s an elegant and organized way to keep a large array of ingredients within easy reach.   Here’s a photo of Mandy Aftel’s organ that she had custom built for her, crafted of beautiful wood to fit in a window of her Berkeley studio.

Now to the much more modest system… I’ve been using a three-shelf cart for all my little bottles of ingredients that I use for formulating, but yesterday I moved everything to a new larger cart and am still getting it all organized.  

I keep the large main containers of each ingredient in a big cabinet wall system behind doors, but I pour small amounts of many things into small bottles to keep in my organ for blending.  I dilute most of those items in alcohol because when you make small test batches even a drop of many things is too much, so you pre-dilute to make workable concentrations for small formulating batches.  A few things are ok at full strength, but I keep small bottles of those as well so that my big containers of main stock stay pristine while I work with the little bottles day to day.  When I make a big batch of something for sale, I can go to the big containers. 

Most indie perfumers use some sort of system like this, but each person finds his/her method. At the big fragrance companies some perfumers work out formulas on computer and then hand it to a lab tech to go mix and bring back later for the perfumer to test sniff, so they have entirely different systems than small indie perfumers who do all their own lab work as part of the formulating process.

Anyway, I’m going to be a bit lost while I get used to the new system.  I’m trying to keep it organized by note family (floral, wood, musk, green, aldehyde etc), but may need some subcategories. The bottles had gotten out of hand in my old cart so I’m trying to get off to a good start with this one. This one has a nice work surface on top instead of an open shelf (the whole thing is enclosed), so I really like having another work surface.

Happy St Patrick’s Day! Many people are choosing green scents today to celebrate, and my choices if I had a chance to wear something later would be Chanel 19, or a precious drop of my sample of Gobin Daude’s Sous le Buis (have not sniffed this in a long time), or Patricia de Nicolai Temps d’Une Fete, or a second sampling of Annick Goutal’s Un Matin d’Orage to get a better feeling for it.

Tabac Aurea Update

I’ll lock in the formula now and will get the first batch made and filtered.  I decided to keep the name as is; I like the name and when I ran a list of a few possible alternatives to some testers they prefered the original name, saying that the scent doesn’t have enough leather to worry about getting that into the name.  The ratio of tabac to leather will vary from person to person depending on each person’s sensitivities, but in general the scent opens with a leather note that softens while the tabac picks up steam as the scent dries down.  I hope to have it on the website sometime next week.  I’ll send out a newsletter to announce Tabac and Lieu de Reves once I get Tabac on the site.  I hope to be adding Cameo back around the same time as well.  Then it’ll be onward to finish gardenia…

Weekend Update

I think Tabac Aurea is done!  I’ve had very good feedback from testers.  I’m deciding now if the name will stay as is or if it’d be good to get cuir or something leather themed into the name since it does have a leather note with the tabac.  The drydown is warm and delicious though, without being overly sweet and vanillic, and it does have a golden feeling to me.  I wish I could think of a name that’d cover all bases: tabac, leather, and golden.  I do like the name Tabac Aurea though.  I just thought I’d better consider it now since this is my last chance, as I’ll be adding it to the website before long.

First though, I have to finish my taxes.  I spent all weekend on tax forms and made a lot of progress.  I want this done before I list Tabac because I’ll be super busy for a while after that.  I hope to finish taxes this week (that would really feel good to finish that chore).

I also tested the tweak of Cameo this weekend and like it very much.  It is smoother than the original but still has good lasting power on me, and the rose note seems more prominent with the softer musk blend.  I hope to add it back to the site soon.

I’m also working on a new cart for my organ.  I’ve been using a 3-shelf cart that is fairly large but has become too stuffed.  I found another 3-shelf cart on wheels that has 3 drawers, a good work surface on top, and doors to close to keep it all in the dark.  I already store all my large ingredient bottles behind doors in a very big wood wall cabinet system, but I wanted my organ full of little diluted bottles (for formula development) behind doors too if possible.  I’ll try to get all the bottles switched over and see how it works.  I have so many little bottles in there I may be lost for a few days until I memorize the new layout.  Someday I’ll try to have a proper organ built for my table, but for now this works and it’s nice to have it mobile.