Hot Sunday Eve

It was a hot one today! I’ve been filling more of the new bottles with IP, TA, WW, and RM. I’ll have more news soon, but I need to keep working for now. The web pages need adjustments too, including the opening page.

I’m expecting some ingredient samples this week that will be interesting, both synths and naturals. I’m getting a couple new rose oil samples that sound especially good. Can’t wait to get back to blending.

My parents are cat and dog sitting for my brother’s family and that’s keeping them busy. The dog is pretty easy and they enjoy taking her for walks each day, but the cats are young and run a bit wild around the house. They said one was up on the soffet area way up on the highest top of the kitchen cabinets and then he became scared to come down. He gets into tricky spots all over the house, lol. Curiosity and all that…

Thought I’d post a few photos that my parents took while on some walks in May near here. Our springs are pretty with the hills covered by bright green grass before it dries and turns brown in our rainless summers. Our brown/green grass seasons are just the opposite from some other parts of the country that go brown in winter and green in summer. This first shot shows the lupine growing wild.

This next shot shows yellow widflowers.

The last shot just shows the grass and the oak trees. A pretty spot. 🙂

Happy Father’s Day!

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads and grandfathers! Hope it’s a special day. My brother and family will be visiting for a few days. It was my brother’s birthday yesterday so we have that to celebrate too.

I’m working on bottling four scents in the new bottles and getting photos for the website. Just starting with Incense Pure, Winter Woods, Tabac Aurea, and Rose Musc.

Time to let the sweet peas go to seed for next year. Didn’t get many star jasmine or pink jasmine blooms this year because they froze too much last winter. Miss them.

Am thinking good thoughts for all the Dads today, mine especially. 🙂

A note on scent concentration

Most of my scents have always been parfum concentration even though they come in spray form. Some other brands offer this option and label them as “spray parfum” or “extrait spray” or something along those lines. You’ll sometimes see Chanel spray parfums on ebay in containers that look a bit like lipstick tubes, so you may be familiar with the idea. You need less squirts with concentrated parfum formulations — one spray is enough for me with most of my scents, but I tend to dose lightly so many of you will want a couple of sprays. You don’t want to spray these with wild abandon like a cologne though, lol.

The traditional alcohol-based scent categories are usually given about like this:
Eau de Cologne – 2% to 5% fragrance
Eau de Toilette – 4% to 10% fragrance
Eau de Parfum – 8% to 15% fragrance
Parfum or Extrait – 15% to 25% fragrance

Most of my scents are about 20% fragrance, which puts them solidly in the parfum category. You’ll find some perfume oils (oil based rather than alcohol based) going even higher than 25%, but if you go much higher than 25% in an alcohol-based scent it will seem too oily.

Many times the formula for edp and parfums are different. Parfums often contain more expensive ingredients since they are offered in smaller bottles of more concentrated juice and are meant to be applied more sparingly. The higher costs of parfums are due both to the higher concentration and the more costly materials. I’ve found Chanel, Caron, and Guerlain parfums to be very worthwhile, especially the vintage versions when you can get them.

Feedback from the majority of customers has been in favor of sprays but also in favor of a fairly high concentration, so I’ve made my scents in spray extrait form. It’s hard to find nice spray bottles in 30 ml size or less, so when I chose my new bottles I had to hunt to find anything less than 50 ml. My new bottles will be a nice choice for those who want a more special bottle of a scent they love. The smaller half oz bottles are plainer but have the option of the splash cap for those who prefer to apply scent parfum style.

Because my scents are high concentration for a spray, they may take a couple minutes to dry on your skin rather than drying immediately like an edt/edp. They have more essence oils in them so they’re a bit heavier, but you can control that by the number of squirts you use.

I’ll be adding concentration info to all the scents on my site, but I just thought a note here on the blog would help too.

Labels, Sample Storage Idea, and Lieu de Reves review

New bottle update: I’m going ahead with the gold foil labels even though they are a little more involved to produce. They do look nice. As shown in the photo, I’m making the border a tad narrower than the previous picture I posted a week ago. I have the first small test batch of labels in hand and I’m starting to make more of the new bottles. I’m experimenting with ways to photograph them and discovering what works.

Blog review: There’s a nice review of Lieu de Reves today on Notes From The Ledge. Thanks Scentself! I think spring is a great time for Reves.

Sample storage: After a while most of us have to think about how to store our collections of fragrance samples. I’ve been using some plastic box organizers from the hardware store with multiple compartments meant for storing nails and such. I’ve heard some people use ammunition boxes with multiple compartments. I recently got a cool storage box from the Container Store and thought I’d share the link in case it helps someone. The disadvantage is that the samples can’t stand up, but the unit is nice because you can alphabatize the drawers and easily swap drawers around to reorganize if you need to add more space for some letters/categories. If you use the dividers in the small drawers (or make your own dividers with inexpensive leftover cardboard as I did), you’ll get two compartments per drawer that are the perfect length for laying down 1 ml sample vials. It may bring pleasure to the organizing nerd in you, lol.

Weekend update

I’m working on Bouquet Blanc and am really excited by the added lactonic/milky notes and two other tweaks I made the last few days. It has more of the creamy floral nature I had in mind. Glad I had a gardenia bloom to sniff this week! 🙂

I just heard about a blog called Il Mondo di Odore that has recently reviewed many of the scents in the Sonoma line. It’s written by some basenotes members and may be especially helpful to men, though their reviews of many different brands should be helpful to women as well. The reviews get right to the main points and make an interesting read.

I received the first test run of labels from the printer yesterday evening, and it brings part good news and part bad. The printing on the gold foil looks great, with very crisp text. On the other hand, the machine cutting is not accurate enough for me, so if I want to use the foil I’ll have to hand cut. The alternative is to do a plain black label with gold text but no gold border (I can do that on my label printer with no special cutting). I can post a picture of that style if I think I might choose it, but I’m still considering the options.

It has finally warmed up here and has been unusually muggy. I actually don’t mind the strange tropical humidity after so much cool and rainy weather. It’s nice to be in short sleeves finally — lots more skin space for testing scents!

Gardenia inspirations

I’ve been busy with all kinds of things the last few days — my brother and family visited over the weekend (fun to see them!), I’m working on label files for the printer, I shipped lots of international orders yesterday, and I’m still working on a number of new scents. The label files for the new bottles are almost done and I should have a test print soon from the printer. I’m really hoping this method will work because it’ll save me a lot of time in the long run.

The photo above is a new little gardenia that came with 3 buds on it. The first bud just opened, as shown in the photo. It’s a variety called Frost Proof and may be hardier in my area (we get some heavy frost each winter). The scent is wonderful! It’s more lactonic and less indolic than my standard gardenia. It’s very creamy and milky, like sniffing a beautiful blend of jasmine lactones. It has made me want to bring those qualities out a little more in Bouquet Blanc, so I’m going to try a tweak today. I already have a creamy lactonic accord in it that I find beautiful, but it only lasts about 2 hours. It’s been hard to accentuate that accord while still providing lasting power for the scent. After sniffing the blossom I have one more idea that I want to try tonight.

Tabac Aurea on blog’s top 10 tobacco list

Tabac Aurea was named in yesterday’s list of top 10 tobacco/smoky scents on the blog Perfume da Rosa Negra. It’s wonderful to have TA included with classic greats like Caron Tabac Blond as well as popular niche scents like Serge Lutens Chergui, Serge Lutens Fumerie Turque, and Tauer Lonestar Memories. The post has lots of ideas for tabac scents if you like them. Thanks Cris! 🙂