Coming soon — Nostalgie

The vintage-inspired scent that I’ve mentioned from time to time over the last year is nearly ready. Here is the first post I wrote about it, back in Oct 2010. I worked on it last winter and then put it down for most of the summer, but I picked it back up this fall and finished it. I’ve had the name Nostalgie in mind for months but didn’t want to give it out until the scent was done. I had mailed out some early mods under the working name Parfum Classique, but I had not planned to use that as the final name. I like Nostaglie better than something with classic in the name because each person has a slightly different view for what is classic, but I think there is more leeway for what is considered nostalgic. Nostalgie also seems like a more low-key name so I’m more comfortable with it.

I’ve put up the page for Nostalie so that you’ll know what is coming, and I will release it as soon as the first batch is filtered and ready to go, which should be late next week if all goes well. Most of the notes stayed the same throughout the development, though I softened the sandalwood, deleted the tobacco absolute, and added mimosa absolute and violet leaf. This scent features many fine naturals — Mysore sandalwood, jasmine sambac absolute, Bulgarian rose absolute, French beeswax absolute, mimosa absolute, violet leaf absolute, labdanum, aged Indian patchouli, natural oakmoss, myrrh… Because of the cost of the extravagant ingredients, the price point will be higher on this scent. It is an aldehydic floral, so you probably need to enjoy aldehydes to like it, though I kept the aldehydes and animalic notes softer than you’ll find in many vintage perfumes. Hope those who like vintage style will enjoy this one!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wanted to give my wishes for a great holiday weekend. We aren’t celebrating until Friday when my brother and his family can come up, but I’m looking forward to that. The photo above shows one of my Japanese maples in fall color last year (this year wasn’t as bright for some reason).

It should be a busy weekend, visiting with family, keeping up with orders, and working on the launch of the vintage-inspired scent. I’m testing the first little scaled up batch and making sure it is where I want it before making more.

I’ve been asked when the amber lotion and amber shea cream will be available. I had to set that formula aside for now to finish the vintage-inspired scent, but I’ll get back to the amber. I ran into trouble because the amber scent mix is dark brown and that’s not an attractive color to use in lotion. I need to see if I can make some substitutions to lighten it. Vanillin is well known for discoloring soap and lotion to a brown color over time, but there are some other vanilla scented ingredients that don’t discolor. The labdanum and tolu are brown too though, so I need to play with it more. This turned out to be a more complex product to develop than I’d anticipated.

Happy Thanksgiving! Hope your weekend is a wonderful one with family and friends.

Some New Reviews, and a Weekend Update

Thank you, Birgit, for your poignant review of Tabac Aurea on Olfactoria’s Travels. And thanks, Kelsey, for including SSS Champagne de Bois in your YouTube video review of current 5 fall favorites along with Lanvin Arpege, Guerlain Tonka Imperiale, Parfumerie Generale Praline de Santal, and L’Artisan Traversee du Bosphore. Also, I discovered a blog new to me that has covered some SSS scents from a man’s perspective, most recently with a post yesterday — thanks Michael!

I’m trying to release the new vintage-inspired scent in early December, if all goes well next week. If I can’t make it, I’d hold off until January. I will know by the end of next week.

I’m looking forward to seeing my brother and his family when they come up for Thanksgiving. Can’t believe it’s almost December. We’ve had some beautiful fall days, with the late afternoon light illuminating the golden leaves in the nearby vineyards. It’s a special time of year.

New Fig Tree Reviews, and Update

Reviews of Fig Tree perfume and shea cream were just posted on The Non-Blonde and Perfume Pharmer. Thanks Gaia and Monica!

I spent over half the day going to Best Buy to replace my failed internet connection — my mifi device refused to start when I woke up this morning I was back online by noon, but fell a bit behind today and am still catching up.

Most testers have been very enthusiastic about the latest mod of the vintage-inspired scent. It has a stronger floral character with an added mimosa note. When I work on formulas, I usually start by making very small batches using ingredients diluted in alcohol. Once the formula is close to done, I switch to larger batches using full-strength ingredients (though I still use dilutions for the strongest items, like aldehydes). I always have to spend a bit of time on that conversion. Once it is done, I can scale the formula to any batch size and it’ll come out the same. I’m busy working on the formula conversion and final stages on this vintage-inspired scent. I also have a men’s scent in the works.

Link to Interview with Guerlain’s Thierry Wasser on Basenotes

Marian Bendeth’s in-depth interview with Thierry Wasser of Guerlain is now up at Basenotes. He discusses sourcing ingredients, including sustainable sources for sandalwood in Sri Lanka where three trees are planted for every one that is cut. He also talks about the challenges of IFRA, about trying to maintain the old classic formulas while also introducing new spins on them, about the new role of bloggers in the fragrance industry, and about how his early childhood in Switzerland fostered an interest in nature and botany. An interesting read. He certainly has a huge set of responsibilities on his shoulders.

A few IFRA-related notes on massoia bark and oakmoss

I noticed a few IFRA-related things in the news recently that I thought might be of interest.

Hermes is releasing a perfume by Jean-Claude Ellena called Santal Massoia. The notes sound delicious, a milky blend of sandalwood and massoia, which is a lactonic coconut scented oil produced from the bark of the massoia tree. The interesting twist is that oil from massoia bark is prohibited by IFRA because it can cause skin irritation, so the massoia note in this perfume is likely constructed with synthetic lactones, not with natural masssoia bark, unless they’ve come up with a massoia oil that is IFRA-approved. Massoia bark oil is completely prohibited in fragrance rather than limited to a low usage rate, though you see it used sometimes by natural perfumers who choose not to follow IFRA guidelines. Bo Jensen’s great site has an entry for massoia if you’re curious to read more about it.

Another item in the news that brought IFRA to my mind: Basenotes posted a teaser for an upcoming interview with Guerlain’s perfumer Thierry Wasser. Interviewer Marian Bendeth asks Wasser about the difficulties of reformulating to meet ever-changing IFRA regulations, and he mentions that he now has a natural moss that meets IFRA standards. This is true, we have a natural moss that has had nearly all the atranol allergens removed, but even that is restricted to 0.1% in a formula, which is not going to give you vintage Mitsouko. It will be interesting to read the full interview. I have wondered if the industry will come up with a natural moss that IFRA will approve at a higher usage rate, but I’ve not heard of any such product yet (just synthetic reconstitutions). I love the natural low-atranol moss we have but wish we could use it at a higher rate. Combining it with moss-replacing synthetics can help.

Midweek Update

I just received a notice from Amazon that the back-ordered book Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent by Jean-Claude Ellena has shipped. It’s now in stock if it interests you. I can’t seem to give a link without it putting you into my Amazon account, but it is easy to find on Amazon. Also, Now Smell This ran a post about it a while back when it was only for pre-order.

I like the violet leaf in the new vintage mod I’m working on. The mimosa also seems very nice in it and fits well with the aldehydes. I’m worried about sweetness though; I need to try a few tweaks to see if they might improve the formula, but I feel I’m on to something here.

There was a review of the new Fig Tree scent posted at EauMG yesterday. Thanks, Victoria!

I’m going to be really busy from now until after Christmas, but starting early next year I’d like to get back to more posts about ingredients and general perfumery topics of interest. I’ve not had as much time for general posts as I’d like, so we’ll get back to those after the holidays.

Time to bring out the incense…

The fall chill seems to have arrived in many places, with some locations on the east coast even getting snow for Halloween! The Bois de Jasmin blog today lists favorite incense scents to bring out this time of year, and Incense Pure is included in the list. Thanks, Victoria!

Also on Undina’s Looking Glass, violet perfumes are reviewed and Wood violet is included.

We have a blustery fall morning today. The leaves have turned yellow in portions of the vineyards below us, and our oak trees are dropping leaves and acorns. The woodpeckers and squirrels have been fighting over the acorns. Have you ever seen a woodpecker dive bomb a squirrel to defend an oak tree in a territorial squabble? We’ve seen some feisty birds here! Hope you had a great Halloween! I need to find out what my nieces wore. 🙂