Posts Tagged ‘ca fleure bon blog’

When it rains it pours, it seems. With my first perfume launch under my belt another design comes out on its heals: Lautrec.

It’s been very exciting being invited to work on numerous special projects this year and Lautrec is the first to be released. Some of these special projects are with blogs (how fun!) and some with museums (super fun! and of course, with more to come) but it does make me very happy indeed to have the first be a celebration of one of my favorite blogs: Ca Fleure Bon. If you are not familiar with this wonderful magazine / blog, you really need to check it out! And, if you click on this link you can be entered to win a limited edition bottle of Lautrec (until 3.25.11).

a page out of my working notebook: this is the Lautrec image

In January, when speaking to CFB’s E-I-C, Michelyn Camen about the upcoming anniversary of the magazine, I said that I would love to create a ‘holy grail’ perfume for her to commemorate the occasion. She knew that as an artist I take much of my inspiration from painters and visual artists and she knew the I design jewelry so through the conversation a concept was set in my mind: to create a perfume based on an image from one of her favorite artists, Toulouse-Lautrec in a hand embellished bottle with a hand-made necklace to speak to the inspiration and the love of ‘bling’ we know MC has. The Toulouse-Lautrec woman is a pure Parisian, chic and utterly urbane, with a feather boa and in a late 19th Century style. Then there’s the ring to inspire the gem piece: a gorgeous black opal an a setting of diamonds and sapphires. Both are beautiful and evocative; both very luxurious, Parisian, and fabulously vintage. I love all of these elements. It’s going to be good.

Lautrec limited edition bottle no.1

For the gem pieces it was easy to come up with a palette: black opals (I found some very unusual ones from Peru that act a bit like ‘aurora borealis – tigers eye’ and the more conventional from Australia with fiery sparkling flecks of colored light), swarovski crystal connectors that look like vintage diamond settings, rock crystals, moonstones, agates, jet, vermeil, and precious metals. Then the palette for the perfume had to be chosen: it had to be sweet and sensuous with luscious fruits in the topnote and a gloriously rich drydown. So here goes: passionfruit and mandarin paired with cognac and sweet absinthe (right out of the Moulin Rouge) to open, a thoroughly French heart bouquet of orange blossom, cassie flower, rose de mai, sambac jasmine, ylang ylang and orris, to rest on a bed of caramel, benzoin, sandalwood, patchouli, tolu balsam, oakmoss, labdanum, vanilla and animalic civet. All the while I was considering Lautrec a fruity-floral-chypre, so popular during the Belle Epoque and before, it turned out to have a real gourmand character. I suppose the use of the caramel and vanilla with benzoin should have been a sign. I know I love it and so does “dedicatee”, MC. And I suspect that Toulouse-Lautrec himself wouldn’t be disappointed to have it as his namesake either.

Lautrec necklace no.3

**AD: Lautrec will be available on my website this weekend in perfume-extrait form in 5 ml antique bottles as well as the 4 other embellished Limited Edition bottles and necklaces. You should email me at dsh@dshperfumes.com to see photos of the Limited Edition bottles and necklaces.

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Mata Hari, 1905

Can you believe how perfect she is for me: even her stage name, Mata Hari, means “Eye of the Dawn”.  I feel as though everything about this perfume has come from some other place and has ‘clicked’, in every detail, including the name.  I was contemplating other themes for the project but none could compare; none could be so romantic and daring.

I have to say that I am beyond thrilled by some of the reviews of Mata Hari Perfume… Thank you Gaia at the Non-Blonde and Monica, Michelyn and Mark at Ca Fleure Bon who really got the essence of what I was going for and especially the historical references, which I think are not only integral to feeling the perfume’s design but also to the Outlaw project in general, since what we lose with the IFRA restrictions is our access to the great masterpieces of history.  I’d also like to especially thank Donna at the Portland Examiner for all of her kind, poetic words for Mata Hari.  It’s really more than most artists can hope for to have their work praised but even more to feel as though ‘the message was received as intended and understood’.  This is a HUGE and rare thing in Art.

Mata Hari, 1910

One criticism (well maybe, maybe not) that seemed to show up here and there from commenters was that the ingredient list was too much…too expanded.  “Why not simplify”?,  you ask.   My response is this : How could I economize?  With the ingredient list or the bottle or any part of it?  To my mind, it is not possible with the outrageous Mata Hari!  It is not about ‘more being more’ but about what the design calls for.  Vintage perfumes were complexity and sophistication themselves…not the more modern, streamlined ‘simple elegance’ ( which I love, too ).  This style of perfume is not Zen…and it’s definitely not about austerity.  It’s about ostentation and seduction.  There is no way to skimp or withhold when you are Mata Hari.  And so, I didn’t.

This whole project has been a delight for me.  Thank you to everyone who participated from the other perfumers in the Guild to the bloggers who spent SO much time reviewing the designs and everyone who followed the scent trails around cyber space.  Wishing you a wonderful December and Holiday Season~~~

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