Posts Tagged ‘DSH BodhiSativa’

The big reveal has begun.  No, the verdict from the  judges is still out in terms of who will have the most favored patchouli perfume in the PLAP project but we now know which noses are behind each of the secret numbered vials.  *For anyone who has been following the numbers on Perfume Pharmer’s site, I’ve posted the list (and the names of the perfumes) at the bottom of this post.  I can now say that I am mysterious #11 and so happy to be so; 11 has always been ‘my’ number.  It makes me smile every time I see it.

So, now that I am free to talk about my own entry, BodhiSativa, I’m wondering what to say about it.  Hmmm…  I mentioned in a previous post that all of the patchouli perfumes I conceived are ‘Summer Patchouli’ designs.  True.  They have a lightness that I think is delightful and so unusual when considering the nature of straight patchouli oil.  I know that some of the judges (aka Patch Test Bunnies) have really been digging the heavy, serious deep patchouli that you would expect or that they remember from back in the day.  I wanted to do something different… you know: a challenge.  And a new aromatic signature for me; a note I’ve never used before.

While I was already working on the original “Bodhisattva” floral patchouli scent (no.3), there was this simultaneous phenomenon happening at the studio: an influx of interest in the cannabis aroma which seemed to be coming from everywhere.  My apprentice has had a few aromatic fascinations from the start: tomato (!), green notes in general and cannabis.  She just loves very complex plant aromas and cannabis is no different.  We had been exploring accords to develop this aroma for a little while when we happened upon some ***hemp / cannabis essential oil.  It occurred to us that an all natural / aromatherapy that had a cannabis note would be very relaxing and soothing to LOTS of clients in Boulder.  And then there were people stopping by the studio wanting to talk about cannabis perfumes.  Like every other day for weeks.  It seemed to be an omen.  That’s when the concept for Bodhi Sativa came.  I really wanted to do a patchouli design that was going to be more long term; something we would keep as opposed to most of the ‘project perfumes’ that have a very limited edition.  This was it.  (Aquarius, patchouli no.2 gave BodhiSativa a run for it’s money, but the animal tinctures are not ingredients I would be able to keep in stock all of the time, so it had to be a limited number).  I also have to say that as a patchouli scent, it seemed to fit like a glove with the project: kinda hippie-ish, has a summer time freshness, and well, something new to give the patch a twist.  I knew that I *didn’t* want to make a pseudo-aveda, head shop or natural food store style patchouli (not that there’s anything wrong with those).  I wanted a real original.  Bodhi Sativa was it for me.

For anyone that has smelled what some would call “kind bud” (aka a really sweet, sticky, resinous pot bud) there is an unmistakable sweet-fruity-ok: mildly skunky-herbal-floralcy to this smell.  Some dislike it but many find it the best part of the cannabis experience: the smell.  And that skunky reference might seem anathema to perfume but there are many smellers out there who profess a deep love for the smell of skunks and gasoline (not dissimilar aromas).  Some even call it addictive.

BodhiSativa is what I feel is the best of balancing acts: the rich aged patchouli, the fruity-floralcy of the cannabis accord and an exotic wood / incense drydown.  Oh, and there are little hints at animalic nuances throughout to give it even more interest.  I like that some of the judges smelled these notes as leather and others as chocolate.  We know what the secret ingredient really is… and according to Alice B. Toklas, it goes well with brownies.


*Here’s the whole Peace, Love and Patchouli / Summer of Patchouli LOVE project perfumers / perfumes lineup:

1) Dupetit, Indienne

2) Liz Zorn, River Walk

3) Shelley Waddington, Go Ask Alice

4) Jane Cate, Haight and Ashbury

5) April Aromatics,  Bohemian Spice

6) Happiness, Perfume by Nature

7) Providence Perfume Company,  No Name yet…

8 ) Lyn Ayre, Patchouli Paisley

9) no one gets this number…

10) JoAnne Bassett, Tetu

11) DSH, Bodhi Sativa

12) Amanda Feeley, Queen of Punk

13) Opus Oils, Wild Child

14) Therapeutate, Royal Water

**image credit: green cannabis found here, cannabis kind bud found here, “marijuana girl” found here

***FYI: Hemp / Cannabis essential oil has no THC.

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It’s begun! The Summer of Peace, Love and Patchouli is on and I have to say that I have had a great time playing with this concept; contemplating ideas, moving with the flow and narrowing the designs down to one.
It took a bit of deliberating, but I finally made my choice. It was quite the journey. I brainstormed a number of concepts before one showed up as a strong feeling but wait… that path sent me in two more directions before I settled on a winner. It seemed that the big question was: are we, with this project, hiding the patchouli or making true patchouli perfumes, in the same way that one would think about a soliflore (which is to create a unique setting upon which the ‘gem’ note is placed to SHINE)?  Or are we attempting to create perfumes with patchouli that ‘hide’ it in a way to try and get non-patchouli lovers to say: “Oh, there’s patchouli in that?”  Patchouli is such a versatile perfumery material and depending on the origin, whether it’s light , dark or aged (my favorite! I age all of my patchouli) the patchouli feels and acts differently in a composition.   I knew that I had to first answer this essential question and the answer was: let’s go for a PATCHOULI  perfume, first and foremost.  Another thing I also knew from the beginning was that this was a Summer patchouli project. So, I decided that I would attempt a bit of a trick, which is to make a LIGHT, soliflore patchouli perfume. (Patchouli is not exactly known for its “lightness”, you know.  But you also know how I love a challenge).

I contemplated a woody / chypre style all elegance; chic and smooth. I also thought about a fruity / wood melange (oh yes: delish!) but while having a mango lassi at one of my favorite Indian restaurants I had this idea of something supremely spiritual and euphoric (but in a new concept… so many times euphoric patchouli designs in the naturals / aromatherpay world are ylang / patch based, as so many Aveda pure-fumes will attest to). While floating in this creamy orange-colored bliss I thought of it as a warm, rich, luscious orange…burnt orange-red orange floating clouds billowing over deep earth all brown, rust, and chocolate-y (not a chocolate aroma, just the color and texture). As well, a Thangka painting came immediately to mind for added inspiration. I thought: Yes! this is where I want to go. To the Himalayas to trek above the clouds and traverse to Shangri-La.

Over the coming weeks I spent time exploring this feeling and ‘color palette’ (you know, more and more I seem to be designing solely in this kind of abstracted short hand of color tonalities and texture to get to the feel of the perfume I want.  No more describing in terms of the materials themselves….anyway, I digress) then something happened.   A new influence started to come to the studio from everywhere at once it seemed and this influence was a note that EVERYONE seemed to want to explore with me.  This ‘note’  got me thinking about another design concept.

But things usually come to me in threes, at least… yes really they do. And this project was no different. Concept 3 came about 3 weeks before the deadline and I have to tell you that it’s given the first two a run for their money in terms of fierceness : a grungy, truly earthy, no hiding the fact that it’s PATCHOULI and maybe it’s the scent of that no washin’ hippie you knew back in 1967.   And yes, this one smells like the summer of LOVE, if you know what I mean. I’m talking inspired by the original HAIR play. (A very dear friend of mine was in that original Broadway cast so it’s kinds close to my heart).  YEAH! I have to say I love this one.  But I really love them all. 🙂

Here’s the facebook page for PLAP so  you can follow the excitement.  Plus, my patchouli project designs will be up on my site tomorrow (June 13).  You should know that I have changed the series numbers so, my choice for the project is now No.1: BodhiSativa.  And the other two are: No.2: Aquarius (our animalic patchouli scent) and No.3: Bodhisattva (a smooth floral patchouli).  I’ve had a blast creating my Summer Patchoulis and I hope that everyone will have some fun following the project and maybe becoming your very own patch test bunnies.

*image credits:  PLAP image is copyright perfume pharmer.com
Thangka Painting image here
Shangri-La image here (and if you haven’t seen the classic movie “Lost Horizon”, do! It’s terrific.
HAIR original cast image found here (plus you could take a listen while you’re there 🙂 )

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