Posts Tagged ‘eyeliner on a cat blog’

It’s not the first time that I have been late to my own party.  It’s a full moon in Pisces… I’ve been lost swimming today.

Not literally swimming but I did get lost in another world.  Maybe it’s all just Pandora…the new perfume that I have been working on that came together to launch on the site today.  I’m still under it’s spell… so I think I will just be posting the artist statement that I had prepared for it.  After all, what else can I say? (I’m sure I’ll think if something. 😉 )

Pandora: A Beautiful Evil

The “Beautiful Evil” is a quote from the story of Pandora as told by the Greek, Hesiod.  She is the all gifted, all giving one, a singular woman and synonymous with Eve in many respects.  It is she who opens humankind to the knowledge of good and evil and ultimately breaks the utopian ideal.  With Pandora, mankind has plagues but also knowledge and maturity.  She opens the door to truth and hope.

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I first began this design as a ‘project’ scent that had very specific criteria.  The gist of the original “brief”  was to utilize only materials on a set list.  This list was comprised of numerous, relatively new materials available to the natural perfumer circa 2011.  From this somewhat limited palette (of all natural materials) I derived most of my inspiration for Pandora focusing on a new way of interpreting a classic accord, Mousse de Saxe, out of these ‘new’ materials.

Along the way, my focus changed and the original project fell away, which released me from all limitations.  It was at this point that the name changed along with my focus… and the final concept emerged: Pandora.  It expresses a new and an old energy; something ancient and modern, too.  There is something “retro” in the mousse de saxe reference but with the addition of oakmoss (not on the list) and some subtle aldehydes and ozone (also not on the list) it’s right here and now.

In the final design, I utilized 97.5% botanicals and a mere 2.5% synthetic content.  It is that last addition that polishes the whole and brings it into complete focus.  Amazingly, it’s the synthetics that turned out to be the ultimate catalyst, both creatively and aesthetically.

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The notes for DSH Pandora are :

Top: ruby fruits (botanical accord), bergamot, aldehyde, spice notes, ozone, violet leaf absolute, davana, cassis bud, green and pink pepper
Heart: rose de mai absolute, juhi jasmine, linden blossom absolute, yerba maté absolute, cabreuva wood, orris co2, green tea absolute
Base: mousse de saxe accord (botanical) , cyperus, fossilized amber absolute, ambergris tincture, patchouli co2, vetiver co2, muhuhu, australian sandalwood, tonka bean absolute, oakmoss green, vanilla absolute.

* the image is Odilon Redon’s “Pandora”.  Redon is one of my favorite artists and on going inspiration.  Image found here.

And for some really wonderful writing and reviews of Pandora, check out the following blogs:

scent hive
eyelineronacat blog
perfumepharmer (with special guest David Lincoln Brooks)

oh true apothecary

A HUGE thank you to everyone who showed up and wanted to support the first launch of Pandora! ❤ Much love to you all!!

ps: there’s a draw at the linked blogs for a 3 ml mini spray of Pandora EdP; be sure to leave a comment at all of the blogs to increase your chance of winning! hoo hoo! 🙂  *****We’re having a draw here as well, so please leave a comment to enter!***** the draw ends at 12 noon Sunday, September 18, 2011 (mountain time).

(and pps: We’ve also decided to do a little impromptu sale until the end of September: use member code “extra15” to get 15% off anything at the site!)

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the * blue-violet-grey hue

Today is a special day… not just because it is 9-11 or my birthday (yep: really) but even better, I am here to tell you a little about a most exciting project: carrie merediths’s bespoke perfume.  For those of you who missed my 1 year blog-iversary drawing, I offered up a bespoke perfume to the winner to commemorate the day.   Carrie meredith (from the fabulous “eyelineronacat” blog won he random draw, but I have to say from the start, I felt her vision as she described it in her winning post: “…I have many ideas for bespoke perfumes, but I’ll settle on this one for now, since it’s where I’m at in my creative head space: Iris, violet, milk, powdered sugar, ozonic note, bitter almond, anise, civet. The goal is a dreamy gourmand with a musky quality.”  That enigmatic vision has (nearly) become a reality at this point but we are still making minor changes to get it ABSOLUTELY PERFECT.

Being a synesthete, I had a palpable reaction to her description in my mind.  I saw a lovely swath of silk charmeuse in a blue-violet-grey color moving gently in a breeze.  The weight of the fabric and it’s lushness balanced perfectly with it’s hue and value.  This is what I have worked from when interpreting Carrie’s concept.  Of course, I have also worked from her note list and a sense of incorporating “classic Guerlain” sensibilities and a modern gourmand aesthetic to make her ‘holy grail’ perfume.  She mentioned that she is a huge classic Guerlain fan (who isn’t?) and also her love of the iris/gourmand.  All I could say is YUM.  So, the first run of samples was just to get the structure down.  It occurred to me when starting on Carrie’s perfume that I had had an idea in the back of my mind for some time which was to create a classic accord, a base really, that was a touch dry, a little creamy wood and warm in an orris/ iris mode.  So, I started with that.  It’s actually called: “blue violet grey accord”.  That is the center heart note of Carrie’s perfume.  I then worked my way out from there.  Here’s what we have so far:

bergamot, bitter almond, ozone note, violet leaf, aniseed, lemon, powdered violet, rose otto, *blue-violet-grey orris accord, sandalwood, honey beeswax, cocoa butter, cocoa bean, heliotrope, tonka bean, virginia cedarwood, vanilla absolute, green oakmoss, vetiver, civet.

"This one is just right!"

And I have to say that it is, so far, unlike anything else I have made.  How incredible!  🙂   I  just love this process… the bespoke is always completely unique and each perfume is full of idiosyncrasy; a very special beauty.  That is not to say that this perfume would only appeal to one person… no.  It is lovely, warm and inviting as well as chic and a little mischievous.  (Remind you of anyone you know?  I’m looking at you CM…:) ) I think it has real appeal and it is thrilling for me to work on this design with such a creative mind as Carrie’s.  What fun it’s been and it’s not over yet.  There are a few more mods as I mentioned before and then the big reveal: the name.  (Yes, we have a name but I’m not telling just yet.  I think the perfume needs to finished before we know for sure that this is a match of concept, name and essence.  But  I’m sure we’re going to get it , as Goldilocks says, “just right”.

ps: * this color, the blue-violet-grey hue I saw in my head is aptly called “perfume” from a super fun color /design website  just type in this code to see it:  B7A2D8

** image credit: goldilocks image found here

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It’s already the end of July?  Where is the time going??  I start so many posts with this question.  I am forever amazed at how fast time moves and how it seems to be spinning faster and faster.  I was on such a ‘blog roll’ (hee hee)  earlier this month with the PLAP project (which is still going on!) but then a big creative and work push came in and it’s just been nose to the scent stone ever since.  I’ve been working… working like MAD!!!  It’s been great, I have to say, albeit intense.

Something new and wonderful just now is this very cool correspondence I’m doing with Mandy Aftel called “Letters to a Fellow Perfumer”.   It is a series (I am number 3 in the line)  hosted at Nathan Branch’s blog out of which Mandy and I will each create a perfume while exploring our process of creation and materials.  It’s proving to be an exciting and  lovely exchange.  Another biggie on my plate has been working out the full-fledged conceptual scope and materials for Carrie Meredith‘s bespoke creation.  I don’t want to go too far into the details of this just yet, but I have “broken ground” and the first samples will be sent off to CM this week, so there will be much more on that, you can be sure. 🙂  Then there’s the new DSH website that is full steam under construction, plus, are you ready: the construction the ArtScent Museum room is complete.  I’ve hand-painted and worked on this room (with a lot of help, you can bet!) all July and it’s finally ready to have the display cases brought in.  Oh joy! 🙂  My labor of love is moving forward at last.

the room that will house the ArtScent Museum: all hand-painted gold. It's a jewel-box... with lovely prism-rainbows reflected on the wall. pure magic.

But what’s really topped my list this week is not a current work that I am designing or a new project but the official launch and beginning ‘reception’ if you will, of a collaboration that started almost a year ago with Jane Schub, a fascinating mind and exceptional designer.  Jane has been involved in many creative endeavors over the years and her latest work is creating remarkable nail colors under the name ‘StrangeBeautiful‘.  I have had the pleasure of making manifest some of Jane’s incredibly creative ideas in the past, but our latest mingling of the minds produced “Richly Perverse”, a true perfumed nail polish.  Richly perverse is a clear coat nail polish that has a fully designed fragrance; it’s not the kiwi or pear or bubblegum scented stuff you might find in regular ‘scented nail polish’.  It’s a richly perverse dream.

This week it launched at anthropologie.com and has already made it to the Today show!  How rad is that?  I am sure you are wondering…what the heck does it smell like?  Well… it’s an outrageous violet / leather with notes of absinthe, tuberose, orris, ylang ylang, sandalwood plus incense and tobacco in the drydown.  The leather note is black leather; yep, like a motorcycle jacket.  And the violet is powdered candy violet, all French and demure.  Mixed with the boozy breath of absinthe and narcotic tuberose, oh yeah, it’s a badass.  It’s sheer elegance riding a Harley.  If that messes with your head it’s par for the course.   That’s what happens when Jane and I get together.

Check out some of the ‘brief’ Jane sent me for inspiration:

“Richly Perverse

As we removed our clothing then inched our way into the unknown dark inky lake the conversation escalated, she said you don’t get it nor comprehend what I am saying; this is not a philosophical perspective but a way of life. Only when it is strange do I see something beautiful. She then said; I may not respect someone when they do not see it my way but I will never forget your thoughtful act of delivering my request for a freshly boiled lobster shell. Her ideas were a concept that took everyone by surprise.”

Oh, yes, Strange is Jane but so beautiful.   I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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