Posts Tagged ‘Hair original cast’

The judges have been steadily sending in their votes and soon, all will be revealed as to who is the nose behind which numbered bottles and we’ll all be able to talk more freely about our entries to this, for now, still secret project.  In the meantime, I have my two ‘alternate’ designs to talk about.  No surprise that I followed a winding creative path that produced three designs; there are just so many ideas that I *want* to do.  So, I just go.  (I’m currently brainstorming another project for this fall and I have 12  ideas  / 6 pages worth, so far,  in my notes.  No, I won’t do all of them, but I might end up with two or three again.  But that is for another time).  Let’s not get ahead of ourselves…

Back to the project at hand: the patchouli project.  I mentioned in my last post about “PLAP”  that from the beginning I made the decision to go for the ‘soliflore’ concept (ie: make patchouli the focus and not to attempt to hide 25% patchouli in a design that accents some other family).   The coherent aspects to all three designs for me were: 1) the focus is on the patchouli and 2) these are summer patchoulis, so all have a lightness to them that make them wearable all year, even in summer.  That sense of  lightness is not exactly easy, as anyone who has worn patchouli oil can attest.  It’s got a strong character and its got weight.  Sadly, there are a number of people who do not wear straight patchouli oil very successfully and this gives patchouli a very bad name with perfume connoisseurs and passers-by alike.  When patchouli is not right, it’s REALLY not right.  This phenomenon goes like this: you smell sort of mildew-y.  The earthiness, kind of like dirt, can smell like a moldy basement  on certain skin types and this is, well, not pleasant.  Mix that with, how shall I put it?, overindulgence and potentially poor hygiene and you’ve got a BIG STINK going on.  This is what many people think ALL patchouli smells like.  Au contraire.  Patchouli, even worn straight/no mixer,  can be beautiful.  When it works ‘correctly’ on a person’s skin, it smells like mystery.  Like rich dark tea leaves mixed with soft, sexy smoke, and warm ambery wood.  Yes, you heard that right.  Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?  And it is; when it works.  Most people could smell good in patchouli if they wore it in a well designed fragrance.  It usually has to be tempered with other notes to consistently work on most people.  Sadly, many people are scared straight by straight patchouli.  Or they have ‘flashbacks’ of a sort, not good ones, from back in the day.  This brings me, to the concept anyway, of Aquarius (my no.2 design for PLAP).

I *didn’t* want to make a perfume that would be like a flashback to 1967, but I did get it into my head that a patchouli, kind of ‘human dirty / sweaty’ and sexy animalic might be fun to make.  This idea came after I had already started working on no.1 and no.3 but I thought, why not just go for it?  Go all the way…do a patchouli that pushes.  I’ll use all of the notes that many folks say are too sweaty, too far, that definitely steps beyond the pale. In other words: FUNK-AY. ( I won’t say the “s” word that so many people use to describe animalic / potentially fecal tonalities since I personally dislike that word…but that’s just me). Yeah, I’m talking in the genre of  patchouli meets Musc Kublai Khan (while using all botanicals, mind you, so synthetic musks and civet are out).

This is Aquarius.  And you know what?  What came from this “pushing the limits” process was something surprising: it’s soft.  Really.  It’s the heaviest of my summer patchouli designs, true, but it has a real warmth and richness that is inherent in patchouli and was coaxed out when I added the animalics.  Even the cumin (yeah, that’s right, I said cumin) works beautifully and I have yet to try it on anyone for whom the cumin sticks out or is reminiscent of curry.  I thought that with the use of so many strong notes: true ambergris,  tonquin musk tincture, cumin and other animalic botanicals, that this patchouli would be BOLD, but no.  To my nose and to everyone I’ve shown it to, it’s soft, warm and inviting.  The warm and inviting part, I was planning on but the softness…not really.  Go figure.  I love it just the same.


NOTE: Aquarius is dedicated to two of the best people in my life (there are many, I am thankful to say; I am very fortunate and grateful for so many dear ones…): Marlena Yannetti, who was a member of the original cast of HAIR and my husband, E, who is not only a double aquarius* but a patchouli wearer from way back.  His skin does that wonderful warm, woody/ ambery / tea leaf thing I was talking about.  He is delicious.  I will have to send some Aquarius to Marlena and see what she thinks but I already know that Aquarius smells incredible on E.  Life is Good.

ANOTHER NOTE: All of my patchouli project explorations (no.1-no.3) are now up at my site,  but if you want to get in on the fun for the whole project, Skye has “PLAP sample boxes” on sale at her site.   Get ’em while supplies last, my friends.

JUST FOR FUN: for the *Aquarius in you… here’s some info about the astrological sign.

image credits:  patchouli drawing , hair record cover , magic forest image

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