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Posts Tagged ‘peony perfume’

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austrian copper – yellow roses

 

June is right around the corner and so with it brings the big blooming season of my cherished roses in the garden.  The yellow roses are in bloom now as they start early but the others are just beginning to bud.  This may be in reaction to a long, cold but very wet snap we’ve had since mid-April.  The roses are loving the extra moisture and I’m expecting an incredible show in about a week.

It actually couldn’t be better timing as I’m preparing a talk for the Denver Rose Society at the Denver Botanic Gardens on June 10th.  The talk will be all about roses, rose molecules that give the aromatic signature of ‘rosey’ and how this applies to the creation of rose perfumes.  I’m really excited!  I LOVE talking about roses and rose fragrances; especially how they might seem easy to create because there are so many of them and the rose scent is so recognizable.  Of course, it’s really deceptive.  There are a gazillion different roses with as many varying scents and if you’ve started to *smell the roses* you know this is true.  It’s actually true of lots of flowers: we think we know them but if we start to examine them more closely they show many ‘faces’ and many fragrances.

 

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napoleon’s hat centifolia

 

Since last Fall or maybe even earlier I’ve been immersed in flowers and floral perfumes.  I’m not sure why, exactly; the inspiration as well as the work itself has brought me to the garden again and again.  With the Brilliant Collection for the Cartier exhibit a multi-facteted white floral emerged for Deco Diamonds, a lush, damp earth hyacinth for Jacinthe de Sapphir, and a deep ruby-hued rose for Rubis Rosé.   There’s a fascinating array of fruit nuances found in roses, from zesty citrus nuances, to crisp apple and juicy pear, to lush blackcurrant and berry-like notes.  Rubis Rosé has a deep tea rose in the heart and a bright red raspberry top note.  It’s a combination of influences: my neighbor’s vintage (1960’s) tea roses and the fabulous berry quality of classic red long stems.  I also wanted to create a rose design that spoke to a real classicism as well as the mid-century fruited-aldehydic-floral.

You know, speaking of aldehydics and roses, I find it very interesting that some of the roses in my garden display a sort of green aldehydic quality.  Part of it is a linalool-ish citral (citrus-y) flash and other parts are the geranium-like,  green rosey aromas of geraniol and geranyl acetate.  The yellow roses (the Austrian Copper roses especially) that are blooming right now have this incredible scent.  It has those geranium-rose notes at play with an almost metallic kick as if it were a constructed perfume with the citrus-green rosy mix of aldehyde c-8 and aldehyde c-12 Enic in the top.  I love it!

 

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harrison’s yellow

 

Years ago I created an all-botanical yellow rose scent called “en Vacances” which is based on a Harrison’s Yellow that grew in my back yard when I was a kid.  It always bloomed on the last day of school.  To me it was the scent of Summer Vacation.  Saving Grace, also in the Garden Bathe aromatherapy perfume collection, is another more woody-based, more clearly rose (I smell it as pink) design that has some of these characteristic gernium-rosey tonalities as well.

 

blooming eglantine, june 2010

blooming eglantine

 

But it’s not just the geranium-rosey aromas that are coming out of the rose garden.  One of my favorite aspects that is showing up is the characteristic peppery-green notes wafting from the leaves and stems on the centifolias and the fabulous scent coming from the green apple – aldehydic fragranced leaves of my eglantine.  It’s reminiscent of certain peonies, which for me are filed away in my mind as a subcategory of rose note flowers.  They are their own delicious, wonderful thing, of course, and they too have quite a lot of variation from dewy, ever so slightly powdery-apricot-y, to softly watery pear, to a very deep and spiced rosy-green.  Last year I created a Peony perfume after many years thinking on it.  I wanted to tell a story like a ‘day in the life’ of the peony flower kind of experience.  I could bring it from a slightly metallic-green, softly peppery – softened with dew note at the beginning, through its most ‘rosey’ phase and into a twilight shaded and darker aspect in the drydown.  I’m not sure it’s for everyone but I really like it and I feel it tells it’s story nicely.

 

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jacqueminot rose

 

I grow a fair number of “Old Roses” but I hadn’t really pushed myself to decipher their varied nuances to the point of creating a perfume to speak to their unique characters until recently.  Deeply honey – spice, almost carnation-esque, the old rose types are rich and can be a bit heavy.  It would be very easy to get involved with a perfume design around the old rose scent and end up at “granny rose” in no time.  Not that the roses themselves do the powdery note that I most associate with granny rose but the density of their scent and how you work with that quality could get you there if you weren’t very careful to avoid it.  I’ve smelled too many old rose and tea rose perfumes that, for me, smell of granny rose due to their sheer density.  (If you couldn’t tell: Granny rose is not my thing. At all. But I digress).   I can’t talk much about a recent project I’ve been involved with for Denver Art Museum just yet but I will say that it’s allowed me to delve into the old roses character some and pull it into a rose bouquet that is unlike any of my other rose designs.  First off, it’s not intended to be a rose soliflore but the rose is clearly experienced along with a couple of other focal floral notes.  There will be more on that topic, and more very soon. 😉

This seems like as good a place to stop part 1 for now.  I’m hoping that as I send this out and in the next few days, some of the other buds will pop out into full blossom.

I’m so thrilled to be talking flowers and roses in particular, that I’d like to offer a little drawing for 3 sets of 3 – mini sprayers of Rubis Rosé EdP, Peony EdP, and en Vacances EdP.  Please leave a comment about your favorite rose and/or rose perfume to enter.  The 3 winners will be chosen at random in the wee hours of June 6th so the deadline to enter is 11:59 pm on June 5th.  Winners will be announced on June 6th.  I hope that everyone will enjoy the start of Summer and good luck in the draw!   ox

 

* images are all my own.  you can see most or variations on them at my instagram page.

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There are always new designs that I am working on.  I never seem to feel completely satisfied and ready to put my materials down for any extended length of time.  I realize that I have way, way more designs available on my website than any reasonable person should have from a business standpoint but it seems that the artist gets her way just about all of the time where that is concerned.  I just can’t help myself. { So be it }.

Right now in my studio I am creating my own “little Springtime” while it’s still officially winter on the calendar.  And since time matches on, faster and faster it seems, March 20th will be here before we know it.  (Woah, this week!!!!  😀 )

Some of the work that has really been on my mind is re-habing or re-thinking old designs or even old design names that I still love; to breathe new life into them.  I started doing a lot more of this inward gazing at some of my formulations last year and now I wonder if this is a form of art therapy for me… as a parallel to the sense of re-creating my work and creative life post baby and post trauma.  There is something to taking a work apart and shaping it anew.  Or maybe this is just what Spring does to me.

It’s interesting too, that many other makers, from the big players to niche artisans have also been re-vamping and re-launching their work as of late.  I seem to see it everywhere I look.   There’s new interest in older works or maybe the big makers are just looking for winners from the past to be remade for new audiences.  One might think that this shows a great lack of creativity but I don’t really think so.  I actually think that it can present a greater challenge to remake something great from an old design and not get stuck with what the former once was, but to transform it, while remaining true to some form of the original inspiration.  What I can say is that I have been enjoying this work of redesign, in perfumes at least, and I am trying to find joy (truth? goodness? authenticity?) in the other more personal work of “coming back” trough transformation.

So, here’s a sneak peak at some upcoming Spring delights.  These lovely flowers are among the first sensations of Springtime, once the snows have truly gone for another year.  They are the harbingers.  And I feel they are some of the most beloved of the Spring florals.

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Peony is as classic a Spring scent as there is.  I have been creating and selling a relatively simple, straight forward peony perfume for my clients in Japan for the past 5 years or so.  It’s a very important flower to both the Japanese and Chinese as a symbol of health and prosperity and this “simplicity” is really quite approachable.  Plus,  I love fresh peonies when they blossom in my garden.  Their elegant presence speaks of utter beauty and femininity.

So, for this new Peony design I wanted to do more than just create the flower.  I wanted to give the wearer a sense of experience.  Peony starts at dawn with the dew still on the bud that hasn’t yet opened.  The deep green leaves of the plant and a bit of grass are present.  Then the peony opens and releases it’s delicate yet definite aroma and we experience the fullness of a fresh blossom.  As the perfume dries down it is dusk, and the peony has turned a bit more rose-like as the sun sets and a shadow covers the blossom as night falls.

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White Lilac .   This *IS* one of the quintessential Spring aromas although not everyone has experienced white lilacs as opposed to the traditional light purple or even dark purple lilacs.  White lilacs tend to take on a more ethereal, dewy quality and even exhibit a subtle, sweet fruitiness in the first wafts.

A few years ago I started growing roses and lilacs specifically for research into the live plant scents as well as for their glorious aesthetics.  I have to admit that the white lilacs and the Persians are two of my most anticipated blooms.  I can never get enough of them and get just a little sad when they start to recede (even though that means Summer’s right around the corner here in Boulder).   To make a perfume based on these delicate flowers makes me really happy…I could get lost in this luscious but light, sweet lilac haze for sure.

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Oranges.  Yes, it’s oranges.  Kind of the odd man out in terms of ‘getting into Spring flowers’ but there it is.  And these are fresh AND spiced.  No, it’s not a pomander (which is so Autumnal and looking toward the Holidays).  This is a new kind of Fire Opal.  It’s ORANGE; a bit fiery still but fresh, juicy and most of all lively.  Not that the older version wasn’t lovely and yes, lively, but I have wanted Fire Opal to be something more.  I guess I want to watch it blossom again.

The reworked Fire Opal is a fresher take; spiced and still tea – laced but with a whiff of warm earth and a noticeable green edge that the first version of Fire Opal didn’t have.  Strangely, it’s the whiff of warm earth that makes it all the more Spring to me. And the fresh juicy-ness mixed with green leaves.  It makes me feel elated and ready for adventure the same way that Springtime does.

Of course, there are even more Spring floral designs that I am still working on so I suspect that they will have to wait to bloom for another Spring.  Well, it’s great to have something to look forward to…right?    Happy Spring everybody!

** PS: We’re celebrating Spring with a SPRING SALE at the site .  Use coupon code bloom14 for 15% off through April 10.

image credit: I found the spring bike image here; peony image found here; white lilac image here; oranges image here

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