Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Three Graces: The base

"I choose notes with a cool quality for the "wet, dark" earth aspect from which the fragrance will be built upon, such as: Mitti Attar, Patchouli, and Vetiver. I see the base as a dark leather chord in juxtaposition to the bright floral heart. I add a touch of Kewda Attar for its cool, watery element and a hint of Black Musk Attar."

This is the base for “The Three Graces” perfume, including three traditional Indian Attars. These precious gems are hydodistilled in India, utilizing a five thousand year old process. The materials; flowers, herbs, woods, seeds or a combination, are hydrodistilled into a base of sandalwood. The process is very labor intensive and thus can be some of the costliness materials for the botanical/natural perfumer.

Mitti Attar: Indian distilled baked earth, after the first Monsoon Rain.
Black Musk Attar: A compound of spices, woods and herbs.
Kewda Attar: The “screw pine” flower, Pandanus odoritissimus.
Vetiver: Roots of a tall growing grass.
Patchouli: Distilled from the dry leaves of the herbaceous herb.

Since this is a base “leather” accord, for a final perfume consisting of twenty ingredients, I will cease to add other elements. This is the first time I have intended an exact number of ingredients for a perfume. At the moment it is feeling rather restrictive, however, I feel compelled to remain true to the poem from which this was birthed. The total number of essences in this perfume matches the twenty words in the Ezra Pound poem.

Roxana Villa: Perfume in a Poem
Roxana Illuminated Perfume™
Images courtesy of Christopher McMahon and Manoj Avasthi. Above left are the Mitti Patties drying in the Indian Sun. Above, on left are Kewda flowers in a basket and just to the left is bundled Vetiver.

2 comments:

Heather.E said...

I am so very glad that you're allowing us to follow you as you bring the Graces to life! I am totally fascinated by the base you've selected. Base notes, in general, are my favorite "elements" in perfumes and this combination is so intriguing. I've never smelled Black Musk Attar or Mitti (by itself) but I have a bottle of Kewda flower water that I bought for cooking and it is absolutely marvelous. I'm hanging on each word, Roxana. Thank you!

Roxana said...

Heather, I too adore base notes! As I was sniffing each of my different Vetivers today to decide which one would work best, the door bell rang. It was a young lady from an environmental organization. When I opened the door to greet her she exclaimed "What is that wonderful smell?!"