Thursday, August 9, 2012

Impromptu has arrived!

Impromptu liquid natural botanical perfume is now here! The fragrance was first manifested in March and shared with a select group of individuals. The birth of the fragrance was very spontaneous and unplanned. Here are the details from the original post published in March. It all started with clearing my drafting table to do some painting.

Before I get into the nitty gritty of where, when and how, here are a few important specs:

- Main Notes: Wood, geranium, herb and camphor.
- Longevity and silage is really good. I'm looking for all the wonderful comments that fans have sent about Impromptu, in the meantime here is a bit I found from Portia's blog Austrailian Perfume Junkies:

"OMG BETTY! Deep earthy green, like a sexy swamp lady, I smell moss, river water and weed, herbs, torn fig leaves, mown lawn and compost, and some spices that elude me but it is AWESOME!

One of the men at Trivia tonight, that I would never have expected it from, 
leaned over and said, “You smell great, that perfume is….Wow!” As Evie C was also there 
I have back up collaboration on this. He was blown away, and so am I. You can be sure I’ve already written to Roxana asking for 5 litres of it, well, asking if I could buy any of it actually.

It’s morning now and there is still a delicious fat curl and waft of deepest green lingering upon my person. I am mesmerised, sitting still for minutes at a time (not something I do easily) trying to track this amazing scent. It is now a rank, dank thing clawing its way from the sea with a briny broken branch smell. I’m sorry, the words I have are not making this scent sound appealing; it is. I wish there were more words in my head to give you an accurate picture of how majestic this fragrance is, like primordial soup and magic. There was the tiniest skerrick left in the bottle and I have drained the dregs to live this wonderful fragrance again. One thing is for sure, you’ll not find anything this wild, untamed and confronting at your local fragrance counter."

- Impromptu is part of a new line debuting this Autumn and thus is packaged slightly differently from the other liquid perfumes. At the moment it is available as a sample in the three and six pack sets,  1 ml by weight in a small glass vial and 3.75 mls by weight in a amber glass vial pictured above and further below. The top of the amber glass bottle has been dipped in a copper colored wax and stamped with the signature honey bee seal. The wax can be peeled of easily to access the screw top. Since each bottle is individually dipped, the look of the wax and seal will vary. Sometimes they come out looking crisp, like the photos here, other times not so crisp with drips down the side of the bottle. Keep in mind this is a limited edition, like wine.

- The image has been illuminated by Master Gregario which he is offering as prints here. For the month of August I will include 3x3 square prints of the image with any 3.75 vials.

- The groovy label for the 3.75 ml bottle was designed for me by husband #1, Ben Neuhart.

Now, here is how it all came to be. As I was tediously filing papers and reorganizing boxes that held the amber glass containers I noticed a heck of a lot of the bottles were labeled Chaparral with various numbers and notes. Then I started to see other bottles of experiments with words like wood chord 3, earth chord, musk chord experiment 4. As I sat there looking at all these bottles I thought "I'm going to put all these together and see what happens." Well the result was a wonderful woody Chaparral-like fragrance. To shift it I began adding woods and resins, attempting to stay away from many of the expensive essences that I would've liked to add.

The whole process became an exercise in constraint. Is it possible to make an interesting, complex perfume without using costly ingredients? I've actually been pondering this for awhile now, but this new fragrance journey put me smack in the midst of it. Niche perfumer Andy Tauer did something along the same lines but limited himself to only five synthetic ingredients, he called the series PentaChords. I'm not so much interested in limiting how many ingredients are in the perfume, at least not now, for me it's limiting key materials such as Rose, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Orris and Oud. Gosh, I so love Oud.

Perfumes of Yesterday by David Williams, one of my heroes, has quite a lot of formulas from the 19th and 20th century. Not one of them is without Jasmine, Rose, Orange blossom or Orris. In fact most of them have all four. I did find a Lebanon Cedarwood Bouquet where the only floral note was synthetic Rose. It was described as a bouquet of "roses and pencils" for the purpose of scenting incense boxes.

I sat at my drafting table thinking about the spicy woody fragrance that sat before me, although it was nice, there wasn't anything really special about it to me. What could I add to bring in more depth while avoiding the notes listed above? As I pondered spice, Geranium wafted into my mind. Ah-hah, the Geranium would pair well with the spice element already established, add a bit of a rose note and shift the fragrance from a simple wood spice into the realm of leather.

After adding the Geranium I pulled out the formula for the leather chord I use in many of my perfumes. The original formula I had used to create the botanical leather was by René-Maurice Gattefossé, the grandfather of Aromatherapy. I had re-interpreted his formula by substituting notes and my own chords for the animal and synthetic ingredients. Read more about it here at the journal.

Thus I decided to add some botanical leather notes like Tarragon, Basil, Clary Sage and a bit of Mimosa (I know, costly, oh well). The final result is a finely woven botanical perfume with sweet, spice, floral, smoke and leather. The opening, to my nose and on my skin, is: sweet and spice walking in tandem with a warm floral note. As I mentioned the notes are finely woven, thus it becomes difficult to sift out each one. Overall there is a consistent chorus of sweet, spicy floral throughout the orchestration. The final dry down is warm, balsam and botanical leather lasting well over 12 hours on my arm with an end note of Chinese Emperors Pu·erh Tea with a teaspoon of honey.

Since the fragrance was made without a formula, from a variety of experiments all melded together, the name shall be Impromptu. For obvious reasons the first edition is limited. All other editions and a solid will most likely posses a slightly different aroma. Longevity of the perfume on me is extensive, longer lasting than any other fragrance in my line. Keep in mind that natural perfume tends to last quite a long time on me, perhaps because I have no other scents on me (particularly nothing synthetic) or within my olfactory space competing for attention.

Fragrance family is sweet botanical leather. Closest fragrance relatives are Chaparral®, Sierra liquid and Aurora all combined. If you like Aurora you will like Impromptu.

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