Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Fluid flow

In an effort to make the business more efficient I have changed the packaging of the 1 gram vials of liquid, natural perfume. In the past I was using the folded pink enclosures that I would print out, fold and assemble.

For years I've had little glassine envelopes pinned on my bulletin board here in the studio to make the shift. Thus, now when you order a 1 gram vial it will arrive with the set of three little info cards. I am working to remove as much plastic.

Next up, the natural tubs, referred to as Honey Bee Pots, are going to be replaced by glass. More fluid flow, streamlining, is on the horizon...inch by inch, brick by brick.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

With a little help from my friends

Product testimonials can be found at a dedicated page here. If you would like to e-mail me a quote or testimonial to include that would be fabulous.

Thursday, October 25, 2012


One of the biggest challenges for the natural perfumer who works with a restricted palette of botanical raw materials, is that they are rare aromatic gems that every once in awhile disappear off the market. I stepped into the world of aromatherapy in the mid 1990's when many essences were much easier to purchase and substantially less expensive.

Over the last fifteen years some of my suppliers have stopped carrying specific essences, others come and go like the tide. In some cases I must order large amounts if I intend to get more.

My way around all this chaos is to reconstruct the missing essence as an accord, then if the essence becomes available again I can replace it in a formula. I did this last month with GreenWitch and most recently with Cimbalom. Thus, if you notice subtle differences this is the reason.

The jasmine sambac flowers have pretty much ended their flowering season here in the woodland, next up is the violets. Thus, expect to start seeing lots of pictures of deliciously, aromatic violets.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Deluge

The three day feature on the Etsy front page has brought in a deluge of orders. During that time frame I was averaging about seventy orders a day. I also received a bazillion messages, most of which were asking for help selecting a fragrance.

The downpour resulted in shifting a variety of aspects of the business immediately including bringing in some worker bees. My mom now comes every afternoon to print orders and create shipping labels for the new batch that is ready to be sent out. I also have My, who helped me out at the LA Artisan Fragrance Salon, coming by to help pack orders. While those two gals focus on their tasks I make as much perfume as my two little hands can manage.

Our living room has been converted into shipping & receiving. We brought in three long tables where we lay out orders and begin slowly putting each one together. Most are for solid perfume sample sets. Illuminating the world to the wonders of the value of nature and true, authentic natural perfume has reached new heights this week, I'm so happy to be part of that awareness.

I have ordered more materials across the board and will be updating some of the packaging. Most exciting is that now that I have funds, I can move forward on all those different projects that have been waiting on the tarmac, like little airplanes at a busy airport.

Orders are still coming in by the bucket loads, thus, for you who have been with me for years and tend to have me send you paypal invoices for orders, please be patient while things find a new equilibrium. Waiting at least a week or two would be a great help.

Friday, October 19, 2012


The silver shine of the waxing crescent moon reveals several features this week. (Did you ever notice that the word scent is in the word cresent?) The first is a review of Impromptu by Gaia over at The Non-Blonde blog. The second is an overview of my shop and perfumes that have captivated the heart of the poster ChatterBlossom over at her lovely blog.

And the third is the reason I had Rebecca come to my studio and take I am the Featured Seller on Etsy!!

Enjoy and many thanks to those who have chosen to write such eloquent words about my work and felt that it was worth a special feature.

Photos by Rebecca Fishman

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chiaroscuro Giveaway Winners

Thank you to all who graciously shared their input on selecting the best ad image to represent the new Chairoscuro natural perfume! After assembling all the names of those who entered we put the list into the Randomizer gods selected Deborah and Babette as the lucky recipients of the perfume sampler and print.

Greg and I went through all comments posted on the blogs, facebook and private messages. The overall ad image most liked was #1, posted above this paragraph.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Handled With Kid Gloves

Donna has written a very eloquent review of Impromptu over at Perfume Smellin' Things. Please find your broom stick and head on over. Her impressions, as always, come from a refined olfactory terrain and I am so flattered by her words.

If you have experienced Impromptu I would love for you to share your impressions as a comment. Its so helpful for others to read all the different points of view about a fragrance. Thank you!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

O Captain! My Captain!

There are rare individuals on this earthly plane who inspire by example and break conventional modes of thinking in order to bring about change. One such individual is Kirk Anderson, Captain Kirk as I call him, the inspiring mentor of the Backward Beekeepers here in Los Angeles. Without Kirk, his heartfelt wisdom and passion for holistic beekeeping we wouldn't have our club and most likely not be on the path to making urban beekeeping legal in Los Angeles. Kirks contagious enthusiasm drives our boat along with some very committed folk like Russell, Amy, Chelsea, Rob and the education committee.

The reason for this post today is because we have received word that Kirkobeeo needs our help. He's had some serious heart problems and is undergoing lots of tests, taking lots of meds and is required to rest, so he can't work as much as he needs to to take care of expenses. Chelsea MacFarland of Honey Love has created a page accepting donations for Kirk. In an extra effort to help out I am offering a 20% donation to Kirk on every To Bee flacon (the non pouch version) that is sold as well as a 5% donation on the 1 gram vial and the 5 gram honey pot. I also have some high quality prints of the honey bee image I did using one of my paintings which I will offer 50% donation on. Please note this offer cannot be used with any coupons.

Here is an inspirational clip that has the same emotional vibration of how many of us feel about Bee ship commander Captain Kirk.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012


The rectangular glass stopper tops on the glass flacons I use for the liquid perfume extraits are just about done and at the moment I haven't been able to secure more. However, I have three other shaped tops that are made for the bottle.

There are now two options when purchasing 7 grams of perfume extrait in the flacon. The first is the same as before, the second is the same bottle but you now have a choice on the shape of the ground stopper top. Since these tops are a bit taller, the bottle filled with perfume will be sold without the pouch, simply packaged in the purple box with the new mini cards.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fan of the Month, Septmember

The fan of the month for September* is Lotte, who sent me a wonderful note with scent impressions of Hedera helix. Congrats Lotta and much gratitude to you for the very touching message.



I received a sample of your Hedera Helix a couple of days ago. I read the review on Perfume Posse and grew too curious not to spend a few euros to have a whiff. Having worn this miraculous substance every day since (even though it's by no means everyday fragrance in my book), I just had to write some fan mail.

I will not attempt to describe my impressions in expert terms because I'm by no means expert, quite the opposite: this is the first perfume i have ever bought. I hardly know what's a base note.  it seems that once more when entering a new field of experience i have begun from the top tier (I don't know if it tells you much, but first modern game i ever played on a computer was half-life2 :D). I saw the movie Perfume (didn't actually like it too much despite praises) but have been interested in the way things smell, man made or otherwise, for much longer. It's fascinating how some odors relate to feelings, memories etc., or just give pleasure/displeasure. Probably basic stuff for a perfumist. 

Anyway, this perfume, once i got to try it, was overwhelming. The very first impression when i opened the vial was the antique quality. First, you think 50 years ago. But then you check again and say, no, 300 years ago. But when you inquire, there really is no beginning. It goes back in history so far you start to think about mythology. Circe could have worn this when she held the banquet for Odysseus. "For all the time spent in that room, the dollhouse darkness, old perfume"
I had no idea it is possible to create such complex flow of fleeting impressions. This was far from mere deodorant. There was something ancient and powerful, black even, behind the colourful play of the distinct and the sweet, dew droplets reflecting setting sun in spectrum hues against some shadowy forest. When it develops on the skin and the play of delicate colors fades, there comes this thrillingly pleasant, more constant thing. Then it deepens. And deepens. I absolutely love the fact that behind this pleasantness there is an undertone of something ominous. Just like being deep in the woods alone. It inspires profound feelings. It makes me think of mortality. But it's not grim, it's warm. It has a mysterious smile of an old wise woman. I want to experience this over and over again, like when you find some special piece of music and just listen to it every day and get more and more kicks, discover more and more meaning.

Okay, sorry if i got carried away but I'm really impressed. Thank you for this experience. It has been an eye-opener for understanding what fragrances can do. When i get rich i will buy a bottle and treasure it! You may also be pleased to hear that I'm a recently self-discovered trans woman, and for me this fragrance will always associate with discovering my true identity.


*Edit: Originally this post said Lotta was the October Fan of the Month, I meant September.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Chiaroscuro Ad and Giveaway

Greg, the illuminator of my fragrances, has created a promotional image for Chiaroscuro. Instead of just one, he has been quite abundant and produced five variations. We would love some feedback as to which one you feel represents this light/dark natural perfume the best.

Thus, to tempt you to participate, Greg is offering a signed print and I am offering a solid and liquid sampler as part of a giveaway. To participate please head on over at his Spalenka blog and leave a comment telling us which image best represents the spirit of Chiaroscuro. If you have sampled the perfume tell us when and where you sampled it in your response and you will receive two entries!

The randomizer will choose one winner for the print and one for the sampler. If you prefer the print over the sampler or vice versa be sure to mention that in the comment.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Silver and Bronze Medals

In general I am not one who gives much credence to awards. For example most of the artists and films that win Academy Awards or Emmys each year aren't the ones I would vote for. This is also true for the perfume awards known as the FiFi's.

On the phone the other day Laurie Stern congratulated me on winning a bunch of medals at the LA Artisan Fragrance Salon and told me to share the news. Thus, I had Greg make them look like real medals and posted them here on the side bar of the journal. I received three silver medals: Best Ingredient Combinations, Best Aroma and Best in Salon, I also received two Bronze medals: Top all around perfumer and Most Seductive Scent.

I am super grateful for the accolades from the mysterious judges, especially if it helps get the word out about the value of authentic natural and artisanal perfumery. Did you know the word artisanal is derived from artisan meaning "to instruct in the arts."

What I am most grateful for, every single day, is each of YOU and the beautiful notes you send me about the fragrances I create. Thank you so much for supporting my work and those inspired messages!