Monday, April 20, 2009

The Scent of the Earth

On March 28th, as Earth Hour began on the East Coast, I began an "Earth Hour" accord for an "Earth Day" perfume here on the West Coast. Knowing that I only had a three hour window until all the electricity was to be switched off, I configured and formulated an earthy, dirty accord. According to the Earth Hour website hundreds of millions of people in over 4,000 cities and towns in 88 countries voted Earth by participating in this event. All that intention for the Earth, along with mine, is bottled up in this new solid perfume.

Notes considered "earthy" according to An Introduction to Perfumery by Tony Curtis and David G. Williams, are those of sunbaked earth after the rain (Mitti Attar), freshly turned over soil, and woody-vegetative notes.

Everyone will have there own olfactory experience of "earthy"...this domain seems to rich far and wide. After all there is the flowering of the earth as we experience in the Spring which will have more floral and green notes than the the sunbaked earth of the desert or the very vegetative and indolic earth of the tropics.

Notes that I tend to classify as having an earth quality are:

  • Mitti Attar: This is an essence that comes to us via India. It begins as earth just after the first monsoon rain, collected and formed into patties, sunbaked in the sun and then co-distilled into Sandalwood. The aroma is not necessarily earthy, however, it is literally distilled earth and thus is placed into this catagory.
  • Vetiver: A very thick and resinous material that comes to us from the roots of a tropical grass. Based upon the aroma one would never suspect that the source is roots of grass. The fragrance is deep, heavy , sometimes slightly sweet with a vegetative quality. Depending where the essence comes from the aroma will have a variety of odor qualities. While studying aromatherapy I use to wear this as a single note perfume, one of my friends once commented that I smelled like a camp fire.
  • Patchouli: Dominant notes of Wood and Herbaceous/Camphoraceous with a back note of Green/Vegetal and a subsidiary note of Spice. Other earthy notes include: Mushroom absolutes, sometimes called Cepes, Lovage, Myrrh, Spikenard, Oakmoss, just to name a few.
In aromatherapy essential oils that are grounding and facilitate bringing one into the NOW with feet firmly planted on the earth are Vetiver and Patchouli.

My interpretation of Earth for this fragrance contains over ten different essences including:
Labdanum, Cedar, Precious Oud, Vetiver, Patchouli, Indian Rose and Bergamot.

The aroma is more along the realm of parched desert earth with a tad of sweetness and green. There is a progression which (on my skin) moves from dry and woody to sweet, green floral and a soft, woody, amber dry down. Off course this will vary on each individual as the solid mingles with the ultimate base note...your skin. Let me know how the scent progresses on your skin.

For a limited time I am offering FREE mini samples of the Earth Day perfume with any orders made on my website or my shop on Etsy. You may also choose this perfume in the solid trio and five pack solid sets.

I need a REAL I thought we would conduct a game here on the blog where the individual providing the BEST name wins a full size version of the fragrance. Stay tuned for details on the upcoming name game.

Image above is by the luminous Gregory Scott Spalenka, ©Greg Spalenka.


Cristiane Gonçalves said...

Hi Roxanna,

Lovely post! I love these notes as a good attars lover.

Thanks and Success,

Cris Rosa Negra

Illuminated Perfume said...

Cris Rosa Negra,
Thank you for notes are glorious aren't they!?!