Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Is botanical perfume for you?

Botanical perfume is a niche market, appealing to those who are seeking a more authentic experience with nature and the vitality of a fragrance made by hand with a palette of botanicals. As mentioned in the post defining botanical perfumery, the word "natural" does not mean what we believe it to mean, especially within the beauty and food industries.

When we purchase a fresh bouquet of flowers, fruits or vegetables at the farmers market, from a local grower using organic methods, we are supporting an individual who has made a conscious choice. Unlike the big flower and food producers in other parts of the world, they are choosing to farm in a manner that supports the environment, even it it means keeping their business small. We are also supporting our local community.

Did you know that most of the flowers at the supermarkets and membership-only warehouse clubs are grown in Ecuador where there are no to little restrictions on the use of pesticides? The flowers are shipped to the US, inspected for insects and then often sprayed at the airport with more pesticides. Thus, next time you put your nose in a store bought flower and take a deep breath, keep this little tidbit of information in mind.

A true botanical perfume will not last for hours on end, although there are some that will last longer than others, this is dependent on skin chemistry and the amount of base notes in the fragrance. A great metaphor for botanical perfume is that fresh bouquet of flowers I mentioned early on in this post. When we purchase fresh flowers we want to bring that vital, fresh nature component into our home. Often it is for the visual aspect, sometimes for the aroma or both. A botanical perfume, like that fresh bouquet is alive, over time it will dwindle. The beauty is temporal. If longevity is important please follow this link to these other posts:
Questions, Answers and GreenWitch

My goal is to work in harmony with nature, using authentic botanicals and mimicking the inherent wisdom of mother nature. Thus I use a palette which I has specific rules, for example, I do not use any or ever have, nor advocated the use of, historic animal ingredients such as civet, castoreum, ambergris and deer musk. I do not use isolates, even if they are stated to be natural because in truth, most are not natural and have been developed in a laboratory. I prefer not to use materials that have undergone splicing or from a vendor that honorable. Some vendors sell ingredients labeled incorrectly.

In general, the liquid perfumes last longer than the solids, GreenWitch being the most long lasting of all the fragrances in my line. Blossom and Gracing the Dawn are the most ethereal.

The other component of this work is beauty and art. An intention to illuminate the value of perfumes made in collaboration with nature alongside the history and romance of fragrance. Sometimes this part can be extremely tricky since budgets are so small and manufacturers of containers require high minimums. This is where creativity becomes very useful and which I began using the color coded wax seals. There is tremendous mindfulness and thought put into the concept of each fragrance and how to tell its story. At the moment my husband Greg and I create visuals and LookBooks to facilitate an experience of the fragrance.

Many thanks to those who have been loyal patrons of this work, its is because of you that we are able to continue doing this work and getting the message about our connection to nature to all sentient beings who are ready to hear it.

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