The Olfactive

An Artisan Craft Perfumery

A interview

Kenneth Grand

  • Can you speak about the team that creates the brand and your roles?

I have been making natural products for over 30 years. I first started with a friend and his father making soap in a garage in West Los Angeles. The team has changed a lot over the years. Sarabecca grew out of a revelation working with natural fragrance at Earth Science Naturals. Creating a great natural perfume hadn’t been possible before, because of the limitations of pure essential oils. As interest in natural fragrances grew, advancements made the creation of natural fragrance essences possible. Because of this, it was finally possible to create better fragrances. My wife and I were interested in working with fragrance suppliers to create a fine natural fragrance and Sarabecca was the result of that quest. While I am not the nose, I am the conductor of the brand. I own and run a larger beauty and personal care products business, Earth Science Naturals. Sarabecca is an entrepreneurial project that is almost exclusively myself, but as the brand grows, the team and staff will evolve. For now, I am very hands-on in the brand, from creating the fragrance to packaging creation, to even filling bottles.

  • Are there any scent memories from growing up that you all are still drawn to?

I have always been drawn to fragrance. I remember being young and going into my mom’s bathroom and mixing-up my mom’s perfumes. That was my first dabbling in perfumery. Smell has just always been a powerful part of my sensory life. I remember fragrances as well as a picture or sequence of events. Working with fragrance, my sense of smell has gotten keener and keener. I have to remember that I can smell things that others can’t, even emotions such as fear. I can smell emotions on people.

  • How did your career or journey into the fragrance world begin?

Fragrance was a large part of my first company, Alba Botanica. Part of what made that brand was the fragrance. I started out making soaps, then gravitated to skincare and fragrance because it is more artistic. My interests have always drawn me to fragrance because it’s creative, and I am naturally inclined towards things that are imaginative.


  • What are the changes that you have seen in the fragrance industry over the past years?

The biggest change is the sector that I am a part of and the shift towards natural, and I hope to be a key part of the movement of making really great fragrances. The ability to make quality and diverse fragrance wasn’t possible before and I now have a chance for that.

  • Can you talk about the brand, how it began and its themes?

The brand started by smelling fragrance blends for a skincare product. The fragrance was reminiscent of a perfume. The idea of creating a natural perfume brand began to resonate. I became more and more intrigued and began to sketch ideas. My sketches were mainly of trees

and flowers. The more I thought about the brand, I realized that running a larger company gave me less of an ability to be involved. As an artist and former carpenter, I wanted the project to be my artisan craft, personal and intimate. This idea deeply resonated with me. I thought about it, and the things that came to mind were my daughters, Sara and Becca, the brand’s namesakes. The art on the original perfume package was from a painting in my house and, to me, that just seemed right. The brand is a reflection of the things that really exist in my life. I want the brand to be true, real and embedded with the creativity and life of the people involved.

  • Can you speak more about the process of creating a scent?

I work with a very fine perfumer. The process starts with expressing an idea, then letting the artist create freely. Enabling artists to create their work is a key part of the process.

  • What do you think makes fragrance such a large part of people’s life?

Fragrance is one of our animal senses, conjuring memories, moments and emotions. It helps us to find food, mates and as such, plays a really important part in our primal experience and works directly in our pleasure receptors.

  • Do you have any new projects that you are planning for the future?

Sarabecca is a creative enterprise and, therefore, we’ll always be creating and developing new fragrances. Because of my skincare experience, we’ll undoubtedly add body care to the line. My goal for Sarabecca is for it to be eternally fun and inspiring.

  • Lastly, is there anything else that you would like to share?

I am glad that natural is starting to make its way into the fragrance world. I really appreciate the work that other perfumers are doing in natural and hope that together we can make natural perfume a very robust part of the fragrance world.

  • Where can we find your scents?

Sarabecca is available on our website,, and will be available in a variety of other locations such as spas, boutiques and select natural product retailers soon.

  • We may start at the beginning, has scent always been a large part of your life?

Yes, I’m grown surrounded by perfumes. My parents had a small perfumery in Turin when I was a kid and I went often there. I smelled all the perfumes in the store and in the warehouse.

  • Are there any scent memories from growing up that you are still drawn to?

Yes, the milk and coffee of my breakfast when I was a child. The grass of the football field (I have played soccer longtime), some perfumes of my parent’s store. I remember Kouros, a powerful scent.Yes, the milk and coffee of my breakfast when I was a child. The grass of the football field (I have played soccer longtime), some perfumes of my parent’s store. I remember Kouros, a powerful scent.

  • How did your career or journey into the fragrance world begin?

At the age of 21, I’ve started to work as a sale rep in the world of perfumery. I’ve done it for 11 years. Then Lancaster Group (Davidoff, Chopard perfumes…)has offered to me to become a trade marketing manager, a role that I’ve covered for 3 years and then I’ve been the general manager of Orlane. In 2001 I’ve created with my wife the Kaon, a distribution company specialized in niche brands.

  • What inspires you?

Almost everything. A picture (Kashnoir) , a word (Patchouliful) , a trip (Cozumel, Alkemi). The most important thing is to be attentive, to try to catch what is around you, what happens to you. To look at your life trying to be permeable. It’s an attitude.

  • Can you share words about the projects that you have created?

Wow, so many perfumes…. I can tell you about Patchouliful. This perfume is born for a word that I’ve found in the web, at Urban Dictionary, in 2010. The word of July 21, 2010, was Patchouliful that means “more than beautiful, the pinnacle of beauty” I’ve loved the word and I’ve decided to create a Patchouli perfume with this name. Easier to say than to do. It takes 3 years to have the right one thankful to Cecile Zarokian that has been able to understand the way we wanted to have our Patchouli. The king of Patchouli, a hippy king.

  • What is your view of the fragrance world and how it is changing?

If we talk about niche we’re now in a big change. Too many brands, too many points of sale, too many distributors. All this means a decrease in the quality of the offer and the risk is that we can lose the customers that were approaching our market. I see too many brands that are not coherent. Not creative scents and not quality ones in nice bottles sold at a huge price. The price is a very important issue and we’ve always to respect the consumer.

  • What is view your advice to anyone seeking to follow their creative side?

As I’ve written above, is very important to be attentive, to try to catch what is around, trying to be permeable. I didn’t think to be creative, I’ve discovered my expression of creativity with the perfumes and now I love to look at everything in a different way, with the curious eyes of a kid.

  • Can you speak on your companies and brands?

We’ve 3 companies. Two are distribution companies, Kaon, and Kaon Cosmetics. The Kaon is focused on niche perfumes and Kaon Cosmetics in skin care. Then we have the Kaon Lab that creates perfumes. Actually, in Kaon Lab, we create Laboratorio Olfattivo, Jacques Zolty and one private label for an important Italian store.

  • Finally, how may we find your brand and is there anything else that you would like to say?

Well, the brand now is in 30 countries in the world. We’ve distributors in Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, South Korea; we work with agents in France, Spain and Portugal and we sell directly to stores in many other countries the USA, England, Ireland, Thailand, Philippines, Romania, Poland, and others. We’re present in perfumeries, concepts stores, fashion stores, where the passion of the perfume can make love our creations.

Rachel Deane Binder


  • Rachel what is your background?

I have been a professional actor for most of my adult life, working both in theatre and film. I was fortunate to study with a grand dame of the theatre, Salome Jens, for a number of years and a great deal of that training is known as Sensory Work. While most of that work isn't of olfactory origin, she did help shift me as an artist to one who lives through the experience of the senses and to try to approach that experience (that scent, that damp heat, that cool breeze…) as if for the very first time. This is so key as a natural perfumer because materials can change from season to season and you really have to be open to that and to smell something new.

  • Was fragrance a large part of your life growing up?

I moved a great deal when I was a kid and even when we did settle down in Northern Maine, we spent our summers in California. What could never be taken away was the olfactory imprint of each locale: the honeysuckle and near wet heat of Richmond, the smell of ripping into sourdough bread on the beach in Bodega Bay, the muddy smell of spring wildflowers and first grass in Northern Maine or the pungent seaweed smell of Bar Harbor. When I was older and was finally able to travel to Southern France, someone told me to pick out any perfume I wanted. I was shocked at how many scents smelled plastic to me since I didn’t yet understand that they were all synthetic. Even when I was a teenager I would make my own concoctions out of oils and I recall wondering if I could track down a “higher quality” sandalwood, so there were signs along the way that scent might be my calling.

  • What are some of the projects that you are involved in?

I do try and take part in any activities put on by the Institute for Art and Olfaction, but I just had a baby so I have missed out on quite a lot of great stuff.

  • What is your favorite scent or note to use in perfume making?

I think white florals are grossly misunderstood! A synthetic white floral is inevitably very“pretty” but reveals none of the ripe or dirty qualities that make them so incredible. I think it will take a lifetime trying to begin to express the underbelly of a gardenia. I don’t think it is the job of an artist to get anything perfect, but to lead with questions. I have a lot of questions about the ‘ugly’ side of white flowers which helps unpack all that we love about them.

  • Did you receive training in fragrance?

I am a huge fan of Mandy Aftel and wanted so much to study with her, but she also expresses in her books how akin self-study is the perfumery. I decided to put all the extra money I had on materials to study on my own and have been exploring ever since.

  • How did the idea of your current project start and what are it’s inspirations?

Pomare IV was the last quote; Queen of Tahiti and when I was little my mother told all sorts of stories about her (my alleged great great great grandmother) and how France stole Tahiti from us. In my family we never let the truth get in the way of a good story and in one of my favorite tales she got sent out to sea with her lover just before a storm hit. The French had sabotaged her boat in an effort to assassinate her knowing they're so was easier to control due to his weakness for cognac. While this is pure fiction, it was one of those family legends that I took very seriously and imagined over and over. The truth as I now understand it is far from that tale. We do know that Pomare fought against the French intervention of Tahiti wholeheartedly and exiled herself to Raiatea in protest. The name “Pomare’s Stolen Perfume” represents the French ‘stealing’ of Tahiti and the surrounding islands, but it also speaks to all that can never be stolen. There are flowers and plants that grow in Raiatea that no matter how botanists try, cannot grow anywhere else. The name came to represent to me all that became stolen during colonization for Tahitians and for all first nation peoples. The history of perfume is irrevocably intertwined with our human history and that of this earth. Often when I think of the plants, resins, and flowers that make up beautiful scents, I think of how these things traveled around the world and changed our natural landscapes. Eucalyptus, which will always remind me of coastal Santa Barbara, is actually an Australian native. Vanilla, often associated with Tahiti, is in fact from Mexico. As a natural perfumer, I like to explore the origins of where we came from, including a sensorial exploration of cultures, peoples, and plants.

  • Yoga, does it affect your fragrance work in any form?

In some regard it does- a person who wears a truly natural and elegant scent should be able to wear it at any time regardless of how active their lifestyle. Perfume shouldn’t be so “loud” that it enters the room before you do. Also living at the beach, I wanted to create something you could equally wear after surfing or doing yoga as you could for a nice meal out. I also think that carrying a natural scent around with you and re-applying it throughout the day creates a sensorial opportunity to take a moment for yourself and be present. Whose day isn’t made better by the smell of real jasmine for stress reduction and euphoria?

  • What are your thoughts on creative works and following your dreams?

I think that following your bliss needs to be central to a creative drive, but it needs to be balanced with the courage to face the unknown along with your own fears.

  • Do you have any other things that you would like to share?

I was truly inspired by all of the artists at this year’s AIX Scent Fair at The Hammer here in LA-both by the incredible unique voices that are emerging from the niche perfume world, and by their kind inclusiveness and camaraderie. 

Laurie Erickson



  • What has been your creative background and history before entering the fragrance industry?

I earned a B.S. in Environmental Earth Science and M.S. in Geomechanics at Stanford University and then passed the oral exams for the PhD program. At that point I took time off to work as a technical writer for Sun Microsystems while contemplating possible careers. I started blending essential oils and studying perfumery for fun, and what began as a hobby gradually bloomed into a business. Perfumery had an instant appeal for me because I like work that combines technical and creative sides. I learned to appreciate artisan products when I was young, and I always had numerous crafts projects in progress. I also loved gardening with fragrant plants, so the combination of my interests and skills fell into place later in life when I discovered perfumery. My educational background might not seem pertinent to what I do now, but I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to be in the University research group to learn thinking skills from amazing professors. A diverse educational background is actually an advantage because running a small business requires skills in many areas.

  • Can you describe your journey into the perfume world?

I was looking for perfumes with more natural ingredients than what I had found at department stores, so I began experimenting with natural essential oils. I became involved with fragrance boards online, trying many niche lines and swapping samples with other people In the fragrance community. I then began to purchase small quantities of aroma chemicals online. I tried many niche perfumes, studied many raw ingredients (both natural and synthetic), read perfumery books, and then finally started blending more seriously.

  • How has the location of the wine country influenced the creation of the brand or scents?

 The Sonoma Scent Studio branding evolved from my location and my personality. I wanted to create a brand that was nature-inspired, true to my love of the California outdoors, and that would reflect the high-quality artisan associations one has with the wine country. I use many beautiful natural ingredients, I designed custom packaging that is classic in style, and I created imagery for the website using photos that I have taken myself of local landscapes and flowers.

  • Perfumers are now well into the forefront of their creations. Have you seen a shift in the public view of scent?

I see several trends in the public perception of scent. A large group of fragrance lovers have found each other online and created the fragrance community; members of this group view scent as an art form and build personal collections rather than wearing only one signature scent. On the other hand, we have an emerging group of people who dislike fragrance, often based on negative experiences without knowing that there are many options beyond what they find in their local stores. Some of these people look to natural artisan scents as a softer, less diffusive alternative, but others have given up on scent completely or simply don’t have an interest in fragrance. We also have increasing regulations based on potential ingredient allergies, which brings up issues of safety and further complicates the public perception of scent. It will be interesting to see how we find a balance between these factions as perfumery moves forward.

  • Can you speak on your creative process?

I start with an idea for a scent and then write an initial formula on an Excel sheet that computes the percentages of each ingredient based on the amounts and dilutions used. I don’t usually split formulas into top, middle, and base because some ingredients serve multiple roles. Sometimes I will put dabs of ingredients on paper strips to experiment with combinations while working on the Excel formula. I then make a tiny batch, just a few grams, and smell it on my skin. I adjust the formula and make another small trial batch. When I have something I like, I’ll send a tester vial to a few friends to invite some feedback. Some formulas come together quickly and others take many trials. I seem to always have more ideas than time, so there’s no problem thinking of new projects!

  • What inspires you?

The inspiration for many of the scents is either a note (like Incense Pure or Tabac Aurea) or an outdoorsy theme like a forest path (Forest Walk) or a summer afternoon (Jour Ensoleille) or a night by the campfire (Fireside Intense). Sometimes the inspiration is a concept such as with Nostalgia when I wanted to create a more modern version of a vintage scent style. Once I have an overall idea, the ingredients inspire the details. For example, in Forest Walk, the hemlock and fir absolutes are amazing and dictated my direction with that scent. Outside of perfumery, I find many things inspiring, from a beautiful blue sky to the kindnesses that people bestow on one another.

  • Finally is there anything else that you would like to share?

I’d just like to say that it’s been a joy to take part in the online perfume community. The people are creative, intelligent, passionate, and kind-hearted. If you’re new and thinking of joining in, I hope you’ll jump in and have fun!





Laura Lecce


  • Can you tell us of your background?

I come from the world of contemporary art. I am a curator, that means I choose theme paths of research and I involve artists that I appreciate for exhibitions or collaborative projects. I studied philosophy and theory of art and I started working for galleries and museums since I was 20, now I have my own space in Milan with other curators and artists, and I’m on Pelagica a project about Mediterranean area.

  • Have you always wanted to be in the fragrance industry?

I never considered it seriously, it was a big passion I had for many years. Now I’m beginning to discover this interesting world.

  • Was perfume or scent a large part of your childhood?

I come from the south of Italy and I grew up between seaside towns and beautiful countrysides. My mother is also a very good botanical and she always made me smell all its plants at home. A lot of scents have left their mark on me: all the citrus, all Mediterranean aromatic plants, the smell of pressed grapes in our cellars, saltiness of the sea places. But those with whom I have always dreamed of faraway worlds are the aromatic woods and spices, my olfactory imagery is always turned to North Africa and the Middle East.

  • How did your journey begin?

When I was growing up like all children I was attracted by the scents of my mother. I also ask for present a game to create real perfumes! But I would say that the journey actually started around six years ago when a night, I smelled for the first time an incense scent. It 'was a real initiation smell, it struck me!

  • Tell us a little about your work.

I started a blog called where I tell perfumes. On Enscent I try to tell all the world of references and inspiration behind a fragrance. Mainly I choose stories of niche perfumery but I do not preclude anything.

  • What is the creative process that you follow if you can share?

I do not follow the same mood for all the posts, sometimes trips, books or artists inspired me and I talk about a scent even if it is an old fragrance. But I write a post also if there is a new release that I like telling what I think. I focus a lot on ingredients and what the creator wanted to evoke, I focus on the concept of the scent. Then I do a very accurate images research because on my blog images must strongly communicate the universe of a fragrance.

  • What would be your dream project?

I'd like simply to help people meet new olfactory experiences with my blog! It would be enough!

  • Finally is there anything else that you would like to share?

Just visit my blog and I hope you enjoy it!


10.09.2015 Milan Italy



An unparalleled collection of perfumed necklaces, which are like talismans, carriers of an uncommon energy.

Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima is for those searching for something “more”; for something that will give them a profound sense of individuality.

Founded in 201 by Stefania Squeglia, Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima is an artistic perfume House, based in Italy. Unconditional passion, love for artistry and craftsmanship, high perfumery, Italian artisanship: Mendittorosa’s identity is forged by a quest for distinctiveness and significance. The House makes no compromise on quality and authenticity. Only the finest ingredients and most genuine materials are used, and everything is handmade in Italy. Because we believe that a perfume is a “scent of the soul”, a way to express or reconnect with our deeper self, we create feisty, conceptual and genderless fragrances that encapsulate deep emotions and meanings. Each olfactory harmony has a proper story and a message to tell, while evoking specific references or memories. An unparalleled collection of perfumed necklaces, which are like talismans, carriers of an uncommon energy.

Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima is for those searching for something “more”; for something that will give them a profound sense of individuality.


Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima / Scents of the Soul

Stefania Squeglia - Creator


  • Stefania, can you speak about your background? And where you grew up and if creativity was a big part of your life.


I’m an Italian woman constantly searching my own way in life.  

I grew up in my birth town Naples (Southern Italy) in the very traditional family, however always cherished my artistic passions- painting and writing, religion, poetry, art, books, Tarot, mineralogy among others. But at the end, family pressure won and I took the classic way of studying.


  • How did you find your way into the scent world?

It is all connected to moments from my childhood, to the reveal of a forgotten memory: the power of volcano Stromboli and its lava, to the sudden discovery of well hidden treasure. Let me explain it better: I visited unique island called Stromboli which is in fact the still active volcano,  1000 meters above the sea and 2000 deep down. Big black lava mountain in the middle of Mediterranean sea. I have been there several times feeling especially connected to this place where lava is still blown from the volcano, every day and every moment, but instead of bringing destruction it goes directly to the sea leaving 300 people, 300 souls with their normal fishermen’s life. You can truly feel special energy while visiting Stromboli.

Being on that island I had flashback: one day I saw myself as 5 years old girl making perfumes by just blending my secret potions in my mother’s and grandmother’s jars, putting them in the darkness and waiting… I felt big hope back then, the real sense of magic and happiness while waiting for my “perfumes” to transform. It was innocent, pure experience, almost talking in another, silent and deep language. Why did I forget it after some years, why it suddenly came back to me? No idea, but this regained memory, lost vocation persuaded me to take the new path in life and to follow my true self (which is in fact the main message of one of Mendittorosa’s scents: LE MAT).


  • Can you talk about how the concept of Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima brand began?

It is result of this experience I have just talked about. The Stromboli (nicknamed Iddu- ID) volcano power that reminded me my childhood passion and innocence. I have decided to start completely new life around my forties leaving previous “high-level” position in the event management and that how is Mendittorosa Odori d’Anima was born. I was re-born with our first scents: The Trilogy. Alfa and Omega – symbols of rebirth, opposites, changes, of walking through this life, expressing yourself. I have made Stromboli volcano – ID the third element of Trilogy, the symbolic guardian. Mendittorosa is not a brand for everybody, these are authentic scents conceived for the souls, far from the classic beauty approach, with limited distribution. We are warranty of being truly niche, artisanal, independent and philosophical.

  • What are the inspirations behind the brand?

My life as such – my new artistic path and philosophy, not the one which my family wanted for me. I am inspired by Tarot, astrology, poetry, our emotions… than, with help of Flair Paris lab and its noses Anne-Sophie Behaghel and Amélie Bourgeois I am translating those feelings and experiences into scents. Scents which talk in the souls’ language.

  • What inspires you?

Richness of life and our soul. Constant research and looking for raw materials. Mendittorosa’s scents are created without looking at marketing trends, we are patient, we have time to achieve the desired effect, or accord. For example, in case of Sogno Reale the whole process of trials and experiments took us more than one year. The message of each project is important. I talked about The Trilogy already (new beginning is the end of something else and vice versa, ID: the volcano, place where they are totally together), than we have North and South – universe of two opposites which still belong to each other. Le Mat: leave everything and follow your true self, Sogno Reale: dream your life and live your dreams. Upcoming Nettuno scent: the passion for art and sensibility, the magnetism of a Neptune planet which represent our inner emotions. The infinite mirror of your potential.

Packaging is truly important in case of Mendittorosa. We are unique and again, far from what market offers. I am inspired by my country: Italian artists, artisans, hidden talents of all those small towns. I look for them to express my visions and message through proper packaging. These people are part of each Mendittorosa final product: their hands, their minds and efforts. We use special wooden boxes reflecting those used to carry art pieces, we use stones, metals, rope, plombs, terracotta, raku ceramics, gold leafs, mosaic, mirrors… and who knows what future brings.

  • What are your thoughts of the independent fragrance world?

It’s difficult field where market pressure is exactly the same as in every other sector. I think that we are surrounded by so many niche projects, but between truly artistic and passionate niche labels there are some which use just proper marketing and positioning. But I do not want to focus on it, because I don’t like to be and feel negative and to criticize. Customers have choice and I believe that Mendittorosa’s message will reach them as we are authentic, independent and brave, without compromises, without large numbers of stockists. It has good and bad sides, of course – but this is idea I strongly believe in.

  • Where can we find your STOCKISTS?

We are in several countries and cities, like London, Berlin, Rome, Warsaw, Moscow, Dubai, Ryhad, Milan, San Sebastian, Turin, Kiev, Odessa, St. Petersburg, Bruxelles, Istanbul, Nicosia, Baku, Vilnius, Naples… Please contact us directly to get more detailed information. I also do encourage you to visit official e-boutique. We offer free international shipping and also possibility to acquire Discovery Kits to get know our art better.

  • Lastly do you have any other words that you would like to share?

I would like to leave important message: scents could really be a language for expressing and reaching our souls. That is really a complex and ancient art and it is  possible to approach it with high dignity and respect. Independent artistic perfumery - as we and others few do - deserves attention and could really be treated as « artistic » expression of life. I feel that I will experiment further with such different, high profile and artistic way to offer something special to the world. It feels amazing and it fills every second of my life with joy.  And of course, thank you, Joshua for the interview – this invitation made me happy as The Olfactive is special place for expressing the art of perfumery. Wish you best luck with your magazine and your special future projects.







Interview with

Ellen Covey

"Olympic Orchids Perfumes was established in 2010 as a line of handcrafted fragrances inspired by the incredible variety of scents produced by orchid flowers and created by Ellen Covey, owner of Olympic Orchids orchid nursery in Seattle. The Olympic Orchids signature line was inspired by different species of orchids, but our offerings have expanded to include a variety of luxury perfumes that range from classical in style to highly experimental. These regular lines are joined by several Special Editions and 100% natural perfumes."-OOP

  • Do you have any profound scent memories from growing up?

My earliest clear scent memory is from a time when I was about 2 years old and we were preparing to move from one house to another. I was standing on the bed, sniffing the windowsill, thinking that the new house would smell different and how much I would miss the smell of this one. 
When I was older, at one point we had a garden with a lot of flowers, trees, and shrubs and I distinctly remember the fragrance of each one. I also remember my mother’s perfumes, some of which I liked and others of which I did not. 

  • You have had an interesting life and background; can you tell us about your history and work before starting the brand?

I lived many different places growing up, including several different European countries. Before coming to the US, I spent a couple of years studying stage design in Rome. However, most of my career has been spent as a professor and researcher in neuroscience, and I still continue that career in parallel with my work as a perfumer. This is why I often take a long time to get around to doing things like answering interview questions! I originally started out studying the chemical senses, so that background in chemistry and sensory processing definitely informs and influences my work as a perfumer. About 10 years ago I also started an orchid growing business, Olympic Orchids, and the perfume business grew out of that. I became fascinated with all of the wonderful fragrances of orchid flowers and tried to reconstruct some of them, or at least make perfumes that were inspired by them. 
What were you doing before you became involved with scent and the perfume world?
As I said in the answer to the last question, I have worked for many years at a major university as a professor and researcher, have grown orchids commercially, managed and participated in a small theater group, and continue to do all of those activities at some level. 

  • Can you remember the moment you decided to commit to becoming a perfumer?

I did not suddenly decide one day to become a perfumer, nor was it some sort of lifelong dream. It just happened as a slow evolutionary process, almost by accident. I’ve always been fascinated by scents and for as long as I can remember have collected perfumes and essential oils. At some point I started tinkering around with the oils and quickly realized that there was much more to perfumery than mixing some essential oils together. I decided to learn about how to do it right, and have gradually taught myself what I need to know through reading and experimentation. I am still learning. When I started out I had no idea that it would become an important part of my life, but I’m glad it is!

  • What inspired you to create the brand?

The brand name existed already as the name of my orchid nursery, Olympic Orchids. When I was debating what to call the nursery, I looked out the window and saw the Olympic Mountains, and decided to use that name. 
Where are your perfumes sold?
My perfumes are mostly sold online through my two websites ( and They are also sold in small brick-and-mortar shops in a few places. 

  • How would you like your work to affect the person who wears it?

When I make perfumes, I make them to please myself, not some mythical consumer demographic. If other people like them, it makes me happy, but if they don’t, it doesn’t bother me because I know that everyone’s taste and ways of smelling are unique. I think one thing that characterizes my brand is the unusually wide range of genres and styles, so I doubt that anyone loves or hates all of my perfumes. The slogan that I use is, “Extraordinary perfumes for extraordinary people”, and I think it expresses my intention quite accurately. I don’t just want my perfumes to “smell nice”, I want them to evoke feelings, thoughts, memories, fantasies, flights of imagination, reactions of surprise or delight, and provide a memorable experience for the wearer. 

  • What can you say about finding ones passion?

A basic rule of life seems to be that if you go looking for something specific like love, success, your “passion”, or even the right shoes for a special occasion, the probability of finding whatever it is decreases dramatically.  My take on this question is that if you are patient, open to everything the world has to offer, and opportunistic, your “passion” will find you. If you’re like me, you may find that you have multiple “passions”, so the question then is how to prioritize them. 

  • What is your view on finding a scent that fits?

My view is that finding a scent that “fits” is a moving set of many unpredictable targets. “Fit” depends on personal tastes, circumstances, mood, the weather, the environment you’re in, your budget, and a host of other factors. To me, there is no one “fit”. My best fit is a huge variety. My advice to anyone would be to wear whatever you enjoy, but don’t get stuck in a rut with just one perfume. You will build up a tolerance to it and require doses that asphyxiate everyone around you. If I’m working in my perfume lab, I can’t wear any perfume, but if I’m not I wear something different every time. 

  • Lastly where do you see the scent world headed in the next few years?

That’s a very good, but unanswerable question. What I envision happening is that the proliferation of new perfume houses and new releases by all perfume companies will decrease somewhat because right now it seems unsustainable. Who wants to keep up with it all? Who wants to buy yet another flanker of a flanker?  I know all of this proliferation of perfumes is driven by the need to constantly stay in the spotlight with new releases, but after a while it’s going to be counter-productive if it isn’t already. 
On the other hand, maybe you could think of perfume production as being like the plant that produces billions of seeds so that three or four of them can germinate and survive. What I think I have seen the beginning of is large mass-market companies copying what we artisan and indie perfumers have been doing, or gobbling up the small companies like whales sucking in krill. Whether that’s a good thing or not depends on your point of view, but there’s certainly plenty of cross-pollination going on among the different layers of the perfume world. 
Another trend that I think may develop is a move away from Eurocentric perfume styles toward more cross-cultural styles. I know that Arabian-style perfume has become more popular in the US and elsewhere, and I hope that still other non-European styles will emerge on the market. 

  • Please share anything you like to say..

What I can say is that my venture into perfumery has been a thrilling journey at every stage, and one that I hope to continue for a long time. I am immensely thankful to my customers, my colleagues, and all of the bloggers and forums that have helped build my company from nothing to a real player in the world of artisan/indie/niche perfume. 

Two brothers, following the path paved by their grandfather find the creativity bound to be reborn in every new generation.

The Rising Phoenix Perfumery

Interview with

JK Delapp

Can you speak on your background?
The road to perfumery started for me in the kitchen. I started cooking at a young age. During college, somehow I had pulled together a catering company, and also worked in a kitchen for a few years. My father worked in international business, so I was exposed to quite a few things from a young age – food, culture, languages, peoples, customs. These experiences early on helped to expand the “size” of my world – and continues to do so.
My official road to perfumery began after I had started medical school (I also happen to be a licensed physician). I attended Pacific College of Oriental Medicine – the largest of 60 or so schools of Chinese Medicine in the US. Compounding formulations and learning about hundreds of herbs…it didn’t take me long to figure out that all of these materials I was learning about formed the foundation of the Pharmaceutical, Nutriceutical, Cosmetic, Flavor, Fragrance, Incense, and other Industries. And like that…I decided to start a perfume company.
“The Family” has been in the industry of innovation for a long time. My father has taken part of shaping the optical, dental, and toiletry industries for decades. Before him, my grandfather helped shape the face of the confectionary industry at Ludens (remember those cough drops?), Mars Candy, Hershey and Cadbury – and was the man behind the mergers, as well as phrases such as “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t”. He is an inductee in the Candy Hall of Fame (I couldn’t believe that was a real thing, either! Haha). Both forefathers were famous in the world of marketing.
And so – without knowing it…I set out to make a few marks of my own on the world, following in footsteps I hadn’t initially realized were even there.

Do you have any profound scent memories from growing up?
The kitchen, for starters.
The scent of smoke and incense – I was always drawn as a kid to wood fires, the smell of burning resinous logs, Sassafras tea (we had a tree in our front yard growing up…mmm tea and fragrant fire), and incense – which, somehow, I had discovered at a young age.

What were you doing before you became involved with scent and the perfume world?
My first job out of college was as a mortgage salesman – right before the 2005 collapse. It was as fun as you’d imagine it to be.
I worked in film and television for several years – and still do, occasionally. Then I entered medical school for Chinese Medicine. I modeled all through school to help pay the bills (sound like any stripper stories to you??) I spent a little time working in 3 hospitals in Shanghai.
And while doing all of this – I started a perfume company, eventually began custom distilling various materials, including Oud, began compounding incense – and still maintain 3 days a week in clinical practice in Atlanta.

Can you remember the moment you decided to commit to becoming a perfumer? How did you know it would be such a big part of your life?
I can. Once it dawned on me that all of these materials I was learning about formed the backbone of half a dozen multi-billion dollar markets – I began researching perfume immediately. I eventually called my brother, who works in finance – and ran the idea of beginning a company together. He told me it was the dumbest idea he had ever heard…He called me three months later and told me he had done some research…and maybe it wasn’t so dumb, after all. haha

When you create a scent what are the things that inspires you?
I gravitate towards the “old school”…Sandalwood, Oud, Narcotic Florals, Ancient spices from the Spice Trade. 
I love history, and love connecting with ancient traditions. As a kid – I had wanted to be either an Archaeologist, or a Spice Trader.  Without knowing it…I kinda did.

Can you talk about the brand, what are the themes that you use and how would you like your work to effect the person that wears it?
The Rising Phoenix about says it all…
The Phoenix is an ancient alchemical symbol in both the East and the West. It is also the symbol of the Incense tradition.
The Dragon and Phoenix are considered the “ideal pairing” in Chinese culture – and my brother happens to be a Dragon, and I (a Rooster) – am a Phoenix. Lastly – I wanted to bring new life to an old practice…and what does a Phoenix symbolize? A Rising Phoenix from the ashes is the very symbol of New Life and Rebirth.

What would your biggest passion in life be at this point?
Growing my business. Raising capital to expand – I’ve got several hundred thousand dollars in purchase orders and millions in contracts that I can’t fulfill.  And Oud. Love the stuff.

Lastly where do you see the fragrance world headed?
To a place of more and more synthetics. And creativity. And Headaches. 
Working in Chinese Medicine…there are a LOT of chemical sensitive individuals out there. It’s a real thing.

Please share anything you like to say..

I’ve developed my own network of distillers across the US and SE Asia. I custom distill a variety of materials – so if you’re ever looking for natural materials that are a few steps above what we normally find out there…you know who to call. Oh – and I’ve got Opportunity knocking on my door left and right. If you know of someone looking to invest in a company looking to expand in a big way – tell them JK is awaiting their call.


Interview with

Liz Cook

  • Can you speak on your background?

My background is varied! I originally wanted to be a nurse, so attended university for 2 years to study nursing then decided it wasn't for me, and headed into studying social science, but that wasn't fulfilling for me at the time either! All the while I was working as a photographer to support my studies, and so then I went full time into photography for a while before deciding I needed to follow my passion in natural beauty, and I opened my first business in 2001 at the age of 25. I opened 3 retail stores over the next 6 years, then sold that business in 2007, but devoted myself to self-directed studies in aromatherapy and natural skincare. In the back of my mind I had a plan to fill a gap in the market for natural perfumery once I sold that first business, and so in 2009 I launched One Seed.

I am a natural researcher and very passionate about natural health, beauty and wellness, so this has enabled me to learn a lot about perfumery and formulation over the years, and enabled me to create products for both businesses as well as for other skincare companies.

  • Do you have any profound scent memories from growing up?

I don't think I have one specific one. But I do recall scent and taste in a very vivid way. Some of my favourite scent memories are of cut grass (still one of my favourite scents), jasmine bushes, the smell of rain on the road on a hot summer evening and my mum's peanut butter cookies!  

  • What were you doing before you became involved with scent and the perfume world?

Answered in the first question! :)

  • Can you remember the moment you decided to commit to becoming a perfumer?
  • Did you know it would be such a big part of your life?

Yes, it was when I was just about to launch my first collection of three fragrances and I was completely doubting my ability to create scent that people loved. It happened to be that my husband was very cynical about my journey into perfumery at the time, and he wasn't a big fan of many perfumes generally, and definitely not of natural ones. But one afternoon in our kitchen I asked him to sit down and sample what I was ready to launch, and his reaction really cemented in my mind that I could now actually call myself a perfumer. He loved all three of them! Not that anyone should actually base a business decision on the opinion of ones family or friends (that is often the biggest way to failure in business) but it was really his opinion that I needed at that time. I had dozens of people test the perfumes and love them, but if he wasn't able to see it too, I probably would have held off a bit longer. My journey is part of his journey too after all!

  • When you create a scent what are the things that inspires you?

So many things. Mainly for me it is moments in time, like sitting on the beach in Coolangatta(New South Wales) watching my children run and jump in the sand hills while the sun sank slowly in the distance and a cool breeze tickled my cheek. Those types of memories are profound, and while there is not a strong scent involved, I love to create fragrance that mimic the feelings I had at that moment. 

I am also inspired by words or beautiful quotes. I will always start my fragrance creation with a word and and associated quote before brainstorming what that means to me, and what notes might reflect those sentiments or feelings.

  • How would you like your work to effect the person that wears it?

Yes, One Seed is about the beauty in life and the uniqueness of each person. We refuse to be about sex or sexuality, which is very different in our industry as the perfumer world is run on sex-fueled themes and advertising. As a brand we want to connect with people on a very human level, and allow people to feel a freedom in their humanness, and a connection with the world around them.

We name our perfumes after human experiences, such as Freedom, Devotion and Courage, and each one has a beautiful quote attached also. My aim is for the person who wears a One Seed scent to feel uplifted, moved, more human, encouraged, beautiful, more of who they really are.

  • What would your biggest passion in life be at this point?

Wellness and humanity. I have a massive passion for all things natural and organic, and live an organic lifestyle. I am also studying nutritional medicine, which I absolutely love. But I also have a passion for people seeing themselves and others in a more beautiful way. I would love for each person to be able to see the beauty in the way God made them, that they were formed and birthed for a purpose. When we can see that in ourselves it also helps us to see the same in others, not matter who they are.

  • Lastly where do you see the fragrance world headed?

There is a definite move toward naturals and also niche fragrances. I'm sure celebrity fragrances will continue in a big way, but the big shift is, and will be toward using more natural ingredients.

New York, New York 11222


 Perfumes and Extracts of Euphoric Transcendentalism


"Cilise Perfumer, Etienne Chevreuil, was also co-founder of the Euphorium with Graf Rudolph Komodo and Dr./ Prof., Christian Rosenkreuz in 1857. The original notebooks of Euphorium formulas have been used to recreate Cilise and other EUPHORIUM Eau de Parfums. The Euphorium's "Komodo Process" of refining and blending fragrances with neuro toxins and hallucinogens tailored to each users specific "Euphoric State" was developed by Mr. Chevreuil together with Graf Rudolph Komodo and Dr./ Prof. Christian Rosenkreuz in the early 1860's.

 A self proclaimed "Transcendental Sensualist", Mr. Chevreuil evolved theories of achieving euphoric states using resonant sound waves to harmonize fragrance elements specifically for the user. Born in Grasse, France, Etienne was the youngest child of Jean-Claude Chevreuil, also know as the Lavender Baron of Grasse and famed mentalist, Hildegard Gottscalk-Chow. His social connections and personal wealth allowed Mr. Chevreuil to both promote his theories and establish a wide reaching network for the sale of Euphorium Parfums, elixirs and hallucinogens before the onset of the 20th century."-EBP

All photos are the work of multi-talented artist Tal Shpantzer© 


Villa of the Mysteries is a Brooklyn, New York-based perfumery creating hand-poured, small batch fragrances out of a turn-of-the-century brownstone studio. We use the highest quality ingredients when composing our fragrances, and seek out only the finest raw materials. Our fragrances are derived from precious florals, herbs, fruits, woods, and resins, and are made with the utmost care. VOTM's handcrafted fragrances are evocative of a long-ago era of smoldering incense, fragrant woods, and lush gardens.


My grandmother used to make perfumes and sell them in a little shop in her village near Naples, Italy. Later, my grandparents emigrated to the US from Italy — but my grandmother never opened a shop in the US that I know of. When she passed away, I was given her perfume “recipe book” as a memento. I didn’t think much about it at the time, but I think now that it was given to me because I had always loved fragrance as a child. I collected perfumes as a child and would always ask for something new for birthdays and Christmases, but I never thought about making fragrances until later on. My kid self loved the drugstore perfumes like Jovan Musk, and I had quite the collection as a child. I used to layer Jovan Musk with my other perfumes, and make my own little compositions in that way, I guess. It wasn’t until much later that I realized how important scent was to me. 

Some years later I was between jobs and decided to focus on taking classes during my job search. I thought about what I would do if I could do anything in the world, and the idea of making fragrance was hugely appealing. I took classes and did a lot of experimentation on my own, and Villa of the Mysteries Perfume was born out of that. VOTM Perfume is based in Brooklyn, NY in a turn of the century brownstone. Currently, I sell four fragrances, all based on the “recipes” my grandmother used to make. They’re loosely based of course, as some of the ingredients are no longer accessible and some of the “recipes” needed to be a bit modernized. I use my grandmother’s compositions as inspiration for fragrances I’m thinking about making, or sometime, I’ll just put things together experimentally and see what comes of it. 

One of the fragrances that I created came out of this experimentation. I thought I wanted the composition to smell a certain way, but after a number of iterations I just couldn’t get it quite right. I realized I was overthinking the entire process. So I let go of any preconceived notions I had and left it to intuition, which in the end turned out ot be the right thing to do. I named the fragrance Fortes Fortuna Iuvat— Fortune Favors the Brave— as I thought that was an apt name for a fragrance created in such a way. I started off selling two fragrances— the aforementioned Fortes Fortuna Iuvat and Delfina in 2014 at the flea market and also on my website, I added Veni Vidi Vici and Carthago Delenda Est in 2015, and will add another two in 2016.


Interview with

Maggie Mahboubian of Lalun Naturals


  •  Can you tell us about your back ground and history?

I became interested in perfumery by way of creating essential oil blends for my skincare formulas back in the mid 90’s. I would come up with a gorgeous blend and think how nice it would be to wear it as a perfume. So I would put some on, but half an hour later the scent would be gone or very faint. Wondering how I could get around this issue was what led me down the rabbit hole.

 At first, I mistakenly thought the reason the scent didn’t last was because the blend wasn’t a perfume and that one couldn’t make perfume with naturals. So I purchased a bunch of oils which I later discovered were fragrance oils and started working with them. I ended up throwing them out because they gave me migraines and I didn’t care for their scent. I took a break from blending while I was pregnant in 2004. After I gave birth I revisited the idea of making perfume with naturals and eventually stumbled on The Natural Perfumery Yahoo group run by Anya McCoy.

 I read Mandy Aftel’s Essence and Alchemy (and a whole bunch of other books on perfumery) which I purchased from Persephenie when she was in her studio on Edinburgh Street. I wanted to take a class with her, but kept missing the dates. Instead, I attended her salons, where she introduced individual perfumers. I met Laurie Stern at one of these events. I also discovered Roxana Vila at a local Waldorf school event as I had just enrolled my daughter in the parent/child program at Pasadena Waldorf School.

 When my daughter started preschool I enrolled in Lyn Ayre’s natural perfumery home study course. I was drawn to Lyn because I loved her gentle, supportive spirit. I would drop off my daughter and spend my mornings studying perfumery in the ornate rooms at the Pasadena Public Library. It was heaven! This was in 2008 after I decided to stop practicing architecture. I applied the same rigor to perfumery as I had to my architectural studies at Harvard and began to see parallels between perfume creation and architecture. In 2009 I started a blog called Architecture of Perfume where I posted articles about the intersection between the two disciplines. It helped me conceptualize my perfumery work.

  •   When did the brand start and it's inspiration?

While on pregnancy bed rest in 2010 I decided to form my corporation, Lalun Naturals. I also created a website and an Etsy shop so that I would be able to sell my work. I worked on some simple blends using oils considered safe for use during pregnancy. I was curious to see how my hypersensitive nose would perceive scent during this time and wore my blends while giving birth to my second daughter. But it wasn’t until September 2012 that I launched Parfums Lalun at the Salon in LA. I was suddenly propelled out of my ivory tower and into the real world of a nascent and developing industry.

  • What is your process for creating a perfume?

I view perfumes as invisible constructs and apply many of the concepts I used as an architect when designing my fragrances. Base notes form the FOUNDATION of a perfume. I then work on the STRUCTURE which holds up the DECORATIVE elements that characterize a fragrance. I often use notes to CONNECT or BRIDGE and natural isolates to help SUPPORT or enhance particular notes. They help add DIMENSION to a blend. I know and have worked with conventional perfumery rules, such as the Jean Carles method, I experiment a lot because naturals don’t always behave well or as expected in a blend and cannot be relied on.

There are so many variables that it’s best to simply start from scratch each time. I actually enjoy starting each exploration without preconceived notions. I blend hundreds of accords and have them categorized. I then see how each could intersect with another but sometimes an accord lends itself to being developed into a perfume. My perfumes are actually quite complex, comprising upwards of 20-30+ notes. I think it’s possible to create coherent structures, but there’s a lot of technique and evaluation involved. I study vintage perfumes as PRECEDENTS for my projects and have quite a collection.

Recently, I’ve been familiarizing myself with the work of contemporary (mixed media) fragrance makers and would like to take a class at the Institute for Art and Olfaction so that I can educate myself on the qualities and use of synthetically derived molecules. However, I’m not interested in creating perfumes with them. I’m committed to naturals because of my background and love for botanicals. These elements are alive and subtly nuanced while synthetics come off as too strong and forceful, having what seems like the half-life of a radioactive isotope! I prefer the delicate nature of naturals, however ornery they can be.

  • What is it like to be on the independent side of the industry?

I’m a huge supporter of independent perfumery, especially artisan makers who create everything themselves. I’m the founder and curator of a yearly fragrance-as-art event called FRAGments where the perfumers present their work in a group show that is located in a unique venue in the city. It has garnered quite a following, but I’d like it to remain a small art show, not a trade event. The greatest challenge a natural artisan fragrance maker faces is the sourcing and availability of high grade materials. There are some reputable sources, but not all are cost effective. My hope is that suppliers to large perfume houses will make smaller quantities available to artisan perfumers because group buys are not always a reliable way to purchase materials needed for compounding specific perfumes. It’s a great way to purchase special materials, but then the person doing the group buy has the burden of purchasing, splitting, bottling and mailing.

  • Your line is all natural, can you explain on what that may means for those that wear your scents?

Natural perfumes do not have the silage or the staying power of their synthetic counterparts. But that’s not always a bad thing. I've heard the argument that if someone pays a lot for a natural perfume they should expect it to last a long time. However, I’m not a fan of perfumes that persist. For one, I wonder how these chemicals that penetrate the epidermis are metabolized by our vital organs if they don’t break down quickly. In addition, it means that one is committed to a fragrance for the entire day. I like to wear different fragrances at different times. My theory is that the morning nose is different from the evening nose and what works in the morning when everything is fresh is not going to hold up in the evening when the nose needs a heavier scent. Natural perfumes allow a wearer to layer fragrances throughout the day. In addition, I view fragrance as a wardrobe component that can be changed frequently, so no signature scent for me. It would be like wearing a uniform. There are just too many wonderful fragrances out there to enjoy and I believe in jumping in!

  •  And what are the locations or channels one can go to, to try or purchase the line.

Parfums Lalun is available on my website:, my Etsy shop: and at various stockists around the country and abroad.

  • And finally where do you see the fragrance industry in the next 5 years or what would you like to see happen?


The popularity of niche perfumes is certainly catching on with mainstream buyers. Just this year Frederic Malle and Le Labo were bought by Estee Lauder. I think this trend will continue as fragrance users become more sophisticated and demand products that have unique qualities. On the other hand, the wave of legislation and restrictions on materials have definitely affected the industry, leading to perfumes that all smell alike (to me). I’m hoping the public wakes up to this tragedy when they realize how destructive this has been to the art of fragrance design. My personal opinion is that the restrictions are overly zealous and mostly unnecessary. There’s no way to protect every segment of the population and that labeling would be a better recourse so customers would have the choice to purchase something or not. I also would like to see the general public become better educated in the olfactory realm and recognize the significance scent has to our well-being and pleasure. Perfumes are created for their aesthetic value alone, there are no functional requirements to fulfill. Therefore I hope there will be more material explorations and olfactory experimentation and that the public will recognize perfume as art.




Marta Garcia-Pons


Where I do come from?

I'm Marta Garcia-Pons and I was born and raised in Barcelona, Spain. But I must be concrete, I was raised in a district of Barcelona called Guinardó. There aren't many houses here, I actually live in a penthouse (for what I'm very grateful, because I can have plants) and most of the people lives in flats. But not when I was little in my neighborhood, nop! I grow up in my great-grandmother's house, actually built by my g.gfather in 1921. Nothing extraordinary in those days but, nowadays, it would be something very privileged. Anyway... I grow up in a house in the middle of a city, and surrounded by the traffic sounds, was our garden, very big indeed. It was like an oasis of tranquility. My grandmother showed me how to take care of the garden and introduced me to the world of botanical perfumery, without even know it! If you add a boundless passion for perfumes and cosmetics... well, you can imagine. She had a lot of Myrurgia's stuff in her boudoir (one of the most greatest maisons of perfumery in this country) and I remember very clearly some things from those days... the fragrant of our mimosa tree when it was in bloom, the narcotic lullabies of our jasmine, the freshness of the lemons of our lemon tree, the roses, of course, and the powdery smell of Maderas de Oriente... almost like an ancient smelling jewel. My mother was a perfume lover too, she was the one who loves roses... Since I can remember I have played with odorant materials... flowers, woods, perfumed oils... A all-life-friend told me not long ago "you were always mixing oils"... so, I suppose that was the beginning.

Everything of what I just told you, vanished... The house was sold and the garden was gone. Then, a few years ago, when my mum passed away, I just felt I needed to be in contact with these emotions again, so, when the trend of DIY cosmetics arrived in here (cosmetics but not perfumery) I could reach for materials. However, what I could get here was very limited, so I started searching in other countries... and then... I searched and searched... and I discovered all the movement about Natural Perfumery in the US.

It was amazing for me. Nothing in here can compare... There are a few natural perfumers but there are not diffusion at all.

So I begun to make my mixes, they were something to smell, and, I suppose one day, they became perfumes... my closest and my circles of friends enjoy them... people ask about them... I went to Barcelona Activa, an institution that supports entrepreneurship to follow my dream. My project was selected and I had their help in my business plan. However, I couldn't legalize my perfumes because the legal requirements were too much for me in that moment...but, with the indemnity of my dismissal I could do something... A shop of raw materials for botanical perfumery.

I decided to take a "formal course", and I did. It was very hard to find (a lot of aromatherapy, but not perfumery), but I finally found a perfumista, here, in Spain who made workshops. He was very classical, and told me I will have it very complicated without Chemical career... but...I like complications, so I insist and insist in my search and I found a lot of courses in the US...Which one to choose was very complicated... Finally I decide to learn in NPA, lead by the kind and lovely Ruth Ruane. My mentor was the amazing, wonderful and wise Justine Crane (The Scented Djinn) and the charming Shelley Waddington (En Voyage Perfumes) teach us about natural isolates. Joining the NPA was very lucky for me. I learned a lot, I was surrounded by nice people and it was like discovering a whole new world... Justine has encouraged me a lot and give me the self confidence to keep the project on. She is always there and I feel blessed for that. I have no doubt choosing Natural Botanical Perfumery for my creations.

It's been very hard and difficult. Step by step I had increased my knowledge in the sector and, thanks to the Barcelona Beauty Clúster, another institution who has helped me, inviting me to different seminars related to cosmetic industry and I had some network with the sector.

Elephants and Flowers Botanicals

So, finally, Elephants and Flowers Botanicals is almost here (Oh! The lovely elephant is from the young artist Laurianne Macron, everybody loves it!). Maybe I will need a little more time, but it probably will be operative in a couple of months. We will sell raw materials, but we want to share what is Natural Botanical Perfumery in here! So I will start making workshops and courses and that will open a lot of doors to the people... not only for making their own perfume but for knowing about this art and the artists. It is a great tool for expressing and for letting go your creative, so this workshops may have several readings.

Based on the Japanese Shinrin Yoku relax technique, I had developed a project, and, with a group of therapists we are going to include natural odors in meditations (recreating the natural environment) and we will be offering this holistic experiences very soon.

As a Perfumer...

As for my creations, they will have to wait even a little more, but the project is starting. It had begin as Mistica Perfumes, but I have changed the name to La Louve the Nuit Perfumes... I don't know yet if the name will still being the same, but for sure they will be in the market, I hope in a reasonable lapse of time.

My influences and my tastes lead me to create oriental, spiced and opulent fragrances. I link the exotic resins, the sumptuous balsams and the enveloping and warm vanilla to sensuality, not just in a "sexual" way. The sensuality I want to express goes to the development of all the senses, and therefore it is a path to follow if you want to know yourself better. Anyway, I tend to create perfumes with a lot of presence. That's why understanding the history of Barcelona and Catalonian perfumery has helped me a lot to connect more with the local likes. This city has a lot of humidity in the air, and it is warm almost all year. People like hesperidian notes... because they want to feel freshness...and if we take a look into the local perfumery, we will find there is always a balance between heavy and light notes. Adding "Barcelona" as one more factor to count with when I'm formulating perfumes, has been a very good idea. So until the moment, I'm currently finalizing my own line, putting the finishing touches with all this in my palette.

Meanwhile, I have a project as a composer for an indie house, and I hope it will flourish.

My mentor, Justine, asked what was being a Natural Botanical perfumer for us... Perfume is a form of art, and, as any art, requires technique, practice and creativity... but when you reach to express a history or an image or a feeling with aromas it is marvelous. But, for me, it is even better when you use the words of mother nature... the elements are alive and the magic is the bottle, two plus two are five and your bench it's in an old alchemist atelier... what a feeling!

Interview with

Nicolas Jennings

Nicholas Jennings - cueillette sauvage lavande 2014 Herault, FRANCE

  • Can you speak on your back ground?

After studying and working in England, I traveled extensively in Asia and Africa over a 2 year period. It was during these olfactive voyages that  I discovered first hand the traditional techniques to extract essential oils and  floral waters.  I then had the good fortune to spend a summer on a French biodynamic farm in Provence. There, I wild-harvested high altitude lavender, thyme and rosemary, which will distilled in ancient copper stills over a fire. The oils were of excellent quality even though the techniques were unchanged for centuries. 
I then studied the modern techniques  of perfumery (organic chemistry and traditional techniques in perfume balance and creation (Jean Carles etc) Modern perfumery is obviously dominated by the use of aroma chemicals and I quickly realised that I wanted to bring together my own ethical and personal interest in natural oils back to world of modern perfumery. Thus in 2005 I launched my first 100% natural and organic certified perfumes. 

  • Do you have any profound scent memories from growing up?

I was always interested in fragrance and scent as a young boy but not perfumery.  I was keen, to touch and smell as a way of discovery, holding objects close to my nose opened up another world. For example, smelling old books or furniture or freshly cut grass in late spring.

  • What were you doing before you became involved with scent and the perfume world?

Lots of different interests as i worked for the British sports federation dealing in journalism and communications but this was not the deep rooted passion for perfumes that had been intimate and private since my early years. 

  • Can you remember the moment you decided to commit to becoming a perfumer? How did you know it would be such a big part of your life?

Meeting a professional from the UK perfume industry who gave me encouragement and interesting critical evaluation of my work encouraged me to take the next steps in the professionalism of my passion.

  • When you create a scent what are the things that inspires you?

Inspiration can come from anywhere and may not be necessarily scent related, Eg; a energetic mountain walk, or a lazy summer day on a beach. Experimentation and perfume creation, are however, much longer processes of trail and error, peppered with moments of creative flurry and excitement.  


  • Can you talk about the brand, what are the themes that you use and how would you like your work to effect the person that wears it?

Sharini perfumes are created using ethically harvested organic essential oils so people who wear the perfumes have usually a learning toward making ethical choices free from petrochemical ingredients so present in today’s perfumes. All the creations are organically certified, but that’s just a logo of confidence. What really matters to me is if they feel that the perfume belongs to them, a part of themselves. Most modern perfumes create an olfactive wall around the person and the wearer disappears behind it. Sharini perfumes are more intimate, a little extra on the person’s own identity, not a replacement. 

  • What would your biggest passion in life be at this point? 

Other than my thrill to wake up and go to work then without doubt my wife and our children

  • Lastly where do you see the fragrance world headed? 

Two distinct branches - the branded industrial perfume industry and the small niche perfume houses that sit in the shadows free from the huge publicity campaigns. The industrial fragrance industry is cleverly bringing the natural theme back into main stream perfumes albeit rather with natural molecules than genuine essential oils. Lots happening in fragrance chemistry such as vibration theories etc. Also in raw material extraction with co2 extraction and spinning cone distillation. 


  • Please share anything you like to say..

The art of perfume creation is certainly it’s most fun and rewarding when free from the classical structures and rules taught in perfume schools. And like any art, one should not be afraid to move away from the rational and trust in the subconsciousness

Warm scented regards

Nicolas Jennings...

Goldie Pobador :

My work is a statement. Rooted in inherited culture and personal and collective narratives of the Philippines, it is unashamed of its origins. Exploring themes of oppression, reclamation, and freedom, I use glass, scent, sound, installation, and performance to represent untold stories. My embodied autobiographical and mythological narratives take a stand for the role of eros and beauty in rewriting my identity as a Filipina woman and in 
awakening the “feeling” body in our collective awareness. It is rooted in the archetype of the divine feminine—the part in all of us that thinks, feels, and dreams. It pays homage, in particular, to the lost language of the Babaylan—the archetypal Filipino goddess gifted in healing the spirit and body. My work is sensual and erotic, based on intuition and carnal knowledge. It is about learning how to celebrate despite the pains of being alive through the seemingly mundane act of sensing. It seeks to make people aware of the unimaginable pleasures and struggles that exist in places that are not the center.I grew up in the city of Manila, in a place called the Industrial Valley.  My work is very much related to the environment and the degradation of the urban landscape where I grew up. In our age where an abundance of materialistic values are overwhelming, I often find myself in contemplation. In my work I want to awaken in the viewer a sense of his or her existence in relation to nature. I grew up in a place that is often punished by nature, but also because of man’s ignorance it. I am interested in creating an awareness of this, but also in doing this in a beautiful way. I am interested in the exploration of the senses. Often I am drawn to the olfactory sense of perception as a medium in contemporary art, and its link to the part of the 
human brain that remembers and receives memories and emotions. Because my life has been a strong experience of both, I find myself creating both beautiful and horrible things. In terms of visual medium, I am interested in the art of glass sculpting, specifically in a technique called lamp-working. When I sculpt however, it is a very spiritual endeavor, especially when I match a scent to a form or a concept or attach it to the more personal pieces that express narratives appropriated from history, fiction and personal narrative. My practice functions around a mix of personal and cultural history, and an interest in wonder, poetry and the beautiful. It often deals with issues of Identity, sensuality and the feminine body. The body enthralls me. Its form possesses me. I am motivated by a desire to express an emancipation of the body, a sense of freedom in movement and emotion and redemption. 
I explore these themes through the representation of the body as subject in sculpture, installation, performance and film. In my glass sculptures, I work from the movement of the body to shape a female nude that is moving—that is alive. In my performances I 
embody the spirit of these glass sculptures, bringing the process full circle.

Christina "Goldie" Poblador is a visual artist born in Manila, Philippines.She received her MFA in Glass from Rhode Island School of Design in 2015. She has since been. Her work has been exhibited widely in Asia, and has participated several residencies and exhibitions in Europe and the United States.  In 2013 she won the Alliance Française de Manille’s artist in residency prize. Her work explores the layered relationships between ecology, spirituality, cultural identity and the feminine using glass, scent, sound, and projections in the context of performance to represent untold stories and awaken the senses.

Nature punished my village
The smell of the essence of jasmine
The smell of the burning of jasmine
Held softly by a transparent vessel
The invitation to gently breathe in slowly and remember
Each inhalation draws one closer to self
And to another consciousness
The presence of body
With only one stroke can she create figure
To touch it, to hold it, would scar....


Ambient Scentscapes

Ambient Scentscapes is an immersive scent and sound installation that creates a translation of music to scent using glass, and essential oils. In this project, one musical composition will be translated into scent “notes” that references the presence of top, middle and base notes which are present in the language of perfumery. Each note in the piece is color-coded and a taxonomy that is inherent to the piece is created that corresponds to the tempo and emotional resonance of the music played. The selection and pairing of sound to a scent and scent to color is based on the phenomenology of Synesthesia that is a chemical condition in the brain that crosses the perception of the senses with each other. Each perfume note is color-coded and dispersed into the air as the music is performed. 


Ambient Scentscapes : Composition 2

Ambient Scentscapes is an immersive scent and sound installation that creates a translation of music to scent using glass, and essential oils. In this project, one musical composition will be translated into scent “notes” that references the presence of top, middle and base notes which are present in the language of perfumery. Each note in the piece is color-coded and a taxonomy that is inherent to the piece is created that corresponds to the tempo and emotional resonance of the music played. The selection and pairing of sound to a scent and scent to color is based on the phenomenology of Synesthesia that is a chemical condition in the brain that crosses the perception of the senses with each other. Each perfume note is color-coded and dispersed into the air as the music is performed.

May Puno sa Dibdib ng Kamatayan

Interactive installation with perfume and sound
Installation dimensions variable
Collection of the Artist
Singapore Art Museum commission

Apprehending the world through sense perception often calls upon our senses to work in multiplicity and synchronicity. On certain occasions, sense data may even cross into one another, and May Puno sa DIbdib ng Kamatayan explores the phenomenon of synesthesia, in which one sense is received or perceived via another sense. A neurological condition that affects a small percentage of people (synesthetes) and manifests in differing forms, synesthesia has also long been a source of creative experimentation and investigation by artists, writers and musicians.

May Puno sa DIbdib ng Kamatayan examines the idea of ‘composition’ as expressed – and experienced – across two senses: that of smell and sound. Despite having no immediate obvious affinity, the olfactory and audio senses employ some similar terminology and language: musical scores and perfumes are described as comprising of high, middle and low notes, where notes are also further structured in chords or accords; moreover, both song and scent are powerful triggers in conjuring feelings and memories. Amongst the senses, smell is especially potent in eliciting emotional memory because the olfactory bulb is intimately linked to the brain’s amygdala and hippocampus, which govern emotion and associative learning respectively.

Here, Goldie Poblador has selected key songs and musical arrangements that hold deep personal and emotional resonance for her, and in certain instances, also collaborated with the musicians. Through the process, she translated sonic notes into olfactory ones, creating scent compositions that synesthetically respond to their musical sources. In the adjoining room, a ‘keyboard’ or ‘palette’ of 30 perfume notes allows visitors to recreate the four scent compositions, or even improvise their own olfactory creations in accordance with their personal choice of song.



  • Can you tell us your back ground?

   I was born in Manila, Philippines. My country, an archipelago composed of 7,107 islands is a tropical paradise. I only truly appreciated this when I left for a long period of time in order to pursue my dream of studying the art of glassblowing.  Living in the city however has made me a witness to the environmental degradation in the urban landscape where I grew up. This has become the foundation of my work in smell, memory and the senses. 

  • Have you always had a interest in art?

  I inherited my interest in art from my parents. When I was twelve years old I was fortunate enough to see Sandro Boticelli’s The Birth of Venus. This was when I decided to become an artist. Venus played an important role in the way I perceived what it means to be a woman. She symbolized a sense of strength and shameless femininity that I would grow up trying to represent in the greater conversation of art, society and  what it means for me to be a Filipina woman in the Western world. I have since devoted my life to art. I majored in Painting and Sculpture for my bachelor’s degree where I created an ironic perfume bar that depicted the nostalgic and sociopolitical landscape of the Philippines. It was my interest in creating perfume vessels that allowed me to fulfill my dreams of learning new languages, traveling an eventually getting an MFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design

  • Before you started your journey into scent/glass-work what were you doing?

  I was a painter and sculptor, specializing in female anatomy. I was also a musician. I played the electric guitar and sang for an all girl punk band called Death by Tampon. I believe that the mundane elements that compose our lives are what separate an artful life from one that is not.  What we cook, what we read, what we wear and how we treat our bodies  greatly affects how we treat other people and our surroundings. 

  • How did visual/sound-art and scent come into your life?

 My interest in visual and sound  art started from a young age. I started playing the piano when I was nine and it was my background in music that lead me to incorporate it into my artistic practice. My parents loved art, and we went to museums as often as we could.  My interest in scent however, was triggered by a very particular moment. In 2009 my village was hit by a very powerful typhoon. When faced with loss the greatest thing we have are our memories. After the typhoon I had a distinct yearning for the smell and tastes of a place that seemed to have disappeared in one instant. This was how I began to work with scent and its special connection to emotions and memories. 

  • Can you talk a little about your works?

 My work is a statement. Rooted in inherited culture and personal and collective narratives of the Philippines, it is unashamed of its origins. Exploring themes of oppression, reclamation, and freedom, I use glass, scent, sound, installation, and performance to represent untold stories. My embodied autobiographical and mythological narratives take a stand for the role of eros and beauty in rewriting my identity as a Filipina woman and in awakening the “feeling” body in our collective awareness. It is rooted in the archetype of the divine feminine—the part in all of us that thinks, feels, and dreams. It pays homage, in particular, to the lost language of the Babaylan—the archetypal Filipino goddess gifted in healing the spirit and body. My work is sensual and erotic, based on intuition and carnal knowledge. It is about learning how to celebrate despite the pains of being alive through the seemingly mundane act of sensing. It also explores how the sense of smell crosses over into the other senses and my current work has been an exploration of how scent translates into the sonic, visual and choreographic. 

  • What is your creative process?

 Showing up is the first step. Whether that means, blowing glass in the dead of winter or dancing for 3 hours in order to understand how scent affects the body. A piece always starts from something that resonates such as a Japanese haikus or a really great film.  It can also be as simple as noticing the pleasures of everyday life. When I shop for groceries and cook the recipes that my grandmother taught me, for instance, this kind of thing is a big part of what inspires me in my studio. I am interested in the exploration of the senses. Often I am drawn to the olfactory sense of perception as a medium in contemporary art, and its link to the part of the human brain that remembers and receives memories and emotions. Because my life has been a strong experience of both, I find myself creating both beautiful and horrible things. In terms of visual medium, I am interested in the art of glass sculpting, specifically in a technique called lamp-working. When I sculpt however, it is a very spiritual endeavor, especially when I match a scent to a form or a concept or attach it to the more personal pieces that express narratives appropriated from history, fiction and personal narrative. My practice functions around a mix of personal and cultural history, and an interest in wonder, poetry and the beautiful. It often deals with issues of Identity, sensuality and the feminine body. 

  • What themes inspires you?

I have a deep interest in music and sound. Recently I’ve been into Claude Debussy and the music of Eliane Radigue. I was able to meet her last year and ask her about her process which I have been trying to translate into scent. I am also deeply influenced by contemporary artists such as Kiki Smith, Ana Mendieta and Yoko Ono who were all working on themes of the body.  The body enthralls me. Its form possesses me. I am motivated by a desire to express an emancipation of the body, a sense of freedom in movement and emotion and redemption. I explore these themes through the representation of the body as subject in sculpture, installation, performance and film. In my glass sculptures, I work from the movement of the body to shape a female nude that is moving—that is alive. In my performances I embody the spirit of these glass sculptures, bringing the process full circle. I am also very inspired by film. Lately I’ve been into the films of Jean Luc Godard and the french nouvelle vague. 

  • Looking ahead for your work what do you see coming?

 I am working on starting a studio in New York, where I will be further exploring the art of scent distillation, perfumery and its relationship to glass. I will be showing three perfumes in this year’s Jakarta Biennale so I am hoping to do a bit of traveling as well. 
Is there anything else that you would like to share about your future plans? 
   My work has mostly been exhibited in the context of the museum but I think I will be exploring the world of retail, and I am hoping to start collaborations with perfumers from all over the world! Enough of my stories, I am excited to make connections and interpret other people’s narratives through glass and perfume. 

Thank You!


Aftelier Perfumery


Interview with

Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes


  • Can you tell us about your background?

Over 20 years ago, I was working as a therapist and writer, and wanted to write a novel. Somehow the idea of having the protagonist be a perfumer struck me as a good idea - something about the mystery and allure. I began to research by getting ahold of every old book on perfumery I could find, eventually collecting over 200 of them. The one perfume class I took was at a nearby aromatherapy studio, where I immediately fell in love with all the natural essences -- so beautiful and transporting, so rich and complex, so stinky and alive! I felt completely connected and comfortable working with them, and on the spot created such a well-crafted perfume that a friend said we should go into business together. We started Grandiflorum Perfumes and got orders right away from Bergdorf’s & Neiman Marcus.

  •      Did you have a interest in fragrance growing up?

I wasn’t overly interested in fragrance or perfumes, but I did like my mother’s perfume bottles - the whole array of mysterious glass bottles on her dresser. I only developed a real interest later in life -- inspired by the gorgeous materials and by my research, I started making perfumes and writing books.

  • How did your journey into perfume begin?

After following my nose into my first perfume line at Grandiflorum Perfumes in the early 1990’s, that business quickly came to an end and I didn’t expect to sell perfumes anymore. I decided to write a non-fiction book based on all my research; I never did write that novel, but instead Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume. I realized that in the world of food, people care a lot about the quality of the ingredients. I wrote a cookbook with 2- Michelin star chef Daniel Patterson called Aroma: The Magic of Essential Oils in Cooking and Fragrance, and also gradually developed my own line of Aftelier Perfumes. I wrote 2 more books about perfume, most recently Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent, and am now working on a new book with Daniel Patterson about creating flavor.

  • Where would you say the fragrance world is in at the moment?

  • What are your thoughts for its future?

The fragrance world is an amazing place right now, especially for true artisanal brands! It’s more possible than ever to talk directly to your customer, and make the perfumes you believe in. I am concerned about IFRA banning natural materials - it’s a very worrisome situation, especially for the growers and distillers.

  • Can you explain in your own words one of the major differences that people may notice with natural perfumes.

Compared to what people are used to from commercial brands of perfume, natural perfumes come in smaller bottles, cost more money, and don’t last as long. I try to educate people about their expectations, so they’re aware that if they want a perfume that will last all day, they probably shouldn't buy my perfumes.

  • What would you say is your creative process?

The process begins with such wide-open possibilities! I always start with two things, usually high-contrast materials that seem like they will connect in some special way. I look for a secret relationship between the two of them that will be revealed by using them together in the perfume. As I proceed by adding other materials, usually working from the base notes to the top, I develop a very tight structure, and each thing that is added closes doors in terms of the possibilities that can still work. I smell the result at each step along the way, backing up a bit if there’s a wrong turn. Each piece must continue to justify itself, or it's back out, and the last final top note fits in like the last piece of a puzzle.

  • Do you have any advice for those that may want to become a perfumer or anything that is creative in general?

My advice is that it is always the best idea to do something that you absolutely love that doesn't seem like work and that you would be doing anyway. In other words, if you won the lottery and got to do whatever you want (as a pursuit or calling, not just some leisure activity) what would you do? Well, do that. Learning to work with beautiful smells is such an incredible privilege, and the interaction you have when your work finds an audience, that's an incredible joy!

  • Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?

It's so gratifying to see the growing artisanal perfume community, in all its different facets. Such a wonderful thing to see these beautiful aromatics enriching people's lives!

Perfumes By Nature

Interview With

Ambrosia Jones

  • Can you tell us your back ground? 

I'm a professional perfumer who specializes in botanical scents. It's been my passion and obsession  for over 30 years...and nowadays I run a small indie perfume house in Byron Bay, Australia, and sell both my own stock line there, online and in shops around Australia. I also do custom design for individuals and other businesses as well as running classes and workshops on botanical perfumery in my studio.

  • Have you always had a interest in scent or fragrances?

Heavens yes. One of my earliest memories is making “perfumes” out of roses and pine needles in my mothers garden as a little kid... I later started collecting perfumes and old books and recipes on perfume and cosmetics. I used to scour museums for old texts and eventually started collecting the ingredients mentioned and recreating these mystical potions and lotions....
Nowadays I have a huge collection of oils and tinctures from all over the world, barks, tree resins and more...and I've also learned to extract some of them myself since they just aren't available commercially any more....It was quite an adventure! It took me decades to track down some of the more obscure ingredients, as they are no longer being produced or used by any of the modern perfume houses... I traveled through many countries learning and sniffing along the way, and finally ended up in Australia in Byron Bay near the beach, a land of clean air and sunshine, where I've been able to finally settle and focus on creating my own line of perfumes using the ancient perfumery skills and combining them with modern aromatherapy to create what I've always wanted to create: truly stunning beautiful natural perfumes...
It's a lot of fun...and such a sought after niche market it turns out! Modern perfumery has got a bit lost in modern chemistry and the commercial search for cheap, intense, ever different and new scents....
And many people really want perfume that smells like real flowers, without just being a simple essential oil that reminds them of a hippie shop. Actual botanical perfumery is far more complex than simple aromatherapy, and people are really craving elegant magical truly natural perfumes.

  • Before you started your journey into scent what were you doing?

I have worked in a number of different healing a massage therapist, I also studied Chinese acupressure, aromatherapy and herbalism....Ive worked as a translator for esoteric workshops while living in German, taught meditation, energy healing, dance in various forms, and have written for various magazines on traditional herbalism and perfumery.
I worked as a nurse in emergency and also as a remote area nurse on aboriginal communities in Central Australia, where I got to see smell and hear stories about the incredibly rich history of the many amazing plants used for food and healing out in the Australian desert!. At the moment I'm in the process of writing two books: One a workbook on healing in all of its various forms and another on botanical perfumery

  • Can you talk a little about the works that you now have?
  •  What is your creative process?

There's two major things that usually inspire a perfume for me:
The first is usually a specific ingredient: “Death by Chocolate” was created after a friend of mine sent me a large bottle of pure cacao absolute. The deep dark brown liquid has one of the most amazing musky scents to is so much more than just “chocolate-ish. It has layers of wood, almost animal musk and sweet aldehydic notes to it that were just calling out to be made into a perfume. So I created a chocolate scent that showcases these notes, by adding woods and honey and spice to accentuate the musk and depth without changing its flower notes of fruits, just musky woody depth to showcase how elegant and deep pure cacao really is.....
The other is trying to create a specific effect. 
“Love Potion” is just that. It started with a request from a lonely friend, so I gathered together all the many many recipes for traditional Love Potions I had collected over the years (and boy, there are a lot! Humans seem to have focused on trying to use scent to attract the opposite sex since time began! In fact you could almost think it's the main aim of perfumery through the ages!) I took the ingredients that I liked the best, and also looked at their effect from an Aromatherapy point of view as well, and then played with them till I came up with a perfume that both smelt exciting and sexy, as well as having the aromatherapy effect of making the wearer “feel” sexy, so that was the energy they were putting out..... It's based around jasmine, the Queen of all aphrodisiac flowers, combined with spices such as cardamon and coriander that are counted as traditional aphrodisiacs. Making it a lovely oriental style perfume
“Happiness” I originally made for myself when I was living in Berlin and used to get incredibly depressed during the long dark winters there.... It combines a number of ingredients that are used in Indian Aryuveda to treat depression and anxiety, buttery soothing sandalwood and deeply comforting patchouli, as well as beautiful citrus top-notes that are lively and cheerful.... the end effect is a lovely unisex cologne that is just perfect for everyday wear... and is still one of my best sellers after 20 years.....

  • What are it's theme and what inspires you?

Well, the name I chose for the business pretty much sums it up: I design and make Natural perfumes, drawing on the traditional recipes I've collected from all over the world. I'm trying to resurrect the true history of perfumery, combining it with modern aromatherapy. Simply beautiful perfumes made from all of the wonderful neglected scented ingredients mother nature has given us. I take inspiration from the ancient art of perfumery in Egypt, India and also Europe. French and Italian perfumes the way they were made from scratch before modern chemistry started to replace things like real rose oil for its cheaper crude copies, freshly pressed lemon oil, real lavender from the actual plants grown in sunny fields, tree resins, extracts of fruits....
Looking ahead for your work and for the fragrance world what do you see coming? I think there is  more and more interest in “naturals”. People are tired of artificial fragrances, and are looking for alternatives. It's sill an area where we botanical perfumers have to do a lot of education though, as most people don't really understand that even the big expensive perfume houses haven't been using natural ingredients for some time. There is a HUGE amount of misleading advertising out there (such as so called “natural” soy candles that may have a natural soy wax base, but use completely artificial scent oils!).
And a number of cosmetic companies marketing themselves as natural, such as the body shop, who, again, use artificial fragrance oils. Same goes for the cheap Indian oils in hippie stores.  Many people have never smelt a true botanical perfume. 
Luckily ready access to the internet has made it possible for small indie perfumers to enter the market and start changing this! And I think this will grow more and more as people really want something “different”. It also allows us to interact directly with fragrance lovers....
I find people love hearing the stories of how perfumes are created...and what inspired each of them....and it allows me to share the knowledge I've picked up over 30 years and explain what Botanical Perfumery actually is!
It's far more like having a small village perfumery where you get to know both the perfumer, and the perfumer knows their clients.... and custom design is an even bigger market, being able to offer fragrance lovers their own special personal scent that no one else has...or ever will have! 

Interview with 

Josephine Ademi of Wild Eden Perfumes


  • Can you tell us of your background?

Well, actually, I am a trained beautician by profession. I learned the profession because I wanted to be a make-up artist at the Theatre later and this was desperate to advance the training as a beautician. For financial reasons, however, it was denied to me; after my training completed the dream job continue to learn at one of the few private schools.  So I decided to work in my learned profession further and founded at the age of 21, my first small business. In addition to independent work in practice, I attended various training courses on aroma and sound therapy. My main interest was in aromatherapy. Here I have my knowledge especially deepened because I noticed how my clients responded positively to treatment with essential oils. Later I began to prepare for my customers self-made ointments and oil mixture. During this period grew in me the desire to create own fragrance knew the tremendous healing properties of essential oils, I decided for me in the future to work only with natural ingredients. I loved how versatile the ethereal essences can use and what a great effect they have on us, both in the physical field as well as in the mental and spiritual field. After several years of searching, I met fortunately natural perfumer, who was my mentor. Thus began my intensive study of natural perfumery. I gave up my first company and devoted myself now to my biggest passion, compose the perfume. After an infinite series of legal requirements, my dream came true. In September 2013 my new company, Wild Eden was born.

  • Did you have an interest in fragrance growing up?

Yes, I believe that secretly wish every perfumer. But the Wild Eden fragrance creations are all lovingly made by hand, in my own little perfume factory. The scents are not manufactured on an industrial level and should remain so in the future. We want to make the niche player counterpoint to the mainstream.

  • Well, how did you current journey into perfume begin?

See above

  • What would you say is your creative process?

The greatest source of inspiration of the day, I try to draw, is nature. I love to walk in nature. It changes constantly and there is always something new happening with her. There processes I watch them and take them in me as often I can. You could say that experienced in nature promotes creative thinking, which I need for my work. At this time begins the creative part. I try my experienced and his felt to translate into the language of wonderful world of fragrance. And I love to hear music during my work, especially classical music. I think the music and compose the fragrances are very close together. In the technical language it is called synaesthesia. We are indeed often sharing the concepts. Fragrance notes, composition, chords, scent organ…. The musician and the perfumer, both act in the subtle area.

  • Do you have any advice for those that may want to become a perfumer?

Well, there are some ways to become a perfumer. The way is not always easy. Some have safely completed a course of study in France at the famous school ISIPCA. Here in Germany there is not such a training opportunity, however, unfortunately. If you have great luck finding a perfumer, who then puts his knowledge. This was the case with me. I was made to love scents on this path. If you act with patience and passion, one thing is good. Especially it is true for all creative work. Who wants to be creative, should, I mean abandoning our conventional specifications and experiment. This is the only way to create something new for my opinion.  

  • What is your brand about and what are the themes that you use?

Our idea is to produce 100% natural fragrances based on the most precious essential oils from all part of the world. In our fragrance creations only steam distilled or cold pressed essential oils are used in organic or Demeter quality. Thus, the fragrances receive aromatherapy quality. Wild Eden wants to combine the aesthetic aspects of a fragrance with health and well-being for body and mind. Furthermore, we want to be ambassadors of a millennia-old tradition. Wild Eden would revive the valuable knowledge about herbal fragrances and their healing properties and weave it into our modern era.

  • If you were not a perfumer what do you think you would be doing?

Basically, I am interested in many things at the same time. I love everything that makes me feel creative, drawing, writing, music. And I am very interested in art. I just started again to play the piano. At the age of 6 years, I started with the music and got piano lessons. This went fine until I started to become rebellious. At the age of 17, I then returned to my piano back.  If you want to become a professional musician, you need a lot of practice and discipline. I had no longer at this time, what I sometimes regret. So if I were not a perfumer, I would perhaps a pianist? J

  • Where can we find your perfumes for sale?

You can find and buy the Wild Eden scents at our online shop ( We have also 1ml samples which you can order. And we have a dealer from Germany called “Naturdrogerie” (  In future we hope to be able to offer the scents internationally, and to find some beautiful niche stores, perhaps also in New Orleans?

  • Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?

I would share with you a poem about fragrances, which is particularly close to my heart and what the “inspired” by the scent so wonderfully describes:

“As it is hardly felt your scent, flown with the east wind, my heart has separated from me; I flew out to look for you. Forget it has now been long since the body that was once his home, and has also imbibed with your scent your entire being.”

~Abu Sd’id Ibn ´L-Chair~









Natural Botanical Perfume and Herbal Apothecary


April Lewis of BoneFeathers

Bonefeathers: Bone \ˈbōn\ + feathers; feath•er \ˈfe-thər\, the concept of a strong foundation common to life, combined with elements of flight, from which to launch a dream into the air.

I have always loved telling stories. To tell a story, one must be able to describe and engage the senses. One of the senses that often gets left out of the narrative is the sense of smell. Little wonder, it's the hardest to decipher and the most mysterious to science. Smells affect us, often without a real awareness they are doing so. I can remember always having an affinity to things that smelled interesting. Labeling them good or bad were my least concerns, getting down to the root cause of the smell was most important.          

 Well, fast forward many long years and that wonder had not left me, but I hadn't connected the dots. Without sounding too strange, to me, smells had always had color, texture, vibrancy and they were a part of my every day awareness. I also had a keenness of nose for things others around didn't smell until it was pointed out, or sadly, they never smelled it.  I began creating bath and body products and blending simple scents that were big hits. Then, encouraged and looking for new avenues for creativity, I made what amounts to probably the worst perfume in my repertoire (long since retired), my very first perfume.

 An obsession began, pure and simple, to paint with my nose the scenes of memory, imagination and purposefully sought out experiences. What essential oils make a wet pavement scent? What flowers are actually sweet? Every perfume begins with a question. I began buying a lot and then a lot more perfume from other indie perfumers, admiring their tantalizing qualities and yearning to unveil the mysteries. I learned, I read, I dreamed.

My name is April and I am a natural perfumer..

Interview with

Laurie Stern of Velvet & sweet pea's purrfumery


      Can you tell us of your background? 

I grew up a block from the ocean in a little town called Longport, near Atlantic City, New Jersey. I still love the smell of the ocean and sea life, and the sound of shore grasses blowing in the breeze. I’ve always had my own businesses, ever since I got out of high school. Early on, I made one-of-a-kind lingerie pieces with antique lace and beadwork that I sold to high end stores like Bendel’s in New York. Later, I had a modest flower stand that grew into a wedding flower business. I have always loved making things, especially bouquets and arrangements with beautiful French ribbons. I also loved connecting with my clients and working with them to bring their visions to life. My wedding flower business was very successful, but after 15 years of winery weddings in Napa, I was ready to do something different.

      Did you have a interest in fragrance growing up? 

I have always wanted to know everything I could about flowers and their scent—I’ve been a nature girl my whole life. I remember my best friend’s mother gave me a bottle of Joy in high school and I loved it! I adored the rich, rose-jasmine smell. I also had a very extravagant aunt who would give me sensuous body powders and oils in high school, and I went crazy over them! We had honeysuckle in our backyard, and I sipped their dew. When I arrived in the Bay Area at 18, I loved wearing Body Time Muguet, Joy & Diorissimo. In my twenties, I wore obscure Italian and French perfumes I would find in the south of France, at the flea markets in Nice, when I traveled there to buy antique laces. I loved visiting the perfumeries in Grass and Eze, never knowing that I would someday be a perfumer myself!

      How did your current journey into perfume begin?

I discovered the world of perfume 15 years ago in an introductory class and I was immediately enchanted. I basically locked myself in a room for a few years and just experimented. I played with essential oils—amazing ingredients from all over the world. I read antique books, like my beloved Art of Perfumery from 1855, and that is how I taught myself how to make perfumes, eau de parfums and natural cosmetics. My perfume education is grounded in what I call the “golden age of perfume,” an era long before perfumers used synthetic compounds in perfumery. At that time, I also started keeping scent diaries of how the oils made me feel and how they affected me. This is how I developed an understanding of the therapeutic and mood-enhancing properties of different scents.

      Where would you say the fragrance world is in at the moment?  There is a tremendous amount of conversation and creation around perfume right now, and I think it’s wonderful. The public is gaining a renewed understanding of perfume as an art form. I think natural perfumes are becoming more popular because so many of us are fragrance-sensitive or have allergies, or simply enjoy the subtlety of natural perfumes. Many of my customers want cruelty-free perfumes with no animal testing that are also free of animal musks. And with some of the new technology, I think we’re going to see incredible new extractions from plants.

I think the web really opens up the conversation, too. There are many resources available for amateur and professional perfumers, and sites like Facebook where perfume lovers can connect.

      Can you explain in your own words one of the major differences that people may notice with natural perfumes.

I love how natural perfumes call on a connection to the ancient world and to our primal brains. We are so used to rushing around in our modern world and thinking and planning ahead, but our sense of smell is very present, very immediate. Scent helps us to relax and get grounded in our experience. Tapping into our old brains by inhaling an incredible scent reminds us to slow down and smell the roses! Scent can have a profound effect on how we see the world, too. Rose always cheers me up and jasmine still makes me swoon. Conifers transport me to the redwoods, where I can inhale deeply! I love to be in the forest, and I bring it into many of my products, including my new Beard Balm for beardsmen!

      What would you say is your creative process if you can share?

I get an idea, or I want to make perfume around some new gorgeous material that I have. It usually takes around six months to perfect it. But it really depends. I made my Black Cat perfume in about 10 minutes! I was in my Purrfumery before Halloween and I knew I had to make a Black Cat perfume. I was thinking of candy and vanilla and then I added cocoa, blood orange, aniseed myrtle for licorice, and ylang ylang. Fir-ever Young took me 10 years. Thats how long it took to tell me it was done! I used hundreds of woods, fir and cedars, not to mention floral scents and citrusit was a work in progress for a very long time. I was thrilled when one of my customers was interviewed for Oprah Magazine and she mentioned that she wears it.

I make all the perfumes here in my perfumery, and I also make many of the ingredients that go into my perfumes and other products. I make house-infused organic alcohols with honey, vanilla, and roses from my Perfumers Garden and I hand-tincture flower essences. I use beeswax and propolis from my own beehives. I design all the packaging and I create each perfume to be a collectors item.

My passion for animal welfare is also a big part of my creative process. In fact, my two kitties ( Velvet & Sweet Pea!) that I rescued from a life of lab testing inspired me to build my Purrfumery. After I was in business for a few years, I became Leaping Bunny certified. Leaping Bunny is an assurance to my customers that I dont do animal testing and neither do any of my suppliers. Creativity and compassion are one within these walls!

       Do you have any advice for those that may want to become an perfumer?

I don’t generally give advice because I think you have to know for yourself what makes your heart sing. I have always followed my heart, wherever that winding road has led me. I became passionate and obsessed about natural essences and there wasn’t a choice, I didn’t even think about it. I had capital from my lucrative wedding flower business, and once I knew I wanted to put my perfumes out into the world, I started thinking seriously about bottling them and creating treasure pouches to house them. I wanted every part to be as beautiful and magical as I could make it, so that each aspect is in itself a gift, from the perfume to the bottle or jewel-box, to the pouch or purse, and last, but not least, the Victorian-style scent card that accompanies each scent.

Working in a creative realm isn’t easy. Marketing is a challenge and it’s a lot of work, even if you enjoy it enormously!

       Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?

My Purrfumery is a whimsical place—I retreat there to have fun and get carried away by scent. My Purrfumery friends feel the same way—visitors always say they feel like they step into another world when they walk through the door. My latest source of whimsy and fun is a line of men’s products to help beardsmen keep their beards under control. It’s called Mr. Whisker’s Beard Balm and it was a blast to formulate! I told you I am a true tree hugger, right? I hike a lot and I’m always hugging the trees to smell their essential oils. I love all of the rich scents of the earth, from woods and mosses to grasses and leaves. These are the elements I am weaving into my Beard Balm line. When I work on these products, I take a break from the feminine whimsy and the florals I use in my perfumes and get into something completely different. It’s a hilarious challenge to edit my packaging designs because I’m a “too much is never enough” kind of girl! This approach works really well for my perfume lines, but for my new men’s line, I’m working on simplicity in terms of design. Mr. Whiskers is a very sophisticated cat! And he likes things simple and earthy, so that’s what I’m doing. 

Marine Futin

  • Can you tell us of your background?

I am French, and i have been living in NYC for 4 years now. I have been playing music forever, starting this project 10 years ago with the first songs I wrote. I arrived to New York because I was very curious about the Jazz scene, and the energy of the city. I wanted to record my debut album here. Which I just finished ! It will be released April 28.

  •  Did you have a interest in music growing up?

I did, I started playing piano when I was 6, and then switched to guitar at 20, when I left home and I had no piano anymore. I haven't touch my piano since then, and wrote all the songs with my guitar. As I travel a lot, the guitar is super convenient ! You can have it with you everywhere, and write songs from all around the world ;)

  • What would you say is your creative process if you can share?·        

I got inspired by life and moments. I write a lot during nights, when it is all quiet. It is one of my favorite moment to create. I feel very free ! Usually, music and lyrics come all together, I can't separate them, they are a combination of emotions. The rhythm inspires me words, and words inspire me melodies.

  • Do you have any advice for those that may want to become an perfumer or designer of scent or anything that is creative in general?

Follow your heart whatever it takes. It is a long road to get a project/idea mature and ready, to meet the right people, but its worth the sleepless nights. Never give up ! 

  •  Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?

Get my debut album on iTunes or Amazon on April 28 ! :)

Thank you all again!


Victoire Oberkampf /// Marine Futin ///

Marine Futin performing "L'alphabet" Brooklyn, NY Kenji Herbert on Guitar Peter Kronreif on Drums Shooting : Jiye Kim Editing : Marine Futin and Jiye Kim

Interview With 

Justin James of James&co Perfumes

  • Can you tell us your background who you are and when did you first took interest in perfume?

My interest in perfume was not always in the forefront of my mind. I am actually a Graphic Designer and my main passion has been Design from a very early age. I grew up in a small seaside village called Somers on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia. Growing up I had a mother who suffered from migraines, so I didn't really have much to do with scent (except the one she was able to wear which was “Vanderbilt”) until much later in life.

My sister and I, now that we think back, have always had excellent scent memory retention, both having a great scent vocabulary and an ability to colour code scents in unison. So I do find that I respect her thoughts on my creations very much. As a younger man, one of my favorite pastimes was trawling the department store fragrance sections, smelling everything they had a tester for, pin pointing the notes in each of the fragrances to the best of my memory, or researching those I was yet to memorize.


  • How did the idea behind James&Co first come about?

After many years of my fragrant expeditions to the department stores, I had begun to construct in my mind a masculine scent. Using the memory of notes from many other fragrances, I started writing down notes and accords which I felt would work in a completely new composition. My concept was to put together notes which would bring back a scent of masculinity which I felt was being lost. So after many years I finally found myself in a position where I had some money and some time to not only do some study in Perfumery, but also afford to buy the necessities to bring my creation from the depths of my mind and into reality. Thus “Seven” Eau De Parfum was born, and very soon after, JAMES&CO. That brand name being my name obviously, and a small homage to those who have helped along the way in the “&CO”.


  • What stage is the brand in now and what is your vision for the next five years?

I have been putting things with James&CO in motion for the last 3 months, in terms of the actual business, getting our look right, and of course fine tuning our first four fragrances, but I am still in the construction mode at this stage. February/March will essentially be our first “launch” if you will, into the public eye. We have experimented with some different bottles, but have now finalized our bottles and how we want them to look. It is a sad truth that the bottle is practically just as important as the fragrance inside these days, so we have tried really hard to get something together that both looks great and is sustainable to our business.

Although we do have our pretty pictures and our branding, we are not about mass marketed fragrance which relies on consumer testing. I create fragrances from my mind based on a concept, not on a demographic. Our scents will be artistic expressions which we can only hope people will love as much as we do! So over the next 5 years we will be creating new and interesting fragrances for men and women and just building a reputation and a name within the niche market.


  • You’re a self taught perfumer please tell us about the process that you started to learn the craft?

Firstly, I would never call myself a “perfumer”, a perfumer is a professional chemist with years of training and experience. This is probably better answered in your next question, but I think the only bad thing about all the new niche companies popping up is the misconception that anyone making perfumes is a perfumer. Although I have taken it upon myself to do some training in Perfumery, I am not a chemist, and I do not know enough to considered a “perfumer”. I am simply an artist who makes perfume…..

In addition to training, I have and continue to do copious amounts of research both scientific and artistic on both perfume ingredients and the use of each in compositions. I also do many experiments, both in concepts and wearablilty. I am constantly learning and being taught by many different people within the industry and outside of it.


  • Finally what are your views on the independent perfume scene and the new brands that are emerging?

As you can imagine I read many interviews with Perfumers, both in high-end magazines and in the myriad of perfume blogs out there on the web. The one thing which seems to be constant is that Perfume as an industry is becoming more and more “paint by numbers”, perfumers are now so restricted by the companies they work for to create exactly what the market research has dictated, that the industry is losing its originality….Can you imagine if Monet had worked for a company and was told to only use red and green paint? The many Niche Companies popping up are almost like a rebellion against the industry. These small outfits are able to use perfumery as an art form as it once was, which I think it fantastic. It will be these small perfumeries like my own, which keep the art alive.

Seven eau de toilette | 100ml | Masculine


Notes | Bergamot, Pink Peppercorn, Fig Accord, Tobacco, Leather, Civet, Clear Wood


Mood | Seven does nothing quietly.  A sweet bright beginning leading into a dark, mysterious and brutally masculine story. Visions of a man sitting upon a high backed leather chair, his sweet pipe smoke still lingering in the air.  He speaks with confidence and power, a cheeky smirk hints at his sweetness and sex appeal.



Winterosa eau de parfum | 50ml | Feminine

Notes | Verbena Mint, Steel Rose, Gardenia, Clean Amber, Green Wood, Fig Accord


Mood | Where traditional florals exude a warm and powdery appeal, Winterosa turns the appeal around 180 degrees to give coolness and a crisper take on the traditional floral fragrance.  From the creamy headiness of Gardenia, to a cool dewey Rose. With the additions of Mint and Fig lending a freshness and sweetness respectively, making Winterosa a unique scent for the floral lover after something a little different.



D'Azul eau de toilette | 100ml | Unisex

Notes | Green Tea Accord, Peppermint, Bergamot, Absinthe, Bluewood, Fig Accord


Mood | D’Azul (loose translation ‘The Blue”) takes the bare bones of a blue/ocean scent, and adds just enough intrigue to create something altogether unfamiliar yet immensely appealing.  Taking the clean coolness of absinthe and adding the sweetness of the Green Tea Accord has you walking a fine line between a dewey green forest and the crystalline blue ocean of the Costa Del Sol.



Elegancia eau de parfum | 50ml | Feminine

Notes | Mandarin, Peppermint, Bergamot, Green Rose, Clear Wood, Floral Accord

Mood | Elegancia is delicate, fresh and alluring.  Imagine a fresh green rose, covered in morning dew, floating on a crystal clear pond.  The air scented with sweet mandarin and peppermint.  The scent evokes an image of a woman in white, bare feet on moss by the pond, the light breeze shifting her dress ever so slightly.


Interview with

Kimberley Sibrie of  Siberie Perfume

Interview with

Kimberley Sibrie of  Siberie Perfume

I have a background in fashion retail and natural skin care formulation. For several years, I owned a women’s fashion boutique that showcased emerging designers that were fresh out of fashion design school. I had a section in my shop for natural beauty products and perfumes and this is when I really started to become more interested in the ingredients that went into the products I used. My new found love of natural, vegan and organic beauty prompted me to take courses on cosmetic formulation so I could learn more about the benefits of essential oils and start creating products that I wasn’t able to find in larger commercial stores.


•           Did you have a interest in fragrance growing up?


I always had an interest in fragrance growing up. In fact, I can remember being in my mother’s garden at the age of 10 years old and soaking the petals of pinkpeonies in water and then bottling it up as I wanted to make perfume. It was one of my first introductions to alchemy!  I also have vivid memories of my grandmother and how she introduced me to some of the finer classic perfumes such as Chanel #5 and Joy by Jean Patou. My own introduction to commercial perfume started as a teenager and my first purchases included  Coty Wild Musk, Revlon Charlie and Love’s Baby Soft.

•    How did your current journey into perfume begin?


My journey began with my interest in formulating natural skin care products such as facial creams, masks and cleansers. I also created healing balms from herbs from my own garden. While using natural essential oils in these products and learning about them, I discovered that many of them such as Ylang Ylang, Bergamot and Rosewood smelled amazing when blended together. I started blending these oils and creating my own solid perfumes and eventually expanded to blending perfume oils. Often my friends and colleagues would ask me what I am wearing and if I could make a perfume for them.Things sort of took off from there and I decided to offer my collections on Etsy and develop my own website

•           What would you say is your creative process if you can share?


My creative process is a blend of my own mood at a particular moment or inspiration from places I travelled to or historical legends. Some of my perfumes are also named after friends and family. Mostly, they are named after strong women in history. I find the seasons often inspire my fragrance blends. In the summer I often gravitate towards marine or floral fragrances whereas in the winter I often find myself blending more gourmand fragrances with notes of vanilla,honey, caramel and labdanum. I am a huge history buff, especially from the Tudor era. My favourite perfume I ever created is called Boleyn which is very decadent gourmand fragrance. I often imagine myself back in time and how that person would have smelled. From there, my process usually begins with my base note and from there I try to incorporate middle and tops notes that blend harmoniously. Before I launch a fragrance, I have my loyal and honest friends test my prototypes and give me feedback.

 •           Do you have any advice for those that may want to become an perfumer or designer of scent or anything that is creative in general?

My advice would be to always follow your heart. Believe in and love what you are doing and most importantly, be patient! Perfume is so personal and subjective . What one person likes, can be disliked by the other. I think I must have thrown away about 30 prototype blends before I created some of my fragrances.Researching and blending fragrances can be quite challenging. Reading any publication by Mandy Aftel is also an excellent place to start. Her book Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume fuelled the fire in me and gave me the creative drive I needed to get started in this magical world of scent and science. 

•           What is your brand about the themes that you use?

Sibérie perfumes is artisan perfumery that caters to individuals who do not want to smell like everyone else. They are seeking something extraordinary that will embody a feeling or emotion in that exact moment they put their perfume on. They are seeking a deeper meaning in their perfume and connecting with all the aroma notes. My mission has always been to create a healthy product that has no phthalates, parabens and is vegan friendly. With the use of imagery and art on my website, I try to capture what the essence and emotion of the perfume is.

 •           If you were not a perfumer what do you think you would be doing?


I would most likely be a personal assistant of some sort. I like things to be organized, I like lists and I like schedules!

•           Where can we find your perfumes for sale?

You can find my whole fragrance collection on Etsy or on my website


Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?


I am so thankful and grateful to be interviewed on your lovely website! Thank you for featuring such an array of inspiring artisan perfumers!



Sanae Barber

"Hand-blended natural botanicals.These alluring parfums are inspired by music, lovers, naps, dreams and mind altering experiences."-SI

"Fleurs du Mal ('Flowers of Evil') makes natural botanical perfumes and apothecary products, taking inspiration from such things as weeds and flowers, sunshine and shadows, laughter and poetry to create strangely beautiful scents. All-natural and hand-made in very small batches in Waiake, Auckland, Aotearoa/NZ"-FDM


Beautiful       Mysterious     Evocative 


"We believe in NZ-made. We believe that the mass-market model is a dinosaur. We believe that hand-made is true luxury. We believe that luxury is not necessarily expensive. We believe in brave indie makers, artisans, and craftspeople, including ourselves. We believe in brave critics and curators.  We believe in beauty. We believe in quality. We believe in dreams. We believe that perfume is art. We believe that art can change the world."- FDM


Interview with

Vanessa York of Fluer du Mal


  • What is your back ground and history?

I did a postgraduate degree in English literature, but never finished my doctorate – it took me far too long to realize that I simply wasn’t cut from scholarly cloth. After university, I worked in a library for a couple of years, then I sort of fell into publishing, as a children’s education book editor. I spent quite a few years doing that; it was a nice job. But it never felt like it was my real path. I had an epiphany when I discovered natural perfumery about five years ago. I knew that I wanted to create scents using natural materials. There’s something so mysteriously alive about the essences.

If there’s a common thread between editing and perfumery, it’s the fact that they’re both an art and a craft – they’re both intensely practical occupations, requiring skills that can be learned. But every individual brings their own personality to the work, too, and there’s the art, and the magic. Knowing what to add, and what to leave out, gauging the effects… these are also strangely – I could almost say synaesthetically, though I’m not sure that that’s a word - similar across both fields.


  • Have you always had an interest in scent and fragrance?

Yes. My mother, of course, was my first influence – she wore Lubin, Guerlain, and Hermes, and from an early age she impressed upon me the glamour and importance of perfume. My father, though, was also a big influence – he was a builder by trade, but he was always immaculately groomed, including cologne- Paco Rabanne, Eau Sauvage – we used to tease him about it! He changed careers when I was about 11; it turned out that he was very good at selling perfume... and he often brought home tiny sample bottles to us girls - Je Reviens, Ma Griffe, L’Air du Temps... That was in the early eighties.


  • How did you first start becoming involved in the perfume world?

I became a student of natural perfumery. I did a lot of study on my own, then I took Anya McCoy’s course with the Natural Perfumery Institute, which gave some much-needed structure to my practice. I still read everything I can. And of course I am experimenting all the time. I think it’s important to retain an inquizitive mind, especially when one has strong opinions.

I’ve found artisan perfumers worldwide to be a generous and supportive community. I feel very privileged to be part of it, and I also feel a responsibility to contribute to that culture in any way I can.

  • Tell us about your brand’s theme and character.

I get asked quite often about the name, Fleurs du Mal ('Flowers of Evil'). I wanted to call my botanical perfume house something that made a strong statement, and that didn’t allude at all to the fact that it’s natural. And, I love Baudelaire’s brilliant collection of poems of that name. The fact that it’s a French name is also nicely ironic, because we’re still fighting a perception in some people’s minds that any perfume that is ‘real’ or ‘good’ must be made in France.

In my perfumes, I love to evoke dissonances as well as harmonies. I get inspired by the weeds as well as the flowers, the shadows even more than the sunshine. The plant names of our perfumes capture this twist. Fleurs du Mal perfumes are not for everyone. But some people like them very much.


  • Has your home country affected your art?

Yes, very much so. Aotearoa/New Zealand (Aotearoa means ‘Land of the Long White Cloud’ in the indigenous Maori language) is a small country of only 4 million people, and we are a long way from most places. We are surrounded by sea - you can buy ambergris here. (Or go look for it yourself on 90-Mile Beach.) Until the last few decades, we imported most of our culture from Europe and America. Times have changed, and we are proud of our unique sensibility – you can see it in our writers, our musicians, our designers, our fashion – and our perfumers.

I have a dream that we’ll eventually have a flourishing perfume industry here in NZ, with more growers as well as perfumers able to make a good living, creating scents that convey the character of here.

Of course, I use locally grown plants and flowers in my perfumes whenever possible.


  • What are your views on where the perfume world is now?

It’s an exciting time for artisan perfumers in general. I really do think that mass-market perfumery is a dinosaur, lurching along, propped up by enormous amounts of hype and money; I don’t think it is a sustainable model in this day and age. I believe that a lot of people are seeking more substance, and choosing where they spend their money accordingly. The New Luxury movement seems to me to be very timely.


  • Did you have any fears if any when starting?

Yes of course, many! And I still have days when I can’t believe my own audacity. But mostly, I can’t believe my luck – it’s a joy and a privilege to be able to do what you love, the struggle is worth it.


  • Finally, do you have anything else that you would like to share?

Can I share Fleurs du Mal’s manifesto again? It really sums up why I jump out of bed every morning.

We believe in NZ-made. We believe that the mass-market model is a dinosaur. We believe that hand-made is true luxury. We believe that luxury is not necessarily expensive. We believe in brave makers, artisans, and craftspeople, including ourselves. We believe in brave critics and curators.  We believe in beauty. We believe in quality. We believe in dreams. We believe that perfume is art. We believe that art can change the world. 

Thank you so much for this interview!

Interview with

Sophia Fannon-Howell

  • What is your background and history?

History is very important to me. I believe that you never really know a place or a person until you understand their history.  My family has traced their genealogy back quite a long way and I come from a line of interesting characters including John Wilmot Earl of Rochester and Grace O’Malley the Irish Pirate Queen.

I was born in Surrey, UK and have lived in England all my life. I studied Geology at University and history at college and I am fascinated by history, all things old and vintage. I am a Dr of Geology and worked as a Consultant in oil and gas industry for over 17 years.  In 2004 I started learning about skincare product formulation, natural ingredients and essential oils in my spare time.  I began blending essential oils for the natural skincare products I was creating, for their therapeutic benefit and their fragrance.  My interest and hobby grew and I launched a skincare brand in 2011, selling luxury natural products online.


  • Have you always had an interest in scent and fragrance?

I have been in love with fragrance from an early age. I used to collect scented soaps, scented pens and pencils and fragranced stickers when I was a child. 


The first perfumes that I ever bought were Avon fragrances, because they were accessible and inexpensive. My first premium perfume was Dior's Dune followed by Lancôme’s Tresor.  My love of vintage scent really started after I bought my first bottle of Chanel No5 in 1992, which has been my signature scent ever since.  Once I started exploring essential oils in 2004, my passion for fragrance really took off as I began to understand more about the components and chemistry behind perfume.


  • How did the project begin?

The idea for Deco London evolved over the last 10 years. Id always wanted to create a brand with a historical bias and I used the idea of vintage design for my facial skincare products.  However, the facial skincare market is extremely busy and I found it hard to stand out from the crowd. I learnt quickly that people tend to buy skincare products based on the smell, rather than the quality of the ingredients in the product. This was disappointing, but ultimately it led me to think more about the fragrance and how I could create complex vintage fragrances.  Whilst I knew a lot about fragrance and natural ingredients, I was not a perfumer, so I sought help from some of the best experts in the business. Through talking to them, I began to understand what was possible and the vision of Deco London the fragrance house was born.


  • Tells us about the brand, it’s themes and character.

Deco London creates perfumes inspired by history: the exuberance of periods of history and the perfume trends of the time.  Our first range of perfumes is inspired by the 1920s. 

There are periods of history that stand out for me and the 1920s is one of those times. It was an era of great social change, new modernistic design and an explosion of fragrance creativity, with the invention and introduction of various synthetic molecules.  Many great perfumes were launched in the 1920s.

The idea is to introduce classic perfumery to a modern audience and to create easily wearable fragrances that have a distinctive vintage feel. I love vintage perfumes and the slightly ‘old fashioned’ smell that they have, but I realised that there are a lot of people who don’t and perhaps wouldn’t want to wear them. So Deco London is looking to bridge that gap and create fragrances that embrace the past and the present.

I have given each of the Deco London perfumes a name and a personality, to help people identify with them, but also to add a little humour to the brand and make people smile.  Perhaps on Monday you might feel like being Loretta, the dreamy bohemian, or on Tuesday the vivacious Constance, or perhaps the witty, debonair Quentin on a Friday.  There is a personality for every mood!


  • What are your views on where the perfume world is now and where it’s headed?

I think it’s a very exciting time for perfumery as there is a lot of creativity out there. 

Not everyone can afford £100 or more for a bottle of fragrance, but they still want an aspirational purchase. I think its safe to say we will continue to see releases of inexpensive celebrity perfumes that cater for that market. I would like to see the big fragrance companies release a smaller number of better quality offerings that can stand the test of time. 

The niche market is predicted to grow, as there is always demand for the unique and exclusive.  But many niche brands are not ‘niche’ anymore and are readily available worldwide in the prestigious perfume shops and department stores.  Perfume exclusivity is dictated by price, not really by how rare the perfumes are.  Once a niche brand gets to a certain size, they may be acquired by one of the bigger global companies who need to expand their portfolio and reach new customers.  That seems to be the natural way of things and it happens in other businesses all the time. It’s the circle of business! Niche is where the real creativity is and will continue to be and I am sure we will see more ‘niche’ brands enter the market offering the customer something really different and unique… until it goes global!

For many years we have seen the release of modern fragrances based around new synthetic aroma chemicals; Iso E Super is one example.  I am not keen on extremely synthetic smelling perfumes, as I prefer a perfume to have a balance between natural and synthetic ingredients.  However, if restrictions on natural ingredients continue, there will be increasing demand for perfumers to accurately reproduce natural aromas with a combination of synthetic components. Making a natural smelling synthetic fragrance could well end up being the skill most in demand.


  • What were your fears if any when started the company?

The biggest fear for me is the financial risk of starting a business.  My family are putting a huge amount of faith in my abilities and trusting me with their investment, which is a massive responsibility. I have looked to mitigate risk by choosing suppliers who can provide me with scalable solutions.  I have worked in business a long time so I understand risk and how to manage it, but even so its one thing managing a corporation’s budget and quite another managing your own investment.


  • Where can we find your perfumes for purchase?

The perfumes will be launched in October/November this year.  I will be selling the fragrances through premium retailers in the UK and Europe to start with.  I cannot divulge the retailers yet, but as soon as the details are finalised I will let you know!


  • Finally, do you have any thing you would like to share?

I have met some truly amazing people during my perfume journey. The suppliers, perfumers, retailers and perfume enthusiasts that I have had to pleasure to work with have been so kind, helpful and supportive.  It is wonderful to meet so many people who really love what they do. 


Aroma M Perfumes

"Steeped in the ways of ancient Eastern fragrance traditions"

Interview with 

Maria McElroy of Aroma M Perfumes



●        Can you tell us of your background?


After receiving an MFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute I continued my studies in Australia and became a Certified Aromatherapist. During that time I was living in Japan, where I studied Kodo, the ancient art of fragrance, Ikebana, Japanese flower arrangement Koto, Japanese harp, Shiatsu massage and Zen Buddhism. This seven-year journey, rich in Japanese history, romance and mystery, became the genesis of aroma M and the inspiration for my signature Geisha fragrance line. Aroma M is based in New York but is now known worldwide and is in its’ 20th year.

 ●        How did your love for perfume begin?

 My earliest recollection of fragrance is that of the tantalizing aroma of Greek pastries that would cover the linen tables cloths in my childhood home. These are delicacies doused in honey syrup and nuts delicately spiced with cinnamon nutmeg, clove and crushed almonds. These were the treats my mother, Opium clinging to her leopard silk blouses, would give my adoring, five year old self on sunny afternoons.
I have an Aromatherapy background, and am actually a licensed Aromatherapist. I would say my olfactory love came from this as well as from Kodo, the Japanese Incense Ceremony. Kodo is like a very elegant game from the esteemed Heian era. One smells the burning incense in a small brassier and must describe the perfumed elements in poetic language, creating art from olfactory art.


●        Also can you tell us about your brand?


The inspiration for aroma M is Japan and the Geisha. I am very influenced by Japanese culture and the wonderful years I lived there. The tradition of Geisha is all about beauty, elegance, glamour, mystery….this is the allure for me. This is what perfume is all about. We want to wear a perfume, and feel beautiful, powerful, and sensual. I want you to try on a scent, as you would slip on a silk kimono. One may be white, and pure and delicately embroidered with gold, while another is black, and adorned with bold designs, brocaded and resplendent with a sort of mystery. My fragrances are like this. Noire or Rouge is that black Kimono; it envelops you in sensuality, and makes you feel rather daring. Blanche and Pink is like the white Kimono, one worn by a young girl (Maiko) or a bride. It is flirty and a bit shy. We all have a bit of the Geisha inside of us. Aroma M allows us to explore that mystic. Aroma M perfumes are both modern and ancient, delicate and bold…a true dichotomy of olfactory exploration. 

In 2012 I launched aroma M Beauty, an organic Camellia Oil Beauty line comprised of five products a Face Oil, Hair Oil, Body & Bath Oil, Cleansing Oil and of course an all natural Camellia Perfume. My appreciation for Japanese culture and aesthetics in addition to my extraordinary experiences in the secretive world of the Kyoto Gion Geisha’s, have been the bases for aroma M’s Beauty products. The Gourmand combinations are a direct influence from my Kyoto born chef husband. Tuberose and Rosemary, Jasmine, and Frankincense essential oils are designed to smell beautiful and simultaneously enchant the mind, the soul, and the skin. Drawing on my Aromatherapy background, I have conjured elixirs that will satisfy all your beauty needs.


●        Did you have any fears starting out?

 After spending seven years in Japan, I returned to the US where my newly found adoration of fragrance led me to experimentation in my own home. Imagine bottles lining every surface and essential oils wafting through the rooms cluttered with hand- printed Japanese papers and cherry blossoms (my flower of inspiration)! I started creating perfume; bottling them in delicate glass adorned with silks and velvet and friends started asking for more and more them. The next thing I knew we were launching the first three Geisha Perfumes o-cha, hana-cha and nobara-cha in New York City at Bergdorf Goodman and in London at Harrods. Aroma M started without much thought, it was organic and fun, and I really did not have any fears.


●        If there was one thing you could change about the fragrance world what would it be?


As I have been in the industry for over 20 years I have seen many changes. I think that with every turn, the industry has become better and more interesting. The only thing that I would like to see is a more clear understanding of the categories of perfume companies Niche, Independent and Artisan. It would help the industry and all of us involved to have the differences clarified.

             ●        What are some of the themes that you use in your brand?


Japan and the Geisha most definitely are aroma M brand themes. The Yuzen papers from Kyoto that adorn our bottles are also a recognizable theme. In addition, I always include notes that reflect Japan in each Geisha perfume. Like Lychee in Geisha Blanche and Camellia, the namesake of my Camellia Perfume, have become aroma M signatures.


●        Can you name a few things that inspire you?


So many things inspire me. Living in New York City, I am able to see amazing art exhibitions and fabulous theater and dance. I love flowers and relish my weekend visits to the farmers market where I get our weekly bouquets. My husband is a chef, so food and the art of Japanese cuisine is a big influence and inspiration to me. I adore fashion, and NYC is the center of style. I also travel to Tokyo once a year where I get a big dose of cutting edge Japanese fashion trends. I am half Greek and have an affinity to the Mediterranean. I love traveling through in that part of the world and recently have added Morocco to my list of places that I must travel to as often as possible. It is such a magical place full of olfactory riches, the ultimate inspiration for a perfumer.


●        What is a word of advice you can share with someone wanting to enter the fragrance world as a perfumer or nose?


The only advice I would give is that you must really have a passion for perfume because it is very competitive. It really takes a lot work and time to create a successful brand. You must be up for a challenge. It is important that you love fragrance because that energy will help get you though the tough times, which are inevitable in any industry. Ultimately have fun, enjoy yourself. It’s such a privilege to be able to create without restrictions, be brave and follow your vision.



●        Where can we find your perfumes and works for retail?


Aroma M products are available on our website and, the Scent Bar in Los Angeles, Tigerlily in San Francisco and Twisted Lily in New York.


Follow me... touch here

Follow me... touch here

Interview with 

Amanda of Esscentual Alchemy


  • Can you tell us about your background and history?

I like to say that I've been into natural scents my whole life, having grown up on an Iowa farm.  I loved perfumes as a teen – I had many different types.  One I remember was actually meant to be layered, though it wasn't called that.  I thought it was really cool to have two separate fragrances, that became something new when put together.  I used to go to the perfume bar at Garden Botanika when I was in college.  I thought it was such fun to take an idea, mix it up, and see what resulted from your inspiration!  I came in so much they eventually offered me a job there, but I was too busy with my vocal performance degree to accept.


  • When did the brand start and it's inspiration?

I guess you could say the event that really got me started more seriously with perfuming was a DIY kit that was a gift for my birthday from my husband.  That led me to google indie perfumery, and to natural perfume.  I was in the middle of reading Essence and Alchemy by Mandy Aftel, and found the picture of Septimus Piesse's Odophone (From The Art of Perfumery And Methods of Obtaining the Odors of Plants).   That was my light-bulb moment.  I remember thinking, “I already know how to do this!”  As a music major, you are required to take many classes on music theory, music history, composition of music, orchestration, and even counterpoint.  There are many similarities between composing music, and perfume. Each have notes, and chords. You want your composition to be balanced nicely, and "don't end on the seven!" A music joke meaning you want a harmonious resolution. I feel that my music training has enriched my perfume artistry, and adds another layer of complexity to my scented compositions.  That's why I say, “I compose music for your nose.”

How did I come up with the name for my business, you might wonder?

These three words:

Essential: refers to that which is in the natural composition of a thing.

Sensual: the enjoyments derived from the senses, especially from the gratification or indulgence of physical appetites

Alchemy: any magical power or process of transmuting a common substance, usually of little value, into a substance of great value.

  •    What is your process for creating a perfume?

I get inspired from many things in life – often my ideas come from literature, music, visual art, sometimes it's just a word that intrigues me.  I write them all down in my journal, and wait for the Muses to whisper in my ear.  Sometimes I'm invited to participate in a group project.  My latest release, Pro Fond, was the result of a scented dream that I had.  What I do my best to convey to people when they wear my perfumes is emotion in a bottle. I like to tell people a beautiful natural perfume should take you someplace emotionally, and make you think. Similar to art you can't stop looking at to try and discover the meaning behind the piece. Music that is so beautiful it makes you cry, or the book you can't put down until you've finished it, because the author crafted such a compelling story. When I create a perfume, those things are always part of my vision for the final product.

I love this quote about fragrance.  It sums up my creative process:

"Fragrance takes you on a journey of time. You can walk down the street and pass someone and get taken back 20 years. It's very Proustian that way." ~ Daphne Guinness

  •  What is it like to be on the independent side of the industry?

Being an independent fragrance line gives me a great deal of freedom to create whatever I choose, however I choose.  I'm not bound by the marketing department's idea of what's best for the next quarter.

  • Your line is all natural, can you explain on what that may means for those that wear your scents?

Natural perfumes are made by blending pure essential oils and absolutes (derived from plants, flowers and resins, not synthetic fragrance oils) in a base of alcohol or jojoba oil.  Natural perfumes help people connect with the natural world around them.  Natural perfumes are an aroma-therapeutic experience, since our sense of smell is one of the most powerful senses we have.  Another wonderful thing about natural perfume is that each person's unique body chemistry fuses with the perfume differently, creating a unique signature scent that no one else will be able to perfectly achieve.       


  • And what are the locations or channels one can go to, to try or purchase the line.

You can find my complete line on Esscentual Alchemy's website

  • And finally where do you see the fragrance industry in the next 5 years or what would you like to see happen?

That's a great question!  I think with the internet, we'll see more and more indie perfumers.    People who want to create according to their own imagination and vision.  This is a benefit to the perfume industry, since it allows you to connect directly with your tribe, and also to share with the perfume community.  

Interview with

Julie Nelson

  • What is your background and history?

My background in perfume officially started 20 years ago when I completed my diploma of Aromatherapy. I discovered essential oils in a quaint little new age shop around 1990. The first essential oils I purchased were Geranium, Patchouli and Bergamot. I was so taken in by how they made me feel and how I immediately experiences my self transform emotionally! I bathed in them, I used them in an oil burner and I made body oils and sprays to wear. It very quickly became apparent to me that these natural beauties had a powerful uplifting affect on me. It was then that I decided I wanted to study aromatherapy.

  • Have you always had an interest in scent and fragrance?

For as long as I can remember I have loved beautiful aromas. As a little girl I loved to sneak my mothers perfumes and adorn myself with her jewels, I had a real thing about wearing rings and longing to be grown up so I could wear make-up have my own perfumes and all of the fashion accessories that a woman could dream of. Of course we always got perfumed talcs and cheap bottles of scents, we thought this was so grown up! I did have 4711 as a young teen!!!

Before I discovered botanical essential oils I had a few favourite perfumes that I indulged in. Givenchy 111, Anais Anais, which I was loyal to for many years and then…I landed a job in a pop up perfume bar in Sydney in the early 80’s, I was in my element. It was owned by a French woman and you know I just can not remember the her name or her perfume bar name, I think the word Paris was in there somewhere. I didn’t last long there she was quite the tough one and I was not worldly enough to deal with her…A couple of years later I started working for Guerlaine as a perfume rep, I loved those perfumes. My favourites were Chamade, Shalimar, Jardins de Bagatelle and although I never wore it I absolutely loved L’heure Bleue

  •  How did the project begin?

My professional perfume journey began when I had my beautiful daughter in 1988. She was born with a life threatening congenital condition and 6 months later diagnosed with a second life threatening condition. I was 30 and wanted to find my niche’ my passion. I was a desperate Mother feeling so much helplessness and wanted to do more for my daughter and as mentioned earlier when I discovered true botanical essential oils I was hooked, I felt instantly connected to them and I realised that I could use these small bottles of beautiful scents to support us both. The more I read and experienced essential oils the more I wanted to know. So I went and studied my Diploma.Aromatherapy. I never wanted to be a massage therapist, I wanted to teach and was more interested in using the essential oils for healing on all levels through the power of smell and topical applications.

  • Tells us about the brand, it’s themes and character.

My brand is about healing the body, mind and soul. My clients receive beautiful quality handcrafted custom products that meet their needs. I chose the colours of my branding for the energy they hold and the name Aromatique Essentials reflects exactly what they are.

  • What are your views on where the perfume world is now and where it’s headed?

Personally I feel it has a long way to go in some areas. By this I mean that many perfumes available today are made up of synthetic ingredients and more recent research is finding that these ingredients are either causing or contributing to health issues. This is a very touchy subject and I do not want to offend anyone. Personally as a natural health and wellbeing advocate it is important to me that people are educated and understand what they are putting in to and on their bodies. That way they can make an educated decision as to what they choose to use. Many argue that essential oils are harmful or worse and yes they can be in the hands of a person who is not educated in the use of essential oils, however they are safer than many over the counter drugs available in our pharmacys.

I am on a mission to educate people on the difference between natural, botanical and synthetic perfumes. After all I am essentially first and foremost a health and wellbeing practitioner. Coming from a different belief system, training and mindset to most perfumers in the commercial world.

I see custom perfumes being more and more in demand. I create more personalised perfumes than anything else I offer. I love the whole process, being one on one travelling the journey of a scent creation together. We are all unique individuals and nothing can compare to having your own unique one of a kind perfume made just for you!

  • Did you have any fears when you started the company?

I can’t really think of any fears as far as starting up my business was concerned. I focused more on my mission and how I was going to get my message out there. I am very driven by passion and mission.

  • Where can we find your perfumes for purchase?

They can be ordered online through my shop at

I have four beautiful collections, both anointing perfumes and atomisers.

Having a custom perfume is very popular and I do attract this. Most people that come to me want something that no one else has.

  • Finally, do you have any thing you would like to share?

I have long been on a mission to support and educate as many people, especially women, as I can the world over on natural health and wellbeing. What better way to do this than through the power of smell and natural perfume. When using natural botanical perfumes you not only have beautiful scents at hand they work to support you emotionally, psychologically, physically and energetically.



PAPER LEAF Collection

Interview with

Nacy Meiland of Nancy Meiland perfumes

Coming soon

Body Conjure : Greg Wharton


"I'm Greg Wharton creator of the Body Conjure line of fragrance andco-founder of Mother Maggie’s spiritual supplies.

"Fresh layered compounds of fine essential botanicals are blended into rich and beautiful creations that have wonderful and sometimes surprising stories to tell for each wearer."-BC

I'm a perfumer, a tattooed cat-loving tree-hugging sex-positive vegetarian queer pagan, and an award-winning author, editor, and former publisher living in the redwoods in western Sonoma County, California, just a walk away from the Russian River and a short journey to the Pacific Ocean. I'm a loving, stubborn, energetic, artistic, and lusty Taurus (Taurus rising/Scorpio moon).

Body Conjure grew from creating our Mother Maggie's spiritual supplies. Along with other products I created 23 spiritual condition oils and colognes, simple in design and modest in price, but balanced between historical magical uses of essential oils and the want to make them beautiful to wear.

My new line of perfume and product has been a lovely exciting journey further into fragrance, each more complicated and layered, using exclusive essentials and botanicals, to create one of a kind perfume strength compounds that each have a surprising story to tell."- GW

Body Conjure perfumes are created and bottled in small batches by hand by Greg Wharton for Mother Maggie's in beautiful west Sonoma County California.

  • Have you always had an interest in scent and fragrance?

I’ve had a lifelong love/hate relationship with fragrance. From childhood through some point in my early 20s I was strangely addicted to Paco Rabanne cologne. Then I didn’t wear anything specific for many years. So much of the mass fragrance market is synthetic-based. I won’t say there’s anything wrong with this. Every wearer reacts to their own nose and preference. But I do find that, for me, much of the mass market scents smell harsh and I honestly am allergic to many perfumes. Scent is a strong sense. And one that is very important to me. It creates memories, guides reactions and motivates, causes hunger, desire, and lust. I love the smell of changing weather. And forests. I won’t go into great personal detail here but the human body creates its own amazing array of scents that guides us through life and life’s choices, whether we realize it or not.

For many years I’ve enjoyed wearing single or double notes throughout a day, especially good quality wood oils. Yum. I still do, though I’m now addicted to a couple of my Body Conjure recipes so more often than not I have one of them on. I want fragrance that will blend and change with my own body’s chemistry. It should be a journey, pleasurable, personal. Yes I love it when someone says I smell good, but I wear fragrance for me. Do I wear fragrance when alone? Yes I do.


  • How did you first start becoming involved in the perfume world—what is your background and history?
  • Can you talk about the store that you started and how this project branched from it?

I worked in the lab making product for a spiritual supply shop called Lucky Mojo for several years. This is where I started getting real experience with essential oils and herbs, working hands-on to create the product the shop sells under its own label.

I once ran an independent literary press called Suspect Thoughts Press. We published amazing books by incredible voices for ten years. The press has now closed but my former business partner (and ex-husband) Ian Philips and I were a great team and decided to make another dream come true and open our own online, and perhaps later brick & mortar, spiritual supply store. In preparation, I continued to investigate, read, and experiment with what I learned at Lucky Mojo to combine traditional spiritual uses of botanicals with my own esthetics, eventually creating a line of 23 “condition” products (such as Calm & Focus & Lust & Protection) for the store Mother Maggie’s. Ian is hand-painting the labels for the product. Mother Maggie’s is several years in the making but will launch this fall.

Along with other products there are perfume oils and (alcohol) colognes for each condition. Both of these especially intrigued me. Because of the cost aspect and keeping prices reasonable for the shop my recipes use mostly essential oils but some fragrance alternatives. Not a bad thing. I’m very proud of these blends. But at the same time I wanted to experiment and create with more exclusive and high-end botanicals. That’s when the real fun began of creating and testing (with big thank yous to my dedicated testing crew who patiently wore and gave feedback on each and every combination and revision) what has become the new Body Conjure line of fragrance.


  • Tells us about the lines theme and character.

I use high-quality natural essential oils, absolutes, and CO2s to create the Body Conjure perfumes and product. [Except—and this is the only exception—two of my ten perfumes contain a most amazing peach fragrance oil, shoot me if you must but it is fabulous…] The perfumes are 33% concentration in either an almond oil or alcohol base. Each is also available in soap, bath salts, and lotion.

The ten are each very different in character, from green to wood and spice to fruit and floral. While I admit that men do overall gravitate to some scents and women to others I don’t designate the scents and hope that any of them will be enjoyed regardless of gender.

My focus was not to revolutionize—but to create a line of intriguing, varied, and unique fragrance from some really amazing natural botanicals. Like a painting or a song each will appeal to a different heart. I am creating; this is my art. So I’m combining other art as part of it too. My labels are inspired by a van Gogh painting. I wrote short confessionals for each scent hoping to capture a possible aspect of each. Many sexy; some funny; a few bittersweet.

I carry samples of the line everywhere with me. But as I’m sure has always been key: how do you sell a scent without scent?

I’m now filming short videos of friends reading each confessional for each as well. I’ve had some feedback from friends farther away who also want to do videos so I’m thinking of opening this up to a new side project of short selfie confessional videos for the line. Fun! At the least, the site (and youtube) will soon have some videos of my confessionals.


  • What are your views on where the perfume world is now and where it’s headed?

Fragrance is big business. But I’m seeing huge creativity in smaller, niche, and natural perfume houses. There’s truly original quality, character, humor, and variation with other art forms. There’s also an interest in combining historical spiritual perfumery with not-so-traditional fragrance technique. Very exciting stuff.

The corporations have money and big-budgets so they will always succeed. Focused big-money advertising creates consumers. Hopefully the smaller artists and houses will thrive and will continue to share their art with the world.


  • Did you have any fears if any when starting?

Yes I have fears every day, about much of life! Sometimes a drive causes anxiety and sometimes it’s pure pleasure (especially since I live in gorgeous Northern Californian in the Redwoods, the Russian River, and wine country!). Sometimes I fear age or mortality. I fear love but can’t live without it. I fear arachnids.

But I conquer (many, but not all of my) fears by telling the voices to stop and just taking action. Failure at any task, large or small, is always possible if that’s how you define it. But I’ve seen so many people go through life with regrets of not taking action, on love, chances, and their dreams. With Ian we wrote, we edited, and we created the press that helped many authors and editors realize or start their dreams. This was our dream. And we can do it again with our store Mother Maggie’s and my Body Conjure line.

While I want Body Conjure to be successful, I’m not focused on selling huge batches worldwide. Yes to small batches worldwide though! This is personal natural perfumery. An art form. And I’m painting and singing with botanicals! And hoping others will enjoy my songs as much as I enjoy singing them.


  • Finally, do you have anything else that you would like to share?


Frassai-Contemporary Jewelry


"FRASSAÏ is a contemporary jewelry brand based in New York City and Buenos Aires. Our pieces combine noble and organic materials, often playing with fragrance and engaging the senses. We believe that each piece is the expression of an emotion and its value goes beyond its material. In fact, we do not work with expensive stones nor rely solely on expensive metals because we believe all materials that come from nature are precious. As part of our sustainable approach, we handcraft all our pieces in limited quantities. We work with trusted artisans and believe in the integrity of original design and craftsmanship. Expect each piece to be unique. "- Frassai


Beautiful & thoughtful carry your scent close to your heart..



Natalia Outeda

  • Can you tell us of your background?

I come from the fragrance industry. I worked in fragrance development for major brands before creating my jewelry brand, FRASSAÏ. I wanted to combine my passions and experience in perfumery, fashion and gastronomy to create something of my own. 

  •  Did you have an interest in fragrance growing up?

Not particularly. I had no idea how fragrances were created before I started working in the industry. But I always loved scent. I enjoyed it more in nature rather than perfume. While working in fragrance evaluation, I developed my nose. I immersed myself in the world of perfumery creation and learned tremendously from those around me. It was a privilege to work with so many talented and generous people.

  • Well, how did your current journey begin?

It began with the desire to create something I could call my own. I’m a very curious person and I wanted to explore my creativity and challenge myself with a new project. I moved to Buenos Aires from New York and started apprenticing in jewelry. From the beginning, I knew I wanted to work with the senses and focus on scent. That’s how the Fragrance Flacon Necklace was born. It’s a handcrafted piece where you can carry your perfume of choice. It comes with a handmade funnel to decant your scent.

  • Where would you say the fragrance/jewelry world is in at the moment? What are your thoughts for its future?

With hundreds of new fragrances coming out every year, I think many consumers are confused. Brands have the need to come up with ‘newness’ all the time. It’s part of what we demand as consumers. However, there are few fragrances that remain in the market after a few years. And even fewer become ‘classics.’

More and more people are choosing niche brands over commercial ones now. They are looking for distinctiveness and quality, a fragrance they can call their own and that you can’t smell in every corner. Like fragrance, the jewelry industry is also changing. There is a bigger appreciation for innovation and design pieces. There is more interest in handcrafted instead of mass produced. People want to know who’s behind the brand and what makes it authentic.

  •  What would you say is your creative process if you can share?

It starts with inspiration, which can really come from anywhere. This drives the desire to design and create. I design and make all of my pieces. The techniques may vary depending on the design. In most pieces I use the same traditional jewelry techniques that fine jewelers use. In my work however, the goal is to express emotion, and the value has less to do with the material used. I have used bones, acrylic, and noble metals for my creations. I have also created custom wedding bands in white and yellow gold. It’s good to change things up and be willing to explore and have fun.

  • Do you have any advice for those that may want to begin to step out for their dreams or goals?

There is nothing more fulfilling than creating something of your own, whether it’s a product or a service. You need to have the drive and desire to work hard, but it’s well worth it! I am also grateful for all the people and mentors I have encountered on my new journey. Connecting with other entrepreneurs is a great way to get support.

  • Where can we find your work?

My work is available at I have also created a blog where I like to write about fragrance.

  •    Finally do you have any other words that you would like to share?

Thank you for reaching out to me and spreading olfactive awareness!


Flacon Necklace

"The Fragrance Flacon Necklace contains an unseen glass vial for holding liquid perfume, ready to be experienced on a whim. Each fragrant jewel serves as a magical talisman, for it protects spirit and soul." Frassai


Frassai and the newest collection based around a secret garden hidden far way...

Journey into a far away place... 

Journey into a far away place...