Saturday, July 18, 2009

Perfuming the Edge of the World, Part 5

The first step I take in the creation of an interpretive perfume lies in conceptualization. Simply stated, what is the objective of the project? What is the intended result? What actions are required to reach that result? By what measure will I know that the objective and intended result has been satisfied?

My first objective for this project is to produce an existential all natural interpretive perfume composed of olfactory elements common to the Rumsen Carmel Ohlone. The intended result is to produce a perfume that evokes the authentic olfactory phenomena that would have been experienced by them at the time.

My second objective is to utilize additional non-native botanicals, carriers, and laboratory produced fragrance molecules to a separated portion of the fragrance blend, for the purpose of enhancing olfactory elements that cannot be produced solely by the use of botanicals. Such applications will be solely for the intended result of the enhancement of accurate interpretation of the living plants.

Required actions:
• analyze the olfactory elements that accompanied their lives
• identify the vascular plants that are known to have had practical use
• identify other native botanicals with olfactory characteristics suitable for incorporating
• reduce general olfactive and vascular plant lists to selected fragrancing elements
• organize those elements according to fragrance category and diffusion characteristics
• blend
• test
• identify the optimal carrier/dilutant
• blend to optimize fragrance and ratios of elements and blend to selected carrier
• test

Environmental olfactory elements to consider:
• Fire containing hot rock and seashell and basket
• Smoke of burning wood
• Fragrance of cooking grain, green vegetable, meat and foul
• Fragrance of fresh cut green vegetables and grasses
• Ocean
• Non-vascular plants: mushroom, tree moss, seaweed
• Loam, earth
• Rain on earth
• Willow branches, bark and foliage
• Tule grass
• Leather
• Sweat
• Fragrance of bedding
• Fragrance of blooming flowers and ripe fruits
• Fragrance of medicinal herbs

Vascular plants that are known to have been used by the subjects or that grow in proximity of the subjects, and that may be suitable for their fragrance value:
*Achillea millefolium - common yarrow
*Apium graveolens - celery/smallage
*Artemisia douglasiana - mugwort
Artemisia dracunculus - dragon sagewort/tarragon
*Calochortus albus var. albus - globe lily
*Calochortus uniflorus - large-flowered star lily
*Carex harfordii - Monterey sedge
*Carex praegracilis - clustered field sedge
*Carex tumulicola - foothill sedge
*Ceanothus griseus - Carmel ceanothus
*Chenopodium californicum - California goosefoot/soap plant
Chenopodium murale - wall goosefoot/nettle-leaved goosefoot
Chenopodium rubrum - red goosefoot
*Chlorogalum pomeridianum - soap plant/amole
*Cupressus macrocarpa - Monterey cypress
Danthonia californica - California oat-grass
*Dryopteris arguta - Calif. wood fern
Ericameria ericoides - mock heather
*Eriogonum nudum var. auriculatum - coast buckwheat
*Eriogonum parvifolium - dune buckwheat
*Eriophyllum confertiflorum - golden yarrow
*Foeniculum vulgare - sweet fennel
*Fragaria vesca - wood strawberry
Fritillaria affinis - checker lily
Genista monspessulana - French broom
Geranium dissectum - cut-leaved geranium
Geranium retrorsum - New Zealand geranium
Gilia achilleifolia ssp. multicaulis - many-stemmed gilia
Gilia clivorum - gilia
*Gnaphalium californicum - California everlasting
*Gnaphalium ramosissimum - pink everlasting
*Hordeum brachyantherum ssp. brachyantherum - meadow
*Hordeum brachyantherum ssp. californicum - California barley
Iris douglasiana - Douglas iris
*Lathyrus vestitus var. puberulus - common Pacific pea
*Lathyrus vestitus var. vestitus - San Gabriel or canyon pea
*Lepidium nitidum - common pepper-grass
*Lepidium strictum - wayside pepper-grass
Leymus condensatus - giant ryegrass
*Lobularia maritima - sweet alyssum
*Lonicera hispidula var. vacillans - hairy honeysuckle
Lonicera involucrata var. ledebourii - black twinberry
Lotus benthamii - Bentham's lotus
Lotus formosissimus - coast lotus/witch's teeth
Lotus heermannii var. orbicularis - woolly lotus
Lotus junceus - rush lotus
Lotus micranthus - small-flowered lotus
Lotus purshianus var. purshianus - Spanish clover
*Lotus scoparius - deerweed
*Lupinus albifrons var. douglasii - Douglas' silver lupine
*Lupinus arboreus - yellow bush/tree lupine
*Lupinus nanus - sky lupine/Douglas' annual lupine
*Lupinus variicolor - Lindley's varied lupine
Marah fabaceus - man-root/wild cucumber
Myrica californica - wax myrtle
Navarretia squarrosa - skunkweed
*Pellaea mucronata var. mucronata - bird's-foot fern
Pentagramma triangularis ssp. Triangularis - goldback fern
Phacelia distans - wild heliotrope
*Pinus radiata - Monterey pine
Piperia elegans - elegant rein orchid
*Plantago elongata - annual coast plantain
Polystichum munitum - sword fern
*Pteridium aquilinum var. pubescens - western bracken fern
*Quercus agrifolia var. agrigolia - coast live oak
Ranunculus californicus - California buttercup
*Raphanus sativus - wild radish
*Ribes sanguineum var. glutinosum - red flowering currant
*Rosa californica - California wild rose
*Rubus parviflorus - thimbleberry
*Rubus ursinus - California blackberry
*Salix lasiolepis - arroyo willow
*Salix scouleriana - Scouler willow
*Salvia mellifera - black sage
Salvia microphylla - smalled-leaved sage
*Sambucus mexicana - blue elderberry
*Scrophularia californica - bee plant
Selaginella bigelovii - Bigelow's moss-fern
Sequoia sempervirens - coast redwood
*Stachys bullata - wood mint
*Trifolium barbigerum - colony clover
*Trifolium wormskioldii - cow clover/coast clover
*Urtica dioica ssp. Holosericea - hoary nettle
*Vaccinium ovatum - evergreen huckleberry
*Verbena lasiostachys - western vervain
Woodwardia fimbriata - chain fern
Zigadenus fremontii - Fremont's star lily

*Botanicals with verified Monterey County Ohlone use by ethnobotanists Joyce DePow and Andy Hunter.

Carriers that are elements that would have been available to RCO’s:
Seed oils
Animal fats

Determining success (evaluation and testing):
Does it meet IFRA standards
Does it achieve the use of ethnobotanical materials
Does it meet traditional perfume standards of balance, diffusion, color and appearance, fragrance development and movement, longevity, texture
Is it organoleptically agreeable
Has it been evaluated both subjectively and by other perfumers
Does it have market appeal, if so in what market

Next: Reducing vascular plant list to selected fragrancing elements

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