Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Peace, Love & Perfume Project

A New Perfume

Peace, Love & Perfume:  An active Facebook community where 700 global perfume lovers congregate 24/7.
Founded:  September, 2011 by Carlos Powell, Brooklyn, New York
Peace, Love & Perfume Project:  In the spirit of a celebration amongst friends, Carlos pitched perfumers to commemorate the Third Anniversary of Peace, Love & Perfume by creating a fragrance or fragrances according to the following creative brief:
Peace - an incense meditative perfume
Love - an animalic sexy perfume
Perfume - a classic cologne with a twist
Carlos’ invite drew in many of the best, a tribute of our respect.
My Interpretation:  I wanted to make one perfume that, incorporating all elements of the brief, would of course give a nod to Carlos and the men of New York, and that would honor each of our individual heartfelt stories; a collective fragrance anthology.
The Scent of a Man in the City and those who love the way they smell.  The Scent of Peace, Love, and Perfume.  
You KNOW it includes scotch and cigars and a little bud.
Coming Soon.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Merchant of Death is Dead: Days of Future Past

             A tale of two explosives-makers, their redemption, and, in the end, about perfume.

TNT, shown melting at 81ᵒ C.

Back in 1864, in an armaments company in Helenborg, Stockholm, a very sad thing happened.  The owner’s youngest son, Emil, was killed in a huge nitroglycerin explosion.   Emil’s older brother, Alfred,  left the country and went to work at a munitions company in Germany.  There he developed a more secure explosive, dynamite, to honor his dead brother.

Before dynamite, remember that warfare was only black powder, cannon, and bullets. 
But dynamite revolutionized warfare.  Now, instead of killing two or three people at a time, shells and bombs could kill hundreds, and blow up entire buildings, bridges, and factories. 
Our scientist Alfred was massively successful.  He formed his own company, Dynamit AG,  and became the largest manufacturer of powder and ammunition to the German Reich in WWI.   He literally had a patent on modern warfare. 

But there was an ugly problem.  No matter how carefully they handled their materials, once in a while they went off, killing hundreds.   As he expanded, Alfred solved the problem by locating his new branches in impoverished areas that would provide an endless source of desperate, expendable workers. 
By the time the Versailles Treaty forced Alfred to dismantle his company at the end of the war, hundreds of his employees had been killed in factory explosions.   On top of that, thousands more had been devastated by some of the chemicals used in the manufacture of dynamite, chemicals that affected the brain.
Alfred might have gone down in history as a thoroughly evil man had not a curious thing happened.  Upon the death of yet another younger brother, Ludvig, the newspapers of Europe mistakenly reported his brother’s death as his own:
                                           “The Merchant of Death is Dead”
ran the headlines.  Reading his own obituary shocked Alfred Nobel deeply and made him realize how history would see him.  His reaction was to establish the Nobel prizes, including the famed Peace Prize, as a way to redirect what would certainly have been the dreadful judgment of history on his life.
Meanwhile, in Bern, another scientist named Albert Bauer was also making new explosives in his own lab.  During one of his experiments, he added an alkaline ingredient to some TNT.  Serendipitously, he noticed that it exuded an extremely pleasing, odor that was warm, sensual, and sweetly powdery.   He patented the new substance, named it Musk Bauer, and introduced it to the fragrance market.  It was such an immediate success that several small fragrance companies were formed all over Europe.
In short succession, our scientist Albert Bauer turned to making fragrance chemicals and  discovered musk xylene, musk ketone, and musk ambrette.  These latter three nitro musks were the perfect organoleptic replacement for animal musk which was by then becoming scarce and unaffordable.  Nitro musks became the epitome of musks for the next 50 years and became a very hard to beat benchmark for fixative properties, fragrance, stability, and affordability. 
Unfortunately, nitro musks ultimately turned out to cause photo toxicity - not to mention that they caused perfume discoloration, and that most were made via unstable/explosive intermediates.  (They are related to TNT, and the production hazards were substantial.)  So nitro musks fell out of favor in 1980’s and have now been removed from commercial perfumes.  
But the good news is that Albert Bauer’s discovery became the catalyst that prompted other chemists to discover safe and even more interesting forms of musk.  There are now five families of musks, and the research continues for even more.  As a result, we now have a vast array of modern fruity, floral, animalic, and fresh-ironed smelling musks from which to choose.   
Part of the private En Voyage Perfumes' musk collection
To learn more about the musk families, I recommend reading  Colognoisseur’s excellent articles on the subjects of nitro and polycyclic musks. 



Friday, January 10, 2014

En Voyage Perfumes 2013 Year in Review

Sincerest thanks to our cherished clients, colleagues, and to the amazing writers who are so supportive of our brand.  Our success in 2013 wouldn't have been possible without you.
Here's a brief pictorial of our 2013 launches, events, awards, and press.  Enjoy!
ZELDA  Launch  
May, 2013
Photo Credit:  Maria Greenlees
Artisan Fragrance Salon, San Francisco
  May, 2013

Left to Right:  SA’s Richard Hall, Mario Gomez, Julie Mergen
Photo Credits:  Richard Hall


FRAGments Event, Los Angeles
June 2013
ZELDA,  with The GoodSmellas looking over her shoulder
Photo Credits:  Michele Herzig
2013 Awards

Official Artisan Fragrance Partner of the Taste Awards


Best Perfumer of 2013 – Shelley Waddington
Best Perfume of 2013 - ZELDA
Tarlesio, The Alembicated Genie Perfume Magazine



CaFleureBon Best of 2013 Award - ZELDA

Best of Salon First Place Gold
Top Artisan Perfumer – A Study in Water

Best of Salon Second Place Silver
Most Seductive Scent  - ZELDA
Top Artisan Perfumer – L’Hombre

Jatamansi Award, Fragrant Man
Best of 2013

Best of Salon Third Place Bronze
Best Aroma – L’Hombre
Best Ingredient Combination – A Study in Water, L’Hombre, ZELDA
Most Unique – ZELDA, A Study in Water, L’Hombre


Press 2013

CaFleureBon announces ZELDA
Smelly Thoughts reviews ZELDA

CaFleureBon Magazine writes aboutPeche Noir
Best of 2013 Fragrant Man

Best Wishes for an amazing 2014 to all! 
Stay smart, healthy, beautiful, productive, creative, caring and loving.  Follow your passions with zest and with style.  And don’t forget to pay it all forward fragrantly with the people you love the most. 

With Love,
January, 2014