Sunday, August 23, 2009

Perfuming the Edge of the World, Part 10 (Updated Version)

Composing the Notes de Fond

The goal of today’s perfume exercise is to develop a secret fragrant heart of wild grasses, green herbs, ferns and florals from natural materials, supported and deepened with the fragrances of honeybees and warm human skin.

Again, this composition is intended to be an organoleptic representation of Rumsen Carmel Ohlone ethnobotanicals, interwoven with environmental fragrances that would have been present and noticeable during their annual encampment at their Point Lobos summer village.

To convey the fragrant coumarin effect of wild grasses I used Hay, Foin Coupe, absolute from France, and tinctures of Sweet Grass Hierochloe odorata, and Tonka Bean,
Dipteryx odorata, an absolute from Venezuela.

The ethereal and slightly minty fragrance of green herbs was achieved with tinctured wild harvested White Sage, Salvia apiana, Tarragon, Artemisia douglasiana, known as Estragon by perfumers, and Wild Nettles, Urtica dioica. This herbal accord was paired with
with warm, rich Mugwort Artemisia vulgaris essential oil. Small amounts of Birch Bud CO2, Betula allegheninsis, and European Cedar Leaf, Thuja occidentalis, highlight the golden aspects of this combination.

The embellishment of fern was accomplished with Maile Fern, Aliyxia Oliviformis, an absolute from Hawaii. Wild iris and orchids were represented by the aroma of Orris Root tincture, wild roses by Geranium essential oil and Rosa damascena tincture from absolute. The heather fragrance of Genet absolute was used for French Broom. Gardenia Enfleurage rounds out the effects of honeysuckle, sweet pea, clover and everlasting. Bee fragrances composed of French Honey Absolute and tincture of beehive products from Wales. The lily accord was composed of White Ginger Lily and Jonquil Absolutes.

The scent of human skin and sweat was created with tinctured Costus root, Saussurea lappa, and cumin, Cumulum cyminum, both from India.

Update: To add slightly more emphasis to the fragrance of Everlasting, I added some Carnation absolute, Dianthus caryolphyllus, from Egypt and the tiniest amount of Cassia – Cinnamonum cassia. This small touch lightened up the entire heart.

The next post will be a perfume exercise with Notes de TĂȘte.