Monday, October 18, 2010


How we look.
How we smell.
Personal branding.

Personal branding may be loosely organized entirely to suit ourselves.
For some it is purposefully engineered towards a specific communication to others.

Personal smell, whether conscious or unconscious, is a choice and a statement.
It communicates in a variety of ways.
And it goes far deeper than the contrived modern notion of personal branding

To illustrate, I have chosen some well known animals, some predators, others quite shy, secluded, and retiring, who all use personal fragrance (and the lack of it) for very specific reasons.

When a fawn is born, it has almost no scent on it, therefore, reducing the chance of attracting predators. Its instinct is to lie down in an area and hardly move until the doe returns to feed it.

“The doe has scent which could attract predators to the area, therefore, once the fawn is fed she will leave the area until it is feeding time again. The doe will only go to the fawn if she believes it is safe. It is not unusual for a doe to leave the fawn for several hours, especially if there is a lot of human or other activity in the area.” (New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game)

The Indian civet, Viverra zibetha, lives from Indochina to southern China and is also found in Nepal, Bangladesh, the Malay Peninsula, Hainan, and Vietnam.

Civets are territorial and mark their territories with excretions from their anal glands, an excruciatingly stinky substance that is highly prized by perfumers.

Interestingly, they’re also connoisseurs of the coffee bean. “Costing hundreds of dollars a pound, these beans are found in the droppings of the civet, a nocturnal, furry, long-tailed catlike animal that prowls Southeast Asia’s coffee-growing lands for the tastiest, ripest coffee cherries. The civet eventually excretes the hard, indigestible innards of the fruit — essentially, incipient coffee beans — though only after they have been fermented in the animal’s stomach acids and enzymes to produce a brew described as smooth, chocolaty and devoid of any bitter aftertaste”, according to NORIMITSU ONISHI’s article in the New York Times.

The Siberian musk deer (Moschus moschiferus) is a musk deer found in the mountain forests of Northeast Asia, and in parts of Mongolia, Inner Mongolia, Manchuria and the Korean peninsula.

The male deer has a musk pouch (located between the sex organs and the navel) that releases a scent that is believed to be a signal to attract a mate. During the breeding season, he produces musk, which mixed with its urine, gives it a pink colour and the strong musk smell that is believed to stimulate the female to begin oestrus.

Natural and laboratory made musks, like civet, are used as components in fine perfumes.

But the musk deer uses fragrance in other ways as well:

“During the autumn and winter, communal defecation sites, and their associated scents, are used to help the deer communicate with one another. Scent is also an important indicator of the male Siberian musk deer's territory, which may cover up to 300 hectares and is marked out by wiping thick, yellow, strong-smelling secretions of the caudal gland on surrounding vegetation. The male's territory usually contains the feeding ranges of between one to three females and generally, weaker or smaller males will not attempt to enter into it, but on occasions that they do, fighting may ensue.” (Mulder)

Housecats are well known for their “scentsual” behaviors. Having scent glands on their feet, lips, cheeks, face, and tail, when the cat is rubbing against you she’s defining you as “hers”.  Kitty also uses scent to direct territorial aggression toward other cats (or new furniture) by spraying urine. She also uses scent to advertise her breeding status.

“When a cat curls back its upper lip and looks like it's sneering, it has just discovered an interesting, unusually intense odor and is smelling it more deeply. Called "flehming," it is drawing the odors into an organ (Jacobson's organ), in the roof of its mouth.” Glenda Moore)


A gray wolf in the snow
Photograph by Joel Sartore

Wolves, the ultimate predator at the top of the food chain, are territorial and defend their territory through vocalizations and scent marking.

A wolf’s 'scent marks' serve as messages, and provides warnings.

A wolf 'scent rolls' to promote interaction with other pack members.

“Scent plays a very important role in the life of the wolf, by smell alone wolves can locate prey, other pack members or enemies. It can tell them if other wolves were in the territory, if they were male or female, and how recently they visited.

“The wolf has several specialized glands, one around the anus and another on its back about 3 inches in the front of the base of its tail. The scent from these glands is as individualistic as are out fingerprints and is used by that particular wolf as its personal calling card. These Glands are used as to mark boundaries and also to mark trails. These "Scent Stations" are often 100 yards apart.

“Wolves have been known to paw or scratch the ground or trees, this may release odors from glands in the paws or as visual markers to pack members and other wolves. Alpha males will use Raised-leg urination primarily, Female and subordinate males use the squat-position. Females wolves also scent mark less than males.

“The Alpha wolf will direct urine at stumps, rocks, or trees this marks the packs presents to the members of the pack and other wolves. Wolves from rival packs may mark over the existing scent mark to obscure its odor. The marks may also be used as a boundary or fence post acting as a direction system.

The wolf use scent to mark territory, establish position of site of a kill and other factors within the pack.” (

“Scent rolling is the act of pressing the body against a strong-smelling object or scent. This behavior
usually begins with the wolf pushing a cheek against the object, and then sliding on it until the side
of the chest has cleared the object. The wolf will likely stand and repeat the process several times
on each side of the body.

“Wolves commonly perform this behavior with any strong or unique-smelling object within their territory,
such as a smelly carcass (food), urine or feces from another animal outside the pack, or any other
pungent odor encountered that is not a regular scent within their territory.

“Many visitors ask why wolves and subsequently their dogs perform such a behavior. For wolves, the
answer is simple: olfactory camouflage. We believe wolves are essentially transferring the scent of
the different odor to their bodies so when hunting their prey may not smell wolf, rather the benign
rolled-upon scent, when in close proximity of the hunting pack. This camouflage has obvious benefits
for hunting wolves, as they may be able to gain closer access to their prey. Another theory for evolution
of scent rolling is to transfer the scent of the rolling wolf onto the object chosen, thus "marking" it as
an item within their territory. Gray wolves likely utilize both of these advantages as a motivation to
perform scent rolling." (Jeremy Heft)

Taking our cue from the animal kingdom, it seems that whether our predilection is to hide, to camouflage, or to assert dominance; and when it comes down to being playful, advertising sexuality, setting boundries, identifying ownership, leaving a calling card, or just being plain old friendly, using scent or absence of scent to communicate it is pretty darn useful.

Brand On!

Mulder, J. 1999. "Moschus moschiferus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed October 17, 2010 at

Monday, September 27, 2010

Houston, We Have Lift Off!

Carmel Perfumery Launches EnVoyage Perfume, International

Company strives to create most trusted source of perfume resources

PRLog (Press Release) – Sep 22, 2010 – CARMEL, CA--Carmel Perfumery, an independent perfume house providing innovative fragrances, has officially launched its EnVoyage Perfumes platform providing hand blended artisanal fragrances and global perfume education to consumers and perfume professionals.

"Our goal is to establish the perfume industry's most trusted source of easily accessible fine perfumes and perfume education," says Shelley Waddington, CEO of parent company Beau Soleil and head perfumer of Carmel Perfumery. “Developed in response to increasing global customer demand, the EnVoyage platform is a unique and distinctive solution – it is an easy to use, robust International platform that allows us the ability to better serve our global clients while expanding our artistic reach and retaining our core values as an artisan perfume house with hand blended fragrance as in the days of old.”

EnVoyage client requests vary considerably, such as designing fragrance for architectural installations, weddings and events, as well as providing International perfume education. The prêt-à-porter collections are hand curated to deliver fragrance profiles of nature, of specific places, and meaningful moments known through literature, legend, archaeology, and visual art. In an innovative paradigm shift only now possible in an era of light speed communication, EnVoyage users will now have immediate access to exceptional perfumes and to reliable, knowledgeable and savvy perfumers.

“We are still a small operation, says Waddington. “We continue to use the finest rare and exotic fragrance materials from all points of the compass and to process our own botanicals from our garden studio. Remaining dedicated and connected to the planet is vital – even our bottles are recyclable. This is a win-win solution that allows us to expand our creative range of focus while retaining the sustainability and the top-tier customer care expectations of an artisan business.”

In commemoration of today’s launch, EnVoyage Perfumes is releasing the new Odyssey Collection, a trilogy of fragrances from exotic places and legends which includes the erotic Makeda, the only perfume to honor the Biblical Queen of Sheba’s true name; the sensual, virile, and playful Havane pour Homme; and Peche Noir, an intimate smoky fruity floral.

Website visitors making a purchase will be registered in a drawing for a special gift, and all customers purchasing one or more of the fragrances will receive an additional complimentary bonus until October 21, 2010.

Visit EnVoyage Perfume at

Beau Soleil LLC provides perfume products, services, and education for the cosmetic industry and, perfumers within flagship Carmel Perfumery®. and EnVoyage™, the global online platform for prêt-à-porter collections and fragrance education.

Friday, September 3, 2010

What’s Past is Prologue…

Oracles are notorious for all those obfuscated and confusing prophetic messages they've issued over the centuries.

But a recent message from my own metaphorical “oracle” is as clear as glass and startlingly contemporary.   “Step your game up,” she says.

But Oracle, dear, I’m in Carmel, one of the most beautiful places in the world. And besides, it’s comfortable here.

Silence. Old talky-talky is ignoring me. Sigh...

Not heeding the advice of the oracle never works out well for me, even when her advice is annoying - in this case, irritating. So off I begrudginly go to gird my loins and start stepping up my game.

She decides to talk to me again. I can’t honestly say I’m happy to hear from her. “Follow your path, ” she says this time.
Nominally more willing than I was last time, I again follow her advice.
At least the path is fragrant.

This fragrant path leads to an unexpected destination.
It’s culmination brings an expanded business model, a new website, and a new fragrance collection – all to be revealed this month.

Lots of opening festivities, soon to come.
For now, a small peek…

Monday, August 23, 2010

Natural Perfumers: Only 12 Days Left - Are You In?

Hello Natural Perfumers,

There are only 12 days still open for enrollment for
my upcoming Perfuming With Natural Isolates workshop,
September 4 and 11, 2010.

Do you want one of the remaining spots?

If so, the price goes up after tomorrow (Tuesday, August 24th)
so contact me now to confirm your enrollment:

(If you've already registered, sorry for this duplicate message!)

When you attend the Workshop, you’ll receive a basic understanding of
what an isolate is, how it is produced, and how to incorporate
isolates into your own natural perfume compositions.

This is an online seminar that will remain open for 3 weeks to accommodate
all schedules and time zones. All registrants will receive a kit of 18 natural isolates,
along with formulas and blending ideas, as well as a list of suggested reading for
future study.

If you still need to apply, go here now:

In any event, I hope to see you in the class in September and to
help you get more information, fragrances, and ideas for your natural perfuming!


Shelley Waddington
Carmel Perfumes!/CarmelPerfumer

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Reluctant Lovers

Epic stories of starcrossed lovers abound throughout history, from Zeus and Demeter, Adonis and Aphrodite, Cleopatra and Mark Antony, Guinever and Lancelot, to Tristan and Isolde, Paris and Helena, Odysseus and Penelope. Remarkable love stories all, highlighting the trials of separations sometimes resulting in great tragedy, sometimes in great reunion and jubilation.

A perfumer’s love affair with natural fragrances , too, can turn into an ordeal of personal drama. Especially when it comes to the wooing of fruit, delicate spring florals, and exotic tropicals.

In a paradoxical contradiction, it is just plain hard to coax certain natural fragrances out of their corresponding plants.

When asked to give up a little of their lovely fragrance for a perfume material, certain flowers and fruits are like the stingy millionaire who buys his girlfriend shoelaces or a gopher trap for her birthday.

The basic nature of these ungenerous lovers has been that, even with dedicated wooing, they have continued to withhold their precious fragrance.

Fortunately our persistence has now been rewarded - a stunningly beautiful array of notes has at last been coaxed from some of our previously most reluctant fruits and flowers.

Lab Update: A few weeks ago a class about botanical natural isolates (the fragrance materials referred to above) was mentioned in this blog.

The class and corresponding kit of 18 natural botanical isolates are now ready for delivery.

If you have questions or would like to partake, let me know at

Image Credits:

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Tranquil Tea

Inspired by hot summer weather, I am making an all-natural fruity iced tea fragrance.

Tonight I am selecting a few beautiful naturals with fruity and tea aspects from my perfume organ and testing some combinations that enhance the chosen notes, based on nose and chemistry.

Certain fruity notes such as peach, strawberry, and apricot require a deft and creative hand when using only botanical materials.  A good summer challenge.

Photo Credits:,,

Monday, June 14, 2010

Natural Isolates, the Future of Natural Perfuming

To a non-perfumer it might sound weird or even a bit kinky, but I still admit to being a perfume-nerd whose favorite pastime is playing with fragrance molecules.

My latest voyage into perfume nerd-ery is exploring the world of natural isolates - fragrance molecules that are used to enhance and decorate natural perfumes.

The technology used to separate these little molecules from their botanical sources is pretty fascinating. I’ve even organized my favorite isolates into a collection kit and developed some formulating suggestions that should appeal to the “Inner Perfume-Nerd” in us all.

You’re invited to join if you’d like to. 

The New Trend in Natural Perfuming

The use of natural isolates is a new cutting edge trend in natural perfumery.

This online course is designed to allow students and professionals of natural perfumery to take advantage of this new trend by providing a basic understanding of what an isolate is, how it is produced, and how to incorporate isolates into their own perfume compositions. Attendees will also receive a comprehensive bibliography for personal reference.

Upon completion of this class, the student will have a basic understanding of natural isolates and will be ready to begin blending using these fragrance materials.

A kit of natural isolates is available to all registrants.


Seating is limited to 20 students


Instructor Shelley Waddington, MA, is a classically trained perfumer of eleven years standing. She holds a California Teaching Credential and has delivered online seminars and training for eight years.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Perfume Secrets Unearthed update

On March 25, 2009, I wrote about the topic of the world's oldest perfumery.

This topic was and still is of special interest to me because I have visited and stayed with family in Cyprus several times over the past fifteen years.  The time I have spent in Cypus continues to influence my perfuming in many ways.

The following is a re-write of my March 25, 2009 post. 

I was thrilled to read in Perfumer Flavorist and Magazine (March 2007) that "archaeologists have recently discovered the world's oldest perfumes in Pyrgos, Cyprus. The remaining traces of perfumes, dating back more than 4,000 years, were scented with extracts of lavender, bay, rosemary, pine or coriander and kept in small translucent alabaster bottles. Just as intriguing as the scents they found was where the archaeologists found them—a 43,000 square foot perfumery factory. There they found at least 60 distilling stills, mixing bowls, funnels and perfume bottles. The discoveries are on display at the Capitoline Museum in Rome. In addition, an Italian foundation has recreated four of the perfumes from residues found at the site."

Pyrgos/Mavroraki is an archaeology site in the Limassol district of Cyprus, spanning from 2350BC to 1850BC. The mission’s head archaeologist, Professor Maria Rosaria Belgiorno, who works for Italy’s National Research Council, excavated the site with her team, starting in 2005.

Belgiorno and her team have also painstakingly researched and recreated the 4,000 year old fragrances from residues found at the site perfumery. Belgiorno's recent book entitled Aromata Cipria, (Cyprus Perfumes), describes the process used for her perfume experiments that she conducted at the Antiquities Centre in Italy.

Olive oil was the basic ingredient for making medicaments, cosmetics, perfumes and soft textiles.

For each of the four perfumes recreated by Belgiorno and her team, the process took about five days and the mixture was enclosed in a jug buried under the sand in the sunlight at a temperature of no more than 50 degrees, to avoid damaging the mixture. The four scents produced are ‘Afrodite,’ ‘Elena,’ ‘Artemides’ and ‘Era.’ ‘Afrodite’ contains olive oil, pine, turpentine and bergamot. ‘Elena’ has scents of olive oil, laurel, coriander and turpentine. In ‘Artemides,’ almonds, myrtle, parsley and turpentine are used and, for ‘Era,’ olive oil, rosemary, green anise and lavender.

“For the essences, we copied the entire process, step by step, as was done, 4,000 years ago, putting the essences into a closed jug underground, in the sunlight for five days. But the entire process for the four different essences took about six months, because we had to wait for the seasonal essences to come out of the herbs,” Belgiorno said.
“The vase used at Pyrgos as a condenser, was probably one of the large metallic ware jugs, whose neck shape and dimension is correct to contain the alembic spout and the base perfect to say inside a water basin. Six jugs of this type and dimension, all crushed, have been found in the Pyrgos perfumery: three were on the bench running along the eastern wall, two among the pits for maceration and one in north west corner, where there were two alembic heads and two large basins. “The experiments made to reconstruct the apparatus confirm that the shape and dimensions of the jugs are correct not only to be used as condensers but also as boilers (going inside the alembic head) which find a perfect support on the jug shoulders,” said Belgiorno.

Serious efforts were made to copy the ancient perfumes, as descibed by Belgiorno: “In our experiment, we found that direct contact between the jug and the embers quickly raised the temperature in the liquid. Using a thermocouple to calculate the temperature inside the jug, 15 minutes after the start of the heat treatment, we found that it was 84C. This is rather high. Based on the literature, 55C was the right temperature for extracting essences. Thanks to a mistake in our procedure for making fragrant essences, we were able to see how hard it is to maintain the jug temperature constant from the outset.”

Regarding ancient methods used to make perfumes, Belgiorno notes: “It is possible to extract essential oils and perfumed waters with the same system, as during boiling, the terpenes - tiny particles of fragrant plants, transported by vapour - pass the alembic head into a collecting jar. At the end of the operation, the essential oils float on the water surface and it is easy to separate them from the water.” The procedure, she adds, appears simple for a modern point of view but in the third millennium BC, it was different.

Monday, May 31, 2010


One of the legendary and most magnificently fragranced rose oils is the Rose Edouard , also known as Rose Bourbon. It’s distinctive delicate spicy-carnation quality makes it the perfect rose upon which to base a fine oriental perfume.

Here is the little known story of how this distinctive rose came into being.

Artistic motifs and ancient documents dating back to 3000 BC tell us that the rose first emerged in Central Asia. In the myth of Aphrodite’s birth, shown above, a rose tree sprouted from the foam that ran from her body, which she watered with nectar.
Forward in time to 11th century France, when a French Noble, Adhemar de Monteil, became Lord of the House of Bourbon and acquired the Castle of Bourbon, Bourbon-l'Archambault.

Adhemar was a great enthusiast of the First Crusade. He responded to Pope Urban II’s call for a holy expedition to the East, was appointed papal legate of the Crusade, and made his pilgrimage to the East in 1086–87. He was wounded and temporarily captured in Constantinople, where he saw his first rose and later brought it home to France.

Adhémar de Monteil carrying the Holy Lance in one of the battles of the First Crusade

Forward once again to the 17th Century when the French began to colonize the Indian Ocean island of Reunion island, but which was then named Île Bourbon after the royal house. The French East India Company sent the first twenty settlers in 1665, who brought along some China and Damask roses.

By the early 1800’s, it had become the custom to mark off the island’s land boundaries with rose hedges comprised of one row of the Common China Rose (presumably Old Blush, sometimes referred to as Parsons' Pink China), the other of the Red Four-Seasons (presumably the red Tous-les-Mois Damask Perpetual, which was common then).

One day, an island inhabitant named Monsieur Edouard Perichon was planting his hedge and came upon a plant which appeared to be a hybrid of the two. This magnificently scented new rose was brought to France, recognized as a new species, and subsequently became known as Rose Edouard.

Rose Edouard, aka Rose Bourbon, is today harvested especially for it's unique fragrance, and enjoys high demand among fine perfumers.  Enjoy some rare images of the modern harvest:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Master’s Perfume Wheel©

A perfume wheel is as critical a tool to the perfumer as a color wheel is to a painter.
But when a perfume wheel is constructed illogically, it is for the most part useless.
I’ve never yet found one that made really good sense or that was as helpful as it could be.

I have the common sense to understand the old maxim, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
But for me, existing perfume wheels are all  based on an old broken model.  And my common sense is going to nag at me until I fix this thing.

I get out my paper, pencil, ruler, watercolors and brushes while considering the requirements of a logical, useful perfume wheel.

A good perfume wheel will
     • Serve as an educational tool for all levels of understanding
     • Spark independent creativity for the perfumer
     • Represent the logic of classic perfume construction
     • Represent both classic as well as contemproary perfume
     • Reflect the nuance and gradation between perfume families
        that occurs from the most classic to the most contemporary
        great perfumes
My simple prototype starts where it should, in the middle with the basenotes, the largest molecules that anchor every perfume family. It travels outward towards the macro families. Its clockwise voyage progresses from family to family and includes the most modern ones. It presents logical blending ideas within the families. It serves to educate all levels.

It ain’t glossy. Definitely not the work of a graphic artist.  But technically, it’s spot on.

Now that I’ve corrected this annoyance, I return to making perfume.

Shelley Waddington
April 21, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Lab Technician For the Senses

A glimse into the office and the process of a perfumer...

When asked, "What do you do for a living"?, I sometimes jokingly answer, "I play with molecules".

But not all molecules have a fragrance.  As a perfumer, I work only with fragrance molecules.  A typical perfumer's organ contains  single molecules produced in the laboratory as well as complex materials of natural origin.  My personal organ contains a quantity of materials from both categories.

These performance molecules come in many sizes, shapes, and families. Their function is to impart specific fragrance qualitites that can be sculpted into perfume.

I keenly enjoy the challenge of balancing  the scientific  aspects of  botany, phsysiology, chemistry and toxicology with  the history and the art of sculpting with air.

Shelley Waddington
April 10, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Fibronacci Golden Spiral In Orange & Chocolate! (update)

Leonardo.  The Parthenon.  Sanscrit Poetry.  Virgil.  Beethoven, Bartok, Schubert, Debussy, Bach and Satie.    What do these people and things have in common?

The Golden Spiral, also known as  the golden triangle, the golden ratio, the golden mean and the divine proportion, has been applied in film, poetry, music, architecture, and art, as seen above,  as a means of achieving  The Golden Proportion.

Carefully formulated upon the Fibronacci sequence,  an incandescent California Orange and an exotic French-distilled natural chocolate from South America  combine to become a superlative  fractal, containing the whole of itself within itself,  infinitely,  many times over.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Most Prolific Month

January was a prolific perfume month.  I completed four new perfumes and conducted my first experiments with steam and hydro distillations. 

Perfume "A" is a fruity fresh floral.
Top Notes: Orange blossom, citrus, creamy fruitys, fresh air, water
Heart Notes:  White flowers, honeysuckle, rose, carnation
Base Notes:  Teak wood, elegant musks

Perfume "B" is a floral, woody amber.
Top Notes:  Italian bergamot, fresh citrus
Heart Notes:  Spring blossoms (mille fleur)
Base Notes:  Warm woods, amber, rich musk

Perfume "C" is an aromatic citrus.
Top Notes:  Petitgrain, Lemon, Sweet Orange
Heart Notes:  Clover, green tea, rose, iris, muguet, vetiver
Base Notes:  Sandalwood, vanilla, musk, amber

Perfume "D" is a musky gourmand.
Top Notes:  Coriander, fresh clean air, citrus
Heart Notes:  White flowers, muguet, fresh meadow, patchouli, rose damask, absinthe
Base Notes:  Musk, amber

Distillations:  LAVENDER!  Gros blue, Intermedia Provence, and Royal Velvet augustifolia.  Thank you Dabney Rose for your patient coaching and support.

Lastly, congratulations to Sara Nystrom, the winner the January Drawing for a complimentary personalized Blue Moon Oil of Intention from Carmel Perfumes.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

At the Bench

Approaching the bench today, I am ready to pull down the bottles I’ve chosen and begin to dip test strips for a first evaluation.

This new perfume features some recently acquired naturals – French Hydrocarbonresine (a cistus fraction), organic Vanilla and Ylang VOP from Madagascar - gorgeous materials to exalt and to set off like the precious jewels they are.

So begins the bench phase of the third and final perfume of my new trilogy. (One is masculine, one is unisex, and this last one is decidedly feminine. They are all connected thematically, the story will soon be released!)

Concept, perfume family, and notes, the constructs that I pondered for days, were followed by a mental review of raw materials and a penciled outline.  Today is a most lucky day - my imagined fragrance is readily translating into physical reality.

P.S. The drawing for a bespoke natural perfume of intention remains open until January 31. You still have a great chance of winning! 
Just send your full name and email address to .
No obligation to purchase. Winner will be announced on this blog.