Category Archives: Anya’s Garden Perfumes

Homemade Perfume book by Anya McCoy July 31, 2018

Sunday - 1 July 2018
Homemade Perfume Book by Anya McCoy cover

Homemade Perfume Book by Anya McCoy cover

 

Homemade Perfume will be published July 31, 2018! You can preorder now and lock in the price. http://amzn.to/2HG7Bhs

 

This unprecedented, comprehensive guide from renowned perfumer Anya McCoy is an inspiring resource for anyone interested in creating artisanal perfume at home. Discover simple step-by-step methods for making perfume without harsh chemicals. Jump right in, using local plants and common household ingredients. Soon you’ll be building your own scent collection and creating unforgettable gifts for friends and family.

This book covers a variety of techniques for capturing fragrances from natural materials, making it easy to choose the project that works for your schedule and experience level. Source your own organically grown botanicals, and enjoy the earth-friendly benefits of creating your own essential oils and extractions sustainably.

Make your own all-natural perfumes, room and linen sprays, body butters, massage oils, and more. Explore the nuances of scent blending to create delightful fragrances that are unique to you. Packed with easy methods and expert guidance, this book will become an indispensable reference as you grow into a confident scent designer.

Jasmine Syrup Perfume for your mouth!

Thursday - 28 June 2018

So many jasmines, so much fun! You can do this with any non-toxic, organic fragrant flower you have in your garden, and the tasty syrup is fabulous in cocktails, drizzeled over ice cream or cake, or anything you can think of!

jasmine grand duke of tuscany

Big, sweet, fruity jasmine sambac ‘grand duke of tuscany’ flowers

Pick the flowers when they’re at the height of fragrance, and quickly process them. Pick over any wilted flowers, or any stems. Here’s the quick and easy recipe:

Flower Simple Syrup

2 cups of sugar

2 cups of water

2 cups of flowers

Place the sugar and water in a saucepan, and stir constantly while bringing to a boil. Once it’s boiled, remove from the heat, and add the flowers, gently stirring them into the syrup. Cover and allow to cool or up to three hours. Strain the flowers out, using a stainless steel strainer, into a sterile jar, cover, and refrigerate.

jasmine maid of orleans

jasmine maid of orleans

The ecological wonder of The Great Green Wall

Wednesday - 10 January 2018

Forty years ago, my husband got funding for his PhD under the USA Department of AID. In return, we were going to move to Dakar, Senegal for a few years to pay back the money for the education. I was studying plant science, ethnobotany, and anthropology at the time, and did a lot of research to prepare for the move. As an avid supporter of the Appropriate Technology movement, and an agriculturist with a keen interest in arid and semi-arid tropical plants, I was ready to work at some form of halting the southward spread of the Sahara Desert into Sub-Sahelian Africa. The US AID did not require us to go to Senegal for some reason, but my love of the region that developed due to all my research never stopped.

great green wall illustration

Some time ago I discovered the incredible project known as The Great Green Wall. Stretching from Senegal on the west coast, the effort was focused on planting a 10-mile wide band of drought-resistant trees to the east coast, ending in Somalia. I believe the primary plants are acacia trees and vegetables. Once the trees become established, their roots can pull up water from the low water table, making it more available for crops, and this is badly needed in this region. The trees will also help cool the air temperatures slightly, a bonus.

great green wall

The acacia being planted is Acacia senegalia senegal, a source of gum arabic, which has many uses in the food industry and other endeavors. As a perfumer, I’m wondering if the flowers have a lovely scent like Acacia farnesiana (cassie) or Acacia dealabata (mimosa). If so, the flowers could be harvested for extraction of the scent, adding another economic bonus.

green wall women farmers

green wall women farmers

As climate change is engulfing the world, and raising fears of loss of arable farmland, floods, hurricanes, and more damage, it is heartwarming to see that an initiative started 14 years ago is providing wonderful results. I may never get to visit Senegal or the Sahelian region, but my heart has long been there, loving the culture, and the hardworking, tenacious people. Bravo to Senegal for investing so much in the project, and building the greatest horticultural feature on earth, in cooperation with the other nations.

Modern techniques for making perfume

Sunday - 7 January 2018

Perfumers need to be savvy about how to provide a safe product to their customers. Perfume bottles and lab equipment can arrive from the factory with contaminants such as dust, bits of odds and ends (like paper), pesticides (from warehouse spraying) and other assorted things that need to be removed before filling or shipping. If you’re into making perfume or perfume products, you should read this.

Isn’t the New Year all about making good choices, and upping your game? Making sure you offer a sanitized (or more) product should be a goal for every perfumer.

Trio of Anya's Garden Perfumes

Trio of Anya’s Garden Perfumes – bottles and caps washed before filling to meet sanitary standards

I’m a bit of an OCD germaphobe to begin with, so making my product containers either sanitary, disinfected, or sterile (depending upon the end use) is very important. I explain in detail how to achieve these three goals in my upcoming book Homemade Perfume due out in August 2018 from Page Street Publishing.

Sanitary is a given, and easy: wash your equipment with hot soapy water, and air dry. That is necessary for everything. Disinfection can be achieved in a heat cycle in a dishwasher, or by using a bleach or alcohol rinse. Sterilization is most important for any container that will hold a product that contains water, like a lotion or hydrosol. For this purpose I prefer a UV light unit. I rarely have a container so big I need to bleach solution. Pictured you’ll find my unit, loaded with bottles on the top, and accessory tools on the bottom. I recommend buying a unit for cosmetology or tattooing purposes, they’re inexpensive and easily portable around your studio – plus, no bleach smell!

Caution: see the blue light? It can damage your eyes, so when the unit is on, I usually drape a cloth over it. This photo took about 3 seconds, and that’s all the exposure I allowed myself.

UV sterilization unit for making perfume products safe.

UV sterilization unit for making perfume products safe.

Homemade Perfume will be a gateway book for those who wish to learn basic techniques for making perfume. It is especially written for those who grow a number of fragrant plants, or who have access to them, so they can be perfume gardeners. The basics of tincturing and infusing for perfume, enfleurage, and distillation.

You will learn how to make body-, room-, and linen sprays; face-, body-, and hair vinegars; body butters; solid perfumes; alcohol- and oil-based perfumes; and more with your fragrant extractions.

If you wish to study how to make perfume professionally, consider taking my course through the Natural Perfumery Institute. The textbook is a compilation of four decades of perfume research, experimentation, and production. This is a distance learning course, and can be successfully completed from any place in the world. Click here to learn more.

Cyber Sale on Perfumes 40% off

Monday - 27 November 2017
The biggest sale of the year, and the chance to stock up on 100% natural perfumes for yourself, your friends and family.
Use the code cyber40 at checkout for the 40% off discount!
Sale items on this page only. 
 
Strange Magic – exotic and unique, made from organic flower tinctures. Other EdPs to choose from.



4ml parfum – easy to carry in your bag or pocket. Select from 12 award-winning perfumes.
Anya's Garden Perfumes Sample Box
1/3ml samples of Anya’s Perfumes

Natural Perfume Discounts on Tuition, oils, and perfumemaking kits

Saturday - 18 November 2017

 

How Autumn got Trashed by Hurricane Irma

This was going to be most heartfelt newsletter I’ve ever sent because I want to share the events of September and October and explain why I’ve been so quiet. Yes, I kept posting on Facebook, but behind the scenes, there is a lot of recovery and catch-up going on in the day-to-day businesses I run. I decided to blog later about the events instead, and just concentrate here on the love and passion for perfumes, and their creation. And I also decided to offer discounts, and pledge 10% of the sales to hurricane relief efforts. Use the links to discounted sale items at the end of this post.
 
I’ll let you know when I have it together enough to write about September and October, it’s just too fresh right now. So a remedy? Share the project that stirs as much passion in me as creating perfumes – teaching others how to make beautiful, professional perfumes!
My perfume organ with diluted essences, a working model I introduced to natural perfumery in my Basic natural perfume course.

10th Anniversary of the Natural Perfumery Institute Blew Right By!

Something very important to me that fell by the wayside due to Irma was the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Natural Perfumery Institute, an educational place for learning the ancient and modern aspects of natural perfume. It was the first online course in natural perfumery, and I share many years experience with the students in the form of a textbook, a real textbook, the first of its kind for perfumery. I had no time to announce, or celebrate, this milestone, the 10th anniversary. Thinking about the need for such a course, and then developing it, was a goal I accomplished.
 
If you are considering studying perfumery, I am offering an early holiday discount on tuition, the perfume making kits, and select aromatics from my botanicals line. Do you, or someone you love, desire to learn perfumery? This course is dynamic and covers the breadth and depth of the art of perfumery.
 
To learn more about the discounts visit:
 
This page for the $100 to $300 discount on the course tuition and kits.
 
and:
 
This page for discounts on Boronia, Sandalwood, and Vanilla.
 
These are the only pages coded with the discounts. There will be wonderful discounts on my perfumes next week for Black Friday, so be sure to open your newsletter to see what I’m offering. The tuition and aromatics discount will be available until Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017.
 
From Miami, our best wishes
Anya, Brian, Gracie, Andrea, and Dailyn
 

natural perfumery institute textbook cover

Natural Perfumery Institute cover. Textbook written by Anya McCoy.

Strange Magic Perfume

Sunday - 18 June 2017

STRANGE MAGIC PERFUME

A perfume of color changeable tinctures from an organic garden in Miami, Florida. Read about a giveaway of this perfume, below.

Strange Magic perfume 15ml spray

Strange Magic perfume 15ml spray

Sustainable, cold-process extraction process of plant fragrance debuts

Launched May 31, 2017

Anya McCoy, perfumer, botanist, and founder of Anya’s Garden Perfumes in Miami has released Strange Magic, the first perfume composed of about 95% organic fragrant tinctures. Strange Magic is made with tinctures that reveal hidden colors in the flowers, leaves, and roots when they were placed in the alcohol. Anya has tinctured for herbal purposes for forty years, and for perfume purposes for twenty years. It wasn’t until she dropped snow white Michelia alba flowers into the alcohol and saw the alcohol turn pink, then red, then dark red that she realize there was some hidden secrets in some flowers – Strange Magic.

White champaca flowers turn a gorgeous red in alcohol

White champaca flowers turn a gorgeous red in alcohol

The magic appeared a few years ago when she dropped a handful of white Michelia alba flowers into 190 proof alcohol. She wanted to make a fragrant tincture of this delicious smelling flower to add to her array of natural raw materials for her perfumes. As soon as the flowers started to sink into the alcohol, the alcohol took on a pink tinge. It was quite startling, and by the second day, the alcohol was a light shade of crimson. The more flowers added to recharge the alcohol with scent, the deeper red the menstruum got, eventually becoming burgundy/opaque. Some said it was the dyes or waxes in the flowers revealing themselves, but she said it was Strange Magic.

Plant dyes have been known for thousands of years, but the colors extracted are somewhat related to the original plant material’s color. Onion skins make a golden dye, blueberries a bluish dye, and so on.

This was different.

She’s tinctured herbs, woods, roots, leaves, and flowers for many years, beginning with simplers herbal tinctures. What an epiphany the white champaca flowers were. Numerous tinctures that had changed color now flooded her consciousness. The yellow ylang ylang flowers turned the alcohol olive green, and eventually opaque, like the Michelia.

White jasmines such as the sambac Grand Duke of Tuscany turned deep gold. White gardenias and tuberoses again – deep gold. She had been using the orangy/brown jasmine absolutes and concretes from the 70s, but  never put the color change together until the white champaca. She’d never seen any talk of the color change on any of the aromatherapy or perfume forums she’d been on for decades, other than the color change mentioned was the blue azulene color that developed when chamomiles were distilled, everyone seemed entranced by that. The azulene is not present in the fresh flowers, but develops in the distillation process.But white jasmines turning orangy/brown? No. No discussion.

Yellow ylang ylang flowers turn the tincture green, and get darker with each recharge. The scent is very, very strong! Beautiful

Yellow ylang ylang flowers turn the tincture green, and get darker with each recharge. The scent is very, very strong! Beautiful

Ylang Ylang essential oil is pale yellow. The absolute of the same flower? Green. Her  tincture? Dark Green. It’s the alcohol wash of the concrete that reveals the green color, and the alcohol menstruum I used.
Well, it’s time to honor the Strange Magic of color change that happens, don’t you think?

Here are a few color-changing plants in Strange Magic, but not all are listed – after all, magic needs a bit of secrecy:

Aglaia: yellow flowers Dark amber tincture
Orris: pale white rhizome Bright coral, orange tincture
Chamomiles: white flowers Blue oils when distilled
Gardenias: white flowers Dark amber tincture
Jasmines: white flowers Deep amber tincture (some, not all)
White Champaca: white flowers Crimson red to dark red tincture
Ylang ylang: yellow flowers Olive green to dark green tincture
Cashmere Bouquet Clerodendrum: white flowers Deep red tincture
Vintage white ambergris from Vanuatu Orange tincture

Artisan perfumers can work with sustainable fragrance materials with a “grow your own” plan to harvest and tincture the fragrant plants. If they can garden, and have suitable space in the garden, it’s possible to lessen the carbon footprint associated with purchasing essential oils and absolutes. All that’s needed is 190 proof alcohol, and harvesting and recharging the alcohol to make the tincture strong with fragrance.

It is not a fast or rushed process: Anya and her assistants spent many hours over the years hand-harvesting the flowers, placing them in alcohol, straining them out, recharging them over and over. If you know the heat and humidity of Miami, you know the dedication this took. Some tinctures have been recharged dozens of times to reach the scent strength desired. Still, it is worth it because the cold process, with no heat destroying some of the more delicate floral notes, and the sustainability of producing some of the raw product on-site are dual bonuses of the eco-conscious perfumer.

Anya is currently in discussions with publishers about a book she has written Perfume From Your Garden. It’s the first of its kind, detailing extraction methods for the perfumer, soaper, gardener, hobbyist, or DIYer who wishes to capture the fragrant plants from their garden at the height of their beauty.

Samples and 15ml spray bottles of Strange Magic are available at http://anyasgarden.com/store.htm

Until June 20, 2017, there is a chance for you to win Strange Magic by registering and commenting on the Cafleurebon review of the perfume.

Anya’s resume:

Founder and Instructor at Natural Perfumery Institute http://perfumeclasses.com

Owner and CEO at Natural Perfumers Guild http://naturalperfumers.com

Owner/Perfumer at Anya’s Garden Perfumes http://anyasgarden.com

Former Writer at Organic Gardening (magazine)

Former District Manager at USDA Soil and Water Conservation District (elected position State of Florida)

Former Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning and Design at Florida Atlantic University

Former Landscape Architect at Collier County, Florida

Studied Landscape architecture at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry Masters Degree

Studied Economic Botany at University of California, Riverside Bachelors

Strange Magic Perfume

Wednesday - 3 May 2017

Strange Magic Perfume

Strange Magic is inspired by the color magic of the flowers I grow. I have spent many years gathering the rare tropical flowers that provide fragrance and beauty in my organic garden in Miami, transforming them into strongly-scented tinctures. Some have been used in perfumes in the past, but this is a new approach, born of an observation that stunned me. Some flowers, when tinctured, or distilled, create a colored tincture that defies the color of the original flower. Some white flowers turn crimson or amber in a tincture, ylang ylang turns green, then so dark its opaque. Some white flowers turn blue, well, the colors are just surprising!

I believe this is the first perfume made almost entirely of tinctures, with some color magic essential oils and absolutes in the blend.

Strange Magic will be launched later this month, and I will post a guide to the flowers and their transformative color magic when the scent is extracted. The other magical aspect is that the scent is very, very close to the scent of the living flower, since no heat was used in extracting the scent. Magical!

Mother’s Day – 

Treat Her with Natural Goodness

My mother, Ann, around age 46
I was a toddler when I first raided my mother’s perfumes. I was besotted with the heady perfumes of the 50s and 60s, and would play with them for hours. In her later years, my mother came to live with me in Miami, and she loved the natural perfumes I make. Moon Dance was her favorite, and I do admit it is closest to the vintage perfumes of her era.
Sale on all perfumes and soaps for Mother’s Day
Use the discount code earthalways at checkout for 20% off all perfumes and luxury natural soaps through Sunday, May 7th so that your lovely gifts can be shipped in time to reach your mom by her special day. Live in the USA? Free shipping! Please visit Anya’s Garden Perfumes to choose your Mother’s Day fragrant delight.

 Rare Discount – on Perfumery Course

Have you been wanting to learn perfumery? I started teaching in 2007, sixteen years after I launched my first perfumery line, bringing experience in techniques, processes, and business and legislative matters. The textbook for the Basic Course is written at the university level, and the education you’ll receive is broad in scope and precise in detail regarding the art.
I don’t offer discounts often, so take advantage of 20% off the course. Read more here, and I hope to see you “up your game” and enroll in this course, a labor of love for me. Click here to read more. Discount code is earthalways and ends Monday, May 8th. Discount does not apply to kits.

June 1st is the 11th Anniversary of the

Natural Perfumers Guild!

 
From our website:
The Natural Perfumers Guild was established in 2006 and is the only international trade organization dedicated to promoting the beauty and benefits of 100% natural fragrances and giving a voice to the artisan natural perfumer.
Our mission is to gather, strengthen and empower our existing member community, increase public awareness through education about pure and natural perfumes, and establish standards of excellence in perfumery by protecting the traditional art of perfumery through ethical standards.
The Guild also addresses legislative issues that affect natural perfumery. Our Code defines the elements that make us a self-regulating organization. Our standards for our Professional Perfumers are the highest in the world regarding the use of natural ingredients. Please see the Definition of Natural Perfumery link in the menu and feel free to contact the Guild if you have any questions about natural perfume.

Join us as we enter our 12th year, and enjoy the benefits of the community, while supporting the advancement of natural perfumery.

In the coming year, we will be working on a definition of perfume permaculture, looking at ways to promote sustainability in the art. Climate change has accelerated the rise in issues concerning raw materials, and demands by consumers are two main areas to address. The Guild encourages artisan distillers, micro perfumery businesses, and a paradigm of respect and responsibility towards natural materials.
You can read of our previous projects, white papers, and benefits – such as downloadable vintage perfumery books – here.
Copyright © 2017. All Rights Reserved.

A Modern Perfume Organ

Sunday - 2 April 2017

I started collection essential oils and absolutes in 1966. At the time, I didn’t know my bottles of aromatics were supposed to be arranged on a tiered shelf called a perfume organ. Because I was a botanist, I categorized them by the part of the plant they were extracted from: florals, woods, leaves, etc., and kept them in plastic boxes for storage.

Later, I had a beautiful old wooden printer’s tray, which, when attached to a wall, provided a lovely display for the small bottles, but was impractical for working, and, of course, didn’t hold the larger bottles.

In 1990 or so, I stored my perfume organ in a beautiful Thai display case.

Anya McCoy with Thai display cabinet holding perfume organ oils

Anya McCoy with Thai display cabinet holding perfume organ oils

I finally located a man in Kentucky who made the wooden tiered racks for essential oils you’d see displayed in stores. I carefully measured what I perceived I’d need, and sent him the information. He constructed a lovely, modern-looking perfume organ out of pine, sweet and pale yellow and perfect for my needs – at the time.

What many perfume organs still look like, but this was only temporary. You can see the beginning of my dilutions on the bottom row. This photo is about 10 years old

What many artisans’ perfume organs still look like, but this was only temporary. You can see the beginning of my dilutions on the bottom row. This photo is about 10 years old

All my bottles, except the ones that needed refrigeration were on the organ, interspersed with the dilutions I used in everyday blending. The dilutions sat right next to the undiluted aromatics, and that was okay for a while.

The Modern Perfume Organ in Practice

Ah, visual serenity, aesthetic beauty, and so much more refined! This perfume organ should be the desired type for artisan perfumers. Modern, cost-effective, and so easy to use!

Ah, visual serenity, aesthetic beauty, and so much more refined! This perfume organ should be the desired type for artisan perfumers. Modern, cost-effective, and so easy to use!

Top notes are on the top level, middle notes, of which there are hundreds, are on middle levels, and base notes along the bottom. Why dilute your essences? It saves a lot of money, first of all. Imagine using undiluted pricey oils, like rose otto, for all of your mods. Secondly, now you get the scent of the rose “opened up” by the alcohol in the dilution, too. Two great bonuses!

Don’t ever struggle with trying to use labdanum or tobacco absolutes by the drop again! The diluted essences are very fluid.

Now only dilutions are on the perfume organ. Most are 10%, some higher, some lower. The undiluted raw materials are kept in a refrigerator, with their specific gravity noted on a blending database. You may be able to blend a perfume modification with a diluted essence, but you need the specific gravity to be able to blend any quantity. This is taught in my Intermediate Level Perfumery course. Enroll now in the Basic course, which will prepare you to further your studies at the Intermediate Level.

 

Perfume in the Sunlight

Friday - 3 February 2017

I have been busy with new perfume labels and decided to try some new photos. I typically like a clean white background, and I may do that for the new website, but for this photo I decided to capture some sunlight with the back garden included. I’m very happy with the prisms that appeared, but did notice that the bottles were underfilled a bit. Corrected, up to the brim now!

Do you like this photo? It’s a departure from my usual backdrops, for sure.

Anya's Garden Perfume Moon Dance, Pan, Light, Royal Lotus

Anya’s Garden Perfumes

If there is anyone in the Miami area who has experience with product photography, please contact me. I would like to discover new ways to showcase my perfume, soaps, botanicals, textbook and other related products. One problem is many of the printed words in my photos appear blurred, such as the words Anya’s Garden Perfumes within the botanical golden leaves of my logo. This is an ongoing problem, and I’d love to solve it!