Category Archives: Giveaway

For Natural Perfumers, every day is Earth Day – and a giveaway!

Thursday - 21 April 2016

I’ve neglected my blog for a few months, while cultivating and nourishing other aspects of my life as a natural perfumer. I chose today to rebirth the blog in celebration of Earth Day. It feels right, and I look forward to posting regularly again, reporting on discoveries, musings, and general fanciful natural aromatic news.

I took part in the first Earth Day celebrations on April 22, 1970. It was a “happening” on Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia. Fairmount Park is the largest park in an urban area in the world, encompassing woodland trails, meadows, wetlands and manicured grounds on 9200 acres.

I spent many hours crossing the stepping stones, loving the wildness of the park.

The Cobbs Creek area of Fairmount Park photo is circa 1905, showing a child of that time doing what I did 50-60 years later. I spent many hours crossing the stepping stones, loving the wildness of the park.

I was very familiar with the park, because as a child growing up in Philly, the park was just a few blocks from my home. It’s the largest urban park in the world and it provided a playground for the kids. I loved the pine forest, the open meadows, and all the fragrant beauty it offered. Earth Day seemed an extension of my fun days of childhood, and was a signal of an awakening of the general population that we need to take care of Mother Earth.

earth week 1970

The last name was spelled incorrectly – we called it Filthydelphia, and were determined to clean it up!

A video of Belmont Plateau and why we needed Earth Day in Filthydelphia:

Did you know that the first Earth WEEK was that week in Philly? It was conceived at the University of Pennsylvania, right in my neighborhood. Interesting fact, and one I’m proud of. I was distributing a local underground paper at that time, and writing a bit for Rolling Stone (very informal stuff), and the city was abuzz with the big event upcoming at the Plateau.

I don’t have any photos of myself at the event, this was a time waaay before every event was memorialized on film. Yes, of course, we had film in those days 🙂 I can’t even find any photos of myself around that time, since I’ve moved so much in the intervening years things, like photos, got lost.

However, memories remain: I’m sure I was wearing patchouli or sandalwood oil that day, and later, when I was able to collect absolutes and a wider range of aromatic oils a few years later, the path to natural perfumery was beckoning. In the interim, I got degrees in Economic Botany and Landscape Architecture, wrote for Organic Gardening magazine, started community gardens, and was elected to a State of Florida office as District Manager of the USDA Soil and Water Conservation District in Collier County. All the time I was studying perfumery, herbalism, and aromatherapy. I connected the earth with healing and pleasure, and still do, every day. I am an Earth Child, for sure.

The label of Pan has changed, but the juice remains the same - pure earth, forest, soil, field, musk!

The label of Pan has changed, but the juice remains the same – pure earth, forest, soil, field, musk!

I love my perfume Pan because it’s an agrestic forest and field fragrance that reminds me of the park and my childhood. It’s also a very sexy musky scent, and when I created Pan I realized how musky the park was with wild animal pheromones. I was a lucky urban child because I was able to explore the feral natural world, and am lucky enough to still be doing that today, with my perfumery materials. To a natural perfumer, every day is Earth Day.

To celebrate Earth Day 2016 – a celebration that I never envisioned all those years ago, as a teenager lolling around on a warm sunny day on Belmont Plateau, I’m offering a 15ml spray bottle Eau de Parfum of Pan. Leave a message what Earth Day means to you, even if is a short note, just a phrase, a feeling, or something you learned about me from the post – and you will be in the random drawing to win Pan. Share on Social Media and you’ll be entered twice! Drawing is open until 11:59PM Saturday, April 23, 2016.

PS Enjoy Spring!

Enticing Perfume from Anya’s Garden Giveaway

Tuesday - 2 June 2015
Super Moon over Miami and Tuberose photos by Anya McCoy. Reclining Lady by Raimundo Madrazo

Super Moon over Miami and Tuberose photos by Anya McCoy. Reclining Lady by Raimundo Madrazo

Research that Inspired the Creation of Enticing Perfume

On May 21, 2015, I launched my new perfume Enticing,

my 21st Century interpretation of the power of this tiny flower.

As an ethnobotanist and perfumer, I take the artistic license to call it the bad boy of flowers. Of all the “narcotic” fragrant white flowers, such as jasmine and gardenia, tuberose is the only one given the power to make girls lose their inhibitions. Perhaps there is some pheromone in the flower that is unidentified? I think research needs to be done to try to confirm or deny what makes tuberose so different, so seductive.

Perhaps 21st century young girls don’t swoon and lose inhibitions as they did in the past when smelling this narcotic flower at night, but its reputation is still sexy. In all my research over the years, I have never seen a flower given such incredible powers in aiding seduction.
The original warning seems to be pan-European, after the introduction of the tuberose flower in the late 1500s.

From the thesaurus, synonyms for “enticing”

• alluring
• appealing
• captivating
• desirable
• engaging
• fascinating
• inviting
• tempting
• attracting
• bewitching
• charming
• enchanting
• fetching
• luring
• winning
• siren

Yes, those synonyms pretty much sum up what the parents and guardians noted about the powers of this tiny, innocent-looking flower.

Tuberose by moonlight in Anya's Garden

Tuberose by moonlight in Anya’s Garden

Traveling out of Mexico, tuberose didn’t even follow the typical west-to-east route of New World imports, moving from the New World to Europe. It was wayward even then, moving east-to-west, first arriving in Indonesia. Not too much chatter about its seductive powers there, but India, Italy, France, and Britain all sounded the alarm.

The dainty white flower begins releasing its narcotic scent after dusk, and continues throughout the night, and parents and guardians thought the girls could be easily seduced while under the spell of its fragrance.

Enticing, the new perfume from Anya’s Garden, has a superdose of tuberose, lush and loud, announcing the intensity of the flower. 100% natural aromatics that hype the creamy, warm scent of skin were chosen to draw the user – and those close by – into the warm, heady nighttime allure of the tuberose in its most potent form.

The Language of Flowers

The Victorians developed a complex system of nonverbal communication, using flowers as the symbols for emotions. Tuberose was assigned the title of “Dangerous Pleasures”, and this idea is expanded upon:

From The Language of Flowers, published Lea & Blanchard 1848 Philadelphia, no author cited:
TUBEROSE, p197  DANGEROUS PLEASURES

If you would enjoy it without danger, keep at some
distance from the plant. To increase tenfold the
pleasure which it affords, come with the object of
your affection to inhale its perfume by moonlight,
when the nightingale is pouring forth his soul in
song:

The Tuberose, with her silvery light,
That Is in the gardens of Malay
Is called the mistress of the night,
So like a bride, scented and bright,
She comes out when the sun’s away.
Moore

Then, by a secret virtue, these grateful odours
will add an inexpressible charm to your enjoyment;
but if, regardless of the precepts of moderation,
you will approach too near, this divine
flower will then be but a dangerous enchantress,
which will pour into your bosom a deadly poison,
Thus the love which descends from heaven purities
and exalts the delights of a chaste passion ; but
that which springs from the earth proves the bane
and the destruction of imprudent youth.

From: http://www.forgottenbooks.com/readbook_text/The_Language_of_Flowers_1000210452/195

Rajnigandha means tuberose in Hindu language

Rajnigandha means tuberose in Hindu language

THE POLIANTHES

                Voluptuousness

This beautiful and most odoriferous flower, commonly known as the Tuberose, and which is calculated to please all, was brought from Persia in 1632. It flowered for the first time in France, at M. de Peiresc’s, at Beaugencier, near Toulon. The flower was then single; but its petals became double after some time, under the careful hand of Lecour, of Leyden. From that place it spread everywhere. The Tuberose, that superb native of the East, which the illustrious Linnaeus has named Polianthes, from the abundance of its flowers, a flower worthy of cities, has become with us, as it is in Persia, the emblem of Voluptuousness.

A young Icoglan, who receives from the hands of his mistress a stem of the Tuberose in bloom, experiences supreme happiness; for he knows that he may thus interpret the happy symbol of their mutual affection; “Our happiness will surpass our anxieties.” All the world knows and admires the white spikes and stars of the Tuberose; those beautiful spikes are the termination of a tall and slender stem, and they diffuse a most penetrating and intoxicating perfume.
Shelley says of it, “the sweet tuberose, the sweetest flower for scent, that blows”

The Perfume Brief for Enticing

My goal was to recognize the sexiness of the flower and to enhance the buttery, lactonic, deep, dark aspects of it. I wanted to make a skin caressing, long-lasting perfume that holds tuberose close to you, and one that has a silky effect when breathed in. Clary sage is another plant recognized for its power to affect your senses merely by breathing in the essence, both in the garden, and from the distiller’s essential oil. It’s perceived in the opening top note, along with a trace of cardamom, to tease the nose into not quite recognizing the lush floral headiness of tuberose, and then they recede, and the full blown power of tuberose, bold and soft, smooth and velvety, takes over – like it has always done.

Enticing Perfume Ingredients:

Organic Sugar Cane Alcohol, Tuberose Absolute, Scented Alcohol extracted from Anya’s handmade Tuberose Enfleurage Pomade, Butter CO2, Opoponax Absolute, Clary Sage EO, Terpene Acetate Isolate ex. Cardamom, Beeswax Absolute and Anya’s handmade Beeswax Tincture, Patchouli EO, Mushroom Absolute, Siberian Musk Tincture.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about my interpretation of this heady flower, and the ingredients I used to create Enticing. Leave a comment, and you’ll be in a random giveaway drawing to win a 4ml mini of the pure perfume. Giveaway deadline ends 11:59 PM June 4, 2015. I encourage you to subscribe to the blog and to this post in particular to discover if you are the winner. The winner will be announced here in the comment thread June 5. Open to all worldwide readers and commenters.

Enticing is available in both pure perfume form as a 4ml mini, and as an Eau de Parfum 15ml spray from Anya’s Garden Perfumes store. Click here to purchase.

4ml bottle of Enticing pure and natural perfume from Anya's Garden

4ml bottle of Enticing pure and natural perfume from Anya’s Garden

Reclining Lady by Raimundo Madrazo

Reclining Lady by Raimundo Madrazo

Ambrette Seeds for Perfume Project Mailed Out

Thursday - 30 April 2015

I have great news: I had the seeds planted in my Miami garden on Tuesday, April 21, when the moon was in an infertile sign, Gemini. I had to have my garden helper plant them, and that was the only day she was available. I would have loved fertile Cancer, but sometimes you have to go with the flow. Well, despite brutally hot weather, when I was out there watering the patch twice a day, and then massive downpours, the seeds germinated! I didn’t take a photo yet, because lots of little weed seedlings also popped up, and it looked messy, but here’s a photo of okra seedlings germinating, and ambrette is closely related, so they look like this:

okra cotyledon (first leaves). from haveyoueverpickedacarrot.com

okra cotyledons (first leaves). from haveyoueverpickedacarrot.com – cotyledons are not true leaves, they emerge next.

All of the seeds are packed up and on their way to the international group of natural perfume enthusiasts who want to try their hand at growing them, harvesting, drying, and, ultimately – using them, perhaps in a tincture to extract their scent. Some may have enough to try to distill them, too. As I documented my failure to properly harvest and cure them previously, the seeds they’re receiving only have a very faint scent, but I wrote the gardeners and told them if they bite down on one seed, the scent/flavor will fill their mouth and nose. Yummy!

Ambrette seeds packaged and ready to shipment.

Ambrette seeds packaged and ready to shipment.

They are used in food an drink around the world, and have many medicinal uses, and I’m encouraging the gardeners to experiment, if they wish. I’m very excited, and I hope they are, too! I can’t wait for the reports when they come filtering back in, from California, Pennsylvania, Canada, Arizona, Singapore, and many other locales.

Ambrette Seed Growing North America 2015 and a Giveaway

Tuesday - 14 April 2015

Update: The ambrette seed giveaway is closed. Over 35 packets will be mailed out this week, and I wish everyone to have a fruitful harvest!

I have quite an important update to my ambrette seed growing and harvesting project of 2014-2015. I have 17 ounces of ambrette seeds from the harvest with no scent. I have one ounce with a lovely, strong scent. How did this happen? I’m sharing my experience growing this plant, because it is so valuable to perfumery, and I believe a number of artisan distillers and perfumers will be growing it this summer. I am willing to send out some seeds to those in North America, if your wish to try your hand a growing them. It will help if you’re in Zone 8b or higher, but if you start them early, and find a warm, sunny microclimate on your property, you may be able to grow them to a successful harvest. More about the free seeds at the end of this article.

Here’s what I found I was doing wrong: I was waiting until the pods had dried on the stalk, and perhaps had split open. Wrong! There are so few photos of ambrette pods on the Internet, yet alone any instructions on when to harvest and process them, I followed the lead of photos showing dried pods.

Image shows plump, colored ambrette seed pods and brown, dried seed pods. Harvest the plump, colored ones and follow instructions, below.

Image shows plump, colored ambrette seed pods and brown, dried seed pods. Harvest the plump, colored ones and follow instructions, below.

I was down to the last few plants and pods in late March, and after doing some research, and interpreting what they were hinting at, I decided that the pods may be best harvested before they dry on the stalk. So, you see a photo of some plump, colored pods that I harvested earlier this winter, and didn’t use because I thought the dried ones were good. I was so busy I didn’t get a photo of the final harvest of closed, plump, colored pods that I forgot to take a photo of them. When you grow them, harvest ones at the same stage of growth as the ones on the left.

Research indicated that in India, the pods are laid out on the ground to dry in the sun, and when dry, beaten with sticks to break up the husk, winnowed, and the seeds collected. I can’t put plants out to dry in humid, rainy Miami, so I just brought them inside, and allowed them to dry at 78F, my ambient room temperature with air-conditioning, and low humidity. They were loosely mounded in a large bowl, and allowed to dry for three weeks or so.

I open the pods by hand, pinching the pointed end, and peeling back the internal segments, and allowing the seeds to fall into a bowl. The meager one ounce I got from this harvest smelled fabulous, so feel my pain from the wasted/improperly-harvested pods, but learn from my error.

If you’d like to receive some of the unscented seeds, which should be very fertile, and grow plants that WILL produce scented seeds when properly harvested, leave a message in the comments section, and I’ll write you privately for your address.

In the meantime, you may wish to view some of my earlier posts on my ambrette growing by reading here and here.

Winner of the Natural Perfume Materials book by Naves and Mayuzer is…

Wednesday - 2 July 2014

Helene, who posted on the 28th

Here's a golden gardenia for Helene! Photo from logees.com

Here’s a golden gardenia for Helene! Photo from logees.com

Helene’s name was drawn at random, and she has been notified by private email. I’m so happy for her! This book is a true treasure for perfumers, there is nothing like it out there. Thank you to everyone who entered here and on Facebook, your enthusiasm was wonderful, I can tell you were as excited by the re-discovery of powder enfleurage as I was, and I hope some are already using the technique.

For those who tried to click on the link to download the .pdf version of the book, or the link to view it online, I think all the traffic crashed the agricultural site in India! For whatever reason, with thousands of hits from my newsletter readers, Facebook followers, and others who found out about it via social media, the links no longer work.

I have my webmistress working on the solution. She’s uploading the .pdf to one of my websites, as part of an autoresponder. More later, hopefully later today.

UPDATE: You can now download the .pdf of the Natural Perfume Materials book directly from my website. It’s the only place we have set up for an autoresponder that will give you a confirmation link to the download page, via registering for my newsletter. You can unsub from the newsletter, if you like (but I think you’ll like it, give it a try for a few issues) at any time, of course. There are two other free documents available when you register. go to http://perfumeclasses.com/ Thanks for all your interest in my post about powder enfleurage, and thanks for all your lovely comments on this blog.

PS: I’d encourage y’all to subscribe to my blog, so you get updates, and get in on giveaways I’ll host in the future.

Surprise! A Natural Perfumery Treasure – Free Online

Tuesday - 1 July 2014

(Update — Thanks to the three readers who did find it downloadable on this site at http://krishikosh.egranth.ac.in/bitstream/1/2031806/1/27102.pdf ) I will be so excited tonight when I get to draw the name of the winner of the print copy of the iconic natural perfumery book Natural Perfume Materials by Naves and Mazayur (1947). It was at the bottom of p. 40 where I found a passage on powder enfleurage that inspired my experiments and the giveaway. Click here to read more, including specific instructions on how to accomplish powder and vapor essence enfleurage.

But it just gets better! I began to search around the Internet, hoping to find a .pdf version of the book for sale, because although I love to hold a book in my hands and flip pages, moving back and forth as I research, a .pdf version is great for searching specific terms, and quite speedy. I didn’t find a .pdf, but I did locate a free Adobe Flash version of the book, and it’s great. The pages can be enlarged, the contrast is crisp and clear, and it is searchable. Cllick here to read the book, bookmark this site for your online library, and enjoy this vintage book, full of incredible information and history. I love sharing information about perfumery, and although I realize you may not wish to study perfumery, you may enjoy delving into the processes by which these lovely botanicals are turned into gorgeous essences. You may also have someone in your life who is interested in studying perfumery, and this book will be a great aid to them. My best wishes for enjoyment with this book!

PS Don’t forget to subscribe to this blog (right column) and subscribe to the individual blog you are commenting in, to ensure you get follow up comments.

Illustrations and Table of Contents from Natural Perfume Materials by Naves and Mazuyer

Illustrations and Table of Contents from Natural Perfume Materials by Naves and Mazuyer. Click to enlarge.

Powder Enfleurage! An Ancient Fragrant Art And a Giveaway

Thursday - 26 June 2014

How to Make Enfleurage des Poudres – Powder Enfleurage

Fragrant Body Powders – An Ancient Art Rediscovered      

Update April 19, 2015: I do recommend using a bit of powdered orris root or powdered oakmoss as a fixative. The ylang ylang enfleurage was overpoweringly strong at first, but the scent faded over time. I’m going to mix orris root in with the powder and re-enfleurge the flowers.

(make sure you read to the end to discover how to win the fabulous giveaway prize!)

On June 15, I was working on the first re-edit of my upcoming book Perfume From Your Garden, checking references, when I stumbled across a few sentences in a vintage perfumer book that stopped me, and truly surprised me with some wonderful information.

The process of enfleurage des poudres aka powder enfleurage, the manufacture of powders perfumed by flowers, is very ancient. The process takes place by simple contact, in a closed receptacle, and the flowers are removed and replaced with carefully chosen and sorted ones. The authors state that this ancient process was the inspiration to the French for oil and pomade enfleurage that they began in the 17th century.

I immediately knew I had found some incredible, long-lost art form. So many artisans are now enfleuraging with oil and pomades, the use of powder is an easy adaptation. So, I decided to post an excerpt from the book, ahead of publication, so that readers could enjoy this new process with the lovely summer flowers in their gardens. I hope you enjoy this!

From the rough draft I’m inserting into the Perfume From Your Garden manuscript:

“Powders treated in this manner included the plant powders, orris, ambrette, oakmoss; amylaceous matter, starch and faecula;* and minerals, crayon and talc; the flowers used included jasmine, hyacinth, jonquil, orange flower, nutmeg. rose, mignonette, tuberose, and even wallflower and lily-of-the-valley. By an analogous process, hides and gloves have been perfumed with the same flowers, and also with violet and crimson carnation.

It is to these long-abandoned methods that we trace the modern experiments with enfleurage with pulverized solid adsorbents.”

From Natural Perfume Materials, Naves and Mazuyer, 1947

*amylaceous and starch are synonyms and faecula means a starch made from plants or seeds.

I felt like an archaeologist who had stumbled upon a long-forgotten (in authors Naves and Mazuyer’s words, “long-abandoned”) method that was the reason that other methods came into being, like the cold and hot enfleurage processes detailed in this book. What a revelation that garden perfumers can capture the scent of gardenias, magnolias, roses, lily-of-the-valley, heliotrope, linden, and dozens of other fragrant plants in a luxurious, true-to-scent, body powder. For historical purposes, I was also thrilled by the mention of the glove and leather scented processes mentioned, as they gave birth to the first perfumers guilds, as I am the head of the Natural Perfumers Guild. Further research showed that these powder enfleurages were the methods used, in the early perfume industry in France, to produce dusting or body powders, not mixing essential oils and absolutes with powder, which is a new method. “What’s old is new again”.

True, nowadays, many artisans, copying the methods of the larger cosmetics industry, make these aromatic powders by adding essential oils, dried powdered flowers, and absolutes to a base powder such as arrowroot, tapioca root, non-GMO corn, and some clays. But how many have true gardenia absolute? Or use pricey rose essential oils or absolute? Since many artisan perfumers around the world are reviving enfleurage, I am happy to present to everyone this most ancient enfleurage method. For the two decades I have been on perfumery forums and discussion groups, read ancient perfumery books, and followed blogs and spoken with perfumers, and I never found anybody writing about this method. I’m going to focus on a few rare flowers in my garden, like ylang ylang, golden champaca, various jasmines, and Vietnamese and Tahitian gardenias. Well, at least that’s my start! Imagine capturing the scent of your summer roses, lavender, or other delicious plant in powder, and using the results as gifts.

I immediately got some arrowroot powder and harvested some of my ylang ylang flowers and tested the process. Great success! With only one enfleurage, using eighteen ylang ylang flowers and about 2.5 pounds (approx. 1100g) of arrowroot, within one day I had a highly-scented powder. The next day I only had six ylangs to add, but the strong scent of the one day/eighteen flowers almost took my breath away! The next day, when my apprentice Paula came by, she harvested more, and we were almost overcome by the strong scent! She actually asked “is it possible to infuse too much scent?” I replied that if that’s the case, we can just “dilute” it with more powder. We both commented on how the ylang powder scent was so much richer, and intoxicating than the living flowers or the oils – it was overwhelmingly sensual!

anya mccoy's ylang flower powder enfleurage

Eighteen organic ylang flowers from my garden in arrowroot powder, about to be covered in more powder

anya mccoy's ylang flower powder enfleurage

Gently tapping the cover powder over the ylangs to ensure contact between the flower petals and powder. The tray cover was then put in place to cover and keep the scent in.

Powder enfleurage is the easiest and quickest way to draw the fragrance of botanicals into a usable product. Small children can easily make this with adult supervision. Powders are made by simply placing the flowers or leaves (I’m using scented geraniums and mints) in a layer, in a powder. I recommend arrowroot, tapioca root, rice, or non-gmo cornstarch. I would add powdered orris root, or powdered ambrette seed in small amounts to the finished powder as fixatives. You may have to purchase them, because they’re rarely grown in home gardens, but it’s well worth it to have a fixative to make your powder enfleurage last longer. The enfleurage is made in a closed container, and the flowers are sifted out and replaced by recharges. I love to use mint leaves, scented geranium leaves, any flower, and citrus peels with the white pith removed. You may wish to mix a lot of different botanicals together, and make a millefleurs poudre, or you may wish to stick to one scent. My first powder enfleurage was just ylang ylang flowers and arrowroot powder. Heavenly! You can always decide at a later date to mix your one-scent poudres to make a unique dusting powder. If you study perfumery, either by taking classes, or a course, or study on your own, you’ll love this addition to your scented products.

Equipment Needed

o   Choice #1: Scentless powder, such as arrowroot, tapioca non-gmo cornstarch, rice flour, or one that you may prefer. I recommend at least one pound, 454 grams, to start.

o   A closed container, that is shallow, a rectangular or square shape is best, such as a restaurant steamer tray, with a lid that fits snugly. They come in various sizes, so choose one that suits your current project.

o   Drying rack or flat surface if very moist botanicals needs to wilt slightly. Towels, cheesecloth or other porous material spread over an object like an oven rack or screen can work for this purpose.

o   Freshly-picked botanicals that are allowed to wilt slightly, if necessary, in a cool, dark place, placed on the drying rack described above.

o   A spatula, offset spatula, big spoon, or piece of stiff cardboard to move the top layer of powder for recharges.

o   Chopstick, fork, or other implement to check on the stage of dryness.

o   A pan sieve or stainless-steel strainer, or just your hands to remove the botanicals.

o   A chopstick or other instrument to gently tap powder off the botanical when you remove it for recharges.

o   Stainless steel sieve.

o   A decorative container, either with an attached lid with holes to shake the powder out, or a removable lid and a powder puff. Vintage ones are available on Etsy or other Internet sites.

How to Prepare and Process the Powder Enfleurage

  1. This extraction process should be conducted indoors, with no fans on.
  2. Harvest the botanical, and let it dry slightly if it’s extremely moist, (eg lush flowers, mint leaves).  Generally, they should be harvested when they are dry, not after a rain, or when morning dew is on them. Take care not to bruise the botanicals.
  3. Empty the powder of choice in the container, using half the powder for the base.
  4. Use an offset spatula to smooth the powder (optional).
  5. Place the botanical on the powder base, not overlapping, just having the edges touch.
  6. Put the remainder of the powder on the botanical.
  7. Press the powder down gently to ensure surface contact between the botanical and powder. I use a piece of cardboard, or a broad spatula.
  8. Cover the container.
  9. Place the container indoors in a warm, dry place, out of the sun.
  10. Check the botanical for dryness once a day. You want it to be very dry, with no moisture remaining. It typically will be dry in one day.
  11. When dry, take care not to greatly disturb the powder as you either carefully remove the botanical by hand.
  12. Gently tap the botanical with a chopstick to release clinging powder. There will always be some powder remaining on it, that’s unavoidable, but you want to get the excess off, back into the extraction container.
  13. Move about half the powder with a spatula to one end of the container, making a small mound.
  14. Leave a layer of powder on the bottom of the container, allowing this layer to be about 80-90% of the surface area of the bottom.
  15. Recharge the botanical as described in Step 3, and put the top layer of powder back in the container, repeat Steps 5 – 8.
  16. When the powder is scented to your liking, stop recharging with the botanical.
  17. Use a sieve or strainer to remove any last bits of the botanical from the powder, if necessary.
  18. Place the powder in the container of your choice, label with powder used, botanical used, number of recharges, and the date.

It’s summer in the northern hemisphere, and many of you have gardens bursting with beautiful flowers. My friend Andrine just harvested linden flowers and buds in Seattle and is using powder enfleurage to extract their scent.

How to Use Powder Enfleurages

The powder enfleurages can be packaged into nonporous containers to help them retain scent. You can choose screw-top plastic shaker bottles, like those sold in the store for baby powder, cardboard tube powder dispensers (may allow the scent to evaporate over time), metal shaker top canisters, or powder boxes that look pretty on a vanity or bureau. These can be modern or vintage, and a fluffy powder puff is delightful to use, as it brings a very feminine touch to getting dressed.

If you decide to make powder enfleurages to use as deodorants, you may want to choose a shaker top container, so you just have to shake a little into your fingers for application.

Vapor Essence Powder Enfleurage

Two days ago, as I was falling asleep, which is always a great time for ideas to slip into your consciousness, I realized that it would be possible to infuse scented vapors from resins, powdered woods, and incenses into the powder! A few years ago I blogged about the incense warmers sold by Katlyn Breene of Mermade Magickal arts and how they made it possible for me to use incense again. I had become allergic to smoke, but the warmers didn’t produce smoke, they warmed the botanical so that the aromatic vapors filled the room. See below to photos of how I rigged the Golden Lotus Incense Warmer in a restaurant steamer tray and infused the powder with myrrh. The result is gorgeous, and I’ll be infusing frankincense, powdered aloeswood, sandalwood and other botanicals into the powder soon. This way, you get soft, perfumed powder without any ground resins in it, which can get gummy on the skin.

anya mccoy leveling powder enfleurage base

Leveling the powder base for vapor essence enfleurage.

anya mccoy myrrhpowder enfleurage

The Golden Lotus Incense Warmer from Mermade Magickal Arts with Myrrh nestled in powder enfleurage tray.

Myrrh powder enfleurage trays covered with tape over cutout for power cord.

Myrrh powder enfleurage trays covered with tape over cutout for power cord.

Thanks for reading this far, and now the big giveaway: a copy of the Naves and Mazuyer book Natural Perfume Materials, 1947. This book is incredible! It’s typically costs about $200 if you can find it on reseller sites. The gods were smiling on my discovery because two days after I found the tiny passage in the book about the powder enfleurage, I noticed somebody had it on eBay and I won the bid, so I can share my second copy with a reader who does the following:

1. Leave a comment here.

2. Visit my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/AnyasGardenPerfumes and “like” the page. That will give you two entries!

3. Please share the post about this that’s on the Facebook page, and anywhere else on social media you like. I really want to get this out to artisans, who can begin working on this new art immediately.

Contest ends 11:59 PM Tuesday, July 1, 2014. Winner will be drawn randomly and announced on Thursday, July 3, 2014. Book will be mailed Priority, insured, with winner receiving tracking number. If book is lost or destroyed in transit, offer will be rescinded, and alternative prize awarded, but every effort will be made to replace book for thirty days. It’s a rare and pricey book, so let’s hope the mail system delivers it safely. 🙂

Ask the Perfumery Sunday Aug 11, 2013 – Busy! Book, Tuition & Kit Discounts

Sunday - 11 August 2013

There’s a Facebook page for the book Elise Pearlstine and I are writing: Perfume From Your Garden! Click here to join us there, and please also visit our holding homepage for the book by clicking here. We’re going to have giveaways of the book when it is published, and you’ll want to be in the drawing for this!

Perfume From Your Garden book http://PerfumeFromYourGarden.com Publication dater: late Fall 2013

Perfume From Your Garden book http://PerfumeFromYourGarden.com Publication date: late Fall 2013

My latest newsletter (subscribe here) has information on a time-sensitive discount on my Online Interactive perfumery course and the kits that I recommend you buy to complete the course.  You can find the newsletter here.

I’m  here as usual for your perfumery questions this Sunday, until 10PM ET USA. Let’s see what has been on your mind this week.

Ask the Perfumer 7/14/2013 – Giveaway results, new giveaway!

Sunday - 14 July 2013

The Natural Perfumers Guild members who won the musk and civet tinctures (Joyce) and Guenther book (Susan) have been notified, and here’s my email to the Guild discussion group this morning:

I didn’t realize until after Joyce wrote me that the random drawing resulted in two RNs winning!  I don’t know if the term RN is universal so that our international members recognize it, but here in the States, it means they’re Registered Nurses, and that they completed rigorous educational training and passed a tough exam.  Susan is also a chiropractor, and so we have quite the medical profession winners.  They stars must have been shining on them for their healing work 🙂

 

Vinaigrette ring that holds perfume, a beautiful example of aromatic jewelry

Vinaigrette ring that holds perfume, a beautiful example of aromatic jewelry


The latest giveaway is quite nice!

Eden Botanicals contributed a set of aromatics worth $300 retail.  Here are the natural beauties:

Bergamot FCF 1/4 oz

Cardamom CO2 1/4 oz

Cocao Absolute 1/4 oz

Frankincense – Somalia 1/4 oz

Ginger, Fresh – Organic 1/4 oz

Lavender – High Elevation 1/4 oz

Nagarmotha (Cypriol) 1/4 oz

Orange, Wild 1/4 oz

Patchouli, Dark 1/4 oz

Ylang Ylang Extra – Organic 1/4 oz

Sandalwood – Royal Hawaiian 1/16 oz

Wow, eh?

The other prize is a copy of a book I treasure, Secrets of Aromatic Jewelry by Annette Green and Linda Dyette.  I hope you recognize the name Annette Green.  She’s the founder of the Fragrance Foundation and a legend in the perfumery world.  Oh, and this is an autographed copy!  Annette Green signed the book, and even if your name isn’t Rachel (to whom it’s inscribed), it’s a treasure.  Lush perfume jewelry porn pictures!

For Guild members only:  Same instructions as the last draw:  Post an intro/bio about yourself (it can be very brief) and the prize you wish to win.  A random drawing will be held after noon, Tuesday, July 16, 2013, the deadline.

Good luck everyone!

Of course I’ll be here to answer your perfumery questions until 10 PM ET USA.  If you’re interested in aromatic jewelry, you may wish to read an article I wrote on the subject by clicking here. Intro paragraph by the editor of Cafleurebon, I’d never write that about my Fairchild 🙂 LOL, but you’ll catch the drift as you read the article.  Aromatic Jewelry can save the day!

Ask the Perfumer 7/7/2013 – Guild giveaways (members only)

Sunday - 7 July 2013

I’ll be here for perfumery questions until 10PM ET tonight, and during today  l’ll be writing  and organizing a great giveaway for Natural Perfumers Guild member on our private discussion group on Yahoo. The prizes will be awarded randomly, after the member posts in our group. Here’s a partial list of the prizes which will be given away:

Cover of Secrets of Aromatic Jewelry book

Eden Botanicals essential oils kit value approximately $300 (not the kit they manufacture for my perfumery students)

Steffen Arctander CD Perfume and Flavor Chemicals (Aroma Chemicals Vol 1 & 2) and Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin value $500

Ernest Guenther The Essential Oils – Vol 1: History – Origin in Plants – Production – Analysis Paperback approx value $40

5mls of Siberian musk tincture, and 5mls civet tincture from Bruce Bolmes, SMK Fragrance.  Bruce is the only USA resident with a permit to import and sell musk tincture. Value approx $150

Secrets of Aromatic Jewelry book. Annette Green and Linda Dyette. Approx value $30

Natural soap using perfumer’s formula, 12 four-ounce bars of handcrafted 100% natural soap. The perfumer can furnish a formula that will enhance one of their perfumes. Chris Ziegler of A Little Olfactory will make the soap. Approximate value $100

Olfaction Taste and Cognition book ed. Catherine Rouby et al. 2002, Sealed, new hardback value approx $300

Mermade Magickal Arts Golden Lotus incense warmer.  I reviewed this fabulous no-smoke incense warmer recently http://anyasgarden.com/blog/ask-the-perfumer-4282013-and-an-mermade-incense-warmer-giveaway/

4mls of 4% vintage 2006 ambergris tincture from my personal supply.  Approximate value $50

Half hour consultation via phone or skype with me.  With over 22 years experience in natural perfumery, I can help you with your specific questions about materials or business.  Value $80.

I haven’t contacted many of the Guild members for donations to this draw, so more items may be added soon.  The drawing will occur over several weeks, as Christmas in July can be a real thing!

If you’re interested in joining the Guild, with no promises made for any wins in this draw, just the satisfaction of knowing you’re part of the only organization with a Mission Statement and membership that is dedicated to 100% natural fragrance materials, please visit our website