Category Archives: Natural Perfumery Yahoo group

Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin now under $20

Thursday - 2 November 2017

In 2003, a member of the Natural Perfumery group I host on Yahoo got in touch with the folks at Allured Publishing (Now Allured Business Media) and asked them if they could make the Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin (PFMNO) book available aside from the three-volume set written by Steffen Arctander. The other two volumes held little interest to natural perfumers, since they were on the subject of synthetics.

Hardback version of Steffen Arctander's Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin

Hardback version of Steffen Arctander’s Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin

It was very difficult to find the PFMNO on eBay or other places for less than a small fortune, often around $700. I had snagged a book for $117 on UK eBay from a retired perfume chemist, but that was a rare score. Allured responded positively, and began selling the volume for about $350, if I recall correctly. That was great, and many snapped it up. I developed a relationship with Allured, and they gave 20-30% off with a coupon code I could publicize. What a great resource for us natural perfumers.

In the past few years, Allured has offered fewer books that before, and they are I suppose going through a business model re-do. The main publication I look forward to every month is Perfumery and Flavorist magazine, it’s relevant and educational.

So what is the PFMNO book about? Most regard it as the best reference for plant and animal essences used in perfume and flavors. I turn to it often, to clarify a point, dig deeper into research, or sometimes just for fun, to muse about these delightful fragrances we have for our art.

Imagine my surprise when I visited Abe Books, a supplier of used books I love for their great prices, and found that they’re now printing PFMNO on demand through Create Space, the branch of Amazon that prints on-demand books. This is where I get my textbook printed (unabashed plug: my perfume course is professional and comprehensive, and comes with a 350-page textbook).

Natural Perfumery Institute cover. Textbook written by Anya McCoy.

Just visit this page on Abe Books and order PFMNO and you won’t be sorry you did. In fact, you should rejoice in this new age of fabulous opportunity to own such a classic book.

Natural Perfume Moving Into Its Second Decade – the NP Yahoo Group’s Eleventh Anniversary

Friday - 14 June 2013
The homepage image for the Natural Perfumery Yahoo group is from the cover of John Trueman's book "The Romantic Story of Scent" - the lady declines the offer of jewels for the beauty of a scented flower

The homepage image for the Natural Perfumery Yahoo group is from the cover of John Trueman’s book “The Romantic Story of Scent” – the lady declines the offer of jewels for the beauty of a scented flower

A historian could have an easy task of researching the history of natural perfumery as it underwent an international revival, starting in the early 21st century.  They’d only have to visit the Yahoo Natural Perfumery and plow through the 47,000 messages (to date), extensive Files, Links and other parts of the website.

Here is a message I sent to the group today, and I’d love to share it with you.  If you’d like to join the group, the homepage is here.

Hi Everyone:

On June 14, 2002, I started this group, the third Internet perfumery group I initiated, and the first one dedicated to 100% natural perfumery.

We’re almost 2500 strong now, and we are the biggest, longest-lasting group of this type on the Internet – and it wouldn’t be possible without all of you!

Our archives, Files, Links, Photos and other site resources are incredibly rich with information and networking, two crucial elements that are the heart of any enterprise.

As natural perfumery moves forward in the second decade of its modern revival, we can trace the development of it here, in writing, in the accumulation of knowledge, of correction of false assumptions re: materials and methods and much more.

Thank you all so much for contributing, and for those who are quiet and don’t post, for being part of the network of those striving for knowledge and applying it to your particular part of the world of natural perfumery.

Take care and don’t forget to stop and smell the roses…and the jasmine..and the conifers, etc.

Your listmom,

Anya McCoy

The Natural Perfumery Group on Yahoo is Celebrating its Tenth Anniversary June 14, 2012

Friday - 15 June 2012

PRESS RELEASE:  June 14, 2012 (Miami Shores, Florida, USA)

On June 14, 2002, natural perfumer Anya McCoy founded the Natural Perfumery group on Yahoo!.  She had several goals in mind: promote the ideals of 100% natural perfume; establish files, links, databases, archives and other materials that would establish a strong educational foundation for members; and hold standards of friendly discussion and respect for other’s ideas paramount to maintain a helpful, sharing group. The group now has over 2300 members, and those goals have been met and surpassed.

The Natural Perfumery group on Yahoo was founded on June 14, 2002 by Natural Perfumery icon Anya McCoy and is the largest perfumery group of its type worldwide.

The group website has been the center of the growth of the natural perfumery world during its dynamic growth phase of the past decade. Many novice natural perfumers were buoyed along by the camaraderie, the sharing of tips and solid advice and went on to launch successful perfumeries.

There are over 46,000 messages in the archives, and both new members and veterans use them to search if a topic has been discussed in the past, from rose oil to marketing, the archives are a rich source of information. In addition, there are photo albums that showcase the member’s perfume workshops, distillation experiments and flower-growing expertise.

In 2005, Anya took the bold step of establishing so that the artisan natural perfumers could have a web presence besides their own websites. It functioned as a search engine boost for them, and as a portal for interested consumers who were becoming interested in natural perfumery. Within a year that website evolved into the Natural Perfumers Guild, as Anya revived a defunct organization and brought organization, guidelines and the ability to have a functioning self-regulating association to natural perfumery businesses.

When Anya announced the upcoming tenth anniversary to the group members on June 7th, comments poured in from the international membership. Below are some of the comments:

“I have often checked out the messages of this web group when I’ve had perfume questions that have stumped me. I always find the answers so illuminating.” Susan

“I may not chat much but rest assured I read every single post and save them because they contain so much useful and up-to-date information regarding the Natural Perfume Industry. This is such a warm yet professional group and I am proud to be a part of it. Thank you for all that you do.” Joyce

“Personally I love the fact that this group makes me feel, well no…lets me know, that I am not alone. The other thing I find invaluable is the threads about legislation and the unfairness of new regulations and Anya, you do such an amazing job when it comes to this…your work and that of other natural perfumers here is an inspiration to me and I am sure, to everybody else here.” Marina

“This is the only forum that I even *try* to keep up with anymore. Thank you for providing a platform to discuss what those of us here love most – natural essences. Best wishes for continued success!” Sonsa

“Well, basically, this group has been my primary source of information on natural perfumery since I joined a couple of years ago. I have books and articles, but even those are ones that I found out about through this group. Another thing I absolutely love about this group is that it has put me in touch with some lovely perfumery people here in my own city! Funny that I might never have got to know them if it hadn’t been for an international group.” Johanna

“Anya – Congratulations on 10 years – what a herculean achievement! I have been lurking for a few years and am always reassured and re-motivated to keep plugging on with my artisan scents – working with natural materials is ever absorbing, evolving and inspiring – just like this group. It is so fantastic to have this resource and all the generous contributors who take time and effort to share their knowledge so generously. Thank you!” Tanya

“This is the only group that I keep on my main e-mail account because I want to read new e-mail immediately. There are great conversations and great people involved.” Ankica

“I learned about this group several years ago and read every post. And while soaking up all this valuable information. Thank you to everyone on this list who shares information and encourages others.” Sheree

“How far have we come as an industry in the past 10 years! I bet you’ve seen a lot of maturing and growth in that time! My favourite things about the group are how it connect me to other perfumers from across the world (its easy to feel isolated living in Australia as we are so far away from everyone else!), and also the technical information I can glean either by asking questions of the members, or by looking back at old files and posts.” Liz

“Congratulates Anya on 10 years! Thank you for dedicating your efforts to fostering such a cohesive and knowledgeable community. Fiona

I absolutely love how helpful everyone is with answering questions and giving advice. We are all so fortunate to be part of such a wonderful, sharing community! Thank you Anya for creating a place for us to share our passion and thank you to the group for all of your generous help.” Vikki

“I appreciate Anya’s knowledge as well as everyone here. Congrats on 10 years, wow, just so amazing and impressive.” Deb

“Every morning I sit down with my cup of coffee and read what everyone is
posting. Everyone here is so educated on the matter, it makes me feel even
more new to it all! I want to thank everyone for just being wonderful. Thank you
Anya for starting this group in the first place and thank you everyone
that participates regularly.” Rachel

“The first years of my involvement with natural perfumes were very lonely. I knew very few people, who shared my passion, and I have researched
a lot on the Internet and stumbled on Anya’s Yahoo Group.
So many people who constantly discuss all kinds of practical and
theoretical questions of natural perfumery! This is just class!” Angelika

“I have actually met, even shared good food and wine with some wonderful
people here in this group-from the US, Europe, Australia and even people
from my own city of Wellington, Aotearoa. Being a professional perfumer i
ts vital to keep up with new ideas and discoveries and this group certainly
provides a platform for these. I have enjoyed reading material from the
database and learnt from it. I’ve also enjoyed sampling others work- that’s
really one of the best experiences, finding the personalities within!” Francesca

“Thank you. All your work is much appreciated by very many. There wouldn’t
be half the perfumers there are without you.” Perfumefiend

“Wow, congratulations on 10 years for this outstanding community! This has
been such an welcoming and informative group to be a part of. Happy Anniversary, and a huge thanks to all those who have shared so much over the years to make this group what it is.” Michael

“I have learned so much from this group, from suppliers to packaging and on
and on, so much information given so generously from the members. Thanks
Anya and congrats for a great 10 years.” Zee

“Aloha Anya & All – It is such an honor to me to be a part of this ever growing circle of like minds & kindred spirits… Wow, Ten Years!!! Congratulations should definitely begin with Anya for starting this group & her commitment to continue to nurture, grow, reach & exceed her goals for this group! We are all so very lucky!” gayle

The group’s success is also due to the volunteer work of the moderators
who help with the behind-the-scenes management.
They include Elise Pearlstine, Patty West, Claire G (France), Chris Ziegler and Laura M.

All of the group’s content is kept on a separate offsite hard drive so that the content may be saved for posterity.

Contact:  Gisele Cannon
Phone:  305-951-2134

Temple Perfume Reviewed at Fragrantica "is strong and monumental, like a grandiose and centuries-old tree – a temple built by Nature."

Saturday - 17 October 2009
This is the image I have used for Temple Perfume since its release

I haven’t released new perfumes for over a year now. I believe each perfume should be a work of art, not just an exercise in fragrance creation. I create fragrances all the time, accords both vertical and horizontal, and I’ve not a notion to release them. Every perfume I release must have a definite purpose of expression and intent.

When I recently sent out my two latest perfumes, MoonDance and StarFlower, to media reviewers, I also sent samples of m previous creations to reviewers who were not familiar with my line.

Elena Knezhevich of Fragrantica fell in love with Temple and reviewed it today. Temple is the first, and so far, the only aromatherapy perfume I created. At the time, with hurricanes, wildfires, illnesses, wars, earthquakes and so many other shocks upon the human race seemingly coming at us at record speed, I wanted to draw upon my knowledge of specific scents that could calm and center a person, and Temple was the result.

At the time I wrote: “The rays of hope and focus empower and the steady verdant earth beneath the feet gives faith that the path may be sturdy and firm. Find strength in yourself, be your own Temple.” *and* “Blended along both Ayurvedic and Buddhist systems, Temple is a limited-edition perfume that is specially made for all of the survivors of the many physical disasters that have wrecked communities in the USA. It is hoped it will give courage in the face of post-traumatic stress syndrome that affects the survivors – I know, because I, the perfumer, am one of them. “

Marlen Harrison of the Perfume Critic website, interviewed me some time back and we spoke about Temple perfume.

Today, in the Yahoo group I host for Natural Perfumery, Patti G, a longtime customer and a lover of Temple wrote:

Okay, I read the review, well put, but I don't know if this is good news for you or perhaps selfishly bad news for me, I was so well pleased when Anya wrote she had been able to acquire additional Aged precious oud, therefore able to continue to offer temple.  So, knowing that component is not so easily acquired, I'm not certain if I want Temple to be overly well known, therefore hard to acquire, or kept a fantastic secret.  Really Anya I continue to love this perfume, I have a little less than half a bottle remaining and that's only because I'm a bit stingy in using it.  I who am 55, still have sleepovers of girlfriends who I offer a dash of this to take to bed with them, now they just ask me if I forget.  It's a powerful sleep journey accompaniment."


Nothing to add - this just makes me so happy.

A Celebration of the Perfumes of the Earth and the Art of Those Who Love Them

Wednesday - 22 April 2009
Aztec Gold Plumeria aka Fragipani

Natural perfumers have an innate love of nature, flowers and the beauty of this planet. I say that after years of observing the posts by them on a Yahoo group devoted to natural perfumery. Most like to get their hands “in the soil” and grow herbs and flowers so that they can enjoy the harvest as tasty food or as an ingredient in a perfume they create. I’m one of them. I’ve been a gardener for many, many years. I wrote a paper on organic gardening for a class back in 1972, and later wrote for Organic Gardening magazine. Passionate about herbs, fragrant plants, veggies and tree crops, I’ve grown plants in Pennsylvania, California, Oregon, New York, New Jersey and Florida – talk about spanning growing zones!

The photo of the white and gold plumeria above, the variety known as “Aztec Gold” was taken in 2003 in my garden. I’ve been tincturing the flowers for years, obtaining a beautifully golden fragrant extract that I use in my perfumes. I encourage you to click on the top photo to see it enlarged, when the exuberant nature of the flowers can be more completely appreciated. This year I’m enfleuraging the flowers for the first time, and with only three changes of flowers in the nonhydrogenated organic palm oil shortening, the fragrance I’m collecting is fantastic – much more peachy than the tinctures. The fresh flowers smell like ripe peaches, and the enfleurage fat does, too.

Vietnamese Gardenia

Another flower I’m enfleuraging is the showy and delightful Vietnamese Gardenia. Not at all like the gardenias we’re very familiar with here in the States, it has a distinct ylang ylang note, albeit subdued, and a hint of what I can only describe as Beechnut gum! Floral and spicy, this knockout flower absolutely captivates me.

I’m not sure if I’m correct, but I may be the only person in the United States enfleuraging these flowers. That is part of the unique niche we natural perfumers find ourselves in. We’re always seeking the next great sniff, and we try to extract it ourselves if it isn’t on the market. Many report about the dried fruits, soil, mushrooms, rare flowers and sticky resins they’re exploring via extraction processes.

The future will see many more artisanal extractions like this coming from natural perfumers. The regulators may try to clamp down and make us only buy from narrow-channel sources, but I know we’ll just keep on our artistic and outlaw path. It’s just what we do.

20% off all Allured Publishing Media books through December 31, 2008

Tuesday - 2 December 2008

All Allured Publishing Media books on sale for 20% off through 12/31/08

The image above is of the Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin volume – generously offered separately by Allured when they realized the demand for it among natural perfumers. Previously it was bundled in a three-volume set and cost $900 dollars. When Guild member David Mark contacted them, and their Book Manager and I talked, they realized that the natural perfumery group on Yahoo and the Natural Perfumers Guild were signs that this book was needed as a solo item. We will forever be grateful to Allured Business Media for this.

For several months now Allured has made a very generous discount offer on all the books they publish. Now, through December 31, 2008 just use the code anyaperfume at checkout.

The Steffen Arctander book Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin is widely regarded as the natural perfumers bible. Click here for the Arctander book on – but don’t limit yourself to just that classic – check out the vast library of industry-related books here via the extensive menu.

Coupon code: anyaperfume which offers 20% on all Allured books has been extended until the end of December 2008.

PS: The Natural Perfumers Guild is offering 20% off new memberships through December 31st, 2008 too!

The Obama Natural Perfume project moves forward

Wednesday - 12 November 2008

Members of the Yahoo Natural Perfumery group are moving forward with the plans I wrote about earlier. We wish to create a series of perfumes in honor of the election of Barack Obama, unifying the perfumes under one theme yet to be decided. The project is less than a week old, and many ideas have been submitted on the NP group, but we felt to be able to sort through participating members ideas and lists, we needed to create a smaller group for the project. Above is the photo just uploaded to the new group’s webpage, and below is the draft description:

This is a cooperative worldwide project of natural perfumers wishing to create a perfume honoring the spirit of unity and progressiveness we feel because of the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

We are going to create a list of natural aromatics that have relevance to the new President: oils from Africa, Indonesia, America and perhaps all the continents will be considered. We will refine the list and each perfumer will create a perfume from any they choose from that list.

Then the perfumes will be collected and sent to the President. We will decide on packaging, message and other details as this is a cooperative effort meant to show several things, including the beauty of natural perfumes, the O.N.E. factor – Obama’s New Era – and all of the associated HOPE and CHANGE. Each perfumer will choose the name for their perfume and we will decide on a phrase – such as ONE, HOPE or CHANGE to use as our unifying title for the project.

There will be frequent updates as this project moves forward.

Natural Perfumery Group – Sixth Anniversary

Saturday - 14 June 2008
Natural Perfumery Yahoo group – Sixth Anniversary, 1500+ members strong

In 2000, I started a perfumery group on the old server. It was populated by about two dozen folks that I knew from aromatherapy and fashion groups, and it served its purpose, but there were a lot of elements that could make it more educational, fun and personal missing. So, on June 14, 2002, I started a group on Yahoo dedicated to natural perfumery. Little did I realize that as the first few souls trickled in that it would grow to over 1500 members in six years. Six years on I need moderators to help me manage the group, and they’re wonderful, dedicated friends who I can trust to pick up the work in their respective time zones around the world – a big thanks to Claire, Elise, Chris, Carol, Laura, Jennifer and Patty!

It’s wonderful to read the happiness in the posts of those who discover the group and realize they aren’t alone in their love of natural perfumes. Some have shared that they felt they were the only people in the world loving natural perfumes since the art doesn’t get a lot of press, and natural perfumes still don’t appear on store shelves. Over the six years, the group members have generously shared links, tips, insights into their creative process, fears, ambitions and basically all the elements that go into making a natural perfumer.

I’ve seen folks post passionately for a few weeks or month until they got their bearings, and then they fade a bit, perhaps never to post again. They’re still reading, getting the emails or digests every day, but as I have found over the years, most perfumers are shy, introspective and so their “lurking” is welcome and they know they have a place to go when needed, to find some information and then become quiet again.

My friend Chris will celebrate eight years of her group Oils, Herbs etc next month with a roster of over 1700 members. We often share the joys and trials of being list moms to such huge groups. Some times the “kids” are chatty and sharing, other times a bit cantankerous, and we list moms just try to encourage the good and deflect the grouchy stuff, just like in real life. At the end of the day the rewards of having such a family from all over the world is our reward, the stuff dreams are made of, the stuff that puts a smile on our lips as we fall to sleep at night.

Why? Because on the other side of the world, one of the group members is just waking up, logging on to see the latest posts, check the archives for a answer to one of the pressing problems concerning an aromatic, or just noodling around the site to pick up some new angle. It’s all good, and Yahoo is to be thanked for providing such a home base for so many people. I know it’s helped natural perfumery grow, helped a community build, and will continue to help all the newbies who, perhaps tomorrow, do a web search and find a group of kindred souls who share their passion for natural aromatics.

In Search of Scentless Ben (Oil) ;-)

Saturday - 31 May 2008

Posted earlier today on various groups I host on Yahoo and one I don’t, but my friend’s group is dedicated to oils and herbs:

No, it’s not a man, and if he was, I guess he’d be like the killer in Perfume, the book/movie. The image is of a camel providing the power for an ancient oil press, probably like the same one used centuries ago for moringa/Ben/Behn oil.

Oil of Ben or “Behn” is Moringa oleifera, loved for its many useful properties, not the least of which is its use as an extraction medium for flower scent in enfleurage. It has been used for this purpose, and as a perfume base, since the time of the Egyptians. The seed oil can also be used for cooking and lubrication and other purposes. It is believed to never go rancid, but I can’t comment on that.

So I was rereading a bit of Piesse the other day and he comments on the “inodorous” Behn oil from Jamaica and notes its use as an enfleurage medium. A few years ago I got some scentless Ben oil from a NP group member who was importing it. The next batch had a noticibly nutty scent which rendered it unusable for perfumery. Then a friend in Hawaii was considering opening a store at the time (2005?) and she got a horrid stinky batch from a dealer in the US.

All this came to mind this past week when I was speaking with Steve, a group member and he was trying to source Ben oil, and he mentioned he got a particularly stinky one, and I popped up with the name of the US supplier and he said, yes, that was from them.

Many, many countries are now producing Ben oil – up from just a few sources a scant few years ago.

If we use the power of the numbers in this group, and y’all go out and source/sample various Ben oils, perhaps we can come up with a scrupulous source that has the scentless stuff we can use.

I guess we can start by googling moringa seed oil or ben oil.

It’s Always Fun to Win!

Wednesday - 2 January 2008

It was a great surprise to find out this morning that I won something yesterday, the first day of the new year. Here’s what I posted on my Yahoo group, and please note the contest I’ve now posted there is only open to members of that group:

I'm not like many other perfumers -- I do not sample, or keep up with what's on the market. As an artist, I like to create for my own muse. I do get to sample the lovely perfumes of the Guild members, because they send them to me for the Guild Scent Library.

Marina, of the great blog Perfume Smellin' Things recently had a drawing for eight of her special favorites of the past year, and I won, picked at random out of 112 entries! I used to win stuff all the time when I entered contents, and I haven't for a while (entered contests, that is), so I'm going to start again. Stuff I've won in the past: An Apple Ibook, a trip out of town to an away game with the Tampa Buccaneers, lots of electronics, and yes, some perfume and stuff I can't remember. I just felt the urge to see what 8 of her favs of 2007 smelled like, and I was blessed with my name being picked.

Mandy's Tango is in the win -- so that makes it doubly nice!

From the site: The winner, randomly chosen, will receive small vials of Jubilation 25, Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia, Tango, Chanel No 18, 31 Rue Cambon, Silver Factory, Bois de Copaiba and Black Orchid Voile de Fleur.

I found the announcement of my win by accident early this morning. As fate would have it, I was reading the great story of my friend and customer Ida, and how a perfumer honored her by creating a perfume that is "her". I'm sure she's way more "over the moon" than me by her "win" - being singled out by the perfumer as a perfumista worthy of a signature scent, but my little win got my toes tapping :-) , especially since I was in such a good mood reading her good fortune/surprise, and then, up pops my name. Whee!

A Great start to 2008!

And to "Pay it forward" -- I'll send a set of samples of my perfumes, including Temple, which is not available in sample size - to any of the group member who posts here just a sentence or two about why they love/need/appreciate this group. This contest will close on Sunday, the 7th, and the winner will be picked randomly.

Update: Wow, I'm butterfingers lately, lol. I posted this five times. I'm not *that* excited by the win, but I guess I'm just in a big old rush lately. And for Maureen, who found the *funniest!* typo on my year-end round up, darlin', you won yourself a set of samples of my perfumes, plus a nice vial of ruh kewda, the rarest of the rare. Lube, dube, wube, hube, tube, ha ha ha public, mublic, wublic, etc. - oh, and I added some more snarks to the 2007 page, encrypted ones, too, no typos there! And I've remembered to add the labels for this post. The good, the bad, the weird