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!

46 thoughts on “For Natural Perfumers, every day is Earth Day – and a giveaway!

  1. Nika

    Earth takes care about all of us for many years, so wise human should do the same in return. I try to be grateful for every bits that Earth offers me – from blooming flower to enjoy to fresh country air to breath, from food we eat to healing energy it gives when we are sick or in bad mood.
    Thank you Anya, for this post and bringing this theme to attention. We all should remember celebrating Earth every day, because we can’t live without it.

  2. April Pouchie

    For Earth Day I say,
    Hooray, hooray, hooray!
    Pan and his lute,
    Lure the children to the water-
    Lilting music notes
    Fill the air
    So delicate and warm
    Like oakoss and costus root.

  3. Jen

    Thank God for The young people who cared about three Earth in the late 60′ s and Early 70’s. This movement stared what needed to be done for Gaia ! I shudder to think if things kept going the way they were.. What would Earth look like ? The rivers would be sludge.. Scary.

  4. Elaine R.

    I love that you made a perfume for Pan and Kudra’s perfume! Jitterbug Perfume-my favorite novel. I would love to receive the Pan scent, so earthy, musky and primal.

  5. Lena

    Earth Day is a wonderful day to focus on the beauty and bounty of our wondrous planet. I’m going to spend it in my fragrant garden!

  6. jane werthmann

    i love how you refer to the fragrance as”agrestic forest and field” conjures up a delightful aroma.

  7. Holly Simpson

    I think it’s a day where our global conscience recognises how wonderful our earth is and the desperate need to treat her well so she remains wonderful.

  8. Dee Gendrin

    Earth Day is a very awesome thing to do. It was also my Dads birthday so it had special; meaning for me. And to think that that you, Anya were at the very first Earth Day is a really cool thing to know about you. 🙂

  9. cynthia

    I’m teaching third grade and seeing these kids do their presentation on ways to save the earth then singing “We are the World” makes my eyes tear up!. This generation is inheriting a lot of problems.

  10. Holly Forbes

    It’s so important to me to celebrate mother earth and such a gift to be able to give back to the earth. That is what earth day means to me!

  11. Mendy

    I work retail, so I miss the outdoor activities hosted in honour of our Mama. Luckily, I work with natural supplements, so I am reminded of our relationship to her and of her healing abilities. Thank you, Mama!!

  12. April

    I’ve always been quite literal with Earth day, I make a point of putting my bare feet in some freshly turned soil just to connect and smell life around me. I do a lot of planting too. This year my daughter and I are planting perennial fruits together, as I hopefully instill the same joy of growing things and green places into the next generation. So lovely that you got to be there for the first Anya, and that for you, it must make it an extra special day.

  13. Rita Viete

    To me, every day is Earth day 🙂 I love gardening, it is the best stress therapy and relaxing time. I check my plants every day and see how they grow, how buds open up… it is magical. Happy Earth day!

  14. Doreen stelton

    This is very interesting. It makes a curious sort of sense to me earth day would start in Philly , or near. That whole region seems populated by magical artistic people with earth reverence. As of late, I am encountering fantastic people from around there with earthy respect… Figures, you and earth day hail from there…

    Happy Earth Day to you!

  15. Natalie

    To me, Earth Day represents a reminder that we should be reaching to be more environmentally aware and have that awareness impact us every day of our lives. On my most memorable Earth Day event, I visited an earth-sheltered house that was built off the grid. Someday I want to live in a house like that, but in the meantime, I try to make lower impact choices.
    Pan sounds wonderful, and very appropriate for the day. I love your comment that For natural perfumers, every day is Earth Day.

  16. Fazal

    To me, Earth Day is a reminder this is the only home we have as Carl Sagan reminded us. Until we branch out to other worlds which is not gonna happen at least for few decades or until the next century, we have to take good care of this world or we may perish before we have had the chance to conquer other worlds. This does not only mean taking care of the environments but also the forces that lead to wars.

    Thanks a lot for the generous draw.

  17. Lisa Starflower

    Earth Day to me means the sun has entered Taurus I study astrology, and spring is on! I was in love with a fragrant glade near a river in urban Milwaukee near my apt– until it was ripped up for an ironically Earth Day-ish solar panel training field! I was gutted, and hope to smell it again 🙁 Tx!

  18. Robbie

    To me, Earth Day is a time to celebrate the beauty and wonder of this planet, to be grateful for the bounty and the elements of Mother Earth that sustain us, and to think of what we might give back to Mother Earth in gratitude for her hospitality and gifts.

  19. Connie R. Pantoja

    To me, the concept of Earth Day embodies clean, sustainable living. Anya’s teachings of perfuming with organic essential oils fits that culture perfectly; this is why I choose to embrace her ideologies.

  20. Juniper

    I love this post. Earth Day is so important, and somehow this year’s Earth Day feels especially potent. It seems like our collective awareness of our Mother Earth ebbs and flows as we take more for granted, then step back and see the bigger picture. I try to remain eternally grateful for the Earth and her gifts, and as you touched upon, her wild, feral wisdom that keeps us from becoming too domesticated. Natural perfume – the blend of art and creativity and unique gifts of the natural world is such a wonderful way to honor Earth Day! I would love splash of your Pan to bring me into even more connection with our wonderful wild world.

  21. Liz K

    Earth Day always makes me think of elementary school celebrations. Recycling drives, plant sales, road-side cleanup, etc. We were properly programmed at an early age 😉
    Pan is one of my favorite scents to wear while gardening. It wears well with sweat and soil and the cats love it. Happy Earth Day!

  22. Maja

    I think I am having an “Earth Day” every time I recycle, take a walk instead of a car, care for my plants…But the official Earth Day is a great way to remind us at least once a year that we are the stewards of this Earth, and if care for her well, she’ll care a hundredfold in return.

    Happy Earth Day!:)

  23. Alyssa Taylor

    I believe earth day will mean more to be than it has before. Always been a nature lover, but I know have a a great friend who really shares my passion and we have plans to celebrate this year!

  24. Mary PANcoast

    Nature is everything to me…I work daily to keep things as nature driven as possible so my girls can feel the arms of God instead of the hammer of humans. Love.

  25. Carlos

    Reading your blog and thinking about Earth Day reminded me of a day in 1975. I was 13, it was like any other fun-filled summer day.

    While at the park to play baseball, I laid down in the grass to rest for a bit. For the first time I think, I smelled the color green in the grass all around me – it was wonderful.

    I still remember that moment, that smell, and that feeling of utter contentment.

    Thanks for taking me back.

  26. Gabriela

    Earth Day is everyday as we must be aware of and do things, even small ones to take care of the planet. I would love to read your blogs again also!

    1. Anya Post author

      Gabriela, you have won the Pan EdP in the random draw! Please email me privately with your mailing address. Thanks for participating, and yes, Earth Day is every day!


  27. Linda Lavalle

    I really enjoyed your rejuvenated blog in honor of Earth Day I never knew
    that the Philly event was the first celebration of its kind, and including the poster
    image was an added attraction. I did not know about Belmont Plateau/Fairmount
    Park in Philadelphia–9,200 acres!! I especially liked the photo of the Cobbs Creek
    stepping stones–that symbolize all your steps to where you are now.
    I lost my daughter this past year, who was a budding herbalist and who loved
    all plant life, she taught me about herbs. Her appreciation for the life of plants and how they heal us and nurture us inspired me on my own journey from herbs in my garden to creating my own cosmetics. Love the wonderful samples
    of perfumes I ordered this past holiday. Keep on creating, we love it!!
    the deep kn

  28. RL Reffruschinni

    I’ve missed your blog! I love your memories of the park. I have always felt a close connection to Earth. Earth Day just makes me sad, because we still have so far to go to protect and honor our home. In fact, many children today are even more removed from nature. I hope we can instill enough love and wonder for our Earth in our youth,so they can continue preserving it’s beauty.

  29. Deborah Weber

    I spend part of every Earth Day creating a zine celebrating some wonderful aspect of our beautiful Mother Earth. I love knowing I’m joining with countless others this day in conscious awareness of all the gifts we receive from Gaia, and in reflecting on how we can in turn be a nurturing blessing to her as well. We have much to learn about stepping lightly and always acting with lovingkindness to all.

  30. Tambri

    Loved this blog about Earth Day and learning about your own history. I think it’s so appropriate that Earth Day is in the spring, which, as the season of hope, promise, rebirth and renewal, is also my favorite season of the year.

  31. Cynthia Richardson

    To me, EarthDay means a day to make as little impact on the planet as possible. The less we do, the more we celebrate

  32. Dave

    Gratitude and honor for Mother Earth, in the sometimes-hectic-feeling experience as a human, this holiday is a reminder to slow down and say thank you to her.

  33. Anya Post author

    The winner of the Pan EdP is Garbriela, chosen in a random drawing. Thanks everyone for participating, and helping me rebirth my blog on Earth Day.

    Here’s to hopeful wishes for a clean, healthy planet for generations to come!


  34. RMAU

    Thank you sooooooo much for bringing into the open how toxic conventional perfumes are. I ve had an allergy for perfumed soaps since ten years and so glad I m not having allergic reactions to natural perfumes.


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