TSWR-citron, circles, Evernote and more


This Scented Week In Review for January 30, 2015:

TSWR gives me an overview of how my olfactory training and my life are meeting and feeding each other.  This week life gave me citrons and I’ve had to make some citron-ade. Let’s just say it was a challenging week but the evidence is there that my nose and my brain are moving in the same direction and that’s cause for even a tiny bit of personal pleasure.

Experiments – well, I’ve set aside my initial formulations for the project. I felt like I no longer had control over it and they weren’t expressing the direction of the brief. Therefore, I embarked earlier this month on a whole new set of experiments for my final perfume project.  Two sets of seven ratios. One set based around the heart notes of Neroli, Tuberose, Ylang Ylang complete and extra. And the second set around the heart notes of Tuberose, Helichrysum and Tiare, absolute. Now I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere. (wherever there ends up taking me :))

Citron – Cédrat in French, or Cedro in Italian. I saw this at the grocery store and having the essential oil in my possession I had to hold the real thing, smell it, feel its rough skin. It’s about 2 or 3 times the size of a lemon and only faintly resembles it in smell. It smells more like grapefruit. The peel is very porous, bumpy and uneven.  When I dig into it a smell reminiscent of clementines fills my nostrils, the kind that we used to eat as kids. I just don’t get that smell any more. Citron is much less pungent than lemon or lime. It’s a subtle citrus.

Productivity – I can’t stop talking about the benefits I’ve reaped since starting to use Evernote in December. Since implementing it I am able to start my day with a clear desk! Not one piece of paper of things to do. It’s now my go to place for like, everything! From birthdays to goals to reminding me what size I need to crop my images for the blog and for my newsletter. Evernote does this and more. But forget productivity, the true benefit of this app is that it frees my mind to create and that, dear friends is worth all the data entry effort!

The Circle – more on this in the upcoming post on Lessons In Perfumery but needless to say that I have since freed myself from the Perfume Pyramid! Ahhhaa! I didn’t even know I was a perfume prisoner until I found the circle. It just makes so much more sense and there’s lots more room for play! Give it a whirl!






building a powder accord



You get the idea. The whole exercise is to allow you to narrow things down to the best one.  But what does best mean?!  The one that’s the most harmonious, the most deftly juxtaposed, the one I like the most? What?!

There is definitely fear around creating your first perfumes. I think it’s all about a fear of wasting precious materials, or maybe it has to do with undue attachment to our creations, maybe a fear of failing.  Or worse still – a combination of all three! Oh, the initial agony!

Right. So perhaps I should fill you in a bit.  The exercise for class was to create a base accord around the Nature ID ingredient Ionone Blend which on its own smells soft, of talc and of Irises. I thought I wasn’t inspired because the powder family really doesn’t attract me much but I was in for a surprise because when I actually sat down to formulate I was awash with ideas.

First I had to choose two ingredients — but which two?! The initial choices are crucial because, like quantum physics, each choice made eliminates a host of other suitable marriage prospects, effectively narrowing your focus. Add them to the Ionone Blend, wait a day for it to mature, evaluate and add anywhere from another two to howmanyever you wanted. This choice was a bit easier as I became more serious about the direction and therefore the choices.  Add these then wait a day and evaluate.

I like all of them but test #2.  With test #1 I pushed my limits with the florals and it dries down to a beautiful, round curve. Test #3 and #4 are the ones that dry down the best.  But my final choice is #3: crisp, clean and clear this formula is more refreshing, more apt for a cologne. It comes and goes this one, like hide and seek. 3 hours later it is a very light floral that’s barely there, just below the surface, you think there’s nothing going on and you want to set it aside, dismiss it, but just before you do it reveals another side of itself.  Yes, it’s definitely floral but the Labdanum and Cedarwood lend the whole accord depth and character.

The formula is really simple:  Ionone Blend (1 drop), Rose Absolute (6 drops), Cedarwood (4 drops), Labdanum (3 drops), Vanilla Absolute (2 drops) and Ylang Ylang (5 drops).

Answer to my own question from earlier. My fear lies in letting them go.  My goal moving forward then is to learn to be more detached about my creations, which I’m sure will give them greater freedom of expression and wings to fly.

Happy Thursday!