Distilling an island: Pink Pepper

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The perfumes of Maulana’s gardens

My house in lefke has the most beautiful pepper tree of the village. The pepper tree has long falling branches that dance in the wind as if they were long hairs. From this I imagined that it would be a good remedy for falling hair. Read more

Pyramids, lies and mythos of Modern Perfumery

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From my house in lefke.

If you believe that olfactory pyramids published by the industry are meant to give you information about the ingredients or about the smell of a perfume you are really ingenuous.

Pyramids are but a marketing tool used to persuade you into buying frags.

If you believe that the ingredients listed in the pyramids are in the fragrances you just missed the point. Pyramids are to make you dream a of a wonderful world where perfumes are made with real musk, real amber and real rose…

If it is written “Lavender”, it does is not meant the extract of lavender flowers, it means “lavender note” such as the one you find in dish wash soap. It smells nothing like lavender but it is, let us say, “legal lavender” because if it is not written “Lavender essential oil”, it is a “legal lye”. Read more

The biggest myth of perfumery

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From my house in lefke

The biggest of all perfumery myths is that making perfumes is complicate, technical and time consuming. It is not true, making perfumes is easy, instinctive and fast. I have never spent more than 2 hours on any of my perfumes.

In all arts there is 99% of work and 1% of inspiration. In perfume making, the work is 1% and 99% is inspiration.

The claim that perfumers have to work for years on a fragrance before it can be released on the market is a carefully cultivated myth.
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Old and new myth of perfumery

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From my house in Lefke

Fixative ingredients, one of the strongest myths of perfumery.

If you intend by fixative a single molecule that will smell on your skin for hours after all the rest of the perfume has disappeared, then fixatives exist, they are called calone, macrolytic musks and so on… The more persistent, the more incompatible with your biology and the more dangerous to your health, I affirm.

If by fixative you intend an aromatic product that will carry your whole perfume in the time, give him persistence on your skin without leaving pieces of it behind, then just listen to Guy Robert, whose fame as a perfumer is no more be done, but whose iconoclastic nature is largely unknown.

The author of Madame Rochas, Caleche, Equipage, Gucci Parfum and Dioressence says: “Lasting power is not easy to reach, nobody knows how and why this is happening. I hate and find stupid that theory of “fixateurs”.   We all know these many little songs we are hearing anywhere and forgetting almost immediately, but, from time to time, one of these songs sticks to our ear and we go on whistling it the whole day … I can assure you the author of these successful songs do not use any “fixatives ingredients” to get that result …”.

“Nobody knows why this is happening…”,  “Fixative ingredients being just a theory… “???…

This is enough food for thoughts for the readers today. Just recall how many apparently competent and qualified people talked to you about fixative ingredients.

“Lasting power is not easy to reach…” I would say that it can be reached by sheer luck only, but if by perfume you intend the last smelling molecule of calone or Sandeol that you enjoy, be happy with it, but really, this is not perfume.

Debunking the myths of perfumery

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From my house in Lefke

What makes quality in a perfume?

There is no doubt that the quality of a perfume depends only from the quantity of naturals that it contains.

There cannot be a good perfume without some amount naturals.

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Distilling an Island. Turunj: bitter orange leaves and flowers

THE PERFUMES OF MAULANA’S GARDENS

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The orange tree is really the symbol of North Cyprus. The Orange grooves are all over and the orange trade was the wealth this region.

Turunj, bitter orange tree is called here ”father of oranges” because all other citruses are grafted on its trunk trunk. Turunj has the most fragrant leaves of all citruses and its flowers are used to extract the essential oil of Neroli. Read more

Tri-dimensional and Spiritual Perfumes

By AbdesSalaam Attar on Basenotes

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It is a mystery why modern men and women, so obsessed with erasing their own bodily smells, are nevertheless so attracted to the animal scents in perfumes that they will consistently prefer fragrances containing “animalic” ingredients to those made of purely botanical ingredients.

In times when these rare materials were still used in commercial perfumes, the purpose was first of all to get fragrances sold, and it worked so well that they were deemed indispensable in fine perfumery. Today, the use of animal scents is a very hard path to tread, because of prohibitive high prices, the difficulty of sourcing the materials and ethical dilemmas.

Apart from a few “politically incorrect” indie natural perfumers, the use of real animal ingredients has been abandoned. An interesting exception has been a French nose who rediscovered a strange south African animal raw material, Hyraceum.

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Composing a natural fragrance

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Perfumes with a meaning: “Holy Water”

Composing a natural fragrance is a totally different approach from “writing” a synthetic one.

It is important to understand that a natural perfume is constructed not just with odours by using the nose, but with smells that have a meaning in the olfactory language, following an idea.

The perfumer who uses natural materials is handling olfactory archetypes. Smells are manifestations of the archetypes from which they originate and which they represent. For example pine scent is the olfactory archetype of all trees, rose of flowers and cinnamon of spices. Each of these odours belongs to our lives and has been recorded in our olfactory memory in association to emotions that we have experienced or inherited congenitally from our ancestors.

Natural ingredients are the real archetype, unlike the synthetic surrogates or imitations, they have the maximum emotional impact. In literature, with human archetypes such hugely different works as the Odyssey, The Little Prince or The old man and the sea can be written, but in all cases, it is necessary to build a very simplified structure for the story, which must remain visible from the beginning to the end. It would be like writing the story of a person’s life. The structure of the story is simple “he was born, he lived, he died”. It is always the same story. All the rest are details, 60 years of events, an entire life, are just the context, in which the structure is understood. If we lose sight of the structure, which is the tragedy of life and death, of human greatness and misery, then we shall see only the context and the story will be without meaning , just confused and confusing. In “writing” a natural perfume, where the notes themselves are so much more complex than the single molecules used in synthetic perfumery, and are so laden with evocative power, the first error to avoid absolutely is to drown the main accord in details until they hide the structure. Read more