Chef, by trade, since 1993. My independent perfumery study began in 2007 when I tried (and failed miserably) to produce a fragrance with some essential oils purchased from the local health foods store. It immediately became an obsession which led me to ten years of researching and studying perfumery principles, history, and aroma chemicals
Chypre-Siam has been a steady seller this year and the supply is running low.
I am presently finishing my amber bases and jasmine base to formulate a new batch. Chypre-Siam should be ready for bottling by early 2019.
For my amber bases I procure my labdanum and other oils and resins from Eden Botanicals. The oakmoss I use is from Mountain Rose Herbs in Oregon. It is dark, viscous and raw – none of that low atranol crap!
The runner-up lately, to my surprise, has been Mousse Illuminee.
I was initially a little self-conscious about Mousse Illuminee when I first bottled it for release. It was more of a self indulgence when I constructed it; with an over the top, borderline medical, opening of frankincense, cypress leaf and laurel; all surrounding a chunky dose of treemoss absolute from Robertet. I went uber early 80’s in style with this one!
A new batch of Mousse Illuminee is also in the works as its supply is starting to fade out.
Floral, creamy, woody, transparent An intangible summer night Moonlit fields of white flowers
Notes: Pomelo, Tuberose, White Rose Petals, Sandalwood, Coconut Milk, Musk
I love white florals. There’s something about the way they take over the evening air. We live out the human struggle and their perfume quietly weaves its way into the backdrop of our lives…or at least those of us that have, at some point, lived within the vicinity of a jasmine vine, a champaca tree, citrus trees etc etc.
I am especially in love with tuberose; and am not alone, as a simple Google search for the intoxicating blossoms would prove.
My go-to tuberose fragrances had been Robert Piguet’s Fracas and Serge Lutens’ Tubereuse Crimenelle. That was until around 2014 when I first made acquaintance with perfumer Paul Kiler of PK Perfumes.
Paul Kiler is a hidden treasure of Southern California. He is a database of perfume knowledge and history, and is an accomplished perfumer. Paul has a knack for balancing complex, almost baroque, sets of notes resulting in fragrances that continually unfold and develop on skin. The times I had driven out to visit him at his lab he would have more than one base or accord that he’d be tinkering with on the stirrer whilst compounding a formula at the scale. And at the same time he’d have some bottles heating outdoors with different Schiff bases he was experimenting with. Seeing this was indeed a fountain of inspiration for me.
When I sampled Paul’s TNT (Tama n Tuberose) I was blown away. It is realistic as a live flower. It is indolic, almost fleshy, and sweet and heady, and all the while it is bright and has ‘lift’. This is from where I drew my inspiration to create Champs Lunaires. I experimented for several months with various tuberose formulas until I was finally satisfied. Every so often I’d even run to my bottle of TNT as a reference point.
With Paul Kiler (right) at the PK Perfumes lab
For my own tuberose I’ve tried to convey the realism of the live flowers with emphasis on the lactonic qualities. I also wanted a transparent yet persistent floralcy, like white flowers on a summer night; they just keep coming at you in waves, yet they’re evasive, you don’t know from where they emanate.
I took this tuberose accord and set it into a formula, accenting it with white rose, sandalwood and pomelo. I tweaked up the lactonic notes to create the coconut milk effect and used musk ketone for a vintage feel.
All in all I kept the supporting notes subtle because Champs Lunaires is all about the tuberose. Milky white tuberose blossoms in the evening air.
Champs Lunaires will be available by the end of July. I do have some preliminary samples available. You can contact me here, my Etsy site or via Basenotes and I will send one your way.
The original inspiration for Derviche was Emeraude de Coty, of which it smells nothing like! I wanted a rich old-school oriental amber fragrance with a bergamot opening but with the power of many of the fragrances coming from the Arabic perfume houses.
I first developed a labdanum-rich amber base to build the fragrance around and then set out to experiment with the “power” behind it. This involved weeks of tweeking ratios between different musk and ambergris molecules until I found the balance I sought.
I then gave it a heavy dose of the jasmine base I developed for Chypre-Siam. The “antique” mentioned in the fragrance notes is a reference to the older jasmine bases used around the turn of the century. I used cues from these bases in developing my own.
Derviche is rich in vanilla, labdanum and jasmine -its a heavy hitter. The bergamot sets it off just enough before being completely devoured.