Tag: Fougere

Some All Natural Offerings and Other Goodies

It has been a good few months since I’ve last written. So much has been happening; Rogue Perfumery is transforming from a side hobby to a full time operation. I resigned my chef position in June to be able to dedicate 100% to Rogue, and there is so much to do!

Many projects are underway. A few we shall be seeing later this coming autumn will be the release of two all-natural fragrances in 30ml sizes, names are still pending. One is a chypre the other a vintage-classic style fougere fragrance. These are composed 100% of natural essential oils, absolutes and extracts and dissolved into alcohol at parfum strength. The compositions are rather costly to formulate but it is delightful to see the results that can be obtained directly from mother nature.

These formulas took a lot of time to compose as I grasped onto the giant learning curve. To be honest, natural perfumery was an idea I initially scoffed at. I saw it purely as a limitation; a set of crippling parallels, like taking a set of colors away from a painter’s palette. Perhaps it was my rebellious nature, like in my chef days, the way we’d roll our eyes as a vegan request made its way into the kitchen. The creations from Hiram Green, Ayala Moriel, Russian Adam and Ensar should be plenty enough proof to change anybody’s mind.

Also coming this fall will be Chypre-Siam in a concentrated parfum oil as well as a tuberose oil parfum. These will be offered in 3ml sizes, presented in a lovely cut crystal bottle.

Spring 2020 – Looking Ahead

I’m constantly thumbing through my notebook of “sketches” for future fragrances. Constantly trying to decide which ideas get priority for the coming year. This past April I had planned to release Ishtar, but just before I jumped into the formulation phase I pulled back and it never left its prototype status. 

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Originally Ishtar was an incense fragrance based on frankincense, benzoin and myrrh. I used a few tricks (an iso e overload being one of them) to give an expansive smoke effect. It was a nice fragrance… it was interesting, but in the end it was just a bit ordinary. There are so many great incense frags out there; for one I found the Comme de Garcons incense line quite impressive.

The Ishtar model went back into reformulation to change its direction. I took the fragrance style from incense to attar, and gave it a vintage chypre perfume twist. I kept the resinous heart of frankincense, benzoin and myrrh and set it upon a base of oakmoss (lots!) and bergamot. I then added a large dose of jasmine absolute and double-distilled patchouli and voila!! Ishtar is now reborn as a fragrance I want under the Rogue label! It is a bold, masculine chypre fragrance. The frankincense practically punches you in the face before the benzoin tames it down. The jasmine took on a quality like the florals I remember in vintage Jules. A small bite of galbabum gives the composition a dark, sappy green character before it settles into a soft leathery base.
This new Ishtar prototype will soon enter the full-batch formulation phase and will be ready for release by next spring. I tincture a rather large amount of frankincense resin for this fragrance which must rest for a period of time before I filter it. Ishtar is actually made up of about 80% natural essential oils, absolutes and resins. Not necessarily my style, as many of you may know I love my aroma chemicals -especially the banned and restricted ones 🙂 This time around I got by with just a little hydroxycitronellal and a few other goodies to seal the deal.

Fougere L’Aube now available!

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Golden dewdrops sparkle upon lush green ferns. Fougere L’Aube is cool and fresh, like the brisk air that surrounds the glow of the morning sun.

Notes include: Lavender, Green Citrus, Galbanum, Geranium, Hay, Moroccan Rose, Amber, Camphor, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Musk and Costus

About:
I built the initial base structure of Fougere L’Aube as a classic 1930s fragrance which yielded a cozy, classic scent. It was reminiscent of the men’s colognes and aftershaves I smelled as a child; very nostalgic, very familiar.
I then took this base formula and accentuated it with a few modern aroma chems and the fragrance was completely transformed into a super-fresh late 1980s style fougere. It’s a bit of a projection monster.

Fougere L’Aube opens promptly with bright lavender and citrus notes, backed with bitter green galbanum.
What I find interesting is that although a large portion of the fragrance is built on rose and sandalwood, what I perceive is not an attar-like note in the middle but rather it melds into the ‘fougere effect’ through and through.

From what you see in the color of the juice, I used a rather large percentage of naturals; a few of which include: lavender absolute and essential oil, real Indian sandalwood (santalum album), Moroccan rose absolute, pure cold-pressed bergamot, petitgrain bigarade coeur from Robertet and oakmoss absolute.

Ingredients:  SD Alcohol, Fragrance, Coumarin, Linalool, Lyral, Citronellol, Limonene, Farnesol, Oakmoss, Alpha Isomethyl Ionone, Citral, Geraniol, Hydroxycitronellal, Isoeugenol, Musk Xylol, Eugenol, Methyl octine carbonate

Fougere L’Aube Update

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Yesterday I uncapped the resting formula for Fougere L’Aube to evaluate its progress and was pleasantly surprised.
The modern embellishments only occupy around 5% of the formula but the difference is a world apart!

My original concept for Fougere L’Aube was to create a simple old-school fougere, using historically correct ingredients and then tweak it from there. And so I did.
The original base formula is a bit animalic due to the play between the costus and musk. It has the slightly bitter, dry grassiness of coumarin underlying plenty of aromatic lavender and citrus… it’s a good textbook fougere with echoes that fall somewhere between vintage Fougere Royale, Canoe and Caron Pour Homme. I used some spicy clove notes to give more warmth against the amber.

And then came the tweaks. I began by giving eastern hints by boosting the sandalwood and then adding Moroccan rose absolute and camphor. I boosted the effects of the Hydroxycitronellal with Lyral because I find it to be a beautiful performing chem. Beyond that, I used a few modern chems in trace amounts (as little as one tenth of 1%) to accentuate the individual notes. The result: the fragrance, although very vintage in structure, is propelled right into the present and completely changed. It is completely different than the base formula; it is bright, it sparkles and it is lively. Fougere L’Aube still conveys its original ‘warmth of the morning sun’ but also the brisk spring morning air. The fragrance eventually settles down into the constantly radiating musk base. The musk xylol helps tie it together into a soft old-world savon fragrance at the drydown phase.

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A close-up of the beaker. Look at the color of that juice! A result of the high percentage of oakmoss and other naturals.

The juice is dark green from the high percentage of oakmoss and other natural absolutes and essential oils in the formula. And from that dark green juice the brightest topnotes seem to leap right out of the bottle! I’m excited about this release. The formula has been resting but will soon be ready for bottling. Just in time for spring.

A Warm Fougere for a Cool Spring

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Available soon: Fougere L’Aube

Golden dewdrops sparkle upon lush green ferns.
Fougere L’Aube is fresh with the warm glow of the morning sun.
Very vintage and classic in style, it will appeal to the old soul in us all.
Notes include: Lavender, Mandarin, Galbanum, Geranium, Hay, Camphor, Moroccan Rose, Amber, Sandalwood, Oakmoss, Musk and Costus.
Nothing really new here stylistically folks, rather I designed this fragrance to have a very 1930s feel with a few modern touches. I used musk xylol, lots of coumarin and a much larger amount of naturals than I initially expected, about 50%. It is bracing, rustic, warm and cozy. Available in time for spring.

Resurrecting the Past

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Can this old gem be brought back to life?

Back in December I was conversing via email with a fellow Basenoter who is very fond of vintage fragrances. It turns out that he possesses a rare bottle of Jean Desprez’s 40 Love and this generous Basenoter even mailed me a decant!

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40 Love, released in the 1940’s, has been discontinued for quite some time. I cannot begin to imagine why; it is a wonderful, soft masculine chypre, somewhat like Dunhill for Men (1934). Both are of the same category but Dunhill steers in a complex direction of soft leather, iris and woods; its lemony opening seems to set a serious tone upon the first spritz. 40 Love is simpler, brighter, it’s fun and carefree.

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My very generous decant of 40 Love

With Dunhill I can picture a reserved, business-minded gentleman in a neatly tailored, worsted wool waistcoat and silk tie…maybe even spats over his patent leather shoes. The wearer of 40 Love, rather, would indeed be a gentleman but dressed in roomy heathered pleat trousers, polo shirt and spectator shoes.

My decant still holds some bright topnotes. I detect orange oil, bergamot and some petitgrain before a neroli-jasmine accord steps forward. At the drydown is some sort of amber base, smooth vetiver, cool moss and a deer-like musk with little civet facets…upon further review, what I detect as civet facets may actually be cresyl notes which were popular back in the day for building white florals like narcissus. Smelled on their own cresyls can come off as something between a freshly run horse and mothballs.

So here’s the idea: I want to resurrect 40 Love to preserve its memory and its availability for other frag-heads to enjoy. I’m sending out a tiny bit of this frag for GC/MS analysis. It can be a bit pricey; anywhere from $200 up, depending on how detailed one wants their results. I will then work on deciphering the results and begin the process of reverse engineering the formula. All in all this project can take up to a year.

I want to be tasteful and very up front about this project and its intention of offering a glimpse of a long discontinued fragrance. I’m not in the business of selling knockoffs as my own.

…aaand touchdown!

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The new batches of Mouse Illuminee and Chypre-Siam are now being bottled and will be available for purchase.
Late last autumn, when the original batches reached their halfway point, I immediately set out to begin formulating new ones. Then arrived the hurdles! I already had most of the aroma chemicals and organic materials on hand, but there was still the waiting period for new stock. Some of my bases were running low so I needed to formulate new batches of those to move forward; no big deal.
The biggest hurdle: being a chef AND a new dad! The greater portion of my life is spent in the kitchen, while trying to help my wife with the baby in between.

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Out & about. Running errands with the little one.

By November my catered events and banquet schedule was already back to back! Most of my perfume formulating took place at 2 or 3 in the morning -whenever I could find a free moment.

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Some of the materials for Mousse Illuminee: rose otto, cypress leaf and wormwood (artemisia) EO, frankincense resin

Fast-forward and here we are in January. I’m just now at the bottling stage and am super excited to be able to offer full bottles of these fragrances for sale again. In the interim I have been working on two new formulas that I hope to complete by early spring. I’ll post more details as things progress but for now I’ll just say that one is an animalic fougere and the other a fresh incense–forward fragrance.

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