Many thanks for your gift box of scents. I love the unique combinations!
I hope you are enjoying the start of the holiday season.
Posted on 9-Dec-2011
Narcisse Noir arrived today. Only a tad was spilled but this is the best batch I have ever smelled of this Caron classic. I am really delighted with my purchase.
Posted on 13-Dec-2011
Just wanted to let you know that I gave the Vol de Nuit I bought from you a full wearing today, and it is just GORGEOUS. I've been looking for some of this for months, and I'm so happy to have it. If you ever come by another bottle from the same era or even earlier, please contact me!
Posted on 13-Dec-2011
I have bought this perfume (Jean Deprez Jardanel) for my wife.
She says that this perfume is very beautiful and sensual. And I like them too!!!
Thank you very much again.
If you will be sell more rare perfume please let me know.
Warm regards from Sweden.
Posted on 19-Dec-2011
Art of scent making
I was trained as a graphic artist and worked most of my life with graphics. I love being an artist. But with the advent of the web, and the things I could do with computers, I put my paints and rulers away and concentrated on web design and Perl programming. I love to create websites.
Perfume making is an extension of my artistic nature. I find that everyday is a new chance to create something unique and special and the results can be appreciated by others, just like a painting could be.
With the Christmas season here, I have been working with Clove, Cinnamon, Anise, Vanillaand Benzoin. I know, I should just go in the kitchen and cook some dessert and get a quick fix. lol. Funny, I love cooking almost as much as perfume making.
The best way for someone new to perfume making to know what scent combinations are possible, is to actually smell the different existing compositions as a point of reference.
This was my approach. I starting collecting old perfume bottles, which had remnants of old perfumes. I decanted samples of the perfumes into 1/2 oz vials, labeled them and stored them away in a cedar box. Eventually I filled box after box, as the years of collecting when on.
When working at my perfume bar, with new ingredients I would research other perfumes that used those ingredients. And then I would go to my scent library and smell the perfumes which had ingredients that matched. This way, I can bypass lots of experimenting, as I know what other perfumers have done with the same notes.
What made me think of all this, is that this morning I opened that first cedar box I had created, and went through those old perfume samples. I hadn't smelled any of these in 7 years. I closed my eyes and smelled them and made a list in my mind of the ingredients in each. This was a good exercise, which I recommend doing to improve your scent identification skills.
If you haven't done this yet, do. Start collecting old perfumes, as they can be picked up relatively cheaply on ebay. Expecially if there is only a drop or two of perfume left. If the perfume is dark and thick, and the alcohol has evaporated, just add a few drops of perfumer's alcohol to lift it back up to where it was before the alcohol evaporated. It won't have all the top notes as it had when it was created, so keep that in mind.
Perfume Making Tips
Posted on 19-Nov-2011
Working with Attars
I started making perfume years ago with absolutes and essential oils. I had a few resins I worked with, but since I was using alcohol as my carrier for blending, I stayed away from oils. Oils and some essential oils cloud up a mixture. But a year ago I discovered Benzyl Alcohol, and everything changed for me. What a wonderous substance to work with. Just a few drops will clear up a blend instantly. I love to watch it go to work. It has a very nice smell, and does not interfer with a blend, but actually adds some heart notes to it.
Another great substance is Glucam P-20. It helps blend oil with alcohol. I use the two together frequently, and my oils and attars and alcohol all blend together to produce a crystal clear perfume.
Another great substance is Iso-E Super. But it gives off an ozone scent and can be overdone very easily. But it helps in blending as well.
Some powders, crystals and resins have to be heated. I know some people use a microwave or warm water to heat the substances in order to measure out what they need, but I don't. I scrape out what I can into a small beaker which I then heat on a small burner stand. I have a pipe lighter I use to heat it up. It looks and sounds dangerous, but I have been doing it for so long now, I know how long I can heat the substance. It continues to heat when you remove the flame, so keep that in mind and pull the heat away before it all melts completely. I then add a few drops of alochol and swish it around. The alcohol keeps it from solidifying again.
This is truly one of the most beautiful seasons and one of my favorites. The beautiful colors surrounding us everywhere. The big pumpkins, acorn squash, the last of the herbs gathered, the first blast of winter chill, the first fire making everything cozy and warm. Picking apples, the scent of apple pie, hot applesauce laced with cinnamon.
Halloween is the time of apple harvest, and there are many Halloween traditions in which apples are very important. Candy apples are a traditional trick or treat gift, or bobbing for apples, or 'dooking' as it is called in Scotland.
Apples also have a history of being used for healing "an apple a day keeps the doctor away".
The weather is changing and our skin needs more protection. The kids are in school and getting the sniffels. The heat is on and the air is very dry.
Do you have your basics for the coming season, ie, shea butter, skin creams, carrier oils, essential oils, etc?
Keynote Speaker: Marc Rosen, winner of severn FiFi Awards - the Oscars of the fragrance world --he has created iconic bottles for Karl Lagerfeld, Halston, Ellen Tracy, Elizabeth Arden and many others.
Did you know?
Posted on 13-Oct-2011
The sense of smell plays a vital role in our sense of well-being and quality of life.
The sense of smell brings us into harmony with nature, warns us of dangers and sharpens our awareness of other people, places and things. It helps us to respond to those we meet, can influence our mood, how long we stay in a room, who we talk to and who we want to see again.
Niche vs Commercial
Posted on 28-Oct-2011
Choosing a perfume to wear
I was cruising on the web the other day and was reading a post from a woman who asked what was the difference between vintage and niche scents. Well, the answer that was given to her was good for a brief posting. People seek out the vintage perfumes because they were made with quality ingredients that rarely go bad if kept in a cool, dark place. In other words, the current perfume market for the last thirty years has been bombarded every year with celebrity perfumes that come and go just as quickly. The real difference between a vintage scent and a modern scent is that today’s perfumes are predominantly synthetic. They smell the same an hour after application as they did the second they were sprayed. They are what they are. Vintage, just like niche perfumes today, were designed to evolve on the skin. A whiff from a bottle, did not tell you how it would smell on you. You had to wear the perfume to experience it. And while some scents were soliflore scents, most were complex and exciting. And here is where Niche perfumes come in. They are hand blended for the most part, and created by unknown “Noses”. Just like a great song can be written and performed by an unknown band, who are heralded to the top of the charts, so can a niche perfumer rise to the top from the creation of one perfume. Many people want a scent they can “own”, that belongs to them and they will never run into someone who is wearing their scent. As a niche perfumer myself, I get great joy when a man stops me in the grocery store and asks me what the perfume is that I am wearing. Men want their women to smell good and they are pleased when they smell something they have never smelled before. And many of the men who comment on my scent, state they normally don’t like perfumes. A good niche perfume can be even better than a vintage one.
Vintage bottle collecting
Posted on 1-Oct-2011
How to open old perfume bottles
I learned how to open old bottles back in 2003. My husband has been urging me to share this information with other perfume bottle collectors, but I have been reluctant. My argument has been that if everyone knew how to open old bottles, then there would be less bottles for me to find and open. I have been selfish in my silence.
But I am now moving into a selling mode and away from collecting mode so I will share.
If you have a bottle with a “frozen stopper” they can be very easy to open. Purchase an old ultrasonic cleaner from ebay or labx.com. Labx is a place to buy used laboratory equipment. You can pick up an older unit between $30 and $200, depending on its condition and size. Fill the tank up with hot water, just enough to come up to the top of the bottle where the stopper is inside the bottle. You want the stopper to be above the water, but you do want the water to reach the top of the bottle. The water will loosen the junk on top of the bottle, while the ultrasonic action of the cleaner will vibrate the bottle. The hot water causes the glass to expand. Keep your finger on top of the stopper, without applying pressure. I have had stoppers actually pop up and water leak into the bottle. Start the cleaner and run for about 35 seconds and remove bottle from water, and pull up on stopper. If it doesn’t lift up right away, place in water again and run the cleaner for another 35 seconds. When you remove the bottle don’t touch the labels on the bottle. Instead, take a paper towel and press it flat against the label to remove any water that may have gotten behind the label. The water alone will not hurt your label, it will dry flat against the bottle and not curl.
An old ultrasonic cleaner works like magic
Tips for Buying Perfume
Posted on 29-Oct-2011
How to choose a perfume
If you're eager to know how to pick perfume for women, much of the proper selection comes down to the time of year the perfume is acquired and when a specific perfume was made. If it was produced during the warmer season of summer and spring, then you should get something that is very cool, flowery, and also sweet smelling. D&G Light Blue is definitely an eternal favorite during these times. In case you are asking yourself what are the things you need to consider when shopping for perfume, then you're not the only one. It is practically challenging to find the ideal perfume to wear since there are so many different brands accessible at present. In fact, it seems that by far, more celebrities are launching their very own perfume brands along with those currently being created by renowned cosmetic companies.
Conversely, you would prefer to have a stronger earthier fragrance for the wintry months, which may warm you up and help to make you feel comfortable in your winter ensemble.
A wonderful fun and informative youtube video made
by Boris of Essentially MeUK. (Boris is Alec Lawless Stroud’s alter ego) Boris demonstrates fining and cold filtration to remove cloudiness from natural fragrances/perfumes.
by: Terry Kovel, Ralph Kovel Interested in collecting old bottles? It helps to arm yourself with knowledge of the bottle market. Kovels' line of collecting books are loaded with vital info, and the Bottles book is no exception. Bottles are found everywhere - eBay, thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets. This book helps you navigate your way around them. Amazon Price: $12.41 (as of 10/22/2011)
Have you ever had a sealed bottle that you wondered if it was real perfume or a factice. Here is how to find out without opening the bottle. Water freezes. Alcohol and oil does not. If you put a bottle into the freezer that is a factice with water inside, the water inside will freeze. If you do test a bottle this way, be sure to check on the bottle within 30 minutes. If you let the bottle stay in for too long the water will freeze and expand and break the bottle. I learned this the hard way this last week. First time this ever happened. But I think it was also the first time I put a factice with just water inside into the freezer. Unfortunately, I left it in the freezer over night and the water expanded so much that it broke the bottle. sigh. But I now know it was a factice. lol. All I could save was the stopper.
But if there had been alcohol in the bottle the stopper would have become loose and it could have been opened. Use the freezer with caution in opening bottles. Don't leave a potential factice in the freezer without checking within 30 minutes. And remove it if the contents start to cloud up.
While this did not happen with the bottle in the above photo, I do believe this is a factice. But the French started using plain alcohol instead of water at some point in time, and this probably has just alcohol, because it did not freeze when I put it in the freezer. I have tried everything to open this bottle, but have been unsuccessful. The first time I put it into the freezer, the enamel printing on the bottle rubbed off when I took it out of the freezer. I chipped the stopper trying to open it. It is frustrating to have a bottle you want to open, that just refuses to give up its contents. But I haven't given up. I put it in the window in the sunshine, and then after awhile put it in the freezer again. I have been working on this bottle for months. Someday, I know it will loosen. I just need to be patient and keep trying.
Deb, My stunning Violet "Pourpre d'Automne" flacon arrived today and I couldn't be happier - THANK YOU for making it available to me - I've been looking for almost 10 years!
I will definitely shop with you again and refer you to my friends.
Wishing you a safe and happy weekend, Dimitri :)
Perfume Bottle Collecting
Posted on 4-Feb-2012
How to open bottles
I mention in another post how I open bottles. I use other methods as well. Here is a link to a fellow perfumista's blog, where Dimitri explains how to open bottles if you don't have an ultrasonic cleaner. He says it well, with lots of photos, so I don't have to repeat it, just give you a link to a great perfume blogger's explanation.
Hi Deb, I just wanted to let you know that I received your package. Oh my gosh, everything is wonderful!! Opening your package was like Christmas morning. Thanks so much for all the samples as well... Especially the one you blended for me.
I am excited to do business again with you sometime soon!
Also, I am wearing the Opium Parfum right now and it is just wonderful! Laura
Perfume Bottle Collecting
Posted on 11-Feb-2012
What to collect
Just getting started?
If you are just getting into collecting, you are probably excited and feel like a kid in a candy store. A world has opened up to you; it is something fun, and you find it full of rewards. Whether you are seduced by the twinkle of crystal, or the thrill of the chase for the rare and luscious vintage scent you just can't live with out, you share a bond with thousands of other people. You make friends in the most unusual of places.
You may find that your choices of what to collect are overwhelming. If you are limited to space, you may find it nice to start with a miniature bottle collection. If you are collecting for the perfume mainly, then miniatures may not be satisfying for you, as most are toilettes. Not all. But you want to be sure to check and see whether they are parfum or toilette. Toilettes have water in them to dilute the perfume and they do not hold up well over the decades, as the water breaks down the molecules in the essential oils and evaporates. Parfum and colognes are best to collect, especially ones that are 30 or 40 years old, as the alcohol evaporates, and you are left with parfum. So pay attention to colognes. When you see an old bottle, that has been kept in the box, and there is a lot of evaporation, buy it. It is probably wonderful. Colognes that have been opened and are more than half full, are probably not as appealing to wear. Pay attention to the color of the fragrance as that is a clue to its age. Dark perfume is generally the most concentrated. Toilettes don't usually darken, as the oils evaporate with the water.
Many sellers on auction sites sell bad perfume, so pay attention to how they describe their items. Bad sellers will say that they don't open the bottles to smell them. Most of them will state that they are selling a decorative collectable and not to buy based on the contents of the bottle. In those auctions, beware. As they are telling you they suspect the perfume is bad. sigh. Another thing to remember is that you get what you pay for. If they are a perfume seller specifically, they usually will state whether the contents are good or bad, as they know that is important. If they are a seller who doesn't care whether you like your item or not, they may even lead you to beleive the perfume is good, but slyly. "All the perfumes were kept in a cool dark place for decades." But they state they don't smell the bottles because they have allergies. Oh, I have heard them all. Or they tell you they don't clean their bottles, and leave that to the new owner to do. That also is a red flag if they are a perfume collector. Who wants dirty bottles with frozen stoppers to display? Collectors like pristine bottles, or rare ones are happily accepted in a dirty condition, because the contents are good. If the bottle a collector has is dirty then it may mean they smelled it and it was bad and they never added it to their own display. Only a seasoned collector should buy old bottles with frozen stoppers, if they are after the contents. Years of studying and buying bottles gives them the expertise to decern whether the contents are good or bad, when the seller won't say. And they have studied how to open bottles and can open them safely. If you look around much, you will see many auctions where the stoppers are broken off at the neck. That was probably owned by someone who was not a seasoned collector.
The History of the House of Weil
Posted on 13-Feb-2012
From a furrier to a perfume manufacturer
If you research Weil perfume on the internet you will find there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Why do some bottles say Secret de Venus Zibeline, and others are just Zibeline? And some are Secret de Venus, and don't say Zibeline or Antelope. If you look for the oldest bottle you can find, you will come across little 2 ml bottles with blue plastic lids, which someone claims is the oldest of the Huile Pour le Bain line. They claim that Weil created the Huile Pour le Bain line in 1941. This is incorrect.
I bought a collection of perfumes this weekend, and two of the bottles I bought are 1/4 oz Weil bath oil bottles from the 1920s. One has a label, and it does not have the Secret de Venus label, just Zibeline Huile Pour le Bain, and it has an early bakelite lid. I tested the lids, and they pass the bakelite test. These are the oldest Weil bath oil bottles I have ever seen. I have never seen a Weil bottle with a bakelite lid like these before. And I know they are from the 1920s, as the bottles were part of a lot of other 1920s bottles. And since I have the largest collection of Weil Secret de Venus Zibeline bath oil you will find any one collector to have, I can attest that the contents of these bottles, are NOT Secret de Venus bath oil. So I am here to add to the confusion. sigh.
Weil was a furrier who was approached by a customer in 1927 who complained that their Sable furs smelled badly. Weil created a perfume for the customer to scent their furs, and Weil Parfums was born. Zibeline was the name of their first fragrance and it was so well received that they created a perfume to be worn with their furs, that was sweeter. The next year they released Chinchilla, to be worn with Chinchilla furs. In 1933, they created an even sweeter perfume which they called Secret de Venus. It was their most successful perfume, so in 1941 they released an entire line of Secret de Venus, in the various scents they had created previously. Those bottles bear the Secret de Venus designation as well as the name of the perfume, Antilope, Zibeline, Chinchilla, Hermine, etc. They still were producing the regular scents, in additon to the Secret de Venus versions.
So the big question everyone wonders about is what did the orginal Zibeline smell like? Well, since I have one of the bottles, I can tell you. It smells like leather and fur, and probably did make an old stinky fur smell new again. There are no spicy notes that you typically smell with Secret de Venus. I can't imagine why someone would take a bath in this scent. Hence why they created a sweeter version in 1933 and called it Secret de Venus. And it makes sense why they continued their original "fur" scents, as they were probably very effective at masking the old fur smell. And since the Zibeline bath oil they first created did not smell good in a bath oil, they spiced it up and called it Secret de Venus. This is why no one knew that Weil had actually created a bath oil much earlier than 1941. No doubt, no one wanted to take a bath and come out smelling like wet leather and fur. lol.
Apologies on this very late email!
I have received the bottles and love them all. Thank you so much for all the extras you included in my order. I will watch your shop for more exciting finds in the future.
Posted on 4-Jul-2012
Guerlain Rue de la Paix
Got the bottles and samples yesterday! Wow they are beautiful. Looking forward to testing the samples that you included. Thanks so much again!!