SOAP, FLOWERS, PERFUME, VIOLIN
Yesterday was the day I cut my Castile-Avocado soap into bars and bottled my first perfume, ScentFan by Appointment, which I'd also used to scent the soap.
Previously I've shared my perfume motto, "I seek the glorious reek." Well, fellow parfumo.com subscribers, I think I may actually have, honest-to-goodness, created what I seek!
Before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you about the soap. Made of mostly tallow (suet here) and also olive oil, Castiles are harder than Copra-Olives, the last batch I made. A Castile's bubbles are smaller and create a denser foam, but Castile has always been considered a stately soap. The added avocado makes this batch good for sensitive skin. This morning I bathed and washed my hair in it. No complaints. It is less outrageously mucilaginous, but will probably last longer than a bar of the wondrous Copra-Olive. No question it's a soap I'd buy were it on sale. The scent survived, in a sedate form suitable to a Castile. Wondrous doesn't seem the right word for it, but splendid does.
What about the perfume? I'm so excited, I can barely type. It sits beside me in a plain, 2 oz. bottle. Packed and ready for mailing is a 1/2 oz bottle accompanied by a bar of the splendid soap. Yes, it's for my daughter, but let's be reasonable. (Normally, I'm not stingy. I tip waiters just for smiling. You'll understand the 1/2 oz when I tell you about the perfume.)
First, here's a photograph. I tried to capture how the scent makes me feel. Flowers from our yard, soap, perfume, the violin I'm learning to play.
Here's the recipe I followed. https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/home/diy-natural-perfume. I ignored the top, middle, base notes part. My nose chose and added ingredients at will. For a carrier oil I used organic, cold pressed avocado oil (the same thing I'd added to the soap), also a superior 200 proof perfumer's grain alcohol. Wanting it to reek, I used more than 30 drops of the essential oils—closer to 45-60, probably. I used 1 Tbsp of water instead of 2.5 in the interest of said reeking. Finally, I let the perfume age in a dark cabinet for 16 days, rather than 48 hours. I was too impatient for the max aging of 6 weeks.
REALITY SNIFF TEST
Is it truly lovely, worth the effort, the cost? The only way to tell is to short-circuit my mind and put the question directly to my nose in a comparative sniff test against the perfumes that inspired it somewhat: Roja by Appointment and Shalimar Extrait.
Getting out strips of paper. Clearing my throat. The bottles are on my perfumalia-littered desk —Annette Neuffer samples just in, Marina Barcenilla, Parfumerie Générale (how have I missed these lovelies?), a vial of Tuberose Angelica.
Shalimar Extrait on paper is Instantly haunting, slightly lemony, many beautiful notes. On skin? Oh, my blissful nostrils. The sultry heat rising from this perfume could set the coldest heart aflame.
Roja on paper is creamy, animalic, rich (definitely buying this when I have an extra $3500). On skin it's an only slightly less gorgeous knock-down-drag-out spicier bliss.
ScentFan by Appointment (SbA) on paper says civety chypre. Initially more citrusy on skin than either of the above, it is swiftly animalic (ambergris, musk & civet) then the luxury of oakmoss and labdanum take over and finally everyone else dives in the pool. It vaguely reminds me of Chypre de Coty.
To me, both Roja and Shalimar outdo SbA in sheer beauty. Mine doesn't have enough florals to compete with them.
If Shalimar is an A+ (close your eyes and swoon) and Roja is an A (classy deliciousness), my nose says SbA is a solid, mesmerizing B to B+ of a fresher but luxurious kind.
A MALE OPINION
Let's see what hubby thinks…wow. A blind test and his opinion is diametrically opposed to mine. Without hesitation he picked ScentFan by Appointment on paper and on skin. What gives? I know he doesn't like sweet florals. That's it! My perfume is dryer, less sweet. More like male colognes. Actually, it reminds me a little of Paco Rabanne's Metal that I wore to work so many years and also Joop Femme.
Here are the notes, organized as per usual. I guess it's a somewhat oriental chypre, but then so are the other two.
Top: Lemon, Orange. Lavendar
Mid: Geranium, Jasmine Grandiflorum, Jasmine Sambac, Rose, Orris, Opoponax.
Base: Cistus Labdanum, Cedar, Civet, Mysore Sandalwood, Musk, Oak Moss, Sri Lankan Patchouli, Vanilla, Vetiver
There's actually at least another 2 oz left. If my daughter falls in love with it, I'll share more with her. Unlike her Mom, she's usually not much of a perfume fanatic.
The following essential oils are duly gathered to create my next scent :
Clementine. Galbanum, Gardenia, Geranium, Frankincense, Cistus, Hyraceum and Gaiac Wood. Sound too weird? This time I'll dip test papers in each one then fan them in groups under my nose for inspiration like the pros do. See what happens.
For now, liberally spraying SbA on before bed and, yes, swooning at the glorious reek. Guten nacht, everybody.