Natural Perfume

Periodically I crave to wear natural perfumes. It’s like changing the radio station to a different genre of music—not necessarily better or worse than synthetics or mixed media perfumes, but a different character altogether. (There’s a lot of hyperbole out there that would have you believe that “natural” is a superior moral position over “synthetic”; in perfumery, however, the truth is much more complicated.) It’s like choosing a watercolor painting instead of a photograph—it’s simply a different experience.

Maybe it’s the summer heat, but lately I’ve been craving naturals more and more! These are some of my favorites from Jolie LaideJ Hannah CoAftelier Perfumes (I’m especially loving Mandy’s solid perfumes!), and Laromatica Perfume.

I’m always looking for more to try—what are your favorite natural perfumes?

Creative Process: Mix It Up and See What Happens

natural perfume

Last year I took a natural perfume blending intensive class with Jessica Hannah at The Institute for Art and Olfaction. At the end of the introductory night, we made our own formula. I told Jessica, “I’m so into these 5 materials, but I don’t think they’ll ~go together~” and she said, “Let’s do it! Go for it, mix ‘em and see how it goes!” The result was this surprisingly lovely mix of benzoin and vetiver, lavender absolute and jasmine grandiflorum, and pink grapefruit.

I’ve learned a lot about blending perfumes since then and I have a lifetime of learning ahead of me, but I still put this on every once in a while as a kind of perfume “palate cleanser” and as a reminder to go for it, to mix things up and see how it goes!