Right Now

I am still working on the Spring fragrance line at Possets Perfume. It is really going well but I have to exercise a lot of care in its making in order for it to be as good as I need it to be! So, it will be out when it is ready. But I am still working.

There is a spot of bad news, South Dakota is another victim of ingredient famine. It is now officially discontinued and sports a red dot in the inventory alert. It will be sent to the Discontinued page as soon as I am able. It was a great scent and I am sorry that it is gone now.

I am going to be going out of town for a week starting Monday. I have family business to take care of and I will be shipping fast and efficiently starting on Monday April 8th.

Finally, I wish you all a great Pascal celebration, no matter how you enjoy it, please enjoy it.

I am itching to unveil the next Collection of Possets and really loving the theme!

A Funny About Yoga

I love yoga and practice several times a week, I do wear yoga pants and I have been known to wear a “messy bun” (or messy chignon) HOWEVER this is funnah and well written. Grab a cup of chamomile tea and an organic gluten free biscuit and have a read. I suspect you will have to laugh at least once. From our snarky and amusing friends at The Washington Post (the preferred newsrag of my rude little hometown). 

Good News/Bad News

Good News: Possets is having a buy 3 get one free sale. Buy 3 Possets and tell me what you want as a free bottle in the comments section. If you forget a comment, I will pick one out and send it to you, a ferociously popular one, of course.

Bad News: Cerulean Blue is now discontinued. Too bad as it was a fabulous fragrance. BUT I do have some samples left of it and I will be selling them and other Discontinued fragrance samples in packs for a slight premium later this year (not as a Retour, as an event of their own). Watch for it!

The Best Time I Have Had In Years!

Last night I went to a THREE hour yoga class with Kali Ray who founded TriYoga. It was some of the most fun and beneficial outings I have had in years. It was a combination of flow, yin, meditations, breathing and more. The time flew by and I didn’t care if I had dinner or not. Needless to say I feel wonderful today. If you have a chance, take it! Thanks to Mary Kemper, my yoga teacher; Cincinnati Yoga School, and Kali Ray for a great evening!

This introduction to yoga has been brought to you by Possets Perfume, marvelous perfume oils which are simply Bottled Happiness! Intriguing, original, and beautifully wearable. Take a look, you won’t be sorry. 

The Difficulty of Making Your Own Custom Perfume

Orientals ImageOne of the most frequent questions I get is,”Do you make custom blended perfume?”

I don’t.

I cringe.

“Oh, what a pity. I was hoping you did! I do so very very very want a signature scent!!! Perhaps one for my mother and my daughter!!!!”

I look around for the Exit sign. My palms are sweating.

“Are you SURE you wouldn’t make this small exception? It is one of the things I do so passionately want in life!!!”

I now understand why Daphne begged to be changed into a tree.

Before you write me off as an artistic crank, let me explain what the problem is.

Nobody really wants their signature scent, the one they will wear forever, the one they had a hand in making. We want what the Declaration of Independence says we want: the PURSUIT of happiness. It is all in the chase, the experience, the quest, the desire that we find our joy. If you are confronted with the hideous possibility of finally catching up to what you have been rushing after and trying to outwit for all these years, you will dissolve in a fit of disappointment. Alas, human nature.

There are real reasons for this sad state of affairs. First, the average person doesn’t know very much about perfuming materials. Even if you are an affectionada, you still don’t know all of the accords, notes, essential oils, short cuts, long cuts, trials, and “cousins” that you get to know so well through experience. Humans are far too complex for a simple explanation, and we are in love with all the complexity of scent that we have been indulging in for decades, centuries!

So, plop a lady down in front of a “perfumers’ organ” and watch her go nuts! Make your own, darling, have fun and experiment. Then sit back and feel the magic…the kind that The Sorcerer’s Apprentice conjures up. The first thing they will reach for is their favorite element. Grab the vanilla and splash it in. Heavy on the musk. Oude? Did someone say Oude? Then lard on the sandalwood, please! Smell it! There must be some mistake.

No, the problem here is that everything that you love does not necessarily go together in the same formula. You can end up too confused (smells like everything all at once and so like nothing at all), old fashioned (we all know what things smelled like in the ’80s), homemade (mmmmm, smell the lavender, smell it nao).

You need to know how much of what to put in, where it balances out and what goes with what. There are some ingredients which just do not go together at all. Like basil and tarragon (a cooking disaster which I have never been able to resolve). There are some lovely ingredients which have been turned into a cliche for un-lovely things (lemon is furniture polish, pine is floor cleaner, lavender is turning into drier sheets), so many things are being ruined by what you find in the supermarket.

Then there are the genius ingredients that you don’t have much familiarity with. Things that you could be sitting right in front of and you would never think to add just a touch to your formula, and that small act would make them all sing. I have made some fabulous perfumes with great and airy delicacy using vetiver (!!!!!!). Just a kiss of it, and of only some particular varieties grown in some places. Most people think of vetiver as a dark, earth-like, musky, assaulting thing. It is if you have a heavy hand, but light light touch will tease out its wings and let it fly. Basil will do the same thing but it is with the utmost care and only some kinds of distilled basil will work.

What normally happens with people trying to make their “signature scent” is that they become exhausted struggling with all that fragrance information and give up. They leave the “atelier” of the perfumer, flacon in hand, lighter by far in the pocketbook, secretly disappointed and exhausted.

Moreover, there is the element of mystery which has to go with perfume. If you make your own, you know every thing which is in it and so there is no tantalizing unknown element which is nibbling at the frontiers of your consciousness and laughing because you just can’t name it. Once I was wearing one of my favorite fragrances and it just occurred to me out of nowhere that one of the ingredients was lemon; after that revelation I had fallen out of love with the blend. The secret was revealed and there was nothing left to titillate me.

And, with the help of a friendly perfumer, you compound the struggle. It’s their word against yours and the aspect of knowing too much comes up against “Ew! Don’t add THAT! I just hate THAT!” A drop of celery seed oil might have made all the difference between meh and wow, but if you are dead set against it, you will end up with meh. Alas.

I have heard stories of some famous perfume houses which opened their doors to the enthusiastic novice only to have a secretly unhappy client walk out clutching a bottle of totally confused liquid.

But, what do you expect? Can you write a symphony because you love Mozart? You might think you can, but it is a lot harder than you may have reckoned. You may be yearning more for the pursuit than the perfume itself.

This essay on custom made perfume was brought to you by Possets Perfume which is indeed bottled happiness. Come and visit their site with literally hundreds of fabulous unique creations at exceptionally attractive prices! www.possets.com is the gateway to Bottled Happiness at Possets® Perfume.

Spring Evidence

What a welcome clump of crocus! 12 more days of winter!

Lip Scrub

I have suffered with chapped lips ever since I was born! They are dry and all I could do was put more grease on them and that was that. Recently, they had really gone into high gear, even my best lip pomades could not keep up with the dry flaky tight consequences of winter. I gave up and thought to look up “lip scrubs” because some people swear by them. I found a recipe for a home made lip scrub which looked pretty benign and so I made it up. I tried it out and am very pleased with it so far. I think it will keep naturally and it is real inexpensive. Here it is:

1 part honey
1 part granulated sugar
1 part olive oil

Mix them all together (they won’t blend perfectly but that’s OK). Take a glob on your finger and scrub your lips with it. Leave it on for 1 minute and rinse off. Your lips feel a lot less tight, much more supple, and smoother. Really, after a lifetime of fighting the dreaded chapped winter mouth, this has saved my sanity. Try it!

Recipe Du Jour—Wonderful Nut Butter

I do this with peanuts, but you can do it with any shelled and skinned nuts you like. Dump the nuts into a food processor and process until they are the consistency you like for nut butter. So, I am using peanuts, then when it is buttery enough, I throw in a handful of almonds and process until it’s chunky. Good stuff. It’s fun to try different nut combos here, with the “base” butter being peanut, almond, or cashew and putting unexpected nuts in for the chunks like: pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, or black walnuts!

Recipe was brought to you by Possets Perfume, hundreds of creative oils, it’s bottled happiness! Check out our series of lovers, and Henry VIII’s 6 wives!

About Catherine…

Mrs. James M. Fadeley nee Catherine Sweeney

Mrs. James M. Fadeley nee Catherine Sweeney

Possets’ latest Cambienne perfume is named Catherine. It is a tribute to my mother and I will tell you a bit about her so that the perfume might make more sense to you. My mother loved peppermint, spearmint, and other minty volatile concoctions as well as camphorous  and zesty ingredients. She adored chypres and though she was very picky about her fragrances, she did like some oriental/resinous blends. She could wear light florals better than anyone, and I think that she was made for them but, of course, she had a very small part of her perfume collection devoted to them. You would not be likely to have found L’Air du Temps by Nina Ricci on her dressing table (though she did buy a couple of bottles of Fleur de Rocaille by Caron), but Bandit by Geraldine Cellier was always in the place of honor. At the end of her life she was mad for Tea Rose by Perfumers’ Workshop and wore it everywhere. In the middle, there were perfumes which smelled a lot like fabric; like silks and fine linens (but never that ‘clean linen’ sort of soapy smell)–so Le Dix by Balenciaga enjoyed a great run of being the favorite. She appointed Miss Dior to by my signature fragrance when I asked her. I always thought that one would have been perfect for a Vestal Virgin, it was almost an astringent suit of armor against amour, but it was sophisticated.

I don’t think mom ever knew this but she loved: galbanum, good lavender, and the scent of leather in perfume. When she didn’t like something, she would declare it,”Hot GLUE”! That was the verdict that reformulated Femme by Rochas received (I thought it was great but my taste was not the same in perfume). I don’t think she cared at all for Chanel Number 5.

It was mother who started me on the path to being a perfumer. Without her I would never had had the fire to do what I do. She “doused” herself in Bandit before going off to the delivery room to have me, and she declared that I could never be a perfumer because I wasn’t French when I told her that was my aspiration at age 7. Well, of course, I would have to had become a perfumer after that sort of a turn down, wouldn’t I?

Today is Mother’s birthday. Today I put out the first Cambienne of 2013 named Catherine in her honor and it contains things that she would have loved. After making it I realized that it was indeed her spirit: unique, zesty, unusual, adventurous, and very sophisticated but also (dare I say it) quite alluring. Quite.

Cambienne: Catherine can be found at Possets Perfume. It is produced in limited a quantity and only to be available once. It is part of the Cambienne series where one perfume evolves over the course of the year. This year we focus on rare ingredients for the Cambiennes.