What are Possets®?
A "posset" is an archaic English term which originally meant a sweet smelling drink or palliative which was concocted only to make you feel better, but not to cure anything. Later it came to mean something you treated yourself to, a small personal indulgence. It rhymes with "cosset" because the two words could be used interchangeably. But, alas, the word "posset" fell out of fashion, until now.
Possets are perfumes made to be pure pleasure, without worrying about the rules or what you "should" have in them. I frequently have found commercial perfumes to be too sharp and medicinal, and often just hinting at the more beautiful parts rather than presenting unabashed loveliness without limit. I wanted things which were not ashamed to be: pretty, unusual, and even witty.
What I specialize in is superbly blended perfumes with an edge of gorgeous originality. Some of the ingredients I use are unexpected, some are classics of the art, some combinations are a surprise, and some are new twists on old favorites. As you may have suspected, I adore creativity and I bet you will, too.
What kind of skills do you have that allow you to be a perfumer?
There are quite a few seemingly unrelated skills I have which are exceptionally useful in being a perfumer. I have loved horticulture for all my life and have grown a great many of the plants I use in my perfuming work: various roses and jasmines, osmanthus (Sweet Olive which I grow on my windowsill), mints, herbs, patchouli (smells just the same as a plant as it does as an oil), tuberose, petunias (only the dark purple ones have a scent nowadays), vegetables of all kinds. So I know very well what plants should smell like and how the essences I get compare.
I am also a good cook, that is important. You have to have an inkling of how different combinations will smell, and you can transfer what you know about smell from cooking.
I am also lucky in that I have been exposed to some of the great perfumes from the time I was a child. My mother loved good perfume and bought a lot of it in France. I know what a really good chypre should smell like, what Arpege and Femme smelled like when they were new and made with the best ingredients, what Joy is like, the difference between the various grades of some famous scents (there are import grades, domestic, perfume, cologne, etc.). I have also lived through some really peculiar days in perfuming (the '80's with their loud "musks" and the current "foody" scents which I love). So my "scent palette" is pretty varied.
The rest is: practice, trial and error, and hard work.
How long have you been making perfume?
I started trying to make perfume when I was six years old. We had a farm in Southern Maryland and I would gather rose petals from a beautifully scented old rose bush we had and crush them with clover blossoms, magnolias, crepe myrtle or whatever was scented and blooming at the time. My infant efforts didn't yield perfume, but it did make me anxious to learn more. Alas, there was no place to go and no one else knew anything about this esoteric practice.
In 1992 I met a woman who owned the local Caswell and Massey in Cincinnati where I was living. She was the only person who had a big array of perfume ingredients and gorgeous scented products. We became good friends and would meet frequently and make blends. She taught me about suppliers of perfume oils of all types. I made a line of aromatheraputic oils and perfumes. By the way, the name of that little company was "Possets".
Time passed and my friend moved away and I was pursuing other things in my life. Years later my interest in making perfume revived, and since the internet became popular, the world of scent opened up for me in ways which it had not before.
Sometimes I laugh when I make perfume because what I produced was so good that no other response will do. Sometimes I laugh because there are so many connections between our delightfully primitive scent appreciation centers and our experiences.
I have made a great many wonderful friends through perfumery and it's a pursuit which seems to spread happiness like no other endeavor.
How many collections do you produce in a year?
I normally produce five collections a year: Valentines, Spring, Summer, Halloween, and Yule. There are between 25 and 50 perfumes in each of the collections. Each collection has a theme which is the inspiration for my work at that time of year.
Cambienne (tm), what is that?
Cambienne (tm) is THE innovative perfume which you can only find at Possets. It is a perfume which I start every year to smell like January however, as the year progresses Cambienne (tm) changes. I add things to Cambienne (tm) which changes the scent and it gets sunnier, warmer, greener more floral as the year progresses! So in June, if you bought a bottle of Cambienne (tm) it would be very rosy and flowery. If you bought a bottle in October, it would be more apple like and smelling of fallen leaves. So I make Cambienne (tm) fit in with different times of the year and no two bottles are ever the same. I may very well mix in things which reflect the holidays as they occur, things which go on in my neighborhood (I have a neighbor who grows a gardenia tree in the summer in his front yard and that scent finds its way into the blend around July). It's great fun and it's totally unique to Possets.
How can I be added to the mailing list so I am sure to get notice of your the latest scent offerings?
There is a sign up form at the bottom of every page.
Do you use animal products in Possets and can you say you are cruelty free regarding animals?
I do NOT use animal products in Possets and I do NOT support animal testing of perfume ingredients. If I found out that one of my suppliers did engage in animal testing, I would have to stop using them. It's perfume, it's not worth any pain to any creature. It's supposed to spread pleasure.
Moreover, we are vegan and vegetarian friendly! I use no animal products in any of my perfumes at all and never will. And we are free of toxic phalates.
Tell me what you can about what goes into your scents.
I sell two separate lines of perfume: Possets and Possets Naturals.
Most "modern" perfumes consist of: essential oils, perfume oils, carrier oils, accords, and aromas. In short, real things and artificial things. With the Possets regular line, I will use just about anything safe to achieve the effect I want. I put them in a plant oil base because the scent stays longer and it has a natural preservative in it which will keep your perfume fresher while allowing the various components to blend and age magnificently.
With Possets Naturals I use pure vegetable oil as a carrier. All of the ingredients are natural, and by that I mean processed as little as possible. I do not use: "nature identical" chemicals, any accords with anything synthetic in them, no synthetics whatsoever. I won't use over-processed naturals, either. If there is a question as to whether a component is natural or not, I error on the side of being too strict in my interpretation of "natural". I use as many organic scented ingredients as I can without sacrificing quality of scent (you cannot get all essential oils certified organic). So I am selling you the most organic and most pure fragrances anyone can possibly produce.
I am so sensitive, can I use your scents without breaking out or having any sort of bad reaction?
Nobody can promise you that you will never have a bad reaction to anything. If you suspect you are allergic or sensitive to scents, I would advise you not to use perfume at all.
Possets' Position on Phthalates
Since starting Possets ® as a new business two years ago, I've been committed to keeping my perfumes free of known harmful ingredients such as toxic phthalates. Over a year ago I surveyed my suppliers to find out if any of their products contained those substances; I got no reports back that they did.
You may have seen news articles about phthalates in products and please know I read them with great interest. I want to continue creating my perfumes free of known toxic ingredients. Here are steps I have undertaken to that end, and hope you will support me in these efforts:
First, I have once again written my suppliers of essential oils and ingredients that I use in making my perfumes to let me know whether these are toxic phthalate-free in light of industry wide concerns.
Second, if any of my suppliers respond that their ingredients cannot be presented as toxic phthalate free, then I will not use their products in my perfumes and will either replace the offending ingredients with harmless substitutes or take the blend off my list of product offerings.
Third, while I continue to believe all my lines are safe, I constantly review their formulas and will remove from my product line any blend that contains any substances known to be harmful.
I have always maintained that perfume is meant to be pleasure, and Possets ® is committed to remaining Bottled Happiness.
Will you send me some free samples? I am doing a beauty blog and will review your product!
I am delighted when someone wants to do a review of Possets BUT I don't send out free samples to anyone who says they are going to do a review. Possets are very very inexpensive and it is part of the experience to buy them and pay for them and then receive them. That is what your readers will be doing. So please sign up for a Possets account, go shopping for our divinely reasonable samples, enjoy them and write them up and tell the world. If you need a bit of advice on which samples to choose for a review, send me an e-mail and I will be happy to give you my best opinion.
I want you to create my signature fragrance!
Sorry, I do not do custom fragrances for individuals. I have too much fun making perfume by myself to my artistic taste and really have a hard time working for anyone else. That's what happens when you admit you are an aritst.
What kind of packaging do you use with Possets?
I am a stickler for practicality. I really get annoyed with fancy packaging which ends up not working. I use a plain pharmaceutical/aromatherapy 5 milliliter bottle for my scents. They are called "5ml" bottles, but they hold 6 and that's what I put in them. They have black caps which are the most leak proof I can find for sale.
Do you have a return policy?
Yes, if you are dissatisfied with a Posset you have bought (6ml or larger) then return it to use and we will refund your money or send you another one of your choosing. We want you to be happy!
What is that circle "R" behind the word Possets? Why does it appear so often?
Possets is a registered trademark of the Fabienne Christenson LLC Corporation. Any use of the name for commercial purposes without prior permission constitutes trademark infringement (I call it poaching) it means you are not as creative as I am, and I will go after you for that as an act of Socio-Commercial Darwinism and sport.
Anything else you want to know?
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org (cut and paste that address, it isn't a link) and I will get back with you as soon as possible. If you ask me a profound enough question, I may make it one of the questions asked here in the FAQ! And credit you, of course.