November 21, 2010

Outlaws #3 - Natural Perfumer's Guild - Lord's Jester Daphne & Artemisia's Belle Star the Bandit Queen

Both of these perfumes require a couple of moments  before they turn the corner towards their destination.  This is not uncommon in natural perfumes.

I have written of Daphne by Lord's Jester before among others in the line.  A number of "outlaw" essences it contains,  oakmoss in the base, the citruses on top,  roses, tonka and the two forms of jasmine would have to be left out if you wanted to abide by IFRA regulations. 

As we all know by now, having found reformulations of the classic perfumes not nearly what they once were, because there really isn't anything to replace oakmoss.   Rose and jasmine are among the great natural wonders of this world, and the spiced vanilla tone of tonka is a traditional perfume material.  Should we be cautious of roses and jasmine, to name the two most shocking examples of IFRA regulated perfume substances?  Have we been in danger all these thousands of years  -- have these  beauties concealed dangerous qualities?  I have noticed they can have an almost narcotic dreamy quality to their dangerous beauty - see the legend of Rose Briar depicted above (Edward Burne-Jones).

Other notes in Daphne are immortelle and magnolia at the heart and  benzoin, labdanum, pine needle, styrax and ambergris at base,  plus ginger, cypress, and tagetes (French marigold).  These have a dryness, astringency and strength that create a chypre effect, while closely married to the sweetness of vanilla and tonka.  This sweetness layers over the chypre and turns it into something like a dried apricot dipped into expresso.    I can imagine this would be good for perfuming a woolen winter jacket or scarf, because it seems to hold the dense natural distillations of the heat of summer. 

There is nothing that is not fully natural in this perfume (or the others in the Outlaw project for that matter) and in this one particularly the ratio of perfume materials in dilution seems very high.  I feel like I am inhaling something of strength.  It is tenacious, while still clinging  quietly close to the body as naturals most often do.  The site has further information and samples available.

Artemisia's outlaw is Belle Star the Bandit Queen, named in honor of a lady who went for the baddest boys of her time, in the Wild West, where they were as bad as they ever come.   An outlaw in her own right,  she eluded capture by whatever means necessary.  This perfume contains the outlaw notes of bergamot, karo-karound absolute, carnation absolute, jasmine grandiflorum absolute, and tonka.  The more law-abiding notes of red cedarwood, ginger, bois de rose, lotus concrete, rooibos and cepes absolutes, provide a little cover. 

This perfume begins astringently but shortly thereafter turns charmingly feminine with florals predominating.  Its  prettiness is mostly due to the jasmine, intensified by carnation near it, and its elegance is due to the other notes moderating and toning the jasmine.  This understated skill is intriguing, and the Artemisia site has descriptions of a number of natural perfumes that sound as thoughtfully subtle as this one.

This perfume, created specifically for the Outlaw project,  showcases the real problem natural perfumes would have if they had to do without the building blocks of a note as important as jasmine grandiflorum, for example.  Jasmine appears in the vast majority of all perfumes, and is considered the most important perfume material.  Natural perfumes especially use the complexity and beneficial aspects of the natural forms of notes such as jasmine as part of the architecture of the perfume.

Jasmine has been in the news lately, in a study about its soothing and calming qualities.  It will be ironic if true jasmine ceases to be used in perfume while scientists are attempting to intensify the effect of natural jasmine as an anti-anxiety medication.  It would be a safer alternative to the artificial chemical sedatives we have now. 

Jasmine is a perfumed hair ornament both as a flower and as an essence, and is still used in India and Bali and many other places, as it has been for many centuries.  It's hard to wrap my mind around the idea that it is something requiring official safety regulation in its use now.

Please visit the other bloggers for more  discussion of various Natural Perfumer Guild independent perfumers.  They are writing about the fragrances they have  received with a giveaway feature, and also the rest of the outlaw perfumes:
Gaia at The Non Blonde, Donna at the, Felicia at Fragrance Belles Lettres, Carol at Waft by Carol, Ida, Mark and Monica at Ca Fleure Bon, me of course, here at  Indieperfumes, Beth at Perfume Smellin Things and Pat at Olfactarama

Speaking of giveaway, the winner of the Dupetit Cannabis flacon is Lisa Ashby.  Lisa, please contact me at lraubertasatgmaildotcom with your address so we may get that out to you as soon as possible.  Congratulations! 

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