November 7, 2017

Juan M. Perez of Exotic Island Aromatics

One of my favorite perfumers, Juan Manuel Perez, has been hit hard by the last intensely devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico.

His perfume friends hope to assist him so that he can reconstruct his perfume making and continue with his artistry. For many weeks his life has been taken up entirely with survival. Daily life is still very difficult there. Power, and other basic utilities and necessities of life including food, water and gas, are a daily quest. Communications are difficult and mostly more off than on.  Even with help from FEMA, the devastation has been so great that it is expected it will take a year before life can resume some semblance of normality.

I hope and look forward to having his range of beautiful perfumes available again soon.  Shelley Waddington of EnVoyage is poised to assist him with the production and distribution of a new perfume, as soon as resources and logistics permit.

Please see my posts on his perfumes for more information and to remind you of the beauties he produces, listed below. Please contribute to GoFundMe on his behalf, to help him rebuild the ability to continue his work as a talented perfumer. Let me know if you have any questions.
Thank you for contributing and sharing!

This is the link to the fundraising appeal on GoFundMe

This is a link to my full posts on his perfumes. 
(Some are part of a grouping of perfumes, so his perfumes are described within)
There have been many other posts on his perfumes throughout the perfume blogs and vlogs.

To remind you of these beauties, some excerpts --

On Flor Azteca, Oudh Nawab, Nectar des Îles:

Juan Manuel Perez of Exotic Island Aromatics lives on that island far yet near to those of us in the U.S., known as Puerto Rico, where he gardens and studies (and teaches) botany. 
His is a rare talent as a perfumer, because he knows how to bring out the most feral fragrance aspects of his plants and materials and make compositions that are transparent and fresh and that also hold the tropical balmy air within them. 
His use of naturals is so skillful that no matter where you are, once these touch your skin you are treated to the sensation of densely oxygenated air warmed by golden light, saturated with fragrance. In other words, you are instantly transported to a lushly fragrant tropical island. 
Flor Azteca is predominantly a Tuberose that reveals its heart’s nectar, softened. 
The Tuberose is a native of Central America, beloved of the native Indian civilizations, and part of their traditional self-adornment.
The perfumer has a deep interest in the ancient American ceremonies and rituals using the native aromatic materials, especially for their mysterious spiritual and intellectual uses. 
Tuberose can be as heady as jasmine or gardenia, maybe more, because it has a fresh green within it that entices you to inhale it deeply. In this incarnation it joins the creamy white floral family of nectar-laden aromatic intoxicants as a strong individualistic force to be reckoned with. 
Notes are listed for top as Mexican Tuberose, Massoia bark, Chocolate, heart notes as Tuberose Absolute, Magnolia, Datura, Fresh Ginger, Pepper, base notes of Mexican Vanilla, Benzoin, Tonka Bean, Copal Negro, Smoky Woods, Mineral Notes. 
Mexican Tuberose buoyed up on a bed of Tuberose Absolute should give you some idea as to how much tuberose you will be in the midst of here. The vanilla, chocolate and magnolia (all native American aromatic notes too) are a softening influence, holding the edge off the tuberose headiness in a warm embracing air. 
The sparkle of the ginger, pepper and mineral notes run steadily throughout the life of the perfume, which is of good length. I can’t give a more specific time since my skin drinks perfume like it’s thirsty for it. 
This is a perfume for an energetic morning.  It will make you wide-awake and hyper-aware. Even with the sense of intoxication arising from its dense white floral atmosphere, or even especially because of all that, this perfume sharpens the senses.
I understand that JMP considers the white floral accord to be his speciality.  He created Nectar des Illes which is full of plumerias and other white florals (carried at Shelly Waddington's En Voyage Perfume site). He also has an intriguing Gardenia and a Magnolia.
Oudh Nawab Eau de Parfum came to me together with Flor Azetca, and so for me acted as a companion piece, as a voice from the other side of the olfactory sphere.   I will immediately list the notes because they are a poetic description in and of themselves: 
Top Notes, Tumeric, Bergamot, Black Pepper, Heart Notes, Oudh from Borneo, Golden Myrrh from Somalia, Allspice, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Saffron, Persian Figs, Dates, Base Notes – Benzoin, Patchouli, Tonka Bean, Frankincense from Oman, Labdanum, Vetiver, Ambergris, Musks. 

This one is a paean to the Middle Eastern perfume tradition. Like opening the door at night to step into a field of freshly turned earth, with the scent of spices and deep dried hay wafting through. It is a spacious darkness. The complexity seems somehow to create more air so that the individual notes stand out. The tumeric and pepper are as clear as opening bells at the start, with the citrus of bergamot brightening all. 
These fairy tale magical materials with their old names from far away places stand up to their own legends. Myrrh and oudh are both fragrances exactly what they sound like, causing purrs and murmurs of satisfaction within the mind as soon as they touch the skin. The fig and dates set beside Tonka Bean, the musks and the other base notes blend together intimately, like a melting buttery moisturizer on the skin. Soothing and calming, this is a profoundly meditative perfume to rest in, to calm yourself with, or to fall asleep in. 

On Waters of Aswan, aka Blue Lotus:

I have come to know several skillful and poetic perfumes made by this indie perfumer.  This one has an aquatic feel illuminated by the luminous blue lotus, a favored perfume and relaxing intoxicant of the ancient Egyptians.  It contains a high proportion of rare blue lotus absolute and flower essence, with other soothing/dreamy floral substances like ginger lily, held fast to the skin by dry vetiver, ebony, papyrus root and other complexities.  It breathes out the freshness of water softened by the lyricism of dominant if subtle florals.  
There is an innately soothing quality to the scent of blue lotus. It is a beautiful opposing influence to the anxious nervousness that might be aroused by crowds in a hot summer city.  The Egyptians used to dip the petals into wine which released intoxicant qualities, and I imagine them relaxing as they deliberately surrounded themselves with perfume, even to the point of ingesting it so it was released through the skin, floating on reed party boats in their fresh water river, abundant with plants, fish and wildlife. Times are different but we still need to relax into this kind of contemplative beauty...

on Dragonfly, available from the Zoologist line:

Dragonfly Eau de Parfum by perfumer Juan Perez displays transparency and strength akin to its namesake. Iridescent reflection and lift reference an existence led between the aquatic and ozonic spheres. Water and air are tinted with summer greens, florals and dissolving and evaporating elements.
A calm soft core, limpid and milky, links top and base. The notes are listed as follows: Top -- aldehydes, heliotrope, lemon, peony, rainwater. Soft water calls to the perfume's center softness. Heart Notes -- cherry blossom, clover, iris, lotus, rice. The lotus and rice tone the limpid, romantic core. Base Notes -- amber, moss, musk, papyrus, sandalwood. These join all the rest together, and papyrus and sandalwood hold hands with lotus and rice at the heart. 
The aldehydes impart the multi-directional energy of a darting, flashing dragonfly. 
Softness held within this strong aromatic energy is our direct opposite. Our own bone structure is held within a soft skin. The dragonfly's body works the other way around.
Dragonfly's cool green aldehydes, detailed with iridescent blue green highlights, support a warm center. The dry down exposes more aromatic details; multi-faceted floral notes.
This perfume contains you within its aromatic, humid aura.
Easy to wear, it's a soothing release into air and water. Takes off on the lift of subtle iridescent facets, and flies on an air current created by the forces of warm and cool. 

Please see the links above for full posts and to donate.

Wearing Waters of Aswan today, which is one of the most focused perfumes on Blue Lotus I have found. This soothing beauty is both a sensual pleasure and a calming influence.

Again, please donate to the GoFundMe to help restore Juan's ability to continue making perfumes such as these exceptional ones, and so that we can all continue to enjoy his talents and artistry into the future.  Every little bit will help towards this goal. I have been able to have some communication, and I know he so appreciates the kind support and encouragement from his perfume friends.

Thank you!

Copyright 2017, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.


Gina said...

It would help if there was an update on their Etsy shop and Facebook page. It just looked like they went out of business.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful article! I hope Juan receives many donations and is able to get his newest fragrance out to us soon! They're all insanely good!

Lucy Raubertas said...

Gina, yes, that's the point, there is no reliable access to wifi, power, and even perfume materials to maintain his perfume business. That's the reason to assist with this project, to allow us to help him re establish his site and to release a new perfume, as Shelley Waddington will assist from the U.S. to bottle, label and ship to buyers. All income for 99% of Puerto Rico has stopped in its tracks, the only business still open is for food and gas, and those supplies dwindling.