Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The Perfumista Challenge - results. Part I.

I got a handful of samples, see:

The vials are from Pat of Olfactarama fame and the little bottles are from Mark known as Margin Perfumer (no website I'd know of. I asked Mark and he said he had none. I could try and search but first, he said he had none and I don't see a reason why not to trust him and second, I'm lazy).

I'll take the liberty to start with Mark's All the things (you are). I got a nice explanatory letter from Mark which lay on my table for two weeks, I re-read it many times and then I put it aside so that it wouldn't get stained by my endless cups of coffee and now I'm unable to find it. So, Mark said three noteworthy things: that the compositions are not necessarily to be considered finished, that large orders are welcome and that this one contains damascenones and galaxolide (and a handful of other things, I vaguely recall) methyl anthranilate and cinnamic aldehyde which react to something called Schiff's base, creating a strong and pervasive scent (1). Should be orange blossoms and thinking of it, it may be right, there's something that I call unripe strawberries for myself and what is orange blossoms to the rest of the world
So, it's musks and something green and rosy, with roses sans soap. I love roses as long as they are neither candy sweet nor soapy. I suppose I can say I love damascenones but I've never had the chance to meet one in pure form. Let's assume so.
The perfume is... well, I don't want to sound mean. It's like two perfumes put side to side. There's that musky base which reminds me of Annick Goutal's.... which one was that? searches frantically the samples at hand due to lack of willpower to stand up and go and look at the bottle which is three metres away yup, Encens Flamboyant which is glowing embers to me. All the things has this element, it's less of glowing embers and more of all-embracing warmth. Musks, those little buggers. And then there's another layer, separate and distinct, of not-exactly-roses. It might be roses but I'd have to go to the botanic garden to check which one exactly, it's not a generic rose. My synaesthetic brain bits now try to kick me in the shin by pusing an image of pink camelia in front of my eyes but... not that one either. A rose, that which just surrounds you on a dry cold morning. Not that sweet-smelling as the one at our porch. (2)
I'm somewhat inclined to say that this perfume needs to be worked on so that the two distinct qualities blend. Or communicate better, that's a more suitable description. But, before that, could I have a bottle, pretty please? Mark? Please? Because, I love it exactly as it is.

I'm afraid that I'm developing a depression. I might be more self-depreciating and, well, everything-depreciating than usual. Most likely, in the next few weeks before I resolve it somehow, I'll be writing about how crappy I feel and how the whole world sucks and that it's all my fault. I'll do my best to be civil. Have patience. No need to send booze and chocolate, I've lost my appetite too.

You were warned.

(1) I don't know what is this all about. I'm paraphrasing Mark who kindly sent me a copy of the accompanying letter, allowing me to correct my imprecise description.
(2) Dorinia by Firmenich. See above. Damn chemistry, it has totally different poetics than the everyday associations.


  1. Hi Liisa, Thanks for the write up! I'll look forward to your words about other samples that you received as well. This swap is a great initiative - let's do it again!

    Sorry to hear about the building depression :-(
    I know it makes everything hard going. Maybe just sit in it and write through it for a while and let it take its course.

    The name Margin Perfumer is just one that I have bantered about - nothing official yet.
    Your comparison with Encens Flamboyant was interesting - I grabbed my vial of EF and yes, I can see where you are coming from. Not the embers, but that sense of pining, almost like a wailing beneath the pretty green, rosey surface. I enjoy the two distinct layers of the fragrance and won't be bringing them any closer together ;-) The formula needs a little re-work to calm it down somewhat, but I am pleased with the direction it is taking.

    I'll be glad to send you some more of this perfume if you like, but it will have to be a parfum strength oil in a roll-on because of postage restrictions from Australia.


    PS. I'll resend the document

  2. Yes, those DANG Aussie Postal restrictions! Harumph!

    Mark's "All the things you are" might be "OK", but now MINE! Mine will knock you OUT! You See, Mark, Rich, Myself, Jo, Shelley, Nova, and who knows who else have been working on an "All the things you are" frag. And Anyway, I didn't like that title anyway, so Mine is Titled: "Just the way you look tonight", because I liked the song better... :-)

    And I know that mine is MUCH better than Mark's, Because of course, I MADE IT!

    Sorry to have heard about this swap so late...

    Paul Kiler
    President, Perfumer and perfect Perfume maker of
    PK Perfumes

  3. OH DEAR! My tongue in cheek comment was not seen, please insert -TONGUE IN CHEEK_ under Harumph!

  4. LOL Paul, I have no doubt your version will be oh, so gooood as you are a freak of nature when it comes to perfumery!
    PK Perfumes and Margin Perfumer - two names to watch out for (you heard it here first, folks)


  5. Guys, I'll keep an eye on you both.