Ask the Perfumer March 10, 2013

by | Mar 10, 2013 | natural perfume, raw materials of perfumery, study perfumery | 7 comments

Sorry I’m late today, but I think most of America is, too, with the exception of Arizona and Hawaii. Daylight Savings Time should be called Daylight Confusion Time! Please post your questions until 10PM tonight, whatever that may be, lol.

Now for a little personal and professional sharing, which I often do on Sundays.  I ordered some photo equipment this past week because I have to get back into creating beautiful photos of my flowers, perfumes and accessory goodies. I’ve really let things slide for the past year and a half, as I was so immersed in my mother’s care at the end of her life.  Looking back, I realize I slowed down a lot, but that’s natural, and I don’t regret it, it helped me get through it all.  The end of the month will be the first anniversary of her death, and I’m ready to get back to 100%.  I just wanted to share my recognition of my slowdown, because if someone else is going through something like this, it helps to know others have, too.

This lovely photo of an Art Nouveau perfume bottle inspires me.  The Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods are my favorites. My mother was born at the cusp of the change from Art Nouveau and Art Deco, so this really resonates with me.

Art Nouveau perfume bottle

Art Nouveau perfume bottle



  1. Eileen

    Good morning Anya. It does take time to adjust to new life after a loss. Focusing building a new life and new friends is the way to get thru the transition. I call it the “Purr”. It is like a cat that purrs & sits on your lap all of a sudden. I pad the cat and continue with the journey. My life is so different now but in essence I have been making Art thru all my
    stages of my life In different Art forms. Perfumery is a art form too. I was reading from Coifan about how uses the old
    experience, the new, and the furture to
    inspires composing perfume. There are many
    ways to inspire a perfume.

    • Anya

      Eileen, thanks for your thoughtful comments. I kept pushing myself to finish my Prima Rosa perfume for the past 18 months, but I realized at a certain point that I needed to stop, because of how we associate memories with perfume. I didn’t want my perfume to be associated with stress. Instead, I made some fun items, the Room Candy and the Silk Soaps, and that fulfilled my creative fragrance art needs.


  2. einsof

    aromatic jewelry! so inspiring… the care and precision they took in one art form to enhance and promote the other.

    almost… ‘intimate’ in it’s symbolism.

    those things that slide or back burner become usually show back up in their own time and in their own blossoming. 😉

    so i am still in the garden planning process. i sincerely want this to become the summer of tincturing. i know there’s tons of archival info on tincturing and it’s process is not a mystery to me… but if YOU could pick one plant for zone 4… what would it be?

    inhale some of that salty, sunny floridian air for me. <3

  3. Anya

    Einsot, I see a face, and fish and leaves in that design. Art Nouveau. Sigh. A respite from the world, a way into a place of true beauty and serenity. There are no sharp edges in AN, all is fluid and sensual and gorgeous.

    I’d grow lilacs if I were you. I suppose you wanted an annual, but I’m not familiar with that Zone, but I know Lilacs do well there, and there are good directions for tincturing it on the NP group. I think they might be in bloom when you buy them, and the blooming season is short, so I’m looking towards the future, next year, when if you have maybe six nice size bushes, you’ll get a good yield.


    • einsof

      a classic idea!

      it certainly would not hurt the general atmosphere 😉

      many thanks!

  4. Kristie

    Hi Anya,
    When I lost my Mom, I never thought I would get through it. When one of my friends sent me a card it said, “I know what you’re going through and it will get easier as time passes” and I thought, “Uh, I think you are an asshole for writing that”! But it’s true and I remember what she wrote to me every time I think of my Mom. It does get easier, yet you will NEVER forget her : )

    My perfume question is regarding the paper on testing perfume PH’s, do all perfumers test and adjust before giving or selling a perfume to a friend or customer? Is it a necessary process or one of preference. I also remember somewhere in the group postings about freezing a blend then filtering or something of that nature. What does that accomplish in the final outcome.

    • Anya

      Hi Kristie:

      I went to a number of bereavement group meetings and that really helped. I learned everybody grieves in their own way. If people make seemingly trite or meaningless comments, just put that in the context of what they experienced in the past, that’s their POV.

      The paper was published to encourage perfumers to test all perfumes and tinctures and adjust if needed. If you’re just making a small bottle, I don’t think that fits the scale of what we were referring to.

      You can read a lot more about the freezing and filtering on the big NP group, there’s lots in the archives about that. Short answer: it helps you obtain a crystal-clear perfume.



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