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Soulfully Sensitive

The language in the beauty industry when marketing to Sensitives: "fragrance-free" or "free from harmful toxic chemicals" etc. The messaging is supposed to be reassuring to a small percentage of people who are perceived as whiny and too sensitive to tolerate normal products because we ourselves are obviously not normal. Never once have I seen anything marketed to my highly attuned senses as though they are gifts which enable me to perceive the world in a deeper way. Sadly, I'm at a loss to think of an example of what that would even look like. This is a narrative that has to change.

Years ago I was inspired to learn about perfume-making. I wanted to make perfume from the flowers and scents around me to capture the unique aromas within time and space. I have a very attuned sense of smell, and to me scent can contain memories in such a unique way. To me, extracting scent from plants that only bloom in a certain place in the world, at a certain time of year is like bottling a sense of place.

Enfleurage is the old, French method of extracting scent from flowers using fat to initially capture scent, followed by a final alcohol bath to extract the form into an alcohol base. It can be very time-consuming, but I love the closeness of working directly with plants. Extracting scent in such a labor intensive, time-consuming process creates an intimacy with the plants which yields an unequivocal result. The subtle nuances captured in the extraction process unfold layer by layer for the wearer. The gentle nature of the fragrance is never overbearing, instead only noticed within the closest orbit.

I prefer to preserve the integrity of the fragrance in an oil base, and skip the alcohol rendering. I prefer an oil-based to an alcohol-based product because of the deep Earthly quality of oil on my skin. That being the case, the perfumes I create will come primarily in a perfume solid form, or in some cases a roll-on. Offering the perfumes in solid form requires only the addition of a small amount of beeswax and I absolutely love the energy that brings into the final result. In some cases I'll try to work that soft honey essence into the experience because I love the natural warmth it adds.

Enfleurage extraction is fairly time-consuming because the flowers are prepared and added to the oil (sometimes painstakingly paced with tweezers when the blossoms are small!), allowed to sit for a carefully measured amount of time, and then removed. That entire process is called a charge. The blends I'm finishing now have been charged 5 times already! You absolutely cannot rush this process, which is one part I admire about it. I love the relationship with time that is developed through this process. I've been working with apple blossoms due to the early spring, and soon the blossoms will pass and make way for buds and leaves, so this window of time is the only chance I have to extract this unique alluring scent until next year.

I will be offering these perfume essences soon, but keep in mind they will always be small batch and they will always differ slightly due to the quality of the seasons and the blossoms. I'm excited to create sample sets, so make sure you're subscribed to the blog so you get a notification when these limited sets are available.

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