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Independent artisan made perfumes.



January Scent Project thoughts and musings.


Filtering by Tag: perfume


John Biebel

About a week ago, the new perfumes were released. Selperniku, Smolderose, and Eiderantler all had their debut in their new bottles and packages last week, and it was a culmination of many feelings: accomplishment, concern (is everything set and ready?), and hopefulness. I've had so many good people around me, and when that happens, you are tempted to ask, "So, how does this look?"

It also means that what was private is now public, and that's a big leap. Perfume making is such an extraordinarily private undertaking. There really can only be just you at that table in front of the bottles, pipettes, computer, notebooks, scale. It's just you bringing it all home at night to test, and all you making the judgment calls as to what road you'll take; your next step. When you tell "the world" that you're done and ready to share, it's rather sudden, unplanned. But, putting it all together, it is a feeling of release. It's an extremely positive sensation. Letting go and taking in at the same time.

I've been blessed with two very insightful early reviews of the perfumes. Erica Golding from Australian Perfume Junkies has written beautifully about Eiderantler in her review, saying "the grassy and herbal notes glow brilliantly, but they are elegantly tempered by the velvety moss and hay. The composition is fresh yet rounded, conjuring emotions of peaceful optimism." Another reviewer, Joseph Sagona of The Scented Apprentice writes about Selperniku, describing it as "... a creamy, dreamy, very rich, plush, over the top sandalwood, that smothers over a salty, slightly melted, smooth butter, and a tea-tinged, soothing, subtle chamomile." These are both very gratifying reactions to the new scents, and I'm glad to see the optimism that they're inspiring, as I'd hoped it would be understood. Fragrances are extremely subjective, but it's good to know that Spring has been embedded in the evolution of these scents and it has translated as well.

I'm excited by two interviews I did this weekend which will soon become online stories. I'll post the links as they come.

One last bit of news: I was able to acquire the 30ml bottles that I'd so wanted for the perfumes (in addition to the 100ml ones), and so in about a week to ten days, they will each have their release as 30ml versions, too. This will be as individual scents and as a specially priced set. They are tall, thin, sleek bottles that are easily portable so great for grabbing and going. 

I'd like to thank all the people for thoughts, suggestions, ideas, and well wishes during the past year as I worked away getting phase two of The Project into motion. Your patience and thoughts and interest have made this possible.

Thoughts from The Scented Apprentice

John Biebel

January Scent Project received a glowing and poetic review at the hands of New York-based blogger Joseph Sagona at his blog The Scented Apprentice. Joseph's reviews are particularly interesting for his 'life of the perfume' approach, telling the reader all that he is experiencing as he's wearing it throughout the day, from initial application to dry down. It's a great method that he applies for every scent that he reviews, and it creates an excellent baseline from which to draw interesting distinctions between fragrances. 

From Joseph's review:

I find this to be very sensual, seductive and sexy, it has the roughness and edge of a cold winters day in an evergreen forest as you're sitting by a campfire burning incense.

You can read Joseph's thoughts on Smolderose here at The Scented Apprentice, along with reviews of many classic, niche, and artisan perfumes.

Smolderose - How it began:

John Biebel

Smolderose owes much of its existence to my first experience with cade oil. This beautiful essential oil is unusual. It's an oil extracted from burnt juniper wood, and as such, has undergone a literal trial by fire before it even enters a bottle. It is very much a bonfire; traces of its origins as juniper branches are still there in its complex bouquet. I was immediately pulled toward building an accord around this essential oil. How could "smoke" be rounder, sweeter, more full-bodied? It was a tremendous learning process and months were spent during a mild New England summer arranging the notes. As I worked, I heard more and more in the news about the drought that was gripping the other coast of the US as California waited for rain, and wild fires ravaged the upper northwest. It was a strange backdrop to my efforts. I wanted to put a flower in amongst these embers of scent, and had narrowed it down to either rose or neroli (orange flower). I have always loved rose, and as I studied the complexities of rose as a component, it became apparent just how many different facets and faces roses actually have. There are white, pale scent roses, deeply red and velvety ones, dried petals, potpourri roses that give off hay-like nuances of sweetness, snipped yellow roses that are still green at the bases. Picking which way the rose would develop was another deep dive into experimentation and meant a lot of study. The rose portion went through two major changes, and numerous smaller developments until I'd arrived at something that could work properly with smoke. I had some initial tests with friends/colleagues who gave important feedback, and two necessary modifying concoctions were added to round out what had become (frankly) far too intense. Finally, a result came about that fulfilled the needs - smoky, green, red, rosy, amber, milk-like, nutty and fading off into some dark berries, green and wood. 

I think the most interesting aspect of this process was to smell this perfume on someone else, someone who really enjoyed it and found that it really suited her. It did meld wonderfully with her chemistry and seemed to sing on her skin in a different way from my own. This is someone I'd not met before and so didn't have a vested interest in making Smolderose "work" for her, it just evaporated in a lovely vapor from her skin, and watching that happen was a wonderful proof of concept.

From the very beginning of this project, I knew that there was a strong visual component to my ideas (this is what happens when a painter works with smells), and because of my connections with music, it made perfect sense to put together something with sound and film. I was fortunate to work with Joe Mordecai of Brooklyn, New York to bring together these ideas into a short but potent 18 seconds of sound and image. His film work was extremely important to this project. Nothing beats people around you who share your particular vision, and Joe took the sound and images to an entirely new level. The Smolderose promotional film for January Scent Project put a distinct voice to this scent that has so far remained voiceless. Now, it sings.