Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Radio Nostalgia


For those of you curious to know what I was talking about at the Candy Palmater Show (last week), here's a snapshot of Abishag (the first perfume I bought for myself from the Israeli Museum) and that little porcelain pot of Greek mythology sealife that my grandmother brought me around the same time (it was filled with a knock-off of AnaisAnais, but actually smelled better)*. This little pot still holds the very same scent; which is why I recommend you never throw out empty perfume bottle. They hold memories and will continue to do so quite loyally for many years to come...

* I was actually rather disappointed that the real deal was as soapy and sharply green as it is. But I now appreciate it more (even though it really isn't "me", and never will be).

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The Aroma Allure


This morning I was interviewed for the Candy Palmater Show on CBC Radio One. It was particularly fun to connect to a fellow fragrance lover across the radio waves - before airing, I learned that Candy is a die-hard scent lover, who does not turn her nose away from old-fashioned treasures such as No. 5 and Chantilly; and would travel a great length to scout a fragrance when it just came out (even though if my memory serves me right it was Poison she was after, so she probably could have smelled it from miles away, LOL!).

You can hear it online: The aroma allure: Stories behind some iconic fragrances. And also you can listen to the whole episode - which included Cirque de Soleil's first Canadian woman director, and legendary folk musician Buffy Sainte-Marie!

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rad Dads: Honouring Fathers Fragrantly on June 19th

Wood & Ocean

The school year is coming to a close, and today I'll be witnessing (and experiencing) a huge milestone: My daughter is graduating high school. Her school years have been an immense journey, and reaching its end is bittersweet. When I think about it, my chest is going to burst from pride when I recall how she was in kindergarten, and how far she’s come. And my heart overflows with gratitude and happiness when I remember all the wonderful people who provided their guidance and helping hands along the way - teachers, therapists, childcare providers and friends - who all became our second "adopted" family here in Canada. It really does take a village...

And then there is always the pinch of regret and sadness, not only about saying goodbye to all these wonderful people; but also remembering all the ones that could not come to celebrate with us, some simply because they live too far away; but others, who one would think should have been there, and don’t even know it’s happening, simply because they chose to disappear from my daughter’s life altogether. Among those somebodies are, unfortunately, her own father, who has been missing out on a lot of important milestones prior to this one, and also with his choice to abandon his daughter made me by default the dad in the family (funnily enough, when asked about my gender, my daughter tends to label me as "man")…

Yet, although my personal experience with fathers is less than stellar, I haven't lost hope. Three of my brothers are wonderful dads and watching them raise their children is a delight (I only wish I could do so more often, and not from so far away!). My daughter was fortunate to have a reliable stepdad who was a supportive and positive influence for the best part of her childhood - and also have been an important contributor to the success of my business: he has designed, maintained and faithfully hosted my websites and sent all my newsletters out till recently. Which brings me to the point that we've launched a new website, wand it is already active on a temporary domain (the switchover is scheduled to take place any moment - and when that happens, the old domain will look the same as this). Please do not be scared of the prices - the default is in CAD, which means the numbers are a bit higher than what you're used to; but you can switch the currency to fit your currency of choice at the top right corner of the new website. 


Lastly, this year I I've met some rad dads, ones that would go to the other end of the earth to keep their children safe and happy; ones that would always put their children's best interest first, and would sacrifice and give them endlessly, just as much as most mothers would in a similar situation. My heart goes out to men like this, especially the rare breed that raises their kids alone like I do, and are also the mom in their family... For these dads I dedicate the following perfumes: 

SUNSET BEACH is a little piece of heaven tucked away in the midst of bustling boat-False Creek and busy traffic on the bridges that cross it. It is that happy place where time stops and the only thing that matter is the tides, currents and basking in the gentle evening sun. Sunset Beach can be anywhere... Mine just happened to be in Vancouver... I invite you to uncork a bottle of this daydream and experience a truly creamy sandalwood perfume complemented by handmade tinctures of pandan leaf and milky oolong tea, coconutty massoia bark and dreamy champaca. 

ORCAS was originally launched for Father's Day 2011, and was a FiFi Award Nominee in 2012. Inspired by the breathtaking scenery of the Wild Pacific Trail, a place where ocean meets forest and whales blow and sing above the stormy weather. Orcas perfume is an innovative all-natural marine woody, a unique combination of scents from sea and seashore. Brisk and pungent citrus and herbaceous notes suggest ocean breeze and tea-like clarity, and an array of oceanic treasures such as seaweed and ambergris meet seashore and rainforest notes.

KOMOREBI is the Japanese word for that beautiful interplay of tree foliage and light. This unique perfume captures the wonderful scent that can be experienced in late summer and early autumn in the Pacific northwest rainforests: It emanates from the sun-dappled fragrant forest floor on those warm days when the sun brings out the sweet smells of redcedar, moss & Douglas fir… 

TAMYA is one of the dreamiest scents in my collection: combining delicate and delicious notes of jasmine sambac, ylang ylang, cassis, bluebells and crocus, white musk, vanilla and cedar. All proceeds from this perfume go towards my autistic daughter's trust fund to save up for her future education and speech therapy. Each bottle you'll enjoy buys her one session. So far we've fundraised $2,908 from all sales of Tamya-related products - just a little less than third of our ultimate annual goal of $10K. You'll be surprised how wonderful it actually wears on a man's skin. Try it!

Additionally, you can support the ongoing Tamya cause by purchasing her very own original acrylic paintings (there is also a growing selection on her Etsy shop). 

Treat dad to some ESPIONAGE TEA next weekend! Lapsang Suchong (pine-smoked black tea), whose smoky aroma and tannin flavour is smoothed by orris root and vanilla bean. Juniper berries add a tad of evergreen, gin-like sparkle. This tea blend is a bold brew that sparkles the imagination and will be fondly remembered and shared, like stories around the campfire.

MASCULINE MINI TRIO is one of our most popular items online, and you can still get it (from the still active "old" website). It's a great way to treat dad (or another important man in your life) to three fragrances he can explore and play with (they can be layered too...). 






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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Blogger's Update

I've been bitterly neglecting my blog in the past three months. It's been a bit of a roller-coaster, having more responsibilities than usual in my personal life, preparing for many possible transitions, and approaching the graduating of my daughter.
But don't worry, I'm still alive and kicking. Just immersed deeply in the day-to-day work and responsibilities of running the business and this busy household. My writing energy has been completely diverted to completing the pilot correspondence course, dedicated to Citrus & Colognes + Lab 101. For those of you interested - I am offering this pilot module at a 50% discount until June 19th, in exchange for your honest feedback so that I can make this program the best correspondence program I can possibly offer (I'm planning to write and design 7 more modules after this one is out).

Those who sign up will receive a PDF of the material (which includes lists of the materials you will need for this module, step-by-step guide to reading and exercises for thorough and hands-on learning) and can ask questions via email or Skype chat. At the end of your studies, you will have to submit at least one of the perfumes you've created during the course; and will have to write test of that is conducted via email. With a successful completion of these last two steps, you will receive your certificate of completion for that module, and will be invited to continue to the next.

P.s. Private lessons via Skype conference calls can be booked in addition in order to address personal questions and monitor your progress and answer additional questions you may have about your perfumery studies.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thunder and Berries

Lighthouse Park

Our evening walk in the woods turned into a little thunderstorm adventure. After many dry days and static humid air, the thunder started roaring and gotten nearer and nearer. The rain began to drop gently, tapping on a leaf here and there, and then tap-tap-tap it went on, chasing us from the forest back home and even though we ran part of the way, we got soaked to the socks.

Thunderstorms are a rare occurrence on the West Coast, and it always reminds me of home, because even though the smells are different -  there is always the excitement of the noise and the bolts of lightning. And there is still something familiar, even though the petrichor here was wrapped in luscious smells of salmon berries and blackberry leaves as we were meandering through the forest; and the wet earth mingled with the smell of white roses and the last indolic rhododendrons in the garden... And then the smell of wet pavement and concrete, wet hair and breathless warm skin of a child as we ran all the way home from the park. Strange as this may sounds, to me this smells like a prelude to a summer.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Correspondence Courses Launching Soon!

Citrus Blossom

This is a time of transition for me and my family, and so I've prepared some provisions in place for students who wish to continue studying even when my courses are on hiatus for the summer (and possibly also for the fall semester).

You can register for the correspondence courses anytime, and complete the entire 8-module program at your own pace. Studying will progress according to the self-study guide that will be sent to you upon registration, which will include:

List of raw materials that are key components for this particular genre (AKA Fragrance Family).
List of tools and equipment you will need for this module.
List of the exercises in the book, and in which order to perform them.
Additional reading materials and links to relevant suppliers.
Additional creative thinking and exercises that are not in the book, and usually take place.
Online support via email or Skype chat - offered up to 6 months from date course was purchased.
Additional sessions via phone or Skype conference are also an option - but require an additional cost (these are billed at $200/hr).
{Future component of the correspondence program (still in the making): Access to online video tutorials, and essence kit for each module}.

The first course I'll be releasing is Citrus & Cologns + Lab 101.

Citrus & Cologne Week May 4-8, 2015

In this module, you will:
  • Learn Basic Lab Procedures & Etiquette
  • Become proficient and confident with the technical aspects of perfume creation and production, including: 
  • Dilutions
  • Tincturing of fresh and dry botanical matter
  • Adding water to an eau de cologne or eau de toilette + problem solving 
  • Scale-up
  • Standardizing Formulae
  • Scale Skills (including levelling, calibration, tare, count function, zeroing, etc.)
  • Basic Smelling Skills, primarily identifying essences 
  • Learn how to follow a formula and measure it properly
  • History of alcoholic perfumes, with focus on Aqua Mirabillis and medieval times 
  • Understand the Cologne type and basic accord 
  • Understand - and be able to recognize via smell - the difference between fragrances from the “Citrus” and “Cologne” genres
  • Understand the sub-categories for the Citrus family (i.e.: Citrus Fresh, Citrus Floral, Citrus Green, Citrus Fantasy, etc.) 
  • Follow and research historic formulae for Eaux de Colognes, i.e. Florida Water, Eau d’Hungarie, Carmelite Water, etc. 
  • Understand and be able to apply basic concepts of formulation, such as top notes, fixative, etc. 
  • Basic composition skills only: add 1-2 ingredients to a given formula, without taking away from it’s existing character (meaning: staying within the genre of Eau de Cologne, Citrus, etc.)
  • Basic manipulation of formulae to make it belong to a sub-category (i.e.: Citrus Floral, Citrus Fresh, Citrus Green, Citrus Fantasy, etc.) 
The course will become available at the end of May. It is now offered at an introductory price at 50% off. In exchange for this generous offer, we ask our first correspondence students to provide feedback about this course format, and be part of making future correspondence modules a comprehensive and excellent option for students of perfumery the world over!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Girls...

Girl

Through many twists and turns two extra teeange-ish girls were brought into my life. So that brings the total female humans in the household to four. Multiply that by 100 and you can get a pretty realistic number for for the amounts of products (some scented, some not) that each of us uses for her beauty regime, fragrance included. Thank goodness there are two bathrooms in my apartment, as we all know that girls don't use them just for straightforward business but for myriad of other mysterious purposes. It makes me think of how raising children is such a risky business - they start all adorable, helpless and easy to control and by their early teens could very possibly morph into a kind of a roommate from hell.

Whenever I feel the slightest urge to complain (like, when I see a cotton swap covered in kohl, hairballs, and myriad varieties of makeup mess) - I remind myself of the days when I was living at my friend Zohar's family. She has 3 more sisters, to with her mom there were 6 ladies in the house (but only one washroom). And it makes me feel ever more thankful and appreciative of their kindness and patience with me at that rough teenaged year of my life.

Now, back to painting that olfactory picture of what's happening right now (and yet again I'm reminded of my friend's many sisters) - every morning (or whenever they decide to wake up) - you'll get a immersed in fruity shampoos, conditioners, hairsprays, deodorants, celebrity perfumes (Brittany Spears Hidden Fantasy is the "everyday" scent around here). A similar regime will take place in the evening if one of us goes out, but then there is a chance that Flowerbomb will be applied as the final touch. And then there is a mystery fragrance of roses of violets that I keep forgetting to ask one of the girls what it is... Plus Miss T takes after her mom and sprays a bedtime perfume almost every night (she hasn't fallen far off the tree). At least she does not get to wear In Control Curious because her mom stocks her up with cult scents such as "Girl Perfume", which is how she calls The Little Prince (which is a harmless, lemony eau de cologne), the classic AnaisAnais, and a designer scent and a celebrity scent I actually quite like - "Pink Bottle Perfume" (KenzoAmour) and Harajuku Lovers "Love", AKA in this household as "Mickey Mouse Perfume".

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