Solid perfumes

Recently I went for a lovely drive to The Honey Farm located in Chudleigh, Tasmania. Chudleigh lies in a little valley with the awesome Great Western Tiers as the backdrop. Chudleigh is also very close to Mole Creek Karst National Park – an area renowned for underground caves, underground rivers, caverns and glow worms! It is a breathtakingly beautiful, pristine part of the world.

The purpose of my trip was to pick up some beeswax for my solid perfumes. The beeswax has a beautiful rich, honey aroma. Here it is:

Tasmanian beeswax from Chudleigh

Tasmanian beeswax from Chudleigh

And here are the solid perfumes made from the beeswax with jojoba, essential oils & absolutes: Solar, Rose Tea & Forest.

SOLAR: is a radiant blend of juicy citrus, jasmine grandiflorum, bitter orange absolute and amber.

ROSE TEA: is a bohemian rose & tea, with a heart of rose centifolia and damascena delicately surrounded by tea notes of bergamot, rooibos red tea and frankincense, on a base of patchouli and oud.

FOREST: dappled rays of citrus dance amongst the fir and pine trees, before casting light on an earthy forest floor of vetiver and incense.

These have been a real delight to make. There seems to be something calming and meditative about the preparation of solid perfumes – I think it has to do with the grating and melting of the beeswax! After adjusting of ratios, these have turned out to be a lovely creamy consistency that melt right into the skin leaving an intimate veil of scent.

These will initially only be available at the Launceston niche market. I should then have them available online in the new year.

 

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èrlithe will be at Niche & Co this year!

I’m very excited to announce that our application to attend this years niche market in Launceston,Tasmania was accepted! There were over 500 applicants with only 51 places available!

The extra great thing is that 20% of sales will be donated to St. Giles to support children with disability in Tasmania. Here’s the date to mark in your calendar for those in or visiting Launceston:

53292_stgiles_niche posters 2

 

I’m also hoping to have a few new items available for sale on the day which will eventually make their way to the website. These new items are solid perfumes and fragranced bath salts.

The solid perfume fragrances that I have settled upon are: jasmine, rose & red tea, fir and neroli. Jasmine is my “smell” of the month and the solid perfume has turned out to be insanely gorgeous. I just wish there was such a thing as ‘smell -o-net’ so you could smell what I mean!

Trialling solid perfumes

Trialling solid perfumes

Natural Jasmine Perfume recipe (formula)

Today I would like to share with you the formula for my own personal jasmine natural perfume. Formulas are not often shared so why am I doing this? Simply because over the years I have learnt a lot on the web about many topics that I am interested in, thanks to generous people willing to share their knowledge and experience.  It is in this spirit that I want to share a personal fragrance formula that I love based on jasmine.

Jasmine is a much loved flower, offering a rich and heavy narcotic floral scent with an animalic background. The sambac variety is deeper, spicier, less sweet and more intense than the grandiflorum. The grandiflorum variety showcases delicious sweet fruity notes. From an aromatherapy point of view, jasmine is uplifting, rejuvenating and energising with aphrodisiac qualities. The blooms continue to emit scent long after they have been picked from the plant. I can vouch for this – I picked a little sprig last Friday on my way to work. I popped the sprig in my top pocket and all day I was gifted with the most amazing wafts of jasmine. I kept forgetting I had it in my pocket and found myself wondering on occasion where the lovely smell was coming from! I still have the little sprig on my desk. The blooms are now completely shrivelled but are still emitting a scent – 5 days later, amazing!

Today, I collected a much larger bunch, which will keep the house smelling fantastic for days.

The following formula I do not sell. This is because I use a few ingredients that can be hard to come by and so I reserve it for my own personal use. I apologise that it is not a perfume formula that you can whip up today. If you don’t have an extensive perfumers palette you may not have some of the ingredients on hand and so will need to purchase before you have a go. In addition I have used a handmade organic peruvian cacao nib tincture (aged 4 months before filtering) and vanilla bean tincture (aged 9 months) in pure natural grape alcohol as the base for this perfume. It is well worth going to the effort of making these tinctures.

If you are not inclined to make your own perfume, I hope it gives you a little insight into the process I use to create perfume.

This perfume is what I’d describe as a rich oriental spicy floral – my favourite!

JASMINE SPICE NATURAL PERFUME

Measure in a sterilised small measuring glass (30ml glass) using disposable pipettes.

Cacao Nib Tincture 83 drops

Vanilla Bean Tincture 72 drops

To this base add the following:

Balsam of Peru eo 4 drops

Australian Sandalwood eo 3 drops

50% Opoponax absolute 3 drops (equivalent 1.5 drops)

2% Indole (natural isolate) 10 drops (equivalent 0.2 drops)

10% Blackcurrant Bud absolute 5 drops (equivalent 0.5 drops)

25% White Cognac eo 3 drops (equivalent 0.75 drops)

10% Violet Leaf absolute 4 drops (0.4 drops)

Jasmine Sambac absolute 4 drops

Jasmine Grandiflorum absolute 2 drops

Jasmine Grandiflorum Concrete 1/64 teaspoon – just under

Rose Maroc absolute 2 drops

Bitter Orange Flower absolute 2 drops

Cardamon absolute 1 drop

Pink Grapefruit eo 2 drops

Blood Orange eo 3 drops

Bergamot (bergaptene free) eo 4 drops

5% Basil absolute 10 drops (equivalent 0.5 drops)

Blood Cedarwood eo 2 drops

Stir together, pour into a bottle and allow to marry for at least a week – preferably 2 – 3 weeks. After this time, strain through a funnel lined with unbleached filter paper. Decant into a 4ml bottle.

This makes just under 4mls of perfume at around 15% concentration.

Multiply as required to scale up. For larger volumes I would recommend converting the drops to weight to ensure accuracy in subsequent replication.

Jasmine Spice natural perfume

Jasmine Spice natural perfume

NOTES ON SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS

I use Opoponax absolute – not the essential oil. There is a vast difference in smell! The absolute is much richer and deeper. It is also the consistency of syrup and so it is best to dilute before using.

Indole is a natural isolate and even at 2% dilution is quite strong – smells a bit like moth balls. It occurs naturally in jasmine and helps add a little radiance. I’ve only added a dash, so it wouldn’t hurt to leave out as there is already plenty of jasmine in the perfume. If you would like to know a little more about indole, Victoria on her blog Bois de Jasmin writes beautifully about all things olfactory.

Blackcurrant Bud absolute – I adore this, although some liken it to cat pee! I don’t smell that myself. To me it smells earthy, fruity and wine like. Only a small amount is needed to prevent overpowering.

Cognac essential oil – this has a dry, tart, wine like aroma. It is used as a modifier to add a bit of lift to the blend. It is only needed in minute amounts, unless you really want the full dry, tart experience.

Violet Leaf absolute – has a very cool, green, leaf like aroma. This has to be added very carefully, otherwise your perfume will become a very “green” scent. Just a little bit, hints to the freshness of leaves whilst adding a long dry out to the perfume.

For the citrus oils I like to keep them in the 2 – 3% range in the finished perfume due to the issues with photo-toxicity. For this reason, I also only use distilled oils (not expressed citrus oils) and choose bergaptene free bergamot. Nonetheless, I recommend that perfumes containing citrus are not applied to skin that will be exposed to the sun or UV rays within 24 hours.

Basil absolute should be kept at less than 2% of the fragrance concentrate. Here it is used at 1.5%.

I normally have the base ingredients representing a higher ratio in my formulas, however, the tinctures here are acting as a base. To help the longevity of your fragrance, make sure your skin is well moisturised with an unscented product where you will apply the fragrance. This gives the perfume something to hold on to.

If you give this a try I’d love to know how it went and what you think. Also, if you make any adjustments, I’d love to know what they were and how they turned out.

Hope you have a shiny, happy day x

P.S. 23/06/15 I just thought I’d add the following in case readers were unaware: natural jasmine absolute is restricted in commercial fragrances by IFRA due to the potential for skin sensitisation. Jasmine Grandiflorum absolute is allowed at a maximum of 0.7% in the finished fragrance and Jasmine Sambac absolute at 4%. Rose absolute is restricted to 5% of the fragrance concentrate. The above recipe has the Jasmine Grandiflorum at around 0.9% of the finished fragrance and the Rose Absolute at around 6% of the fragrance concentrate – so both are above the IFRA limits. The Jasmine Sambac is ok at around 1.8%. As this is a recipe for personal use, if you choose to make it, it is at your own discretion. If you are concerned you can halve the Jasmine Grandiflorum and Rose absolute and see how it smells.

As a precaution, I think it is good practice for personal safety to always check that online fragrance recipes are using ingredients within recommended usage limits by IFRA and if they are not, at least you are aware and can make an informed decision as to whether to go ahead and make the blend. (When I was starting out years ago I followed an online lip balm recipe. The cinnamon essential oil looked a bit too much so I halved it – thank goodness I did, because even with using half the amount of the cinnamon my lips instantly swelled to twice their size and became extremely red!

The Good Scents Company is also very good for such information.

 

New labels and mini bottles

I recently updated the sample vial labels and added 4ml mini eau de parfum bottles to the èrlithe natural perfume range. I’ve shared photos via Facebook and Instagram but forgot about the blog!  The minis are currently only available for sale at the Mona markets, Hobart where I’ll be for the last time this year on Saturday 5th April 12-5pm. So if you are in Hobart this weekend make sure you drop by the MONA and say hi! If you can’t make it, don’t fret! I’m hoping to get the 4ml minis listed on my online store by the end of this month. The mini’s are currently packaged in limited edition printed cotton muslin drawstring bags. All in all very cute if I do say so myself xx

èrlithe natural perfume 4ml mini eau de parfums

4ml mini eau de parfums

èrlithe 4ml mini's with printed cotton bag

èrlithe 4ml mini’s with printed cotton bag

èrlithe sample set with new labels

èrlithe sample set with new labels

èrlithe natural perfume sample vials

new labels for èrlithe sample vials

 

MoMa: Mona markets, Hobart Tasmania

Yesterday was a fabulous day!

So far I have relied on the internet to take my natural perfumes to the world. Yesterday was the first time that I went out in public to showcase my natural perfumes in person. The reason I have not ventured out to showcase my perfumes is simply because I felt that the average market did not have the right vibe. It’s not necessarily about selling my perfumes (although that is always awesome!), it’s about sharing my love of natural ingredients and botanicals and helping to educate and show people an alternative to the common synthetic perfumes.

When I was offered a spot at the MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) markets (MoMa) for 2014, I was both excited and nervous. Nervous because I had not done this before and excited because I saw it as the perfect venue in which to share my love of botanical based natural perfumes. This years theme for the markets is the “River Derwent Heavy Metals Project: an ongoing art-science collaboration bent on tackling the problem of pollution in the River Derwent”. For me and my perfumes, the connection to their theme is this: if we choose products/perfumes that are full of synthetics and chemicals such as parabens, phthalates etc, not only are these chemicals absorbed into our bodies they are also excreted into the environment. How? Directly: via the sink as we wash them off our bodies and also via the sewer as we excrete some of the toxins out of our bodies into the toilet bowl.

The MONA markets only operate each Saturday 12-5pm from January 18 – April 19. I am not there every week and so did a reconnaissance mission to the markets prior to having to set up a stall. All nerves and fears were instantly put at ease. The vibe is unreal. There is a very palpable generous and welcoming atmosphere. You get the sense that you have been invited to the museum owners backyard to just chill out, enjoy some fabulous food and beverages, and relax on pink bean bags whilst listening to music. So, wherever you are in the world, this place is an absolute must to visit!

These are a few photos taken on the reconnaissance mission:

monahobart5

monahobart6So yesterday was my debut at the markets. The staff were amazing: welcoming, friendly, super organised and helpful.

It was interesting to discover that the vast majority of folk who checked out my stall did not know what natural perfume was. So, it turned out to be a perfect opportunity to educate people regarding natural perfumes. I was also really delighted to get amazing positive feedback. It was great to see people’s immediate reactions and it was such a relief that I got no “yucks”! It was also interesting to see that all the perfumes were enjoyed, but one just shone a little ahead of the rest yesterday: 010 geranium bourbon, vanilla and botanical musk.

So thank you to all the people who dropped by and tried my perfumes yesterday, thank you for my new likes on Facebook and thank you to the staff of Mona Hobart.

Here are some snaps at the markets:

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Strawberry Tincture

Tincturing is something I’ve been experimenting with since the arrival of my vast amount of 190-proof, natural grape alcohol. My latest tincture experiment I thought I’d share with you is a strawberry tincture.

I took some freeze dried strawberries and placed them in a sterilised glass jar. I covered them with the 190-proof natural grape alcohol and gave it all a bit of a shake for a couple of weeks. The freeze dried strawberries transferred their colour and aroma over to the alcohol quite quickly, so I possibly could have removed them a bit sooner. I filtered off the strawberries and now have a beautiful strawberry smelling alcohol to use as a base for future perfumes. I’m finding the strawberry aroma adequate after just the one lot of strawberries. In fact, it’s a lot stronger than I had anticipated.

Late last night I opted to use my strawberry tincture to make a perfume rather than going to bed early! I’ve been contemplating what approach to take to make a Tuberose perfume for myself for a little while now and so thought I’d see how the strawberry base works. I’ve never been partial to Honore des Pres Vamp A NY bubblegum take on Tuberose preferring Aftelier’s tempering of the sweetness with Cepes Absolute in Cepes & Tuberose, but over time I am actually starting to appreciate the cloying sweet component of Tuberose.

So, late last night I had the idea of a fruity Tuberose, chocolate truffle type perfume. I included Cepes absolute but in a trace amount only, added Cocoa absolute to a base of Vanilla, Labdanum, Oakmoss, Sandalwood and Benzoin and then made a heart of Tuberose, Orange Blossom, Bulgarian Rose and Linden Blossom. I chose Linden Blossom as it has this amazing fruity rum ‘n’ raisin like vibe and I took a punt that this aspect would marry nicely to the strawberry base, Cocoa absolute, earthy Cepes and sweet Tuberose. For the top notes, I’m using citrus with a dash of Peppermint for subtle freshness. So far so good. The strawberry is actually the first thing I smell, with a definite rum ‘n’ raisin back note.

I also thought I’d give a little pictorial update on the Vanilla Bean Tincture. Here it is, looking dark and delicious!

Preview! 070 cognac & espresso natural perfume

I am always experimenting with new perfume blends and being pretty fussy, many only make it as far as the bin! However, one blend that I have been working on for awhile and allowing to ‘age’ really grabbed my attention upon recent evaluation. I am super excited by the result. So excited that I have decided to add it to my range. I am hoping to release 070 cognac & espresso in February/March 2014!

070 cognac & espresso is my first natural perfume for men. It is a dignified, sophisticated, rich and utterly delicious blend of natural ingredients. These images sum up the inspiration for this perfume.

070 cognac & espresso natural perfume opens with citrus and spices of saffron, ginger and galangal to a rich coffee and rose heart supported by a sophisticated base of cognac essential oil, tobacco absolute, sandalwood, patchouli, vanilla and labdanum and will be made in a base of pure natural grape alcohol. (When it is available for sale it will be in a different bottle to that in the photo below).

To not miss this perfumes release date, simply like èrlithe’s Facebook page – on the right side panel of this blog or sign up for the newsletter at èrlithe.

Wishing all my readers a Merry Christmas! xx

070 cognac and espresso natural perfume by èrlithe

Tasmanian Boronia

Tasmania ‘the natural state’ is renowned throughout the world as one of the cleanest places on earth, boasting one of the last pristine temperate wilderness areas. Around 45% of Tasmania consists of reserves, national parks and world heritage sites. It is the destination for anyone wanting to experience the magnificence of nature and unique flora and fauna.

Tasmania is the place of dreams – a place people wish they could live, but due to low employment opportunities, most only get to experience the magic of Tasmania on holidays. I therefore consider myself incredibly lucky that I have the opportunity to live here and be inspired by Tasmania’s beauty in the creation of my natural perfumes. I could rave on forever about how amazing Tasmania is but I will now get to the main discussion point of this blog entry – a natural botanical perfumery ingredient that once again puts Tasmania on the world map, Boronia Absolute.

Boronia Absolute is produced from the flowers of a native shrub – Boronia megastigma (brown boronia). It is an evergreen shrub with intensely rich, fragrant flowers. How intense?  INTENSE!! Yesterday I visited a local garden nursery to pick up some vegetable seedlings and seeds for my new veggie patch. As I was wandering through the nursery an amazing sharp, floral, tangy, zesty smell wafted my way. I stopped dead in my tracks, excitedly sniffing the air! I knew that smell! Following my nose I found a table holding around 7 plants – BORONIA!! I was beside myself with excitement. I shouldn’t have been so surprised, this is Tasmania after all! However, I have not actually seen and smelt the real plant before and have not as yet come across a nursery that had it in stock. I grabbed 3 of the plants like there was no tomorrow! The fragrance is amazing, smelling just like my boronia absolute at home! I carried my beloved boronia’s with me around the nursery as I gathered what I had actually gone there for, all the while their heavenly scent surrounding me. The car was filled with the intoxicating boronia aroma for the drive home and my lovely plants are currently sitting on a table outside delighting me with their fragrance each time I pass.

There are around 90 – 100 species of boronia. Boronia megastigma or brown boronia is the type that is used for the production of boronia absolute. They grow to about 1 meter x 1 meter and have delightful purple-brown bell shaped flowers with a striking yellow/lime green colour inside. I also chose a yellow boronia with yellow bell shaped flowers, still fragrant but not as intensely fragrant as the brown boronia. Apparently they can be difficult to grow, tending to be fast growing and short lived – not particularly good news for a non green thumb such as myself!

The shrubs are commercially grown in a number of locations throughout Tasmania – around 12 plantations are located in the North and East of Tasmania, totalling around 45 hectares. The flowers are mechanically harvested between August and October each year. The concrete is produced from the open flowers by non-chlorinated solvent extraction. Traditional alcohol extraction of the concrete produces the absolute. There are around 150 chemical constituents that naturally occur in Boronia, with beta-ionone and dodecyl acetate being the two main components contributing to the aroma. The aroma is typically described as an intensely rich and floral aroma with an initial opening of the natural green freshness of cassis and the character of ripening hay followed by exotic fruit undertones of yellow freesias and a woody dry-out. The persistency and intensity of the scent has made it highly valued in the perfumery world and is also used in the food industry as an addition to citrus and berry formulations.

There is only 1 producer here in Tasmania that I am aware of. The high demand and small supply makes boronia absolute an incredibly expensive, if not the most expensive, botanical perfumery ingredient in the world. The producer only sells to those capable of buying in large quantities – to then buy from these suppliers is very costly, a very recent quote for just 50 mls of absolute will set me back AUD$1750!!

For those who follow this blog, you’ll be aware that I make and sell 030 Orange Blossom and Boronia Natural Perfume – I occasionally worry that I won’t be able to secure enough boronia to keep making this perfume, but I guess that’s just the way it is sometimes.

030 Erlithe Boronia perfume

030 Boronia perfume amongst the Boronia!

At least I have my very own boronia shrubs for now and who knows, maybe I’ll work out how to extract my own boronia absolute – dreaming! : )

Have any of my readers ever seen and smelt real boronia? If so, what did you think of it?

Kerry Che x

Lots of goodies planned for Èrlithe!

Hello again to all you lovely perfume kindred spirits!

For those who have been over to my website in the past week you may have noticed a little change! The perfume atomisers will soon be available in 2 size options: 15ml and 30ml. The 30ml won’t be available just yet as I need to have outer packaging made up – this packaging is important to keep the glass safe in the mail. Also, I have been able to reduce the price on the 15ml atomisers. Why? I have seen that there is indeed a demand for my glorious natural perfumes and so I now am able to order my supplies in larger quantities. I am also getting much more savvy with my time, so any savings I can make I like to be able to pass on to my customers!

I am also learning much more regarding websites etc. I have recently set up a review app on the online store. For those who make a purchase they will automatically receive an email asking if they would like to write a review. If a review is written, the customer receives a coupon for 10% off their next purchase and if they share the review on social media (Facebook) they’ll get a further 10% off – a maximum of 20% off in the one transaction! That’s my way of saying a big thank you xx

So what other goodies are planned? I have just received a sample of a beautiful little teardrop perfume bottle.

erlithe 050 natural perfume oil

èrlithe 050 natural perfume oil in 9ml (1/3oz) teardrop bottle

This is the bottle filled with 050 Rose, Honeysuckle and Sandalwood. They hold 9ml of perfume oil – I will be filling them with the same parfum strength oil that is available in the 5ml roll-on bottles. I am very happy with the look! They will be available as we get closer to Christmas – a stunning gift for yourself or someone you love!

I am also experimenting with solid perfumes. They will be made from jojoba oil and local tasmanian beeswax. I am currently deciding on the best ratios for optimal consistency of the solid perfume and also deciding whether the current 5 fragrances work in solid format or whether it is best to offer new fragrances. I have created a beautiful fir/jasmine fragrance that is working very well in the solid format. Some sample brass lockets are on their way to me and I also purchased these polarity magnetic lockets and filled them with my new fir/jasmine solid perfume.

These are fantastic little lockets – they are made in the US from recycled steel auto parts. They come with a variety of changeable magnetic tops making it super easy to change the look of your locket.

I’m also waiting for some lovely cotton muslin bags to arrive – these will be the new packaging for my sample vials. I will post a photo of the bags and brass lockets as soon as I get the goods.

Exciting times ahead – I have so many things I want to do, stay tuned.

Kerry Che xx