North-American Originals: Perfumers on Fall & Winter 2
If you missed Part 1, you can read it here
Isn't it a testament to these perfumers' sense of independence that they choose to interpret the seasons rather than follow trends? In individual observations lie kernels of truth.
Today, we get inspiration from Anya McCoy of Anya's Garden who as a Miami-based perfumer has launched for the first time into the challenging exercise of creating fall and winter perfumes in a tropical environment; Candice Jurko of CJ Scents relies on her friends instead of focus panels for testing new scents and proposes to keep things simple with just a dash of sophistication ; Fabienne Christenson of Possets Perfume has a rich catalog of fall and winter scents but first let us hear her on the seasonal change of taste; Christopher Brosius of CB I Hate Perfume reminds us that unique personal memories color our perceptions of the simplest smells...
Anya McCoy of Anya's Garden
"This topic of fall/winter fragrances is intriguing to me, as a perfumer living and creating in the tropics of Miami. Here the season of "summer" often segues right into the Christmas season, with many Fall and Winter celebrations being held in 80-degree weather. So the question is, how do I relate to the cold and frigid temperatures in the northern latitudes that are the focus of this inquiry?
In the online recorded lecture for my students in the introductory perfume class I teach, I tell them to be true to themselves: their ethical inclinations, their environment and their personality. If someone is casual and lives in the country, I say don't stretch it unless you're very, very ambitious and daring, to try to create a sophisticated perfume that you envision being worn by people in a big city.
With that said, the two latest perfumes from my Anya's Garden Perfumes line were created for people outside the tropics, very much in line with the topic of Fall and Winter perfumes. Launched in September and October 2009, they're my first-ever Fall and Winter scents. They are a look back to the time of my youth in my teens and twenties and early thirties, in locales from Philadelphia, New York and San Francisco. When I first conceived them, I had no idea it would take me almost two years to complete them. Since I was working for a representation of climatic zone so unlike the one I have lived in for years, I found myself making dozens and dozens of mods, discarding certain accords in favor of others.
Tuberose, that heady white flower that can fill a room with romantic promise, or a garden with hints of love, was planned as the keynote of the perfumes. It is so strong, so spicy, tasty and unmistakable, I wanted to showcase it as a seductive flower for all seasons, but especially the cold seasons, due to its ability to "warm". I kept surprising myself with the paths I was taking, often veering far from my original aromatics chosen for the project, but tuberose always remained the heart.
It was painstaking work, much like writing a memoir of a lover from the past, the memory is dimmed about the details, but the general feeling is inescapable. Whereas a dream may recall the lover, I found myself really having to play with the temperatures in my studio for practical, wide-awake experiential tests - standing in front of the open refrigerator and freezer and turning the air conditioning down very low for brief periods. I also visited stores when the brief run of Fall and Winter fashions arrived to stroke and feel the knits, leathers and faux furs." [To be continued...]
Candice Jurko of CJ Scents
"While I was thinking of fall and my interpretation of it, I imagined something with pumpkin...not so much a foody scent, but something more complex. I played with a couple different takes on it and sent out some testers to friends. (This was before the website was launched). The one with an overwhelming positive response resulted in Pumpkin Patch-a blend of patchouli, sandalwood, pumpkin and vanilla.
My approach for winter was very much the same. I wanted something that reminded me of Christmas. Gingerbread Amber-a blend of gingerbread with a very resinous amber and labdanum was the result of friends testing different blends and choosing the one that they liked best. It's warm, spicy and very dark.
I still stand behind my philosophy that perfumes do not have to have 20+ notes to smell nice. You should not have to take 4 hours to get to the drydown or spend huge amounts of money to smell warm and inviting."
Fabienne Christenson of Possets Perfume
"Fall and winter are when many of my clients and I get excited and our fragrance tastes change. This assuredly has to do with the atmosphere becoming colder, but I believe that the weakening sunshine and the lower angle of the sun subconsciously affect our tastes, too! There is less light in the day, and more time to marvel at the velvet night, sunsets are spectacular now and thoughts turn to the coziness of bed and partner. It is a time of gift giving and generosity, festivals, and reflection...of surrendering yourself to thought and fortifying yourself with Proust.
In Fall and winter I find myself preferring heavier perfumes, more oriental and filled with spice, which would be far too strong for the summer and too pushy for spring, but are a relief (!) in the fall and almost imperative for winter. Fall and winter are times, which I find to be more sexy than spring and summer, less sportive, more reflective. Somehow a dusty smell is more appropriate at this time, by that I mean that labdanum is good in a blend; a grand chypre is excellent for a highly formal occasion, a strong patchouli works wonderfully for a daytime fragrance. The bass notes excel in the cold weather and dark days, they themselves are heavy molecules and almost demand us to slow down and savor the time, take our rest like the earth does, and delight in the time." [To be continued...]
Christopher Brosius of CB I Hate Perfume
"The two perfumes I do that are most about fall/winter are M3 November and Winter 1972. M3 November is based on many memories of the autumn while Winter 1972 was inspired by one single moment.
I love abstraction in painting and art but have never been fond of it in terms of perfume. The world is full of marvelous smells and I prefer to capture those. The foundation of my work has long been about experiencing very particular scents in a very real way. I'm not interested in the fantasy of winter but in the reality of falling snow.
But I feel all art must be accessible not just to the artist but to those who experience it as well. Fortunately I have a gift for finding the heart of an experience, interpreting it and putting it into a context that a great many can understand. To me, one of the most fascinating aspects of olfaction and memory is that while everyone may recognize the scents of a ripe apple, everyone inherently brings their own unique memory to smelling it."