Botanical perfume is pure plant materials melded together for an intimate, sensual, and aromatic experience.
When you think of perfume, you might think of beautiful crystal bottles. Or perhaps it brings up some less pleasant feelings of needing to avoid the pungent perfume counters in department stores.
If you are like me, I have been sensitive to synthetic fragrance ever since I was a child. I couldn’t walk into a shop filled with heavily scented candles without feeling nauseous and getting a headache. Granted I still had a few favorite perfumes through the years, which included Gap’s Grass perfume, Clinique Happy, and Oui by Lancome that I purchased in Paris when I was 16. Most of these bottles still adorn my bedroom dresser.
Spending more than 10 years formulating and making my own personal care products, I found myself drawn to the more precious and expensive plant aromatics. I wanted a way to harness their subtle scent in more concentrated ways that went beyond a body lotion. After spending years devoid of scent, besides some softly scented products using essential oils, I was longing for scent. A scent that could be mine.
For over two years, I have been working towards creating a limited edition perfume blend based on the Ether element. One that meshed many of the highly precious and spiritual oils into one luxurious product.
The perfume industry today is not what it once was. It is highly secretive with much darkness. Most perfume blends contain more than 99% synthetic petrochemicals with just a small amount of precious botanicals to make the aroma even palatable. The perfume industry has also been known for animal cruelty, such as caging wild cats and putting them under distress to harvest civet.
We’ve become removed from nature and what real botanicals smell like. Most modern perfumes are loud with their scent, they don’t respect other’s boundaries and our senses are accosted by their rude auric reach. Which has led to many public places being deemed scent free.
Did you know that carnations used to smell beautifully? Now they are grown for their longevity rather than their scent and it is nearly impossible to find true carnation essence anywhere. Another side effect of our human desire to have beauty at any expense.
Working with plant botanicals is harder than synthetics, as one is working with the life blood of the plant which contains multiple constituents. It is an artistic process that requires immense patience and investment. It is a practice that pays homage to ancient cultures and rituals, those found in Mesopotamia, Egypt with Cleopatra, and even the Bible with Mary Magdalene anointing Jesus’ feet with spikenard.
Botanical perfume changes as it unfolds on the skin. It is meant to be worn close to the skin, for your enjoyment. Its luxury comes from the intimacy and sensuality of the unfolding aromatic experience.
The Ether botanical perfume is a perfume oil with an initial spicy or peppery aroma, which I attribute to the frankincense. It then opens into soft floral notes of white champa leaf, tuberose, and jasmine; finally softening to warm sandalwood and honey.
My perfume blend uses pure botanical oils and absolutes. Some of the oils in this blend sell for over $80 for 1ml. This gives us a glimpse into the vast profits that the perfume industry is making on its petrochemical cocktails, it is driven by greed with no regard or respect for our earth.
As consumer’s demand greener products, greenwashing has become rampant. If products truly contained pure plant essences, it would be reflected in the price. A rose scented candle or perfume would cost a huge amount if it contained pure rose. It is becoming increasingly difficult to decipher if a product is truly “ALL natural”. The responsibility is put on consumer’s to do their due diligence, somehow sort through slippery marketing tactics, and search out the brands that have true integrity and transparency.
*Rosewood is endangered due to over harvesting. I am fortunate to have an amazing supplier who has a proprietary blend of pure essential oils that smell just like rosewood without containing any rosewood. It’s this blend that is used in the candle and spray. The botanical perfume contains true rosewood that was obtained ethically prior to it becoming unavailable.