Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

It's New Year's eve and I make myself ready for the party tonight with our family. It's dark and smokey in Wolvega right now, the air is filled with smoke and it smells like sulfur. I hear bang's of fire work outside, something I will not play with, but we will have a wonderful show of fire work this evening which is organized by some people. Something I always find very romantic to watch in the arms of my DH, calling out ooohs and aaahs together while watching these miracles in the dark sky. I will wear Gucci no3 tonight, I think it will fit for this joyful evening. Looking back at 2007 I can say it was a great year. At new year's eve we always ask each other if we have plans for the next year or wants to quit bad behaviors etc. My plan is to spend more time with friends and family and finish some of my perfumes I'm working on. I will spend more time on creating perfumes than I did last year. Last year I had many other things to do as well, I spent time on creating perfumes but not enough, that will change next year.

I wish you all the best for 2008, may it be a happy, peaceful, healthy, loving, joyful and fragrant year for all of you.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas


Which perfume are you going to wear this Christmas?
I will wear Gala by Loewe the first day and Chanel no 19 the second day I think

Sunday, December 09, 2007

What I love to do most

I finally have some more time to work on my perfumes again. Last months I spent a lot of my time working on my Yahoo group, I love doing that and I love to help people, but there was no time left to work on my perfumes anymore. I decided to slow down a bit with the work on the group and spend time on what I love to do most; perfume making.

I worked on my perfume Velvet Blossom, a perfume based on delicate white flowers with Magnolia and Lily of the Valley combined with Mai rose and Sambac Jasmine. A perfume inspired by my sister in law, who loves delicate white flowers. I wanted the perfume to smell delicate white floral, with a bright fresh opening and a velvet smooth end. The result was really close to what I had in mind, but I want to soften the top notes a bit more and accentuate the white petal like floral notes and bring the lily of the valley a bit more towards the top notes. I added some Cyclamen aldehyde to bring out the lilly of the valley a bit more, also a bit more Mayol added to the perfume gave a more petal like result. To smooth the top notes, I added a bit more Ambrettolide, a wonderful warm smelling musk with a touch of fruitiness, which appears in the base notes but also smooth the top notes at the same time. I didn't change much, only adding a bit more or less of the materials that I've used already. The only new thing that I added is a touch of Cyclamen aldehyde, which works real nice in this fragrance. I'm really happy with the result. Now I have to mature it for a while to see if it's really better than the last one. In the mean time I will work some more on my 'fruity/chypre' fragrance, more about that later....

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Why is it that if you mix the colors blue and yellow you will get a green color? We know it, but why is it? I can't give a logical explanation for it (maybe someone likes to explain), I only know that it is. I love to read the blog of Octavian 1000 Fragrances, and read the post where he asks a very interesting question. He asks why it is that certain combinations of perfume materials smell a certain way, if there are 'rules' for it and how to control it.

I don't know why some combinations of materials smell a certain way, I just know that it is. If we smell a rose or jasmine we smell a combination of different aromatic chemicals, we recognize the combination of these chemicals as a rose or jasmine scent. If we smell a combination of Benzyl Acetate and Indole, we recognize some sort of jasmine scent, and if we smell a combination of Phenylethyl Alcohol and Geraniol we recognize some sort of rose scent. If I would combine these four materials of the rose and jasmine; Benzyl Acetate, Indole, Phenylethyl Alcohol and Geraniol, and add for example Ionones, such as Methyl Ionone Alpha and Beta Ionone, the result would smell a bit like raspberry. But if I would combine the four materials(Benzyl Acetate, Indole, Phenylethyl Alcohol and Geraniol) with Linalool, Methyl Anthranilate and Linalyl Acetate, the result would smell like orange blossoms. Why this is? I don't know, it's how the combinations are recognized. This is what a perfumer calls 'smelling in patterns', we smell different aromatic materials, but we recognize them as something familiar, because we know the smell of the combination of these chemicals. That's why we can recognize a perfume in an instant, even though it contains hundreds of different chemicals.

If I'm creating a perfume, I don't build it from base towards top notes. I start with a combination of materials, an accord. I don't see the materials as were it single notes, I use them in combination with other materials. I want to know the general impression the perfume will have before I go further. It's not that if you combine fruity, floral, woody and musky notes, the perfume will smell like that; fruity, floral, woody and musky. The combinations of these notes will turn into something complete new, sometimes in a way you didn't expect. That's why I can't build a perfume from base to top notes, how would I know how the combination of these notes would smell like in the end? It would be like I'm creating a perfume, but I have no idea, or control over how it will smell like, I can't 'see' (read smell) the total picture of the perfume if I start from the base and build it up towards the top. I have to find out, beforehand, how the combination of the most important materials of the perfume will smell like.

That's why I'm always 'playing' with materials, I always try to find new accords, nice combinations of materials. I put the materials on scent strips and hold them to my nose, to smell the combination of these materials. The combinations of these materials sometimes smell totally different than expected, a green note can turn into a fruity note, a material that appears as very weak can unexpectedly change the overall picture of the perfume tremendous, a material that appears as very strong on the other hand, can become very weak in combination with other materials, materials which smell like they wouldn't combine together, could become a wonderful combination etc. I know that some combinations smell a certain way because I read about it, but a lot of combinations I have to find out by myself. If I found a nice combination of materials which work real well together, I use these accords as my starting point for a perfume. This gives some control, but it's impossible to know the result of adding more materials. It's an endless way of experimentation's and experience. That's why I love to make perfumes, it always surprises me, I never know the result some combinations will give. Even though I learned and experimented a lot, it is and it will always be a mystery to me. A mystery I love.

Read here more about accords

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I'm reading the book: Fragrance The story of perfume from Cleopatra to Chanel written by Edwin T. Morris, for the second time now. It's a very interesting book which discusses the history of fragrance and fragrance materials. An intersesting part is where he talks about the scent of flowers. We are not the only ones who are attracted to the scent of flowers, insects are attracted to their scent as well. Some flowers mimic the insect pheromones, and some of them the scent of their food sources. The moth for example, is attracted to the white night blooming heavy indolic scented flowers such as jasmine and honeysuckle. Among the white flowers we find the greatest number of aromatic blooms. Second place for the odorous flowers are the reds and pinks. These flowers are favored by the day-flying butterflies. The bees however prefer yellow, lavender and blue flowers.

We humans have our preferences as well. Although there is no standard in our preferences. We all have our own unique scent preferences, mostly created by our scent memorie. If we have a nice memorie of the scent of vanilla, we probibly will like the scent. But if we have had a bad experience while smelling vanilla, we could have created a bad vanilla scent memorie and the scent can be associated with this experience.

That's why it's simply impossible to create a perfume that will be liked by everyone. I sent samples of my perfume Velvet Blossom to people from all over the world to get some feedback. Most people who smelled the perfume said they would leave it like it is, and don't mess with it too much, they liked it. Other people liked it too, but gave me some tips on how to improve it. The tips I received were all so different, here are some:
it would be nice if it smelled a bit greener, another told me to make it smell less greener, again another one told me to make it more spicy with cumin notes, another more ambery, yet another asked me to use more indolic jasmine notes, another to use more woody notes etc etc.

It's difficult to make a decision on what kind of advice to follow. I personally want to make the top notes a bit softer, another option to ad to the others. I decided to try some of the tips and created different batches, and will see if it makes a difference.

Friday, November 09, 2007


I want to share this amazing video with you which I found at YouTube. This woman of 84 years old plays Liebesleid by Fritz Kreisler on the piano. She plays this beatiful piece of music with such a passion and soul, I just had to share it with you. It's beautiful.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Not everything we see, hear, or smell is what it seems like. Sometimes we need more information to get to the bottom of something to understand what it is that we see, hear or smell. The information provided to us is not always accurate and can even be misleading. Think of a situation whereby someone purposely wants you to believe something and therefor provides you false information to create a misconception of the truth. We are easy being fooled, and it's hard to get this misconception out of our head once it has settled there. Some people use this tool to create for example a war, they use the tool fear for this purpose. Fear is a very powerful tool to create a misconception in our mind about the truth. The idea that there are people who are purposely creating a misconception of the truth among the people to get what they want, is too much to believe for some people. And yes, it's something that is going beyond our mind, that's why it such a powerful tool, no one will doubt the information provided, why should they, right?

Well, things have changed since there is Internet and information from around the world which is easy to access. But at the same time, not everyone uses this chance to get to the bottom of the provided information to check if it's true. That's scary, people are even being killed because of this. This is something that is playing in my mind a lot of times. It's scary that some people are being fooled this easy and not even trying to find out what is really going on in the world, but make up their mind by information only provided by the same people who wants to have power and money, and not looking any further, but yet making important decisions based on the provided information. Of course it's not realistic that everyone will search for all information, a lot of people are not interested in doing that. But sometimes I wish more people would try before they judge, because even though they don't have the time or feeling to search for more information, they do judge anyway, or even give their own lives or the lives of others.

Bring this subject back to perfumery, right now we are giving feedback about some perfumes made by members of my group. We call this a 'Perfume Swap', I talked about this before. Some of our members including me 'swapped' their own perfumes. We even share our formulas with the participants of the swap. We start the discussion about a perfume with a 'guessing round', that means that before we had the chance to see the formula, we have to guess which notes or accords the perfume contains. This is real fun to do. Sometimes we smell things that aren't even there, and we get crazy because of this, because we really smell these notes. This can be caused because of the fact that some combinations of notes create a whole other new note, or just because of a misconception of what we smell. We learn a lot by guessing the notes of a perfume, we also learn how to recognize combinations of notes. Next week my perfume will be discussed, I'm curious what will be said about it, maybe I can learn something from it and adjust the formula of my perfume.

Not everything you see at first sight is what it is, sometimes you have to take a closer look at things to understand things better.

Friday, October 19, 2007

New packaging for fragrances by Michael Storer

My friend Michael Storer has recently changed all of his fragrances to eau de parfum strength and put them in brand new beautiful packaging. Monk is now darker, more incense-y and richer, while Djin and Il Giardino have been adjusted to meet the requests of his customers. I urge you to visit his website and see his great new lineup.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

How I create perfume

Sometimes people ask me, what it is that I do, how I make perfume. If I tell them that perfume is alcohol with aromatic materials, a lot of times I hear the same story. They tell me that when they were little they put roses in water trying to create perfume. They tried to create rose water, something I did when I was little as well. Although the product that is sold by the name 'rose water' is not made by soaking roses in water, but a side product of the distillation of roses. The picture that some people have of what I do is that I work with plants like roses, lavender, clove etc and soak them in oil or alcohol to create perfume. Of course sometimes I did things like that, but this is not the same as creating a perfume, this is making tinctures or macerates. I sometimes used a tincture, but mostly they are not stable enough. When I tell them I use essential oils and absolutes, I see that it's sometimes confused by some people with plants macerated in an oil like almond oil. An essential oil is a concentrated oil which is distilled from the plant, many kilos are necessary to obtain a little bit of this concentrated oil, these oils are volatile, not the same as almond oil, jojoba or coconut oil etc. I've seen many times when I show a bottle of an essential oil that they want to put the oil straight on their skin, as it was a perfume based on an oil like almond oil. While many essential oils can't be worn pure on the skin, they are so concentrated that it can irritate the skin. I also explain that these oils and absolutes have all kinds of different molecules all having different smells. That a rose doesn't contain one molecule that smells like rose, but has a combination of hundreds of different molecules, all having their own specific odor, which all combined create the scent of rose. I explain that I not only work with these combined molecules like an essential oil or absolute, but with single molecules as well. These are from natural sources or man made. Which I for example can use to build my own rose, jasmine or other scents.

Of course there are a lot of people who do know a lot about perfume, especially the perfumistas on the Internet. I'm amazed how much they know about it. For example I love to read the blog Bois de Jasmin by Victoria she writes wonderful interesting posts about perfume materials. She loves perfumes, but she is also interested in how it's made, and wants to know more about the materials that is used in perfume. But a lot more people only buy perfumes and never thought about how it's actually made, it's fun to hear from them how they think perfume is made. Mostly they are surprised when they hear how it's made.

On the left you can see my 'perfume organ'. I created a special room to create my perfumes and to store my materials. On the photo you see cabinets that I hang on the wall containing bottles with droppers which are filled with diluted materials. I keep the bigger bottles of the pure materials in a closet protected from the sun. For me it's always a bit hard to describe in only a few words what it is that I do. It's not the same as blending some oils together and the perfume is ready. I don't line up a rose, jasmine, sandal, lemon oil and mix them, and my perfume is finished. It's more complicated than that. Rose, Jasmine or lemon oil all have their own mix of molecules, basically they are a complete perfume on their own, where molecules are combined in a certain way. Some of the molecules of the rose could be found in the lemon as well and some of the molecules of the lemon can be found in the jasmine as well etc. I work with these oils which are combinations of molecules, but I also work with single molecules which I can use to bring out a certain element of a scent. With these single molecules I can create bridges between some stages of the perfume, I can hide some unwanted harsh or other unpleasant molecules. I can use these single molecules to add a similar smelling molecule that normally only occurs in the base notes to bring out to the top notes as well and of course the other way around. I can create a rose that smells more fresh, dewy or more honey like etc, by adding one or more materials made of one single molecule. Basically I work on the different single pieces of the perfume, the molecules, I put some single molecules apart and work on those to bring them out more, to smooth them, to hide some of them or to modify them. I'm not only working with molecules that are grouped/combined in a certain scent, like rose, jasmine etc but I also divide or break down these groups of molecules into single molecules. That means I have to concentrate on hundreds of single molecules. All having their own character. Below is an example of a perfume, I wrote the notes down in a pyramid. In the top of the pyramid you can see which top notes are used, in the middle the heart notes and at the bottom you can see the base notes.

This perfume above seems only based on some oils, which all are compositions of different molecules, which are combined to create a perfume. This phase of creating is the most fun and easy part, but it's only a rough basic of the perfume, it's not finished yet. I still have to work on the different materials to create a perfume that is well structured. The perfume below is an example on how these notes are combined with single molecules to create a nice structure.

I know it looks a bit messy and I didn't have enough space to add more notes. But this is a rough idea of what I do. I try to blend notes in a way that they all combine well together, I 'glue' some notes together, create more silage, bring out some elements that I like by adding more of these single molecules etc. This phase of creating perfumes is the hardest but the most interesting phase, it's interesting and feels satisfying to finish the perfume and try to make it perfect. I have to find out the evaporation rates of the molecules and combine them with elements that has similar evaporation rates to create a logical way of evaporation. I have to study the perfume to find out if there is not an element that is too dominant, which I maybe have to smooth or hide with other molecules. Or maybe I like to bring out an element and will add more of this molecule etc.

The most fun part is to find out what kind of effect some materials have upon each other. It's amazing how one material can change if I add other materials. It's not so that I'm always sitting behind my desk and blend, mostly I'm studying the materials on scent strips or on my skin, I combine these strips and try to find out how they combine with each other. The ideas of my perfumes are starting in my head, I'm always dreaming about perfumes, I think about it most part of the day, it's something I do automatically and mostly I'm unaware of the fact that I'm analyzing everything that I smell. I imagine how I can translate some feelings or wonderful experiences into a perfume. I'm always paying attention on things that I smell around me, I store all these information in my head and compare these with the materials and combinations that I've studied. It's a dreamy fantasy world, I try to recreate a fantasy and translate it into a perfume.

I have a deep respect for perfumers that really studied their profession, perfumers that work for popular perfume houses studied perfumery for 10 years!!! Now that I've learned so much about perfumery I understand that these perfumers had to study a lot of things before they became a perfumer. Things I didn't think of before, simply because I didn't know or realized what perfumery really meant. I always say, 'the more you know, the more you realize that you basically know nothing at all'. If you don't know enough about something, you can underestimate the whole thing, and compare yourself to someone who really knows everything about it. You put yourself on the same level of someone who studied this, I would call that arrogant and ignorant. I would like the people who put themselves on the same level as professional perfumers to take a real perfumery exam and see if they will pass. I know I will never reach that level, I can't compare myself to these perfumers. I create perfumes for 8 years or so now, I've learned from books, the Internet, by communicating with the members of my Perfume making group at Yahoo and by experimenting and again more experimenting, that's not the same as to study the profession at a high level. There was no teacher that forced me to learn things that I didn't feel like, but had to know to become a perfumer. I'm sure I skipped some parts of perfumery that I still have to learn, but I do my best and try to learn.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Féminité du Bois

I love this fragrance from Shiseido. This fragrance is based on woods, especially cedar wood. Other notes are not used to round off the accord, like it's done in many classical fragrances, but they are used to deepen the main accord. I can't find it in the descriptions of this fragrance, but when I apply it to my skin, I can smell a very dominant cumin note, besides the notes of cedar wood. The cedar wood can be smelled from the top trough bottom, what makes me wonder what materials are used in this fragrance. Somehow if you create fragrances yourself, you smell and judge fragrances differently, you 'feel' the emotion of the fragrance like any other, but you also want to recognize some materials that are used, it's more analytical smelling. Because I know the smell of many materials, and how combinations of these materials do smell like, it's easier to recognize them, otherwise I can only guess what's used. I think there is some Vertenex used, which smells like wood but appears in the top notes as well. Another note that I recognize is Iso E Super, this material smells woody, but warm and amber like at the same time. It makes this woody accord more warm. I can smell a honey note as well, which I think is wonderful in combination with cedar. I think besides the cedar notes a sandal note is used as well.

So in my opinion the following woody notes are used; Vertenex, to create a woody top note, Cedar with Cedryl acetate and Cedrol, maybe some Cedramber as well, Iso E Super to create a warm woody note, Sandal wood to add warmth, and some Ionones for violet and woody notes, which creates a bridge between the heart and the base notes. Besides the Cumin there are other spices used as well, like clove and cinnamon. There is some sort of animalic scent in the base notes that could be Civet or Castoreum, together with soft Vanilla, but not too much though. Some fruity notes of plum and some floral notes are used as well, but in a modest way, not disturbing the all over woody aura of this fragrance.

Féminité du Bois is created by Pierre Bourdon (photo on your right) and Christopher Sheldrake and launched in 1992 by Shiseido. The bottle was designed by Serge Lutens and he was the one that looked over the shoulder of the perfumers. It's a very mysterious fragrance, I think it can be worn by both men and women. It definitely makes a statement, it's emotional and very unique. Although.... I read a review by Luca Turin where he tells that the perfumer Pierre Bourdon used the idea of Féminité du Bois in another context for the perfume Dolce Vita by Dior. Of course I got curious about it and put Féminité du Bois on one wrist and Dolce Vita on the other. It's true, you can recognize Féminité du Bois in Dolce Vita, I would never come up with this myself. The bottles and the presentation of both fragrances looks so different that I never would have found the link between the two. Dolce Vita is not build up with notes to deepen the cedar wood notes like in Féminité du Bois, but is more dimensional. It has more citrus top notes and instead of plum it has peach as the fruity note. The floral heart is more deepened with 'lighter' floral notes like lilly of the valley. Dolce Vita is more crisp juicy and floral than Féminité du Bois, but the cedar wood and again the cumin note are recognized real easy.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I heard about the Monclin before, it sounded fascinating, but wasn't doing much with the information. The first time that I read about it was on Luca Turin's blog. You can see two Monclin's on the photo above, they look like two wine glasses putting upside down with a little hole in it, where a scent strip is pushed through. It was invented by the perfume house Jean Patou.

A couple of days ago, I was studying some of my materials that I put on scent strips, I was searching for a nice combination of these materials to find a new accord. I grabbed a Bordeaux wine glass and put a couple of these scent strips in it, and smelled...... Wow, this was an unbelievable experience. This experience is so totally different than smelling just straight from the scent strips. The smell is much more concentrated, more lively and full, it's like you smell in 3D. I play with my own 'Monclin' all the time now. I start with one scent strip dipped in a material and than add another one to it, and smell the combination of these two. I can add as many scent strips as I like. I like to do the whole procedure backwards as well, by taking away a scent strip and smell how much difference this makes, I can smell the difference in an instant now, I keep smelling while I take the strip away.

Here you can read how you can create your own Monclin.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Mmm the scent of Oudh sometimes called Agarwood or Eaglewood is so incredible wonderful. It has all kinds of shades, it's smokey, deep woody, a bit sweet in an intriguing way. It even has some green notes and some kind of mouldy notes. It's hard to describe the scent. It reminds me of a blend of vetiver, birch tar, sandalwood, guiacwood, vetiveryl acetate, patchouli and some spicy notes like the note of clove. But this all can't create the scent of Oudh, it's way too complex for it.

I used Oudh in my first 'swap' perfume, which I worked on some more. I studied the feedback that I've got from the members of my group and used this information to alter the creation.

Some of the feedback I received about this fragrance is that the top notes are too overwhelming, I agree with this, this is not because I used too much top notes, but because I used strong smelling woody and ambery notes, which pushes themselves towards the top notes. I started to reduce the amount of patchouli, birch tar and cedar, and added a creamy warm sandalwood to round the fragrance out and smooth it a bit. To give the woody notes a fresh woody boost I used a bit more vetiveryl acetate, which smells like the fresh smelling part of vetiver oil. I also added less amber, instead I used more rose and jasmine to create a stronger heart note.

The fragrance has a sweet honey note which is wonderful in combination with Oudh, I want to keep that note, but it was too sweet, so I also reduced the amount of honey and added a bit more bergamot to create a more sparkling top note. After reducing some of the base notes and adding some sandalwood and more vetiveryl acetate, it still needed a warm note, I decided to use Aldron a material from Symrise with an animalic scent, which create a warm aura. I'll let the creation mature and will see if these alterations worked.

Something totally different:

Yesterday I visited the blog of Andy, when I started to read the first line of his post, I got goosebumps and knew what he was about to tell us, the following sentences I had to read trough the tears in my eyes. It's heartbreaking to hear that his mother past away last Friday. My heart goes out to him, his partner W. and his family and friends. It's so hard to loose one of your parents. I hope they all will find strength and consolation among each other. Of course Andy shut off the comments on the post and asked not to send emails. I just have to say something, that's why I will do it this way.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Velvet Blossom

Can you recall the experience of touching the petals of a blossom? Doesn't it feel soft like velvet? I thought of which name I could give to the fragrance I worked on based on the soft fresh scented magnolia combined with other white flowers like lily of the valley, white lily, orange blossom, Mai rose, freesia and jasmine. The fragrance smells tender, romantic, fresh and sweet at the same time. When I smell this fragrance, words like tender, romantic, petals, blossom and velvet comes in mind. Then I thought, why not call it 'Velvet Blossom'? I think it's a nice name, I also thought of 'Velvet Petals'. I'm not sure which name is best yet, but I think it will be 'Velvet Blossom'. Now I'm dreaming of how it will look like in a beautiful bottle and how the fragrance description would sound, maybe something like:

Velvet Blossom

A fragrance for the romantic soul, tender like a fresh blossom.

Top notes: Lemon, Orange, Grapefruit, Rose wood and green leaves

Heart notes: Magnolia, Lily of the Valley, Orange blossom, Freesia, Mai Rose, White Lily and Jasmine Sambac

Base notes: Vetiver, Vanilla, Oak moss and musk

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Interview with Michael Storer

I'm very glad that I got to know Michael Storer almost two years ago. We never met in person yet, but we talk a lot by email. Michael is also a very active member of my group 'Perfume making'. Always willing to share his knowledge of perfume making with the members of the group, he likes to help other perfumers to grow as well, something that is admirable. Michael is a very kind man, who is very modest about his own success. He launched six fragrances, three men's fragrances; Monk, Djin and Il Giardino and three fragrances for women; Stephanie, Yvette and Genviève. I did an interview with Michael Storer before, we talked about his men's fragrances and he told us how his passion for the creation of fragrances started. In that time he already started to talk about his idea to create fragrances for women as well. Now that he finally launched his three women's fragrances it's time the world should hear about these wonderful fragrances. In this interview we talk about his three 'sister' fragrances for women:

Can you share with us what the inspiration was behind all three perfumes?

Well, the whole idea for three sisters started out with one fragrance I wanted to do. Genviève, named after my mother. I wanted to design a perfume... not a cologne... that was very "upper class" and quintessentially soft and feminine and that had a floral base with just a bit of fruitiness for modernity. I wanted something that was refined and tasteful, not gaudy or loud. Something that reeked of good breeding and understated old money. I guess I wanted to do this because I had been working so long on masculine or actually unisex scents, my Monk, Il Giardino and Djin. Rose as a theme was a natural for this and I wanted to use some aldehydic notes to give it a Chanel No. 5 sort of luxury feel. I wanted the wearer or anyone who smelled it to think of diamonds and platinum. Anyway, I was browsing the Internet and hit upon some vintage Vogue magazine covers. I found the January, 1950 issue and thought... 'Oh, there's my girl in this classic gown and there's my ideal image for this perfume.' It featured a classy young woman in a chiffon opera gown. Strapless but in impeccable taste. The only thing that could date the picture is the long black gloves she wears. But I maintain that even now this look can be very with-it. Her look and her gown are totally timeless and refined femininity to my thinking. I even came up with an ad idea for the picture. It would feature my crystal perfume bottle and read: Timeless. Like you.

Well, after really quite a bit of real goal-oriented experimenting over several months, which of course is the joy of doing perfumery, I hit upon just the right thing and I knew I had what I wanted as soon as I whiffed it. It was just suddenly done. Just like that. It's an odd feeling when you finish an art project in whatever medium. Once it's done, it becomes this construction, this 'thing' that exists but that feels like it's no longer yours. You simply gave birth to something that exists on its own now. That's how it's been with all the fragrances I no longer have floating around in limbo in bottles still left with ideas to try this or that on. These as yet unborn ones are still yours. The finishing cuts the umbilical cord so to speak.

Soon after, I found a source for these beautiful heavy crystal bottles that were just perfect for the image I wanted for Genviève. Suddenly it became clear that I had enjoyed designing Genviève so thoroughly and the bottles were so nice, I wanted to give her 'sisters'. Three is a nice number, so I thought, 'Good. I get to design two more very womanly and equally classic perfumes.'

Next came Stephanie, my full-out gardenia perfume. I had been doing some experiments with single flower perfumes and I felt I had made quite a bit of headway on a gardenia. It just seemed a natural to me to have a heavier floral scent as many women's personalities are attracted to that rather than a lighter scent. I worked for a couple of months on that one. I smelled all the gardenia fragrances I could find and even asked women on the beauty and perfume boards to send me samples of ones I couldn't locate. These ladies really came through for me! In the end, there was something about each of them that just didn't capture the real flower for me. I have two gardenia plants growing in my back garden and was lucky that they were prolifically in bloom at the time. I said to myself, 'I can do better than any of these.' Well, tell me I have a big ego, but in the end I think that I surpassed all of them and a lot of users think so, too.

I had an epiphany of sorts making Stephanie. I got to the point where I thought it was finished so I set the little brown bottle aside for a few days to do its own magic. When I revisited it and put a dash on my arm, I thought that something was disappointing about it... Although it was quite good, it seemed to lack a certain crisp green pungency at the top. It just didn't have a certain sparkle I wanted. I had a sudden flash of what to try adding. It was a certain almost radishy-green chrysanthemum note.. very potent. I put just a drop of that into the mix and like a miracle the whole fragrance sprang to life. It's just funny to me that it was so after-the-fact. Almost serendipity. At that point, Stephanie flew the coop just as Genviève had and belonged no longer to me.

Yvette came to me with a lot of effort. I first tried a carnation fragrance, which I still really like, but after submitting it for our "group swap," Jenny, I came to the conclusion that it just wasn't exciting enough. People in our group liked it ok, but there were no big raves. So I thought, 'Why bottle this?' Next I experimented with another single flower note I'd been working on, a violet. I developed a very nice violet perfume, but I don't know... somehow I grew tired of smelling it and thought I'd rather create a fantasy perfume as the third sister.. something a bit more risky, not a solo flower and perhaps a bit gourmand. Something that wasn't so easy to categorize.

The final product was born out of curiosity about a few basic notes, one of them being genet, also called broom absolute. I built an accord around this and slowly Yvette began to take form. The somewhat buttery and bakery notes came later and the tarragon was a sudden bold stoke that just happened to work right. It's the fragrance that I fretted the most over. With a pure fantasy fragrance one has no real flower or any other kind of map to follow. Creating this kind of scent is the most exciting of all, but you really feel alone doing it because you're completely in uncharted waters with nothing to tell you if you're hot or if you're cold. It's all about trusting yourself. That's exhilarating but scary for anyone. I admit I had a lot of trepidation sending a sample vial to you, Jenny. I honestly had no idea what kind of reaction you'd have and I regard your nose very highly. My jaw practically dropped open when you told me it was your personal favorite 'sister' because I knew that the other two were very good.

I like all three of your fragrances, but Yvette is my personal favorite, I like fragrances that are complex, and Yvette is a very nice complex fragrance. I have to say that Stephanie comes close behind Yvette, it depends on what mood I'm in. If you would compare your three sister fragrances with music, which music would you compare to which fragrance?

Ummm.... That takes some thought. I'd say Genviève might be the ensemble of silver flutes that play Tsjaikovski ballet Danse des Merlitons in the Nutcracker Suite. That's silvery, light, classic and very feminine. Yeah, that could be a match.
Ummm... Stephanie.... Oh, this is hard! I get a very cool and sexy tenor saxophone. Yeah, and trombones, trumpets... It's the blues. That's what fits for me. What would Yvette be musically?? I think again jazz. But not so bluesy. More upbeat. Or in a totally different and romantic direction... "Stardust Memories" by Hogie Carmichael even though it's pretty old now, it's still one of the most beautiful melodies ever written. I think I'm telling you more about myself here than about my perfumes. [laughs].

Ohh I love the music of Tsjaikovski, when I was a little girl I always danced to it in my tutu. Can we expect a new women's fragrance soon? Are you working on one and will there be a fourth sister?

Will there be a fourth sister? I don't have anything planned. I want to work on a dark perfume next. Something for men and women. But I'd like it to be a perfume. Woody, musky.... I'm working on a few ideas, but I don't know yet how to package it. Should it be packaged like the three sisters? I don't know at all yet.

So a unisex fragrance? I think you need bottles that are 'unisex' as well then.

Yes, that is exactly the problem. Bottles. I will perhaps unify all of my bottles in the future, using just one bottle for everything I make. It would solve a myriad of problems. I'm not sure about that yet. But it may be coming.

Are you ever planning to start your own boutique?

Well, I guess one should never say 'never', but I can't see myself doing that in the near future. I'm currently more interested in wholesaling to boutiques, etc. I don't know how I'd like standing in a shop all day waiting for someone to walk in. I'm much more comfortable at my perfumery bench surrounded by raw materials.

I guess you right, but I think it's a nice experience for you and the buyers of your fragrances to be able to talk to each other. Is there a material you have only started exploring in your work recently?

Yes, I'm intrigued completely by Karanal. You know it Jenny, but I don't know if you've worked with it or not. It's fascinating, but at the same time I find it challenging to dose correctly.

Yes, I know how it smells, it smells a bit like amber, but have not worked with it yet, I think it's a difficult material to work with. What is the most unusual perfume you have ever created?

Oh my god! I've made a lot.. I mean a lot... of stink bombs. Way too many of them to count. They were certainly the most unusual. I've made things that ended up smelling like gasoline, farts, dirty feet, you name it. All in the name of discovery... [laughs] ... You should ask my partner. He'll tell you!

I know what you mean, I have the same discoveries.LOL What profession would you have gone into had you taken an alternate route in life?

Well, I was an actor in television for many years and I traveled the world as a photo model. I started with perfumery when I was in high school, but laid it aside for many years. For a long time I was a visual artist and I did some music composing. I can't imagine having taken a different path. It seems I was cut out for just what I'm doing. I'm fascinated with astronomy and also paleoanthropology, but I really can't image what kind of life I'd have had without art. I know I was destined to be an artist.

I would love to see a photo of you at work as a model, do you have a photo that I can add to this interview?

Here is one:

What do you think women are wanting from fragrance in today’s world?

I don't think much changes in this respect. They want romance above all. They want some perfumes to make them feel like they're being taken seriously and they want others to make them feel playful and sexually attractive. They want novelty. Women and of course men, too, tire of the same fragrances. It's just like shoes, actually. Styles will just go back and forth like a pendulum. And we'll be lucky when science brings us new aroma materials to work with and sad when others are made off limits to perfumers.

What do you hope women will take from your three 'sister' fragrances?

I frequently get e-mails from women well as men... who have bought my fragrances. One woman recently wrote that Stephanie is the is most beautiful scent she has ever smelled and that it almost brings tears to her eyes when she wears it because it's such a beautiful work of art. Wow! Now that's potent and really touches me deeply. To think that I can make someone that happy... even just one stranger... It truly is sublime.

A final question, uhm... are you ever planning to create a perfume called Jenny? Just kidding. Thank you so much for this interview, I enjoyed it very much.

The main problem with that would be getting people who speak English to say the name Jenny correctly. Everyone would pronounce it Genny and not Yenny... Then it would sound like a nick name for Genviève.
Jenny, I don't think it will be long at all before your name is all tied up with your own fragrances! I enjoyed this interview too, it was fun, thank you so much!

Michael Storer's three 'sisters' and his men's fragrances and samples are available at the website of MICHAEL STORER Fine Fragrances: well as at Lucky Scent online and at their trendy Scent Bar in Los Angeles:

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Genviève by Michael Storer

The last but not least star of the three 'sister' fragrances by Michael Storer is Genviève. A classic fragrance with a modern twist, build around the scent of roses from Damascus and Bulgaria, with their ultra feminine scent. Combined with the fresh but tender scent of Mimosa absolute, the intense tropical scent of Ylang ylang and the sensual notes of Jasmine absolute. Cool green notes of Violet leaf absolute calms the rose notes. The muguet makes it sparkling fresh. All these lovely flowers are bedded in a dream of a gentle peach note, which gives this fragrance a golden glow. The green tea gives this classic fragrance a modern twist. Sensual notes of civet, ambergris and musk preventing Genviève to become innocent.

Genviève is a fruity floral fragrance, intense feminine, timeless and rich. If I had to equate this fragrance with a Hollywood star it would be Grace Kelly. An actress seen as a standard of beauty, grace, and style, as timeless and feminine as the fragrance Genviève.

Genviève and her two 'sisters' are available as eau de parfum strength.
Michael Storer's three 'sisters' and his men's fragrances and samples are available at the website of MICHAEL STORER Fine Fragrances:
as well as at Lucky Scent online and at their trendy Scent Bar in Los Angeles:

Tomorrow an interview with Michael Storer!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yvette by Michael Storer

If the fragrance Stephanie can be equated to the Hollywood star Ava Gardner, the fragrance Yvette could be equated to another movie star, the full-brass redhead Rita Hayworth. This strikingly beautiful femme fatale was as much of a powerhouse as she was a demurely sensitive feline. That's exactly what the fragrance of Yvette brings to mind. It stands very strong on its own two legs but at the same time it is purringly gentle, sensitive and oh so persuasive. When I smell Yvette it's like suddenly donning a pair of 3-D glasses, for I detect multiple layers ...but at the same time I can smell through the total sum of them all, almost like peering into a wondrous hologram. One gets the feeling there is no end to its depth. You simply want more... An extraordinary experience.

The overlying note of Yvette is a rich plumminess through which a white floral accord sparkles. This floral accord is dominated by an exquisitely delicate lily of a warm, soft and creamy fragrance supported by warm spices, rose, ylang ylang, carnation and jasmine. Through it all weaves a trace of tarragon to lend it a subtle green twist. One of the first things I noticed when smelling Yvette was that it has such a wonderful sweet note going on in the background, not an overpowering sweetness, but a remarkably rich yet gentle and tender, almost dessert-like creaminess. It's the broom absolute which adds a creamy, honey floral character with slight fruitiness to this wonderful composition. I just love that note.

The overall effect is quite complex in the best possible of ways. A perfume you really have to experience to understand. With this fragrance you wont go unnoticed!

Yvette and her two 'sisters' are available as eau de parfum strength. Bottled by Mr. Storer himself.

Michael Storer's three 'sisters' and his men's fragrances are available at the website of MICHAEL STORER Fine Fragrances:
as well as at Lucky Scent online and at their trendy Scent Bar in Los Angeles:

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Stephanie by Michael Storer

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you one of Michael Storer's three "sisters"...... Stephanie. This is no shy lady, she pulsates like a shining star, and a star is exactly what she is. This fragrance is highly addictive, so consider yourself well warned. It's a fragrance inspired by the headspace of the luscious white blooming Gardenia, sultry, voluptuous and so unbelievably sensual. Have you ever put on a perfume and found that you couldn't stop smelling your wrist? Well, this is such a perfume. Once you apply it, you keep sneaking a whiff because you just can't get enough of it; you want to inhale deep breaths of this seductive elixir.

One day I let my older brother smell Stephanie. Now he loves to talk, and I've noticed numerous times when I ask him to try a perfume, he whiffs it cursively and promptly goes right on with what he had been jabbering about, meanwhile keeping me waiting for his thoughts on the scent he had just put on. With Stephanie it was different. I put it on his wrist, and he actually stopped talking! He smelled, he looked up like he was searching for something in his mind, smelled again, and finally started to speak, exclaiming to me that he really loved this fragrance. I had to laugh to myself, because I caught him smelling his wrist the rest of the evening.

I have exactly the same experience with Stephanie, there is something definitely beguiling about this fragrance. The notes are truly sublime. There is a fresh green crispy top that makes this gardenia come alive and bloom. it's as if you were wafting this incredible white flower "au natural" together with the green leaves that surround it. I have smelled a lot of different gardenia fragrances, but they are nothing at all compared to this bejeweled star. For example the perfume Kai; it's so different. Kai smells nice but a bit "chemical," a bit too sharp and edgy, and it's more in the direction of Jasmine. Stephanie is the real deal. A classic Hollywood star.

Besides the scent of gardenia this perfume contains the notes of:

Pink pepper, black pepper, galbanum resin, angelica root oil, sambac jasmine absolute, tuberose, and a slight touch of chrysanthemum for crispness. Gentle sandalwood notes and vetiver anchor the bottom of this perfume, but as if by magic, they don't push their way into the flower scent but simply offer subtle support and longevity. A real tribute to Mr. Storer's ingenuity as a perfumer.

Arhianrad (Juvy Santos) wrote in her blog winterstorming, a beautiful review about Stephanie, one of the things she said was:

"A White Floral to End All White Florals. Gardenia's answer to Tuberose's Fracas. This belongs to the vamps and the starlets of yesteryear, the curvaceous and the bold. It is unrelentingly sexy--a fragrance with decolletage, and garters, red lips and lacquered nails. Ava Gardner, sultry eyes and everything."

I couldn't have said it better!

Stephanie is available at the website of MICHAEL STORER Fine Fragrances:
as well as at Lucky Scent online and at their trendy Scent Bar in Los Angeles:

Monday, August 27, 2007

Michael Storer and his three sisters

This week is dedicated to the three 'sister' perfumes created by Michael Storer. The following days I will review all three sisters; Yvette, Genviève and Stephanie, three wonderful fragrances created by my dear friend Michael Storer. At the end of the week I will have an interview with this remarkable perfumer. I had a wonderful interview with the perfumer Michael Storer before about his men's fragrances, he already talked in this interview about launching women's fragrances as well in the future. Well, he finally did and made many ladies very happy. Tomorrow my first review about the fragrance Stephanie. The fragrances created by Michael Storer can be found at his own website:

For reading more reviews about the perfumes made by Michael Storer please visit:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sperm attracted to the scent of Lily of the Valley???

Can human sperm cells smell? Well that is what I just read, never knew this before. There is found that human sperm cells have an odorant receptor which triggers a series of physiological events that may result in the directed movement of human sperm. The sperm-attracting odorant is named 'Bourgeonal' this is an aroma chemical used in perfumes and soap for it's Lily of the Valley scent. So where is this Bourgeonal/Lily of the Valley scent come from, does the egg of the woman produce this scent or is it produced somewhere else? They don't have an answer to that question yet. Another interesting thing is that the aroma chemical 'Undecanal' (Aldehyde C-11 undecylenic, waxy/fatty/rose/citrus odor) appears to block the effect of Bourgeonal and inhibits the chemo sensory response in sperm cells. Maybe in the future Undecanal will be used to prevent undesired pregnancies, instead of hormones, and Bourgeonal to help people to get pregnant. Who knows, and who knows they maybe will find more odorant receptors.

If you like to read more about this subject, here are some links:
NY Times
Health 24
And in German language:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vanille Exquise by Annick Goutal

I love the sweet scent of vanilla, the scent makes me calm and it's comforting, I love the taste of vanilla as well, I like vanilla desserts and candy's with vanilla. But to wear a vanilla perfume is a complete
different story. Most vanilla scents are too sweet and girly girly for me and since I'm not a teenager anymore, I feel that it doesn't suit me. The different perfumes by Annick Goutal are very lovely, so I was curious about the Vanilla Exquise as well.

This perfume was created in 2004 by perfumer Isabelle Doyen. She and Camille Goutal (the daughter of Annick Goutal) dreamt of a unique vanilla which could take us away to far away islands and Cleopatra's ancient milk baths of vanilla scented almond.

The notes are described as:

Vanilla from the Marquises Islands, angelica, almond, benzoin, white musk, sandalwood and Gaïac wood.

It's some sort of a woody vanilla, it's creamy but also a bit dry woody. It doesn't smell like a very complex perfume, it smells rather simple and recognizable, that doesn't mean that it's not a very well done composition though. The scent stays close to my skin, like most perfumes of Annick Goutal do, it's a calm and quiet perfume. It's a bit too quiet for my taste, it doesn't excite me.

At the opening I smell the soft floral woody note of Linalool, I guess there is used quite a bit of this material. There is a bit of a smokey note, I guess that is because of the Gaïac wood, I would have liked a bit more of this smokey note. I smell a sweet note that reminds me of sugared almonds, this could be benzaldehyde (which smells like almond) and maltol(which smells like sugar, caramel), but the angelica sure helps to add some wonderful green sweetness as well. I think besides the natural vanilla, there is also used some Veratraldehyde, which has a more woody vanilla scent and some ethyl vanillin, which is more creamier than normal vanillin. Not a bad composition, but too simple and too sweet and flat for my taste.

Available at a beautiful but slow site.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Apple formula

We went to Germany today, which is really close to where we life. It was real fun there, we went shopping and had a lovely walk in the local park and of course we ate 'pflaumenkuchen' a cake made with plums, I love that cake.

Yesterday I was experimenting with an apple formula, just for fun, and I like to share with you what I came up with so far, here it is:

Ethyl heptanoate 30
iso Amyl acetate 30
Ethyl butyrate 11
Ethyl-2-methyl butyrate 3
Orange oil 3
Linalyl acetate 2
Geraniol 1
Hexyl acetate 1
Geranyl acetate 1
Cyclohexyl butyrate 10% 6
Neroli 10% 3
Vertelione 3% 2
Benzaldehyde 1% 2

Monday, August 20, 2007

Your partner's choice

We all have our own favorite perfumes, but which one does your partner likes you to wear?

I just asked my DH (Mo) which perfume he likes me to wear, he answered Chanel no.5, I have to say that I like Chanel no.19 better, which was a present from him as well, I'm happy that he likes that one too. We also have a perfume we share, I talked about this before, it's Must de Cartier, it smells good on both of us. It's fun to wear the same perfume at the same time, it blends wonderful together..........

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I have to make a confession

I have done it, yes I did! I have to admit. After the concentration of my perfume inspired by the painting 'The Kiss' matured and after I added the alcohol and let it stand for a while, I changed it a bit. I was not satisfied about it. O, by the way, we moved the date to 15 September instead of 15 August. Because more members of the Perfume making group wanted to participate but didn't have something ready yet, they needed some more time. I find this swap really difficult because it's so different than creating a perfume spontaneously, it had to be based or better to say inspired by the painting. I find it difficult to create something on demand. If I create a perfume, it's created it in my head first, and then it slowly develops in my head. When I start with the creation itself, I sometimes change it a bit, but the overall composition and idea remains.

While creating this perfume I changed a couple of my initial ideas. For example I used much more bergamot oil than I initial had in mind. By this I created an 'ambrein' accord.

An 'ambrein' accord is an accord based on bergamot, balsamic notes like labdanum, benzoe, tolu etc, vanilla, civet and coumarin. I combined this accord with woody notes; with the accent on sandalwood, and completed it with notes of Iris and rose. It became a very complex formula, I used over 70 different materials. And still after it was matured and all ........... I added another material; mimosa absolute. I just had to do it, it makes the top notes so nicely smooth but fresh, it combines perfectly with the bergamot, petit grain oil and the orange blossom absolute. I love this tender sweet lively note of mimosa. Well, don't think this is the best perfume I ever created, but it was a nice but tough learning experience. I hope the members of the group can give me some useful advice to make it better. We will exchange the formulas, this way the help can be more specific, and it will be a great way to see how others create their perfume, much different than only smelling the perfume and not knowing the formula. I'm really exited to smell all the perfumes of the other members, I can't wait, but at the same time I'm a bit nervous about my own contribution.

Ending with a beautiful quote from Jacques Guerlain:

"I felt something so intense, I could only express it in a perfume."

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Vetiver, Vanilla and Angel

Right now it's raining here in Wolvega, in spite of the rain that is falling down at the moment, we had a lovely sunny weekend. I spent most part of the weekend on sniffing some of my new fragrance materials, and working on my fragrance with magnolia. I tried some different versions and compared them with each other. In one trial I added some more vetiver to the base notes and I like it, it's nice in combination with the cedar that I used. Vetiver is also interesting with the vanilla, it makes the vanilla less sweet. I like vanilla to be a bit smokey and woody.

Because of the nice weather I took some smelling strips that were dipped in the new materials with me outside to evaluate their smell. I took some smelling strips dipped in my older materials with me as well, to see if they would combine with these new materials. Sometimes I take different smelling strips in my hand and waft with it under my nose like a Spanish fan, to analyse the smell of the combination of these different materials.

I read somewhere the basic notes of the perfume Angel by Thierry Mugler and just for fun tried a combination of different smelling strips with these notes: Helional (ozonic, melon, sweet), Cashmeran ( musky, sweet), Maltol ( sugar, caramel), Isobutavan (chocolate, vanilla) and Patchouli oil. I held these smelling strips in one hand and waft it under my nose, and yes, it does smell like a simple version of Angel. It's an accord for sure, the combination of these notes do create a complete new scent. This is a great way to find out which notes do create an accord. Here is a video with perfumer Arthur Burnham where you can see what I mean with using the scent strips as a Spanish fan.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Greetings from the Netherlands

Today was a beautiful sunny day. My husband and I like cycling, especially if the weather is sunny as it was today. We decided to pay a visit to my mom. She, my stepfather and my little (but tall) brother are living 11 kilometers (about 7 miles) away from us. They life in a romantic little white house, which you can see on top of this post. Before we lived in another village, but we moved to this house when I was eight. I love that romantic little house with such a beautiful garden. My mother and my stepfather loves gardening and they have beautiful flowers in their garden, but also all kinds of vegetables. I like it when my mother makes vegetable soup and goes into her garden to get all the ingredients for her soup, every ingredient for her soup is freshly picked from the garden.

My husband and I life in an area with beautiful nature, we can jump on our bikes and in 10 minutes we are surrounded by breathtaking beautiful nature, we have forests but a lot of water as well. We took the route where you can bike trough an area with wild nature where you see no cars, with the river called 'Linde' alongside you. I took some photos to share this beautiful day with you.
Above a photo of my mother and me, below are some photos of the
route that we took today