The Nose of the Beholder - 2024

The Nose of the Beholder - 2024

Once upon a time alchemists and shamans discovered the magic of beaver glands when combined with resinous oils to mimic the natural scent of leather. 

In 1927 Chanel brought Cuir de Russie to market.  Castoreum from beavers and birch tar which had been used in tanning boots of the Russian army were masterfully blended with snippets of smokey oils like labdanum, et al.

The rise of synthetic perfumery led to the creation of leather accords that are now so ingrained in the scent horizon of the public that classic natural leather accords no longer are recognized by the perfume masses. 

Here's my recipe for a natural leather accord: castoreum, cade wood, and traces of smokey resins. Beautiful, natural, artisanal pieces of the puzzle.

A lot of my work is centered around sourcing natural materials. Yes I've studied chemical perfumery and can make a rose out of rose givco, rose oxide, damascones and a kiss of real rose absolute.

Been to both mountains and return to the real deal for the most part. In our frag lab you'll find half a dozen roses. From citrusy Persian roses to gooey Indian rose Damascus, we work with a natural palette enhanced by synergies like civet and roses,  tarragon and all florals,  we've learned  the alchemical roots of perfumery.


Tincturing our own concoctions in alcohol and macerating them in sandalwood add a regal tone to fragrances.

Like castor sacs and aged wild oud chips sitting in sandalwood for five years. Primo.

I'll finish with this anecdote. I made a fragrance for an old acquaintance. She asked for a rose-centric fragrance and I used a heavy pour of a variety of organic roses.  She said it smelter good but there were no roses in the bottle.  That's because corporate modern perfumery teaches us that synthetic rose accords are the true signature scent of a rose. Sad but oh so true. Thanks for visiting the blog.  Hopefully I'll get back to posting here more often.


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