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Monday, 24 December 2012

Festive Greetings

A short post this Christmas Eve to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy New Year for 2013.

Snowy branches and Shropshire countryside from the hard winter of 2010

Thursday, 13 December 2012

BiG Red's House

I'm very pleased to report that the Pell Wall Perfumes range is now available to try and to buy at a new art gallery and craft workshop in Whitchurch, Shropshire.

Situated at Victoria Yard on the High Street (next to the Red Lyon pub) it's easy to find and a fun place to explore for all sorts of art, crafts and other interesting things.  Check out their website for further details.

BiG Red's House is open now but a formal opening event is planned for 17th January 2013: watch this blog for details!

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Woodsmoke Room Fragrance

Regular readers of my blog and of Basenotes may remember that I had my doubts about the commercial viability of the concept of a Woodsmoke room fragrance.

Well as I was packing up another bottle to go out to a customer tonight, it occurred to me I should give an update: after some months in the doldrums, this Winter it seems woodsmoke is the scent of choice and they are selling like hot cakes - both via the website and from the Newport Pop-up Shop.

I'm very pleased that the concept has been validated and I've already made up a new batch.  The new size and bottle seems to have helped too.
Woodsmoke in the new 125ml, black bottle

Insight into the fragrance industry

For the second time in succession I find myself presenting a video that gives a great insight into the world of fragrance creation.  This time it was made by IFRA North America - the NA branch of the International Fragrance Association - and it features interviews with several perfumers and others involved in the creation process.  It's about 17 minutes long and I heartily commend it to anyone with an interest in the subject.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Koku - an interview with a perfumer

I'm including here a video made for television featuring an interview with another perfumer, working in Turkey.  It's in Turkish but with English subtitles, which though occasionally imperfect are easily good enough to enable understanding.

Vedat talks to his interviewer about the nature of olfaction, the history of scent, its connnection with art, science and the industrial scale production of most modern fragrances: fascinating stuff and well worth a few minutes of your time to watch:

 Oh and Koku? It means scent but also fragrance, smell, olfaction and so on - a wonderfully multi-purpose Turkish word.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Pop-up Shop

Update: The Pop-up Shop in Newport - opposite the Shakespeare Pub - now features over 30 local businesses & I'm there myself every Wednesday afternoon if you want to talk perfume.

I'm very pleased to report that Pell Wall Perfumes products are available at the new pop-up-shop in Newport, Shropshire (details on the 2nd of those links).

The shop is open 9-5 Monday to Saturday with late opening for the Newport Christmas Lights Fayre on Friday 30th November.  Just in time for all those Christmas gifts you've not started thinking about yet!

Besides perfumes there are several types of handmade jewellery, silk cards, hats, furniture, wood-turning, art, candles, pictures and more.

And while you're browsing you can enjoy a hot drink and check out the community notices too: it's a genuine local community project I'm proud to be associated with.

Monday, 15 October 2012

IFRA UK Fragrance Forum

This year, for the second time ever, IFRA UK (formerly known as the British Fragrance Association) is hosting a Fragrance Forum at the Royal Society in Carlton House Terrace, London on Thursday 18th October 2012.  I'm proud to say that Pell Wall Perfumes will be one of the sponsors of the event.

The theme for the event is 'From Flower to Shower' and it promises to be fascinating - here are some details from the IFRA press release:

The occasion will provide an opportunity to meet those from the fragrance industry including perfumers, scientists, customers and academics as well as senior personnel from other trade associations

Lisa Hipgrave, director of IFRA United Kingdom, said: “The 2012 IFRA UK Fragrance Forum is entitled ‘From Flower to Shower’ as we intend to explore the entire creative process of fragrance creation. 
“We held the first event of its kind last year and it was so over-subscribed that we decided to expand the capacity of the 2012 Fragrance Forum enabling more non-Members to obtain tickets. We now plan to stage this Fragrance Forum annually. The occasion offers not only a fascinating set of presentations but also a unique networking opportunity for delegates and speakers. It will bring together those involved in every aspect of fragrance research, creation and application”. 
And here is some more information from the Perfumer & Flavorist magazine:
Jenny Tillotson, a senior research fellow at the University of Arts London (Central Saint Martin’s) and the University of Cambridge, is scheduled to talk about her vision of: "From Flower To Shower To Empower: the Fragrant Future," which includes information about wearable technology, pioneered by a technique she calls, "Scentsory Design." 
Will Andrews, who works as a fragrance scientist within the fragrance design team at P&G’s Innovation Center, is scheduled to discuss, “Communicating scent through ‘Holistic Design,’” including successfully communicating a fragrance by connecting the story inside and outside the bottle.
Robin Clery of Givaudan plans to speak about a technique known as ‘headspace analysis’ in which allows one to capture the most elusive scents from nature and make them available for perfumery.
“Smell is a potent wizard” is the message of Tim Jacob, a professor at he School of Biosciences at Cardiff University. He will detail how scent is a response that includes emotions, memory and the endocrine system.
In addition the IFRA UK Fragrance Forum will feature an anthology of poems inspired by fragrance, called Penning Perfumes, which was organized by Odette Toilette of Scratch + Sniff and poet Claire Trévien.
You can get further details by downloading the IFRA UK Summer Newsletter or this summary from the University of Arts, London.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Blackberry Fair, Whitchurch, Saturday 6th October

This Saturday, 6th October Pell Wall Perfumes will be at the Blackberry Fair in Whitchurch.  It's a fun, family, community-based event centred around the Civic Centre and Market Hall and spilling over into the High Street, which will be closed to traffic for the occasion.

If you are anywhere nearby - and Whitchurch is easy to find from Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe, Chester and Wrexham as well as from the south along the A41 to Telford - do come along for a great family day out.

Pell Wall Perfumes will be in the Market Hall not far from the stage and the circus . . .

This is me at our stand at the Shrewsbury Flower Show 

Monday, 1 October 2012

The 26 Ingredients

Whether you look at the labels on fragrances you buy or make fragrances yourself and hope to sell them, an understanding of what is on the label and why can be useful.

Below I'm listing a lot of materials that you may see on a label.  Don't make the mistake of assuming that because these are listed they are the things that make up the fragrance though: they are a tiny subset of the materials used in manufacturing fragrances (there are between three and four thousand materials in regular use) but just 26 of them have to be declared on the label if the product is for sale in the EU.

Image from Wikimedia Commons
The following list is a useful reference, it often comes up in the context of discussion about the IFRA rules, and indeed is often laid at their door: wrongly as it has nothing to do with them at all. It is the list of items required by the EU Cosmetics Directive to be listed on the label of any fragrance that contains more than 0.001% (the threshold is 0.01% of the finished product for wash-off products such as shower gel). This regulation was incorporated into UK law as part of the 2008 Cosmetics Regulations, Schedule 4 and as such has been in force for some years.

As a result of this requirement many brands required re-formulation of fragrances in order to avoid the need to put these things on the label, particularly those with long, difficult chemical names, which seem to lead certain groups of consumers to assume something is poisonous (obviously nonsense, but the power of fear is substantial).

Many of these ingredients also have IFRA restrictions on their usage, details of which are on the IFRA rules blog post.

Anyway here is the full list of what is often referred to as 'the 26 ingredients' using the nomenclature required by the EU even though in some cases that differs from usual practice even in the chemical industry, still more the fragrance industry.

Notice that the majority of these appear in nature as components of essential oils, absolutes and other extracts from plants.  I've marked with an asterisk * those that are not known in nature -  I'm not saying they don't occur in nature, just that if they do, we have not found them yet. Also notice that no animal derived ingredients are included:

Amyl cinnamal (CAS No 122-40-7)

Benzyl alcohol (CAS No 100-51-6)

Cinnamyl alcohol (CAS No 104-54-1)

Citral (CAS No 5392-40-5)

Eugenol (CAS No 97-53-0)

Hydroxy-citronellal (CAS No 107-75-5)*

Isoeugenol (CAS No 97-54-1)

Amyl cinnamyl alcohol (CAS No 101-85-9)

Benzyl salicylate (CAS No 118-58-1)

Cinnamal (CAS No 104-55-2)

Coumarin (CAS No 91-64-5)

Geraniol (CAS No 106-24-1)

Hydroxy-methylpentylcyclohexenecarboxaldehyde (CAS No 31906-04-4)*[almost universally known as Lyral]

Anisyl alcohol (CAS No 105-13-5)

Benzyl cinnamate (CAS No 103-41-3)

Farnesol (CAS No 4602-84-0)

2-(4-tert-Butylbenzyl) propionaldehyde (CAS No 80-54-6)* [commonly known as Lillial]

Linalool (CAS No 78-70-6)

Benzyl benzoate (CAS No 120-51-4)

Citronellol (CAS No 106-22-9)

Hexylcinnam-aldehyde (CAS No 101-86-0)

d-Limonene (CAS No 5989-27-5)

Methyl heptin carbonate (CAS No 111-12-6)*

3-Methyl-4-(2,6,6-tri-methyl-2-cyclohexen-1-yl)-3-buten-2-one (CAS No 127-51-5)* [commonly known as gamma methyl ionone]

Oak moss extract (CAS No 90028-68-5)

Tree moss extract (CAS No 90028-67-4)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Jean-Claude Ellena and Louis XIV

I'm linking here to a fascinating interview with Jean-Claude Ellena: one of my heroes of the perfumery world.  I don't quite share his minimalist ethic, though I'm in awe of much of his work.  The interview is two pages long and well worth the read.

Picture from Spiegel Online International 
The interview was conducted for and appeared in German in issue 37/2012 (September 10, 2012) of DER SPIEGEL.

A taster:
SPIEGEL: But what distinguishes a good perfume from a bad one? The quality of the basic ingredients?

Ellena: Not necessarily. Sometimes I achieve a better result with ingredients of mediocre quality rather than with exquisite ones.

You can read the full text of the article in English on Spiegel Online International.  If you're wondering where Louis XIV fits in, you'll need to read the article . . .

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

A fun advertisement from years gone by.  I wonder if current advertising will seem so strange in 50 years time?

Much of the information conveyed in the 'infomercial' is still valid today, though few ingredients are still grown in Grasse.  It's the presentation and the exclusive focus on women as users of fragrance that seems out of step with the modern world.

I can't quite imagine anyone making a film this long to advertise anything anymore either.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Starting Equipment

I've written elsewhere on this blog about what materials I recommend to start with and I've also talked about the single largest investment for most starting perfumers, which is good scales.

What I have not covered is all the other things you are going to need in order to be able to experiment effectively with blending and mixing fragrances.

First of all, as I've already recommended in the post on blending, I think it's best when you’re starting out to keep most materials ready diluted in ethanol, and do your blending with those.  That automatically means that you are going to need at least one empty bottle for every different material you buy - probably more - I buy mine in bulk from a bottle manufacturer, but if you can’t meet the minimum order quantities they need we also sell them through the Pell Wall shop in the Accessories for Perfumery category.  I use glass bottles in either amber or cobalt blue or green, to protect the contents from the light. Another option we use a lot at Pell Wall is aluminium: it’s important to use lacquered bottles as some ingredients can react with the aluminium itself, but this is a good way to keep them totally protected from the light.  Again we sell these bottles individually and buy them in bulk.

I find there are some materials that I use so often, or that are such a fiddle to dilute, that it's worth having bigger bottles on hand to save doing a new dilution too often, so I'd suggest you buy a few 100g and 200g bottles as well.

At Pell Wall we offer a comprehensive Perfume-Lab-In-A-Box accessories kit that includes most of the things you’ll need to get started.

To keep all those bottles accessible you'll need something to help organise them.  The traditional perfumers' organ is quite an investment but I found these simple steps, designed to organise containers in kitchen cupboards a cheap and effective way to arrange a reasonable number of bottles.

I like to be able to see what I'm blending when I'm working on a new accord though, so I prefer to do that in a clear container.  To save on wastage of expensive materials I do first cut blends in small beakers or flasks and store them in clear bottles so I can see how the blend is maturing and whether it’s clouded, crystallised or changed colour.

For the actual moving of material from stock bottle to blend, what I prefer is glass pipettes. These are intended to be disposable, so you might prefer to use plastic disposables instead.  On the other hand I find the plastic kind are also a bit less easy to be accurate with and glass is easy to recycle everywhere (I put them directly into a clear glass bottle so that the whole thing can go in the recycling with no risk of anyone coming into contact with the sharp ends).  It is possible to re-use the glass ones if you take out the cotton-wool plug and wash them thoroughly, but it does not work to do that with the plastic ones as the scents tend to impregnate the polyethylene they are made from.

Whichever type you use, on no account use the same pipette in two or more different materials or you will cross contaminate and end up with mixtures in every bottle: quite useless.

Once I have a blend near-right I prefer to make it up in a larger amount for more testing and for that I find standard laboratory conical flasks ideal.  Flasks are also great for making up dilutions of sticky resins or solids that take a bit of swirling to get into solution.

Some things will need more than just a bit of a swirl to dissolve: for those some glass stirring rods are useful, or for the more difficult things an automatic stirrer is a great boon.  There are several types of these, but I recommend buying a small, fairly inexpensive one to start with, which works by using a magnetised stirrer, coated in glass or PTFE that you put in the liquid and a motor that you sit the container on that rotates another magnet, thus turning the one in the container.  Some materials take a long time to dissolve and you can leave these running for a couple of days if necessary.

That reminds me of another thing you'll need, which is some spatulas for measuring out solids ready to dissolve.  I find the spoon type handy for wider mouthed jars, but the narrow sort essential for getting into those little bottles that very expensive materials and samples come in.

Another vital thing to buy is blotters or smelling strips as you need these both for training yourself to recognise and deconstruct smells and for testing your blends.  There are lots of different ones on the market but the are so useful I think it's well worth buying plenty.

I also keep some measuring cylinders, and accurate measuring pipettes (plus filler devices) for those occasions when you need to measure something out by volume - if you are working routinely in weight these are not essential.  I also have Simax bottles in various sizes for keeping larger dilutions and stock in - I like these because they are strong and easy to pour from and will clean up without leaving traces of scent.

Finally you need a workspace with a surface that won't be damaged by spills of aggressive liquids (melamine, glass and granite are all good).

Friday, 31 August 2012

Images of Saturn

It's a bit naughty to do two off-topic posts in a row, but I couldn't resist this video made with compilations of shots from the Cassini probe.

And just to add some colour, here's a beautiful picture from the same source:

Saturn, its rings and largest moon Titan

I found these in this article on The Atlantic.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Do it anyway

I'm posting this just because I thought it was rather wise, it has nothing in particular to do with perfume:

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

These verses are often attributed to Mother Teresa of Calcuta, sometimes called her 'Anyway Poem' and it has been reported that they were written on the walls of the children's home where she worked but according to the official website maintained in her memory they were never her words, although a version of some sort does seem to have been displayed in that home.

In fact they are an adaptation from a work called The Paradoxical Commandments by Dr. Kent M. Keith

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


Musk is one of the most common elements in perfumes - some form of musk is included in virtually every fragrance on the market, but which form varies a great deal as there are a great many options.

At one time, musk came almost exclusively from various species of Musk Deer but this has almost entirely disappeared from use for ethical and cost reasons.
Moschus moschiferus - one of the species that were the original source of musk

Most fragrances now use some form of synthetic musk, but there are a few natural sources still sometimes used.  In particular ambrette seed oil (containing the chemical widely used in synthetic form as ambrettolide) and angelica root oil (now known to contain the chemical exaltolide, though this was not recognised until long after exaltolide had been made synthetically).

Some synthetic musks are crystalline solids and as a result are often sold either pre-diluted or ‘mobilised’ in something to make them liquid and easier to handle.

There are a huge number of musks on the market, these are some of those I use particularly like or find useful:

Ambrettolide this synthetic is the same as the musk in Ambrette Seeds - a very good quality diffusive musk, slightly fruity, very smooth and exalting.
Applelide an IFF product, this is relatively short-lived for a musk but has a strong, velvety top-note that give a great deal of richness and has a fruity aspect of apples as well.
Cashmeran also from IFF is interesting - liquid and easy to handle - has a spicy quality. When used successfully it is very warming and velvety.  Not everyone considers this molecule as a musk at all.
Celestolide crystals that are slow to dissolve in ethanol. Adds more brightness than the others, very good diffusion.
Civettone isn't widely used alone or available in small amounts. It is the musk component of natural civet paste and the synthesised version is used as part of civet recreations, arguably the most powerful fixative in perfumery. 
Ethylene brassylate (also called Musk T), widely available, liquid at room temp and cheap, good fixative properties and easy to use macrocyclic musk.
Exaltolide solid at room temp but melts easily, very widely available and used macrocyclic musk with a fairly strong, sweet-musk aroma. Not everyone can smell exaltolide but it's one of the finest musks you can use.
Exaltone is the key molecule in muskrat musk and although it can now be synthesised even the synthetic version is very expensive.  It is however incredibly persistent and, arguably, one of the best fixatives known to perfumery.  More animal smelling than most synthetic musk.
Galaxolide a polycyclic musk, very widely available and used, especially in functional products. Often sold as 50% in DEP or IPM as it’s so thick a liquid as to be virtually solid otherwise. A polycyclic musk which is not biodegradable and very persistent in the environment and people.
Habanolide a macrocyclic musk from Firmenich with a strong odour and slightly waxy and metallic freshness. 
Helvetolide another Firmenich product, this is unusual in having a strong top-note as well as the more usual persistence of musks.  It also has a fruity aspect  of pears.
Muscenone is one of the components of natural deer musk, very good fixative and diffusive qualities and has a stronger musky smell than the better-known muscone:
Muscone this is the main musk that is in musk deer pods but synthesised. Lovely fine musk that has the edge over the others for its erogenic quality l-Muscone is a more expensive and even finer quality - just the L isomer.  Both forms have a nice powdery quality.
Romandolide not so widely available, similar in scent to Galaxolide but alicyclic (or linear) and biodegradable: very useful and I'm in the process of phasing out galaxolide to be replaced by romandolide in all my retail range.
Tonalid polycyclic, crystalline solid again but a bit easier to dissolve than some. Often disparagingly referred to as ‘laundry musk’ it’s nevertheless a good fixative and very widely used.  Cheap enough for functional products and gives a very clean effect.
Velvione another macrocyclic, very fine musk of great diffusion, rather like ambrettolide but less fruity and even softer. A great exalting agent, it has little scent of it's own but has a big effect in a blend and gives a distinct powdery effect.

There are plenty of others. I nearly always use musks in combination rather than using just one in a composition. In particular you can get good effects by using very tiny amounts of ambrettolide or velvione alongside one of the cheaper musks. Both work well with Exaltolide and Romandolide.

Another option is Auratouch from Givaudan - a blend of several of their musk products which I believe also includes a captive.

Synthetic musks have also been the cause of some controversy and a number of them were found to be unstable, carcinogenic or environmentally damaging.

Musk Ambrette is prohibited by IFRA and Musk Ketone is banned in some countries even though it isn't restricted by IFRA.  Musk Xylene is banned throughout the EU and prohibited by IFRA.
Muscone, a macrocyclic musk

If you want to understand the different categories of musk (based on their chemical structure) and something of the history of their production the Wikipedia article on Synthetic Musks makes excellent reading.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

The Shrewsbury Flower Show

On Friday and Saturday 10th and 11th August 2012 the oldest horticultural show in the world will be celebrating it's 125th anniversary and Pell Wall Perfumes will be there too.
Pell Wall Perfumes will be on Stand A26 in the Home and Craft Marquee

The Shrewsbury Flower Show, organised by the Shropshire Horticultural Society, is held each year in the Quarry Park in Shrewsbury - 29 acres including the Dingle - a sunken garden designed by Britain's first celebrity gardener Percy Thrower.
The Dingle in the centre of Quarry Park
It promises to be a wonderful day out and, fingers crossed, it even looks as though the weather will be good.

Pell Wall Perfumes will have some special offers and several new and exclusive products that you can't buy from the website, so if you're anywhere within reach do come along to see us in the main Home and Craft marquee stand A26.

{1953} a new luxury fragrance from Pell Wall
Here's some of the stock, in cold storage, ready to go to the show:
Perfume Stock
Another of the fun products being displayed for the first time:
Frogspawn & Pondweed Bubble Bath

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Mill Hill Essays | MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London

Interesting article exploring how research into the way the sense of smell works has applications for wider human health.  Included is a well-written explanation of the prevailing theory of how smells are perceived.

Mill Hill Essays | MRC National Institute for Medical Research, London

Saturday, 21 July 2012

What Space Smells Like

An interesting article featuring the work of Steve Pearce, a British perfumer, who also happened to give one of the best presentations at this year’s BSP symposium, to recreate the distinctive smell of space for NASA to use in astronaut training.

What Space Smells Like - The Atlantic

Here you can also read an interview with Steve Pearce on the subject published on Discovery.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Bitter Almond Oil

Bitter Almond Oil is one of those curious perfumery ingredients that isn’t at all what it appears to be: it almost certainly won’t have been made from almonds, bitter or otherwise, isn't bitter and may be natural or synthetic.
Bitter Almond Blossom
What is called Bitter Almond Oil and was originally and is still occasionally made from bitter almond kernels - Prunus amygdalus Amara - is now more usually made from apricot, plum, cherry or peach kernels (or by synthesis from various pre-cursors, most commonly toluene). It consists of about 99% Benzaldehyde whether made from a natural or a synthetic source, and may be sold as Bitter Almond Oil in either case.

When almonds are used it is the press-cake remaining after extraction of the fixed almond oil that is the starting point which is macerated in warm water prior to extraction. A substance called Amygdalin, present in all the kernels mentioned, is converted by enzymatic action into benzaldehyde and hydrocyanic acid (what is commonly called cyanide when people are talking about the poison, once also called Prussic Acid). There is enough cyanide present in about 10 drops of the crude oil to kill an average person, and it is poisonous by ingestion and by inhalation, so the oil is quite useless at this point as a flavour or perfume agent. The process is nearly identical when it is made from the kernels (stones) of apricots, plums, cherries or peaches.  

As an aside, amygdalin is also present in apple pips, so far as I know they have never been used as a commercial source of the oil, but if you’ve ever heard that apple pips are poisonous, now you know why.  In practice they don’t contain cyanide unless they are crushed up and fermented and tend to pass through the human gut whole, so if you’re in the habit of eating your apples core-and-all you’re not likely to come to any harm.

The crude oil is cleaned by alkali washing and rectification resulting in the nearly pure benzaldehyde that is sold widely as Bitter Almond Oil. Oddly enough it’s main use in flavouring is as a sweetener - so not only is in not usually made from almonds but it isn’t bitter either! The odour is familiar to most people as marzipan, which was traditionally made with about 1% bitter almond kernels ground up with the sweet almonds into a paste. Now it is more likely to be made with all sweet almonds and some benzaldehyde added to flavour it.

According to Arctander, Hydrocyanic acid smells rather similar to Benzaldehyde - though I don’t recommend testing that assertion.

Arctander also has this to say about the natural vs synthetic origins of the oil:

Bitter Almond Oil is very rarely produced from bitter almonds. If the oil is a natural distillate at all, it is most often produced from other kernels (see above). A large part of all the so-called bitter almond oil in the market is actually a refined synthetic benzaldehyde, supposedly free from chlorine. The labelling FFPA stands for “free from prussic acid” (old name for hydrocyanic acid). The abbreviation FFC means “free from chlorine”, and is obviously applied to synthetic products.
He goes on to say that some of the imitations of the natural distillate contain traces of (deliberately added) hydrocyanic acid and if completely free of chlorine, are thus identical with the natural product. I’ve no idea whether this kind of adulteration continues today, but it seems likely.

Benzaldehyde by the way isn’t very stable and tends to turn into Benzoic acid (white crystals that are essentially odourless) on exposure to air and consequently it is often sold with some ethanol added to improve stability.

Benzaldehyde is highly volatile liquid: a top note if you use it in perfumery and isn’t all that widely used. I happen to have some at the moment because one of the things I’m researching is a lilac fragrance, in which it is a component.

A draft of this material appeared on the fragrance discussion forum Basenotes in this post.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

A Jubilee Pageant, 1953 and the Coronation

On July 12th 2012 Her Majesty the Queen will be attending a Pageant in Shropshire in honour of her 60 years as Queen.  Pell Wall Perfumes will be there too and it seemed the perfect occasion to release a fragrance I've had in development for a while.
1953 - a limited edition fragrance by Pell Wall Perfumes

I'm calling it '1953' - after the year of the coronation - that's because among many special things involved in the ascension to the throne of a British monarch perhaps the most special is the anointing - according to Wikipedia British Monarchs are the only ones still anointed as part of the ceremony and it is done with a specially made Coronation Oil - the ingredients for which have been similar since the 12th Century and include ambergris, civet, rose, jasmine, orange flower, cinnamon, musk and benzoin.

1953 by Pell Wall Perfumes includes all those fine ingredients (though for ethical reasons I'm using synthetic substitutes for civet and musk) in the very best qualities to be found.   I've then adapted them into a very long-lasting, easy to wear and highly concentrated Parfum for the 21st Century, presented in a diamond-clear heart-shaped flask, complete with it's own crystal stand.

Newly filled bottles awaiting boxing

Just twelve of these magnificent gifts will be made for sale on the day of release, with further small releases planned including Christmas 2012, the anniversary of the coronation itself on 2nd June 2013 and finally for Christmas 2013 - after that 1953 will be available only to special order.