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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Pell Wall: Best Discovery of 2014

Pretty in Pink by Pell Wall
As 2014 races to the finish line, I’m pleased to report that Pell Wall has featured as the Best Discovery of 2014 on the much respected Perfume Shrine blog by Elena Vosnaki, who has also just published a fantastic review of Pretty in Pink on the Fragrantica website: not only does she like the perfume, but she writes about it in the most entertaining possible way.

Beaver from Zoologist
Composed by Chris Bartlett
Speaking of Best Discoveries, ÇaFleureBon Editor in Chief Michelyn Camen has voted Zoologist Perfumes (featuring Beaver, created by the Pell Wall Perfumer) as her best discovery of 2014 in their Best of Scent 2014 Awards. And Speaking of Zoologist Perfumes, you can also read an interview of Chris Bartlett on their blog and a review by Steve Johnson of Beaver, also on ÇaFleureBon  in which we are reported to have achieved the impossible (an animalic scent he can wear without cringing).

Better still Beaver was awarded a Best Scent of 2014 award on the very last day of the year!

So, all-in-all not a bad end to 2014.  

My sincere thanks go to the reviewers and publishers responsible for these and my best wishes to everyone reading for a wonderful New Year and a happy and prosperous 2015.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Workshops - February 7th and 8th 2015 - London

Following on from my post last month, I’m now able to confirm dates and location for the workshops.

There are two workshops Introductory and Advanced - there are still places on the Introductory but only one place left on the Advanced:

Some ingredients for the Introductory Workshop
On Saturday 7th February I’ll be holding a repeat of the workshop last held in May 2014, which takes you from an introduction to the materials right through to making a bottle of your own perfume that you’ve designed yourself in the course of the day.  This workshop is suitable for people who have never made perfumes of any kind before but as there is a lot of practical work and individual tuition it is also suitable for those with some prior blending experience.  Arrival from 10am, starting promptly at 10.30 and concluding at 5.30.

Workshop Folder with integral calculator

The price is £155 per person, which includes light refreshments on arrival, mid-morning and mid-afternoon, lunch, six hours of tuition and practice, all the materials you need, a bottle of your own fragrance to take home, full documentation and a nice folder to keep all your formulas and notes in.

Introductory Workshop only £155

All the catering will be provided by the hotel (see below), which also offers free wifi in case you feel the need to check your email or send a tweet in the breaks.

On Sunday 8th February I’ll be holding an Advanced Workshop for those who have done a prior workshop or who otherwise already know all the essential techniques of blending and are familiar with the most common materials.  The price for the advanced workshop is £175 per person and in this one we’ll be doing two things:
In the first half we will look at a particular group of materials used in perfumery with a view to understanding them better.  Delegates will be able to vote their choice from:
  • Musks - an exploration of musk ingredients, the differences between them in olfactory terms and how to use each to best effect.
  • Ambersan exploration of amber / ambergris ingredients, the differences between them in both olfactory terms and usage.
  • Something else suggested by a delegate as long as I know about it in time to prepare materials and gain agreement from the rest of the group.
  • Fixativesan exploration of non-musk fixative ingredients, the differences between them in both olfactory terms and usage.

In the second half everyone will have the opportunity to either bring a blend they are working on that they’d like help improving, continue work on something started in the prior workshop or create something new.  I will be on hand to provide guidance throughout and, as the maximum number of people for this workshop is smaller, I’ll be able to spend more time with each person.  The full range of materials examined in the morning session will be available for you to practice within the afternoon.

As before you get to make up a bottle of your creation to keep, but with this one you can choose a 30ml bottle from the Pell Wall range to take home as well.

 Advanced Workshop only £175

Arrival from 10am, starting promptly at 10.30 and concluding at 5.30.

Everything you need is included and the workshop is fully catered by the hotel:

The location for both workshops is the St James’ Court Hotel on Buckingham Gate, which as they say in their literature, is a gemstone’s throw from Buckingham Palace.

Nearest tubes are St James’s Park (2 mins walk), Victoria (8mins walk) and Green Park (12 mins walk through the park and past the palace).

If you want to book both workshops you can still do so but the discounted rate is now sold out - sorry!

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Zoologist Perfumes, Beaver

It’s common knowledge in the industry, but not so common elsewhere, that perfumes are frequently composed by perfumers who are not associated with the company that markets them.  Commonly those perfumers work for one of the big ingredients houses, perhaps under the guidance of a designer from the brand for which the perfume is being made, perhaps not.

Beaver from Zoologist Perfumes
I do this kind of work too, and it’s a significant aspect of the business of Pell Wall perfumes.  What’s rather unusual is for the house commissioning the work to publicise the perfumer behind it, but that’s exactly what Zoologist Perfumes of Canada have decided to do and I’m very proud to be associated with their brand.  The brief was a great one to work on, expressed as a single page mood board, it gave enough room for creativity yet made their intentions perfectly clear.

You can read a great review of Beaver, the fragrance I produced for Zoologist, on the Cafleurbon website where they are also running a competition for samples.

Furthermore you can read an interview with me, where I talk about the work as well as more generally on the Zoologist Perfumes Blog.

I can add, without any trace of bias, as it’s an aspect I had no hand in, that the bottles labels and packaging for this line are truly gorgeous.

Better still Beaver was awarded a Best Scent of 2014 award on the very last day of the year!

Perfume Making Workshop - Incense - London 31st January 2015

Just one place left on this workshop!

On Saturday 31st January I’m running another in my series of perfume making workshops, this one is in association with the Perfume Lovers London Meet-up Group and follows on from a talk I’m giving the previous Thursday on the use of incense notes in fragrance: you don’t have to be at the talk to do the workshop as here we’ll be focusing on making perfume, while the talk is about enjoying it.

The cost for the workshop is £150 and includes a vegetarian lunch and refreshments on the day:

An earlier perfume making workshop in London

Incense is almost certainly the oldest form of perfume and the burning of incense continues to be a significant part of the religious observance of a huge number of people around the world.  Whether for this reason or simply because it smells so attractive the incense note continues to enjoy popularity in modern, alcohol-based, perfumery too.

Over the course of the day we'll be investigating the use of a range of ingredients that contribute to the distinctive note of incense including frankincense; myrrh and other natural materials, as well as some of the synthetics that are used and the vital supporting role of some of the other materials involved.

By the end of the day you’ll have had an opportunity to build an alcohol-based fragrance of your own, featuring incense, and you get to take home a bottle of your finished creation.  If you’ve never made perfume before I’ll take you through the process step by step, but for those who are already familiar with these techniques you’ll be able to explore the incense materials and how they work together using the range of materials available.

Oh and in case you need an extra incentive, did you know there is a gin with an incense note too? We'll have some to taste, towards the end of the day.

The venue is a private house in Kew (near to Kew Gardens Underground).  Refreshments will be available from 9.30 and the workshop starts at 10am.

Pell Wall featured in Management Today

Chris Bartlett - Perfumer at Pell Wall
Pell Wall’s perfumer Chris Bartlett is featured in an article in Management Today: not an organ of the press most usually associated with perfumery and all the more worth readying for that.  Apparently we’re like punk rockers . . .

Saturday, 6 December 2014

New Standard Packaging and luxury gift option

Art Deco Boxes for Pell Wall
I’m pleased to report that, just in time for Christmas, our new standard packaging is now in use: 30ml and 100ml bottles will be shipped in these elegant Art Deco style, glossy black boxes as standard from now on.

Luxury Gift Presentation
If you’re looking for something even more luxurious for a special gift, we are also offering almost all the range in a tall 100ml bottle, with a magnificent mahogany-finish box: it comes in a protective outer box and can be further gift-boxed free of charge if you order before 20th December.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Blood & Soil: a cocktail

And now for something completely different:

It’s an experiment I've been meaning to do for a while: a martini-style drink using a cocktail beetroot as garnish.  I wanted the liquid to be essentially clear, so that as you drink it, you could see the colour bleeding out of the beetroot.  At the same time the ingredients have to work with the earthy, sweet quality of the garnish, so that they fit together as a whole.

Here’s what I came up with:
Blood and Soil
A Cocktail for the Adventurous

First prepare the glass with half a very small baby beetroot, speared on a cocktail stick and placed so that the cut edge rests against the glass (for the sake of the photograph I used a glass at room temperature, but otherwise I’d prefer a frozen glass). It’s important that the beetroot hasn’t been marinated in loads of vinegar: either plain cooked or with minimal dressing - here I’ve used Waitrose lime zest infused baby beetroot.

To a shaker with 4 cubes of ice add:

  • 2 shots of Chase Smoked Vodka
  • 2 shots of Ophir gin
  • 1/4 bar spoon of Yellow Chartreuse

Shake until thoroughly chilled, pour very gently into the glass and serve.

The picture here was taken about a minute after the pour and as you can see the root is already producing layers and swirls of colour.  By the time the cocktail was half consumed it was a uniform dark pink, at which point I ate the garnish: the whole thing worked very well and would make a great party talking point.

The smoked vodka compliments the spicy Ophir gin perfectly to give an earthy, almost savoury drink, while the small touch of Chartreuse is enough to add a herbal complexity and take the edge off the dryness: a good match with the sweetness of the beetroot.

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Perfume Making Workshops for 2015

I’m planning to run another of my One Day Workshops aimed at taking you from an interest in perfume and blending, to making a wearable perfume yourself - the last one was at Les Senteurs - the next will be in February 2015, it will be on a Saturday and at a central London location.
Workshop at Les Senteurs
I know one or two people like to give these workshops as a Christmas gift, hence I’m advertising it now: full details to follow soon.

In addition though, I’d like to use this post to see if there is interest in a more advanced workshop the following day (therefore on a Sunday).  The idea would be to look at some more difficult aspects of perfumery than are covered in the basic workshop, perhaps by exploring a category of ingredients: musks or ambers for example, with a view to sorting out the differences between materials and when to use what.

It has also been suggested to me that some people would like the opportunity for something more like a masterclass where you bring along your own, part-finished work and we have a look together at how best to take it forward.

I’m open to either or both approaches depending on what people would find most useful: so if you’ve thoughts on these or other ideas of what would be interesting to you, please let me know here and I’ll put together something that suits most contributors.

Christmas Room Sprays

Christmas Room Spray by Pell Wall
After a little consultation on the Pell Wall Facebook page I’ve decided to make some of these Christmas Room sprays for sale.  It’s a strictly limited edition: only one batch will be made this year and it’s just enough to fill the remaining bottles I have of this style (now with gold sprays and lids as all the black ones have sold out):

Each bottle contains 100ml and they are £22 each

Richly scented with frankincense, myrrh, orange, tangerine, cinnamon and spice for that classic festive effect that everyone loves.

It’s an alcohol based spray so it will keep happily until next Christmas if you don’t use it all up this year but it’s not intended for use on the skin and mustn’t be sprayed near naked flames.

Christmas Room Scent
Gift Box by Pell Wall

If you want to give it as a gift I can also package one up in a large gift box (big enough to take a wine bottle) along with some pine-cone based potpourri in a matching scent for an extra fiver:

 £27 - Gift boxed

The box is strong, with a magnetic closure on the lid and heavy cord carrying handle so it can be re-used as well.

Friday, 31 October 2014

The Walking Dead

Just for fun, in honour of Hallowe’en I’m presenting a recipe for a variation of my Goth Martini, especially designed to bring a little horror into your evening celebrations (and will certainly horrify any tee-totalers in the party):

To make this one you need:

  • Half a shot of Hapsburg Black Absinthe - if you’re feeling brave you could put a full shot in but as this stuff is 79% alcohol proceed with caution!
  • 1 shot of Eristoff Black (a sweetish vodka based spirit flavoured with black berries)
  • 4 shots of Blavod Vodka (unflavoured and actually a very dark green in colour on it’s own)

Shake over ice until a frost forms (Zombies are dead cold after all).  The combination makes a deep-black colour and is strong enough to wake the dead.

If you wanted you could add a black olive as a garnish, but personally I think it works better without.

Naturally the most sophisticated amongst you will want to drink this while wearing Artemis, the absinthe based fragrance from Pell Wall ;-)


Sunday, 21 September 2014

Pell Wall the Maverick

Pell Wall features with other independent perfumers in the September issue of one of London’s regional upmarket-lifestyle magazines Absolutely South East in an article by Lawrence Roullier White on Rebel Perfumers an association I’m rather pleased with: thanks Lawrence!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

How To Make Perfume

The spread at the beginning of the article
as it appeared in print on 3rd August 2014
If you want to make perfume yourself and are looking for help to get you started, this is the place. Here are links to methods, sources of ingredients, recommended equipment and advice: everything I wished I could find when I started out myself!

On the 3rd of August the Independent on Sunday ran an article, which featured on the front page of the magazine, on the theme of how difficult it is to get started in perfumery whether you intend it as a hobby or, as I did, want to make a living at it.  I was interviewed for that article along with several other independent and amateur perfumers.

The article is by Rhodri Marsden and the accompanying photography by Dan Burn-Forti.  Dan has kindly supplied me with pictures from the photo-shoot we did for the piece and I’m featuring some of the ones that were not used in the article in this post.

I don’t propose to repeat any of what was said in the article here - it stands on it’s own - what I do want to do is to provide here some links and tips that may be helpful to those starting out or struggling with some of the problems the article highlights.

Part of the ingredients store
at Pell Wall by Dan Burn-Forti
So, first up if you’re looking for ingredients and don’t have the budget or space for an array such as we have at Pell Wall, where can you go to get supplies in smaller amounts?
  • Pell Wall sell one of the largest ranges of perfumery materials available online in quantities from 10ml / 10g upwards, and can also offer a comprehensive range of starter kits.
  • De Hekserij in the Netherlands have a good range and now also an English language website which makes ordering much easier for those of us who don’t speak Dutch
  • Perfumer’s Supply House in the USA have a growing range including some very unusual ingredients
  • Perfumer’s Apprentice in the USA have a large range including most of the basics you’ll need.
Chris in the Lab at Pell Wall
 by Dan Burn-Forti
All the above are reliable suppliers I’m comfortable recommending.  Those in Europe should keep in mind that ordering from the US will mean you’ll need to pay both VAT and Duty on import - exactly how that works depends on the courier the supplier uses - talk to them first so you know what to expect - however the reverse case isn’t so bad as the US does not charge duty on import for most perfumery materials.  Shipping is also a significant factor when ordering from abroad, so I recommend looking at suppliers as close to your own location as possible first.

For help with learning the art itself I’m going to point to other more detailed posts offering help:
More ingredients than you can shake a stick
(or a smelling strip) at by Dan Burn-Forti
Places you can go to get some training or practice in the UK include:
  • My own workshops in London or Shropshire - advertised on this blog as they come up
  • The Cotswold Perfumery where perfumer John Stephen runs regular courses and, once you’ve attended one, will also sell you ingredients and equipment.
  • Karen Gilbert runs courses online and in London covering making perfume and skincare

Some detailed posts about particular ingredients:
If all that didn’t answer your questions, you’ll need somewhere else to turn: I’m adding things to this blog all the time, so do please keep a watch here.  I’m also one of many people, including some other fully qualified perfumers, who answer questions, collaborate with one another and generally exchange information about this fascinating art and science in two main forums:
Join up on either or both and add your voice to the conversation.
Chris and Jungle (one of the Pell Wall Pack) in one of the
ingredients stores at Pell Wall by Dan Burn-Forti

Finally, let me just add that if you’re looking for specific advice or assistance with any perfumery problem and, for whatever reason, you don’t want to post about it on those public forums I’m willing to help - for a small fee - check the consultation section of the website for details.

Happy perfume making!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Sandalwood found to have wound healing effects

The implications of a fascinating piece of new research could be widespread: 

Researchers at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany have found that not only are there olfactory receptors in the top layer of human skin, but have shown that a particular sandalwood odourant can trigger those receptors resulting in increased growth and migration in the surrounding cells.

As this is such new research, there is every chance that other odourants will, in the future, be found to have similar or perhaps quite different effects on the skin with obvious implications for their use in perfumery as well as for medical and other applications.

This research, led by Dr Daniela Busse and Prof Dr Dr Dr med habil Hanns Hatt from the Department for Cellphysiology published their report in the "Journal of Investigative Dermatology”.  

There are many synthetic sandalwood
odourants of which this is one
Reporting of the findings appears in Time but they don’t mention there, the answer to the question that will be uppermost in the minds of perfume-makers: which specific odourant has this effect?

The answer is it was Sandalore (a brand name owned by Givaudan) or 3-methyl-5-(2,2,3-trimethyl-1-cyclopent-3-enyl)pentan-2-ol, if you prefer the chemical designation.

Monday, 4 August 2014

100 years ago today

What was to become known as the First World War started 100 years ago today and while most people are commemorating the anniversary with the now conventional poppies I have something slightly different to offer:

A 1st World War Daffodil
Here is a picture of a humble pressed daffodil in remembrance of my dear grandfather who - in a moment of wild romance - picked it in the midst of battle and sent it home.

I’ll reproduce here the story in memory of one of the heroes who came home, no less to be remembered than those who died in the conflict, no less heroic, but as he described himself in one of his last letters home a “lucky blighter”.  You can read more about him on the website I created in his memory.

I first heard the story of how the daffodil came to be collected and preserved from Poppa (Cyril Bartlett) when I was a young boy. I can remember him clearly telling the story with a great deal of drama and I recall at the time being impressed by it, but not really understanding. 

Years later I would hear the same story in a very different context from Nanny (Jessica Bartlett) – I’ll come to that, what matters for now is that it was the same story. Here it is, as accurately as I can render it: 

One damp spring day, while fighting in the trenches in France, Cyril noticed, out in the distance, in the no-mans-land between his and his enemies’ trenches, a daffodil just coming into flower. He resolved then, that if it were still there that night he would have it to send home. As evening fell, the flower was still there, by now fully open; so Cyril crawled out into no-mans-land [I can see him now making crawling motions with his elbows and giving dramatic emphasis to the need to keep his head right down in case he should be spotted by an enemy sniper]. He reached the flower, picked it, held the stem carefully in his mouth and turned, crawling with equal care back to his own trench. There the flower was carefully pressed and sent home.
The first time I heard this tale; it was a thrilling story of daring from a world of danger that appeared exciting and remote. The second time I heard it (or at least the second that I can remember clearly – I suspect Poppa told us grandchildren the story more than once) it was in the late summer of 1979. I had spent the summer holiday that year helping to nurse Poppa through his final illness and after the funeral I returned to Gayfield to help Nanny sort through his things: it was a difficult time for both of us. The daffodil was stored at that time between the leaves of a book – I had long since forgotten all about it until Nanny showed it to me and re-told the story I’ve related above, though without the dramatic embellishments. By now I was old enough to understand it as a story of deep love and the mad, romantic gesture of commitment and longing that it really was.
Stored with the daffodil, with all the other papers, is a pressed fuchsia, which I believe Jessie sent back to Cyril in a return letter and he retained and brought home from the war. The note you can see in the scan here is written in Cyril's own hand some years after he came home, and after he saw his own sons go off to fight in the Second World War. 

For me those brown and tattered, flattened flowers have always been the most potent symbol of the love between my grandparents that was the backdrop to my childhood.
In remembrance of all those caught up in the terrible tragedy of the Great War whether they came home or not.
A daffodil.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Lily of the Valley – mystery, manufacture & murder


Perfumery has always glorified the floral and for centuries perfumers have sought ways to extract the essence from real flowers to incorporate into their creations. With many flowers this quest has met with considerable success, with a few commercially viable products produced that are still used in modern perfumery: rose and jasmine being the primary examples. 
Lily of the Valley - picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
One flower that has always eluded extraction is the Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis) or Muguet*: distillation yields very little of an unpleasant smelling oil not a bit like the dense, exotic scent of the fresh flowers.  Solvent extraction and even modern CO2 extracts have similarly been completely unable to capture the scent.  This is because the flower produces the scent only at the point of release – none is stored in the flower – so it cannot be extracted.  The flower itself only contains pre-cursor chemicals from which the scent is formed directly into the air.
Diorrissimo - picture from Basenotes
Yet many people will be familiar with the scent of Lily of the Valley, not through smelling the fresh flowers, but from perfumes containing or replicating its scent – perhaps the most famous of these being Diorissimo.  So, if you can’t extract the scent, how is that done?

*Muguet is the French word for Lily of the Valley, a flower popularly used at weddings.  Lily of the valley is a  sweetly scented (and highly poisonous) woodland flowering plant that is native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia, Europe and in the southern Appalachian Mountains in the United States.


Here we see how the chemist is the perfumers best friend: a good number of materials have been discovered or created that replicate, at least in part, the scent of these mysterious flowers.  Many people would say that synthetic Lily of the Valley begins with the synthesis in the early part of the 20th Century of Hydroxycitronellal: it’s difficult to be sure exactly when it was first used because the nature of the material was kept a closely guarded secret.  What we do know is that as early as 1906 it was being made by Givaudan and sold under the trade name Laurine. 
Dr E Emmet Reid
Credited with re-discovering Hydroxycitronellal
Image from The Johns Hopkins University
At the outbreak of WWI it was being manufactured in Germany and, as the war meant it ceased to be available, efforts were made to find ways to make it that resulted in it’s being manufactured in an American factory and, during the 20s, it gradually become well-known within the trade.  Most perfumers would agree that, while no one chemical can ever fully represent the scent of a flower, hydroxycitronellal gives a very close facsimile to the aroma of the fresh flowers of Lily of the Valley.  Curiously enough however it does not appear to be present in that, or any other natural flower scent.
I’m presenting in the sections at the end of this post, descriptions of a selection of materials that replicate the scent of Lilly of the Valley, with descriptions of their olfactory properties as well as, in many cases, the restrictions on their use that have led to their decline.  These are mainly for the benefit of DIY perfumers, but may also be of interest to perfumistas curious about ingredients.  I’ve included quite a few quotations from Steffen Arctander’s wonderful descriptions of aroma chemicals – rather less well known than his work on materials of natural origin – but just as good.


Structure of Lyral - image courtesy Wikimedia Commons
So where does the murder come in?  Well in one case a forthcoming ban by the European Union will, over the next couple of years, result in the certain demise from perfumery altogether of one of those materials.  The material that is being killed off by the regulators is Lyral and although it’s only going to be banned in the EU, that will very likely be reflected in a prohibition by IFRA (the International Fragrance Association) and even if it isn’t all the major perfume manufacturers will phase it out of use completely, so it will effectively vanish from the world.

After the jump you can read detailed descriptions of a range of materials used in connection with Lily of the Valley scents.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Interview with an Indie Perfumer

The Perfumer’s Organ at Pell Wall
The charming Clare Wood interviewed me at my London hotel a few weeks ago.  We talked about aroma chemicals, natural perfumery materials, the art and science of perfumery, other perfumers I admire and what to do if you’re looking to get started in the business.

You can read the full interview on Basenotes.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Pell Wall Perfume on ITV This Morning Show

Two fragrances from Pell Wall’s 1953 range, a couple of pieces of ambergris that I keep for demonstration purposes, some synthetic ambergris and some of my ambergris tinctures are featured on this section of the ITV This Morning show from Friday 2nd May.

The whole segment is a bit bonkers, featuring as it does a whole range of things made using poo, but it’s nice to see 1953 Eau de Toilette and 1953 Pour Homme featured (even if they didn’t get the spelling right!)

You need to fast forward to 6 minutes into the show if you want to skip the other products: Perfume is on last.

The bottle of part-made tincture they have a sniff at by the way was extracted from a larger batch that is being made from a piece found by artist and guest-house owner Jac Volbeda on a beach in the Western Isles of Scotland last year that has been tincturing since January: I’ll be blogging in detail about this when it’s finished.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Perfume Making Workshop in London

Perfume Making Workshop with the Pell Wall Perfumer

I’m pleased to report that, by popular demand, I will be running another perfume making workshop in London on:
Saturday 31st May
from 11am to 5pm
at The Scent Salon
Les Senteurs:
2 Seymour Place, Marble Arch, London W1H 7NA
(that’s the Wigmore Street end of Seymour Place)

The workshop is aimed at people who have never made a fragrance for themselves before and concludes with a bottle of a fragrance you've created yourself: for those who have made fragrances before, perhaps at one of my earlier workshops, you will of course be able to make something completely new.

The Scent Salon at Les Senteurs
The price is £135 per person, which includes light refreshments, five hours of tuition and practice, all the materials you need, a bottle of your own fragrance to take home and even a glass of fizz at the end.  There will be a break for lunch, which isn't included, at one of the many nearby establishments.

I will provide tuition about materials, guidance on blending and everything you need, all you need to bring is your un-perfumed self.

I'll will take you through the recording of the formula too and as long as you do that carefully you'll be able to order more of the fragrance you've designed from Pell Wall in the future.

I'll also provide odour and use descriptions of each of the 30+ materials we'll be using and these will be both available on paper on the day and sent electronically in advance for those who want to do some pre-work.  I'm also open to requests (in advance) if there is a particular material you want to work with, as long as I have it available and it isn't outrageously expensive then I'm happy to bring some along.

The venue is of course also a specialist perfume shop, so you might like to have a browse while you're there.  The shop is open until 7pm and although the course ends at 5pm, I will stick around to answer questions afterwards too.

Space is limited and places have started to go already so if you are interested, please book quickly to avoid disappointment:

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Pretty in Pink Review

Just a little blog post today to say a big

Thank You

to The Perfumed Dandy for his charming review of Pretty in Pink, published today as the first of his Festival of Roses series of reviews.  Roses are one of the most fascinating of all flowers - thought to be the oldest decorative plant in cultivation - thousands of varieties exist and Rose Otto shares near legendary status as a perfume ingredient with Ambergris.

Rose oil is also one of the most complex ingredients used in perfumery with some 700 different aroma chemicals that have been identified as contributing to it's wonderful scent.

If you're thinking of giving roses for Valentine's Day this year, consider a lovely rose perfume: an equally romantic and far more lasting gift than those scentless florists roses in plastic tubes, pretty as they undoubtedly are.