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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 Ã‡aFleureBon  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.