Lady Gaga and I have precisely one thing in common: a black perfume in our roster. According to a recent press release, Gaga is launching a new black hued perfume called Fame which morphs from black to clear when sprayed. Hmmm, the wonders of modern chemistry? My perfume is nearly black (and stays that way) from the addition of lots of delightful dark essences such as oakmoss and black tea.
I've noticed a slew of colored perfumes being launched by the mainstream perfume industry of late and it pleases me immensely. This is a trend I can get behind. If there's one thing we natural perfumers do well it's colored perfumes! Now to be fair, these mainstream perfumes are artificially colored. However, nature provides a wide spectrum of colors for the natural perfumer to paint with. In fact, it's often difficult to create a natural perfume that isn't colored. As a perfumer I made a conscious decision to use any essence I desired when creating my line, regardless of how its addition effected the final color of the perfume. If I were to limit myself to using clear oils and absolutes I'd be left with only a handful of essences to work with. I wish to expand, not reduce my palette. This meant I would have accept that my natural perfumes were sometimes dark brown, or black or green when filtered.
Despite the fact that I had accepted these colored perfumes, I wondered how potential customers would react. Would consumers be less likely to purchase my Osmanthus Oolong eau de parfum because it was a dark gray color? Would the jade tone of Tabac Citron quell sales? My line has a distinct voice and color; perfumes so very different than the mainstream perfume industry. Artisanal fragrances. Perfumes made in small batches, by hand using incredibly rare, expensive natural essences that just so happen to be brightly colored. I'm happy to report that little fuss and few comments have been made about the colors of my fragrances. I expected the colors of the perfumes to be more off putting to the consumer than they seem to be. Acceptance! I have been asked on occasion if I dye my perfumes, to which I reply, "No, Mother Nature does."
As for me? I'm drawn to the mystery of a dusky scent. I'm tired of girly fruity floral scents. Hygienic clear bottles of scent hold no promise for me. Be gone era of clean, clear perfumes meant to evoke purity. I'm a vintage perfumista at heart. Bring on the deep, dark, richness of amber colored perfumes! While Estee Lauder's Youth Dew may not be my favorite scent, the fascination I feel when gazing upon it's dark liquid is palpable. Without even a sniff, Youth Dew makes it apparent that it's rich and deep and resinous. What secrets are locked inside that dark brown nectar?
So, along these lines I've created a quick perfume color guide. The following botanical essences possess serious color saturation. Adding more than a few drops will color a perfume quickly. In you've ever wondered why or how a natural perfume obtained it's hue read on.
GREEN: lavender absolute, lavender seville absolute, green tea absolute, violet leaf absolute, tobacco absolute, mint absolute, sweet clover absolute, rooibos (red tea) absolute, fir balsam absolute, geranium absolute, rosemary and basil absolutes.