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Friday, October 28, 2011

Mini Review of The Little Book of Perfumes by Turin & Sanchez

Providence Perfume Co. specializes in natural perfume.

It's not every day I'm offered a free pre-release copy of a book - let alone one about Perfume.  Needless to say, I was suspicious but hopeful when I replied to the email I was sent by a Penguin publicist requesting I review a new book.  My copy of The Little Book of Perfumes the Hundred Classics by Tuca Turin and Tania Sanchez arrived a few days later.  As I'm a big fan of the original book PERFUMES-The A-Z Guide by Turin and Sanchez, I was excited to read their new pared down perfume primer. Note to publicists: this is an incredibly smart way to generate buzz in the perfume community-very smart indeed!

First, the cover and design of the book is eye catching. A graphic black and white printed cover opens to hot pink liner pages.  Snazzy.

As I thumbed through the pages reading reviews of the 100 Classic Perfumes, I was most happy to note that Luca and Turin devoted a good deal of content to dealing with the revisions of many of these classic perfumes due to IFRA regulations.  Many of these classic perfumes have been so heavily revised they are but a shallow remembrance of their former greatness.  I appreciated that the authors were careful to re-sniff the revised 2011 perfume versions with many of the natural ingredients removed and meticulously note the changes brought about by IFRA's restrictions.  

When teaching my Introductory Natural Perfume Blending classes, one of the topics that most surprises students is the modern revisions to classic perfumes.  When I explain that the current versions of the favorite perfumes, perfumes they have strong scent memories attached to; fragrances worn by their mother or grandfather will never smell the same they are shocked and sometimes angry.  I was pleased the authors focused on these changes and the foreward written by Tania Sanchez speaks volumes on the topic of regulation.  

No Oakmoss Allowed!

Along these lines, my favorite review in The Little Book of Perfumes is written on a perfume that many consider the holy grail of classics: Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue.  The review of the original perfume is as one might expect, glowing.  Turin writes, "This is Guerlain the virtual pastry chef at his best, with a fragrance that teeters on the edge of the edible for hours without missing a step.  If you're Red Hot Riding Hood and a hungry wolf just rang the bell, this is the one for you."

Regarding the revised 2011 version of L'Heure Bleue Sanchez writes, "A pretty stranger has come in claiming to be your best beloved.  It is hard to be angry with her.  She is clearly out of her mind; they look nothing alike.  You sit and wait patiently for your love to turn up.  The windows go dark, night after night while the stranger smiles and dawdles, waiting for you to forget.  Can you?"  I love this review, witty and making it's point clearly.  Please stop messing with our perfumes!  Let the consumer decide.  Excessive regulations on possible allergens are not the answer.

Providence Perfume Co. specializes in natural perfume and in natural fragrance, you can contact us at

Friday, October 21, 2011

Helter Skelter - losing your mind while running a small business

Helter-Skelter: adv. 
chaotic, disorganized, every which way, hurried, pell mell

I stare groggily at the blank check I'm writing.  It's very early in the morning and my children swirl their oatmeal around in their bowls, while poking each other.  I can't remember what I'm writing the check for.  A field trip? A utility bill?  I stare blankly at the check waiting for my mind to start working.  It's 6:45 a.m. on a gray rainy Wednesday morning, and I think I've lost my mind.

Losing your mind, or memory while running a small business can be disastrous.  I'll admit, I've never been the most organized person, but lately it's gotten worse.  I'm juggling so many balls at once, that I'm bound to start dropping a few.  Recent examples of me being absentminded are rampant: forgetting doctor's appointments, forgetting to reply to important emails, forgetting to place orders for business supplies, not keeping up with social media like I used to, forgetting family members birthdays.  Some of these mistakes seem small but they have a large impact on my life and my business.  They result in negative impressions, loss of money, sales and exposure.  

So, what to do?  Addressing the problem is the first step, right?  I realize that I'm frazzled.  The small part of my personality that is controlling and a bit of a perfectionist must release the reigns.  I'm trying, now unsuccessfully to do too much.  I've made a realization . . . (dramatic pause) I think I need some HELP.  I think trying to do it all myself is starting to backfire.  Initially doing it all myself was the best and only option.  Now, I'm not so sure.  A wonderful fellow perfumer once gave me a great bit of advice regarding running a business, "Do everything you can yourself -BUT- know what you can't do, or aren't good it and have someone else do that."  Maybe it's time that I decide to assign someone (other than myself) some duties.  Maybe it's time to hire an intern, or one of the PR agencies that keep contacting me, or a sales rep. Then, maybe the next time the lights flicker, I won't worry I forgot to pay the electric bill :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Happy October Sale!

It's Fall.  I woke this morning to the sounds of honking, not unusual here in the city.  The honking got louder and louder and I sleepily rubbed my eyes and tried to figure out where the noise was coming from.  Louder and louder, closer and closer the honking escalated.  I realized it was the sound of a massive flock of Canadian geese flying over the house headed south!  I raced to window to see the tail end of the large V-formation of birds as they sailed noisily out of site.  The formation was so large it cast a shadow upon the house and small backyard.  It was truly an incredible sight!

Glorious autumn in New England.  My favorite season.  Gone is the humidity, and the ever present late summer thunderstorms.  The air is cool, the leaves are crisp, the apples crunch and there is a hint of frost in the air.  Glorious autumn in New England!

I am celebrating the season with the launch of a new website.  The new site is cleaner looking and easier to navigate.  Please visit and let me know what you think.  For a limited time, you can get 15% off your order by entering discount code NEWSITE when checking out.  Sale ends October 10th, so if you've been meaning to try some of our fabulous natural perfumes, here's your chance to try them at a fantastic discount.

Our October Newsletter is available HERE and contains more information. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Brave New Scents: A Natural Perfumers Guild Project

The Outlaw Perfumers are honoring the aromatics of the 21st Century
Providence Perfume Co. -  All natural perfume

I am participating along with 10 other professional perfumers and bloggers in honoring rare, new botanical ingredients.  These botanicals are new additions to the perfumer's palette, and have only recently been distilled and made available for perfumery.  Many are rare, costly and in small supply.  We create our brave new scents as a tribute to these incredible essences and those renegades and risktakers who travel the world to distill them.

My contribution to the project is a perfume called Jessamine, a tribute to the state flower of South Carolina where my mother resides.  Jessamine is a southern inspired citrus jasmine inspired by the yellow jessamine that threads it's vine like flowers throughout the fences and gardens of the southern states.

Yellow Jessamine


  • Top Notes of Cedrat, Yuzu and Galbanum
  • Heart Notes of Jasmine Auriculatum, Aglaia, Linden Blossom and Pink Lotus
  • Base Notes of Orris, Hay and Tahitian Vanilla Bean Tincture
    Yellow Jessamine is the state flower of South Carolina.  It’s aroma is an exquisite blend of jasmine and citrus notes and grows wild throughout the South.  Alas, all parts of the vine like plant can be toxic and often under pollinated as bees shy away from it’s alkaline nectar.  My interpretation of Jessamine combines Cedrat with it’s candied lemon peel aroma with rare Jasmine Auriculatum, sparkling Aglaia flowers and a soft cashmere orris vanilla base.  Evoking Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, southern drawls, Jessamine covered verandas and the hum of cicadas.  Y’all please enjoy.

I made a very limited amount of Jessamine eau de parfum.  It is available online at in 6 ml. atomizers and deluxe samples.

Participating Perfumers Include:

Ambrosia Jones, Perfume by Nature
Anya McCoy, Anya's Garden
Charna Ethier, Providence Perfume Co.
Christi Meshell, House of Matriarch
Elise Pearlstine, Belly Flowers
JoAnne Bassett, JoAnne Bassett Perfumes
Rohanna Goodwin Smith, Ascent Natural Perfumes
Adam Gottschalk, Lord's Jester Inc.

Participating Bloggers/Critics:

All I am a Redhead

Contact Providence Perfume Co. at
We specialize in organic and botanical perfume. Coming soon, a blog on organic perfume.