Tag Archives: Natural Perfumery

Providence Perfume Co. Divine Noir

12 May

Divine Noir is sweet, woody, earthy, balsamic, warm, tangy, and aromatic. It smells like a complex artisan root beer with a spritz of bergamot and a shot of patchouli-infused wheat grass mixed into it. It is such a beautiful offering of naturally sweet and aromatic earthiness, I feel like eating it would make me stronger and more beautiful.

It is spicy, smooth, rich and deep, but its vibrant botanical quality lends the ingredients a translucency, which prevents it from ever becoming too much. In the dead of summer I could see it being a little too heavy, but on the right person, Divine Noir is so balanced and unique that it could easily be dressed up or down. The juice is dark (obviously) so be careful when applying because if you spray directly to a small area, it can temporarily stain skin the color of sunless tanner, until your next shower. Don’t let this deter you. Just spray over a larger area so the color isn’t concentrated like a splotch, and always apply before you dress, and you’ll be fine.

Divine Noir is an invisible door you can open into a private exotic environment. It’s like chocolate and wine-colored velvet curtains draped behind antique paned-glass windows. It’s a fragrance for feeling centered and confident while at the same time welcoming and alluring.  That said, it’s definitely not a perfume  for everyone, and probably not for most, which could be a good or bad thing depending on what you are looking for.

The bergamot and patchouli are prevalent in the opening, as well as the sarsaparilla and well, countless other things! Ahhh! It’s blowing my mind!

It honestly took me a while to find my footing in Divine Noir (as it is VERY strong and bold with good sillage and excellent longevity), but once I did, I could not stop sniffing the part of my arm I had sprayed. The most gorgeous vanilla emerges in the dry down; what a stunning finish to an incredible journey.

the difference

An Answer to the “Glade Plug-In Generation”: Providence Perfume Company opens its doors!

2 May

WOO-HOO! I received my sampler pack of fragrances from the Providence Perfume Company yesterday, and I could not be more excited.

Providence Perfume Sampler

My order arrived in record time which is a testament to the level of quality customer service provided by Charna Ethier, founder and perfumer of Providence Perfume Company. She has just opened her first brick and mortar retail and classroom space in Providence, R.I. yet she was still able to get me my samples without delay… Talk about efficient!

I was first introduced to the Providence Perfume Co. and its founder,  at the Elements Showcase in Autumn of 2012 in New York City. I was really moved by Charna’s positive attitude and warmth, as well as her vast knowledge of perfumery and her willingness to take the time to share with me and introduce me to her collections of fragrances. After meeting her in person and sampling some of her offerings, I knew that she stood out from the crowd, and that her creations were something to be honored.

I am putting my money on Charna, not just by literally investing in her fragrances, but also in an idealistic sense.  Providence Perfume Company uses all natural ingredients.  This is not natural in the Pacifica sense of the term. I mean ACTUALLY all-natural. And yet, her fragrances smell like so much more than a combination of tinctures and essential oils mixed together, which is the feeling I get from so many all natural and organic perfume companies.

Charna understands perfume as art, and perfume as beauty, and most importantly, ART AS BEAUTY, which is something the art world, and arguably the perfume world, has largely let fall by the wayside in favor of more lucrative considerations.

What good is an “interesting creative” fragrance if it is not also a thing of beauty? Charna Ethier understands this, and I eagerly look forward to her continuing success and her future creations. She gives me hope for the world of perfume,  and unquestionably, for the art world as well.

Check out my reviews of Moss Gown and Hindu Honeysuckle to learn more about some of her  exceptional fragrances.

For more information on Providence Perfume Co.’s new boutique, check out this lovely article on Fragrantica.com.

Also, see the Providence Perfume Co. website, where I purchased my awesome and very reasonably priced sample kit!

In an excellent interview with Charna by Jodi Battershell of Fragrantica,  Jodi quotes a card that she received from Charna which perfectly sums up the goal of Providence Perfume Co.:

“I want as many people as possible to get to smell osmanthus flower, real buttery tuberose, exotic coffee flowers and tonka beans. It’s so sad to think about kids growing up never getting to smell a real lilac or lavender. I call them the ‘Glade Plug-In’ Generation.”

The Glade Plug-In generation, the CGI floral generation, the SSRI floral generation: no matter how you characterize the fragrances marketed to us, or the generation(s) we are a part of , we are fortunate to have artists like Charna relentlessly working to show us the value of the authentic.

My congratulations and sincere gratitude to Charna Ethier and Providence Perfume Co.!  We are so lucky to be able to share in your beauty.

Providence Perfume Co. Hindu Honeysuckle

7 Apr

At last! My search has officially ended.

I have finally found the sweet, airy and powerful true-to-life honeysuckle-centered fragrance of my dreams. Hindu Honeysuckle is magical. It is the perfection of summer, distilled.

One spray to each arm, and the most gorgeous realistic cloud of honeysuckle aroma enveloped me. It was euphoria.
Moments later, my boyfriend (who is extremely discerning about fragrance) turned his head and from ACROSS THE ROOM exclaimed, “that smells incredible.” I looked up at his face and there were tears in his eyes. I kid you not.


Hindu Honeysuckle is a clear and transportive honeysuckle fragrance, conjuring memories of peaceful childhood summers in nature. It has amazing projection and longevity just like the real honeysuckle vine. This is an especially grand accomplishment considering that all-natural fragrances tend to be lacking in the sillage/life-span department.

Hindu Honeysuckle also has depth and complexity, with a prominent ambrette note from the opening, along with lighter coriander and bergamot, then vetiver to give it a green aromatic earthiness. These elements set off the features of the honeysuckle flowers even more, so that they are sparkling and full of light. Jasmine and bergamot linger in the dry down. It is extremely well blended, yet it retains great note separation.

The earthy/herbal elements also enforce that this is a unisex fragrance. It is very impressive that it is an all-natural fragrance because it is so vibrant and layered. However, by any standards (natural or synthetic, niche, indie, or whatever), it is a transcendent and awe-inspiring feat of alchemy.

I would say that Hindu Honeysuckle is worth every penny, but to me it is priceless. It seems wrong to put a figure on something of such arresting, unquantifiable aesthetic value. I personally feel that it is too beautiful to be an every day fragrance (though it’s easy to wear and definitely could be one if you chose), and instead something to wear when you want to create beautiful memories and lasting positive associations. It would be ideal for a special occasion or a sacred personal ceremony. This joyous peaceful fragrance would be a great gift to the person for whom you want to show infinite gratitude; that’s just what I think of when I smell it!

If you love honeysuckle or have never smelled it before and want to know exactly what it smells like, this is the fragrance for you. Trust me, it does NOT get better than this.


25 Mar

PRJ V1 is the spirit of turning ten.

All natural, sweet, non-indolic jasmine with fresh cold roses, green stems, and a hint of petitgrain. PRJ V1 is simplistic, sweet, vibrant and green: three nice E.O.s working together in near perfect harmony.

It’s an uncluttered floral mixture that wears close to the skin but lasts for some time. Thanks to LURK for the beautiful sample.

This is a very simple, balanced, well-blended composition, though it does not transcend the sum of its parts. As it dries down, it starts to smell like expensive jasmine-rose soap. It is both relaxing and uplifting, if you enjoy the sweeter lighter side of natural jasmine, with a lush, aromatic green rose. The petitgrain and rose with the soft clear jasmine would make this perfect for Spring or Summer.

This fragrance is a 10 year old girl’s birthday. Not the party itself, but the spirit of turning double-digits for the first time. It is sweet, (but nothing at all like candy-sweet… she’s TEN now, got it!? A YOUNG LADY.) It’s energetic and joyful, but also very natural, green, new and uncomplicated.

It smells like an ample bouquet of roses with bright green stems, combined with fresh jasmine cuttings in a tall heavy crystal vase.

All that said, I might still attempt to make this myself, since I already  own  all three of those oils and I might want to make something in the same family if not very similar. However, if you’re not in the mood for experimentation, LURK  has already done it for you beautifully, like pre-sliced apples in the produce section of Wholefoods market.

I know there is a whole lot more to perfumery than chopping and wrapping (or there should be), but anything can be an art form if performed with a certain level of skill and intention.

Ready-made, powder-free flowers for a proud young beauty.

Red Flower Organic Perfume Champa

23 Mar

Champa has a sweet bitter floral aura. Floral Aura. Say that five times fast.

Like fellow blogger Sherapop, I can not discern a whole lot in the way of individual notes, but I can pull out geranium essential oil, palmarosa, and something like sweet orange. When I exhale, there is a strange oily note sort of like petroleum jelly.

Champa is simultaneously smooth, sweet, earthy, balsamic, and sharp. It is very well blended, though in terms of its composition, it leaves me with some unanswered questions. Thank you to the lovely people at Red Flower for the sample.

Champa’s floral mixture conjures up a round shape and orange-yellow hue for me, but it also has a sinus-tingling potency from some of its bitter notes that makes me think it would repel insects.

It reminds me of Nature’s plethora of compelling warning signals, reminding potential enemies that it’s as deadly as it is pretty. It lasts quite a while but it does not project very far. However, something tells me insects can somehow smell this from miles away.

Champa seems like it was intended to be more of a functional fragrance than an aesthetic one. I get this sensation with quite a few (but definitely not all) essential oil-blend all natural-type fragrances.

Sweet orange, earthy bitter geranium, palmarosa, and Vaseline? This is not a bad scent and it gets the job done.. What that job specifically IS remains to be seen. I’ll try it again in mosquito season. I’m not joking. Mosquitoes love me.

Red Flower Organic Perfume Guaiac

17 Mar

This fragrance is bright citrus Christmas.

Guaiac by Red Flower Organic Perfume reminds me of a holiday gift basket filled with large, perfectly ripe grapefruits resting on a table with a centerpiece made from bundles of assorted twigs tied with red ribbons. There is a fireplace in the room that is used regularly but the fire is not burning in this fragrance, though the wood is slightly charred.This grapefruit is not spicy, so the Christmas picture is only half there, but for this reason, I think Guaiac would be excellent for layering (though it does work on its own).

All the pics From the Old Computer 1328

I am not saying that this is a Winter frangrance. However, grapefruit is a Winter fruit, so that is in part, why Guaiac paints a Winter scene for me.

Guaiac is a very clean scent. It is a realistic fresh sweet grapefruit with faint undertones of woody notes which smell almost smoky or roasted, but not quite. They are hiding under a cloud of very true to life grapefruit, so it is difficult to pull them apart. As it opens on my skin, I can detect a faint tea rose in the background, in addition to the woods. This fragrance is very light, and would be great aromatherapy for anyone who enjoys real citrus with a few hints of something extra. Thank you to Red Flower for the beautiful sample.

Guaiac would also be perfect for someone who prefers essential oil blends to other types of fragrances. It would be good to wear while studying to improve concentration and clear one’s thoughts, calm the nerves, or to overcome nausea. Projection is very low, and longevity is average for an all-natural perfume. I wear it to bed because it puts me in a restful, meditative state.


12 Mar

AS01 by LURK is a spicy hot rose fragrance with a dry woody base.

AS 01 starts with a cold green natural smelling rose note, which heats up quickly on my skin with dry/hot spices. The spices are not throat-tingling; they are in excellent proportion to the rose. The tuberose here is barely there, just enough to give the cold rose a tiny bit of rounded sweetness. Light, fresh cedar grounds the composition, and prevents the acidity of the rose from giving me indigestion. Thank you Lurk, for the beautiful sample.

AS 01 is very well balanced with all the notes surrounding the cold rose, to heat it, sweeten it, and plant it on the ground. Projection and longevity are pretty poor as it is an all-natural fragrance, and it does have an essential oil mixture quality.

AS01 is a beautiful middle-aged woman in a bad mood, sitting alone at a cafe. The young waiter approaches her table to refill her water but when she looks up at him, he is so moved by her beauty, that he just stares at her motionless. This amuses her and for the first time that day, her fiery red painted lips form a slight smile.

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