I’ve always focused on promoting the ‘perfumery’ component of my natural perfume collection rather than the ‘natural’ aspect because it’s simply what fascinated me more – the creative challenge to construct ‘proper’ fine fragrances that are alluring and beautiful, and exclusively derived from plants.
Call me old-fashioned, but I wanted to be part of the small group of perfume cranks that still hanker for the halcyon days when rose perfume was created by extracting the odour molecules from actual roses…
I’ve been a qualified clinical aromatherapist since 2001 so I think of botanically-derived perfumes as synergistic and radiant medicine. The Japanese word wa describes a person’s aura and the inner quality of harmony (or lack thereof) that emanates from within. I usually select my fragrance of the day to best support the harmony and the tranquility of my own aura. In fact, it’s this balancing element of natural perfume that makes the most sense to me. It is a fantastic feature of natural botanical ingredients that their aromatic essences offer such a wide array of aromatherapeutic benefits.
Suspended in alcohol, natural perfumes are also well-being helpers.
These descriptions are of course over-simplified – many therapeutic outcomes are determined by specific dosage – for example, patchouli and lavender combined in small quantities are stimulating, yet, when blended in large quantities, become sedating. Therapeutic pathways are also determined by proportional ratios and specific plant varieties used. High altitude (and especially wild-crafted) lavender has a more soothing effect on neurological complaints (eg headaches, stress, anxiety, fretfulness) than say – Bulgarian lavender which is a blend of varieties, and is more suited to topical applications for easing irritation from burns, bites, itches and stings.
Next time you have a headache, try a splash of Moonlight cologne or a spritz of Tansy or Fleurs Sauvages. Allergic to dust and pollen? try Mary Jane or Black Spruce. Suffer from PMT? reach for Sylvana, Blue Lotus or …I could go on….
…but I’m just making perfume