Featured Fragrance: Chopin

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I’ve never understood the parlour game of ‘guess my age’. In my mind, my age is just a map of when I arrived, and how far I get before I drop off the twig. I’ve earned my right of passage into middle age, and I’m not ashamed of being frumpy one bit. Every one of my 55 years has been an incredible tour of unfathomable wonders. Some years were bloody tough, some sublime, and all of it cherished.

I hardly ever wear makeup these days – I consider it part of the grand theatre of youth. Pouty lips and smoky, glistening eyes look great when you’re smoking hot, but I just look weirdly unnatural and scared to be me when I apply it now. I’m just a bit unsure of how to apply it, or how much, or even how I should try to look. I still know how to style others, and apply make up on actors when I’m shooting film or directing a play, but I just never have enough time or inclination to bother with my own grease-paint anymore.

I have several missing fingers and toes from a birth defect. I played electric bass for many years, and I type and paint and sew and sculpt and throw pottery and draw and pat horses and cats pretty well so it’s not much of a big deal.

What does all of this have to do with perfume?

I’m in awe of retro floral chypres. 294896_102533766515627_8282133_nAs a youngster in the seventies and eighties, I never had the means to venture much beyond the mainstream fragrance world. In those days it was pretty normal to have one bottle of perfume at a time. When that one ran out, you could try another, or go again. Lately I’ve been rediscovering many of my ol’ favourites:- Paris and Rive Gauche (YSL), Miss Dior, Diorissimo, Diorella, Eau Sauvage, Joy (Patou), Fidji (Laroche), Givenchy III, Helena Rubenstein’s Courant, Anais Anais by Cacharel. I kept a drawer full of hippie roll-on oils potent enough to fuel an entire mission to Mars and back. They seem to be long gone and replaced with much nastier stuff. How I loved Temple Bells and Aphrodisia by Spiritual Sky.

Revisiting these treats has stirred up so many memories. Visceral responses to old stimuli – leaving home, falling in love, falling out, touring in rock bands, waitressing, traveling, and leaving parts of me behind. At times, I was carried tenderly through my crises by the continuum of knowing I was OK purely by the way I smelled. Wearing perfume meant I was clean and fed and safe and home (somewhere) and still breathing. Those old fragrances have imprinted my unconscious mind with the cacophony of my past. Powerful markers of my life journey.

I wanted to create a jasmine chypre for my middle aged me. Not an ‘old lady’ perfume (whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean), but a monumentally great floral chypre that gathers all of the best elements of my youthful memories in a contemporary (more natural) fragrance for now.

Chopin eau de parfum nods to the aldehydes of Rive G, Fidji, No 5 and A.Anais, only generated naturally by bergamot and clary sage. Chopin waves to the sheer luxury of Joy’s heart of jasmine and rose with a massive dose of jasmine grandiflorum and rose damascena. The leathery grounds of Miss Dior and Diorella are reproduced in Chopin with amyris, cypriol and vetiver, and the powdery musk of my halcyon days is created with Orris and Ambrette. Hippie-girl lives on through the plump and creamy base of pure Mysore sandalwood.

Why Chopin? My father is a master musician (4th generation student of Franz Liszt and 2nd generation professional pianist) and my childhood was sound-tracked by incredible music every day. My missing fingers meant I never followed in the family business of mastering etudes or nocturnes. 4 litres of Chopin perfume is my humble contribution to the circle of life.

 

MERMAID

 

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” ― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

 

 

 

 

Sword of Damocles

Every day I receive offers of SEO support from web-savvy developers who seem to love rubbing my nose in the fact that my website ranks down in the dumps of google (and whatever those other search engines are called). Some emails are very polite and others are just rude and shabby. My responses are varied – delete or ignore.

Why? The answer is simple and yet, also a little bit complicated. I don’t want to force it.

Although I’m a prolific hand-maker of things, I lack ambition. I deeply accord with the healer archetype and not the hunter. I reject all that adrenalised hype and pressure of jostling for first place; my head is ill-shaped for the twitter crown of economic rationalism. Some of the hidden costs of top ranking include increased economic scrutiny via targeted attacks from scammers and hustlers and shonks – all of which have had a go at my expense, other websites claiming to stock and sell my products (they don’t) and many disgruntled Americans – ‘where do I get this in the US? or Waddya mean you DON’T ship to the US?’ etc). To which I reply… ‘there’s already so much natural (and *cough* unnatural) perfume in America. Here’s a list of well-considered brands for you to check out…Have a Nice Day’

I need to survive, but I’m not very sales driven. I realise that such a bizarre reluctance runs counter to the capitalist obsession with ‘get-more, have-more and brag-more‘. Yet, our planet is becoming a husk. A galactic tumbleweed. It is heartbreaking and terrifying to me.

Perfumes and CrystalSo, I’m happy to languish on level -055 of Google’s ranking race. I’ll continue to write socially acerbic diatribes at the risk of utterly demolishing my serene perfumer persona. Whatever reviews or positive endorsements may have come so fortunately my way are truly remarkable, and as they fade into the sunset, I will still be chugging along – stirring, sniffing and swooning to myself.

TRNP is my bliss; I hope to enjoy making small batches of beautiful natural perfume for as long as I have a nose. I’m deeply grateful that a few gorgeous human beings on the planet like (and even love) some of my creations. I deeply appreciate their patronage more than I can ever express.

The ingredients I use are precious and ecologically fragile to the point that I totally reject the concept of up-scaling just so I can gain more personal comfort and prestige. That’s not me. I’ll continue to learn how to craft my own luxuries. I’ve been blessed by the true luxuries of abundant creative inspiration, resourceful thinking, careful planning, blending skill and the extraordinary gift of time.

Next to clean water, enough food and safe shelter for my beautiful family, they are the greatest treasures I’ll ever know.

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-top photo from The Serpent’s Book of Lamentations a 3 act play written and directed by Teone Reinthal ©2016

– other photos of early, one-off fragrances (some in hand-painted bottles)

 

 

Core Values

In my twenties, I worked for an extraordinary company of psychologists and personal development trainers called Future Pace. The principals at Future Pace, Geoff and Mahni Dugan, conducted a vast number of personal development seminars and I was very fortunate to attend many intensives on the subject of values (among many other fascinating subjects). Much of their research built upon Levels of Existence theories of Dr Clare Graves, as well as conflict resolution theories and practices of Nobel Laureate, Roger Sperry. The Dugan’s research also dovetailed with the Neuro-Linguistic master practitioner training that Geoff Dugan was delivering in the eighties.

I learned that our core human values are the qualities that motivate us in life. They are generally gathered and established in our inner maps of the self by the age of fourteen and they are comprised of inherited and learned qualities – they are meta keys to determining our unique sense of success in life.

Some core values are culturally imprinted on our unconscious minds by the sorts of overarching world challenges (and corresponding conflicts, solutions and tools for change that emerge in the world). These are the social narratives we are exposed to at home and at school in our formative years. Cultural values are harvested from the first decade that follows our birth. In light of current global tends, some examples of cultural values might be:-

Industry, Success, Wealth, Prosperity, Conservatism, Power, Travel, Comfort, Luxury, Security etc etc – all values that fit within a world narrative that strives for economic expansion and monetary gain in order to seize and wield power.

Personal values are qualities that we hold as vital to our own quality of life. Some examples might be:-

Love, Confidence, Expertise, Beauty, Power, Wealth, Comfort, Friendship, Family, Health Peace and Harmony etc etc

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Core values give rise to our beliefs and subsequently shape our actions, which coalesce to become our experiences. It is a giant feedback loop.

It can go very wrong. Consider the boy who needs freedom above and beyond all other values – as a young boy he is disruptive in class and is reprimanded. He doesn’t heed the warnings and doesn’t do his homework and wanders off at lunch time to go home for a sandwich. He is put on detention at school and grounded at home.

As a teen he just wants to step out and see the world, be an independent adventurer, so he misses school or he leaves altogether and hitch-hikes around and even steals a car to feel the wind in his face as he hoons off into the sunset… only to be caught and charged and funneled straight into the youth justice system. His family cannot understand and now he is constantly monitored by everyone.

where are you going?

He moves out of home and gets a job selling door-to-door. He doesn’t show up one day for that dumb job that he hates, and goes instead to the beach. He’s fired and now has no access to money. He’s evicted, and hungry and he steals food and eventually commits a break and enter or a service station robbery that lands him in jail. His lifelong quest for freedom has cost him exactly that – his freedom. An alternative to this painful story lies in the conscious elicitation of one’s values, and the understanding that follows when one comprehends the hierarchy of one’s own values that support the key core value – in this case, Freedom. The process begins by making a list that is prompted by the question:-

‘What do I really need to feel good? ….and what else do I need?’ Ask yourself  what’s the next most important quality I need to feel good? For example:- Freedom -> Safety -> Support -> Understanding -> Friendship -> Fun and Excitement.

Write down whatever comes to your mind. Make a list of up to 20 qualities (of course it can be more, but it’s a good idea to start with somewhere between 10 and 20). Examine the order of your values list and move certain values up or down in a way that just feels right. Really check out how you feel about the order. If something is amiss – move it.

Our values are the meta drivers of how we know ourselves, how we conduct ourselves and they may well be vastly different to the values of those around us.

Look at your list. Does the order flow for you now in a way that just feels right? Make a small and simple defining statement next to each value to explain what it means for you.

This is a great exercise to do with a partner. Each person in turn asks the other ‘What’s the next most important value? Is Money more important than Freedom?  Is Comfort more important than Winning? Be prepared to trust your first instinctive response even if it surprises you or goes against logic.

Suspend all judgement about how you order your values. Just play along with the process and trust yourself to answer from the instinctive sense of what works.

There is really so much more to be said on the subject of human values, and how working directly at the level of meta drivers is used in conflict resolution and in seeding successful project initiatives. The self-understanding that this cognitive technology brings is profoundly rewarding. The opportunity to become consciously aware of what I specifically need and desire is one of the most empowering tools I’ve ever encountered. By far the most enjoyable step in eliciting my own core values (as they apply to any aspect of my life) is being able to effectively determine a new order based on current needs and requirements. Organising my thinking to flow in a pleasing new hierarchy of core values powerfully changes the way I am and how well I function.

I’ll finish this piece by sharing with you the current list of values that I hold to be crucial to my success and happiness as a perfumer.

Freedom – doing it my way, not bound by anyone else’s demands or expectations, trusting my instincts.

Creativity – Following the What-ifs? of my Products, Concepts, Marketing, Innovation, Inventions

Resources – Having the means and access to obtain High Quality Raw Materials and Packaging, Good working relations with my suppliers, Ease of delivery.

Synergy – Allowing things to work effortlessly, naturally and easily – not forcing any of it

Inspiration – Waking up every day excited to be and do…

Learning – Discovering new ways and better ways and staying open and receptive

Connection – Knowing that my art brings happiness & makes a positive contribution to the lives of others. Transacting and communicating with like-minded people.

Acknowledgement – Receiving Positive Feedback and Return Customers with an Invitation to succeed.

Reward – Accepting Money for my Time and Art as fair day’s pay that allows me to Live and Flourish and provide for my survival needs and those of my family.

Satisfaction – Running a Calm and Ethical business practice in order to know balance

Sustainability – Giving back and supporting others. Being safe and secure in all my business dealings. Reciprocity of well-being and pleasure.

Integrity – Demonstrating Transparency and Ethical decisions

Trust – Listening to my instincts and absolutely following my gut

Generosity – Giving more than I promise. Receiving more than I expect.

Love – Delighting every day in what I do

 

MISSION STATEMENT: Freedom is the full permission I grant to my creativity, knowing it to be the highly driven task-leader and project manager of my commercial ecology.

The ebb and flow of my creative impulses is a natural rhythm that functions within its own sense of time and space. I am at peace with that way of living and being. I am motivated and able to act upon the inspirations as they arise. In trusting my own process, I easily find the resources and raw materials needed to achieve conceptual and physical cohesion of my ideas.

The more I trust, the better my work flows, and the results are that more customers acknowledge my work with enthusiasm and repeat business. I am safe in business.

I gratefully receive a steady flow of income from the sale of my products, and I express my gratitude by generously rewarding my customers and supporting others.

I love my work.

 

photograph above of Bee and Snapdragons by Steve Reinthal ©2009

 

Ambers, Chypres & Fougères

muraya-paniculataEach of my perfumes reflect the year and season in which it was born. I love the idea that change is ever-present, it is an inevitability of life and therefore, we do not need to keep smelling of the same fragrance… year in, year out. The freedom to express the diversity of being alive in the world, moving through the wonders of change through natural perfume is, for me, sheer bliss.

Teone Reinthal Natural Perfumes are intensely lush florals blended with dark, earthy aromas and are composed in 3 fragrance styles: Oriental Ambers, Fougères & Chypres. The mesmerising experience of wearing these fine fragrances is like enjoying a slow walk beside the drifting, hypnotic magic of Murraya Paniculata in a summer rain-shower at dusk.

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PERFUME WIKI NOTES:

Chypre is the name of a family (or concept) of perfumes that are characterised by an accord composed of citrus top-notes, a middle centered on cistus labdanum and a mossy base-note derived from oakmoss. The term chypre is French for Cyprus, and goes back to Francois Coty who created his famous perfume Chypre in 1917 from fragrance materials that came predominantly from Mediterranean countries. Coty’s Chypre became the most typical representative of a whole family of related fragrances, although perfumes of similar style had already been created throughout the 19th century. The chypre concept is characterised by the contrast between the fresh citrus accord and woody-oakmoss; often patchouli is considered an indispensable element as well.

Perfumery Amber – the base of many oriental perfumes (Shalimar, Coco, Opium, Youth Dew, L’Ambre Des Merveilles etc) is a sweet, rich accord of labdanum and vanilla – so called, because the golden color of the blend resembles the semi-precious amber jewel. Sweet and voluptuous, perfumery amber is quite versatile, and whenever one encounters a fragrance named Amber or Ambre, it is likely to be a warm, vanilla and labdanum based blend. Labdanum, a resinous material obtained from the Mediterranean species of rockrose (Cistus ladanifer or Cistus creticus,) smells rich, leathery, smoky and sweet. Its warm incense undertone lends it a dusky, sombre quality, while the top notes are reminiscent of freshly cut wood, offering an interesting bright counterpoint. Although a beautiful and complex material, it is heavy and opaque, with a tendency to easily overwhelm other facets of the fragrance. Yet, rounded out with vanilla and other sweet woody notes, labdanum based accords become radiant and sensual.

Fougères are made with a blend of fragrances: top-notes are sweet, with the scent of lavender flowers; as the more volatile components evaporate, the scents of oakmoss, derived from a species of lichen and described as woody, sharp and slightly sweet, and coumarin, similar to the scent of new-mown hay, become noticeable. Aromatic fougère, a derivative of this class, contains additional notes of herbs, spice and/or wood. The name originated with Houbigant Parfum‘s Fougère Royale. This perfume, created by Houbigant owner Paul Parquet, was later added to the scent archives known as the Osmothèque, in Versailles, France. Houbigant re-introduced this fragrance in 2010. Perfumes of this type are especially popular as fragrances for men. Many modern fougère perfumes have various citrus, herbaceous, green, floral and animalic notes included. The most common additions to the basic fragrance blend include vetiver and geranium. Bergamot is often present to add sharpness to the lavender top-note. (with thanks to Wikipedia)

Although I have produced many, only a precious few do I call ‘mine’. Each tells a story that deeply speaks to me of qualities such as gentleness and love, power, pure animal instinct, creative self, vulnerable self, pristine moments of quiet reflection or the full stride of confidently commanding centre-stage. The aromatherapeutic element of natural perfume supports each of my moods, the ups and downs of my own life force.

Salon or Sauna?

We don’t have air conditioning. Our house is ridiculously hot, but we reckon it’s probably better for us in the long run to try and work with nature than to burn through the biosphere at a rate of knots. Nonetheless, it’s a very hot house and it takes some getting used to the Brisbane funk.

Two gorgeous young ladies from Japan visited me today to buy some fragrances to take home to Tokyo in a few days. We were all politely sweltering in the lounge-room, so I brought out my treasured collection of Balinese fans. I have 50 or more bamboo fans covered with batik and I use them to show my fragrances in the salon (lounge-room). I spray the fan, wave it a few times and then offer it to my guest to smell. It’s a beautiful ritual and we had so much fun.

Yuki and Kana

My visitors sniffed a vast number of perfumes, and I truly admired their fortitude and etiquette to soldier on. I really loved hearing their unique expressions in response to sniffing so many fragrances… it was delightful! So many non-words burst forth, guttural ‘woooaaahhhs’ and high pitched squeals and even growls. It was divine.

Kana on back deck

They chose 3 each – Yuki chose Ritual, Bodhi and Tea Rose Mimosa, and Kana chose Lyonesse, LiLi and Dragonboat. We sipped Longjing tea from my hand-thrown tea cups and it was truly like stepping back in time. The humidity, the colours and aromas and the unique chance to play ladies in the perfume parlour with 2 gorgeous Japanese guests left a delightful impression that will last a very long time.

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