Archive for the Uncategorized Category

New Blog

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on July 8, 2013 by hartblends

I have to admit it…I forgot about this blog! Life got crazy and I moved on. I no longer engage in natural perfumery. I still love it and will never wear a synthetic perfume, but it’s a hobby that I have put to the side in lieu of other things.
Other things namely being painting. Just this week I started a new blog. If you are interested in following my painting adventures, check it out at http://www.artsamy.tumblr.com
Thank you!
~Amy

To Perfume or Not to Perfume

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on February 17, 2011 by hartblends

When you live in a world as “odorless” as ours, you might wonder why perfume and fragrance really matter. I call our world odorless not because it is without smell, but because compared to what the common places in the world smelled like throughout history, we have a very pleasant smelling, or non-smelling, society. The history of perfume is very interesting. It is interesting to me in a variety of ways, including how perfume has evolved over the ages, but also just about why it was so revered and why it is such a stigmatic-ally *rich* activity.

The word perfume comes from the Latin words, “per” meaning “through” and “fumus” meaning smoke.” The French later named the pleasant drifting smells in the air parfum. Over 4000 years ago the Mesopotamians began creating incense. Egyptians were right up there with them in fragrant creations. The Egyptians are famous for their perfume balms which they would shape into cones and wear on their heads so that it would melt over their bodies throughout the day. They often carried perfume with them from birth and right into the grave, or tomb. Many Egyptians put perfumes in their tombs for the afterlife.

 

Common Egyptian art scene with perfume balm "cones" atop their heads

The historical accounts of most ancient civilizations account perfumes, incense, perfume balms and the sacred rituals associated with these products.

Early distillation setup

Until Persian chemist Ibn Sina came along, the common method of making perfumes was crushing herbs and flowers in oil. However, this chemist (aka Avicenna) changed everything when he came up with the method of distillation. This process extracts the fragrant oil from herbs and flowers. This process is still heavily used today in natural perfumery and is how we get essential oils.

It was in the 14th century that France began producing crops for the sole purpose of perfumery. With the advancements of civilization also came different stinks. The streets were common places for garbage, rotting foods and other….unmentionable smelly things.

Field in Grasse, France

In the 16th and 17th centuries it became a common thing for the wealthy to mask their body odors with perfume and also to carry around perfume sachets to hold over their noses as they passed through the stinky streets.  This time period was a great influence on our current world of perfume. So much advancement was made in perfuming and a lot of money was being spent on these esteemed perfumes.

Perfume is a common thing now-a-days. Not only is it common because the average consumer can purchase it, but it is common because the vast majority of perfumes on the market today aren’t even made out of flowers and plants…they are just mixed up in a lab with aroma-chemicals and other synthetically derived scents.  As seems to happen with all industries, it became about profit and not about quality or depth. Our society has become accustomed to the linear and inorganic fragrances that not only have no therapeutic or emotional benefit, but also have no tie to the rich history of perfume and to top it off, the bottles that house these synthetic perfumes cost more than the perfume itself. We have also become accustomed to the harassment of overbearing perfume. All of us have experienced a situation where we couldn’t get away from someone’s perfume, whether in a bus, elevator, restaurant, or movie theater, it doesn’t matter if we like the fragrance or not, we are forced to experience another persons perfume.

That’s what I love about natural perfume. It is personal, intimate, sensual, distinguished and courteous; with all the fabulously rich history that real perfume should have.

HartBlends 100% Natural Solid Perfumes

Project Perfumery

Posted in Uncategorized on January 30, 2011 by hartblends

This last week has been busy! On Monday I met with the owner of The Pearl Day Spa here in Eugene about my perfumes. I am excited to say that my perfume line will soon be sold at The Pearl! Thus the busyness. My perfumes need to be ready and on display before Valentine’s Day. Not really a problem, except that I didn’t have enough of a few oils on hand to make up some of the large batches I need. So I had to put in a few rush orders. Mostly I had what I needed on hand, so I’ve been busy making boxes, labeling bottles, and blending larger batches of solid perfumes and my new oil perfumes.

Large batches of perfume aren’t too terribly different from small batches, except that my precision scale only goes up to 40 grams, so if my batch is getting much larger than that I have to be careful to not reach that threshold without clearing, adding, and starting from zero. The other thing that is different about making large batches of perfume is that there aren’t many small mistakes, at this point a small mistake is always difficult to fix and could compromise the whole batch.  Once before when making a 4 oz batch of my jasmine based perfume, Haute, I accidentally grabbed a bottle of vetiver oil and started adding it. I didn’t add much before I realized my mistake, but it was too late – it was totally ruined and there was no covering it up. Ah well, that mistake just made me even more cautions about checking and double checking. Thankfully, no big mistakes yet. Only two smallish mistakes so far to speak of. I ordered my Pink Lotus Flower absolute in the wrong size, so I had to order more. And when the bottle of my Joy perfume to see how it was doing I accidentally spilled some on my pants. That was almost not a negative as it’s one of my favorites, so I didn’t mind the lingering smell.

What an adventure! Blending perfumes from a formula seems more scientific and mathematical than artsy. But even with the science of it all I still find the beauty of each oil so captivating! Watching the colors blend together and the changing of the fragrance with the addition of each oil is refreshing and intriguing.  It’s pretty amazing to me how each perfume definitely ends up a unique color of its own. Dimashq has a quite a green hue and Efflore is a faint yellow pink color. It’s also interesting for me to remember the process of trial and error that lead up to the final creation of each perfume. Some were more arduous that others….Efflore for example was at least 22 different blending adventures before I found the right list of ingredients to fiddle with.

Dimashq 1oz Perfume Atomizer

 

If you’re in the Eugene area, you should stop by The Pearl around Valentine’ s weekend for a massage and try my perfume testers! I’ll have my limited edition Valentine’s solid perfume available. It is somewhat like smelling chocolate roses – yum! If you aren’t in the Eugene area, you can checkout my perfumes at www.hartblends.com and at www.hartblends.etsy.com.

Thanks for reading!

Fragrant Blessings,

~Amy

HartBlends