Monday, September 26, 2011

Chypre Perfume Challenge

for the Autumn of 2011



  Sponsored by Coeur d’Esprit Natural Perfumes in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada
Beginning on Oct 1, 2011 with an end-date of Nov 30, 2011
The Prize to be sent out by the end of Dec.

The Mediterranean
What defines a Chypre (pronounced "sheeprrra") perfume? Chypre is the French word for Cyprus, which is a Eurasian Island Country, and is East of Greece, South of Turkey, West of Syria, and North of Egypt [thanks to wiki for this information]. The name harkens back almost a century to 1917 and perfumer Francois Coty who created a perfume of the same name.

This perfume has an aroma that is very rich and base with notes oakmoss, patchouli, labdanum woody/animalic, heavy florals, and bright citrus.

The flora of the Mediterranean include: Broom, Cedar, Cypress, Hyacinth, Labdanum (Rock Rose), Lavender, Oakmoss, Olive leaf, Pine, and Sour Seville Orange (Bitter Orange) so the Chypre perfume will have these contrasts of deep woodsy notes juxtaposed to heavy florals and lively citrus. Often, Patchouli is added as an element of the design.

Oakmoss has fallen out of favour in some circles but not with perfumers. It is one of our beloved components. If we use the low-atranol version, our perfumes will not only smell awesome, they will be safe.


Please be fair to others and ensure that, when you sign up, you intend to follow through with this project as only the first ten (10) Registrants will be taken then the registering process will be closed.

Anyone who wishes to Register, please do so now and send an email to me with the following information:

your full name
mailing address
phone number
recent photo
Website URL
permission to post your entry on my Blog
at and Website

Please ensure you follow all the 'guidelines'. In the first challenge, people 'lost points' for not including a data tag, using an incorrect amount of ingredients, not sending a photo, and so on.

1. No matter if your perfume is based in alcohol or oil, the end product should be clear and free from imperfections. The way to do this is to refrigerate, filter, and/or use a pipette to suck up all but the floating/sunken bits into another container. If your perfume has had a chance to sit for a month or so, and you have shaken it periodically, the more dense particulates will have diluted themselves into the alcohol or oil. Leave it sit again for a few days then draw off the clear part and put it in your final bottle.

Imagine you are doing all of this for a high-end client and really want to impress him or her. This is very good practice for when this happens for you.

2. For the Chypre challenge you are allowed 25 ingredients all together, not including the alcohol or oil.

3. A Data Tag must be attached ie: name of the perfume, list of the ingredients, name the base, your company information (even if it's simply your name and contact information), the size of the end product ie: 5 ml; precautions, how to use, and the 'best before date'. (See first two challenges for an idea of what a Data Tag looks like).

4. Please follow these directions

Submit the perfume and the following to me by November 30th (You are not disqualified for being late but you do lose points.)

o send two 1 ml sample vials of perfume for evaluation via the postal mail

o base can be clear alcohol or oil (these do not count as part of the 25)

o If you use a scented tincture or maceration as your base, that will count as an ingredient.

o write 5 sentences that tell the vision behind your new creation and submit via email

o write 5 sentences about who you are in relation to Natural Perfumery and submit via email

o email me the notes in your perfume

o email me your photo

We hope that perfumers from all over the world will participate in this challenge.

Each perfumer is graded 1-10 on the following categories: how well they followed the above instructions; their vision of the perfume’s creation; a short five-sentence bio; a recent photo; a Data Tag with pertinent information about their perfume; the balance, character, diffusion, tenacity, and structure of their creation.

A Natural Perfume has the following qualities:

o Balance – so that no single component can be detected, unless it is a Soliflore
o Character – The twists and turns of a perfume as it evolves on the skin. What kind of a perfume is this? Is it a raunchy riot? Is it soft and gentle? Where does it take you? What’s at the heart of it? Does it have personality? How do the layers unfold? Who would this perfume appeal to?
o Diffusion – does it surround the wearer with an aura of scent?
o Structure – Is there harmony in the mix? Have the base, heart, and head notes been properly addressed? Are the proportions correct for these ingredients so that there is balance, character, diffusion, and tenacity? Is there cohesion? Does it have dimension?
o Tenacity – staying power is the ability of a perfume to last on the wearer for more than just a couple of hours

The Prize A beautiful 7.5 ml solid of Coeur d'Esprit Natural Perfume in a lovely enamel pot, suitable for wearing in the Winter; perfect to carry with you.

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