Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Results for the Eau de Cologne Challenge

Neroli Bergamot Lavender Rosemary

Sponsored by Coeur d’Esprit Natural Perfumes in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada

Beginning on Feb 1, 2012 with an end-date of March 31, 2012

The Evaluations done and Prize to be sent out by April 30th.

Parfum Eau de Cologne – a new twist on an olde idea

The original “Eau de Cologne” (as it was dubbed by the French) was created by an Italian man named Gian Paolo Feminis, a barber, who moved to Köln, Germany and then created “Aqua Admirabilis” using Grape Spirits, Neroli, Bergamot, Lavender, and Rosemary. It was released in 1709 and soon became known as Eau de Cologne (Köln).

Over the years, there have been many ingredients used to make this simple citrus/herbal scent: bergamot, lemon, orange, tangerine, lime, grapefruit, neroli, lavender, rosemary, thyme, petitgrain orange, and jasmine.

So we’re going to take a deeper perspective on the idea of “Eau de Cologne”.

Usually, cologne strength is 3-5 %; we are making ours at a strength of 22% and paying attention to fixation, hence one (and only one) animal ingredient is allowable within the fifteen ingredients. Our end product will smell like “Eau de Cologne” but behave like a perfume.

What does that mean? The scent profile for this aromatic is typically bracing, refreshing, and light, with a heart of sparkling citrus. So now, three hundred years later, our composition will reflect this as we honour Gian Paolo Feminis and his idea of light-hearted fragrance that should be available to all.

There are six Perfumers from three countries, Canada, USA, and South Africa, and all of them followed the criteria set out in my first post about this Winter of 2012 Challenge. The Data Tags and presentation were beautiful. Interesting to note that 4/6 perfumers used Petit grain sur fleur, as did I when I constructed mine; 3/6 used Myrrh.   
So here we go with the Reviews and the final Results.

“Soen Water”

by: Sophia Shuttleworth, South Africa
African Aromatics  


Bio: The first time I was stung by a bee was when I was busy brewing a perfume from the local vegetation at six years old. I took it as a sign that the bee liked my perfume. Ever since then I have been exploring the scents of nature. Through my research into ancient anointing oils and early perfumes and aromatics, I discovered the art of natural perfumes. After many years of self-study I started to market my perfumes and founded African Aromatics. All my perfumes contain African elements in them and extracts I made myself. Nature and Africa continue to serve as my inspiration. We who live in Africa are all infused with the soul and spirit of Africa, so are my perfumes.

Vision: The first perfume I was given as a gift was Kölnisch Wasser Eau de Cologne. I still have it in its original box. In the old Afrikaner cultural tradition Eau de Cologne was a regular Christmas or birthday gift, it was even given a local name of “Olie Kolonie” a play on how it was pronounced locally. To compose my version of Eau de Cologne for the challenge, I hauled out my original gift and smelled. It had the well known citrus herbal top notes and dried down into a woody musk base. For my version, I wanted to retain the citrus herbal top notes but add a fresh floral heart interwoven with green Cedar notes that fades into a woody base with a gentle green thread. I called it Soen Water (Kissing Water) reminiscent of the kisses received for the gift and future kisses.

Notes: Australian Sandalwood, Ambergris, Green Cognac, Violet Leaf, Orange Blossom, Jasmine grandiflora, Cedar Atlas, Petit grain sur fleur, Rosemary, Lime, Omumbiri (Commiphora wildii), Bergamot, Lemon, Lavender, and Ginger lily blossom enfleurage in Sugar Cane Alcohol.

Review: Smelling Soen Water is like siddling up to an old friend; you know their scent and it feels familiar and safe. There is such a warm radiant diffusion from this perfume as I sit and do my work today. The classic Eau de Cologne aroma is forefront then the comforting embrace of the florals comes forth. I’m so enjoying this scent. The drydown was watery, ethereal, and elusive. This scent is well-named. Good tenacity on the scent strip.

 “Twilight Mist”

by Marilyn Bonner, USA

Rochelle Boleyn Natural Perfumes


Bio: Spiritual journeys expressed through aromatic scents, creative art, and science has been my lifelong passion to bring healing and pleasure to the body, mind, soul and spirit through these mediums. I’m an Independent Natural Perfumer and Registered/Certified Aromatherapist who loves to research information about ancient perfumery secrets, learn optimum extraction methods to capture the delicate scent from flowers whose fragrances remain difficult to extract despite modern technology, and discover how their special energetic vibration patterns (life force of the flower) can help individuals release deep-seated emotional trauma issues and create a bridge for healing between the physical body and spirit.

Vision: As a child I have fond memories of being awakened by a spring breeze blowing gently through my bedroom window during the twilight hours, just before the dawn of day. The cool air was crisp and refreshing, filled with nuances of dew kissed spring blossoms, and the outdoor freshness of sun-dried cotton sheets. Twilight Mist was created in remembrance of a spring rendezvous.

Notes: Lime, Bergamot, Rosemary Flower, Lavender, Neroli, Petitgrain bigarde, Rosewood, Narcissus, Jasmine, Rose, Ambrette Seed, Himalayan Cedar, Patchouli, Bay, Clary Sage.

Review: “Twilight Mist” offers up a lovely bouquet of herbal flowers. I envision a young girl in a field of wildflowers holding onto a bunch of fresh-picked aromatics; the colours, pleasing her eyes; the scents teasing her nose. Then she walks into the forest and another set of scents come in… earthy patchouli and the fresh smell of cedarwood. The drydown is earthy, and the tenacity is good. The diffusion is good. This is a lovely perfume and I loved to smell it.



By: Bruce Bolmes, USA

SMK Fragrance email:  


Bio: My interest for scents started many years ago. During the 1960’s and early 1970’s my fascination with scents exploded with the opening of the incense shops loaded with all kinds of new aromas and limited essential oils of that era. Later, during my years as a chef and owner of a European cuisine restaurant, I began to experiment with various essential oils and extracts in developing new and creative recipes. I also have produced various tinctures and extracts for the lure business. My natural perfuming interest is a way I can express my love for nature.

Vision: My inspiration for this perfume contest was actually based on one of the criteria for the contest; fixation. While researching historic eau de colognes I discovered that due to the make-up these types of fragrances, fixation is a difficult task. Typically since eau de colognes are just that, a cologne water, they are short lived on the skin. I experimented with a number of the older fixatives that had been typically used; however most of those combinations did not produce the result I was looking for, especially since this was a perfume strength fragrance. In the end, I choose Ambrette seed absolute along with a combination of the older fixatives to produce an eau de cologne that has a tenacity of an eau de perfume.

Notes: bergamot, petitgrain sur fleurs, citron, lemon, lavender, rosemary absolute, neroli, sweet orange, elimi, blood orange, ambrette seed absolute, coffee flower absolute, benzoin tincture, myrrh tincture.

Review: A bright, flashy Citron/Lemon accord makes my eyes pop open a bit. It wakes me up. It’s like a shooting star, though, fabulous while it’s there but gone too soon. The expertly woven accord of Ambrette/Myrrh/Benzoin takes over completely and is persistent throughout the drydown. It’s still on the card seven days later. If you like musk, you will absolutely love “Arabia”. Well done on the Musk accord, Bruce.


“Golden Bee” by Suzy Larsen, Canada

Naked Leaf Perfume

Bio: During my aromatherapy studies at Mount Royal College I became entranced with everything related to scent. I was amazed at the phenomenal healing capacity of essential oils but even more than that I was ecstatic and relieved to find an alternative to commercial fragrances. From my early teens my mother would spoil me with high end perfumes from Liz Claiborne and Yves Saint Laurent but I was increasingly becoming too sensitive to wear or even be around scents with synthetic chemicals. All fell into place when I launched Naked Leaf Perfumes in 2007 after a few years of intensive self-study immersing myself in natural perfumery. My motto is love the earth, love yourself, love your perfume.

Vision: Golden Bee is my tribute to one man’s love of BEES. Besides his women, Napoleon loved his eau de cologne using up to 600 bottles a year. He also had a penchant for the Bee as that is the symbol he chose to adorn his Coat of Arms, his Legion of Honor and his opulent drapes. Golden Bee, Naked Leaf Perfume’s modern take on the classic eau de cologne that captured Napoleon’s heart in the 18th Century, contains the vibrant, fresh and elegant combination of neroli, citron, lavender, bergamot and rosemary flower plus the surprising twist of beeswax absolute. Warm, sweet, comforting and tenacious, beeswax absolute lends Golden Bee’s symphony of fresh citrus a honeyed-veil of depth and intrigue that surely would have tickled Napoleon’s fancy even more.

Notes: Aged Patchouli, Fir Balsam absolute, Indonesian Vetiver, Egyptian Neroli, Bitter Orange absolute, Litsea Cubeba, South African Rosemary Flower, Bergamot, Lavender Mont Blanc, Pink Grapefruit, Citron, and French Beeswax absolute in Organic Grape Alcohol.

Review: Golden Bee is a very classy perfume. Suzy has created a first-rate Eau de Cologne accord and, when I smell this scent and can unequivocally say, ‘this smells like Eau de Cologne’. The Lavender/Citrus is lively and fresh. After some time, it then takes on a smoky hue, which is quite provocative. It’s well-balanced without any one chord overtaking another so the structure is right on. The diffusion is good. The Fir/Patchouli chord is enticing. Long Live the “Golden Bee” and his ambassador, Suzy.


by: Maggie Mahboubian, USA

Lalun Naturals  


Bio: Prior to becoming a perfumer she was an architect with her own practice in Los Angeles. Drawing from her background in design she explores the aesthetic intersection between architecture and perfumery where her fragrances form invisible constructs. Fundamental to her work as a perfumer is Maggie’s garden where she grows many of the plants she extracts for her perfumes. Her extractions are combined with high quality, naturally derived aromatics to create unique and complex olfactory experiences. Maggie Mahboubian studied natural perfumery with Lyn Ayre.

Vision: A classic eau de cologne that opens with a fresh citrus burst. A floral linden accord is built around the watery notes of Australian blue cypress. Callitris graces us with her camphoraceous, minty top notes that give way to soft, herbal, woody shades. A hint of incense comes from labdanum which casts a golden shadow as the perfume dries down. The overall impression is that of gazing into an aqua pool of water and seeing the graceful reflection of this lovely tree.

Notes: Australian Blue Cypress, Vetiver, Labdanum, Linden, Mimosa, Methyl Anthranilate NI, Jasmine grandiflorum Enfleurage, Grapefruit, Rosemary, Lavender, Silver Fir Needle, Citral NI, Limettol NI, and Petitgrain sur Fleurs in a base of 190 proof alcohol.

Review: At the beginning of this post, I note that ‘the scent profile for this aromatic aroma is typically bracing, refreshing, and light, with a heart of sparkling citrus’. Maggie has truly captured this core and built a restoring and balancing frame around it. As a result of the added Grapefruit and Jasmine, the fruity notes fill the heart and remain throughout. There’s almost a ‘concord grape’ scent about it. It all brightly shines away, putting a smile on my face, it’s so happy with itself. The Vetiver/Labdanum drydown stays for four days on the scent strip.

No photo available. 

Janet Teas, Zanesville, Ohio, USA

 “Eau du Ritz"


Bio: With a bachelor’s degree in music, Janet’s love of the sights and sounds of the 1920s inspired her to create a line of Jazz Age-Inspired natural perfumes and body care. Many of her creations are handcrafted while enjoying the life-affirming, jaunty songs of the 1920s and 1930s with their wonderful energy. Janet participated in a previous perfume challenge sponsored by Coeur d'Esprit, and is a member of the Independent Perfumer’s Guild. Janet is currently studying with Lyn Ayre, Ph.D. (founder of Coeur d'Esprit Natural Perfumes and natural perfumery teacher).

Vision: Eau du Ritz is a Citrus Aromatic for women and men. Inspiration comes from the popular 1929 song “Puttin’ on the Ritz” written by Irving Berlin. “Ritz” refers to the posh hotel chain established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Cesar Ritz, and is also a descriptive noun referring to the upper echelon of society. Eau du Ritz celebrates the late 1920s attitude and snappy feel of “Puttin’ on the Ritz” with zesty top notes of fresh Citrus and Coriander, middle notes of herbal Lavender Absolute, Basil Absolute and Litsea Cubeba, all on a base of Labdanum, Myrrh and Vanilla. So if you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to, Put on Eau du Ritz!

Notes: Ambrette Seed, Benzoin, Vanilla Absolute, Myrrh, Labdanum Absolute, Litsea Cubeba, Lavender Absolute, Petitgrain sur Fleurs, Basil Absolute, Neroli, Orange Essence (steam distilled), Lime Essence (steam distilled), Bergamot FCF, Clary Sage, and Coriander Seed in Perfumer’s Alcohol.

Review: This scent makes me want to put on the Ritz as it takes me through my paces. The cheerful opening refrains of lime and orange make me grin ear to ear. The next line of melody is spicy and herbal with basil, coriander, and aromatic lavender. Finally, the base line warmth of labdanum comes through and remains consistent throughout the drydown. Okay, so here it is – ‘I’m at a dance, all happy and bright; I meet a chap and we become a little spicy; as the evening wears on, I become more and more demure’. This is where ‘Eau de Ritz’ takes me. Thank you, Janet, for this lovely trip.

 And the Winner Is:
by: Maggie Mahboubian, USA

Maggie’s perfume showed good structure and balance firmly grounded in earthy notes and maintaining the Eau de Cologne aroma throughout the very long drydown. The diffusion rated a 9/10 for me. Top marks in all categories.

The Prize - A beautiful 5 ml Atomizer of “Eau d’Espirt” by Coeur d'Esprit Natural Perfume; perfect to carry with you. You can read about this perfume on my ‘Perfume Creations’ page at

Congratulations, Maggie Mahboubian

Glam Bag Giveaway

As you can imagine, I'm accumulating quite a few lovely perfume samples from these Challenges. I've polled the Perfumes and received his and her permission to do a Glam Bag Giveaway. The perfume pouches will contain samples from all of the Challenges I've done since 2010. There will be three winners so make your comments on this post to be entered to win. I'll be doing the Draw at the end of May.

Love Lyn


  1. I enjoy reading about your scent project. Hopefully one day I will participate as well. :)

  2. Hi, Everyone, your comments kept coming to me to be approved even after I approved them. So, I thought there was a bug in the system and accidently removed them all. I apologize for this error. I'm still not understanding what I'm seeing in this new blogger format. If you would like to publish them again then I'll re-approve them all. Thanks so much. Love Lyn

  3. Congratulations to all of us for taking part in such a fun and inspiring project and especially Maggie--your delightful perfume sounds well-deserving of top honours! I feel I know you all a bit better by reading your bios and I can't wait to know more. I'll be visiting all your websites. Must learn more about Omumbiri too.

    I learned so much from this challenge and I wanted to thank you Lyn for all your hard work on creating this project and giving us amazing feedback. I'd love to be entered into the draw too.
    Sincerely, Suzy

  4. Dear Lyn, thank you for organizing this perfume challenge and taking your time to review each entry. I loved participating and reading about all the wonderful new “eau de colognes”.

    Everyone’s creation for this challenge sounds absolutely beautiful. Congratulations, Maggie!

  5. Hello Everyone,
    This natural perfume challenge gave me a needed boost of inspiration. Lyn...Thank you for organizing and taking your precious time to review our perfumes with your expertise and loving spirit. Marilyn

  6. I love reading reviews to those perfumes. Thanks for sharing this!

    pheromone cologne

  7. Thanks so much Lyn once again for this wonderful opportunity. All the perfumes sounds wonderful. Congratulations Maggie, your perfumes are exquisite! I look forward to the next challenge.


  8. Absolutely amazing to read and imagine everyones
    ideas turned to final 'eau de colognes', each with their own individual have provided a wonderful avenue for us all to share Lyn and give things a go! You are appreciative of our experiences and your feedback is reassuring that each creation has a place.I have learnt so much with my participation and reading of others and appreciate the time and energy you have embraced to make this all happen. Arohanui Karen

  9. Hi, Sophia
    I have enjoyed getting to know you along the way. Thank you so much for participating. I hope you will continue to play.
    Warmly, Lyn

  10. Hi, Karen,
    I'm so happy you are enjoying these challenges. It's always great to have you on board. Come play with us next time.
    Warmly, Lyn

  11. Hi, Marilyn
    It was so good to have you in the competition. Your 'extra' perfume is wonderful. I have really enjoyed wearing it. Your entry was great, too. Please join us again.
    Warmly, Lyn

  12. Dear Janet, you are so welcome. It's always a pleasure to interact with you. I hope you enter again.
    Warmly, Lyn

  13. I agree, Suzy. I learn a lot by entering challenges and competitions, too, and I wanted to provide a similar experience for others. I really enjoyed Golden Bee. I love all 14 other perfumes that I've sampled from you. Today, I'll be wearing "First Breath", your entry into the Primordial Composition.
    Warmly, Lyn

  14. Hey, Everyone, we have three winners of the Glam Bag giveaway: Suzy, Sophia, and Marilyn. Congratulations to you all. Please email me with your postal address.
    Love Lyn

    1. Wow, thanks so much! It was gift already to participate.
      Big hug,