Saturday, June 22, 2013

2nd Annual Conference of Canadian Natural Perfumers


Our day began at 9:30 am when Anita Kalnay, of Flying Colours Perfume in Comox, and Renee Rechtschaffner, of North Vancouver, a new person to perfumery and to our group, came in. They were able to stay for the whole day until 4:30

Nigel Strike, of Natura Trading, and Vice President of BCAPA (British ColumbiAssociation of Practicing Aromatherapists) came around 10:30 and Candice Rosa, one of my students in North Vancouver (who was a great help to me when I was preparing to go to the Seattle Artisan Salon in May), came around 11:30.

There were five of us that could make it and seven people that, in the end, could not – mostly due to family matters. So, over last year our number of responses has really improved. We only had four responses and four who showed up last year and twelve responses and five who showed up this year.

Since everyone was coming to me, I put on the lunch and made egg salad sandwiches and salmon sandwiches. We also had a cup of tea (nothing gets done in this house without one) and a sugar-free chocolate mayonnaise cake (my recipe). For a topping, I’d crumbled mixed nuts and coconut then spread them on top, covering the dough, to bake with the cake. For those who wished, I put out a few cans of ‘real’ icing sugar to spread on.

We had some interesting discussions including

What to do with floral wax
Floral waxes are wonderful on their own. Just a tiny toothpick-full on your inner wrist and the scent will waft up to your nose for a few hours. It’s great for making solid perfumes when blended with jojoba or fractionated coconut oil, shea or coco butter, beeswax and a perfume blend.

It can be purchased at Sapphire Blue and a few other places in Canada have it from time to time ie: New Directions. I shared my solid perfume base, which is a solid mixture of floral wax, shea butter, FCO, and beeswax. When I want to make a solid perfume, I create the blend, warm it on a coffee warmer. I also melt some of my base and warm it on the same coffee warmer. Then I mix the two and pour into a pretty compact.

Incorporating natural isolates
We didn’t spend a lot of time on this. I talked about taking Shelley Waddington’s course; the isolates are a part of the course she teaches. It was great to learn about them and thought I’d use them a lot more but I don’t. There’s nothing wrong with them and I love that there are other scents to go in my palette ie: strawberry, raspberry, heliotrope, and many others. Everyone had a chance to smell them.

What is your business model and how does it work?
We spent about an hour discussing this and found that one-on-one contact with real live people works best. A good plan seems to be working a multi-focal and diverse model of monthly exposure at the Farmer’s Market, for instance; perfume parties at one’s home or a client’s home; selling through online marketing; offering one’s ‘following’ incentives for referrals; as well as travelling to craft fairs and artisan markets.
We need to get out there and find our people. We need exposure. Working in our Atelier is only half the job. Sharing with the everyday person and education about natural perfumes is the other.

Informing the public about Natural Perfumes
The topic of creating a presence in our communities through seminars, through handing out the brochure I created (or one you’ve created), and taking every opportunity to educate and inform the people we come in regular contact with about Natural Perfumes, was a hot one. We need to keep samples of NP on hand to share and give away as the need arises.

How to make citrus perfumes, which last on the skin?
There was minimal discussion on this topic. I shared that I use Litsea cubeba and Lemongrass, with are citrus heart notes, as well as base essences with lemony notes ie: Himalayan Cedarwood, Frankincense, and others to hold those flighty citrus oils in place. One can also incorporate lemon, lime, or orange petitgrain, as well as petitgrain sur fleurs.

How to test for allergies to Natural Perfume components
Barely discussed. It was agreed that anyone can be sensitive to anything.

I put out my olfactory reference library so people could smell some animal essences, natural isolates, and a few key synthetic compounds. It’s always a learning process and I feel it never hurts to know what others are talking about. I’ve actually made three synthetic perfumes just to try them out. They enjoyed several favourable comments. I also have a great collection of old classics from the 1800 and 1900’s such as Jicky, Joy, Shalimar, Channel No. 5, Evening in Paris, and many others.

I love making fruit tinctures and then use the alcohol as my base. I shared that right now I have several on the go: strawberry, blueberry (which stains so it’s a no-go), apricot, peach, banana, and pineapple. I also have a Violet leaf tincture and honey-comb tincture steeping.

Some folks have asked me for a coloured perfume ie: purple, blue, or red. I’ve done my best to supply them with this but so far, no luck. I’ve made a gorgeous red alcohol with various items. I then add my blend and it looks great. When I come back to it the next day, it’s gone clear. It’s a mystery to me and no one else at the table could offer any ideas about why it kept happening either.

After lunch, I suggested we make a formula from the scents and tastes of my cake. It was fun to read over everyone’s notes. I can’t remember what they were now but here’s my formula:

Coffee abs, Cocoa abs, Butter CO2, Vanilla abs, Tolu balsam, Immortelle, and Tonka bean.

If anyone else remembers theirs, please do let us know.

We were all happily tired at the end of the day. Both Nigel and Candice had to leave a bit early. Norm offered to do a Didge Healing for Anita then for Renee, which they really enjoyed.

I’m hoping to see more of you out next year as it is just so much fun.

Love Lyn

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