Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Winter Freshness Perfume Challenge Results

for the Winter of 2014


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

Please Note: I haven't been able to upload any photos to my blog today and I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out why.
I've not had this issue before so if you have some ideas, I'm open to suggestion.
Meanwhile: please visit my website and see the article with the photos, if you like.
Beginning on October 10, 2013 with an end-date of Jan 31, 2014 ie: they have to be in my hot little hands by then. While you’re waiting for your tinctures to mature, go ahead and create your formula.
The Prize to be sent out by the end of Feb 2014. A 10 ml Gold Atomizer of Pagoda Peace.
In the winter I think of cool essences like elemi, dill, mints, basil, herby, evergreen trees, snow, and thick animalic scents to cuddle up to and hold those effervescent molecules.
Natural Isolates are allowed in this perfume.
I want to give you the chance to try your hand at tincturing various items, which can give you those fresh twiggy nuances in a natural perfume. They add something different that cannot necessarily be achieved with essences alone. Your new creation needs to contain at least two of your own hand-made tinctures.
Try tincturing bark, wood, mosses, twigs, leaves, and many other items. Most of them have worked out and increased my palette considerably. It does take time to tincture so I’m adding an extra month to this challenge and you will have three months to get it to me instead of two.
Again, there are many ways for Natural Perfumers to go with this theme. And, as always, there are some guidelines to follow:
  • 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
permission to add your fragrance entry to the glam-bag give-away
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.
Note: your scent needs to have the ‘winter freshness’ category addressed in
all phases of the dry down.
2. For the Winter Freshness perfume you are allowed to use up to 15 ingredients. These must be naturally derived: essential oils, absolutes, concretes, waxes, hydrosols/flower waters, enfleurage, tinctures, and oils. Since it is illegal in Canada to sell a perfume with potable alcohol, one may choose to use ethanol with Bitrex for the solvent (I’ve done a pile of research on this and found it to be, by all accounts, non-toxic though extremely bitter so there’s little chance a child would drink your perfume). If you use animal ingredients, you must know and attest to me that they are ethically obtained.
3. A Data Tag must be attached ie: name of the perfume, list of the ingredients, name the solvent (ie: oil, alcohol), 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 photo for an idea of what a Data Tag looks like).
4. Please follow these directions
Submit the perfume and the following to me by January 31, 2014. Please send it out in time to reach me by that date. Send it earlier, if you like, and it can sit here to mature.
  • send two 1 ml sample vials of perfume for evaluation via the postal mail
  • let me know if you are up for the Glam Bag Giveaway (see previous page)
  • base can be clear alcohol or oil (these do not count as part of the 15)
  • If you use a scented tincture or maceration as your base or use some drops of it as part of your formula that will count as an ingredient.
  • write 5 sentences that tell the vision behind your new creation and submit via email
  • write 5 sentences about who you are in relation to Natural Perfumery and submit via email
  • email me the complete list of the notes in your perfume
  • email me your photo
Each perfumer is graded 1-10 on the following categories: how well they followed the above instructions; a short five-sentence about his or her 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:
  • Balance – so that no single component can be detected, unless it is a Soliflore.
  • 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?
  • Diffusion – does it surround the wearer with an aura of scent?
  • 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? Does it have dimension?
  • Tenacity – staying power is the ability of a perfume to last on the wearer for more than just a couple of hours.
We hope that perfumers from all over the world will accept and
participate in this challenge.

First of all, I thank Iris for send along 2-1 ml samples of goat hair tincture and burr oak leaf tincture – both very enticing to smell; and for Sophia, my gratitude, for the small sample of African Ambergris, which is of great quality. I love it all.
Secondly, these are listed in the order they arrived at my Atelier.
The Challengers

Iris Moore
Harvard, IL, USA
Bio: I am a recent convert and absolute beginner to the art of perfume.  My approach to blending is formed by my background as a sculptor and performance artist.  The spatial and narrative possibilities of scent provide a starting point for my education. I love the natural aromas for their richness, complexity and character.  I have taken one correspondence course, read voraciously, am a dedicated lurker on the blogs and boards and look forward to the critique of more refined and experienced noses.
Vision: “Farmer’s Daughter” is built around a childhood memory of a rose perfume from the dime-store.  It is the story of a young girl in the 1950’s who sneaks out of her bedroom window to meet a lover in the barn.  She wraps a scarf tight around her face and walks quietly through the frosty leaves.  She opens the barn door to the deep scent of barn animals and hay.  Giggling up the ladder she reaches for a hand in the dark hayloft and is enveloped in the warmth of an old horse blanket.
Notes: Burr Oak Leaf tincture, billygoat tincture, hay absolute, amber fossil absolute, amyris, light patchouli, orris butter, rooibos absolute, green cognac, rose damask, geranium rose, lavender absolute, bergamot, black mint tincture, perfumers alcohol.
Review: “Farmer’s Daughter” contains many strong elements such as billy goat tincture, green cognac, and amber fossil oil but, because it was expertly blended, it turned out to be a sweet, creamy, powdery, sensual scent that is very alluring. It is balanced and harmonious and has medium diffusion and longevity. Well done, Iris. I really like this scent.

Olga Nedelina, Olga Nedelina Perfumes
St. Petersburg, Russia

Bio: I am new in the world of perfumery. I was never interested in the perfume counters in the department stores, as I couldn’t, and still can’t, bear the chemical scents. A year and a half ago I discovered the essential oils, and I was intrigued by their scents, their power, they attracted me. Then I started making scents myself. I love creating natural perfume blends. I love the process itself, it gives me joy, but sometimes frustration also. I read somewhere that perfume is 1% of inspiration and 99% of perspiration. I’m a self-study perfumer, I learn myself how to do it. Making perfume is not an easy but very interesting and beautiful journey.
Vision:Winter story” A perfume featuring star anise and cinnamon with a touch of woods and smoke, topped off with ripened red mandarin and Seville lavender for a fruity note. It is wintry, slightly spicy scent with just a hint of New Year whispering through the warmth. It is -20C in St. Petersburg now. During this weather you are longing for something warm, cozy and nostalgic.
Notes: Champaca, jasmine, guaiac wood, Seville lavanda, petitgrain, red mandarin, frankincense, black pine, siam wood, choya loban, vanilla, star anise, cassia, nutmeg; tinctures: vanilla, badiane (star anise tincture), hibiscus, juniper berry

Review: “Winter Story” is a very fresh and bracing scent with a spice note in the background. Though it contains Choya Loban, I’m not detecting even the smallest hint of smoke, which is surprising. I find it to be an uplifting aroma that makes me smile. It’s ‘friendly’, and would be great for day-wear. It has medium diffusion and tenacity.

Susan Hipple
Doylestown, PA, USA

Bio: My interest in perfumery sprang from a delightful curiosity in everything to do with forests, flowers and fauna.  I have always been fascinated with plants in particular, and when I finally became introduced to perfumery, I quickly became totally immersed in the pure joy and beauty of being able to partake of such a profound form of expression. Between various part-time jobs and ongoing continuing education in the business & accounting fields, much of my spare time is spent enjoying practicing and perfecting the art of perfumery.

Vision: “Incense of Almaty” My vision in the Winter Freshness Challenge is to take us on a journey to the steppes, a land on the brink between the East, between the rugged natural land and rich traditions of the people who live there. Incense of Altany envelopes us in a mist of sweet incense, tea, and a lingering rose of warmer seasons past.  

Notes: Rosewood, Bergamot, Green Tea, Rose, Ylang, Carnation, Jasmine, Himalayan Cedar, Siam Benzoin, Vanilla, Cistus, Ionone, and Angelica Root.

Review: “Incense of Almaty” has a really good diffusion. I was working at my computer while I was testing out the different entries and it kept wafting up to me, beckoning me to sniff a little further. The lovely floral bouquet in the heart captures the imagination and sets me to dreaming about the colour and aromas of spring and summer with all the delicious scents that will float through our windows. The tenacity is medium.

Sophia Shuttleworth, African Aromatics
Gordon’s Bay, Western Cape, South Africa
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. Africa is the environment in which I live and breathe, and continues to be my source of inspiration. All of my perfumes contain African elements in them and they reflect my experiences of this environment.
Vision: “Dryad” When I read the brief, my mind leapt to the scent of Rooibos. For me, the essence of winter freshness is encapsulated in scent of Rooibos. It is masculine in nature with notes of green amber, peach/apricot, and woody herbal. I constructed Dryad around the scent molecules of Rooibos, Boronia, Jasmine sambac, and Osmanthus. I wanted the opening to have a green freshness with a woody floral heart, a hint of peach, and a green animalic amber base.
Notes: Sugar Cane Alcohol, *Bushmen candle (Sarcocaulon) /Rooibos tincture, *Noyaux /Apricot/ Buchu tincture, African Ambergris, Hyraceum, Osmanthus, Boronia, Jasmine sambac, Green Mandarin, Rhododendron Leaf, Oakmoss, Violet Leaf, Labdanum, Ambrette seed, Fossilized Amber, Tobacco leaf

Review: “Dryad” is a captivating, exotic scent. It lists many essences I’ve never smelled before. This perfume takes me on a caravan across a dry aromatic landscape with camels, sand dunes, and bushes that look completely dried out but, upon scoring one, there exudes the most intoxicating fragrance. Quite different and that I can really appreciate. Sophia is a skilled artisan who uses her fascinating perfume organ with expertise. Dryad has very good diffusion and tenacity.
* I have been making tinctures using complementary ingredients together instead of just one single ingredient. Bushmen candle is from the Namibian desert and has a wonderful woody /green /Frankincense scent. It is also wonderful as incense, as it has a high wax content so it burns easily - hence Bushmen candle.
Paul Kiler, PK Perfumes
Menifee, CA, USA
Bio: Paul Kiler is an all materials perfumer, blending all available materials, but for this challenge has limited himself to only a naturals palette. Paul of PK Perfumes self studied the Art of Perfumery for seven years before releasing 11 perfumes in September 2012, and by October 2013 had won 19 awards for his perfumes. Paul Kiler and PK Perfumes is the first Perfumer to be nominated this year for the Taste Awards, the premier broadcast awards show celebrating the year's best achievements in Food, Fashion, Home and Lifestyle programs on Television, in Film, Online, and on Radio.  He was a finalist for a NPR Radio segment of 15minutes.  He lives and works near Los Angeles, California.
Vision: "Winter" in this contest has had to play a fantasy role for me this winter, since I've been wearing shorts and drinking iced tea for weeks now, here in L.A. So, I latched onto the freshness of carnations and a tincture of Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, (I don't like to call it by it's common name), and Linalool filled naturals like Orange Blossom Abs, Orange Leaf Absolute, Green Myrtle EO, and Champa Leaf EO, combined with loads of Frankincense and Frankincense wood.  This is a kind of fresh woodsy manly thingamajig, with a hint of the log cabin fire smoldering away.   It's topped with a fresh citrus, a bit of spices - Cardamom and Clove Bud Absolute, floralcy from a bevy of linalool rich items and a touch of Ylang, woods of smoky Pinewood EO, Olibanum Wood, Sandalwood, with Pemou Root and Cedarmoss, and then musked up with Hyraceum Tincture. 
Notes: Pemou Root eo, Bitter Orange Blossom abs, Olibanum Wood eo, Frankincense sacra eo, Orange leaf abs, Sandalwood Santalum album, Hyraceum tincture, Champa leaf eo, green myrtle linalool eo, pinewood eo, ylang extra eo, Cedarmoss abs, Cardamom CO2, Clove Bud abs, in a tincture of Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis as the substrate alcohol.
Review: “Winter” is fresh, enlivening, and energizing. After this fades back, a smoky chord emerges and stays for quite long time then morphs into bright floral heart finally grounding in a woodsy drydown. Paul’s approach is very well thought out and executed. Anyone could wear this fragrance. I appreciate the longevity of it and could still faintly detect it (one small spritz) on my wrist the next morning. Many of my own perfumes last this long and I’m pleased to know that Paul has a good grasp of natural fixatives, too. Paul’s perfume has awesome diffusion and tenacity.

The Prize

The Prize A beautiful 10 ml atomizer of Coeur d'Esprit Natural Perfume "Pagoda Peace", surrounded by an elegant gold sleeve and suitable for wearing anytime;
perfect to carry with you.
Pagoda PeaceNotes include: Vanilla, Frankincense, Ambergris, Tonka, Ambrette, Fruit accord, Jasmine, Neroli, Ylang Ylang, Ruby Red Grapefruit, Palma Rosa, and Rosewood. The Jasmine is blooming all around the temple and, as you walk into this sacred space, you catch a whiff of Frankincense, Rosewood, ripe fruit, and sweet aromas like Vanilla, Tonka, Neroli, and Ylang Ylang. This scent centres you. You breathe deeply and you know you are in a place where you can just be ~ peace. Floral Oriental Perfume 2010   
The Results Are Is
The Grand Prize Winner is
Paul Kiler
from California, USA for a winter freshness scent called “Winter”

Thank you so much to Russian Natural Perfumer, Olga Nedelina, American Natural Perfumers Iris Moore and Susan Hipple and South African Natural Perfumer Sophia Shuttleworth for making this a very unique perfume challenge.
I appreciated each one of your designs and how you all stayed true to your vision. It was an interesting and in-depth journey into what makes this perfume type live up to its name: the refreshing and bracing notes on the one hand, and the smoky, animalic notes on the other. You used a variety of perfume materials, which conspired together to create the whole winter freshness scent.
There are two Glam Bags giveaways waiting for the first and second person who comments on the blog post and includes the words: ‘I would like to join in the Glam Bag offer’. Contact me privately though my face book page and I’ll connect back to you for your mailing address. There are two organza bags of the five lovely 1 ml perfume samples I’ve reviewed in this post. Let your friends know to to read and make their comments, too.There are two Glam Bags giveaways waiting for the first and second person who comments on the blog post and includes the words: ‘I would like to join in the Glam Bag offer’. Contact me privately though my face book page and I’ll connect back to you for your mailing address. There are two organza bags of the five lovely 1 ml perfume samples I’ve reviewed in this post. Let your friends know to to read and make their comments, too.There are two Glam Bags giveaways waiting for the first and second person who comments on the blog post and includes the words: ‘I would like to join in the Glam Bag offer’. Contact me privately though my face book page and I’ll connect back to you for your mailing address. There are two organza bags of the five lovely 1 ml perfume samples I’ve reviewed in this post. Let your friends know to to read and make their comments, too.There are two Glam Bags giveaways waiting for the first and second person who comments on the blog post and includes the words: ‘I would like to join in the Glam Bag offer’. Contact me privately though my face book page and I’ll connect back to you for your mailing address. There are two organza bags of the five lovely 1 ml perfume samples I’ve reviewed in this post. Let your friends know to to read and make their comments, too.There are two 'Glam Bag Giveaways' to be won by the first two people who make a comment on this challenge and include the words, ‘I would like to join the ‘Glam Bag Giveaway’. Contact me privately though my face book page and I’ll connect back to you for your mailing address. There are two organza bags of the five lovely 1 ml perfume samples I’ve reviewed in this post. Let your friends know to to read and make their comments, too.The winners can contact me privately through my face book page and we’ll connect so I can get your mailing addresses. The gift consists of a gold organza pouch with the five 1 ml perfumes I’ve reviewed so you can experience all of the entries, as I did. Let your friends know to read and make their comments, too.


  1. Hi all participants. I'm making a list of all the aromatics I have never tried. It's so fascinating to see how you have all interpreted "Winter Freshness". And to have such unique perspectives from all over the globe. I learned so much from each entry--it's kind of like a class in natural perfumery.

    Farmer's Daughter from Iris Moore immediately caught my attention and my memory. I've always said first and foremost that's what I am--I could relate to all the visuals you used Iris. I could cuddle up and be happy in that barn too.

    Olga Nedelina's masterpiece makes me think of curling up with Anna Karenina by the fire on a cold night. I'm so curious to know what badiane (star anise tincture) and hibiscus smell like.

    Always a fan of incense, I'm curious to try Susan Hipple's perfume Incense of Almaty. In the Steppes of Central Asia from composer Borodin has always captured my imagination musically and I imagine this scent would take me one step closer to being there. Sounds amazing.

    Sophia Shuttleworth's interpretation of winter freshness is so unique to me. I love Rooibos tea but have never smelled the absolute or tincture. Of course being from Africa, Sophia would have a completely different idea of what winter means than me being in the cold north. It would be such a pleasure to enjoy all the varied essences of Dryad and how they've melded together.

    And finally, Paul Kiler. Congratulations to you! Pemou root, how interesting. It much be local to the area. However did you masterfully combine such varied aromatics? What's your secret ;) Also, I'd trade some of this winter wonderland for some LA winter fantasy. Congratulations to you all.

    And of course, I would like to join the glam bag giveaway, Lyn. Lovely reviews from you, as always! You run such amazing challenges and I hope to be part of one in the future again.
    Suzy Larsen

    1. Hi, Suzy, I enjoyed reading your note and will send you a Glam Bag of your own to find out more about these fascinating perfumes.
      Love Lyn

  2. Wow, it sounds like it was an amazing challenge with some really talented perfumers! I would like to join the ‘Glam Bag Giveaway.

    1. Hi, Michael, It was quite amazing. I love offering this event a few times each year so perfumers can stretch their imagination and apply it to a brief. Please contact me through face book with your mailing address.
      Warmly, Lyn

      To all other commenters: I have a special grab bag of some of my perfume samples so keep making your comments. I'll put everyone's name in the hat and make a draw next Wednesday March 12th. Love Lyn

  3. For anyone who wants the winning formula, here it is:

    "Winter" Grand Prize winner of the Winter Freshness Perfume Challenge.

    Pemou Root EO
    Bitter Orange Blossom Abs
    Olibanum Wood EO Robertet
    Frankincense Sacra EO
    Orange Leaf Abs Robertet
    Sandalwood Santalum Album EO
    Hyraceum Tincture
    Champa Leaf EO White Lotus
    Green Myrtle linalool EO Eden
    Pinewood EO Robertet
    Ylang Extra EO
    Cedarmoss Abs
    Cardamom CO2 Eden
    Clove Bud Absolute

    All in a tincture of Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis as the substrate alcohol.

    Hope that you enjoy it...


  4. And I would tell that it was a pleasure and fun for me to participate in the Winter Challenge!

    1. I hope you will again, Olga. I really enjoyed your perfume.
      Warmly, Lyn