I gave myself some time to relax after struggling with the vetiver blend, a struggle that seemed to play itself out for all eternity. I need to filter the particulates from the blend (more on that another time) so, in the meantime I am trying my hand at making two accords and one new fragrance.
I feel like I have an obligation to preface this entire section by stating while I am an openly confirmed bachelor, I have zero interest in any leather scene. So when I say I enjoy the smell of leather, it is purely for the sake of smell and nothing else. I try not to think about leather to be honest, it’s not as if the steps needed to create the material are by any means compassionate.
I can easily purchase a leather fragrance oil but I rather like the challenge of creating an accord from essential oils. Perfume Shrine has an excellent primer on the essential oils needed to produce a leather accord. I already have juniper, birch, cade, and labdanum in my possession; I am currently awaiting a shipment of cassie and styrax from Eden. I am opting out of using castoreum for various reasons, but at the most primal level I would not want to further promote the harm of beavers.
Cade is an especially strong EO and I am rather impressed so far with the birch being able to hold its own in the composition. I am very curious (and hopeful) that the cassie and styrax will play their parts and bring the overall blend into a lovely accord.
I didn’t develop a penchant for gin until I moved to Seattle 11 years ago. Incidentally, at the time I found myself appreciating gin I grew more detached from beer. But I digress. I’m not entirely sure what I would do with a gin accord, perhaps a composition more suited for summertime, yet the composition sounds too lovely not to want to create. I am using the traditional recipe for gin used by Bombay Sapphire … with a few modifications.
I cannot find an EO for grains of paradise so, I am using fresh ginger in its place. Cubeb is West African pepper, therefore I am substituting black pepper. Not exactly a perfect match but, hey, close enough.
I am also awaiting a sample of bitter almond EO from Eden, and this ingredient is the tricky part for the accord. Almond oil is outright banned by IFRA (International Fragrance Association) as it naturally contains cyanide. And who doesn’t want a little cyanide on the skin, amirite? The bitter almond EO from Eden is nowhere near as lethal, however it is still a tricky substance to ship in the mail. USPS only ships small amounts of bitter almond so, I only get to work with 20–30 drops at a time. I’m hoping 1 drop is all it takes to create the gin accord.
Cassia is a strong EO, I forgot just how strong it (and cinnamon) truly are in a blend. I will be carefully, slowly, adding other ingredients to the gin accord—this one is gonna take some time to create.
I already know I am in the minority when I make this claim: sometimes the smell of a burning cigarette hits all right pleasure areas in my nose. I don’t look to walk behind people who are smoking, that’s just crazy, and a burning cigarette doesn’t always smell pleasant. 1 – maybe 2 – times out of 10, a burning cigarette has just that right amount of tobacco and char that come together so beautifully. Almost divine.
Tobacco is rather sweet in its original form so, I am trying a pairing with birch tar and ambrette seed. I may also try adding smoky vetiver and diluted vanilla. This blend will definitely be making the rounds of endless iterations.