Friday, December 26, 2008

Only a few days left for the membership fee discount for the Natural Perfumers Guild

Only a few days left to take advantage of the 20% off membership fee for new members joining the Guild in celebration of Natural Perfume Month!
This offer will end Dec. 31st, 2008.

Enthusiasts: $40
Perfumers and Associates less than 5 employees: $80
Perfumers and Associates more than 5 Employees: $120
Suppliers: $120
Read about the benefits of joining the Guild:

You can apply here and you'll be invoiced at the discounted rate:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Australian Perfumer Emma Leah of Fleurage Pty Ltd Joins the Natural Perfumers Guild

Noted Australian natural perfumer Emma Leah of the Fleurage Pty Ltd Salon in Melbourne recently joined the Natural Perfumers Guild as a Professional Perfumer.

The Fleurage salon is in the trendy South Ybarra section of Melbourne near the Royal Botanical Garden. Visitors can revel in the Art Deco aesthetics of the salon while consulting for a custom perfume or simply enjoying the extensive line of perfumes, skin care and beauty items available.

From Emma's notes on her philosophy:

I only create with botanical extracts and I have spent 15 years using, blending, and studying essential oils. It is foremost their odour properties I am interested in and secondly their therapeutic properties. I have respect for the art of aromatherapy and it is a useful reference point, but it is the centuries old art of perfumery with natural oils that ignites my passion. I appreciate and enjoy the challenge of the complex and changeable nature of botanical extracts and their links to the earth.

My perfumes are born from my personal experiences and fascinations of the rich and diverse world we inhabit. As I take in the extracts I work with I see images of nature, the spiritual and mystical worlds, our sensuality, and individuality.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Natural Perfumers Guild Associate Arghand founder Sarah Chayes on PBS's Bill Moyers Journal

Sarah Chayes is the founder of Arghand, an organization that strives to replace poppy growing in Afghanistan by training Afghanis to make botanically-based body care products from local oils and aromatic plants, was interviewed on PBS-TV December 19th. You can read more here.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Natural Perfumers Guild Member Avery Gilbert Shares some Satire: If Chandler Burr Reviewed the new Burger King Fragrance

The Guild members sometimes like to share a bit of fun with others, and Scent Scientist Avery Gilbert surely scored big on the laugh meter with this blog post. I recommend you subscribe to his blog First Nerve as there is always something entertaining about scent posted there.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Natural Perfumers Guild Perfumer Dominique Dubrana Featured in Sniffapalooza Magazine

The image above is from a natural perfumery class taught by Dominique Dubrana

The latest issue of Sniffapalooza Magazine features an interview with Natural Perfumers Guild Professional Perfumer Dominique Dubrana. Editor Raphaella Barkley extensively explores the multi-faceted endeavors of the perfumer, and gives a glimpse into his philosophy, spirituality and techniques. Many links are provided at the end of the interview to topics of particular interest on his vast website

Monday, December 15, 2008

When a Perfumer Named Ambrosia Offers A Giveaway on "Death by Chocolate" You Know You're In for Something Wonderful!

Ambrosia Jones, Perfumer in the Natural Perfumers Guild, has a fabulous giveaway for readers of the Natural Perfumers Guild Blog. Please visit Ambrosia's site Perfume by Nature and if you mention this blog, you'll receive a free sample with any order.

But the giveaway is hosted here, so please read on to enter for a chance to win a chocolate fix for your body that is calorie-free ;-)

NOTE: please add your city or town when you post here on the blog to insure that we have the correct winner when chosen.

The giveaway is open to all who post a comment on this blog by midnight, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008. The winner will be chosen randomly and announced Friday, Dec. 19th.

A new natural perfume for Chocolate Lovers:

"I am a professed chocoholic myself...and I've been working on the concept of creating a chocolate perfume for over a year now...

It's been an interesting journey. Starting with pure Cocoa absolute, extracted from the bean that forms tha basis of that delightful confectionery so many of us love....Chocolate can be so many things, sweet,milky and soothing, dark, bitter and perfume until now it has only been a mere bynote, used as part of a base chord in some oriental style perfumes with strong flower and fruit heart notes.

I wanted to create a real chocolate perfume, that showed off it's unique character without covering it up with anything else, that was truly "Chocolatey" without being too sweet or tacky I finally came up with a perfume that is made my heart sing. I have combined Cocoa absolute with an amazing, deep and dry Australian desert wood, just a touch of deep and delicious honey and a tiny zing of spice, to create a pure Chocolate Perfume that is both truly elegant and really magical."

If you'd like to try some "Death by Chocolate", "Perfume by Nature" is giving away a full sized bottle of Eau de Toilette (for Australian customers, overseas customers will receive a full size bottle of perfume oil) and 10 sample bottles.

send us an email telling us why you need mor Chocolate in your life, or go to Ambrosia's website at to order your own.

Mention this blog to get a free sample of one of her other perfumes with any order.

Don't forget - mention your city or town in your entry post. Thanks!

The winner is "Sandi" for the Mermade Magickal Arts "Kyphi" Perfume Oil

The lucky winner is "Sandi" - please write me with your mailing information and I'll pass it along to Katlyn Breen so that she may send out your bottle of Kyphi perfume. The Natural Perfumers Guild will announce another giveaway later today, so make sure you are subscribed to the blog to receive updates.

Friday, December 12, 2008

20% off Natural Perfumers Guild membership Fee Offered Through December 31, 2008

We welcome you to celebrate December is Natural Perfume Month and we invite you to visit the Natural Perfumers Guild site to learn more about us. We welcome you to join the Guild, and a 20% discount on the membership fee is being offered throughout December in celebration of Natural Perfume month.

Fill out the form on the Guild site this month and you will be refunded the difference of the discount.

Help us celebrate natural aromatics and work with us as we promote natural fragrances and educate the public as to the beauty of fragrance from a plant, not a test tube. The Natural Perfumers Guild supports artisanal distillers, works to lobby for fair business practices for artisan business owners, provides business support services and best of all - a network of like-minded people.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Natural Perfumers Guild member Mermade Magickal Arts Incense Awarded Two "Top Ten" spots - and celebrates with a giveaway

Olfactory Rescue Service, a blog about natural incense, recently posted the Top Ten Incenses for November 2008 and Katlyn Breene, the perfumer and incense-maker of Mermade Magickal Arts, won two spots in the top ten. Katlyn's Spirit Temple and Wild Wood incenses shared honors with incense from the venerable houses of Baieido and Nippon Kodo.

Katlyn is offering a bottle of her newest oil "Kyphi" in a giveaway here on the NPG blog. Just post a comment and you'll be in the drawing. Enter until Midnight, Sunday, Dec. 14th and the winner will be announced on Monday, Dec. 15th.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Natural Perfumers Guild Welcomes Alpha Aromatics Organics as a Supplier Member

The Natural Perfumers Guild is happy to announce that Alpha Aromatics Organics, a division of Alpha Aromatics, an industry leader for more than 20 years, has joined the Guild. Alpha Aromatics Organics is at the forefront of the natural formulation consumer market, anticipating great strides in the field of natural perfumery as customer demand grows for natural fragrances. Chief Perfumer Roger Howell has more than 25 years experience and has created some of the world's most popular fragrance brands.

Alpha Aromatics Organics provides:

Certified Organic Fragrances

Absolutely pure, all natural fragrances created with the highest quality essential oils. The Alpha Organics™ manufacturing process is certified by the leading accrediting body. Buy with complete confidence for your next natural, organic or "green" fragranced product application

Natural Without Compromise

Find the perfect match for your hair, skin or body care application with an organically sensual fragrance. Work with our organic fragrance artists to establish your brand identity in scented products of every type.

natural & organic fragrances

Designed for natural, organic and luxury products, Alpha Aromatics® 100% organic fragrances offer an alternative approach to a wide variety of scented product applications including personal care, beauty and cosmetic products. Alpha Aromatics® organic fragrances are created from a fragrance palette that includes contemporary 'green' notes, such as fruit, citrus and herbs, as well as traditional spices, florals and woods. The natural and organic products market is one of the fastest growing consumer market sectors.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Natural Perfumers Guild Associate CZ Luxe - Holiday Specials and Free Shipping

CZ Luxe - artisan creations of Rose or Orange Perfumed Cleanser, Mist and Milk - all natural

To kick off the holiday season and celebrate the new website we are offering the following shipping specials this week only:

Free domestic shipping on all orders of $45 or more placed on the CZ Luxe web site!

$5.00 off international shipping on all overseas orders of $45 or more placed on the CZ Luxe web site!

Domestic customers - simply enter the coupon code: believe in the voucher space during checkout to apply the discount.

Overseas customers - simply enter the coupon code believe-intl in the voucher space during checkout to apply the discount.

Click here to visit the CZ Luxe site

CZ Luxe products

Spa Couture Line

Fabulous and functional. Packaged in elegant 100% Post Consumer Recycled PET Bottles. With social and environmental consciousness, we utilize global sources of indigenous wisdom and prized botanicals, then combine them with responsible science and modern technology to create the finest sustainable luxury body care products available today. Click here to visit the CZ Luxe site

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Natural Perfumers Guild Member Allured Publishing Media Giveaway - a $900 value - The Arctander 3-volume set on CD!

The Natural Perfumers Guild is pleased to announce one of the most generous giveaways ever!

Celebrate the Natural Perfumers Guild designated "December is Natural Perfume Month" With Us!

For everyone who has ever dreamed of owning the 3-volume "Bible" of the flavor and fragrance industry - Steffen Arctander's Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin and Perfume and Flavor Chemicals (aroma-chemicals) this giveaway may make your dreams come true. Even better - it's the searchable CD - fabulous for quick and easy research!

This is open to any reader/poster, anywhere in the world. It will be shipped insured and require a signature upon receipt.

Guild member Allured Publishing Media is generously offering two CDs - one for the general public - readers of this blog - and the other for Guild members! Many of the Guild giveaways this month will offer "two-sies" giveaways so that the general public gets a fair chance and so that the Guild members don't feel left out. The Guild members know they get great perks and benefits, so I'm just keeping the love flowing ;-)

All you have to do is leave a comment on this blog - nice ones are especially appreciated ;-) - and your name will be entered in the drawing. The giveaway is open until midnight New Years - December 31, 2008. The winners will be announced New Years Day.

If you are a Guild member and posting from an email account that I might not recognize, please indicate in your post that you are a Guild member. Thanks.

I own the CD and I can share that it is a fabulous tool! I also have the Naturals book, which I love to use, the the Adobe PDF CD is searchable and I love to quickly find out all the entries for, say, enfleurage or boronia or Madagascar or methyl eugenol. Sometimes I copy bits of the information and paste it into a document for an offline reference as part of a journal entry, for example.

BTW, since it is so pricey, I copied the disc onto my harddrive, and I keep the CD in my bank safe deposit box - a good idea for the winners.

This is truly the chance of a lifetime, and I wish everyone good luck!

PS: there is a special on Guild membership through the end of December - 20% off membership fee. I'll blog about that following this post or in the meantime you can visit the Natural Perfumers Guild website to read more about us.

PPS: don't forget that Allured is offering a 20% discount on any of their books through December 31st - just use the code anyaperfume at checkout (one word, no spaces or hyphens.) Feed free to spread the word on this to all the perfume groups, forums and blogs you may frequent.

PPPS: the winner will be chosen by

Natural Perfumers Guild member Anya's Garden Offering a Holiday Giveaway

Anya's Garden is Celebrating the Redesigned Website with a Giveaway

Click on the graceful photo of Anya's Garden perfumes with a fabulous clereodendron flower and wander down the fragrant garden path to discover the new aromatherapy and potpourri line that I'll be launching next year. Post here with the name of the new line and you will be entered in a giveaway. The winner will receive a set of samples of Pan, Kaffir, Fairchild, RiverCali, Temple and a 2ml tincture of the legendary rare and gorgeous ambergris. These samples retail for $30 and the ambergris is very hard to find, and I know a lot of perfumistas would love to experience my private stash aged, glorious tincture.

This contest closes in five days on Dec 7th at midnight, so check back here after visiting my new site, and post. This offer is open to anyone anywhere in the world with the exception of Germany and Italy - I'm so sorry, but shipping there is very difficult, if not impossible. If you're in those countries and wish to participate, you may if you have a friend in another country willing to accept the goodies and figure out a way to get them to you.

Note: Natural Perfumers Guild members are ineligible for this giveaway, but if they post on this blog, they will be entered for a duplicate intra-Guild giveaway.

JoAnne Bassett of the Natural Perfumers Guild Offers 25% off, free shipping

Holiday Greetings!

To celebrate this holiday season, natural perfumer JoAnne Bassett is offering you 25% off of your next purchase.

Just order online and write 25 in the comments section to receive the discount.

FREE SHIPPING on orders over $48.00 . Free shipping is only available for ground shipping within the continental United States, excluding Alaska and Hawaii.
Samples added to every order.
Best Wishes!
JoAnne Bassett

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stocking Stuffer - 20% off - great deal on Allured Books on Perfume, Spas, Flavor and Fragrance Books - and many more topics

All Allured Publishing Media books on sale for 20% off through 12/31/08

The image above is of the Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin volume - generously offered separately by Allured when they realized the demand for it among natural perfumers. Previously it was bundled in a three-volume set and cost $900 dollars. When Guild member David Mark contacted them, and their Book Manager and I talked, they realized that the natural perfumery group on Yahoo and the Natural Perfumers Guild were signs that this book was needed as a solo item. We will forever be grateful to Allured Business Media for this.

For several months now Allured has made a very generous discount offer on all the books they publish. Now, through December 31, 2008 just use the code anyaperfume at checkout.

The Steffen Arctander book Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin is widely regarded as the natural perfumers bible. Click here for the Arctander book on - but don't limit yourself to just that classic - check out the vast library of industry-related books here via the extensive menu.

Coupon code: anyaperfume which offers 20% on all Allured books has been extended until the end of December 2008.

PS: The Natural Perfumers Guild is offering 20% off new memberships through December 31st, 2008 too!

Monday, December 1, 2008

December is Natural Perfume Month

The Natural Perfumers Guild Celebrates "December is Natural Perfume Month"

December is Natural Perfume Month - When Fragrant Trees and Wreaths Bring the Outdoors In, and Natural Perfume is the Gift of Choice for Many

For a limited time only - in celebration of Natural Perfume Month - join the Natural Perfumers Guild and receive 20% off your membership fee.

In 2006 The Natural Perfumers Guild named December Natural Perfume Month in recognition of the growing interest in natural fragrances. The first naturally-perfumed gifts associated with the month of December were frankincense and myrrh which we use in their pure form in our perfumes. Click below to see a picture of rare Hojari Frankincense incense, one of the most beautiful fragrances in the world:

Ancient traditions called for a fragrant conifer tree, wreaths and boughs decorating the home during this time of year. Today, the wonderful aroma of cooking with sweet spices like cinnamon and clove adds to the ambiance, creating a true holiday atmosphere. What was old is new, and what our ancestors smelled and delighted in 1000 years ago is the same today - naturally.

As we now celebrate the third year where we recognize Natural Perfume Month, we'd like to share our belief that the giving the gift of perfume and fragrant toiletries at the holidays can be made more special by choosing gifts made only with natural aromatics that come from flowers, leaves, woods and other botanicals. Blended artfully by professional perfumers and body care specialists in the Natural Perfumers Guild, these handmade luxurious scented treats continue the ancient heritage of natural fragrances.

The perfumers in the Guild offer traditional perfumes in an alcohol, oil or solid base, such as beeswax. Some of them also create soaps, lotions and other body care products that contain only natural fragrances, no synthetic scents.

Associate members of the Guild make soaps, shampoos, hair conditioners, gift baskets, candles and many home and body care products with natural aromatics providing the scent - no synthetics.

We welcome you to celebrate December is Natural Perfume Month and we invite you to visit the Natural Perfumers Guild site to learn more about us. If you are interested in joining the Guild, a 20% discount on the membership fee is being offered throughout December in celebration of Natural Perfume month. Fill out the form on the Guild site and you will be refunded the difference of the discount.

Help us celebrate natural aromatics and work with us as we promote natural fragrances and educate the public as to the beauty of fragrance from a plant, not a test tube. The Natural Perfumers Guild supports artisanal distillers, works to lobby for fair business practices for artisan business owners, provides business support services and best of all - a network of like-minded people.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 Can Hurt Your Small Business

Vote Down H.R. 3997, the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

If you own a small business - and I know this blog is read by a lot of small business owners in the cosmetics and beauty industries - please be aware that the "bailout" bill being proposed by our government can harm your businesses.

Donna Maria Coles Johnson of the Indie Beauty Network has blogged about this situation here and I encourage you to go to her site, read the article, and send the letter to your senators and congressional representatives. I have had trouble reaching my representative via email because the site keeps crashing due to high volume, so I called his local and his D.C. office to register my vote against the bill.

Act now - this is a very time-sensitive and business-sensitive matter!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Guild Perfumer Dominique Dubrana Creates a Portable "Perfume Organ" with Diffuser to Teach in Schools

Natural Perfumers Guild Perfumer Dominique Dubrana creates yet another innovative and exciting piece of fragrant art - the latest in his educational tools - "The Wind Organ" - as part of his ongoing olfactory education efforts. Pictured above is the "keyboard" labeled with the ten aromatics the perfumer can diffuse through the air, and quoting from his site:

"The player of the organ receives the scent from a pipe situated over the keyboard while the public receives it blown trough the bigger pipe situated the front of the organ, with a powerful ventilation system that diffuses it to a distance of 10 meters. In this way the player smells exactly what the public does, and at the same time."

More information and a photo of the larger diffuser can be found on Dubrana's website. Click on the link on that page for more on his olfactory education projects.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Arlys Naturals Announces New Stock of Sweetgrass Hydrosol is on Sale

Natural Perfumers Guild Supplier Arlys Naturals Is Offering the Freshest Distillation of Sweetgrass Hydrosol - More Due in Next Month

Sweetgrass Hydrosol

(Hierochloe odorata)
Class: Organic
Origin: Canada
Process: Steam Distilled

Description: While there is no Sweetgrass Essential Oil, there is a lovely hydrosol being distilled. The scent of Sweetgrass is distinctive. It is reminiscent of a fresh spring rain on the prairie or new mown hay. The dried grass is used to scent pillows, clothing, and for weaving baskets.

The fragrance is due to the presence of coumarins, a compound which is also present in a number of other species including Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum), Sweet Clover (Melilotus officinalis), and Sweet Vernal grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum). The aroma becomes more pronounced when the grass is dried, and it can last for many years.

Coumarins have been used for a number of purposes including as a flavouring agent for candy, soft drinks, vodka, and tobacco. In the USA, coumarins are allowed for flavoring alcohol but not approved for food. There is concern because high levels of coumarin act as a blood thinner where too much in the body causes hemorrhaging (internal bleeding).

The burning of Sweetgrass braids for ceremonial purposes has long been part of the Native American culture in North America. This is often what comes to mind when the species is mentioned. The use of the plant however is not restricted to North America. Aromatic plants have been used by cultures all around the world since the beginning of time. Sweetgrass was once used in Europe as a strewing herb where it was laid at the entrance to churches especially on Saints’ Days. The practice of using the grass in European churches gave rise to the botanical name Hierochloe or Holy grass.

Sweetgrass hydrosol can be misted into the air as a liquid smudge where the burning of Sweetgrass braids is not allowed such as in hospitals or other public places where smoking is not permitted.

Sweetgrass is found growing across the prairies of North America, in boreal regions, and right up into the Arctic. It is circumpolar in distribution which means the species also grows in Greenland, Iceland, northern Europe and Asia. Approximately 13 species of Hierochloe are reported to exist, but there is some confusion as to which ones are actually a separate species, and which ones are merely a closely related race of the same species. There is even one species, Hierochloe redolens, found in Tasmania, and an alpine species, Hierochloe alpina, found in the mountains of North America.

Packaged in a green PET bottle with white fine mist sprayer.

Suggested Uses:

1) Can be misted into the air as a liquid smudge where the burning of Sweetgrass braids is not allowed such as in hospitals or other public places where smoking is not permitted.

2) Has been used as an ingredient for cooking eg. Sweetgrass syrup, cheesecakes, tea.

3) Could be used as an ingredient in cosmetic products.

4) Makes a unique fragrance alone or blended with essential oils to be used as an air freshener for vehicles, bathrooms, etc.

5) Add to essential oil infusers along with oils or in place of them.

6) Can be sprayed on the body or hair to layer with perfume.

Sweetgrass hydrosol is available in 1- and 4- ounce sizes.

Click here to visit the Sweetgrass Hydrosol webpage.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Natural Perfumers Guild Member Cropwatch Warns of Oakmoss Being Banned in Europe

The EU Moves Closer to Banning Oakmoss

Cedarmoss growing on Cedrus atlantica in High Atlas, Morocco.
Picture: T. Burfield

Is the sale and use of fragrant lichen commodities
to become virtually illegal in Europe?

From the forthcoming Cropwatch Newsletter & by the Cropwatch Team
(with considerable help from those who have to remain anonymous)

Please note: This is an extremely long post. We're putting it here so that the serious reader may have access to the entire research paper. Those who wish to be kept up-to-date on this very serious issue yet who do not have a need for the research need only to read the Executive Summary.

The Natural Perfumers Guild urges everyone concerned about the ongoing issues in the EU regarding the banning of perfumery ingredients to subscribe to the Cropwatch Newsletter.

Aug 2008.

Executive summary.

The Scientific Committee on Cosmetic Products (SCCP) Opinion SCCP/1131/07 ‘Opinion on Oakmoss/Treemoss’ adopted at the 15th Plenary Meeting on 15th April 2008 limits the potent sensitisers atranol & chloroatranol to 2ppm in oakmoss & treemoss (and cedarmoss) products.

These SCCP proposal limits are currently unachievable by industry, reported elsewhere as being the result of a mistaken manufacturers claim. Further, they contrast with a forthcoming IFRA Purity Standard (shortly to be introduced under the 43rd IFRA Amendment) which proposes an achievable limit of 100ppm for atranol & chloroatranol respectively.

The SCCP proposal drives a stake right through the heart of perfumery art, heritage & culture, since fragrant moss (lichen) extracts are the cornerstones of both the chypre & fougère accords, so important throughout the history of perfumery. It remains to be seen whether this SCCP Opinion will be transformed into an EC edict, and therefore whether fragrant moss products have any future in Europe. Once again, the SCCP, with its impractical Opinions, is in danger of putting European aroma companies at a disadvantage in the global marketplace, unless the Commissioner can be persuaded otherwise.

Some contentious regulatory issues, 2008.

Many contentious regulatory issues concerning Health & Safety in the EU remain unresolved, causing reactions amongst professionals which range between skepticism to deep despair. Many European citizens reading this Newsletter will have been spending the past 2-3 months battling with EU’s REACH pre-registration obligations, in order that your aroma company remains in business after 1st Dec 2008. No doubt you will have been attempting to use the user un-friendly software for multiple ingredient registrations, which many have found does not work properly and is difficult or impossible for most companies to network.

Meanwhile a proposed act of cultural vandalism against the high art, history & culture of fine fragrance, via some regulatory measures which will ban citrus oil usage in cosmetics, is still hanging over the trade in the form of the phototoxic furanocoumarin issue. We can only assume any potential developments on this issue are temporarily held in abeyance whilst Brussels staff holiday-away the summer months. Ironically, recent studies have identified a number of photo-carcinogenic risks associated with several relatively common (non-aromatic) cosmetic ingredients; & it will be interesting to see if these findings are quietly ignored by the Commission in favour of continuing to pursue the existing vendetta against natural aromatic products.

A similar situation of unfair ingredient hounding applies to the ubiquitous monoterpene constituent and major component of citrus oils, limonene, allegedly a danger to the environment, and therefore classified as an R50/53 material (& also as an R38 irritant & R43 sensitiser). Certain of the more technically adept amongst the regulatory clerks who have been working on limonene’s predicament have appealed to Cropwatch for help to overcome the enveloping regulatory madness surrounding this material, whereby a set of archaic chemical tests (which bear no relation to limonene’s eventual environmental fate) are used to determine its environmental risk classification. Limonene-containing citrus oils have traditionally been used in many types of perfumes (for example, air freshners, wicks & gels) for their diffusion, lift & character, but perfumers find it difficult or impossible to use them at useful levels because of obligatory R50/53 labelling (who’s labeling incidentally depicts a dead tree, although we challenge anyone to identify any tree killed by limonene).

The same situation arguably also extends to pine oils and many other naturals. There is also a knock-on effect with the various eco-labelling systems - which are supposed to represent a form of environmental performance labelling. - since to qualify, fragrances would have to be completely free of ingredients with a R50/53 or R51/53 ’s risk classification. This results in a situation where a good proportion of individual natural ingredients are unable to be used, so that many eco-labelled perfumes are in fact 100% synthetic – possibly the opposite to what customers would expect from this form of labeling..

Meanwhile, we natural ingredient users have another piece of toxicological scare-mongering looming up at us, which is making some parts of the aroma producing industry very, very annoyed, whilst the professional perfumers amongst us wring our hands. This time the ‘anti-fragrance brigade’ is trying to completely strangle the use of fragrant lichen products in cosmetics, via a misconceived 2008 SCCP Opinion.

Oakmoss: importance in perfumery.

Oakmoss products have a solidly established place in perfumery, being the cornerstone of two renowned accords; the chypre and the fougère. In the classical chypre accord, oakmoss is blended with patchouli, labdanum and other woody animalic and ambery notes, and also often with bergamot. These combinations are the foundation of a family of several leading fine fragrances: Chypre (Coty 1917), Mitsouko (Guerlain 1919), Miss Dior (Christian Dior 1919), Ysatis (Givenchy 1984) & in the male category Aramis (Aramis 1965) & Macassar (Rochas 1980) to name but a few. In the fougère accord, striking examples of which include Fougère Royal (Houbigant 1882), Drakkar Noir (Guy Laroche 1982), and Jazz (Yves St. Laurent 1998), oakmoss is blended with coumarin, lavandaceous notes and often with salicylates. Oakmoss products also find uses in colognes, pine fragrances, Crepe de Chine, oriental and fantasy bases etc. etc. (Burfield 2000).

The importance of oakmoss in our perfumery heritage cannot be understated - indeed what are we left with if fragrant moss products are taken away (as nitro-musks and oakmoss have been, in Guerlain’s controversially reformulated Mitsouko fragrance, now a shadow of its former self). Well, we are left with a few synthetic oakmoss chemicals, such as Evernyl (methyl 2-4-dihydroxy-3-6-dimethylbenzoate) and formerly, the less popularly-utilised Orcinyl-3 (3-methoxy-5-methylphenol), which the hype from synthetic aroma chemical producers would try to persuade you ‘represent the essential character compound of oakmoss’. But, as any practicing perfumer will tell you, there is no way that any single oakmoss synthetic can offer the richness, full body and presence of authentic oakmoss commodities in use, nor approach their superior fixative properties, nor can they duplicate approach the way that oakmoss can radiate and resonate through the entire body of a fragrance.

It should also be mentioned that a range of commercial oakmoss products exists, some offering a warm, leathery-mossy character, whilst others offer have woody, mossy - almost marine-like aspects. When materials like oakmoss extracts are restricted by the exiting culture of toxicological imperialism on dubious safety grounds (and this applies also to other vital perfume ingredients such as coumarin and citrus oils - see elsewhere), the ‘art of the possible’ in perfumery’ dies back even further, with a result that fragrance companies, instead of vigorously opposing regulatory change, end-up producing cheap, conformist and essentially poor-quality perfumes with little consumer re-purchase potential, for a increasingly non-discerning market slot.

It is also important to remember, as Joulain (2002) pointed out, that many in the US did not distinguish botanically between the lichen sources of oakmoss (Evernia prunastri (L.) Arch), and the source for treemoss & cedarwood (Pseudevernia furfuracea (Fr.). This may account for the confusion on various perfume blog sites which have discussed the exact identity of the listed fragrant lichen ingredients employed in a number of classic fragrances, although, to be fair, it should also be remembered that previously oakmoss extracts have invariably been extended with synthetics, and mixed in with treemoss extracts either intentionally, or unintentionally when harvested together.

Oakmoss products have been identified amongst the most frequent fragrance contact sensitizers (Schnuch et al. 2007), although the exact chemical identity of the major allergens has been elusive. Gonçalo (1988) for example, considered that that the major sensitisers in oakmoss included atranorin, followed by usnic, evernic and fumarprotocetraric acids, but Bernard et al. (2003) note that sensitivity to oakmoss has been associated with components which hold the phenylbenzoate molecular fragment in common, including atranorin & evernic acid. In particular, Bernard et al. identified atranol & chloroatranol as strong elicitants in most patients sensitized to oakmoss, and that the oakmoss character compound methyl -orcinol carboxylate (Evernyl) is also capable of eliciting a reaction in most patients.

How widespread is our exposure to atranorin and other lichen sensitizers? Atraric acid, produced by the hydrolysis of atranorin, has been found in low concentrations of the heartwood from oak species Quercus robur & Quercus petraea used for staves in the production of oak barrels used for storage of wine & sprits (Bourgeois et al. 1999). It is likely that colonizing species such as Parmelia olivetorum and/or P. perlata produce depsides in the wood leading to atranorin accumulation.

It is also worth mentioning, as many of the more travelled amongst you will know, that according to some estimations, up to 1,000 tons/year of Parmelia nepalensis (Taylor) Hale ex Sipman is processed into lichen oil, absolute or extract in Western Nepal, and exported for global perfumery and incense use (although the lichens are also used in traditional systems of medicine). Other species such as Parmelia tinctorum Delise ex Nyl. & Usnea spp. may be co-gathered at the point of harvesting. Moxham (1986) notes the use of Parmelia nepalensis, P. nilgherrensis, Ramalina subcomplanata & Usnea lucea in India. Kumar & Muller (1999) have identified the depsides atranorin & diffractaic acid in Parmelia nepalensis & Parmelia tinctorum extracts. (N.B. note that Parmelia furfuracea is a synonym for Pseudervenia furfuracea).

A brief regulatory history of fragrant lichen products.
1. An IFRA Standard was introduced for oakmoss extracts in April 1991; the updated IFRA Standard (2001) limits oakmoss extracts to 0.1.% concentration for finished cosmetic products either left on or washed off the skin, but if oakmoss products are also present in the preparation, the combination of both must not exceed 0.1%. As the presence of resin acids seem to be unavoidable in oakmoss products, IFRA `also imposes an interim limit of 0.1%`dehydroabietic acid for oakmoss extracts.

[The forthcoming 43rd IFRA Amendment (2008) will introduce a QRA-based system of concentration limits for oakmoss extracts across 33 different fragrance product categories. Purity criteria for oakmoss products are also introduced in the 43rd IFRA Amendment in the form of limitations on the concentrations of the strong sensitizers, atranol & chloroatranol to 100ppm each].

2. The existing IFRA Standard (1991, 2001) limits treemoss extracts to 0.1.% concentration for finished cosmetic products either left on or washed off the skin, but if oakmoss products are also present in the preparation, the combination of both must not exceed 0.1%. The IFRA Standard limits dehydroabietic acid (DHA) to 0.8% in treemoss extracts as a marker of 2% of total resin acids, determined by a routine analytical method using HPLC Reverse Phase -Spectrofluorimetry method apparently available from IFRA, according to their website.

[The forthcoming 43rd IFRA Amendment (2008) will introduce a QRA-based system of concentration limits for treemoss extracts across 33 different fragranced product categories].

3. Under the 5th EC Framework Program. the EC launched a Quality of Life Initiative & Management of Living Resources key action (1999) which included a study of “Fragrance chemical allergy: a major environmental and consumer health problem in Europe” Contract No: QLK4-CT-1999-01558 (copy available from Cropwatch in case of difficulty locating it). This project led by J..P Leppoittevin employed a number of leading institutions & scientists in the field, including I.R. White (chairman of SCCP) & S.C. Rastogi (member of SCCP). This project completed in March 2003 at total cost of cost of 1, 927,280 Euros; the major part found by the EU. The project included the development and validation of a method for the identification of sensitisers in complex mixtures using the model of oak moss.

4 The SCC(NF)P at its 14th plenary meeting (24 October 2000) accepted an Opinion (SCCNFP/0421/00) concerning Oakmoss/Treemoss, that "… oakmoss/treemoss extracts, present in cosmetic products, have a well-recognised potential to cause allergic reactions in the consumer as fragrance ingredients…" The Opinion can be seen in full at

5. A scientific paper identifying atranol & chloroatranol as strong elicitants in most patients sensitized to oakmoss was released by Bernard et al. (2003). Methyl -orcinol carboxylate (= Evernyl or methyl atrarate), a principle odourant of oakmoss absolute, was also identified as an elicitant in most oakmoss sensitized patients. One of the paper’s authors (S.C. Rastogi) is an SCCP committee member.

6. A scientific paper by Bossi et al. (2003) describes the analysis of atranols in perfumes, employing LC-MS-MS with electrospray ionization (ESI) in negative mode One of the authors (S.C. Rastogi) is an SCCP committee member.

7. A scientific paper Rastogi et al. (2004) describing the analysis of 31 commercial perfume found that half the perfumes, & some eau de toilettes contained significant amounts of atranol & chloroatranol. The author, S.C. Rastogi, is an SCCP committee member).

8. Filho et al (2004) comment that the present volume of lichen extraction is (ecologically) irreversible given the slow growth of lichen.

9. The SCCP at its 2nd plenary meeting (7 December 2004) accepted an Opinion (SCCP/0847/04) on atranol and chloroatranol present in natural extracts (e.g. oakmoss and treemoss extracts) with the conclusion: “…Chloroatranol was shown to cause elicitation of reactions by repeated open exposure at the ppm level (0.0005%) and at the ppb level on patch testing (50% elicit at 0.000015%.). As chloroatranol and atranol are such potent allergens (and chloroatranol particularly so), they should not be present in cosmetic products." Cropwatch comments: We understand that the robustness of certain parts of the scientific evidence in this Opinion is being queried...

S.C. Rastogi & I.R. White were listed as member & chairman respectively of the above SCCP committee.

10. SCCP Opinion SCCP1131/07 (15th April 2008) describes an achievable reduction of atranol & chloroatranol in oakmoss extracts to <2ppm style="font-weight: bold;">Further background.

Interestingly, the scientific literature is pretty scanty on the details of fragrant lichen processing & chemistry, and for this reason Cropwatch has started a fragrant lichen bibliography, in the Cropwatch Files section of its website at This file will be continually updated - contributions, suggestions, & corrections should be directed please to

Oakmoss absolute (Mousse de chêne), concrete, resinoid etc. are derived from the lichen Evernia prunastri (L.) Arch. (Fam. Usneaceae) which grows mainly on the bark of oak trees, but also to some extent on spruces & pine trees. Nine thousand tons of oakmoss lichen is gathered annually in S. Europe, in France (formerly in the forests around Fontainebleau), as well from Calabria, Bohemia, Morocco, Algeria, and the area of former Yugoslavia & Bulgaria (Burfield 2000); however this figure may be overstated – Joulain (2002) mentions a figure of 3,000 tons, and Huneck (2001) reported that for the year 1997, 1900 tons of Pseudevernia furfuracea and 700 tons of Evernia prunastri were processed at Grasse...Some harvested E. prunastri lichen has been co-gathered with the lichen Pseudevernia furfuracea throughout Europe, but other accounts relate that Striata pulmonacea, Usnea ceratina, Ramalia farinacea, Ramalia fraxinae, Ramalia pollinaria and some Alectoria and Parmelia species are also mixed in from batch to batch (Burfield 2000). Chinese oakmoss, similar in quality to European oakmoss, is reportedly produced from Evernia mesomorpha, and is also commercially available.

Oakmoss preparation. Oakmoss lichen is not fragrant of itself, and it is only the solvent processing operation which generates the fragrant artifacts which give oakmoss its perfumery value. Ironically then, it cannot be classified as a ‘natural product’ according to the many bodies now attempting a definition of this term for the cosmetics trade, as recently reported on the Aromaconnection website.

Preparation of oakmoss concrete is via solvent hydrocarbon extraction (formerly benzene, but nowadays more often cyclohexane, or hexanes, although acetone and other solvents has been used). of the dried, or freshly wetted dried lichen. Resinoids have been obtained historically by hot solvent extraction, and fragrance synthetics have invariably been added in. Formerly, benzene extracted resinoids had found popular use in soap perfumery. Absolutes can be made directly from the concrete, or by refluxing benzene or hexane extracts with alcohol, and hot filtering out the insoluble material - removal of the alcohol give the absolute in 30-60% yield. Diluting the alcohol extract down to 80% and filtering may give a more soluble product with fewer residues, but further ethanol treatment may give a turbid extract, which when mixed with a saturated salt solution and solvent extracted (benzene was formerly used) further amounts of useful product can be obtained. The identity of the alcohol used will determine the odour - methanol gives sweeter smelling esters, and ethanol produces a sharper smelling product.

Oakmoss incolore and molecular distilled grades of oakmoss are also commercially available. Worryingly, Pybus & Sell (1999) state “with some particularly viscous concretes such as those from oakmoss or treemoss, it is more usual to dissolve the concrete in a high boiling solvent, such as bis-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, and then co-distil the product with the solvent.” Hopefully, with current public disquiet over the potential toxicity of phthalates, this practice has been discontinued.

Oakmoss chemistry. As a preface to this section, it may be pertinent to recall Joulain’s (2002) remarks to the effect that although the literature reveals qualitative information about oakmoss composition, there is little quantitative data. The fragrant compounds in oakmoss are generated by the degradative action of the solvents on the naturally occurring depsides in the moss (depsides are phenolics composed by two or three monocyclic units linked by an ester bond and derived from orsellinic acid), generating (volatile) odourous monoaryl substances.

The character impact compounds of oakmoss are considered to include methyl -orcinol carboxylate (methyl atrarate, Evernyl)) which imparts a powdery-mossy note, the monomethyl ether of -orcellinic acid, methyl & ethyl everniate, and the phenolic compounds orcinol and -orcinol. Boelens (1997) tabled the various yields from different solvent process (extraction and transesterification of the depsides) for both oakmoss and treemoss, reporting that the odour of oakmoss was preferred to treemoss by an odour panel of expert perfumers. Methyl -orcinol carboxylate was the chief component of both oakmoss absolute and treemoss absolute products (47% and 57% respectively). The quantities of 3-chloro-2,6-dihydroxy-4-methylbenzoate (Cropwatch comments: this is possibly a misprint in the original article – surely it should have been 3-chloro-2,6-dihydroxy-4-methylbenzaldehyde, or chloroatranol - 10%), 2,6-dihydroxy-4-methlbenzaldehyde (- atranol - 5% and 6% respectively) and methyl 2,4-dihydroxybenzoate (0.5% and 0.7%) were similar. Oakmoss absolute was found to contain had twice as much cembrene (2%) as treemoss absolute. A full account of the work and composition of the benzene extract and benzene/methylanol transesterification products of oakmoss can be found in an earlier paper by Boelens (1993).

Treemoss (Mousse d’arbre) Treemoss derivatives (concretes, absolutes) are mainly prepared from the lichen species Pseudevernia furfuracea (L.) Zopf. with Usnea barbata, Parmelia sulcata and other species often co-gathered in. These tree lichens can both be found living on the barks of firs and pines in Southern and Central Europe including and France and Morocco, & Balkan countries, including former Yugoslavia. Preparation of fragrant treemoss products is carried out in a similar manner to the preparation of oakmoss products, although evidence that isopropanol may be included as a processing solvent is shown by the presence of isopropyl haematommate (which does not exist in lichens) in the analysis of the weakly acidic factions of treemoss absolute (Endo et al. 1999). It should be noted that Treemoss products are generally considered inferior to oakmoss products and command a lower purchasing price.

Tabacchi (1983) acknowledged that pine products are co-gathered with treemoss, and this has caused the sensitising properties of treemoss extracts to be mis-interpreted by toxicologists at that time. More specifically, Joulain (2002) describes work confirming previous observations by Tabacchi that biosynthesized diterpenoid acids from Pinus sylvestris hosts migrate into the oakmoss lichen and assist in their oxidation. The author cites a patented process for producing a treemoss absolute with a low resin acids content but still containing high levels of atranol (0.31%) and chloroatranol (0.15%), which produced no adverse effects at 3% in a suitable solvent in a HRIPT test carried out according to the Marzulli-Maibach protocol with 158 volunteers. Joulain suggested this supported the hypopthesis that 7-oxo-dehydroabietic acid is one of the main sensitizers in treemoss extracts, and that whereas 4-10% of atranorin & chloroatranorin may be present in many treemoss concretes, during the production of absolutes, alcoholysis of the depsides in hot ethanol reduces their content to a level such that they are undetectable by HPLC.

Cedarmoss qualities are derived from Pseudevernia furfuracea Ach. growing on the Atlas cedarwood tree Cedrus atlantica, found mainly in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Solvent extraction produces the resinoid (cyclohexane is used as solvent by some manufacturers), followed by distillation to produce an ‘absolute’ although other methods for obtaining the absolute are used. Often sweeter than corresponding oakmoss products, it is used in similar perfumery applications.

IFRA Standards for cedarmoss extracts apply exactly as for treemoss extracts, the logic being that they both originate from Pseudevernia furfuracea (Fr.). Because it may not be collected exclusively on cedar trees, cedarmoss invariably contains pine twigs and wood fragments which affect the properties & odour of the ingredient.

Bernard G., Giménez-Arnau E., Rastogi S.C., Heydorn S., Johansen J.D., Menné T., Goossens A., Andersen K., Lepoittevin J.P. (2003) "Contact allergy to oak moss: search for sensitizing molecules using combined bioassay-guided chemical fractionation, GC-MS, and structure-activity relationship analysis." Archives of dermatological research 295(6), 229-235

Boelens M. (1997): “Production, chemistry and sensory properties of natural isolates” in Flavours and Fragrances ed Kjarl A.D. Swift publ. Royal Society of Chemistry Publications 1997.

Boelens M. (1993) “Formation of volatile componds from oakmoss” Perf & Flav 18(1) 27-30.

Bourgeois G., Suire C., Vivas N. & Vitry C. (1999) "Atraric acid, a marker for epiphytic lichens in the wood used in cooperage: Identification and quantification by GC/MS/(MS)." Analusis 27, 281-283.

Bossi R., Rastogi S.C., Guillaume B., Gimenez-Arnau E., Johansen J.D., Lepoittevin J.-P., Menne T. (2003) "A liquid chromatography-mass spectrometric method for the determination of oak moss allergens atranol and chloroatranol in perfumes." Journal of Separation Science 27(7-8), 537-540. .
Burfield T. (2000) Natural aromatic materials – origins & odours. Publ. AIA, Tampa 2000.

Endo H., Andatsu M. & Ishihara M. “Chemical components of treemoss absolute”, (1999).” 43rd TEAC Oita Japan.

Filho L.X., Pereira E.C., Vicente C., & Legaz M.-E. (2004) "Synthesis of methyl-3-orsellinate by organic synthesis or by altered biosynthetic pathways using lichen immobilisates." ARKIVOC 2004 (vi) 5-11.

Gonçalo S. (1988) “Contact sensitivity to oakmoss” Contact Dermatitis 19, 355-7.

Huneck S (2001).. Progr. Chem. Org. Nat. Prod. 81, 1.

Joulain D. & Guillamon N. (2002) "Pseudevernia furfuracea ("treemoss") resinoid in fragrance compounding: Analytical issues." Presented at 46th TEAC Symposium Tokushima, Japan (2002).

Joulain D. (2002) “Stable Isotopes for determining the origin of flavour & fragrance components: recent findings.” In: Advances in flavours & fragrances from the sensation to the synthesis.ed. Karl A.D. Swift publ. Royal Soc. Chem 2002. Section 5 is: “The case of a natural raw material for fragrances: lichen resinoids.”

Joulain D., Guillamon N., Casazza A. & Tabacchi R. (2005) “New insight in the knowledge of the qualitative and quantitative composition of oakmoss resinoids.” 36th International Symposium on Essential Oils, 4-7 September, Budapest, Hungary.

Kumar S.K.. & Muller K. (1999) “Lichen metabolites. 1. Inhibitory action against leukotriene B4 biosynthesis by a non-redox mechanism.” Journal of Natural Products 62(6), 817-820.

Moxham T.H. (1986) “The commercial exploitation of lichens for the perfume industry.” In Progress in Essential Oil Research Walter de Gruyter Berlin – NY (1986).

Pybus D. & Sell C. (1999) The chemistry of fragrances. Pub Royal Soc. Chemistry (GB) p37:

Rastogi S.C., Bossi R., Johansen J.D., Menné T., Bernard G., Giménez-Arnau E., Lepoittevin J.P.. (2004) "Content of oak moss allergens atranol and chloroatranol in perfumes and similar products." Contact Dermatitis 50(6):367-70

Schnuch A., Uter W., Geier J, Lessmann H. & Frosch PJ. (2007) "Sensitization to 26 fragrances to be labelled according to current European regulation. Results of the IVDK and review of the literature." Contact Dermatitis 57(1), 1-10.

Tabacchi J. (1983) “Contributions to the knowledge of chemical composition of tree moss Pseudoervinia furfuranaceae L. Zopf.” Proceedings of 9th International Congress of Essential Oils Singapore 65-68. (1983).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Natural Perfumers Guild Associate Member Basenotes Named in the "Top 50 Websites" by Men's Vogue Magazine

Men's Vogue Recognizes Guild Member Basenotes as a Lifestyle Website "Top 50"

Basenotes, originally started by Grant Osborne in August 2000 as a site to chat about men's fragrances, evolved over the years to become one of the perfume world's premier sites, and now includes women's fragrances, forums, news, columns and much more. This status was recognized in the August, 2008 issue of Men's Vogue, when Basenotes was named in the Top 50 Lifestyle Websites worldwide by Men's Vogue magazine.

To quote:

"Basenotes is perhaps the most comprehensive guide to fragrances on the Web. It houses and curates thousands of user comments, reviews, and discussions on over 11,570 scents from hundreds of perfumers worldwide. A handy news ticker on the right-hand side scrolls fragrance-industry news, while features, interviews, and columns reside center page. An excellent resource for scent novices and experts alike."

Others joining Basenotes on the list include the BBC, The Huffington Post, Boing Boing and Open Table. All the sites receive heavy traffic due to their focused content and ability to draw both return and new visitors. Basenotes receives anywhere from two- to three million hits a month, serving the perfume community as a main source of news on perfume topics and forum for discussion of perfumista trivia, sourcing and sales announcements.

Guild President Anya McCoy writes a regular column on Basenotes, Natural Perfume Notes.

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Natural Perfumers Guild Redesigned Website is Launched 8/8/08

The Natural Perfumers Guild website is relaunched today with a new design more reflective of the botanical nexus of the aromatics used in the creation of natural perfumes. Streamlined and artistic, the site offers the visitor a dazzling array of gallery images of the perfumers, suppliers and associates linked from the Member List page. Other elements found on the site include the FAQ, Apply, News link (this blog has replaced the posting of news on the site), information about educators in natural perfumery, and much more. Here is a screenshot of the home page, above. The backgrounds of each page vary from patchouli to damask rose, and new botanical images will be added in the future.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

JoAnne Bassett, Professional Perfumer in the Natural Perfumers Guild, Launches Bath and Body Care Line

July 23, 2008
JoAnne Bassett launches a new Bath and Body care line to compliment her natural fragrances. All of the fragrances now have matching Luxury Silk Lotion, Luxury Ultra Thick Crème, Luxury Shower Gel, and Luxury Body and Bath Oils. This makes it possible to layer the scent for ultimate pampering. JoAnne's custom perfume scents are now offered in the new bath and body products also.

The new line is made using all natural, ethically harvested, and wild and organic ingredients. Some products in the line are certified vegan. All products are free of harsh synthetic chemicals, parabens, mineral oils, synthetic colors and fragrances, and phthalates.

Also launching is a new Luxury Skin Care line that is organic and some of the products are certified vegan. The line includes Luxury Gentle Milk Cleanser, Luxury Multi-Tea Crème Cleanser, Luxury Chocolate Body Butter Scrub, and Luxury Virgin Coconut Sugar Scrub.

JoAnne Bassett features in the launch a Home Products line featuring A Tuscan Fantasy Room Perfume, Bliss Room Perfume, and Passion Room Perfume. These Room Perfumes are all natural and rest in an organic grape alcohol base.

There is also a new Green Products line of stainless steel water bottles and insulated totes as part of her brand.
These new lines were formulated to be good for you and the environment.

JoAnne Bassett, natural perfumes
Change your life!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Guild Perfumer Dominique Dubrana Shares Instructions on How to Build a "Traveling" Folding Perfume Organ

Dominique Dubrana of Italy, a Professional Perfumer in the Guild has generously shared a step-by-step pictorial on how to construct a a traveling folding perfume organ. This item could be useful for bringing aromatics to venues such as trade shows, fairs or to a client for custom perfume. You can find the photos with instructions on Dubrana's website. There is also a short video on the page that shows how to make custom perfume labels.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Mary Forrest of Secret Garden Soap Featured in Gainesville Times

Natural Perfumers Guild Charter Member Mary Forrest of Secret Garden Soap was recently featured in an online pictorial illustrating the soap making process in the Gainesville Times.

The article is a fact-filled description of the proper way to create homemade soap and Mary emphasizes that she uses only natural aromatics, a basic policy of the Guild. The final quote in the article drives home the Guild slogan "Slow Scent" when Mary states about the luxurious texture and scent of her soaps:

"To me, it's the difference between homemade food and fast food."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Natural Perfumers Guild Joins in the Effort to Stop the FDA's Global Harmonization Act of 2008

Anya McCoy, President of the Guild, took part in a telephone conference today that had as its core focus addressing the harmful effects the FDA Global Harmonization Act of 2008 will have on small body care and toiletry businesses. If implemented, this Act will force many of the hand made artisan cosmetics businesses to close, due to unreasonable fees of $2000 to $12,000.

This blog entry is to announce that the Natural Perfumers Guild formally is taking a stance to:


The NPG is pooling our membership roll, and also that of the Natural Perfumery Yahoo group into building a groundswell of grassroots efforts to give us strength in numbers as we work towards stopping the FDA. The most articulate message released so far on this subject is by the President of the Indie Beauty Network, Donna Maria Coles Johnson, and I urge you to visit her blog and view the video she prepared on this issue.

Then, PLEASE sign the petition on that site, and don't forget to use your full name and city and state.

The short story? This GHA will effectively put many of the small perfumery, body care and associated cosmetics companies out of business because of a Draconian $2000-$12,000 fee they are planning to levy for "registration." It is obviously a ploy by the big-name corporate "natural" body care industry folks to destroy the hand-made artisan businesses that take a chunk of their business away. Many of them forget they started out as we did, small businesses. We need to reach out to our legislators, the media and even our neighbors and customers to let them know about this unjust fee that will wipe out a majority of body care/cosmetics businesses.

The shutting down of our businesses will have a ripple effect in this economy that will be disastrous.

Again, please sign the petition and bookmark this blog and the Indie Beauty blog for updates. We are planning a lot of activities and pro-active actions in the next year, and your support is needed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Natural Perfumery Class in Italy - Conducted in English

Dominique Dubrana, a Professional Perfumer in the Natural Perfumers Guild will be offering classes in Natural Perfumery in Italy in October. The classes will be conducted in English. Here is the announcement from the teacher:

Dear Friends,

Following several other requests that my Natural Perfumery course should be held in English, I have decided to do so.

It will be on 11 and 12 October 2008 in Rimini Italy.

The course is held at the Holiday Inn Rimini, by the seaside near the port.

The participant to the course who want to have their stay at the Holiday Inn can beneficiate of a lower rate, from a special convention that we have with the hotel.

You can see the course program at the pages:

Natural Perfumery Course 1
Natural Perfumery Course 2

For any information about the course you can contact us at

Tel. + 39 0541 86 30 13


Email :

You can contact the hotel at:

Toll Free Number: 800-017329
Toll Free Fax Number: 800-210988

Best regards

D. Dubrana

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Natural Perfumers Guild Establishes Grant Program

photo of women carrying kewda pandanus blossoms to distillery in India
photo courtesy Christopher McMillan

Anya McCoy, President of the Natural Perfumers Guild is happy to announce that a percentage of Guild membership fees will be distributed to aromatic plant growers and distillers around the world. This project will be coordinated by a Guild member who will help identify and disburse the funds. Of particular interest are businesses in the Third World, because a microgrant there may mean the difference between being able to purchase fertilizer, a farm implement, seed or a distillation unit part that is needed - or not being able to purchase same.

"I have spoken with Guild Founder Mandy Aftel about this program, and she agrees that giving back to those who produce the aromatics so critical to our art is a step towards providing a future for them and us. The Guild will also move forward to solicit funds from Guild members that will be granted to the recipients with acknowledgment of both the Guild and the donor member" says McCoy.

The Guild microgrants are intended to help any business associated with the production of natural aromatics and their extraction in a form used by perfumers and body care artisans. Disbursal of funds will begin September 1, 2008. A statement detailing the program will be published by the Guild before then, and input from Guild members is welcome as we all work towards providing help with this grassroots effort to promote and support the production of natural aromatics worldwide.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Natural Perfumers Guild Member Allured Publishing - Great Discounts on books 20% off through the end of December 2008

The Steffen Arctander book Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origin is widely regarded as the natural perfumers bible. Click here for the Arctander book on

Coupon code: anyaperfume which offers 20% on all Allured books has been extended until the end of December 2008.

The discount includes the new Charles Sell book Understanding Fragrance Chemistry. There are page samples and TOC online for customers to check it out.
Click here for the Sell book on

Friday, June 20, 2008

Reminder: Natural Perfumers Guild Supplier Allured Publishing Offers 20% off all books Through July 15, 2008

Reminder - only three weeks left on this special 20% off offer:

The Natural Perfumers Guild is pleased to announce that Guild Supplier Allured Publishing, the leader in the industry for books, journals and reference materials is offering 20 percent off all books through July 15, 2008.

Allured has proven to be responsive to the individual needs of natural perfumers through the welcome decision they made a few years ago to separate out Steffen Arctander's Perfume and Flavor Materials of Natural Origins. A Guild member contacted them with the request to make that one volume out of the three volume set available separately since we did not require the two other volumes that dealt with synthetic aroma chemicals. They graciously did so, and we forged a relationship with them that is now expanded beyond the Guild requirements and those of the Yahoo Natural Perfumery book to the entire industry.

Any book, any subject - this is not limited to perfumery.

Any book is now available at 20 percent off through July 15
. Just enter the code anyaperfume in the voucher area at checkout and continue checkout for your discount to appear.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"What the Nose Knows" book review

Natural Perfumers Guild President Anya McCoy, a regular contributor to Basenotes, has written a review of a book that is of interest to the perfume community and also those who regard themselves as "nose-governed." Written by scent psychologist Dr. Avery Gilbert, "What the Nose Knows" is an entertaining look at the sense of smell, the most misunderstood and under-investigated of our senses. Due for release in the US on June 24th, Basenotes has scooped the book community by being the first to post McCoy's lively and fun review.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Position Paper Released: Towards a Definition of Natural Perfumery and Self Regulation in the Industry

For the past few months a number of people have contributed to a document that both strives to help define natural perfumery and has self regulation of the industry as goals. The approach we decided on by general concensus was to take a very gentle approach at this time by providing a brief narrative and the definitions we arrived at.

This document is being released on June 1, 2008, the 2nd Anniversary of the Natural Perfumers Guild and we are very pleased to present this to others in the industry and all interested parties to communicate the nurturing and forward-thinking steps the Guild is making in the protection of our art and our products in the worldwide marketplace.

Defining Natural Perfumery and
Recognizing the Need for Self Regulation

A Position Paper

Issued by The Natural Perfumers Guild

June 1, 2008


Perfumery, as an art and profession, has a long and distinguished history. For the thousands of years perfumers have practiced their art, nature has been both their inspiration and the source of their materials. From simple mixes of basic raw materials to exquisite and complex blends of painstakingly prepared distillates, perfumes and perfumed products have enriched our lives and the lives of our predecessors, making them sweeter, fuller, and more enjoyable. Perfumers’ creations were used in temples, palaces and ordinary homes; their containers are found among the artifacts of most ancient civilizations.

In the mid-1800’s, scientists began to separate natural raw materials into their component parts, isolating aromachemicals such as coumarin and vanillin. Within a few decades, scientists found ways to create these aromachemicals without using natural source materials, resulting in the first synthetic perfumery ingredients. With the commercial demands of modern perfumery dictating their choices, perfumers switched from creating perfumes exclusively from natural materials to creating perfumes that were largely or entirely synthetic.

Fortunately, natural raw materials continued to be grown, processed and distributed. Interest in natural perfumery among perfumers and consumers has increased and now an ever-growing number of perfumers wish to create perfume using only rich, complex and evocative natural ingredients.

Natural perfumers seek definition of their art while consumers seek information that can help them navigate the complex fragrance marketplace. Definition and information on standards for natural aromatics in perfumery have not been readily available from reliable, independent sources. This document is the first step in both defining natural perfumery and proposing self-regulation for the industry. Subsequent documents will address additional important industry definitions and standards, such as safety, environmental concerns, raw material and product testing, and manufacturing processes.

The Guild is issuing this document for further discussion and consideration as a standard for defining natural perfume and the adoption of uniform language for self-regulation.

General Definitions:

• Natural perfumery is the art of blending fragrance ingredients of natural origin (see below) to create aesthetically pleasing natural fragrance compounds used to fragrance a full range of industry products from fine perfume to personal and household products. The natural fragrance compound is the aromatic foundation for fragrant natural products and naturally fragranced products (see below).

• Fragrance ingredients of natural origin include:

o Botanical raw materials, such as flowers, barks, seeds, leaves, twigs, roots, rinds, etc.
o Soil derivatives, such as mitti
o Exuded materials from plants, such as oleoresins, balsams, and gums
o Animal derivatives, such as ambergris and Hyraceum tinctures and absolutes
o Essential oils derived from botanical raw materials by dry, steam, or water distillation or by mechanical processes
o Other forms of essential oils, such as rectified oils, bacterially fermented oils, fractional distillations, molecular distillations, isolates, terpene-less oils, and folded oils
o Distillates, such as hydrosols
o Tinctures derived by macerating a botanical raw material in ethanol, such as tincture of vanilla
o Infusions derived by macerating a botanical raw material in a wax such as jojoba or a fixed oil
o Concretes, pomades, absolutes, and resinoids, all extracted from botanical raw materials using a solvent other than water, followed by removal of the solvent by distillation. Solvents may include hexane, CO2 and others.
o Attars, rhus, and choyas

• A fragrant natural product is made by combining a natural fragrance compound with a wholly natural carrier. A fragrant natural product may be labeled “natural” (e.g. natural perfume, natural soap, natural massage oil, room spray, linen spray, etc.)

• A naturally fragranced product is made by combining a natural fragrance compound with a partly or wholly synthetic carrier. A naturally fragranced product may be labeled “naturally fragranced” (e.g. naturally fragranced perfume, naturally fragranced soap, naturally fragranced massage oil, etc.)

• Carriers are used to deliver fragrance as well as function to the user of a fragranced product. Some carriers are simple and natural (such as ethanol from grain, grapes, sugar beets or sugar cane; expressed oils; waxes) and some are simple and partly or fully synthetic (such as synthetic ethanol, some specially denatured alcohols, silicone fluids). Some carriers also are more complex and can be wholly natural, or partly or wholly synthetic.

Complex carriers include creams and lotions, soaps, shampoos, deodorants, incense, botanical potpourri, and more.

Note: The definition of “natural carrier” is evolving. Numerous organizations have promulgated definitions and standards. The Natural Perfumers Guild does not endorse any particular definition or standard at this time.

• Any fragrant product made with a wholly natural carrier and a partly or wholly synthetic fragrance compound may use the term “natural” on its label in reference solely to the carrier, provided that the label must clearly state “contains synthetic fragrance” (e.g., natural soap, contains synthetic fragrance).

• Any fragrant product made with a partly or wholly synthetic carrier and a partly or wholly synthetic fragrance compound may not use the term “natural” on its label.


Thanks to Steve Earl, Mandy Aftel, Janita Haan, Patricia West, Tony Burfield, Robert Tisserand, Nancy Brooks and the others who contributed to this document.