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Santosh Herbal Chypre Newsletter

Santosh Perfume: An Herbal Chypre

Old Tunes

"As the waves of perfume, heliotrope, rose,
Float in the garden when no wind blows,
Come to us, go from us, whence no one knows;

So the old tunes float in my mind,
And go from me leaving no trace behind,
Like fragrance borne on the hush of the wind.

But in the instant the airs remain
I know the laughter and the pain
Of times that will not come again.

I try to catch at many a tune
Like petals of light fallen from the moon,
Broken and bright on a dark lagoon,

But they float away -- for who can hold
Youth, or perfume or the moon's gold?"

Sara Teasdale(1920)


The next phase in the creation of our Chypre Perfume is to build the middle tier accord which gives added smoothness, depth and tenacity to the composition while contributing soft, precious woods, slighty rich herbaceous, musky notes to the tangy, resinous elegant mossy-earthy notes of the first accord (labdanum, oakmoss and bergamot/lime):

Chypre Middle Accord
2 ounces patchouli co2
         (or any patchouli one might like)
1 ounce sandalwood eo
1/8th ounce ambrette seed co2
1/16th angelica root organic eo

For the sake of olfactory knowledge one may wish to let this accord mature a month before adding it to the Chypre Base accord. The changes in this composition are not so marked as one might notice in the Base Accord but the composition will go through transitions none the less and it is worthwhile studying the changes over a period of time. One needs to exercise great caution in using angelica root because it can easily dominate a composition even in minute amounts.

If one can contain their enthusiasm, then after the 1 month period of maturation and adding it to the Chypre Base one could allow another month to pass to see how the two meld together. I repeating the recipe for the Chypre Base below:

Chypre Base(from the March Newsletter)
3 ounces bergamot essential oil
1.5 ounces oakmoss absolute
1 ounce lime essence essential oil
3/4 ounce labadanum "amber note" absolute

Finally you add in the herbaceous tier:

Chypre Herbal Top Tier
1/2 ounce Geranium eo
1/4 ounce Davana eo
1/2 ounce Hyssop eo
1/4 ounce Basil eo
1/4 ounce Lavender eo
1/2 ounce Hops co2
3/4 ounce Rosemary verbenone eo

Again if one can exercise some patience they will receive a lot of benefit and enjoyment from studying the Herbal Tier for a one month period of time as the different aromatic components meld together. I have added the full amount of the(3 ounces) of the Herbal Top Tier because I wanted this delicioius note to pervade the base and middle tiers but one can begin by adding 1.5 ounce of the blend-wait a week and see how the 3 tiers mature together and then add more in .5 ounce increments if desired. (allowing a week to pass between each addition)

Santosh Herbal Chypre Perfume
So we have altogether:

Chypre base blend    6 1/4 oz.

Chypre middle tier blend   3 3/ 16 oz.

Chypre herbal top tier blend  3 oz.

I call the resulting Herbal Chypre Perfume blend Santosh, which means "contentment".


Working with Ounces, Drams, Etc.
If one prefers they need not work in ounce measurements as I am doing but develop any system they like.

One could for instance get a set of measuring spoon set that ideally has both metric and conventional systems engraved on them like is offered by Amazon.com

This is the CIA Masters Collection 6 Spoon Set which has
1 tablespoon-15 ml-1/2 ounce
1/2 tablespoon-7.5 ml-1/4 ounce
1 teaspoon-5 ml-1/6th ounce
1/2 teaspoon-2.5 ml-1/12th ounce
1/4 teaspoon-1.25 ml-1/24th ounce
1/8 teaspoon-.6 ml-1/48th ounce

One might also procure a set of bottle that one could use as a standard of measurement in dram measurement sizes:

1/2 dram-1/16 ounce
1 dram-1/8 ounce ounce
2 drams-1/4 ounce
4 drams-1/2 ounce
8 drams-1 ounce
Bottles in all sizes are available from companies like Speciality Bottle Company

There is perhaps no perfect measuring system for people working in smaller quantities as most of us are but one can develop a system of ratios that works for them and after one does so it is important to be consistent in how one measures their materials so that to some extent one may be able to repeat their successes.

It is very important to remember though that in the realm of natural perfumery one may never be able to exactly replicate what they have done before from an olfactory standpoint because the botanical essences one uses tend to vary in their aromatic properties according to many factors including the country from which they come, the manner in which they are distilled or extracted, the year that they were harvested, their age, etc. This can be very frustrating but it can also be a source of great creative satisfaction. If one is expecting exact repeatability they best not venture into the realm of natural perfumery but if one wishes to participate in a truly lovely creative process and learn to expand their aromatic horizons throughout their entire life then natural perfumery is a source of great joy.

For instance in the above formulas one has the option to use the essences of the same plant distilled or extracted by different means. Patchouli is available as a co2 extract, absolute, and essential oil each which has their own distincy olfactory characteristics. This fine herb is grown in India, Indonesia, China and several other countries and the soil types existing there along with the method of growth and fermenation also influence its aromatic properties. So even with this one essence one can significantly alter how the odor of perfume in which it is used. This is what makes such perfumery creations so interesting, vibrant and alive.

Please remember that the information that is being shared is from a person who is engaging in this work simply for the pleasure of it. What I am offering in terms of formulas etc is not necessarily to be exactly copied. It is a starting point for experimentation-a gentle nudge to proceed into an enchanting world of discovery where one can enjoy the work they are engaged and also share their gifts with others.

Kabir Sahib has explained it this way: if you go to a perfume vendor's shop, he may not give you any perfume but you will return home with some of the fragrance. However, if he gives a small bottle of that perfume, then?