Tuesday, December 28, 2010


After receiving an email from Nathan Branch, I have put this blog back online. He made a great point about incoming links from other blogs, and I had not even considered all of the angles. So I will keep it up. Sorry for any inconvenience. Best, Liz Zorn

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Meerschaum Giveaway

Just a reminder to send in your entry for the Meerschaum Draw. After checking the mail today I have several entries already. Very exciting. If the turn out is big we may add another bottle to the draw..

Winding Down

Now that I have the new Soivohle blog set up, I really have no need for two perfume blogs, so this one will be going the way of the Dodo bird. I plan to incorporate all Scentual Artistry News on that blog with a special page devoted to our downtown space. I will be keeping Beacons Blog, as I like to contribute musings from time to time as well as share our rescue efforts.
My attention will shift in the coming months as I spend more and more time downtown, and less time here at the home base.
Now that I am set up to formulate in the new space I can work there as well as be open for retail business. It will be a big shift for me, and I will be taking little Beacon with me a lot. He is not all that fond of the space now. Being out of his element scares him and he hides behind the scent bar when I have him down there with me. But he is resilient and will be capturing the hearts of everyone in no time.
So in a few days I will be deleting this blog, If you want to follow us there is an option to do so on the soivohle blog at the top of the page. Just click in the orange Feed Box and sign up.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thoughts on the IFRA Restrictions

There is a blogging project underway "Outlaw" organized by folks in the Natural perfumers Guild. It shines a light on the IFRA (International Fragrance Association) restrictions on natural materials. Things like Jasmine Flower Oil, Orange Oil, Lemon, Ylang Ylang, Cinnamon and a host of others. And as a participatory exercise several members have created perfumes with materials from the list of restrictions. This list is so long and arduous that it would be near impossible to create a natural perfume without at least a handful of these materials.
I personally use these materials in my compositions, usually within the guidelines listed by the IFRA, but not always, and not in a hap-hazard way that would cause harm to anyone. Not that these materials are harmful. Some of them (citrus mostly) are phototoxic, which means that they may with some individuals in the right setting/climate, cause a reaction that heightens the effects of the sun on skin, or may cause blotching. Others (oils) are considered irritants, and may or may not cause contact dermatitis, (itchy skin or a rash).  The interesting thing is that these natural oils have been used for centuries, not only for use in perfumed products, but in medicinal preparations as well as preparations for the skin. One such material is Peru Balsam Oil. The balsam is restricted by the IFRA for use in perfumery, yet it is used in topical skin ointments like Granulex. Which is a wound ointment that is supposed to have an anti-bacterial effect as well as generating new skin growth. This is used by humans as well for Eczema and topical rashes. So here we have a material Peru Balsam that is supposed to cause a rash, and at the same time treating a rash.  Doesn't make a lot of sense. Nothing about the IFRA restrictions on natural materials make sense. Except if you are a chemical company, then it makes a lot of sense. Chemical companies who create molecules in the lab are in direct competition with the farmers and distillers of natural aromatics. Not to mention that perfume houses can use cheap chemicals instead of complex natural oils, in the creation of their perfumes. It keeps costs down and profits high. It is also an easier way to make perfume. Simple ingredients, simple compositions. It can all be done by way of a computer program. Who needs difficult artistic minded perfumers when they can have a handful of  low wage chemists doing the job. To them it is a no brainer, and has been working out quite well the last twenty or so years.
As a perfumer who uses both natural and synthetic materials I find it strange that there would be this divide. At the end of the day the important thing should be the quality of the product. But it isn't it's about greed.
My biggest concern isn't the side effects of natural materials, because I have been working with them since the 1970's. My only gripe is that Lavender makes me sneeze. But only when I am working with essential oil. In a perfume it doesn't bother me in the least. As I am certain is true with many restricted oils used in proper dilution and with caution and common sense. My concern as I was saying is in the way this information filters down to the individual. Often times through blogs and as a way to scare people as in the new FDA Cosmetics Code regulations that a not so on the up and up group is trying to push through congress.
I am contacted all the time by customers and potential customers about the ingredients in our perfumes. One lady that I spoke with recently was concerned about the harmful effects of Jasmine. When I explained that it may cause a skin rash, she seemed relieved.
I use Jasmine all the time, I put it in my bath water, in my hair, spray it on my sheets. Jasmine is a beautiful thing. One of the most beautiful that mother nature has to offer. Many of these natural oils are so beautiful, so regal, that is seems a crime to debase and demonize them in such a way as is being done with these restrictions. The crime is not in whether or not a rose oil may or may not cause ones skin to itch, but in the sociopathological way in which some humans disconnect themselves from the earth. We were born here, and are made up of the same chemical compounds, molecules and atoms as the plants. And unless they have turned on us the way they did in the M. Night Shyamalan movie "The Happening"  We have a heck of a lot more in common with them (plants) than not.
It is heartbreaking to think that these big greedy corporations are having their way with us all.  Trying to regulate us in to straight jackets while they live high on the hog, and I bet lavishing themselves with all sorts of rare and exotic oils.
So I say good luck to the "Outlaw" Perfumers and their project, I hope it garners a lot of attention and opens the door for new dialogue. God knows we need it.

Oh Yeah!...one last note... Go out and roll around in the grass if you can, I guarantee it will do you a lot more good than harm. Sniff a few flowers while you're at it, heck rub some mint between your fingers, pull an orange off the tree and eat it. Then think about this. You just broke a lot of IFRA rules, and are probably covered with all sorts of restricted materials.
How dumb is that, really!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Box It

More Holiday news: Seems like each day I get a little closer to having things in place. Today I added our Little Black Box back to the Soivohle website. This is the same one that was photographed so nicely by Nathan Branch awhile back. At that time it was part of our regular sample program. Now it is strictly a gift box. Five screw cap vials, individually wrapped in our signature red mango leaf paper.  Each via contains 1ml of essence, and the box is shipped in a black velvet pouch. Gift boxing is available by request. They are available in a mix and match, same as our Coffret, and as some preselected collections. But that's not all, I have added a couple of images of our gift boxing. Which is a gloss black box (various sizes) with a quality pewter packing paper. We also have a white set up gift box for large orders. The reason it has taken so long is resizing our new logo and printing the labels. All have the new distressed flower image, as seen on the Absolutes, Demis and Specialty Scents. Our Studio Collection has not changed, yet also carries this same flower motif, but in a lighter color. We are offering free gift boxing through the holidays, and will also ship to your party. Just provide us with all of the pertinent information and we will take care of it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Scentual Artistry Holiday Open House

For the info on entering the draw check out the What's New Page at soivohle.com http://www.soivohle.com/whatsnew.html
Hope to see everyone there!