I invite you to visit this exhibition and discover the differences in perfume bottle designs during these two important periods of the 20th Century: Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
"Most people in the West do not realize that not all perfume is alcohol-based. In fact, alcohol-based perfumes are probably not the top selling fragrances in the world, at least not historically.
Alcohol-based perfumery is more of a modern French- or British-style of perfumery compounding, where the fragrance is in an alcohol base, and then atomized onto the skin. In the world of perfumery…this is actually a rather modern convention.
Historically, fragrances were oil-based. Materials were extracted into both vegetal oils or animal fats.
There is an old distillation style predominant in India where materials are distilled into Sandalwood oil – better known as Attar-style distillation.
In Muslim cultures, where alcohol is not used – there is a style of perfumery compounding that is alcohol-free, and composed entirely of oil extracts, or that use Sandal or Oud oil as a base (rather than alcohol or carrier oil). These oils are generally referred to as Attar or Mukhallats. It is this style of perfumery that I am most drawn to.
Historically – this is actually the most accurate form of perfumery for the better part of the past 5000 years.
Personally, I use Sandalwood oil as my base medium, into which other materials are compounded to create a fragrance. Although I do make alcohol-based products in the more familiar 50mL or 100mL bottles – most of my products are only 3mL. Sounds like a small amount – but their concentrated nature allows for a more sound and sustainable use of rare materials, and due to the potency – only a small drop is needed for an all-day wear. They are incredibly economical, and richly decadent.
I find this Attar-style to be the most luxurious way to wear a fragrance, and it enables me to use the most premium ingredients in a financially feasible manner. The greatest gifts come in small bottles, right? " said JK Delapp, Certified Natural Perfumer in an interview.
Exclusive Interview with JK Delapp
How did you start? What was the first scent that made you decide to become a perfumer? When was that?
I got started initially in the kitchen cooking at a young age. This grew to compounding various simple fragrances on the top of a dresser of mine, in my bedroom. This eventually grew to making larger batches of things in the kitchen – and later to grow into a larger business with global reach.
You are a natural perfumer, so when did you make the choice to become a natural perfumer instead of following the majority of the brands making synthetic perfumes. What led you to make this choice?
At a pretty young age, I had started making a number of my own products in an effort to “cut out the crap” – unnecessary synthetics and other additives that I felt weren’t going to be good for my health. This started in the kitchen for me, learning how to cook and make things from scratch - and over the years, I began to take control in other aspects of my life by creating the level of quality products I wanted. I still use and sell animal musk but I am in the process of changing to become 100% animal cruelty free. Follow me !
Fast forward many years – I had entered a Chinese Medical School at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine to become a physician of a more naturally minded medical model. During our many years of training, we had to memorize every imaginable detail about several hundred herbal and medical substances. Every detail from the individual and combined medical functions, how materials behaved when combined with other materials, various preparation methods, even the Chinese Pin Yin / Common English and Latin/Scientific Names of the materials.
It was the names that began to connect the dots for me. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the innumerable materials I was becoming intimately familiar with – were the very same materials that formed the backbone of multiple global industries – namely those of the Pharmaceutical, Nutraceutical, Fragrance and Flavor, the Incense industry (a massive and often overlooked industry) – even our culinary industry (imagine what food would taste like without the Spice Trade!?). Several global gazillion dollar industries – all built on the back of something not many give two seconds of thought to…herbs.
School trains us to be physicians – however, I recognized that my education was in many ways like the background of pharmacists and chemists. Ever had a Coca Cola? Know who invented it – or why? The original Coca Cola was invented by a pharmacist and made from various herbal extracts as a treatment for Morphine Addictions, which were very common after the American Civil War (1861-1865).
How about Toothpaste, or Shampoo? Both modern versions of formulations taken straight out of the Ayurvedic medical tradition. How about Baby Powder? Or Indian Attars (primarily used in India as Medicine and Flavor additives to everything from Tobacco to Ice Cream)?
I started to see herbs and their various extracted forms as building blocks to something much, much larger than what I was being trained for.
It was in Chinese Medical School that I came to this realization – nearly our entire world is built on the back of herbs. Didn’t take me long to figure out that an Essential Oil or an Absolute was just another form of an herbal extract. This realization helped me take the leap from making some of my own simple fragrances and products – to wanting to make a much more complex natural perfume.
The Rising Phoenix was (re)born in 2011 with the goal of entering the various global industries built upon the simplicity of herbal extracts.
What does Rising Phoenix mean?
When I first started the company – my brother helped get it up and running. His Chinese Astrological Sign is that of a Dragon. Mine is that of a Rooster (a Phoenix). In Chinese Astrology – Dragons and Phoenixes are the best business partners.
The Phoenix is also the age-old symbol of the Alchemist – for it is through Fire that all things are Reborn. As a Chinese Medical Pharmacist – I consider myself more of an Alchemist than as a Chemist, as I deal more with the relationships between whole substances, rather than through chemical isolates.
The Phoenix is also the symbol of the Incense Tradition – for it is “through smoke” that we communicate with the Divine. Ironically – Perfume is Latin for “per fumum” – an homage to the link between incense and modern day fragrance, as Incense compounding is believed to have come before the modern version of compounding fragrant extracts. I happen to draw quite a bit of my inspiration from the old incensory compounding traditions – which in many Asian cultures have both medical and spiritual applications, as well as the simple pleasure of enjoying fragrance.
Lastly – I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia – a city that was burned to the ground during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Atlanta has grown to be a hugely influential global city, “arising” from it’s own ashes.
As luck would have it…the Symbol for the City of Atlanta – is the Phoenix!
Where can we find your perfumes? Are you distributed worldwide?
Currently – there are 3 places you can purchase Rising Phoenix products:
From our soon-to-be-finished new website: www.RisingPhoenixPerfumery.com
From our Etsy shop – “Rising Phoenix Perfume”:
We also have some fragrances offered through The World in Scents (TWIS):
Can you give us an idea what type of person buys your product? From which country are most of them from? Do you have many European clients?
That’s a great question!
Different clients come to us for different reasons, and we aim to satisfy both of the prototypical customers that eventually come calling for our unique take on fragrance.
To some – buying Rising Phoenix products is about buying “clean and green” products.
To others – we produce some damn fine fragrances unlike anything to be found on the market. Even Luca Turin has said that our Phoenix Fougere is the nicest Fougere since the beginning of Fougeres… (You can read that full review, here)
I don’t just make perfume, either. Rising Phoenix also operates in the incense world – supplying rare materials, as well as hand-compounded Arabic and Japanese-style compositions. Some come to us for our custom extracted Oud oils, others for our hand-compounded Attars – and others for our exquisite incense-oriented products.
In terms of our clients – we are sending packages all around the world. Many of them head to Europe – others all over the Gulf region, as well as throughout Asia. In fact, just before I sat to respond this interview – I was posting packages to Australia, New Zealand, the UK, France, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia – in addition to customers here in the US.
Thank you JK, this is an encouraging story for everyone willing to enter this market. The Art of Natural Perfumery is like the Phoenix, it will be raising again and again ...
I have been following the International Perfume Foundation's work for more than 20 years now and I am really amazed to discover the emergence of Natural perfumers coinciding with consumer calls for better perfumes. More than the fact these perfumes are natural, they all have their own world to share.
We are pleased to introduce Valentina Fierro and her erotic scents.
Where are you based ?
I’m based in Nelson BC., in Canada. Nelson is a small, pristine mountain town in the Kootenays of British Columbia, recognized for its awesome natural beauty and resources. We’re a tourist destination with a population of around 10,000.
How did you start?
Creating natural perfume evolved from my love of working with beautiful essential oils and resins. I first started by making solid perfumes with beeswax & jojoba. I’d add drops of essential oils into the mix to create these simple yet elegant solid perfume gems for myself. People loved them & wanted to buy them from me. That was before I actually had a business! It all kind of took off from there.
What was the first scent that made you decide to become a perfumer ?
The first scent was probably a really fine Kewda that was gifted to me in a collection of traditional attars many years ago. The second scent that truly did it for me was an amazing authentic Jasmine enfleurage from Egypt. I’ve never smelled anything like it since. The sheer depth and exquisite beauty of this Jasmine oil took my breath away. The aroma was so euphoric that it literally brought tears to my eyes.
When was that ?
The Kewda came to me in the 80’s. That’s when I began switching to using more natural perfumes. I found the Jasmine enfleurage in the late ’90’s. That’s when I began making natural perfume.
What drove you to create erotic perfume ?
I am a sensualist that’s driven by a creative fiery passion to connect and make magic.
I love playing with the erotic edge; that place between fear and desire; repulsion and attraction; gentleness and intensity; darkness and light.
Perfume speaks to me this way.
The olfactory limbic brain connection with each essence calls me to reach inside, to go deeper and find that edge where their aromatic spirits can dance and play. It’s hot and exciting! How could I NOT make erotic perfume?
You are a natural perfumer, so when did you made the choice to become a natural perfumer instead of following the majority of the brands making synthetic perfumes. What led you to make this choice?
There was no choice in the matter. I have never considered the use of synthetics as an alternative. I am aware that most modern perfumers (even the so called natural ones) believe in order to be a real perfumer you have to use synthetics. I don’t buy into this idea at all. I’ve heard many near convincing arguments in favour of the use of natural isolates as well. I don’t care. I want to feel the full expression of each individual oil in it’s complete entirety. I don’t care what other so called “real” perfumers may think. They can have their isolated molecules and manufactured scent patents and what have you. I love the REAL thing.
Where can we find your perfumes ?
You can contact me directly or through my web site at www.isis.ca. & www.isisnaturalperfume.com (I’m working on having a new site up in the New Year just for my perfume collection).
Are you distributed worldwide ?
Can you give us an idea what type of person buys your product ?
My clientele is quite diversified. Not your average consumer. They range from lawyers and therapists to bohemian artists, activists and the curious tourist. They are for the most part, Intelligent, conscientious, “think-outside-the-box” kind of people. People who want something of quality that is unique and real. I am blessed to have a loyal and devoted following that enjoys the personal touch I try & give to what I do. We are like family.
From which country are most of them from ?
Mostly Canada & the USA with the exception of a few.
Do you have many European clients ?
Only a small few.
Do you think the use of social media can spread the message of natural perfume as a healthier alternative
René Lalique brought to perfumery a new concept of design for perfume bottles.
In 1920, he is recognized as the father of the contemporary perfume bottles.
His creations are numerous, his bottles are prized by collectors who fight over high priced bottles today at auctions.
But who is René Lalique ?
René Jules Lalique, glass Master and French
jeweller, born on April 6th, 1860 in Ay (Marne) - Deceased on May 5th, 1945.
He studied drawing and goldsmithery at Decorative Arts School in Paris.
He worked for famous jewellers like Boucheron, Vever and Cartier.
From 1878 to 1880, he enrolled in courses at Sydenham Art College in London. In 1882, he became an independent designer for several jewellery houses in Paris and four years later launched his own jewellery brand.
In 1890, René Lalique was recognised as one of the most important French Art Nouveau jewellery designers, by creating innovative art pieces for the new Samuel Bing's store in Paris, “the House of Art Nouveau”.
He took part to the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900, which gave him an international reputation.
He kept the Art Nouveau sources of inspiration; fauna and flora, including peacock and insects.
He innovated by using unusual materials for the jewellery at that time amongst them: glass, enamel, leather, horn and mother-of-pearl.
After having opened a shop on place Vendôme in Paris, and meeting the perfumer François Coty in 1907, he started designing glass perfume bottles.
Vases, cups, dishes, perfume bottles, emblems of automobile famous brands, or panels (as those which will decorate the dining room of the Normandy or the Orient Express train) were produced using new methods of glass production such as coloured, opalescent, dulled, engraved or mottled glass.
By 1920, he turned to Art Déco.
He also created aesthetic effects: glossed Lalique, opalescent glass and also drew fabrics, fans and iron works.
He owned his own Pavillon at the Art Decorative Exhibition in Paris in 1925 where he displayed the multiple resources glass offered to decoration (fountains, lighting, doors, perfume bottles etc.)
The factory in Alsace, closed during the war, but was reopened by his son Marc Lalique in 1946 who started creating perfume bottles for Nina Ricci.
Coming next: When François Coty met René Lalique
René Lalique apporta à la parfumerie une conception nouvelle du flacon à parfum.
En 1920, il est reconnu comme le père des flacons contemporains.
Ses créations sont incomptables, ses flacons prisés des collectionneurs s'arrachent aujourd'hui aux prix les plus hauts dans les ventes aux enchères.
Mais qui est René Lalique ?
René Jules Lalique, maître verrier et bijoutier français, né le 6 avril 1860 à Ay (Marne) - Décédé le 5 mai 1945.
Il étudie le dessin et l’orfèvrerie à l’École des Arts Décoratifs de Paris.
Il travaille pour des joailliers renommés comme Boucheron, Vever ou encore Cartier.
De 1878 à 1880, il suit les cours du Sydenham Art College à Londres.
En 1882, il devient concepteur indépendant pour plusieurs maison de joaillerie de Paris et lance quatre ans plus tard sa propre joaillerie.
En 1890, Lalique est reconnu comme un des concepteurs de bijoux les plus importants de l'Art Nouveau français, en créant des pièces innovantes pour la nouvelle boutique de Samuel Bing à Paris, « La Maison de l'Art Nouveau ».
Il participe à l’Exposition Universelle de 1900 de Paris, qui lui établit une réputation internationale.
Tout en gardant les sources d'inspiration de l'Art nouveau, faune et flore, dont le paon et les insectes.
Il innove en utilisant des matériaux peu usités pour la bijouterie à cette époque : le verre, l'émail, le cuir, la corne, la nacre.
Après avoir ouvert une boutique place Vendôme à Paris, et rencontré le parfumeur François Coty en 1907, il commence à concevoir des flacons de parfum en verre.
Vases, coupes, vaisselle, flacons à parfum, emblèmes de grandes marques automobiles, ou panneaux (comme ceux qui orneront la salle à manger du paquebot Normandie ou du train Orient Express) sont produits selon de nouvelles techniques comme le verre coloré, opalescent, dépoli, gravé ou encore moucheté.
Dès 1920, il se tourne vers l'Art Déco.
Il crée également des effets esthétiques: le satiné Lalique, le verre opalescent et dessine également des tissus, des éventails ainsi que des pièces de ferronnerie.
Il possède son propre à pavillon à l’Exposition des Arts Décoratifs de Paris en 1925 où il applique les multiples ressources qu’offre le verre à la décoration (fontaines, luminaires, portes, flacons à parfum, etc.)
L’usine d’Alsace, fermée pendant la guerre, est remise en activité par son fils Marc Lalique en 1946 qui commença à créer les flacons à parfum de Nina Ricci.
A suivre: Lorsque François Coty rencontre René Lalique