Brave New Scents

October 04, 2011

I am priviledged to have recently been a part of the Brave New Scents project for the Natural Perfumers Guild. The project was officially launched on October 1st, 2011, and involved 10 natural perfumers from around the world, as well as several well-known perfume bloggers.

The challenge of the BNS project was to create a perfume using only fragrance materials available since 2000. And, of course, they had to be 100% natural.

Our creation was Sweet Water,a sweet green chypre. And it was definitely different! You can read the reviews on this fragrance here:

Cafleurbon             The Portland Examiner

And you can buy the fragrance here!

Thought I’d give you some insight into the inspiration behind the creation of the fragrance, and even a rare look into a perfumer’s secret treasure box – the FULL ingredient list! Enjoy!

The Perfume:

Sweet Water eau de parfum

Fragrance family: sweet, green chypre

Description: a sweet heart of honey, mint and summer blossoms enveloped by a watery aromatic top note and dewy base of amber and sweet grasses

Notes (full list):

Top – clementine C02, distilled lime, basil absolute

Heart – mimosa absolute, linden blossom absolute, honey absolute, hay absolute, sweet clover absolute, jasmine sambac C02, min absolute

Base – tobacco balkans absolute, amber oil, copaiba balsam, iris butter, tonka bean absolute, labdanum absolute clear, green tea absolute

About this Project

I knew from the start of this project, I wanted to do something different. I didn’t want use extracts I’ve played with before. And I wanted the end result to be different. Unlike anything I’ve created before, and, if possible, different from every other fragrance out there (which is an almost impossible task, I know!)

The inspiration for this project comes from my love of summer in Australia. Not so much the scorching mid-summer days, but more the balmy summer nights, where the jasmine and frangipani hangs heavily in the air, and you can smell citrus trees from a mile away.

I am a runner, and this time of the year excites me. In August/September in South Australia, we are just starting to get glimpses of the spring and summer ahead. Even though it’s technically still winter, we can have days of up to 25 degrees Celsius (if we’re lucky), and evenings where it hovers around 18 degrees. This is where my inspiration begins.

I love to be out running in my neighborhood. I’ve lived in this area for most of my life, and I still get excited by the same smells I experienced here as a child. The lingering fragrance of frangipani, jasmine and lavender, the smell of wet grass freshly watered in the heat of the evening, even the smell of hot concrete under foot.

I created this fragrance around the contrast between the heat and cool aspects of the season (damp grass, iced tea, fresh herbs vs. hot winds, humid air etc.).

The end result is watery and sweet, dry and dewy, warm and damp. It is all-at-one cooling yet warm, grassy yet aromatically gourmand.

As a result of this project, I have fallen in love with mimosa (which I had never even smelled before now!), been inspired by the versatility of jasmine sambac and iris, and finally had a chance to use labdanum, basil and mint absolutes, which I have loved singularly but not had inspiration to use them prior.

What a privilege to live in this era in natural perfumery, where our artistic palettes are rapidly expanding to include such wonderful inspiring and complex aromatics! Who knows what the next decade will bring!

(Thanks to all the other perfumers and bloggers involved:)


Cafleurebon <>
The Perfume Critic <>
Feminine Things <>
The Portland Examiner <>
Perfume Shrine <>
All I Am A Redhead <>


Adam Gottshalk of Lord Jester
Ambrosia Jones of Perfume by Nature
Anya McCoy of Anya’s Garden
Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume
Christi Meshell of Matriarch
Elise Pearlstine of Belly Flowers
Jane Cate of Wing and a Prayer Perfume
JoAnne Bassett of JoAnne Bassett Perfumes
Liz Cook of One Seed Company
Rohanna Goodwin Smith of A Scent Natural Perfumes

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