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The Making of a Rose Scent

Put water-of-roses upon white cracked cardamon pods

Dash it with nutmeg, and you have it a song

Deepen the base, lengthen the neck

Add clear and fruit musk to thicken the scent

Touch it with sambac, spray it with fractions

Lighten it, fill it out, saddle it,

lighten it more, freshen the top

Down in the trenches,

With work horse resins

Tie together the richest of violets,

Of tuberose, of orange blossom buds,

Patchouli flowers, greens of grass

Sand it with dried brown leaves

Put water-of-roses upon white cracked cardamon pods

Dash it with nutmeg, and you have it a song

Deepen the base, lengthen the neck

Add clear and fruit musk to thicken the scent

Touch it with sambac, spray it with fractions

Lighten it, fill it out, saddle it,

lighten it more, freshen the top

Down in the trenches,

With work horse resins

Tie together the richest of violets,

Of tuberose, of orange blossom buds,

Patchouli flowers, greens of grass

Sand it with dried brown leaves

Perfumes as Records

 

A great record is a world unto itself.

You can listen to the music, enjoy it, and stop there.  But there is always the option to go deeper.  You can find out who’s playing guitar on track three.  What horn is being played in the scherzo?  Where was it recorded? The artwork, the linear notes, and the lyrics all enrich what you are hearing.  They can provide the listener with perhaps some understanding of how and why the music was made.   And record becomes a world you can access whenever you want.   I want our perfumes to be like records that you can carry around with you on your skin throughout the day, dipping into its world and watching the impressions that spring from it in your mind.  It’s important for us to put as much information as we can about the scents with the packaging.  So even if you don’t smell what the descriptions indicate, you can at least know what we were trying to get across and the elements we used to get there.  

 

A great record is a world unto itself.

You can listen to the music, enjoy it, and stop there.  But there is always the option to go deeper.  You can find out who’s playing guitar on track three.  What horn is being played in the scherzo?  Where was it recorded? The artwork, the linear notes, and the lyrics all enrich what you are hearing.  They can provide the listener with perhaps some understanding of how and why the music was made.   And record becomes a world you can access whenever you want.   I want our perfumes to be like records that you can carry around with you on your skin throughout the day, dipping into its world and watching the impressions that spring from it in your mind.  It’s important for us to put as much information as we can about the scents with the packaging.  So even if you don’t smell what the descriptions indicate, you can at least know what we were trying to get across and the elements we used to get there.  

RODIN bis

eau de parfum

We created this perfume in 2014 for the exquisite Linda Rodin. It is available at oliolusso.com.

Intensely personal, capturing a lost mid-century elegance, RODIN bis perfume exudes a time of rare luxury- a classic green-violet-orris scent both complex and graceful. In many ways an ode to Linda’s mother, the spicy top notes begin with bergamot, anise flower and lemon. The plush round heart is touched by rose de mai, jasmine and violet, and the powdery base includes long lingering musk, ambergris, tonka, and lavender.

eau de parfum

We created this perfume in 2014 for the exquisite Linda Rodin. It is available at oliolusso.com.

Intensely personal, capturing a lost mid-century elegance, RODIN bis perfume exudes a time of rare luxury- a classic green-violet-orris scent both complex and graceful. In many ways an ode to Linda’s mother, the spicy top notes begin with bergamot, anise flower and lemon. The plush round heart is touched by rose de mai, jasmine and violet, and the powdery base includes long lingering musk, ambergris, tonka, and lavender.

Perfume as Cover Songs

Even if you are smelling a perfume called “jasmine,” you are not really smelling just jasmine as the aroma of the flower exists in the real world.  It is always someones interpretation of what jasmine smells like.  First off there are many types of jasmine used in perfumes.  There are headspace reconstitutions that chemically map out the aroma of jasmine in bloom at a particular/place and time and are recreated in a lab with the same basic chemical make up of the flower’s aroma.  But it must be put into a setting that lasts on the skin and must be adjusted by someone who has trained their nose to recreate an aroma from tiny bottles of raw materials.  Perfumes named after plants or flowers are cover songs.  

 

Even if you are smelling a perfume called “jasmine,” you are not really smelling just jasmine as the aroma of the flower exists in the real world.  It is always someones interpretation of what jasmine smells like.  First off there are many types of jasmine used in perfumes.  There are headspace reconstitutions that chemically map out the aroma of jasmine in bloom at a particular/place and time and are recreated in a lab with the same basic chemical make up of the flower’s aroma.  But it must be put into a setting that lasts on the skin and must be adjusted by someone who has trained their nose to recreate an aroma from tiny bottles of raw materials.  Perfumes named after plants or flowers are cover songs.  

 

Shipley & Halmos Canal Street Pop-Up

Shipley & Halmos Canal Street pop-up

With tongue firmly in cheek, our friends Shipley & Halmos opened a pop-up shop on Canal Street chock full of key-chains, shot glasses and t-shirts from their #madeinsh line. For our part, we knocked off our own Italian Citrus in 3 iterations: When a Mandarin Loves a Woman, Eve's Saint L'Orange, and Tanng Sport.

READ MORE HERE

Shipley & Halmos Canal Street pop-up

With tongue firmly in cheek, our friends Shipley & Halmos opened a pop-up shop on Canal Street chock full of key-chains, shot glasses and t-shirts from their #madeinsh line. For our part, we knocked off our own Italian Citrus in 3 iterations: When a Mandarin Loves a Woman, Eve's Saint L'Orange, and Tanng Sport.

READ MORE HERE

Brooklyn Dry Goods + D.S. & Durga Spent Musket Oil

A collaboration with D.S. & Durga, Spent Musket Oil takes it's cue from the other worldly aroma of a Barbary wars era rifle found in the hold of a packet ship in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. Containing accords of vintage birchwood, spent rifle oil, & dried leather hilt warmed by Cavendish tabac, Merchant Marine's bay rhum, & musk. Using D.S. & Durga's bottle, BKLYN Dry Goods wrapped the French-made glass vessel in leather cord, affixing to it a pair of custom-inscribed stainless military dog-tags.

Limited Edition and Sold Out.

 

A collaboration with D.S. & Durga, Spent Musket Oil takes it's cue from the other worldly aroma of a Barbary wars era rifle found in the hold of a packet ship in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. Containing accords of vintage birchwood, spent rifle oil, & dried leather hilt warmed by Cavendish tabac, Merchant Marine's bay rhum, & musk. Using D.S. & Durga's bottle, BKLYN Dry Goods wrapped the French-made glass vessel in leather cord, affixing to it a pair of custom-inscribed stainless military dog-tags.

Limited Edition and Sold Out.

 

How I Make Perfume

I make perfume in 2 ways. 

I usually get an idea from a book, a place, lyric, song, etc.  Usually an intriguing word or scenario pops out and I want to find out more about it.  Sometimes the research is small and I am able to make a small impression of something (Italian Citrus - a cologne based on the abundance of the coastal citrus in Italy).  Other times I fall down a rabbit hole and spend months trying to uncover the connections of a world (our HYLNDS line).  When the idea for a scent comes – say a laquered box that once held a ruby ring from Rudolf I, the Holy Roman Emperor - I  begin research its world.  What woods were boxes made of then and there?  The lacquer?  Was it a tree resin?  What kind?  What about Rudolf’s world had an interesting aroma?  How do you make an aroma that evokes a ruby?  Red , burgundy, vermillion.  Roses, Tolu balsam, Benzoin?  Then I begin to make accords that represent these things – not unlike the “liet-motifs” Wagner uses to represent characters and objects in his operatic works.  Over much time and revision, I try to work the accords into a wearable solution that stays true to the story.  This process can take years or never become fully realized.  Many revisions are made and only the best become our scents.  I have a million hair-brained concepts sitting in boxes at our lab. 

 

The second way I make perfume is to work directly with materials.  Through something like improvisation, a certain combination may bring an idea to mind.  You take pristine lavender grown at high altitudes in Kashmir and cut into it with Egyptian neroli.  Something unfolds in the mind.  Perhaps its something I know I’ve wanted to reference or perhaps its entirely new.  When I stumbled upon the ivy accord in Boston Ivy, I was brought back to the Boston of my childhood –seaside, green, IRA graffitti.  Then I take the accord/s and support them with necessary materials to make it sing on the skin (hopefully).  Sometimes it is freeing to not get bogged down in the concept.  Perfume is its own language and can be enjoyed free from all association.  But I always come back to giving its place within the confines of speech (thus far).

 

Now I have my recipe for the “compound.”  I must then put it into application.  Testing the strength, radiance, longevity, etc. This takes into consideration the ageing of the oil, the maceration period in alcohol, and the strength of the final product.  

 

I make perfume in 2 ways. 

I usually get an idea from a book, a place, lyric, song, etc.  Usually an intriguing word or scenario pops out and I want to find out more about it.  Sometimes the research is small and I am able to make a small impression of something (Italian Citrus - a cologne based on the abundance of the coastal citrus in Italy).  Other times I fall down a rabbit hole and spend months trying to uncover the connections of a world (our HYLNDS line).  When the idea for a scent comes – say a laquered box that once held a ruby ring from Rudolf I, the Holy Roman Emperor - I  begin research its world.  What woods were boxes made of then and there?  The lacquer?  Was it a tree resin?  What kind?  What about Rudolf’s world had an interesting aroma?  How do you make an aroma that evokes a ruby?  Red , burgundy, vermillion.  Roses, Tolu balsam, Benzoin?  Then I begin to make accords that represent these things – not unlike the “liet-motifs” Wagner uses to represent characters and objects in his operatic works.  Over much time and revision, I try to work the accords into a wearable solution that stays true to the story.  This process can take years or never become fully realized.  Many revisions are made and only the best become our scents.  I have a million hair-brained concepts sitting in boxes at our lab. 

 

The second way I make perfume is to work directly with materials.  Through something like improvisation, a certain combination may bring an idea to mind.  You take pristine lavender grown at high altitudes in Kashmir and cut into it with Egyptian neroli.  Something unfolds in the mind.  Perhaps its something I know I’ve wanted to reference or perhaps its entirely new.  When I stumbled upon the ivy accord in Boston Ivy, I was brought back to the Boston of my childhood –seaside, green, IRA graffitti.  Then I take the accord/s and support them with necessary materials to make it sing on the skin (hopefully).  Sometimes it is freeing to not get bogged down in the concept.  Perfume is its own language and can be enjoyed free from all association.  But I always come back to giving its place within the confines of speech (thus far).

 

Now I have my recipe for the “compound.”  I must then put it into application.  Testing the strength, radiance, longevity, etc. This takes into consideration the ageing of the oil, the maceration period in alcohol, and the strength of the final product.  

 

RODIN perfume

 

eau de parfum

We created this perfume in 2012 for the exquisite Linda Rodin. It is available at oliolusso.com.

Simple and sensual, RODIN perfume captures the aromatic heart of olio lusso with its heady combination of delicately fragrant Jasmine and spicy Neroli. RODIN perfume has a distinctive signature at once intimate and long lasting. 

 

 

eau de parfum

We created this perfume in 2012 for the exquisite Linda Rodin. It is available at oliolusso.com.

Simple and sensual, RODIN perfume captures the aromatic heart of olio lusso with its heady combination of delicately fragrant Jasmine and spicy Neroli. RODIN perfume has a distinctive signature at once intimate and long lasting. 

 

D.S. & Durga for J. Crew

Homesteader's Cologne Water

We made this scent based on memories of Big Sur, as told to us by Frank Muytjens, J. Crew's head of menswear. Inspired by the hardy men who journeyed the Old Coast Trail to settle Big Sur – living off the land in a new paradise.  Monterey Cypress, California Bay Laurel, sagebrush, & Coyote Bush with cold fog & kelp.  

Homesteader's Cologne Water

We made this scent based on memories of Big Sur, as told to us by Frank Muytjens, J. Crew's head of menswear. Inspired by the hardy men who journeyed the Old Coast Trail to settle Big Sur – living off the land in a new paradise.  Monterey Cypress, California Bay Laurel, sagebrush, & Coyote Bush with cold fog & kelp.  

Perfume is a Transportative Liquid

 

Perfume is a transportative liquid:

Perfume has the ability to be evoke unlimited impressions on the mind – places, objects, memories, emotions, images, etc.  A perfumer can create an aroma that approximates his or her idea of a specific place (i.e. a violin shop in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts in the early 1800s) and present it to the “sniffer.”  Perhaps the sniffer smells it and the scent conjures up the memory of a violin recital he or she played in 3rd grade, or an attic, or the woods behind his or her aunt’s house in West Virginia.  But, when the perfumer is able to describe what he or she was trying to approximate in the description of the perfume, perhaps the mind of the sniffer can join that of the perfumer’s in a sort of collective unconscious.  

 

Perfume is a transportative liquid:

Perfume has the ability to be evoke unlimited impressions on the mind – places, objects, memories, emotions, images, etc.  A perfumer can create an aroma that approximates his or her idea of a specific place (i.e. a violin shop in the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts in the early 1800s) and present it to the “sniffer.”  Perhaps the sniffer smells it and the scent conjures up the memory of a violin recital he or she played in 3rd grade, or an attic, or the woods behind his or her aunt’s house in West Virginia.  But, when the perfumer is able to describe what he or she was trying to approximate in the description of the perfume, perhaps the mind of the sniffer can join that of the perfumer’s in a sort of collective unconscious.  

Staghorn Sumac

Staghorn Sumac

In 2011 we teamed up with Joya F vs S, an ongoing collaboration between Sarah Cihat and Frederick Bouchardy of Joya Studio. Together we created Staghorn Sumac. Windswept grasslands of the Great Plains. The inner air of a Dakota teepee. Accords of bison grass, wild lily & staghorn sumac sheathed in prairie earth & air.
Each piece housed in hand Sewn deadstock vintage fabric bag. Collaborative bottle adorned with slip cast porcelain plate.
Limited Edition and sold out.

Staghorn Sumac

In 2011 we teamed up with Joya F vs S, an ongoing collaboration between Sarah Cihat and Frederick Bouchardy of Joya Studio. Together we created Staghorn Sumac. Windswept grasslands of the Great Plains. The inner air of a Dakota teepee. Accords of bison grass, wild lily & staghorn sumac sheathed in prairie earth & air.
Each piece housed in hand Sewn deadstock vintage fabric bag. Collaborative bottle adorned with slip cast porcelain plate.
Limited Edition and sold out.

Shipley & Halmos: CO / FL

Colorado & Florida by Shipley & Halmos and D.S. & Durga

We did this collaboration in 2011 with our dear friends, Shipley & Halmos. Only 99 bottles were made.

A quiet study of two distinct American regions – Colorado’s Rocky Mountains & Florida’s vast waterways (the respective homelands of Shipley & Halmos).  Extracts of Florida sand pine, Colorado ponderosa pine, & subalpine fir join accords of snow, dry air & suntan lotion.

 

Colorado & Florida by Shipley & Halmos and D.S. & Durga

We did this collaboration in 2011 with our dear friends, Shipley & Halmos. Only 99 bottles were made.

A quiet study of two distinct American regions – Colorado’s Rocky Mountains & Florida’s vast waterways (the respective homelands of Shipley & Halmos).  Extracts of Florida sand pine, Colorado ponderosa pine, & subalpine fir join accords of snow, dry air & suntan lotion.