Natural Perfume, Music and Embroidery this Trinity weave through my life. They support and give each other inspiration. It is my lifes work and profession. I think about Natural Perfume everyday. It is my reason d'etre. It brings joy, fulfills my soul. Creating beautiful perfumes from flowers, fruits and resins is superlunary. I am besotted, obsessed, deeply in love.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Roots, Roses and Recognition

Originally uploaded by

It's my birthday today. (9th).. and what better way than blog about subjects close to my heart.

I had been conversing with Anya and knew about the wonderful news that was going to be broadcast and held back my post of yesterday until it was out..... I had known about the collaboration for a long time and was delighted and excited. The long wait is over and it's public knowledge.

With all this going on, created for me, a mood of reflection and so I felt compelled to go back to the beginnings of the Natural Perfumery Group and Guild with the Group beginning in 2002 founded by Anya McCoy. That was six years ago. It's astonishing to see how far Natural Perfumery has come since those early days. Back then the roots were very much in Aromatherapy and the search for natural aromatic perfume was born on the web.

Today it is a thriving 1500 plus group with sophisticated links, files and a learning compendium on Natural Perfumery which is second to none anywhere in the blogging world.

Anya McCoy has just released this post I first started mentioning earlier in this blog. Robert Tisserand has honoured Anya's help on his Wild Rose and Lemon Leaf creation that he brought out recently. If you go to click on Roberts Space and here you will see Roberts thoughts on the creation and how Anya became involved. The Guild Logo is on his website. Here below is the Guilds release... Talking of roses ... thanks Anya for helping me send those organic roses to my mum for mothers day!

The Guild goes from strength to strength with people like the Fragrance Foundation and Albert Vieille well known and respected french supplier joining the ranks of the Guilds membership. Anya's aim to create a haven for meticulous standards concerning Natural Perfumery is evident with each new member. Mandy is the advisor of the Guild and together with Anya make decisions for the direction of the Guild. The Guild wishes to educate the public and mass media as to what true, pure and natural aromatics are (Mandy's role) and protect access to and use of aromatics (Anya's role) which makes for a dynamic team.

Mandy Aftel knew what she was doing when she handed the Guild over to Anya McCoy and her decision is faultless. It's not easy running a group and guild of over 1500 people and finding time to still make room for her own work. Anya is also a true friend which not many realise. Her visions are clear and always for the good of the Guild and its future. I trust her and know that her timing on issues are right and on the button. I have worked with her a few times including sending information out to people here in the UK about the 40th amendment and know of her faultless attention to detail in getting the correct meaning to the written word. Very important when using the web.

Her online Courses are a success. Her maiden course offered at reduced price, as all people involved knew they would be the first ones trying out this pioneering module of learning, which would set the foundation for subsequent courses. With four dozen intellectual enjoyed students..... Her next course is full and she incorporated the two groups just recently for a one off , so they could all enjoy David Mark Covill's wonderful words on early Egyptian aromatics.

Natural Perfumery on the web has come a long way from those early days in 1992. In just six years the face of Natural Perfumery has become public domain

love Janita

ps... since I have written this.... I am overjoyed to see the collaberation of two blogs about Dominique Dubrana or Salaam Attar from from Italy honoured by perfume shrine and Guild blog... their secret working title was/is Double Dubrana... this is the best birthday ever!

Monday, 5 May 2008


Originally uploaded by KathyAAdams

We strive in this life to make some meaning to what we do.....

As I was unable to sleep tonight I followed a few blogs and read some interesting articles....

words that reach out ... words that have empty promises... words that desperately try to say look at me ...look at me..... and sadly fall short of the reality. Some words full of beauty, life, vivacity and joie de vivre in all they do... other words obviously manipulated to get attention...

It is the footprints that we leave that will bear the mark of time.

My thoughts turn to the beautiful botanics and their sparkling resonating depths that call to me to play ..... I have ideas running round my head for a perfume ... and I am excited to where it will take me....

Photo from Flickr... called 'footprints' originally uploaded by Kathy AAdams... for some reason it sometimes doesn't print up... the last one did... go figure. :-)

Friday, 2 May 2008


Originally uploaded by
Amanda L McCracken
Tony Burfield at Cropwatch and his crew are coming to a crossroad. Please find below his letter to all of us.. do take the time to read it and respond if you can... you can reach the cropwatch team Also, The Natural Perfumers Guild is taking an active role with cropwatch in pursuing this important issue. Anya is working very closely with Tony and Cropwatch

For my part a risk/ benefit studies programme would greatly enhance a fair and stable look at the natural aromatics today. In fact if there was a financing in this area this would help the big players in the industry realise that we (natural aromatics ) are not just puff and wind but real players .. making a serious contribution to these regulatory procedures and having a voice.
thanks Janita

Cropwatch Statement.

After 4 or 5 years of continuous activity, Cropwatch has some choices to make. Do we go on the way that we have been, snapping at the ankles of those who run & regulate the aroma industry so badly, or should we 'old dogs' learn some new tricks? Cropwatch supporters, and organisations sympathetic to our aims, regularly offer us donations and advise us of potential sources of grants, to which we have always said 'no thanks, we're non-financed'. Our current thinking is that this might be a mistake, since we are limiting our potential effectiveness. .

We are certainly not asking everyone for money, but we are asking you to help us with some feedback on how a financial input could potentially help the aroma world to become a better & fairer place, so please mail us if you have any thoughts or ideas.

Our initial list of ideas to use donated funding would be:

1. To finance risk/benefit studies on natural aromatic products. This research is needed because the existing major players such as IFRA/RIFM, are set up only to investigate the risks/hazards of fragrance ingredients (but not the benefits), & EFFA can only present the safety risks of essential oils, absolutes, resinoids etc in terms of the imagined hazards of the individual contained chemicals, rather than adopting a holistic approach for the aromatic ingredient as a whole. Therefore both organisations are badly positioned to defend natural aromatic ingredients against the current avalanche of restrictive legislation. The EU Commissioners have previously declined to accept safety-data based on risk/benefit considerations, although we believe this policy to be untenable in the long-term - it is the norm in virtually every other regulatory area (biocides, agricultural chemicals, pharmaceuticals etc).

[Neither is this just a European problem. The U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce have just announced draft legislation (Global Harmonisation Act 2008) intended to stimulate discussion on how to provide adequate funding and authority for the FDA to ensure the safety of the nation's food, drug, medical device and cosmetic supply in an increasingly globalised marketplace. The draft legislation already highlights several areas which will affect the fragrance industry].

2. To develop statistical data on the adverse effects of restricted & prohibited aromatic materials. This data would be a potential bombshell to blow apart the over-precautionary approaches of the cosmetic regulators and career toxicologists, who are in such a powerful position in global regulatory circles. Where this data exists (e.g. the Schnuch data on alleged allergens) it is already causing red faces. The EU Commissioner has previously indicated to Cropwatch (Brussels 2007) that this type of adverse reaction data is inadmissible as safety evidence. But if you are familiar with English history, you might recall that King Canute failed to hold back the waves and so his followers realised he was not all-powerful. So too, the regulators will not be able to ignore the fact that many restrictions on natural products are based on corporate toxicological constructs which don't manifest in the great numbers of negative health effects predicted.

3. To assist with the growing & production of useful commodities from threatened aromatic plants, for cosmetic, aromatherapeutic, flavour & medicinal outlets, in a way that benefits the poor.

4. To set up or help set up a natural aromatics products professional body, with the help of other interested parties. Already we can identify several sub-divided areas which badly need assistance: natural perfumery, the use of naturals within conventional perfumery, natural biocides, herbal drugs & medicines, aromatherapy, natural cosmetics etc.

5. The lobbying of officials & regulators. As we have seen, the more the establishment closes ranks (and its mind) to contrary & dissenting views, the more popular support we have been able to attract. In terms of numbers we are potentially a powerful force. However we have to ask ourselves whether there is any point in continuing the lobbying game. Many of the points we make go unanswered because the officials involved are not sufficiently technically adept or experienced to even understand the arguments put forward. So is it better to plough ahead with a voluntary regulatory system of our own making - at least we might have the experience, familiarity & resources to do a better job. The enormity of the task is detracting, but this is put more into perspective if sufficient funding were to be available.

6. To keep the flame of our traditional perfumery heritage alight. When we read that several major aroma corporations are training fledgling perfumers in pure synthetic perfumery, it makes us wonder if the world has gone quite mad. Once perfumers used to be creative artists with forthright temperaments, views and opinions, passionate about their art. Now, are we all to be reduced to company drones? I was related a story recently concerning a certain essential oils salesman who offered unmarked samples of real good quality Bulgarian lavender oil, and a synthetic lavender construct to a group of young perfumers at a certain megacorporation. The group preferred the artificial lavender construct because "it smelled like linalyl acetate, like its supposed to." Heaven help us! But maybe some of us 'old-timers' should organise courses & lectures to pass on the 'ancient knowledge of the art of perfumery' before it is lost forever.

OK, after 5 or so years of trying, we pretty much know what the problems facing us are - what we don't have is a consensus on the best way to solve them. Maybe you can help?

Cropwatch Team