|Colognes bottled up and ready|
I started the project by individually tincturing the dry materials to see/smell what they do on their own. Then I was able to blend with more confidence. After doing research on old cologne formulary and coming up with some ideas of my own I set about working my ideas out on paper. I knew I wanted to do a fougere and I've always wanted to make something called Swamp Water. The new fragrances are:
Foret de Fougere: Lately I've fallen in love with the fragrance family fougere. French for fern, fougeres are meant to replicate the scent of the forest floor (ferns don't actually have a scent of their own). To be a true fougere there must be three notes - lavender, oakmoss and some kind of coumarin (the molecule responsible for the sweet caramel note in tonka beans, hay and sweet woodruff). Oakmoss is a little tough to come by in its natural state but the coumarin note was accomplished by sweet woodruff and tonka beans and accented with vanilla beans and patchouli. Jasmine forms the heart of this fragrance with lavender and cassia in the top. I'm really happy with the way this one came out, it may be my favorite of all the cologne experiments.
L'eau du Who: L'eau du Who is inspired by the classic cologne, 4711. After a little research I came up with an approximate formula for the cologne and broke it down into something akin. Patchouli leaves, vetiver roots and sandalwood powder form the base while jasmine, rose buds and peach tea create the heart, finished with meyer lemon, minneola tangerine and orange peel combined with basil and lemon verbena. I named it after my guitar hero, Pete Townshend of the Who, who reportedly wore it before his shows.
Swamp Water: Swamp Water is an idea I came up with long ago when fantasizing about the bayou. I saw grasses swaying in the breeze, the night air thick with heavy florals, a refreshing glass of tea with herbs. Vetiver, the roots of a grass, and sweetgrass combine with sandalwood to form the base while jasmine, meadowsweet and lavender bring in the heart. Swirling on top are jasmine tea, orange peel and lemon verbena.
Meadowsweet: This cologne could easily be called Honey Water as it is as sweet as nectar. Meadowsweet and linden blossoms sit atop crushed tonka beans and sandalwood with lemon verbena gracing the top.
Terroir: Terroir is the term used to describe the special set of characteristics that the geography, geology and climate of a certain place, interacting with the plant's genetics, express in agricultural products. Most of the herbs and flowers used in this potion are locally grown and harvested myself. Sweet woodruff, which grows in my herb garden, is supplanted with orris root and sweetgrass to form the bottom chord. Freshly harvested linden blossoms and pink and white roses form the heart, with home grown lemon verbena, tarragon and sweet annie on top. It has a sweet earthy lushness, Brooklyn grown.