This season's colognes are finally brewed, filtered, bottled and labeled. I'm pleased with the way they turned out this year. The new influx of materials was a joy to work with.
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
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.
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 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.