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Eros Fig Delayed

Eros Fig Delayed

I had intended to release a fig leaf perfume in the next few weeks and had been working on it for about six months to get things just right. Working on it has been a very different process than the other scents I have created. I actually created a batch and was almost ready to go with it before realizing that it just wasn't right. I am in no way interested in releasing something I don't absolutely love and want to bath in myself so I am holding off. I am going to take a small break, reorganize myself and reapproach it in a few weeks. If all goes well I will have something new by the end of the summer. 

 

 

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Reformulations

Reformulations

 The first months of 2017 have been mainly filled with perfume blending (the best part) and I wanted to write my thoughts on reformulations because this year comes with me reformulating two perfumes, Sweet Grass and Witch Doctor. 

My main thoughts on reformulations are as such. Perfume houses are constantly reformulating, often to meet ever growing regulation and standards and in the case of bigger perfume houses, to cheapen formulas and increase profits. 

As libertine has grown I have been constantly examining and upgrading to better ingredients and suppliers as I find them as well as making small adjustments to comply with wider standards. It feels good to be adjusting to better ingredients when big perfume houses typically reformulate to cheaper materials to lower cost.

The second aspect of reformulation is an artistic one. My aim is to be an ever learning student and I am always absorbing more and become a more skilled perfumer.

Witch Doctor, though I have loved it, has always had more elements  in it than I was happy with. The new formulation focuses mostly on the relationship between the dry smoldering amber notes and leather. Both of which were present previously, just hidden under a number of other elements. The new version of Witch Doctor is much more wearable and consistent from beginning to end.

Sweet Grass has mainly benefited from the addition of french Hay absolute. The formula is very similar but it has been smoothed out and better represents the sweet, breezy prairie sunshine I have always envisioned it as. 

Both formulations will be available later in 2017 when stocks of the original versions sell out. Here is to making the world as beautiful as we can.

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Past, Present & Future

Past, Present & Future

2016 has been really amazing. I finished my design degree in December of 2015 so this year has been the first year exploring the world with that degree under my belt, or probably more worn like a shiney, oversized wrestling belt. It also means a year that I have been running the project that is Libertine while not in school (it’s much nicer, lemme tell ya). Perfume making started as a beautiful distraction from the stresses and expectations of my design education. It was my way of disengaging and working on something beautiful and personal while projects and deadlines loomed.

 

In the past year I have had been able to explore opportunities that have arisen and to push Libertine where I wanted it to go. I was able to spend more time crafting and exploring the ideas I needed Libertine to stand for. I found words to tell people to be defiant and explore the world’s pleasures, to find what feels good and do that more. I have been able to work with amazing people who bring beauty to the world through their own carefully considered businesses. I have been able to work on projects with good friends and designers I have loved for years. It is the most amazing feeling to have others in the world connect with what I am doing, with what is being created. I want Libertine to be a quiet revolution of people curiously exploring themselves, their needs and wants and taking every opportunity to indulge. I want regressive social expectations to crumble and for people to take pleasure in themselves and others and I think this year was a good start to that.

 

I am excited for the next year. As things have progressed however, I have gotten busier with daily operations and have had much less opportunity for playful creation, for smelling and exploring; exactly the type of activity I want Libertine to promote. I have found that building a business, a brand, whatever you want to call it, is like building a little world. A world where one can reflect what they think is most important to themselves and in the world. I am going to do all that I can to make sure the values I support are things I can really live and In the new year I am carving out space with my Libertine process for me to have time to explore, smell and learn more. Rather exponential expansion, taking on tons of new projects and generally falling in line as a good capitalist, in the first half of the year I will instead be playing with scents, creating new accords and deeply breathing in the amazing library of ingredients I have been building. I hope for everyone where possible to be able to carve out time in the coming year to explore their passions and pleasures whether they be simple or extravagant, intellectual or sensual. Just spend some time finding what brings you pleasure and do that.

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Eau de parfum//Perfume oil

Eau de parfum//Perfume oil



Libertine fragrances first came as perfume oils. We have since expanded to include eau de parfum versions. This is pretty backwards to how perfume brands usually evolve but to be frank I try keep a fair distance from myself and how other perfume houses operate.

Perfume oils and traditional perfumes act very differently so I will discuss why they are so different and what to expect with each so that you can make the best choice for you whether it be a Libertine fragrance or any of the number of other brands that have begun to offer perfume oils.

Traditional perfume is blended into Ethanol. This perfumer's alcohol is essentially 95℅ denatured alcohol. There are many benefits to using Ethanol including its ability to dissolve both polar and non-polar ingredients (ohhh science) but for the wearer the main benefit is how quickly it evaporates. As soon as that cool puff of your favorite perfume mists across your skin the perfumer’s alcohol begins evaporating and is gone within seconds. This leaves only the carefully blended aroma materials which based on their own molecular weights evaporate at different rates, creating the invisible aura of aroma that lingers with us throughout the day.

There are a other benefits of alcohol based perfumes as well. The first is that the story the perfume tells as it evaporated from your body can be more dramatic. The perfume is able to reveal itself in distinct stages throughout the day, first introducing the vibrant buzzing top notes (think juicy citrus) and slowly swaying thought the heart notes until only the lingering reflective base notes (think incense, or musks). The second benefit is increased sillage, or from how far away the perfume can be detected. Alcohol based perfumes allow your chosen scent to gently linger throughout the room, becoming the final element of your wardrobe, an extension of the mood you want to project.


Though perfumers alcohol is the vehicle of choice for most perfume companies today, perfume oils have been around much longer. In fact they are a major part of the history of the ancient world. The Egyptians included aroma as a major part of daily life as well as all religious ritual. Herbs, flowers and other plant material would be soaked in oils and fats until the scent was fully absorbed. They would be adorned daily by both men and women and they are one of the reasons ingredients like frankincense and myrrh were so incredibly treasured. Perfume oils are beautiful products, helping to moisturize and heal the skin as well as delivering your favorite aromas to you. The main difference between perfume oils and alcohol is that the sillage is much more personal with oils. Whereas alcohol immediately evaporates, the oil holds on to the scent until your skin has absorbed the oils. The scent of the perfume then sticks closer to the body making for a much more personal experience. Perfume oils are wonderful if you would like to keep the scent for yourself and those that will get close to you. If alcohol based perfumes are the final element of your wardrobe, perfume oils could be considered a sexy pair of underwear. You feel amazing wearing it even if all those in the room don’t see it and it is very enticing for whoever does get it see… ahem, smell you up close.


The second difference is that oils have a lifespan that alcohol does not. All perfumes, but perfume oils especially should be kept away from light and excessive heat and moisture (aka not in the bathroom). Most carrier oils kept in the right conditions can last for about two years. Certain oils such as fractionated coconut oils or jojoba can be kept almost indefinitely but it is always important to take care of them.


The stories and history attached to both types of perfume are endlessly fascinating and Libertine is proud to carry our scents in both versions.

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A look back at our Luca Turin review

A look back at our Luca Turin review

I just wanted to write a little bit about the biggest thing to happen to Libertine over the summer. That was of course having our perfumes reviewed (positively!) by the giant in the world of smells, Luca Turin. 

Luca Turin along with being perfume and aroma obsessed has written some of the least presumptuous, most insight full and charming perfume reviews in his book Perfumes: The A-Z guide. He is brutally honest and gives critique exactly where it is deserved with no allegiance or favoritism to any brand or house.  

In early spring we had heard whispering in the perfume world that Dr. Turin was looking for niche brands to review on his new blog. Without trying to be too devious we managed to obtain an address. We gently packaged up all of them Libertine line after gently kissing each one and sent them off. Unsure who exactly resided at this mystery address we were given. 

Truthfully I expected nothing to come of it. Libertine though passionately ran is a small (very small) niche perfume house and besides that we are from Canada, certainly not a olfactory mecca  or even contender. Then one morning on the way to a neighboring city do a sale my phone exploded. I feverishly tried to figure out what was going on and realized it was the review. My heart sank a little, certain that our little perfume house could not have received the praise that was bestowed upon other more connected, more established houses. As I read the article a wicked smile whipped across my face. He liked them! Not only did he like them but with his skilled nose pulled out aspects no one had before. The only thing I could have wished for is a fair shot. Such a fine review from such a monumental figure is more than I could have dreamed of. 

To read the review and the other great posts by Luca Turin go to

https://perfumesilove.com/2016/07/07/libertine/

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Applying Fragrances

Applying Fragrances

There are a ton of myths about how and why fragrances are applied the way they are. Applying perfumes or colognes is usually done in private so we don't often get to see how others apply them. In the past few years of working with perfumes I have had a number of people bring up the same questions so I figured that I could talk about them quickly. Firstly like most other things it comes down to personal preference. I love how personal ritual can make a small act feel important. If you have a way of applying perfume that you swear by, do it that way.

 

Location- Most people apply perfumes to neck and wrists or "pulse points". These are points on the body that tend to be both exposed and a little warmer than other parts of the body. The heat from the body gently evaporates the aromatic material allowing it to defuse around you. The same is true for our coconut oil roll ons.

Perfume on clothes- Depending the chemical make up of your skin and how dry it is affects the longevity and scent of a perfume. Some peoples skin naturally bring out sweeter smells while others pull out spicier notes. To avoid this some people apply perfumes to their clothing.  It is important to watch out for staining, spray or roll on is inconspicuous areas and test first.

Skin- The skin is the medium that perfume acts upon. As noted above the composition of a persons skin affects how the perfume expresses itself. The biggest thing for longevity and getting the most out of an application of scent is how dry the skin is. The drier ones skin the less time perfume lasts. To help perfume last longer try moisturizing the area it is to be applied with an unscented moisturizer. This can be a cream or even coconut oil. Our roll ons fragrances are blended into pure liquid coconut oil which helps to moisturize the skin as it is worn, bonus!

I am a big fan of personal ritual, doing something in a way that signifies a change. Perfume allows people to affect the sense that is mankind's most guttural, our scent. Applying a fragrance is not only like adding a final invisible layer of a wardrobe, it affects how others react to you physically.

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