Sandalwood: Faking It

Let’s say, right off the bat, that sandalwood can’t be replicated accurately. Perfumers have been trying for centuries and, now that the real oil has gotten so expensive, the effort has accelerated. Not knowing better, making a viable sandalwood was my first effort at perfumery.… Read More »Sandalwood: Faking It

Power and Presence

Sometimes, my experiments don’t project enough, or fade too soon, or don’t have enough power. I get discouraged. But my recent seminar with Mandy Aftel has given me pause. For her, the sensual interplay of complex natural ingredients is more important than the ability of… Read More »Power and Presence

Favorite Books VI

A favorite book of mine, Perfumery: The Psychology and Biology of Fragrance, edited by Steve Van Toller and George H. Dodd, is a rather technical tome that dwells mostly on the relationship between perfume and personality. In one chapter, by Mensing and Beck, the authors… Read More »Favorite Books VI


Most of us assume that perfumes mask b.o. Anyone who has been trapped in a taxi, breathing in the aromas of the air freshener hanging from the rear-view mirror and those of sweat and cologne, may appreciate that eaux de cologne, unlike perfumes, are, in… Read More »B.O.

Iris Synthetics

Black Iris is making progress, but new problems keep coming up. Should the perfume replicate the smell of orris, the authentic aroma of iris root, or peoples’ fantasy of it? I fear few people recognize the smell of orris and my hard work and extravagance… Read More »Iris Synthetics