Annual Seattle Artisan Fragrance Salon 2014

Hello APJ,

It’s May 4th, 2014! Welcome to the Second Annual Seattle Artisan Fragrance Salon (and chocolate show) at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on the Seattle waterfront.


As we enter we see the Olympic Orchids booth tended by perfumer Ellen Covey and friend Stacey Gilbert.  Ellen Covey’s 2013 Blackbird was a finalist in the recent Art and Olfaction Awards and her newest offerings, Sakura and African Orchid, are at least as beautiful as Blackbird.  Sakura, a light and realistic cherry blossom fragrance,  seems to remind my grand daughter Allie that Spring is actually in Seattle, despite the foul weather. Ellen’s soaps and oils are a also treat and I hear she may be venturing into yet another format in the near future. 




We take our time enjoying Olympic Orchids fragrances before moving on to NomadTwoWorlds.  Nomad is by no stretch of the imagination an artisan perfumery.  The house perfumer is the extremely talented master perfumer Harry Fremont who, while working with Firmenich, has been the nose behind over 70 top designer and celebrity fragrances.  That being said, Nomad’s perfumes are lovely.  I especially enjoyed their signature oil FireTree. The company’s commitment to supporting indigenous peoples, while bringing their raw materials to market (via Firmenich?), is very interesting indeed.  Harry Fremont is not manning the booth (no surprise) but here is a photo of a couple of the Nomad crew at work.



For a real artisan, all natural and local experience we head over to Meshaz Natural Perfumes and perfumer Mesha Munyan assisted by her son Evan Winter.  Mesha operates a small farm on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula near Sequim where she grows and distills lavender and creates her own perfumes from botanical tinctures and oils.  Mesha is a nationally known expert on lavender and lavender oils.  My current favorite in her line is Zauvage, but all of her perfumes are exquisite, powerful and carefully crafted, a must try for botanical (and all) fragrance lovers .

IMG_2608We would like to stay at Mishas’s booth for hours but, moving along, we find two new faces at this year’s salon!  Perfumer Kenneth Cory and friend Michael DeLong are here for the first time, in fact this is one of Kenneth’s initial fragrance shows and what a fabulous collection of perfume he is offering!  Son A-1 and I love his entire line, especially Fougere Osmanthus.  I know husband B-Azar will also take a shine to this one.  I am bringing home samples of everything and looking forward to learning more as well as writing more about Kenneth Cory and his beautiful fragrances.
Next door to Kenneth, award winning veteran Pacific Northwest perfumer, Karyn Gold-Reineke,  has set up her Pirouette booth. Karyn’s gorgeous soaps, perfumes and lotions have been enjoyed by so many of us for several years now. My favorite of her fragrances is the botanical perfume Moss Garden.  Her sets of tiny sample soaps are works of art, beautifully scented and exquisitely wrapped. I am buying some for gifts but know I will have a hard time parting with them.IMG_2616


Also, I noticed that Karyn is displaying a small box labeled “Indie Fragrance Criterion”.  This is a sample set of PNW perfumers co-curated by Meredith Smith of Sweet Anthem and Tigerlily Perfumes in San Francisco.  The set includes samples by 6 PNW perfumers including Sweet Anthem, Rebel and Mercury, Sweet Tea Apothecary, Olympic Orchids , Pirouette Perfumes and Blooming Dreams.  Look for more about this set and a possible give-away soon.


As we turn the corner Rosarium Blends grabs our attention.  Catamara Rosarium is the talented perfumer, master herbalist, ritual artist and real live alchemist behind the line.  Her partner Marcus McCoy is an accomplished distiller.  The calibre of their fragrances reflects their depth of knowledge and experience. One of my favorite Rosarium Blends is Satyr. Catamara and Marcus are both fascinating personalities and it would be great fun to bring their perspective on perfumery to APJ sometime in the future.



Our final visit of the day is to JT Siems’ Sweet Tea Apothecary. JT’s love of history and literature inspire her 16 currently available fragrances.  Sweet Tea Apothecary perfumes are rich, mixed media scents with interesting, evolving profiles, classically evocative with timeless appeal. A couple of my favorites are Archibald (for Archibald Menzies, one of the first scientists to explore the PNW) and Dharma Bums (what else but a patchouli fragrance referencing who else but Jack Kerouac)!



I hope you have enjoyed this visit to the Second Annual Seattle Artisan Fragrance Salon.  Now off we go to the Chocolate Show!


Azar xx


Desert Blush by Harry Fremont for Nomad Two Worlds 2014


Post by TinaG



Australia is an amazing country, and no part I find more fascinating than the Australian outback. The landscape is incredibly awe-inspiring. I have fallen in love over and over again, with the stretches of ancient dry desert plains, the rocky crags, the unusual endemic plants and animals that call this country home, and the privilege of sharing some of the dreamings of the first people of this land.

Desert Blush Nomad Two Worlds Australian_Outback WikiMediaPhoto Stolen from WikiMedia

I was very interested to hear about a fragrance line, Raw Spirit, from Nomad Two Worlds which includes some classic Australian flora notes such as boronia and Australian sandalwood in their scents.

Desert Blush by Harry Fremont for Nomad Two Worlds 2014

Desert Blush Nomad Two Worlds FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica Gives these featured accords in one line:
Australian Boronia, ylang-ylang, osmanthus, jasmine petals, violet, Australian sandalwood, musk and cedar wood

A creamy-peach blush of osmanthus strikes the first chord on opening, supported by an ultra-dry cedar and sandalwood that feels like the wood has been has been placed in the searing heat of the day, along with something astringent and banana-like which I can’t readily place. During the next half hour boronia comes through, followed by delicate hints of a sweet violet and jasmine. Boronia is an Australian native plant, typically with small flowers around 1cm in diameter. The image that this scent provides me with is of the brown-yellow flowers, a classic native variety. The scent of boronia is lemony/woody –small waxy flowers on tough wood stems. Boronia as a scent has waned in popularity from a peak the mid-80’s where it was found in fragrant household products like guest bathroom soaps – you rarely see it around these days which is why I was excited to see it listed as a note.

SONY DSCPhoto Stolen Flickr

Desert Blush is described as being inspired by the Western Australian Desert at sunset. The image that Desert Blush brings to me is one of the mulga woodlands, dry red earth with tough scrubby plants and grasses, but plenty of them. The way the scent dries down really does remind me of being outside in the outback as evening falls – the woody notes take a step back, the softer floral scents which had been baked away in the sun’s heat are allowed to breath in the slowly cooling air. Longevity in this fragrance and the Raw Spirit range is excellent – after settling, it stays on my skin for at least 8 hours and I still get hints on my skin if I’ve left it on overnight.

Desert Blush Nomad Two Worlds Sunset-Strike MichaelSeebeckPhoto Stolen MichaelSeebeck

The approach which Russell James, the founder of Nomad Two Worlds, has taken with the project’s art, photography, and products is one of cultural respect and authenticity, ensuring that Indigenous artists receive royalties for their work, and donating 10% of profits to the Nomad Two Worlds Foundation for support of artists from Indigenous and marginalised communities around the globe.

Nomad Two worlds has $35/7.5ml EdP

The fragrance line of Raw Spirit stays closely within the framework of supporting communities. Of the four fragrances I sampled all donate part of their proceeds to sustainable agricultural projects – Desert Blush and Wild Fire to Indigenous Australian (Aboriginal) projects, with Bijou Vert and Citadel supporting Haitian projects. Fragrance with a conscience. I like it.

Tina G