Le Coffret…plus J.S. Bach and coffee candles

Hello everyone!   I’d like to announce the new Coffret Collection from 1000 Flowers.  As discovery sets are, this is a great way to explore the full collection, and includes one of each of the five fragrances.
(Retail price is $45 CAD, and is available in the online boutique at 1000 Flowers.ca)

In other local news, last weekend I had the pleasure to attend a concert featuring the music of J. S. Bach, in a beautiful location here in Grasse- the Chapelle Victoria.  This chapel was ordained by Queen Victoria, and the inside of the roof/ceiling is a dramatic and intricate structure of wood beams and curved ribs, reminiscent of the inside of an upside-down hull of an ancient galleon.  Quite impressive.

Coffee Cantata

In addition to the stunning music and setting, there was also the added sensual experience of scent and light, provided by my friend and peer, perfumer irina Jourihina.  Irina created specially perfumed candles for this concert- which were given out to most of the 150+ attendees just prior to the performance of Bach’s Coffee Cantata.  The rich, gourmand sweetness of the warm fragrance that exuded from the candles, combined with chocolate and coffee bonbons on the tongue (distributed at the same time as the candles), brought to mind a cozy multi-sensual evening with coffee and cream and cakes, beside a fireplace with Bach chamber music playing live beside you.  What a brilliant collaboration.

A description in French provided by the city of Grasse: “La saison musicale 2014 de “Notes & Parfums”, dans le cadre prestigieux et élégant de la chapelle Victoria, commence en fanfare cette année. Dans le prolongement du thème des fleurs et des parfums qui avait rencontré un vif succès l’an dernier, le programme débutera le vendredi 21 mars à 20h30 avec un authentique concert aux chandelles dans la tradition de l’époque de Jean-Sébastien Bach. Dans une programmation mise au point par Maxime Hagenmuller, le concert sera assuré par une dizaine de musiciens, tous solistes et experts de la musique baroque. En entrée, nous entendrons de mélodieuses arias pour chanteurs, flûte, cordes et basse continu. La seconde partie mettra en valeur la charmante et allègre “Cantate du Café” pour soprano, ténor, basse et orchestre de chambre. Cette oeuvre profane a inspiré la créatrice de parfum, Irina Zhukhirina, qui lui dédiera pour l’occasion un parfum inédit et original.”

And a little bit more about the chapel, as per their site: “The construction of the chapel of Grasse was completed at the beginning of March 1891. Queen Victoria, while staying in Grasse, was accompanied by a series of about fifty persons, where she met her dear friend Alice de Rothschild, owner of a large estate on the hills overlooking the old town.  Friday, March 27, Friday, Her Majesty was to attend a service in this new chapel of St. John.  Once back in England, the Queen offered a stained glass window to this English Church of Grasse, (ie Protestant), which contains the following inscription: “To the glory of God and in remembrance of her visit, Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, 1891.

That is why the church of Saint John came to be called the “Chapelle Victoria.”

Return to the Perfumed Pilgrimage

I don’t know if I’m the only one who feels this way, but it seems like 2013 flew by in the blink of an eye!   I had the strangest feeling the whole year that I was running behind, and it was with some horror today, when I checked into my blog, to see that the last entry was December, 2012!

Clearly, this is indicative of losing the rhythm of reporting on and sharing the ‘perfumed pilgrimage’ that has been my life here in Grasse!  And a big part of the reason for writing less, is that life has a way of becoming ‘normal’ no matter where we are.  Even life in the south of France takes on a certain normalcy after a few years, and reporting on the events that come and go becomes less motivating, since the events are less and less a novelty.

However, I am realizing (even just this week),  how important it is to look at life more objectively more often, to see how magical it really is, and to appreciate what a lot of hard work and sacrifice has been involved to arrive at the present moment. (and to be very grateful to be there)

So here is a first of more frequent reports to come… to once again share some stories of life here in the Alpes-Maritimes region, and specifically to fragrance related topics/events here in the Pays de Grasse.


New Fragrance Launch! (an Ode to Love…)

Today I am very happy to announce the launch of two new fragrances from 1000 Flowers.  The duo was inspired by a love story…
A love story began when a boy from the east, met a girl from the west,
when smiles and shy glances were exchanged, and their hearts leaned in
to each other.

She shared with him her love of flowers and perfume (especially roses and violets), and he shared with her sensuous parts of his culture, such as incense and oudwood, and the fragrant spices of his eastern cuisine.

Together they began an exploration of the senses.

Love is Sweet represents the feminine in this story- full of roses, violets, vanilla, patchouli coeur, amber, and precious woods.

Ode to Him is the masculine counterpart- fresh with the cool notes of cardamom and coriander, richly layered with oudwood, cedar, and resins of faraway lands.

These fragrant compositions contain high concentrations of precious natural materials such as Rose, Vanilla pods, Patchouli coeur, Sandalwood, and Orris.

(The name ‘Love is Sweet’ is inspired by the song from Anita Baker called “Sweet Love”…)

Bergamot. Pink Pepper.
Bulgarian Rose oil. Iris.
Turkish Rose absolute.
Cinnamon.Purple Violets.
Opoponax. Patchouli.
Vanilla Pods.
Musk. Amber.

Coriander. Cardamom.
Immortelle absolute.
Rose absolute. Clove.
Sandalwood. Oud.
Frankincense. Myrrh.
Moss. Vetiver.


The fragrances are initially presented in Italian glass 15ml splash flacons and are now available online in the 1000 Flowers boutique at www.1000flowers.ca








Wishing you all a fragrant and happy holiday season!

Bulletin from the studio…

Hello everyone.  I wanted to write just a little note to say hello, and to let you know that I have not been swallowed up in some abyss under the old city of Grasse!  I have been working long hours/days/months on 3 perfumes- two for 1000 Flowers, and one for an up and coming company in Canada.

The process of fragrance creation, when done completely from scratch, without reference to existing fragrance formulae, and no access to Gas Chromotography etc for analyzation of existing fragrances, requires endless trials and extreme patience and persistence.  This is the only way to eventually arrive at a finished product that could be judged as being beautiful, well-balanced, interesting, compliant with safety regulations, and yes- marketable.   This is where the key ingredient of ‘passion’ comes in and is indispensable to fuel the journey!

The two perfumes for 1000 Flowers will be all about Love.  They represent a love story- a pair- one for him and one for her, although both are interchangeable.  Both are full of beautiful raw materials- precious woods (a touch of oud), spices, roses, resins, vanilla, and herbs.  They lean in the Oriental direction. They are sensual, absorbing, and elegant.

Also, the autumn sale will continue in the 1000 Flowers online boutique until these two new editions are officially announced, so take advantage of the discount.

As for me, after taking this little break to say hello, I must get back to the perfumer’s organ, and weigh out yet more trials.  Maybe today, will arrive the final and perfect version!

Queen of the Flowers

Suddenly, it is the 31st of August!  I am amazed with how fast this summer, and year, has flown by.  Everyday seems to flash by with not much time for relaxing.

Perhaps this in why, in the midst of all this busyness, that I have been developing a particular new product from 1000 Flowers.  This is a substance that embodies peace and calm, and love and beauty, and of course, a fragrance that is considered throughout history as being closely associated with enlightened beings, and with the gods.   What I am speaking of is of course- Rose.

Today I am announcing the launch of 2 variations of steam distilled Rosa Damascena essential oil sourced from the Valley of the Roses in Bulgaria.  The steam distilled oil is also known as Rose Otto or Attar of Rose.  (Purchase can be made directly in the 1000 Flowers online boutique.)   (Note: As of October 2015, we are temporarily out of stock of pure Rose Otto). 

The first version of this precious material is a 5ml mini flacon of
pure steam distilled Rose Otto oil. 

The pure oil can be used in many different ways- by adding to your perfumes, cosmetics, lotions, oils, bath, atomizer, as well as in cooking.  (It is prudent to always dilute before use, as with all pure essential oils.)

The second, is a 15ml flacon of the Rose Otto diluted to 10% in fractionated coconut oil. (an odorless, colourless and extremely stable oil.)

The diluted version, can be worn as a natural perfume in its own right, but may also be added to your lotions etc since even at 10% this is a very potent product.  As a perfume, this version can also used for meditation, or be added as a top to middle note, to your own perfume blends. Even a touch of distilled rose oil will have an extremely positive effect on all perfume blends.

The packaging is typical of 1000 Flowers products, in small white decorated boxes:
     The origin of the Damask Rose, as its name implies, is Syria and the region of the city of Damascus.  (although the parent cultivated varieties of the Damask rose are thought to originate on the Persian Gulf, in the region now known as Iran).  It is believed that in the 16th century Ottoman crusaders originally brought the Damask rose to the area of the town of Kazanlik in Bulgaria, where the region’s climate was and is, ideal for the production of roses.  Kazan is the Turkish word for ‘still’, and Kazanlik literally means ‘the place of stills’.

The rose season begins in May and lasts about 3-4 weeks, depending on the season. All the flowers are picked daily, by hand early in the morning and distilled immediately thereafter.

On average, about 4000kg of the hand-picked blooms are required to produce
1kg of pure essential oil. (again depending on the conditions of the season).

During distillation, a large amount of oil is absorbed into the distillation water, which must then be recovered from this water to produce an acceptable yield. This is achieved by re-distilling the water from the first distillation; a process known as cohobation. (from what I have read, this includes capturing a high percentage of the water-soluble constituent phenyl ethyl alcohol).

Bulgarian pure rose oil is a generally a top note essential oil. Its frequency is extremely high and rapid. Rose oil has the highest frequency (320 Hertz) of all the essential oils on the planet. This in itself is an important factor. It means that the fragrant molecules of the rose oil, on inhalation or application, are able to quickly penetrate and travel the pathways of the body, rapidly energizing every cell, bringing balance, harmony and beauty to the body.

Rose essential oil is suitable for all skin types, but it is especially valuable for dry, sensitive or aging skins. It has a tonic and astringent effect on the capillaries just below the skin surface, which makes it useful in diminishing the redness caused by enlarged capillaries. For use on sensitive facial areas, always dilute to about 1% rose oil in a base oil or lotion.  This means about 5-6 drops of pure oil to each 30ml of base oil or lotion, or 50-60 drops of the 10% dilution.


Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns;
I am thankful that thorns have roses.
Alphonse Karr

I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.
Emma Goldman

The world is a rose; smell it and pass it to your friends.
Persian Proverb

Safety Considerations:
*Do not take essential oils internally.
*Do not apply to eyes, sensitive areas or mucous membranes.
*Do not apply undiluted to skin (for directions on proper dilution refer to an aromatherapy text).
*The information on this website is not intended to diagnose or prescribe.
*Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children should not use essential oils without first consulting an appropriately trained healthcare practitioner.