Change is in the air

Change is inevitable, whether in life or in business.  And change is now in the works here at 1000 Flowers.

In 2010, we launched the first fragrance, Reglisse Noire, in NYC, at the Sniffapalooza Spring Fling.  I had spent a great deal of time planning and designing the packaging for our first fragrance, wanting it to represent the ecological values that are important to 1000 Flowers.  After much brainstorming, the choice was set on a custom-made box made of Canadian red cedar wood.  They arrived as bare wood, and I hand painted them with paint made from titanium dioxide powder and acrylic medium (to get the whitest white possible), and the artwork was applied via a water-slide decal resembling the thinnest layer of paint, a process that was incredibly difficult to do successfully.  For the spray component, I decided to use a threaded bulb atomizer rather than the typical crimped spray, since this also represented an eco choice, being that the bottle could be recycled or reused once the fragrance was gone. Since that time, more than a 1000 of these hand-made-with-love boxes have been sent out.

Here are a few images of the design process that led to the final packaging.

Since that time, of course, 1000 Flowers and I moved to France in 2011.  As it was not practical to import the cedar boxes from Canada, I sourced a furniture maker in Morocco to make the same boxes, but this time from a much denser, still very fragrant, thuya cedar wood.

Now, in 2014, with Reglisse Noire still as the bestselling fragrance in the collection, I am reviewing the practicality of this packaging, and have decided that it will be discontinued.  The boxes are very expensive, heavy, and very labour intensive to produce, and the bulb atomizers do not last forever, and are not as appealing for some of our male audience.

(Please note that Reglisse Noire is not being discontinued…only the 50ml format in the cedar box.  The 15ml splash for all the fragrances will remain available in the boutique online. Also, a very limited number of boxes will be available at Indie Scents Canada, and Habits Clothing in Nelson, BC) *All cedar boxes are now out of stock.

As for what comes next?  We are gathering a team of designers and creating a new concept, new flacons, and new packaging for the fragrance collection.  Plans for relaunch will be later this year.

In the meantime, I would like to send a heart-felt thank-you to all those of you who have supported this fragranced journey since 2010, and I hope those Reglisse Noire cedar boxes last a lifetime. (and beyond) xoxo

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.

The perfume of flowering Black Locust

Last evening, I was walking home along a quiet street, when my nose told me that the tall, graceful trees towering above were black locust acacia trees- in full bloom!  These same trees grow in a small grove in one of the city parks in Nelson, and every year when I lived in that neighbourhood, walking beneath these trees in early summer, I would be surprised to find myself suddenly immersed in the most beautiful pink bubblegum, tropical ylang ylang floral perfume.  Last night was the same.  The scent that these shy white clusters of blooms high above my head release into the early evening is intense.   Although familiar,  I found these coastal blooms to be more in the direction of the cologne 4711 that my mother used to wear- rich with sweet neroli.  So as I walked along this street, realizing then that the sidewalk was also strewn with the blossoms, breathing in the scent of my mother touched with pink bubblegum, I was reminded, as I have been so many times before- that the most amazing perfumes in existence, are like this- emanated so perfectly, intoxicatingly, from Nature.  And usually when we least expect it…