What is Botanical Perfume?

Welcome, I am Roxana, hand crafting pure botanical perfumes by melding alchemy with modern artistic wisdom. Every single fragrance is handmade by me using authentic vital materials sourced with extreme mindfulness. My perfumers palette is composed of whole, organic, botanical aromatic treasures from leaves, barks, seeds, rinds, roots and flowers.

From first starting this perfumery I have been committed to consciousness in all aspects of the business and supporting nature. These botanical fragrances have never been tested on animals, contained any historical animal ingredients or advocated the use of these materials. Some of the fragrances are vegan, in the purest since of the word, since there are no petro chemicals used in the fragrance. As you know, the petroleum industry is responsible for some of the worst environmental pollution and destruction to wildlife on the planet. These are  ♻ eco-luxe perfumes!  

Perfume can be defined as both a noun and a verb. The noun refers to a substance or combination of substances which impart a fragrance. Perfume as a verb, refers to the actual aromatic particles that waft from the substance mentioned previously. The origin of the word comes from the Latin, per “through” and fumum “smoke”, thus “through smoke”. This verbage most likely alludes to the use of gums and resins as incense or herbs strewn over fires to impart a pleasant aroma.

According to historians the origin of perfume began in Arabia and/or Egypt, refined later by the alchemists and Europeans. The substances used to create these early fragrances varied substantially compared to the extensive palette available in our modern day. Currently perfume is created using materials that are deemed natural, botanical, synthetic or a combination. Synthetic compounds, created in a laboratory, became part of the perfumers palette in the late 19th century with the release of the aroma chemical, or isolate, “coumarin”, containing a hay-like fragrance. Thus the modern perfume industry was born, giving perfume houses the ability to fabricate a consistent product.

Before the introduction of these laboratory created components perfumers used whole ingredients, found in the natural world derived from animal and plant. The animal ingredients consisted of ambergris (whales), musk pods, civet and castoreum. Plant aromatics included essential oils, as well as infused and tinctured materials, often referred to as extracts and macerations.

The perfumers using the term "natural" to define their work continue in this tradition using both animal, plant based “natural essences”, and isolates. The challenge with the word natural is that is has become so broadly defined that even synthetics are put into this category, particularly by the larger retailers worldwide. Thus the linguistics used in the fragrance industry has become muddled.

Animal ingredients, being of natural origin (ambergris, musk pods, civet and castoreum) are often employed by those practicing a legitimate form of natural perfume. The legitimate botanical perfumer is a product of our current, modern day, pro-organic agricultural culture. These individuals choose a palette comprised  primarily of materials with authentic botanical origins, which are whole and complete, meaning not fabricated in or tampered with in a lab. Occasionally a botanical perfumer may include materials that come from the ocean, such as distilled seashells, from the bee kingdom or an obscure tinctured raw matter. The palette of a botanical perfumer consists of "whole" essential oils, absolutes, concretes, c02 extractions, infusions and tinctures. Beeswax is also included in their apothecary, used for the creation of solid perfumes and balms.

The botanical perfume artist practices integral perfume, working to create beauty through the expression of pure plant extractions within the paradigm of sustainability and health. If you are concerned about what is in an aromatic product I highly recommend asking the perfumer or perfume corporation what specifically they are using within the perfume. For example, if you would prefer not to use a fragrance which contains the secretions of a tortured cat, then ask if civet is utilized any where in the formulation including to "fix" the alcohol within a perfume. Also, one should be aware that not all perfumers are well educated in their materials and where they are obtained. There still exists some confusion and differences of opinion as to what is a sustainable and healthy product. The large perfume conglomerates are a bit like the tobacco companies in the 1950's. History shows us that money can employ creative techniques, tactics and advertising to tell a His Story. Which leads us full circle to where we began.

"Truth in perfume does not exist,
unless one means by that the transient state of coincidence of a scent with our soul,
which means that there are as many truths as there are souls."
~ Jean-François Blayn from Dictionnaire du Langage Parfumé