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Handmade fragrances from Brooklyn, NY. www.mcmcfragrances.com

Posts from the perfume Category

Lab2Screen Shot 2014-05-19 at 2.42.15 PMScreen Shot 2014-05-19 at 2.43.31 PMIt’s been a while but we’re back with another installment of the Perfumery Lesson series (here are lessons 1, 2 and 3). We’ve had so many requests for classes and we’re hoping to host some later this year. I think I may have found a venue! In the meantime, someone asked:

I am starting to build a “library” of perfumery materials. What do you recommend in terms of building a good base of natural raw materials?

A lot of perfumers can agree that natural materials are the starting point and inspiration behind a fragrance. Perfumes are always described in terms of their natural ingredients, and copywriters rarely romanticize synthetic ingredients (have you ever heard anyone wax poetic about calone or ethylene brassylate?).

Building your own library of materials is a hobby akin to collecting. I think it’s nice to gather materials a few at a time, smell them and live with them, and then purchase more and repeat this process. Each natural ingredient is so completely different and remember too, that the country of origin or species can be a huge factor (take as examples Haitian vetiver vs Indonesian vetiver, or cedarwood from Virginia, Texas and Morocco). It’s important to be able to distinguish the subtle nuances between each smell, as this familiarity with the raw materials is what starts you on the path to becoming a perfumer.

My advice would be to get your hands on as many natural ingredients as you can. Eventually you will have your own particular palette, culled from your favorites. But keep in mind too, that beyond the initial gut reaction of “I like” or “I don’t like,” that each ingredient is a tool, and can be used in your formulations to enhance, spike and change an overall impression.

Here are some raw materials to get your mind jogging: vanilla absolute from Madagascar, French basil, birch tar oil, Iranium galbanum, Indian jasmine, cinnamon from Ceylon, Brazilian pink pepper oil, ginger CO2, Australian sandalwood, lemongrass, lime essential oil, Bulgarian rose, American peppermint, Iris butter, Italian neroli, Egyptian geranium, coriander seed….

Top photo: MCMC Fragrances studio
Bottom two photos via Strange Invisible Perfumes

1397911699922Ever since designer Caitlin Mociun opened her eponymous Williamsburg store, she’s been a big supporter of MCMC. From day one you could find our whole range of perfume oils, candles and men’s offerings on display next to her (really incredible) fine jewelry.

Last summer we got to talking, and as it turns out, for years everyone has commented on her scent. Sadly, her scent was a hippie musk that was no longer in production. Caitlin had bought one last big bottle of the stuff and was preciously and slowly using it (though she admits she kind of bathed in it). It was time to make her a new fragrance.

Inspired by her recent trip to the southern Italian island of Sicily, we drew inspiration from the bright and bitter scent of Italian neroli flowers coupled with an essential oil of the stems of the same tree, called petitgrain. We added a warm, rich, and long-lasting amber and clean white musk to finish it off. The 9ml perfume oil comes packaged in Mociun’s signature jewelry box.

Available at the MOCIUN store, 224 Wythe Avenue in Brooklyn, NY and online at www.mcmcfragrances.com.

Photos and styling by Bailey Doesn’t Bark.

Picture 1While at Henri Bendel this past weekend for our Trunk Show (p.s. thank you to all those who came out to support!), I ended up falling in love with two fragrances…

Eight and Bob is my dream fragrance for my dream man. It smells like crisp, clean cotton T-shirts fresh out of the laundry. There’s just the slightest top notes of citrus and a hint of spice, but the overwhelming scent is the powdery warmth of detergent – kind of a lingering, light musk. I imagine that on a guy’s skin this would translate into actually quite a manly smell. There’s a quite elaborate story that goes along with the fragrance identifying it as the one JFK wore. You can read the lore here.

Fracas, an over-the-top feminine floral, was first launched in 1948. It’s super heady; tuberose being the dominant floral note. Tuberose is a wonderful flower, but its scent can be an acquired taste. It’s heavy and has a creamy aspect almost like coconut. The word fracas means promiscuous, and it is said that this is the only fragrance Marilyn Monroe wore, and that Madonna is also a fan (lots of name-dropping in this post, I apologize!). When I wore it I felt like I was on a tropical vacation one moment, then ultra sophisticated the next. The whole time I had it on I was aware of it. I wanted to smell my wrist over and over, and it made me self-conscious but in a good way.

I suppose I’ll make this a tradition. Here is last year’s holiday fragrance wishlist.

Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 7.11.02 PMbredvad_20120111_34279Picture 1Screen Shot 2013-10-16 at 7.16.52 PMOne of the funnest parts of owning a business is seeing which of the things you put out into the world really take off. A few years ago we released our Dude No. 1 Beard Oil. I had originally made this scented oil as a Christmas gift for my husband. He’s not into spraying fragrance on, so I made a spicy wood scent and put it in a fat roll-on bottle. Soon his friends wanted some, and eventually they convinced me to release it as part of my line. Together we came up the name Dude No.1, which is of course totally tongue in cheek. The Dude No. 1 Beard Oil totally took off, sparking the whole category of beard oil (which didn’t exist before!) and getting press in GQ, Vanity Fair, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Cup of Jo, Nylon, you name it. Seriously, it astounded me.

One of the things I kept hearing is how much people loved the fragrance – men and women! Finally, finally, three years later, we’re releasing our Dude No. 1 Cologne. Based on our wildly popular beard oil, it’s blend of three woods – Virginia cedarwood, creamy sandalwood and smoky Haitian vetiver – accented by spicy ginger and pink peppercorn with a heart of Moroccan rose.

Enjoy : ) xoxo

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