I’ve always been obsessed with perfume and scents. Once I began getting migraines, I couldn’t use synthetic perfumes and I discovered natural perfumes. I started my soap business, Alegna Soap®, around the same time I started taking perfuming classes, and unfortunately, I had to make a choice. Soap or perfume? I don’t have much time for natural perfume making anymore, but I still have my supplies and enjoy opening bottles and playing around.
I’ve been asked how I learned about perfume making. My first teacher was Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume. Years ago, I was her teaching assistant when she came to do her classes in NYC. When she stopped traveling, I ventured to Rhode Island to learn. I’m pretty sure I’ve taken almost every class she ever offered. I’m very sure I have a bottle or sample of every perfume she’s ever made. Charna is a born story-teller and that carries over to her perfumes. I love how she talks about “Divine” and her friend who wears red lipstick.
Julianne Zaleta owns Alchemologie, a natural perfume company based in Brooklyn. Julianne teaches in her home and at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. As with Charna, I’ve taken almost every class Julianne gives and I have a sample or bottle of every perfume she makes. I’m especially fond of Nethermead.
I’ve wanted to travel to Berkeley California to take a class with Mandy Aftel, but it’s not in my near future. Alegna Soap® keeps me busy. Instead, I ordered her perfume workbook and oil kit. Mandy’s workbook takes a more structured approach to natural perfume making than I like, but I enjoyed it anyway. I plan on traveling to take a class with Mandy some day.
Have you ever tried a natural perfume?
Yours in Gratitude,