Chypre Time of Reflection

Fall is gracefully entering the skies... Bright and blue, they are now crisp in the morning and by high noon are warmed by gentle slightly angled sun rays. The breezes are creating ripples and larger waves even in the quiet Straight of Georgia and the more sheltered False Creek.
The days are getting shorter and suddenly the notion of dressing up and having friends over for a cup of tea (not iced!) does not seem awkward anymore.

This time of the year I am drawn to Chypres time and time again - especially the Chypre Fruity, such as Mitsouko, Femme, and also other classics like Sous le Vent (which I was wearing two days straight now). I'm feeling sad that there has been much less interest in this fragrance family. I wish the rants about discontinued members of this family were backed up by purchasing habits to support its continuous existence. I'm definitely not seeing very much sold of some of my perfumes that I'm most proud of. And I'm sorry to say, unless this changes drastically in this season, I will have to say goodby to these perfumes and cease from producing them.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I believe customers need to know when a product they love (or say they love) is getting pulled off the market. It's always been my mandate to never truly discontinue a fragrance (I can always make things on-order, unless an ingredient is nowhere to be found).
Also, customers need to know that complaining about what companies do and don't do for them is sometimes beyond the point. Those who are loyal and actually do purchase the product - I feel for you (and you know that just like you I will be scouring eBay for beloved long-gone or reformulated perfumes). But just complaining about a company's actions is not always fair. I'm all for criticizing the big boys' preference for the bottom line (aka profit), and it often seems that they would go as far as completely bastardizing their formulae to achieve that goal.

In my case (as I sure is also the case with many other niche brands that are struggling to remain visible in the vast ocean of 1000 new releases per year with budget far larger than theirs): not only am I not really profiting from this, I'm actually losing money for keeping these perfumes in rotation: It is seriously getting to the point when even keeping all the specialty ingredients that are required to keep this on hand is simply not realistic in the current economic climate when people are taking second jobs (if they manage to keep their first one) and companies are cutting costs everywhere possible. I don't want cost-cutting to affect the quality of my products, EVER. But I cannot go on subsidizing people's olfactory curiousity at the expense of my (non-existent) pension plan and my daugther's (non-existent) college funds.

Sample sales are just not enough to justify keeping a perfume on the shelf. I don't even make profit off selling samples: they just barely pay for the cost of producing and shipping them. It's harsh, but that's life - there isn't an unlimited space in my tiny studio, and rent ain't cheap! Each fragrance takes up space and needs to be kept in stock to be offered on the website or anywhere really. And if there isn't enough interest (backed-up by actually putting money towards where the declarations of love are directed), then I need to act very business like and discontinue them.

The perfumes in question are Autumn, Megumi and Schizm. Three perfumes I've always been very proud of. However, I can't even remember when someone bought a full bottle of any of these (and I usually remember those kinds of details - including who purchased it within this year) - and these used to be constantly sought out by Chypre loving perfumistas and my regular customers... I know there is nothing "wrong" with these perfumes per se - although of course I can always make them more "intense" and more "dramatic" and more "noir" and flanker them to death and relaunch it (if I had a million dollar budget), but I thought long and hard and I think I will just have to let them go - unless I'm seeing some orders coming for full bottles of these beauties by the end of 2012. Which means that you will only have the options of the fresher, greener Chypres - Ayalitta (thankfully among my best-sellers), ArbitRary (dito) and Rainforest.

Mental Notes + Stock Updates

Today I've been wearing Roses et Chocolat. I haven't worn this for quite sometime - except when trying the tea with Dawna last week.
I have to say, this perfume matured into something much lovelier than it even was in its youth. After a couple years of maturing (this is how old the sample I have is) it has morphed into a very perfumey rose that reminds me of Russian rose incense (it comes in mica dusted pellets). Only that the Russian rose incense smells very synthetic and Roses et Chocolat is purely natural and rosey and complex like a real rose should be. The amber and pink pepper added to the rose and cacao account for that incensey surprise.

And last but not least: we are now fully stocked up on ArbitRary candles and the soothing and seductive Roses et Chocolat tea. You better get yours soon, because both are as popular as they deserve to be.
Just FYI: my personal 2oz tin of Roses et Chocolat tea is halfway empty within the course of 10 days. My guests here at the studio love it too.

ArbitRary Candle

Last night the first sample of my perfumed candle arrived. You can imagine my feeling opening the package and discovering in it something that I did not make and that smelled exactly like my perfume ArbitRary... I was ecstatic.

The candle was custom-made for me by the talented artisanal candle-maker Nikki Sherritt of Gabriel’s Aunt. Nikki and I have been working on adding all-natural perfumed candles to my line since the fall. The first candle we worked on was Bois d'Hiver for the winter. The candle is not quite ready and we both felt it was time to create a different candle. I have been fantasizing of an ArbitRary candle ever since I’ve smelled Nikki’s masterfully crafted perfumed candles (and her Summer Vacation in particular convinced me that ArbitRary would be gorgeous in a candle form). The results haven’t failed: the candle has a cold throw that is nearly identical to the perfume. It burns with its lovely, refreshing aroma, filling the room gently with its mélange of basil, lime, lemon verbena, oakmoss and hay.

Each 8oz candle burns for 50-60 hours and retails for $45. They are now available for ordering and will be in stock next week.
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