With so many mods, the process can go on and on and on... It can be rather daunting at times: sniff this, compare it to that. Add a little bit more of this, and omit that. Does it smell right? Does it really make your nose want to sing? Does it smell unique and fabulous? Is there even a point of releasing something new - or am I just repeating myself and creating yet another white floral, or grassy, hay-like composition?
Composing is tedious, but also very meditative. Creative. Therapeutic, even. It's the analysis stage that can be the killer - I had so many options - the 6 rounds I told you about over the last couple of weeks were really more than that - they were 8 different formulae (or mods), and basically represented two if not three opposing concepts:
1) Retro, luscious floral with a bit of a dark, gloomy and pensieve personality and that is completely abstract.
2) Rainy, greeny winter scent that's supposed to realistically portray a real-life nature scenery (narcissus, puddles and pine forests).
3) Just go wild with narcissus absolute and make it truly shine, purely as a soliflore, with absolutely no regard to availability, expense or demand - which would inevitably create a very limited edition.
It was not the hardest decision of my life but let's say that there were at the end of it, 2 mods that I had to pick. It had to be either one or the other. The difficulty was that I really liked both mod 07 and mod 08.
Here I waned to come back to the 6th mod (in round 4), in which the narcissus and coffee flower absolutes create a mysterious, dusky character. I wanted it to also be a very close replica of my first round (mods 1 & 2), in which I used essences I can't source again, or ones that have some issues (i.e.: the oakwood absolute contains a plasticizer). I looked for other woody substitutes and wanted to still create that unique, very retro warmth that is reminiscent of the great aldehydic florals of the turn of the century, yet with my own personal twist.
I ended up making full circle, as this round (AKA mod. 08) is truly a reflection of mod. 01, which I've created back in 2007).
Base notes: Vegetal Musk Compound No. 3, Liatrix Absolute, Ambreine, Costus, Africa Stone, Pinewood
Heart notes: Narcissus Absolute, Coffee Flower Absolute, Orange Blossom Absolute, Orris CO2, Styrax
Top notes: Bergamot, Szechuan Pepper
Like I mentioned in my last Narkiss post - I realized at this point in my process that I need to pick between one of two directions, and concepts. For the fifth round, I decided to focus on the puddle and mushroom concept.
Pairing down the puddle and mushroom, pine forest and break in the clouds imagery and sensory concept, to highlight the freshness even more. In this round I used pinewood, green spikenard, angelica CO2 and pine needle absolute along with pinemoss to create that Mediterranean pine grove feel, in all the winter wetness and rainy glory.
To that I added, of course, narcissus absolute with some supporting notes of balsam poplar buds, ylang ylang and jasmine for more floral presence, but still keeping it light and green. Top notes included cabreuva, to create an illusion of rain and wetness, and orris tincture for that wet soil, roots and violets after rain effect.
Base notes: Pinewood, Green Spikenard, Angelica CO2 and Pine Needle Absolute, Pinemoss
Heart notes: Narcissus Absolute, Jasmine Absolute, Balsam Poplar Buds Absolute
Top notes: Orris Tincture, Cabreuva, Szechuan Pepper CO2, Palmarosa
Ylang Ylang Extra, Bergamot
The result totally captured my heart. Although the narcissus is not so apparent in this one, it truly portrays the scenery of Mediterranean winter in the pine forest. Puddles, pine mushrooms picking, etc. My only reservation on releasing this mod was that it's echos too much the other fresh, woody underlined fragrances that I already offer in my collection, i.e. Orcas and Bon Zai.