Lonestar Memories: Colombina on Perfumesmellingthings. (...)Lonestar Memories makes me want to escape the mundane confines of my everyday world(...)

Lonestar Memories: Katie on Scentzilla. (...) Lonestar Memories smells of the examined life. Inside there is joy, and there is tiny heartbreak, e xisting only in reverie. The scent unravels into the consideration of past experiences, and pinings for future joys and heartbreaks(...)

Lonestar Memories: Marlen Harrison's review on PerfumeCritic.com (...) If you're a lover of leather or richer wood fragrances, this is gonna be a holy grail scent and in that case, better get two bottles.(...)

Lonestar Memories: Cait Shortell's review on Legerdenez. (...) Do you appreciate scent because you identify with the scent and its image? Does a scent have the ability to create a memory outside one’s own experience?(...)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Do you like beaver?

Do you like beaver?

I love them.

In a sense they are cultural beings, just like us, maybe more driven by instinct’s power within their genes then we are. Just like us they are forming their habitat, building artful dams that allow them to life their way of aquatic life, transporting yummy woody sticks home to their timber castles. We on the other hand build highways to life our mobile live, transporting ourselves in rolling 2 ton metal castles to wherever we want to be at a given moment in time. Which is great but rather unsustainable, therefore our little private mobile existence will sooner or later come to end whereas innocent beaver will still build his water world.

Having reached Methuselah age and finally going there where all beavers have to go one day, after a happy existence in untouched forests, for instance in Canada’s wild north, our lovely beaver is the natural source of a fragrance that is remarkable and was of high value to perfumers in the past: Castoreum, the fragrant extract of beaver glands. It is –in dilution!- a wonderful scent, very indol-like, a dream fixative, woody mossy aspects, a few drops lasting for ever. Now, most beavers these days do not really die in their sleep, modern mobile men is driving with 4 wheel drive into the woods, hunting pretty beaver lady for her natural furry cover to fabricate a less natural cover for uptown beauties. That’s man’s advantage of being on the very top of the food chain; you get furs for almost nothing, some meat with it and Castoreum.

For those among you who do not want to use Castoreum, feeling sorry for little beaver while enjoying your steak ;-) , get Cepes absolute, from Eden botanicals for instance! Not in the sense that it would be a true substitute. This beautiful scent is rather in between beaver’s Castoreum and oakmoss, with edible qualities, very radiant somehow, a mossy sweetness in it, but I guess, it might be an interesting substitute worth considering in love of Mr and Ms beaver in their castle.


Blogger Ruby said...

Well I do love my steak every now and then, but find myself eating less and less meat as time flyes by. But I do think there is a wide difference between raising cattle for meat and hunting wild animals to get to their smelly parts. Feel free to call me a hypocrite to think it's right to kill one animal and not the other, but you will never see this female body swathed (is that the right word??)in furs either. If any hunting is better than the other, I can see that castoreum and civet are "better" animal fixatives to use, than ambergris or musk - for obvious, such as endagered spicies (sp??) reasons. But for me, I don't want to use them anyway. I mean even civet cats don't give up their secretions volontarily to man, do they? Kept in capitivity and poked through the bars of their cages, to extract their smelly stuff.... To me that isn't a very apealing thought at all.

One of the great challanges in having chosed to use only natural materials (yeahh, animals are natural but..;-P) is to find different blends of botanicals (and bee-goo tincture LOL), that synergisticaly (sp?) can anchor my perfumes. But - this is MY choice of doing this, other people make theirs. Either way, there is room for us all - except for thos who use true musk and not certified wild harvested ambergris...;-)

It's so cold here today, that I need to go and put another log on the fire and get myself a nice hot mug of tea.

5:12 AM  
Blogger andy said...

Dear Ruby
I think so too, very much indeed. For wild musk there is, as long as the animal is so close to extinction, no room and no pardon from my side.

If you like castoreum: I think trying Cepes might be worth a try, not as a substitute, but rather as another way of eventually reaching a similar target. But as far a civet is concerned: I do not really know what a good alternative might be on an all natural non-animal level. Maybe a mixture of Cognac absolute, lovage root? I have no good idea here.

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Prince Barry said...

As you know Andy, Cepes Absolute is in one of my favourite perfumes - Mandy Aftel's Cepes and Tuberose. I just can't resist putting a dab on my hand and just keep sniffing it.


10:03 AM  
Anonymous Daisy said...

Andy, given my love of beavers and other charming creatures, I have a few more replacement ideas for you.

For castoreum, a good natural replacement would be Essence Boulot Rectifiée. Both have a similar smoked meat, leathery aspect.

For civette, how about beeswax absolute combined with scatole and Civittone (Firmenich)?

The use of natural musk is unconscionable given that dozens of synthetic musks are available, and you can achieve any musk tonality you're looking for these days.

I personally think that fecal animalic notes are over-rated, particularly now that modern plumbing has alleviated us from having to cover up malodors with other malodors. ;-)

10:05 PM  
Blogger Ruby said...

I have samples of two of MsAftels perfumes; Eau de maroc and Linden Blossom, bot purchased at a exorbant 8sp??) price at Scent System in London and I can't say neither of them "do" very much for me. Specialy in the dryout, where MAs ever persistent use of civet shines through.

I do have a sample of Edens Chepes, but have not tried blending it yet. For us who don't use synthetic musks (or anything synthetic at all LOL) Ambrette seed, both as an absolute and a tincture of the seeds, creates a lovely musk like base.
I have White cognac from Sunrose and come to think about it, it does have a kind of cat pee note in it ROFLOL. I'm about to order some of Edens green cognac, interesting to compare what difference there might be in them.

Daisy - what is "Essence Boulot Rectifiée"? I do agree on the fecal notes, but some notes that reminds me of the animalistic ones, are sometimes a great addition to create a certain level of mystery.
Beeswax abs is great, but bee-goo tinctures are even better. Andy, I will tell you about it more privately :-)

11:39 PM  
Blogger andy said...

Dear Daisy
I have to admit....I do not know Boulot rectifié, at least not under this name. What is it from?
And dear Barry: The same happened to me when applying a little bit on my hand (Cepes, pure from Eden)....you sniff and sniff and it is almost mouth watering and goes down your spinal chord.....
Dear Ruby
don't bother ordering your sample of Cognac green... a sample of cognac green will be included into the package (which will hopefully be packed today....)

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Daisy said...

Essence boulot rectifiée translates to birch tar oil, I believe. I figured since you are Swiss Andy, I could get away with using the French. This is a fairly widely used note in classical perfumery to achieve a leather note. It's actually classified as a phenolic note, and not an animalic note. What they do is burn the bark of the birch tree to release its tar, and then they distill that to get the essential oil.

11:53 AM  
Blogger andy said...

All clear now...rectified birch tar. One of my daily companion. I didn't know the term in french, but you are right, a wonderful but not phenolic scent. For me it is almost powdery and a daily companion as I am working on this leather note ...
Thank you for your French lession...I have to admit, French is a weakness of mine.
Have a wonderful evening!

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Essence bouleau rectifiée is the correct term :)
Dear Andy for the synthetic castoreum replacements what company wins the quest in your opinion?
Biolandes, IFF, Robertet, Firmenich or Synarome ? :)

4:59 PM  

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