Fontaine de Violette

Introducing our new scent

It has been some time in the making, but I am very happy with the results! Fontaine de Violette is our new fragrance, just released in time for autumn. 

The violet is one of my favourite plants. I say 'plant' and not 'flower' because it is the whole kit and caboodle with the violet! Anyone familiar with the way a violet grows will know how it scents the space around it, even when not in flower. The leaves and roots have a deep, earthy green scent, mixed with a hint of its flower's scent and it is this beautiful combination that I have tried to capture with Fontaine de Violette.

The opening notes are tangy, green citrus, on the dry rather than sweet side. The scent of cut grass and crushed leaves is blended with cucumber notes, which provides a velvety pillow for the floral highlights - iris and violet. Violet is sweet by nature, but I don't find this cloying, it's as fresh as a walk in the woods!

Fontaine de Violette will be available to try and buy at Gathered on Saturday, 30 April and Sunday, 1 May, between 10 and 4. Gathered is in the old Queen's Theatre, Playhouse Lane, off Light Square, Adelaide.  Tester cards will be available in the near future.

The lovely label is by Magic Jelly.  I hope you love it as much as I do!

Works in Progress

New Scents Coming Soon

Now that the Christmas frenzy has eased, I have time to relax and reflect.  It has been a very busy year for Shanghai Lil & The Scarlet Fez with a number of new products, wholesale orders and more markets.  Hopefully, we will continue to grow in 2016.

This relaxing time also means I can plan and prepare.  I have a number of new products lined up including a perfume or two, an eau de cologne, some scents for the home and new lip balm flavours! 

One of the new perfumes has reached a point where I think it might be ready soon.  I have been experimenting with a violet based scent for some time, but violet is a difficult scent to contain (for me, anyway!) and I haven't been overly happy with the samples I have made. The latest sample is a blend of cool, green notes, sharp citrus and violet.  While it is yet to really settle (it takes about 4 weeks to really settle down), I can report that the sample starts out with notes of unripened citrus and black tea; as it develops, the florals come out, the green violet and soft hyacinth notes. On dry-down, the violet remains but it is lying in a bed of freshly cut grass. The opening is the only thing I'd like to play around with a bit more, but it probably needs to mellow out a bit. Fingers crossed!

I hope also to release a couple of linen sprays for the home. Linen spray has been the most requested product recently so I am excited to have these products to offer. Given the cost of bed linen, I am keen to ensure the product does not 'leave its mark'. I have seen some linen sprays using quite a bit of essential oil and I just wonder about the oil content and the effect that might have on, in particular, pale linen. Also, I'm not personally fond of strong scents around the house. I prefer scents to be subtle and to be stumbled upon here and there as a pleasant surprise rather than have my senses swamped. So, our linen sprays will be delicate, natural (of course!) and beautifully packaged. I can't wait to show you!

The Scented Gauntlet

A friendly challenge!

One of our loyal customers visited us last weekend at our Red Umbrella market stall and laid down the scented gauntlet.  We often have chats about a range of things, and one subject we talk about a lot, naturally, is scent.  Our friend brought in a gift for us; a sachet of dried herbs and flowers. 

Our friend explained that every year she dries a selection of herbs and flowers, in this case lemon verbena, deep red rose, mock orange and mint and she has generously given away a portion of her precious stash to us. But it has come with a challenge - to create a scent reminiscent of this dried blend.

Now, I should point out that I'm usually quite quiet and modest as a person, but the need to speak out sometimes unexpectedly drives me to levels of bravado seen only in the foolhardy!  I accepted the challenge almost dismissively - 'why yes, of course I can make that' and so on. A grotesque sight, I'm sure!

But we spent a little time discussing possible essential oils to use - it seems straightforward, but our loyal customer may be trying to catch me out with a scented wildcard - and so I will make a blend, a cologne perhaps, based on our lovely gift and see if it meets with approval.

The blend itself is very aromatic. The sweetness of the lemon verbena with a touch of rose is countered with the fresh green herbal notes of the mint. The mint itself is, as they say on those never-ending cooking shows, the star, and is a lot more subtle than you might think (I wonder whether minted peas have poisoned people's minds against mint generally...).  It is green and soft, not hot and cold like peppermint, a lovely accompaniment to the floral notes.  Overall, it has a fizzing, sherberty type of scent, which I love.  I may have created a rod for my own back with this, but I can't lose face, I will make something wonderful!  Oh, no, the bravado's back...