eyeliner on a cat

eyeliner on a cat
beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Friday, September 7, 2012

Perfume Palate: A Matter of Taste [Rachel Blistein]

Earlier in the week, I reviewed a group of products from independently owned, natural hair care line Original Moxie, and Rachel Blistein is the sharp, savvy and green chypre-loving woman behind the brand. I love to support indie beauty brands just as much as the indie perfumers, because my life would just not be the same without them. If you need an example of how well Original Moxie's multi-use products work (besides my long, detailed review), just look at Rachel's photo below:

Have you ever seen such perfect curls? It takes the right combination of the right products to get to your ideal hair, as I have found out. Rachel has a great nose (and a lot of love) for natural perfume, a commitment to making safe products and a kind heart. Those qualities along with brains and beauty made the prospect of interviewing her for this series a must. If you can tear your eyes away from those stunning ringlets for two minutes, read on for her answers to my questionnaire.

First of all, please state your name and occupation:

Rachel Blistein, Founder and CEO of Original Moxie Natural Hair Care.

What is your favorite perfume at the moment?

My own custom blend of vetiver, oak moss, patchouli and vanilla. Those scents ground me and give me confidence throughout the day.

What is your favorite fragrance house or brand of perfume?

Back in the day when I was unaware of the dangers of synthetics, I was strictly a Chanel no. 19 gal. I still have a bottle that I will (guiltily) spritz from time to time. Now I am falling in line with Aftelier Perfumes, which have a similar level of complexity, but without the nasty chemicals. 

How often do you wear perfume, and under what circumstances do you wear it?

I love to wear it whenever possible as it can really influence how you feel about yourself throughout the day, but busy mornings mean I mostly just put it on for special occasions, important meetings or date nights with my husband. I wish I had more time to experiment and play with it more often!

Is it important to you to know who the perfumer or creator is behind the perfumes you wear?

Not so much the creator, but the philosophy of the brand is very important to me. I don't want to smell good at the expense of my health, the environment or other creatures.

Do you follow the work of certain perfumers, and if so, who?

I have been devoted to (bordering on obsessed with) Mandy Aftel of Aftelier Perfumes since I first read her book Essence and Alchemy. More than any other perfumer working today, I just connect with the way she uses scent, and in particular, her unwavering commitment to naturally derived fragrances.

Think of an iconic perfume bottle design from the past. What is it?

Again, I'd have to go with Chanel. In my opinion, it's a great example of simple, elegant presentation without a lot of bells and whistles. 

How many times a day do you estimate that you think about perfume?

Every day! Our hair products are fragranced with essential oils and we blend the fragrances for these formulations in much the same way you would develop a traditional perfume.The only difference is that we have to work with the natural odor of the product itself, which can be challenging. 

Think of the last time you complimented someone on the fragrance they were wearing. Did you ask them what it was, and if so, did they tell you?

I'm usually too shy to ask! There is one that I smell from time to time, and I've never been able to identify it! It's silly, I should just ask, right?

In just three words, describe your ideal fragrance:

Earthy, Green and Fresh.

[photo courtesy of Rachel Blistein]

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