This is the conclusion of an exciting and rewarding series on chocolate perfumes from some of the most talented Master perfumers across the globe.
I am proud to introduce my next chocolate oasis of perfumery from the continent of Africa. Chocolate comes in virtually everything we use and its history is one of the most colorful and interesting flavor of its kind.
Fragrance Belles-Lettres: The Magazine features perfumes from all over the world. However when I heard about the Rose en Bos Botanical Perfumes, I had to investigate it. After reading about this new and one of a kind perfumery named, The Western Cape Perfumery nestled in the rolling mountains of South Africa, I knew I had captured the world.
The Western Cape Perfumery was just established in 2010 with perfumes creations inspired by the beauty of the continent.
This niche perfumery creates elegant and unusual scents that are hand-blended in small batches like it was done during the 18Th and 19Th century in France.
The perfumer and owner of The Western Cape Perfumery is Emily Pienaar who has a unique aspect to perfumes that are controlled by nature. This is why all the fragrances in this collection are made entirely from plants which include extracts from flowers, bark, seeds, resins, grasses and fruit.
These “botanical” perfumes do not have synthetic fixatives and smell completely different from one person to the next. So, my experience with this collection is based solely on me and I am thankful for it because I know that these perfumes are made with superb ingredients that are good for my skin and good for the environment.
Rose en Bos Botanical Perfumes consist of four fragrances that are all different what its own character of sophistication.
VIRIDESCENT Parfum is a fresh and vibrant scent of citrus and green notes.
DARK HEART Parfum is the essence of deep robust chocolate that is spicy with intoxicating notes of dark chocolate and jasmine.
I had the opportunity to test these scents in a solid perfume base made with unfiltered beeswax and African baobab oil. It is truly safe because my two children ages 2 ½ and 5 who were curious wanted to sniff the perfumes and rubbed it on their wrists. Once they did that, there was no after effects or allergic reactions.
I love the range of scents and how the beeswax melts on your finger before it is applied to the skin. It goes on warm from the heat of the fingertips and the fragrance smells so pure and strong but it calms down to a lasting lighter scent that stays on for at least eight hours.
Rose en Bos Botanical Perfumes come in an array of products from solid parfum extrait, floral perfume lockets, eau de toilette and eau de toilette samples.
The Western Cape Perfumery is exclusive to Fragrance Belles-Lettres: The Magazine in terms of the first in-depth reviews and EXCLUSIVE interview with Emily Pienaar.
The interview with Ms. Pienaar is in two parts because the first part is questions about IMITHI, ROSE &VINES and VIRIDESCENT Parfums.
The second part is questions about DARK HEART, the chocolate perfume.
Rose en Bos Botanical Perfumes is uniquely beautiful due to the use of natural resources that Africa has to offer since its creation on earth.
Congratulations, Emily on the launch of your perfume collection and thank you for taking the time to speak with me!
1. Emily how did you get involved in perfumery?
I have always been attracted to scented plants, and I had vague plans to learn grow aromatic plants for distillation. This idea was put on hold for a while when I went to live on the little island of Bermuda, where I discovered and worked at the Bermuda Perfumery (the home of Lili Bermuda) for a short while. The Bermuda Perfumery introduced me to the idea that a perfumery can be a small, family run business, and lit a fire in my head. From then on I made it a priority to learn as much as I could, to read everything I could get my hands on, about the science and art of perfume making.
2. What attracted you to natural perfumery?
I love the idea that I am creating scents in the same way that it has been done for hundreds of years. And as I am a lover of all things botanical, creating with natural ingredients seemed the logical thing to do.
I love the idea that I am wearing something on my skin that had (and has!) a life of its own.
3. I hear that South Africa is such a beautiful place. Emily, what is it about South Africa that you love? Also, how long have you lived in South Africa?
Oh, where to start? South Africa is so beautiful, and despite its troubles there is nowhere else quite like it in the world. The geography is quite magnificent and the culture is vibrant and diverse.
I am particularly in love with the amazing and occasionally bizarre plants of the Cape Floral Kingdom the smallest, and richest, of the world’s six floral kingdoms. The mountain ranges around my home also provide endless inspiration.
I moved to South Africa from Zimbabwe with my family when I was a child and it has been my home for twenty years.
4. What inspired you to create the ROSE EN BOS PERFUME COLLECTION?
The four perfumes of the Rose en Bos Collection represent a very personal exploration and interpretation of the alchemy of scent, as inspired by the southernmost tip of the African continent.
Imithi is an ode to the forests, a woody aromatic fragrance evocative of jungles and glades.
Rose & Vines is directly inspired by the vineyards and rose hedges of the Western Cape winelands, a floral oriental of predominantly rosy oils, woody notes and a just a hint of cognac.
Dark Heart is a sultry and spicy fragrance that evokes the romance and mystery of an African night.
Viridescent is fresh citrus scent which embodies a breeze across the mountains on a gloriously sunny day.
5. Do you see the need for more natural perfumers in South Africa?
The concept of natural perfumery is still very new in South Africa, and not widely known. However there is an interest in natural products and I definitely think there is room for development.
6. Emily, you chose ROSE & VINE to be an eau de toilette, why is that?
While I love all my perfumes, Rose &Vines is my absolute favorite… Eventually I intend to make eau de toilette versions of the others as well.
7. Lastly, Emily what is your message as a perfumer and owner of WESTERN CAPE PERFUMERY regarding your debut perfume collection?
The name of my perfume house says it all: the ‘Rose’, the quintessential queen of flowers and the ‘Bos’, a South African word meaning at once the bush, the veld, and the fynbos. These two symbols represent a marriage of European and African sensibilities; traditional French perfume-making inspired by Southern Africa, and made with as many local ingredients as possible.
In this way my perfumes are an extension of myself and my identity.
DARK HEART PARFUM INTERVIEW...
1. Emily, what inspired you to create DARK HEART PARFUM?
I wanted to create a fragrance that contained chocolate notes but not one that made you smell like a chocolate!
2. Could you describe briefly the ingredients in DARK HEART?
Dark Heart is made with Jasmine Sambac, Pink Moroccan Rose and Cocao Absolute, with base notes of Rock Rose and Sandalwood. The result is rich, spicy, and sultry. Dark Heart is a solid perfume blended into a base of organic African Baobab oil and beeswax.
3. What is it about chocolate that you love?
Emily Luchetti, award winning chef is quoted as saying “After eating chocolate you feel godlike, as though you can conquer enemies, lead armies, entice lovers…”
While this might not always be the case, nothing puts me in a good mood like a little chocolate! The smell is rich and sumptuous and carries such wonderfully positive connotations.
4. How difficult or easy is it to acquire ingredients in South Africa to make a fragrance?
South Africa is a country diverse not only in culture but also in geography and climate. South Africa has a growing bio-oil extraction industry and good quality oils from many plants are readily available. I am lucky in that I live in an area where many plants are grown for distillation and export to foreign markets.
I do of course import some ingredients from other countries, but this is easy enough thanks to the internet.
PURCHASE: roseenbos.com or etsy.com/moonshineandmountain
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo of all Rose en Bos logos, photos of perfume box, paintings of IMITHI, ROSE & VINES, VIRIDESCENT and DARK HEART, Photo of Emily Pienaar are property of The Western Cape Perfumery; Photo of drawing from Andrew Sanan http://www.sananscapes.com/