A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM
SHAKESPEARE’S NATURAL PERFUME
“ALL THE PERFUMES OF ARABIA WILL NOT SWEETEN THIS LITTLE HAND.”(Quote taken from MACBETH ACT V, SCENE 1)
This famous quote from the play, Macbeth is true for the extravagant perfume event that will take place for the writers (blogs) and the dramatist (perfumers) who will make it happen.
However, the main theme for this event is ‘A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM PERFUME EVENT-ACT 1- Scene1. It is a scented event based on Shakespeare’s play that was written around the year of 1560.
Ms. Feeley’s version of the play features 13 perfumers who will create their individual fragrance to represent some aspect of the play. While the 12 bloggers will critic these fragrances and give individual reviews and post them on their websites.
However, in A Midsummer Night’s Perfume Event, Scene 1 there will be no manipulation of fairies because the requirement for this event is to have “oodles of fun.”
Let’s introduce the cast members of Perfumers for this enchanting event.
Charna Ethier-Providence Perfume Company
Lisa Fong- Artemisia Perfumes
Yuko Fukami- Parfum Phyto
Shelley Waddington- Envoyage Perfumes
JoAnne Bassett- JoAnne Bassett Perfumes
Ambrosia Jones- Perfumes by Nature
Libby Patterson- Libby Patterson Organics
Ane Walsh- Artesa Perfumista
Justine Crane- The Scented Djinn
Lisa Abdul-Quddus- Blossoming Tree
Ayala Moriel- Ayala Moriel Parfums
Ankica Milic- Be-Bellatrix
Amanda Feeley- Esscentual Alchemy
So, Macbeth’s quote is true that the sweeter hands belongs in this case to the natural perfumers who will begin this play (perfume event) with creations that will broaden our minds to the ever pressing need of natural perfumery.
I had the honor of speaking with Amanda Feeley who told me why this event was created and the importance of natural perfumery. Also what is really means for Mandy Aftel and natural perfumery to be included at this year’s FIFI AWARDS for the very first time in its history.
Hello Amanda and thank you for taking the time out to speak with me!
Hello to you, Felicia, and to all of your readers!
Amanda, how long have you been a natural perfumer?
I have been perfuming only a very short time. I started working in January of 2010, and in July 2010, I “took the plunge” and started selling online. However, I’ve been a creative person my whole life. I’ve dabbled in visual art, written art, and I am a fully trained classical musician. Specifically, I am a Lyric Coloratura. I’m also a mommy :D and that takes a great deal of creativity!
You were originally from Iowa, but now you live on the Fiji islands, why the change?
Iowa is in the middle of a HUGE land mass, as in it takes 3000 miles to get to the East and West coasts from here. The times I have visited the ocean, it really spoke to my soul. I wondered what it must be like to live in a place where you are surrounded by the ocean. How it feels to only be able to go only a short distance before you see the endless water again. I think it must help keep things in perspective. So I say I’m now on Fiji, because I have wanted to retire on a tropical island for many years now, and it’s my way of “reminding” myself where I want to be someday.
Amanda, thank you for the privilege of being a part of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Perfume Event. Why did you create this unique event?
I’m also an astrologer, and pagan. There are certain times of the year that are especially powerful and spiritual due to the energy that is flowing. I thought it would be a good way to celebrate, especially considering the Shakespeare play of the same name. Plus Fairies are always fun, and I like to have fun! Probably because I spend alot of time with children *laughs*.
How important is it to keep the focus on natural perfumery?
I think that Natural Perfumery is growing in an organic way. There are more and more people who want to know what is IN all of the products that they are putting on their bodies. The skin is our largest organ, and absorbs very efficiently. There are no long term studies done, on what absorbing many many chemicals does to your body. Synthetic fragrances use chemicals and petroleum byproducts. Companies are not required by law, to list their components. They only appear on labels as ‘parfum’ or ‘fragrance’. There are no long term studies done on these compounds regarding the safety and effect of these chemicals on our bodies. Recently I learned that in the 1970’s, a synthetic musk was developed, and heavily used in main stream perfumes, which after a period of time, was discontinued due to photo-toxicity and neuro-toxicity issues, and the lack of breakdown in the environment. Who’s the test subject for safety? Human beings.
Compare this with Essential Oils or Raw Botanicals. Essential oils have numerous emotional and health benefits to offer. They have been used safely for hundreds or thousands of years.
Amanda will 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' Perfume Event take place yearly?
Depending on the outcome and the feedback on this event, I am considering putting together a similar event for the Winter Solstice. I’d like to do a yearly event, thought not having to have the same theme each year. I’ll leave it up to my Muses to decide.
Amanda, what does it mean for Mandy Aftel, Master Perfumer and owner of Aftelier Perfumes in California to be a FINALIST for the 2011 FIFI AWARDS?
I think this is outstanding, and I’m so excited for her! If anyone deserves that award it is Mandy. She’s the pioneer of the back to natural perfume. I think of her, and respect her in the same way that I think of, and respect, Ina May Gaskin. Ina May Gaskin, was the pioneer of the back to natural childbirth movement.
What does it all really mean for the fragrance industry in general and especially for natural perfumery?
*laughing* What it means is that we’re no longer considered the “red-headed stepchild,” if you will. Dabblers that are oh so cute, just playing around like the big kids. This is a huge step, towards the recognition of so many people who have been working hard at this artform. I think this will only get bigger as time goes on. The pendulum always swings back from the edges. To me, this movement is similar to the natural/slow food movement in many ways. People are tired of putting things and ingesting things into their bodies, that can cause long term side effects or reduce the quality of life they will have when they get older. There is something to be said for quality over quantity. Perfumes historically were offerings to the gods. They MEANT something special. It wasn’t about “sex and preening.” It was supposed to move you, emotionally. Put you in an aromatheraputic head space, as my friend David Lincoln Brooks says. The old perfumers of the great houses knew that. Somehow over the years that has been lost in the larger houses. Not the perfumers of the larger houses persay, but the people behind it. The ones who want the big bottom line at the end of the year. TO me, natural perfumery is bringing this back.
Tell me about your fragrance company, ESSCENTUAL ALCHEMY? For readers new to your company, what types of fragrances do you create?
What I really want is to make perfumes, that smell good, and also make people FEEL good. Feel loved, cared for, and put them in a wonderful place emotionally. If someone enjoys wearing a perfume as much as I enjoy making it, than I feel that I have succeeded. I have a lady whom has become a friend too, who told me that she had suffered from anxiety for years, and panic attacks. She says that since she has been wearing the samples she has gotten from me, they have reduced. How much better could I ask for? I have improved the quality of someone’s life! That is what this is all about for me! This is important work, and I’m grateful to those people who appreciate and support my work.
I am often inspired by a piece of music, visual art, or written word. Many times, I have an idea. I write the idea down, and then I must WAIT until the Muses speak in my ear, and give me the formulation. I have a leather bound journal that I write these concepts in, and I just never know when the mood will hit, so I keep it close by at all times.
Amanda thank you so much! It has been a pleasure and best of luck with the perfume event.
Felicia, thank you! It’s been a great deal of fun, and I thank you for your time!
PHOTO CREDIT: wikipedia.com, thinkingwithshakespeare.com.org, journal.illuminatedperfume.com,