SUMMER OF PATCHOULI LOVE 2011 (ARTICLE & INTERVIEW)

Posted by Felicia M Hazzard 18 June, 2011

SUMMER OF PATCHOULI LOVE


        A Scentsational Celebration of the Senses

I know the best summer party and you don’t even have to come dressed in costume, well only if you want to do so. It’s happening at Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, you the place where movies have been made such as “Jaws” and the “Inkwell” just to name a few and home to vacationing Presidents of the US such as Clinton and Obama. 


This summer 2011 is a whole new kind of gathering of perfumers, bloggers and celebrities at Martha's Vineyard and it has everything to do with the scent of Patchouli. 


SUMMER OF PATCHOULI LOVE 2011 PERFUME PHARMER AND THE PATCH TEST BUNNIES is receiving a lot buzz from newspapers, online and hard copy magazines on this summer long event.

 SUMMER OF PATCHOULI LOVE 2011 is a sensory of senses relating to everything that is made with Patchouli and with the help of some of the fragrance industries most noted individuals, this summer event was made possible.


Monica Miller
Monica Miller, owner of Skye Botanicals, a natural products company and brainchild of SUMMER OF PATCHOULI LOVE 2O11 created this unique scent event based on her devotion and passion for natural perfumery. It relates to her popular online perfume blog, PERFUME PHARMER where she writes about natural perfumes and perfumers from around the world.


SUMMER OF PATCHOULI LOVE 2011 consist of 13 perfumers, 13 Patchouli perfumes and fragrance bloggers. The fragrance bloggers will evaluate and write about their most favorite three scents. these bloggers will be known as "Patch Test Bunnies". 

  The 13 perfumers were instructed to send their creations to only Monica who decanted them herself and put them in 1ml roller ball pilot vials and each of these 13 Patchouli scents were numbered individually for clarity. 

 This 'Scentsational Celebration' is attended by world renowned figures from the music industry, television industry, authors, fashion industry and a host of other businesses and entrepreneurs who are considered "Celebrity Patch Test Bunnies". Although, no one is physically at Martha's Vineyard (except perhaps/ for the celebrities/Celebrity Patch Test Bunnies who live or visit the island). It is home to Monica and Skye Botanicals.

Mary J. Blige

Jodie Foster

The celebrities included are Patti Austin (Grammy Award winning Vocalist), Mary J. Blige (Grammy  Award Winning Singer/Songwriter), Jodie Foster (Academy Award winning Actress), Kim Novak  (Legendary and Golden Globe winning actress), Simone (Broadway and Jazz singer/daughter of Nina Simone), and Starhawk (Author, Educator, Earth Activist, and Witch. These are just a few of the celebrities participating in SUMMER OF PATCHOULI LOVE 2011.


What is it about Patchouli that fascinates Monica Miller? Why the 60’s Flower Power and hippie theme? Most of all the fun is not over yet, because beginning in August these Patchouli perfumes will be available for purchase!  

I was honored with an EXCLUSIVE interview with  Monica Miller to find the answers to my questions and bring the enlightment of natural Patchouli, harmony, peace and natural fragrance lovers from around the world to share in SUMMER OF PATCHOULI LOVE 2011.


You are cordially invited.


THE INTERVIEW

Hi Monica and thank you for sharing your time with me!

What a unique scent event, "Summer of Patchouli Love 2011 Perfume Pharmer and the the Patch Test Bunnies". Monica, tell me why you chose the scent of Patchouli?


Actually it was Libby Patterson’s idea. Libby of Libby Patterson Organics is an amazing visionary who comes up with the most fabulous ideas around what she calls “Quantum Alchemy” and perfume design. From my limited understanding of “Quantum Alchemy” I intuitively feel it is about our evolution as a species, our human consciousness evolving together as a group, towards living in peace and harmony. Patchouli symbolizes what was started in the 60’s and 70’s when many of our parents protested war, went “back to the land” to grow their own food and explored ideas unexplored by their parents. We are the next generation from the 60’s, we are “older and wiser” and are exploring those same values but perhaps with a clearer head.


The theme is a throwback to flower power, love, AND PEACE. Does this have a deep meaning for you?

It does, thank you for asking! My parents were part of the Peace and Love movement. They were members of a group called the Catholic Worker who are committed to “nonviolence, voluntary poverty, prayer, and hospitality for the homeless, exiled, hungry, and forsaken.” Catholic Workers continue to protest injustice, war, racism, and violence of all forms.


On May 1, 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression, The Catholic Worker newspaper made its debut with a first issue of twenty-five hundred copies. Dorothy Day and a few others hawked the paper in Union Square for a penny a copy (still the price) to passersby.

http://catholicworker.org/

My Father burned his Draft Card in public to protest the Vietnam War and was sentenced to two years in federal prison. As a newborn I was baptized in Penn State Prison by Father Daniel Berrigan while Joan Baez sang unaccompanied.

As an aside I will say that my father David Miller has a beautiful singing voice and would entertain the inmates with classics such as Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire and Woodie Guthrie songs. My favorite lullaby was Hobo’s Lullaby.

My parents are no longer Catholics but both still strongly believe in Peace and Love. My father David Miller is the author of a wide ranging memoir of draft resistance and how that connects to Witchcraft, Mayan ballgames, and sports as masculine religion: I Didn’t Know God Made Honky Tonk Communists (Regent Press) by David Miller can be ordered directly from the independent store 100Fires.com. David's website is at www.honkytonkwitch.com

David is currently writing a new book.

I strongly believe in the power of LOVE, social activism and earth activism to change the world for the better. Summer of Patchouli Love 2011 is designed to bring light to all of these values as well as celebrating professional natural perfumery.

What does it mean to have a scent event with natural perfumers and bloggers? All of them focusing on one common good and that is perfumery. 

Natural everything is just something I have grown up with. It comes to me naturally *smile*. I simply adore flowers and natural scents of all kinds. I also like mixed media natural/synthetic perfumes but lean heavily toward the natural in my preferences. I am also an herbalist and rather obsessed with health, that of the earth as well as our bodies.

Monica, where did the idea of Patch Test Bunnies?

Hmmm, do I remember? I think it was a comical idea I came up with to bring a little light to the issue of the cruelty of animal testing. Products that employ GRAS ingredients (generally recognized as safe) because they have been used safely for hundreds of years do not need to be tested on animals to be proven safe. The joke is that the smell testers of the perfumes for this project are the Patch Test Bunnies and they are humans. Please forgive me if someone else came up with this idea and let me know who you are! During co-creative projects it is sometimes hard to remember who came up with which idea and to give proper credit. That’s what happens when a project takes on a life of it’s own as has happened in this case. Another fun idea is the greeting PLAP! Meaning PEACE-LOVE-AND-PATCHOULI. One can give oneself a PLAP on the back for good works! Or give someone else a PLAP!


I noticed that you have a guest list of celebrity Patch Test Bunnies, such as Simone, daughter of Nina Simone, Patti Austin and others. Monica, are these celebrities really going to be a part of scent event or is this just for publicity?

It’s for real  Simone’s Box Set of Patchouli perfumes are shipping to her today, as are Patti Austin’s, Jodie Foster’s and others. 100% natural perfumes are a different animal from mixed media synthetic/natural perfume or mainstream perfumes so I am waiting and hoping for good responses. I know Simone is used to natural perfumes because she has used many of my natural products and perfumes and loves a natural perfume I used to make for her mother Nina Simone. The celebrity Patch Test Bunnies represent the “average customer” as if a regular person walks into a natural perfume shop while on vacation. They decide they are going to buy three perfumes and so choose their top three from the patchouli blend perfumes presented to them. If you imagine a regular person (non NOSE or Perfumista) sniffing perfumes in a store many perfumes do not make it past the first sniff from the bottle. They are dismissed right away for various reasons. If a perfume makes it past the first sniff the customer might spray or dab it on a scent strip or on their skin. Then the next dismissals or acceptances happen. From there they choose their top three favorites. It is a low tech event. A simple “which 3 would you buy if you had to buy three” decision.


The NOSES on the other hand, the bloggers… are much more trained and will offer comments about the perfumes on their blogs or on Perfume Pharmer if they do not currently write a blog. They will pick their top 3 favorites also but will go into detail as to what drew them to choose those particular perfumes. They may choose to comment on every perfume. I hope every perfume is reviewed and given a chance to shine. They are indeed a noteworthy set of perfumes. I had an artist test them on Martha’s Vineyard a few days ago and she immediately understood the couture nature of the perfumes. They are very special, like clothing made from the best silks, satins and linens with embroidery and gold threads and real jewels. I was very pleased that my artist friend “got it”. There are some amazing people living on Martha’s Vineyard. I will have a group of select Islanders test the perfumes so part of the project can be an “Islander’s Choice Award”.


Monica, I think Martha’s Vineyard is the perfect back drop for this event. What makes Martha’s Vineyard so special to you?


It is my home  I have lived here for 16 years. My children grew up here and consider themselves Islanders as well as Montreal Canadians. Martha’s Vineyard is an incredible natural location where we attract many visitors each year and a vibrant summer community of residents and tourists. Martha’s Vineyard is such a well loved place and a haven for many city folk. The beaches are spectacular and our locally grown farming community is growing yearly. We have the best ice-cream 


Lastly, Monica will there be another scent event in the near future similar to Summer of Patchouli Love 2011?


Yes of course. The next co-created event will be cooked up with the Perfume Pharmer team Justine Crane and yourself as well as Amanda Feeley, Natural Perfumer of Esscentual Alchemy who is a bastion of good ideas.


Monica, it has been an honor and I look forward to being a part of this event!


I look forward greatly to your feedback Felicia, your box set of patchouli perfumes are shipping today! Thank you for drawing me in to express my thoughts!


 

INFORMATION: perfumepharmer.com/organic-perfume-skincare-remedies

skyebotanicals.com

PHOTO CREDITS: flowerpower2 (visualbliss.co.uk) Au Natural (l.bp.blogspot.com)



F.H.

1 Responses to SUMMER OF PATCHOULI LOVE 2011 (ARTICLE & INTERVIEW)

  1. I have had a PLAPPING good time!

     

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