issue six : the shape of things to come
I have always loved fragrances. So much so I would call myself a collector. Well, I was, until I learnt about the implications of fragrance on my health and the limited availability of sophisticated natural perfumes on the market.
Fragrance a.k.a perfume is a contentious issue in 'clean beauty' land, and rightly so. Most commercial perfumes (including eau du toilet, parfum, eau du parfum and every other variation on applied scent) on the market today are made from synthetic fragrances that are questionable when it comes to our health. Some green beauty aficionados even go so far as an a-liking fragrance to smoke in the health impact department. However, smell is an essential part of our emotional wellbeing. Studies have shown that people who wear perfume are more likely to be perceived as confident and more socially skilled...apparently (according to a random press-release I was sent by Showerstoyou.co.uk).
I have had a lot of random things sent to me since launching this platform. Most of the time I have to shake my head in confusion and wonder. And then, on the very rare occasion, I get an email from untainted brands like Herbe...
Herbe is everything a fragrance should be. It is evocative and beguiling. It is made from natural, ethically sourced ingredients. Their packaging is mindful of its environmental impact. Identifiable by its indistinguishable fragrant melody. If I had to describe it to you in colours, it would be a watercolour painting of ambers, browns, honey and a hint of midnight blue. (This description is a homage to the magnificent artworks that adorn their packaging, lovingly painted by their creative director, Rose Louey).
I have quite literally been "smelled up" by passers-by... even my boyfriend's friends were put in a slightly awkward predicament of asking if they could smell me again after a hello hug (this was in a very public place, with said boyfriend present by the way). I kid you not
So what does a perfume have to do with our subject matter The Shape of Things to Come, you ask? Much like other cosmetic science, perfumery is more than just a hodge-podge of different essential oils. There is a science and nuance to it that weeds out the average from the extraordinary. Herbe Fragrances offers not only a ritual (presented in three acts) but also talks about the science of layering scent. Despite our noses 400 genes to decode smells, when 3 or more scents are mixed together, our the smell can become indestinguishable and can smell different to each of us.
Herbe Creator and Perfumer Cobi Marsh, has mastered the art of layer and incorporated ritual (something I have touched on in our previous issues, A Feast for Gluttony) by delivering a three part approach to her fragrance that adapts to the wears own scent.
Primer (AKA Act i)
This Perfume Primer has been designed as the first component of this layering ritual. It works by moisturising and perfectly priming the surface of the skin in preparation for our Perfume Oil and Perfume Activator application.
EcoSilk (natural Silicone), Capric Triglyceride (Fractionated Coconut Oil), Vitamin E, Essential Oils (ethically sourced essential oils)
Perfume oil (AKA Act ii)
Their perfume oil is 100% natural and uses only of highest quality, raw ingredients. Ethical sourced, and certified organic ingredients wherever possible. The Perfume Oil contains an oil-based carrier instead of an alcohol-based carrier; a vital addition that promises longevity and efficacy in it’s delivery.
Simmondsia Chinensis Oil (Jojoba Oil), Essential oils (ethically sourced essential oils)
Perfume Activator (AKA ACT iii)
The Perfume Activator is a revolutionary product that challenges preconceptions of fragrance. It has been designed to enhance and develop the application of the Perfume Oil on the skin. Adding lift and softening notes of the existing Perfume Oil; and furthermore, enhancing the more discreet personal scent of the wearer. The Activator contains pheromone- harmonising agents that develop uniquely on the skin. A polarising agent that encompasses the allure and mystery of one of the most powerful memory triggers and senses - Smell.
Alcohol Denatured, Patchouli Ethanone, Essential oils (ethically sourced essential oils)
*Contains 1 synthetic ingredient
Herbe is hand-made in Melbourne, Australia. All artwork by Rose Louey.
Have you read my article on The Science of Scent?