Monday, October 09, 2006


These scents from Ineke are amazing, refreshing ... simply intoxicating!

The essence of Chemical Bonding is suitably perfect for me. It's a citrus scent, slightly orange with a powder base but dries to be a subtle barely there scent. This is the one that I determined was made for me, a little girly and sassy.

After My Own Heart
was the scent that I was attracted to first, a light lilac that appeals to my ultra- feminine side. Balmy Days and Sundays smells like spring, of freshly cut grass and booming flowers. Derring -Do is for men, a citrus, cedar and musk blend. I cannot wait to see what Ineke comes up with next.

Ineke offers her scents in deluxe sample sizes so you can determine which one is perfect for you. These scents are each so beautiful,that if they were works of art, they would be hanging in a museum. You must check out Ineke's fabulous site and learn more.

I was so taken with her four magical fragrances that I had to ask her some questions...I don't know much about the art of perfume making so I especially appreciate her schooling me in this area!

Your perfumes smell amazing. How do you know which scents to combine?

Knowing which scents to combine is a combination of education, experience and intuition. I studied perfumery at a university in Versailles, France, and worked at a fragrance house in Paris for several years. This gave me the basic fundamentals of perfumery. I memorized hundreds of raw materials and learned their effects in larger compositions. I also learned how to construct basic accords and to reconstruct classic fragrances.

Fragrances typically have between 30 and 100 different components, or "notes". Some components are more dominant in the first 15 minutes and are called the "top notes". Others become more apparent after an hour or so and are called the "middle notes" or "heart notes". Finally, the "base notes" are what remain after three or four hours. I believe this changing nature adds to the interest and appeal of modern fragrances, and maintaining its harmony is one of the most challenging aspects of perfumery.

After that, intuition comes into play, and is important in coming up with new combinations. It takes quite a few years to become an accomplished perfumer. For me, a good indicator that you're ready is when you can imagine very specifically the perfume you want to create, and then are able to execute that exact idea. I always try to create perfumes that are different than anything currently on the market.

Why do some perfumes last only a few minutes but others stay on all day?

How long a fragrance lasts depends on the concentration, the materials used, and your body chemistry. Eau de parfum is more concentrated than eau de toilette or cologne, which means it gives a bigger scent impression and lasts longer. Ineke fragrances are all eaux de parfums. An eau de parfum typically lasts about six hours, but can vary depending on the raw materials. Citrus fruits, green notes and florals evaporate more quickly, while woodsy, vanilla and musky materials are deeper notes that tend to last.

For maximum diffusion, you should apply fragrance to your "pulse" points, including the inner wrists and elbows, behind the knees and in the nape of the neck. For a more subtle effect, some people like to spray the fragrance in the air and walk into it. If you have allergic tendencies or very sensitive skin, you may prefer to spray fragrance onto your clothes, which will make a subtle but long-lasting impression. If you try this method, make sure the fragrance is uncolored. All our fragrances are uncolored, so you don't have to worry about staining your clothes (only the glass bottle itself is colored).

In terms of body chemistry, oily skin retains fragrances longer while dry skin allows them to evaporate more quickly. If you have dry skin, you should be less shy about applying perfume liberally.

Are you constantly creating and testing new scents?

I have a lab in my home office with over 300 raw materials, which I like to work with diluted in alcohol in dropper bottles. Sometimes I will start a fragrance with a single, strong idea, like the lilac note I used in After My Own Heart. Lilac flowers cannot be distilled, and I therefore had to recreate it using other materials. I liked the result so much that I decided not to add any other floral notes to the composition, keeping it as a lilac soliflore, although I used lots of non-floral accents like sandalwood and musk.

Sometimes I start out with a general "olfactive family" as an idea. For example, I decided that I wanted something in the citrus musk family for my Chemical Bonding perfume. I worked the citrus notes and the amber/musk notes separately, which made a lot of sense since citrus oils are top notes that evaporate quickly, and amber and musk are base notes that tend to last many hours on the skin. After combining the citrus top and the amber/musk base, I decided it was too masculine and could use some floralcy, so I added a peony note. There are many valid ways to approach perfume composition, but one thing they have in common is that they have to be fine-tuned by trial and error. I usually end up doing at least 100 trials before arriving at a final formula.

Do you imagine a certain kind of person or place as you mix each potion?

I am definitely inspired by concepts or what I call "storytelling" in the creation of my perfumes, and this can include a specific kind of person or place. I use mixed media (photos, text and illustration) on the cartons and my website to tell these little vignettes. I like to work on the perfume composition and story design iteratively and simultaneously. In general, inspirations come from life experiences, my love for design and literature, and my small garden of scented plants.


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