Indiegogo- Refining the Design at 1000 Flowers

1000 Flowers- Perfumes to relax toHello all,

For the last few weeks, I have been writing a fundraising campaign via Indiegogo.  Last night, with a little nod to heaven, and a deep breath, I launched it… and you can find it here:  1000 Flowers Perfume- Refining Design

It has been 4 years, (how the time flies), since the launch of Reglisse Noire, in New York City, at the Sniffapalooza event- the first official fragrance from 1000 Flowers.  (Actually, few people know, but there were 4 launches before this- 4 natural perfumes that I created before going to France to study formally).  Since 2011, there have been 4 more launches, and for each one, I designed the artwork for the packaging,  doing all production by hand, in-house, as well as continuing the creation of the cedar boxes for the full-size Reglisse Noire.  (read the past entry where I share that process).

Honestly, I love design- and if I hadn’t become a perfumer, or a chef, or a photographer… I would have studied graphic design with great interest.  I have learned the Adobe programs, and in doing so, was able to create a polished prototype of the artistic expression of the 1000 Flowers perfume house (my baby).  However, to really grow the project- I need to pass certain aspects to the real professionals- ie the graphic designer, the box manufacturer, and the label/card/brochure printer.  As well, to graduate to a higher level of refinement and production, certain minimum orders need to met from suppliers.  It is for these reasons,  and the fact that I am completely independent, without sponsors or investors, that I have launched this fundraising campaign.

For the graphic designer, I have found a person from England, who has names such as Jo Malone and Molton Brown on her resume.  So I feel comfortable with passing her the creative design work.  For bottles, I have one picked out from a highly respected French flacon manufacturer, and for the sprays…well, that is still in the works.  It will all depend on finding a supplier for the ones I am dreaming about….ones that will follow in the steps of Hermes, with their Voyage launch.  A refillable fragrance with an exquisite spray.

For the Indiegogo campaign, I have created a collection of perks, ranging from a personal postcard, written by me to you, from Grasse, to the new perfume formats once they are ready, to a bespoke fragrance created just for you, to a full-on commercial fragrance collaboration. Please go and see, and if you would like to see another perk, please share your ideas!

Also, please share this campaign!  You will be supporting an artistic vision, and a dream.

Thank you all for your continued interest, and I look forward to your thoughts and comments!  xo

By Popular Demand….Reglisse Noire refill!

Hello all,

As we discussed in our last post, due to practical constraints, Reglisse Noire 50ml with the bulb atomizer, housed in the cedar box, is being discontinued. (but not to worry, for all who panicked, Reglisse Noire, the fragrance, will continue!)  We are currently developing the new packaging, and a new format, to be released soon.  However, after numerous requests from fans of this fragrance, we have decided to launch a refill version, in the original flacon. 

 Reglisse Noire refill

This is now available in the online boutique at 1000flowers.ca.  (Retail $60 CAD) 

Wishing you all a happy week! 

End of a Era

Change is inevitable, whether in life or in business.  And change is now in the works here at 1000 Flowers.

In 2010, we launched the first fragrance, Reglisse Noire, in NYC, at the Sniffapalooza Spring Fling.  I had spent a great deal of time planning and designing the packaging for our first fragrance, wanting it to represent the ecological values that are important to 1000 Flowers.  After much brainstorming, the choice was set on a custom-made box made of Canadian red cedar wood.  They arrived as bare wood, and I hand painted them with paint made from titanium dioxide powder and acrylic medium (to get the whitest white possible), and the artwork was applied via a water-slide decal resembling the thinnest layer of paint, a process that was incredibly difficult to do successfully.  For the spray component, I decided to use a threaded bulb atomizer rather than the typical crimped spray, since this also represented an eco choice, being that the bottle could be recycled or reused once the fragrance was gone. Since that time, more than a 1000 of these hand-made-with-love boxes have been sent out.

Here are a few images of the design process that led to the final packaging.

Since that time, of course, 1000 Flowers and I moved to France in 2011.  As it was not practical to import the cedar boxes from Canada, I sourced a furniture maker in Morocco to make the same boxes, but this time from a much denser, still very fragrant, thuya cedar wood.

Now, in 2014, with Reglisse Noire still as the bestselling fragrance in the collection, I am reviewing the practicality of this packaging, and have decided that it will be discontinued.  The boxes are very expensive, heavy, and very labour intensive to produce, and the bulb atomizers do not last forever, and are not as appealing for some of our male audience.

This is the last of the series, and there are only 10 available of the 50ml Reglisse Noire in thuya cedar wood boxes.  If you are interested in purchasing one (or more) of the last 10 pieces, please send me a message via the contact form below. The price is the same as it has always been- $110CAD+ $12 shipping internationally.

(Please note that Reglisse Noire is not being discontinued…only the 50ml format in the cedar box.  The 15ml splash for all the fragrances will remain available in the boutique online. Also, a very limited number of boxes will be available at Indie Scents Canada, and Habits Clothing in Nelson, BC)

As for what comes next?  We are gathering a team of designers and creating a new concept, new flacons, and new packaging for the fragrance collection.  Plans for relaunch will be later this year.

In the meantime, I would like to send a heart-felt thank-you to all those of you who have supported this fragranced journey since 2010, and I hope those Reglisse Noire cedar boxes last a lifetime. (and beyond) xoxo

Becoming French… (creating a French business)

Actually, I am joking a little when writing the first part of the title for this post.   As much as France (and its culture) is charming and amazing in so many ways,  I will always be la Canadienne!  Integrated, yes- but comfortable with keeping my own cultural identity.   However,  the same can not be said for my company.  While strongly identified with its roots, 1000 Flowers has officially made the transition to becoming French.  Making this happen has been a challenging process in some ways (nothing is simple in France), and relatively easy in others.  I decided to start small, and to begin in the category of ‘autoentrepreneur’.  I attended the 3 hour training session at the Chambre des Metiers et des Artisanats, in order to fill in the registration form correctly, and then compiled the stack of documents that are required to complete the application.  The first submission was rejected, due to several missing said documents, but round two, was accepted, and yesterday I received in the post, my certificate of inscription with the Repertoire des Entreprises et des Etablissements.  As such, I am the proud recipient of a ‘Identifiant SIREN et SIRET’.

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The journey to arrive to this point has been long, and has taken many steps to complete.  Normally, for a foreigner to create a company in France, it is a complex and very expensive process.  But since I entered on the ‘Talents et Competance’ Visa, after having been validated via the acceptance into a business incubator (Pepiniere), I was given permission to create my project in France under this particular visa.  Having done my formal training here was also very helpful.  I don’t have the right to work outside of my own field,  and will submit my taxes here, plus qualify for the medical system.  Technically at this point, (five years of living in France), I could also apply for citizenship….but this isn’t a priority at the moment.

Also, just as a follow up: I wanted to address the subject of the InnovaGrasse incubator.  As I had reported in a previous post (Grasse- Being in Perfume ), I worked for months to write a comprehensive business plan to be accepted into this program, and subsequently in 2011, I was accepted.  This was an incredibly exciting prospect, and a great experience in the process, but in the end- I did not enter the program, and decided to continue my project independently.  (Still adhering to the requirements of my visa in doing so).  The reasons for this were simple- cost, and practicality.  Primarily, it was only an office space, without the basic requirements of a lab- ie a sink with running water.  I had been told at the onset, that I would have access to a small lab on the main floor- but when I arrived back in France, this was not the case.  So all in all, I made the decision to create my own lab in a large and airy room in my apartment in the centre of the old city of Grasse.  This is where I have been happily working ever since.

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Le Coffret…plus J.S. Bach and coffee candles

Hello everyone!   I’d like to announce the new Coffret Collection from 1000 Flowers.  As discovery sets are, this is a great way to explore the full collection, and includes one of each of the five fragrances.
(Retail price is $45 CAD, and is available in the online boutique at 1000 Flowers.ca)

In other local news, last weekend I had the pleasure to attend a concert featuring the music of J. S. Bach, in a beautiful location here in Grasse- the Chapelle Victoria.  This chapel was ordained by Queen Victoria, and the inside of the roof/ceiling is a dramatic and intricate structure of wood beams and curved ribs, reminiscent of the inside of an upside-down hull of an ancient galleon.  Quite impressive.

Coffee Cantata

In addition to the stunning music and setting, there was also the added sensual experience of scent and light, provided by my friend and peer, perfumer irina Jourihina.  Irina created specially perfumed candles for this concert- which were given out to most of the 150+ attendees just prior to the performance of Bach’s Coffee Cantata.  The rich, gourmand sweetness of the warm fragrance that exuded from the candles, combined with chocolate and coffee bonbons on the tongue (distributed at the same time as the candles), brought to mind a cozy multi-sensual evening with coffee and cream and cakes, beside a fireplace with Bach chamber music playing live beside you.  What a brilliant collaboration.

A description in French provided by the city of Grasse: “La saison musicale 2014 de “Notes & Parfums”, dans le cadre prestigieux et élégant de la chapelle Victoria, commence en fanfare cette année. Dans le prolongement du thème des fleurs et des parfums qui avait rencontré un vif succès l’an dernier, le programme débutera le vendredi 21 mars à 20h30 avec un authentique concert aux chandelles dans la tradition de l’époque de Jean-Sébastien Bach. Dans une programmation mise au point par Maxime Hagenmuller, le concert sera assuré par une dizaine de musiciens, tous solistes et experts de la musique baroque. En entrée, nous entendrons de mélodieuses arias pour chanteurs, flûte, cordes et basse continu. La seconde partie mettra en valeur la charmante et allègre “Cantate du Café” pour soprano, ténor, basse et orchestre de chambre. Cette oeuvre profane a inspiré la créatrice de parfum, Irina Zhukhirina, qui lui dédiera pour l’occasion un parfum inédit et original.”

And a little bit more about the chapel, as per their site: “The construction of the chapel of Grasse was completed at the beginning of March 1891. Queen Victoria, while staying in Grasse, was accompanied by a series of about fifty persons, where she met her dear friend Alice de Rothschild, owner of a large estate on the hills overlooking the old town.  Friday, March 27, Friday, Her Majesty was to attend a service in this new chapel of St. John.  Once back in England, the Queen offered a stained glass window to this English Church of Grasse, (ie Protestant), which contains the following inscription: “To the glory of God and in remembrance of her visit, Victoria, Queen of Great Britain and Ireland, Empress of India, 1891.

That is why the church of Saint John came to be called the “Chapelle Victoria.”