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’.

P1100773

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.”

Return to the Perfumed Pilgrimage

I don’t know if I’m the only one who feels this way, but it seems like 2013 flew by in the blink of an eye!   I had the strangest feeling the whole year that I was running behind, and it was with some horror today, when I checked into my blog, to see that the last entry was December, 2012!

Clearly, this is indicative of losing the rhythm of reporting on and sharing the ‘perfumed pilgrimage’ that has been my life here in Grasse!  And a big part of the reason for writing less, is that life has a way of becoming ‘normal’ no matter where we are.  Even life in the south of France takes on a certain normalcy after a few years, and reporting on the events that come and go becomes less motivating, since the events are less and less a novelty.

However, I am realizing (even just this week),  how important it is to look at life more objectively more often, to see how magical it really is, and to appreciate what a lot of hard work and sacrifice has been involved to arrive at the present moment. (and to be very grateful to be there)

So here is a first of more frequent reports to come… to once again share some stories of life here in the Alpes-Maritimes region, and specifically to fragrance related topics/events here in the Pays de Grasse.

Enfleurage

New Fragrance Launch! (an Ode to Love…)

Today I am very happy to announce the launch of two new fragrances from 1000 Flowers.  The duo was inspired by a love story…
A love story began when a boy from the east, met a girl from the west,
when smiles and shy glances were exchanged, and their hearts leaned in
to each other.

She shared with him her love of flowers and perfume (especially roses and violets), and he shared with her sensuous parts of his culture, such as incense and oudwood, and the fragrant spices of his eastern cuisine.

Together they began an exploration of the senses.

Love is Sweet represents the feminine in this story- full of roses, violets, vanilla, patchouli coeur, amber, and precious woods.

Ode to Him is the masculine counterpart- fresh with the cool notes of cardamom and coriander, richly layered with oudwood, cedar, and resins of faraway lands.

These fragrant compositions contain high concentrations of precious natural materials such as Rose, Vanilla pods, Patchouli coeur, Sandalwood, and Orris.

(The name ‘Love is Sweet’ is inspired by the song from Anita Baker called “Sweet Love”…)

LOVE IS SWEET
LOVE IS SWEET
Bergamot. Pink Pepper.
Bulgarian Rose oil. Iris.
Turkish Rose absolute.
Cinnamon.Purple Violets.
Opoponax. Patchouli.
Vanilla Pods.
Sandalwood.
Tonka. 
Musk. Amber.

ODE FOR HIM
ODE FOR HIM
Coriander. Cardamom.
Immortelle absolute.
Rose absolute. Clove.
Sandalwood. Oud.
Frankincense. Myrrh.
Cedarwood.Patchouli.
Moss. Vetiver.

 

The fragrances are initially presented in Italian glass 15ml splash flacons and are now available online in the 1000 Flowers boutique at www.1000flowers.ca

ODE FOR HIM

LOVE IS SWEET

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing you all a fragrant and happy holiday season!

Retail Pond and 1000 Flowers

I am very happy to introduce a brand new and very innovative company based in Vancouver, British Columbia, called Retail Pond.  They offer a new way to discover new products and artistic creations, and to purchase online.

One of their flagship collections is indeed fragrances from 1000 Flowers.  I am very honored to be part of this project.

Please take a look at a featured interview of myself, and then check out their philosophy and featured products. (you will need to access the site via Google Chrome or Safari).

RETAIL POND: Interview with Jessica Buchanan

http://blog.retailpond.com/

Bulletin from the studio…

Hello everyone.  I wanted to write just a little note to say hello, and to let you know that I have not been swallowed up in some abyss under the old city of Grasse!  I have been working long hours/days/months on 3 perfumes- two for 1000 Flowers, and one for an up and coming company in Canada.

The process of fragrance creation, when done completely from scratch, without reference to existing fragrance formulae, and no access to Gas Chromotography etc for analyzation of existing fragrances, requires endless trials and extreme patience and persistence.  This is the only way to eventually arrive at a finished product that could be judged as being beautiful, well-balanced, interesting, compliant with safety regulations, and yes- marketable.   This is where the key ingredient of ‘passion’ comes in and is indispensable to fuel the journey!

The two perfumes for 1000 Flowers will be all about Love.  They represent a love story- a pair- one for him and one for her, although both are interchangeable.  Both are full of beautiful raw materials- precious woods (a touch of oud), spices, roses, resins, vanilla, and herbs.  They lean in the Oriental direction. They are sensual, absorbing, and elegant.

Also, the autumn sale will continue in the 1000 Flowers online boutique until these two new editions are officially announced, so take advantage of the discount.

As for me, after taking this little break to say hello, I must get back to the perfumer’s organ, and weigh out yet more trials.  Maybe today, will arrive the final and perfect version!