natural perfume workshop

J.Hannah Co. at The AIX Scent Fair

We are filling bottles and packing our bags to set forth on our trip to Los Angeles to attend the AIX Scent fair at the Hammer Museum. What's this, you say? Well dear reader, this is the first International collection of artisanal and Independent scent creators to be exhibited at a museum. I know, this is TOTALLY your thing. Us too, and we are thrilled to be included. 

Come enjoy a whiff of our line including our newest perfume Upton as well as our classic vintage fragrance Sunset Blvd. We also will be bringing a few special limited edition treats too!

Indie perfume companies from around the world will be present at the fair from 11-5 on Saturday and Sunday. Then dust off your favorite cocktail dress for the Art and Olfaction Awards Saturday night. This is the award that we won last year for the perfume Skive blended for Canoe in Austin, TX. We'll also have a very limited quantity of Skive for sell at the Scent Fair. ohh la la!

To make the most of our LA trip, we have included a special Beginner Natural Perfume Workshop at Maker's Mess on Thursday May 5th to kick off our weekend of scent. Bring your Momma to celebrate Mother's Day by creating a beautiful perfume together.

I hope to see you, and stay tuned for some Spring Giveaways in the coming weeks!

J.Hannah Co. Tincturing Ambergris

One of the most fascinating aspects of natural perfume are the animal essences. They are beautiful and mysterious. When dosed properly, they can add magic to a perfume. One of the most intriguing gems is Ambergris.

Ambergris is whale excrement and considering one of the most valuable and precious essences in natural perfume history. It is thought to come from squid beaks that lodge in the intestinal track, causing irritation and then expelled from the whale. After floating for a long time the substance gets more firm and is found in the ocean or on the shore. The lucky folks that discover ambergris are rewarded handsomely. Many a sailor dreamed of retiring after finding a chunk of "floating gold".

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Today I am tincturing my ambergris through a very simple process. First I will grind the semi-soft stone then place it in a high proof perfume alcohol. It is warmed for a few hours in a double boiler, then left to steep for months.

What does it smell like? Every piece is a bit different, but to me the common aroma is a cross between amber, marine, and sweet powder. 

My first whiff of ambergris was years ago when studying with Mandy Aftel, and it's intoxicated me ever since. To learn more about ambergris, I highly recommend Mandy's magnificent new book, Fragrant.

Ground Ambergris

Ground Ambergris