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Monday, December 06, 2010

The Outlaw perfume Project and a giveaway

By Beth

It’s no secret that I adore the outlaws. Watching cowboy movies as a child I was always rooting for the Indians or longing to ride with the mavericks…They were passionately following their hearts and that made a huge impression on me. Even now I’m not one to go with the flock. Loving perfume as I do, I have my old loves, my favorites of the old tried and true fragrances but in the last few years I began to notice that something had changed. My Magie Noire was no longer as magical, my Joy a little less joyful and my Bellodgia which used to make me smile instead began to make me sneeze. It was all a mystery and I was saddened when I began to discover that all across the board essential oils that had been beloved in perfumery for centuries were being abandoned because of supposed issues with their safety. Never mind the fact that the synthetics that are used in commercial perfumery can be far more caustic and devastating to our bodies and what …we’re not to be trusted at all to have the brains to determine what’s best for us?

It saddens me to find out that my beautiful and trusted old friends carnation and ylang ylang are being treated with less respect than a pharmaceutical that’s been undertested, prematurely released and comes with a side effect warning list that’s impossibly huge and completely dangerous. The list of these outlawed oils and absolutes is astonishing and makes me sad. The ridiculous guidelines of the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) and the laws of the European Union (EU) have been a death sentence to many a perfume that I have loved. Oakmoss, one of my absolute favorites is only allowed in my beloved Magie in trace amounts. Rose, Jasmine, Bergamot and Bay? These important mainstays of perfumery art are not immune to these incredibly shortsighted regulations.

For your complete and total bewilderment, here is the list of IFRA banned ingredients. Warning: This is not ready for the faint of heart or easily terrified……

Ambrette seed oil
Angelica root oil
Bakul absolute
Basil absolute
Basil oil (estragole CT)
Basil oil (holy)
Basil oil (linalool CT)
Bay oil (West Indian)
Bergamot leaf oil
Bergamot peel oil (distilled)
Betel leaf oil
Birch tar oil
Black tea tree oil
Boldo leaf oil
Broom absolute
Cabreuva oil
Cade oil
Calamus oil
Cananga oil
Cangerana oil
Cardamon oil
Carnation absolute
Carrot seed oil
Cascarilla oil
Cassia oil
Cassie absolute
Cinnamon bark oil
Cinnamon leaf oil
Cistus oil
Citronella oil
Clary sage oil
Clove oil
Costus oil
Cumin oil
Davana oil
Elecampane oil
Elemi oil
Fenugreek oil
Fig leaf absolute
Galangal oil
Geranium oil
Ginger oil
Ginger lily absolute
Grapefruit peel oil
Ho leaf oil
Honey myrtle oil
Horseradish oil
Horsemint oil
Huon pine oil
Hyssop oil
Jasmine grandiflorum absolute
Jasmine sambac absolute
Karo karoundé absolute
Laurel leaf oil
Lemon balm oil (Australian)
Lemongrass oil
Lemon basil oil
Lemon leaf oil
Lemon myrtle oil
Lemon tea tree oil
Lemon peel oils
Lemon thyme oil
Lemon verbena oil
Lemon verbena absolute
Lime peel oil (expressed)
Lovage leaf oil
Mace oil
Mandarin leaf oil
Marjoram oil (sweet)
Massoia bark oil
May chang oil
Melissa oil
Mustard oil
Myrtle oil
Narcissus absolute
Nasturtium absolute
Nutmeg oil
Oakmoss absolute
Opoponax oil
Orange blossom oil
Orange blossom absolute
Orange leaf oil
Orange peel oil (bitter)
Orange peel oil (sweet)
Oregano oil
Palmarosa oil
Peppermint oil
Perilla oil
Peru balsam oil
Phoebe oil
Pimento berry oil
Pimento leaf oil
Pteronia oil
Rose absolute
Rose oil
Rue oil
Sandalwood oil (Australian)
Santolina oil
Sassafras oil
Savin oil
Savory oil (winter)
Snakeroot oil
Spearmint oil
Spike lavender oil
Styrax oil
Sugandha oil
Taget oil
Taget absolute
Tarragon oil
Tea leaf absolute
Tejpat oil
Thyme oil (thymol CT)
Tolu balsam extract
Treemoss absolute
Tuberose absolute
Vassoura oil
Violet leaf absolute
Wormseed oil
Ylang-ylang absolute
Ylang-ylang oils

Daunting isn’t it?

All of these beautiful scents that have been used for centuries to provoke, inspire and enchant have now been either severely limited or completely banned by IFRA and the EU. Here in America Independent perfumers are not members of IFRA, but if they are in the EU, they have to abide by these incredibly restrictive rules.

Enter the outlaws! Thankfully for us all there are a group of perfumers in the world who are creating fabulous perfumes using all natural and botanical accords and absolutes. They are quickly becoming my favorites, because more and more when I use a perfume made by one of them it smells to me like perfume should.

Real perfume is sensual and provocative creating a soul impression almost instantly for whomever is lucky enough to be within range. These perfumes bewitch me with their high quality and charm me with the intensity of their authenticity. I love these maverick perfumers who are brave enough to stand their ground and fight hard for a craft that they believe in. I’m honored to call them my friends and stand with them as they continue to create perfumes with real integrity. Every time I get a package from one of them I am enchanted. These men and women are the real deal. They persevere in the middle of the endless sea of million dollar campaigns designed to drown out the small unique voices available to us as consumers. They succeed in making gorgeous perfume!

There’s no mass marketing found here although many of them are becoming very well known simply because their products are just clearly so much better than what is available. The care with which they craft not just their perfumes but their packaging is gorgeous. They are artists in their own rights, creative and truly originals. With the issues that we know about today where more and more we are seeing environmental allergies due to pollution and synthetic fragrances of all types, these perfumes are more welcome now than ever before. Their creations are labeled with the simple and responsible warnings about photo sensitization, allergy and irritation that we all need to be able make up our own minds about whether or not to use such things. These perfumers don’t need to use ingredients that cost a fortune to test and distribute and consequently that’s why they are the Outlaws. My father always said to “follow the trail and you’ll always find the money”. There is a huge fortune to be made in testing (yes , this includes animal testing) and creating synthetic alternatives that can be patented for the multibillion dollar beauty industry and our beloved perfumes are the casualties of that science.

When I was asked to write about this topic by Anya McCoy, head of the Natural Perfumers Guild I was intrigued. I was in California and I came home to find 8 mysterious envelopes, all filled with samples of some of the most complex and gorgeous perfumes that I’d ever smelled all lovingly and illegally (according to IFRA and EU guidelines!) crafted for our pleasures!
These are not the folksy, hippie patchouli laden oils of my frolicksome youth although some of them do indeed include Patchouli! These are more the perfumes of my mothers youth….rich, deep and sexy with the promise of illicit pleasure and no rashes! It’s hard to do them all justice in just this one article but you’ll have to trust me. Try them all and I promise that one will definitely become your lover.

“Mata Hari “by Dawn Spencer Hurwitz is intriguing not just in name but in spirit. When I was a child and all the other girls were pretending to be Snow White I was the one out with the boys doing reconnaissance work. I loved the story of Mata Hari and I adore this perfume. Mata Hari by DSH begins with a cocktail of juicy ripe peaches and succulent mango but quickly begins to smolder with a pomander of spice , but slowly and seductively finishing with the musky leather and oakmoss that will haunt you for more than a few hours.

“Rose of Cimarron” by Bellyflowers Perfumes really caught me off guard and quite delightfully. It was the Pink Pepper that did it, blended beautifully with all kinds of naughty Roses, Jasmine and Blond tobacco among other delicious things. I loved it and so did my husband who was a bit overwhelmed by it’s playful sexiness. Rose of Cimmaron is exotic and edible a bit like a sweet, floral curry… did I say edible? I don’t need to say more. Rose of Cimmaron is gorgeous!

“Amazing” by JoAnne Bassett is simply that. Amazing is a incredibly wonderful eau de parfum that reminds me of a fragrance that I would love to imagine having worn many lifetimes ago in the courts of one of the French Kings. It’s absolutely gorgeous and contains 32 of the Outlawed ingredients! Jasmine, rose cinnamon ,ginger and Bergamot to name a few. Amazing is refreshing, lovely and as tantalizing as Verbena scented Macaron and those of you who know of my endless addiction to sweets understand what that means to me! All I needed was a tin of violette pastilles, a gorgeous push up corset and a fan…..

Jane Cate of a Wing and a Prayer Perfumes created a wonderful fragrance for this project called “Notoriety”. Now you know that I would love that, Notorious being one of my all time favorite words and descriptions! Lots of oakmoss and amber here and my beloved carnation too! Notoriety is really sexy in a very subtle way. It creeps up on you and then you get hit between the eyes with its wantonness. The geranium softens it a bit and tries to make it a bit more lady like but fortunately for us all it fails. I’d wear this one when I deliberately needed to disarm a boardroom of really difficult men!

“Daphne” by the Lords Jester himself , Adam Gottschalk is a very sexy femme fatale fragrance that is surprising too..not at all what you’d expect from a perfume that includes such lovelies as grapefruit, jasmine, rose and frangipani. When I put it on the scent was immediately lovely and then I found myself completely intrigued. I couldn’t escape the leathery sweet and subtlely smoky base and I was reminded immediately of one of the men in my past. He was devilish , he always smelled of opium (not the perfume!) and he was sexy as hell. I think that Daphne could be worn well by a man and in some cases could be as physically arresting to the senses as Johnny Depp’s masterful gypsy in Chocolat. I enjoy wearing Daphne myself, but if my husband wore it I’d be continuously distracted so I’ve hid the sample!

Speaking of Opium, one of the delights that I returned home to find was a beautifully crafted perfume called simply “Cannabis”. I love the smell of marijuana and always have. I find it completely ridiculous that a simple plant with so much potential for doing so much good in the world was outlawed in a most ridiculous fashion by business interests so many years ago. Alfredo Dupetit-Bernardi has created a perfume that is amazingly pretty and delightfully seductive. I loved it because yes, the cannabis is very present but it’s not your average merry hempsters cannabis…it’s unbelievably sophisticated with a wide ranging bouquet featuring loads of juicy citrus, rose, bay, bergamot and cool birch. “Cannabis” makes me happy with it’s abundantly effervescent and generous nature . It’s a brilliant option for someone like me whose heart remains true to her bohemian nature. Bravo!

Anya McCoy , President of the Natural Perfumers Guild created two perfumes for this occasion, “Amberess”and “Light”. “Amberess”, billed as The Princess Outlaw is a yummy floriental featuring musky roses, ylang ylang, patchouli and benzoin among many other smokily seductive notes. I adore the tonka bean but am completely intrigued by the Himalayan amber. On my skin Amberess turns sweetly smoky and exotic. It’s a warm scent that’s keeping me very cozy this winter, but I can’t wait to take it to Arizona next month. I’ve got the feeling that the amber will become even more captivating than it already is when exposed to the dry heat of the Sonoran desert on my sun warmed skin. I can’t wait to find out.
“Light “ features a plant that I’d never heard of , a little Chinese flower called “Aglaia”. The Aglaia absolute has a stunning supporting cast featuring Cedrat, Grapefruit and Juniper berry which gives a sparkle, but there is also more than enough Frankincense and Ambergris to warm your soul. “Light” reminds me both of a beautiful incense and a icy lemon presse’ on a sunny summer’s day. Absolutely delicious and ripe for the picking….

The last of my outlaws is a wonderful perfume called Gypsy, created by Charna owner of the Providence Perfume Company. To say that I love Gypsy would be such a vast understatement that I couldn’t live with myself! Gypsy is simply one of the most remarkably sensual natural perfumes that I’ve ever smelled. Gypsy is a classic fougere or as Charna calls it a sweet amber fougere or a fougere light. It is wonderful…a sexy tango of a perfume that is completely surprising, green and delicious. Because Charna is a bit of a gypsy and I’m a bit of a witch you’d know that this one would knock me straight off of my broom. Galangal and Lavender, Petitgrain and Cardamon begin the magical spell and are followed by more lavender, Pink Lotus and jiocy , fleshy green Violet leaf. The base of Tonka, Oakmoss, Vetiver , Patchouli , Costus and Vanilla is perfect and lasts for hours. Gypsy is a smoky, shadowy seductive bombshell of a perfume and is more than a little dangerous. This witchy woman knows her power and is not afraid to wield it. She is gorgeous and luckily for you, Charna will be giving away a 5ml . bottle of it to one of you. But be careful and make sure before you beg me for this sample (and you should be begging!) that you’re up for it. If you come to the conclusion that you’re ready to meet the Gypsy face to face let me know in your comments.

Please take the time to get to know some of these fabulous perfumers:,,,,,,,,

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Blogger tmp00 said...

A wonderful yet sad post. It kills me that houses that should stand up and in the name of France say the French version of "screw you" cave to this. It's a disgrace. They might as well just model the next Mairanne on a Kardashian.

12:36 AM EST  
Anonymous Geordan said...

I love the Outlaw idea, and am so looking forward to trying a few of these. I hope the web conversations re IFRA regulations cause enough of a stink that something changes with their ridiculous rules...

12:42 AM EST  
Blogger Rusthawk said...

I found your post informative and fascinating. More regulation. Don't get me started ....

Your Gypsy description evokes Marie LaVeau in my memory cells ...nights spent in New Orleans, and a scent an old girlfriend used to wear that was custom made on Royal Street in the old Quarter. I'd be honored to wear yours.

1:20 AM EST  
Blogger Flora said...

No need to enter me in the draw, as I have smelled Gypsy - and it's awesome! All of the Outlaw project scents are outstanding. These are REAL perfumes, made with all the skills and care as the big players' products, and probably more the way things are going right now.

This IFRA/EU nightmare would end very quickly if all the great houses did what Tom said -grow a spine! We all know what's really going on, and it involves following the money...

1:45 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautifully written article on a vital topic, Beth, well done! Like you, I have been wearing more Indie and less mainstream these last couple of years, because, as you note, they "make a soul impression", and the mainstream releases don't. Long live the outlaws!

1:47 AM EST  
Blogger Tama said...

Great article - thank you for the links to the outlaws. I have been exploring more naturals lately and am intrigued and impressed. IFRA should be outlawed themselves.

Gypsy sounds great - I love lavender! Yes, I am begging you, send it to me!! lol

2:26 AM EST  
Blogger Furriner said...

I was able to smell Mata Hari only yesterday from an acquaintance's bottle. It really is very beautiful, and has intrigued me about the other Outlaw fragrances. Great post!

2:59 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the boys go down to sleep at night, out comes my box of treats - my oils, my creations and my treasures from Mandy Aftel, Roxana Villa, Laurie Stern and Ambrosia. I immerse myself in their presence, attempt to unravel some of their secrets but mostly marvel in their unique and staggering beauty. To add one of Charna's creations to my collection (especially one to which you have given such a stunning review) would be amazing and highly appreciated.
I feel quite sickened by that gigantic list of outlawed ingredients but as you say, it's lucky that these gifted perfumers are able to affix a sensible warning label as a way of getting around that silly crap...
Thanks for the great article and reviews. I will look into obtaining samples in the future :)
Laura xo

4:17 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Light and Noteriety have me soo curious!
The list on banned ingredients gets my hackles up.
So not going there.
Loved your article.
Great descriptions

5:16 AM EST  
Blogger Ines said...

I've been following this project all over the blogs and it makes me feel positive that maybe a change in regards to IFRA can be made. I would love to try any of the scents that were reviewed during this project, they all sound very interesting.

5:44 AM EST  
Anonymous vladette said...

Tis 3 am & I will return :) for I have much to say on this. I am a filmmaker who was sent to learn alternative medicine by the studios (rather shock horror..being trained to be outlaws by the sheriffs, so to speak) because it's felt that morale is best kept by having healthy crews (you think!) so, in addition to all my regular duties, I have all these great tricks to keep film crews healthy...all natural herbal remedies, granny cures, homeopathics etc etc..all of which are being abolished by the same ones as those of which your lovely fragrances..and the same insane belief if our minds and bodies are so ignorant that we do not know what makes us healthy. One of my professor's first strictures was that our noses would tell us what was good for us..we automatically shy away from mold whereas we go towards all the items on your list..because they are good for our bodies mind and souls!. Thanks so much for bringing this to the fore!! It really does affect all of us - in our medicines, our healthcare, and our lovely fragrances! I would like to be able to revisit with some other bumpf...Only because a sniff of lovely moss or rose will heal as well as be a divine fragrance. That said - IF this is the wrong forum - oops :) and I will creep away...BUT viva la outlaws!!!!!!

6:04 AM EST  
Anonymous vladette1 said...

got so carried away with my rant..would LOVE to try any if I could be placed in the draw..many many thnx...
easier draw
many many thnx
go gettum...all cowgirls/wicca/wildones on the world
the vlad

6:11 AM EST  
Blogger Karin said...

This IFRA business is so ridiculous. Has anyone died from using any of these ingredients? Maybe if we swallowed gallons of them - but dabbing them on our wrists??? Such overhype by a group that should focus their efforts on something that really matters...

Yes, please include me in the draw for Gypsy!!! Thanks, Beth!

7:35 AM EST  
Blogger Isa said...

Ready to face Gipsy? Yes, I am! :)
I'm looking forward to trying some of these outlaws and Gipsy could be my chance to do it.
A shadowy fougère makes me think of a gipsy caravan crossing the woods in some country of the East of Europe, in unknown time.

7:46 AM EST  
Anonymous Molly said...

This might be an ignorant question, but I thought that, for example, Chanel is well-known for having their own jasmine and rose fields to provide raw materials for their perfumes. And yet rose oil is on this IRFA list? What's the discrepancy here?

That said, a great article. I'm intrigued by this Gypsy perfume and would love to sample it!

9:13 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

You're absolutely right...I can't for the life of me figure out what they are thinking. I loved your comparison...I was thinking how about Paris Hilton for Guerlain...

9:17 AM EST  
Blogger Laurinha said...

It was only a matter of time until some professional "noses" read the list of banned materials and got fed up enough, wasn't it? An admirable initiative and a very welcome and informative post; thank you! Oh, and please enter me in the draw...^_^

9:18 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I completely agree...keeping the conversation alive with articles like these will certainly help!

9:18 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Marie Laveau and Old New Orleans....some of my favorite memories!
You're entered!

9:19 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I couldnt agree more and am glad to know that you loved Gypsy too...Pretty fabulous stuff!!! By the way..I LOVED your take on the Outlaws!!!!!!!

9:20 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your writing is, as usual, as gorgeous as the perfumes. Please enter me--thank you so much for the links so we can all investigate these beautiful fumes.
Creative genius will rise to the occasion and cannot, ultimately, be thwarted.

9:22 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thanks Marla,
I'm so glad that you enjoyed it! I'm loving these perfumes...they smell more as I remember! For example, Roxana's "Gracing the Dawn" was the only perfume that I've discovered that brought back the beauty of my beloved Magie Noire...Magie doesn't do that anymore...I'd kill for a bottle of the vintage, but am actually happier to wear hers!

9:23 AM EST  
Blogger cbstarker said...

Sounds like this is a bad time to start trying to make my own perfumes ... what a dismal list. I am familiar with DSH and Anya's Garden and have tried many of their perfumes with very positive results but the rest on your list are not familiar to me at all. I agree that there is a big difference in quality - a remarkable difference! Unfortunately, there is a big difference in price, too. I would love to meet the Gypsy! Your description immediately calls to mind the beautiful music and unconventional background of Lhasa!

9:24 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

You're entered! You'll love any of these...they are wonderful!I'm so glad that you enjoyed my article!

9:24 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Please go try them all....They are amazing. I'm 51 and old enough to remember what perfume used to smell like ...I love them.
So glad that you enjoyed the review!

9:26 AM EST  
Anonymous RusticDove said...

First I have to say - oh no, that list of restricted ingredients is positively heartbreaking. What's to become of our favorite obsession? :-( And, I would love to meet the Gypsy - it would be my pleasure, I'm sure! ;-)

9:27 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I loved the image of you playing with all of your treasures after your children went to sleep...anybody who know me at all know that I am smitten by the the perfumes of Roxana Villa , Laurie Stern and Mandy Aftel..they are true alchemists when it comes to bringing soul and scent together ...I've not tried Ambrosia..but I will. I hope that you'll try all of these..they are wonderful, unique and gutsy. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of them better! I've entered you in the draw!

9:30 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

If you're curious, try them, I think that you'll be pleasantly enchanted...I'm so glad that you enjoyed my review!!!

9:32 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thanks so much for letting me know that you've enjoyed the project! I've entered you in the draw!

9:34 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

No fear..I loved your rant. I'm also an herbalist who's quite dismayed by the regulations that always threatening to take away access to our precious herbs...Thanks for bringing your light to the fight!
You're entered in the draw!

9:37 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Hi Karin,
You're entered!!!!

9:38 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

I loved your imagery! I am so there with you girlfriend!
You're entered!!!!

9:39 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

It's my understanding that sadly the House of Chanel has not been immune to these restrictions and has had to reformulate several times...They need to all stand up and say ENOUGH!

9:43 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Oh and Molly,
You're entered in the draw!

9:44 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thank you so much! I've entered you in the draw!

9:45 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Thank you so much for the wonderful compliment! I am so glad that you enjoyed this review and hope that you will try them all...I've entered you in the draw!

9:46 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Don't stop trying..just join the ranks of the men and women here who are making gorgeous perfumes independently! Thanks so much for your wonderful comment and I've entered you in the draw!

9:48 AM EST  
Blogger Beth Schreibman Gehring said...

Rustic Dove,
Try these and you'll have a new obsession!
I'm so glad that you enjoyed my review and I've entered you into the draw!

9:49 AM EST  
Anonymous Koki2 said...

Wonderful post, I would add to the list the original White Witch by Parfums Jamaica. Haven't smelled it in a while but if it's the same as I remember it would fit well with this post. Would love to try your Gypsy sample!

Also, and most important - I thought I was the only one who thought Depp's gypsy was the sexiest thing going on - and I don't usually go for thin Caucasian men!

9:50 AM EST  
Blogger Kelley said...

I am in Shock! This is proof that the western world is in decline!!! Entropy is real! I would love to try Gypsy but alas, I am afraid that I am not up to it. Something so beautiful and illegal would surely push me over the edge.

10:05 AM EST  
Blogger Dixie said...

I wish I could afford to buy a full of each just to support this amazing project out of mere principle. I'm looking forward to trying as many as I can.

10:10 AM EST  
Anonymous Vicki said...

Beth, your descriptions are intoxicating. Ever since I heard about the increasing regulations regarding perfume-making substances I've been in bit of a panic, wondering what life-enhancing combinations would no longer be possible. I so appreciate not only the support that are giving these independent perfumers, but also that you let us know about them. I'm going on a hunt right now. I'd also love even just a few drops of Gypsy, much less a true sample. And no, begging is not beneath me.

10:35 AM EST  
Blogger womo531 said...

I wanna meet the Gypsy face to face!

10:47 AM EST  
Anonymous Fernando said...

The outlaws are neat. Someone should put together a little set of outlaw samples. That'd be fantastic.

Yes, please enter me in the draw for Gypsy!

11:10 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally, some hope! As a fairly new comer, I was getting depressed reading about all the vintage scents I'd missed in their original configurations and wondering if I'd have to join the increasingly desperate search for old bottles. I read these blogs carefully for guidance, since I don't live near a store that carries high-end scents and rely on buying samples after considering the reviews. Thanks so much for this one - hope I'm in the draw. :)

12:06 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still laughing at the naughty Mata Hari remark: "I was the one out with the boys doing reconnaissance work"!

That list of oils is scandalously long, oils that have been in use for as long as humans have been engaged in obtaining scent ... sheesh.

Thinking of Van the Man's "Caravan", with "Gypsy Robin and Sweet Emma Rose", I'd certainly like to experience "Gypsy" too: "you know it's got soul".

cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

12:34 PM EST  
Anonymous FragrantWitch said...

Hi Beth,

Thanks for a wonderfully evocative article. That IFRA list in both depressing and infuriating! I use many of the oils and absolutes in there in balms and body washes I make for my young daughters - surely if it is suitable for children in the appropriate amounts then it is suitable in products intentioned for adults who presumably have the native intelligence to determine what is safe for them to use! And... breathe... :-)

I love your phrase 'soul impression'- it is absolutely accurate. I too bemoan the changes to Magie Noire, I fell under its spell as a child investigating my grandmother's vanity; it spoke of glowing darkness and luminous shadows where mysterious people moved in archaic patterns. I treasure the vintage bottle I have and constantly scout thrift shops for it! If the gods see fit, I would love to meet the Gypsy. She sounds amazing!


12:57 PM EST  
Blogger rose said...

I love this project and the results sound intriguing! I definitely have to sample a few...

1:16 PM EST  
Blogger ~elise said...

I couldn't believe the list! So long! So sad!

But they say the tears of a Gypsy can break a curse...

I would willingly face the Gypsy! Would love to sample

1:31 PM EST  
Anonymous MsAnon said...

I would love to try any of these... right now I'm going to go open my spice cabinet and laugh.

1:42 PM EST  
Blogger Olive and Oud said...

I'm speechless at the list of outlaw ingredients.

But on a happier note, I've tried some of Charna's other scents--love!--but haven't had an opportunity to try Gypsy. Shamelessly begging...Thanks!

2:50 PM EST  
Blogger LaBoheme said...

Excellent news! Amazing that it's come down to outlaws, pirates, and brigands but oh my! mom and I were mourning the old perfumes over the weekend. It's a really heartbreaking phase for perfume lovers.

Gypsy sounds tasty, I'll enter the contest for it.
Vive la Oakmoss! lolz.

2:53 PM EST  
Blogger Prettywitty504 said...

I'm a bit of a witch myself and Gypsy sounds like the very soul of my haunted home, New Orleans: decadent, mysterious, elegant and elusive. Lemme have it! ;-)

2:54 PM EST  
Anonymous Lilybug said...

What a curious list of banned and restricted ingredients. It seems so strange that some things you can ingest but cannot apply to your skin. Just the other day, I bought chocolate infused with geranium oil and it was delicious!

3:33 PM EST  
Anonymous class flirt said...

oh oh oh! that list! the shame,the shame! i know that's a lot of exclamation points but really, how dare they? as for the Gipsy, i would love to try it. and the Daphne, even tho' no one's offering...

4:11 PM EST  
Blogger Janet said...

How much money is being wasted by IFRA with these ridiculous regulations?

I love the Outlaw perfume project and it has introduced me to many new perfume houses but how sad that we can't be trusted with our own wellbeing.

9:02 PM EST  
Blogger anyasgarden said...

Thanks for the great post about our Outlaw stance, Beth. When I coined the term Outlaw Perfume, and registered the websites about two years ago, I didn't have a project like this in mind, but it just seemed right. I was fed up blogging about the insanity of IFRA and the EU, and I was glad that some of the Guild perfumers stepped up to wave the red flag at the bull(s) who are trying to destroy our art.

BTW, Carol of Waft by Carol is going to start selling sample sets of the Outlaw Perfumes next week. I think most are claimed, but a few were still available as of early today.

9:03 PM EST  
Blogger KnitPicky199 said...

I just feel so cheated when I read the blogs of the IFRAs restricting the lovely scents that I remember and grew up with in the older perfumes! I have just gotten into natural perfuming and am thankful I live in the USA and not under there jurisdiction. But,.. still I am sure it will be hard to find some of the EOs down the road to use for making my creations. Carnation is my love along with Ylang, Ylang and to that list add
Thank you and great job for your blog sharing and keeping me informed!

10:20 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What elegant and lovely words you weave. You made me feel like I have a soul sister in the Universe, someone who speaks for me. Beautiful!! Natural perfume, my uncontrollable obssession. Gypsy sounds like rapture. Thanks for posting on the IFRA situation. Have to say that it's like much else going on in this world at the moment, pure insanity. Don't they know we NEED our oils. Three words -can't touch this. (Just Another Outlaw)

10:37 PM EST  
Blogger Charna said...

Thank you Beth for the wonderful article highlighting the Natural Perfumer's Guild Outlaw project and perfumers involved. I appreciate your kind words on Gypsy. Your review was lovely, thank you.

10:40 PM EST  
Blogger The Gastronomic Goddess said...

I'm in awe of the Gypsy...consider this me groveling, kissing pinky ring, grabbing at the hems of your clothes for the divinely described Gypsy. Will you take homemade brownies as a bribe????? :D

10:58 PM EST  
Blogger JoAnne Bassett said...

Thank you Beth for the wonderful review of "The Outlaws" and of my Amazing eau de parfum. It was fun to make a floral chypre with real oakmoss and others...I will continue to do so...

12:03 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Beth , for your wonderful review of my Notoriety Perfume. It is a fun to wear(keeps people guessing)as it was to create. I guess being an Outlaw agrees with me. The again there is a little witch in all of us, right.
Thank you again. Jane Cate( A Wing & A Prayer Perfumes)

2:39 AM EST  
Blogger waftbyCarol said...

If your readers are interested , sample sets of the ten outlaw perfumes are available over at WAFT .

5:48 AM EST  
Anonymous Wordbird said...

Well, I've ended up buying a bottle of Notoriety blind on the basis of the rave reviews I've read here and on the other blogs that have been discussing the Outlaws.
And I'd love to try Gypsy too, it sounds very much up my street! Please include me in the draw.

I'll echo the feelings of others who've posted here to say that I wish the mainstream perfume companies would grow some balls and stand up to the IFRA. I find it impossible to comprehend how the IFRA can be allowed to dictate what individuals are allowed to put on their skin. Of course it's important to identify potential causes of damage and reactions, but just as with smoking, alcohol and sun exposure, we adults should be made aware of the risks and allowed to judge for ourselves.

Ah - but the little label on the base of the bottle saying 'caution, can irritate skin' doesn't sound very glamorous, does it? And won't it affect sales if the perfume sales assistant has to tell you about how it's possible the inclusion of Rose, Ambrette seed and Oakmoss can cause you skin irritation and allergic reactions, thereby interrupting the spiel about how this fragrance is born of the mystique of the kasbah married to the scintillating light of a starry night?

I think that might be why the big houses are capitulating: they're scared of the impact on sales. And think of the PR - if a British tabloid ran a scare story on how Chanel/Guerlain/Dior are selling perfumes with ingredients that can make you break out in a rash, it would be disastrous for the brand. Massive devaluing of the brand capital and a knock-on effect on sales of handbags, skincare and make up.

Those balls I said I wished the big companies would grow? Sadly, I suspect the IFRA already has a firm grasp on them and that's how they're steering things.

6:46 AM EST  
Anonymous marian said...

That list is so scary- seeing my beloved jasmines on it especially breaks my heart. I can't thank enough the natural perfumer's in whose hands, it seems, lies the art and future of perfumery.

9:43 AM EST  
Blogger Katherine said...

such a long, sad list of banned ingredients. :(

please enter me in the draw.

10:37 AM EST  
Blogger cornlily said...

When I heard of this proposed move, quite a while ago, I thought it could be resolved without the ban, that the power of perfume houses could override the ban, or modify it.

This change separates humans even further from the natural world. Our contact now is far too small.

I'm all in favor of banning the use of endangered materials or those that involve animal cruelty. On the other hand, the loss of incentive to use land for organic rose and lavender -- that seems a considerable loss.

Please enter me in the draw.

11:24 AM EST  
Blogger frasswino said...

I'm so glad that giant corporations (for my own good, of course!) have gotten together to buy governments so that they can protect me from the likes of rose absolute or even oil, and cistus (by which I presume they mean labdanum). I wear these dangerous substances straight out of the bottle and have been doing so for years.

Of course, now I that I know that labdanum and rose (and I was surprised not to see vetiver, but I'm sure it's on there somewhere) are actually toxic waste, I will stop wearing them instantly and hasten to the nearest department store to purchase some legal and probably moral perfumes that are, coincidentally, produced by these same corporations, who evidently cannot bear to see even a tiny fraction of market share in the hands of someone they don’t control.

We must trust our giant corporate perfume overlords, just as we trust our giant corporate food, drug, agricultural, energy, and medical overlords, to be watching out always for their bottom lines – I mean our good, at any cost, including that of so-called free enterprise.

(Warning: this post may contain sarcasm or even irony. Read at your own peril.)

11:50 AM EST  
Blogger Tracy said...

As a natural perfumer myself, following and petitioning the IFRA situation is very depressing. I hope we (the perfumers) will become the change we wish to see! I agree fully with an earlier comment by Flora about following the money, indeed.

However, remember that Outlaws make history! I am a self-confessed outlaw too who ran "recon" with the boys as a kid! ;)

I would love to be entered in the drawing, thanks!

11:55 AM EST  
Anonymous dleep said...

Hooray for the Outlaws! That list makes me mad and sad. Thank you for the wonderful review and I am not too proud to beg for a sample.

12:19 PM EST  
Blogger Elizabeth Johnson said...

I can really get going on this topic. The IFRA just disgusts me and I find it hard to believe that this is all for our "safety". We're being treated like we're children and can't figure out what to use on our own bodies. Of course I want to know if it's dangerous to me, but then let me make the decision myself. And please, like this list is DANGEROUS. I'd want to know about carcinogens, but if it just may cause an allergic reaction, I should be able to sort that out myself. Do we tell chefs they can't use peanuts, shellfish, etc? We trust that people will be able to decide what to eat for themselves.

Anyway, rant off, please enter me! I am hoping to buy at least one of these creations to support the project!

12:41 PM EST  
Anonymous zeram1 said...

I talked with Eddie (Le Labo) about the differences in banned substances (and at that time, I was the first to inform him that oakmoss was on the Euro list), and how they have to take into consideration the differences from different regions of the world marketplace. Unfortunately, the easiest way to deal with it is to put the most "legal" version throughout all countries, rather than having to reformulate for all. Please enter me in the drawing as well.

7:28 PM EST  
Anonymous Daniele R said...

I was so excited to read about he Outlaw Perfumes project, but I agree that it's sad that we even need to have such a thing. A simple warning label should suffice, as it does for so many other things!
Still, these perfumes sound amazing; I wish I could try them all! While Gypsy does sound formidable, I'm 100% sure I'd be up to the challenge. ;)

7:31 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to enter the draw, pretty please.

And I'd like real oakmoss in Mitsouko.

And an Aston Martin Vantage. XD


8:44 PM EST  
Blogger FP said...

The emphasis is obviously on "fragrance" for the IFRA, as in fragrant oils. How could one dream of real perfume without any rose, neroli nor jasmine? And no oakmoss? What? The list looks like a list of what *should* be in perfume rather than what shouldn't. So few of the modern big house perfumes have any depth and soul, and now I understand why! Here I thought houses were turning to artificial for the price, not some insane regulation! Thank you for the education.
Also, I would be delighted to try Gypsy, if the give away is not already complete. (From your description, I'll seek it out myself otherwise)

3:02 AM EST  
Blogger a.k.a. Warum said...

Thanks for an informative post. When I looked at the list of restricted substances, I started wondering, what's there to be allowed, and can one even call what's left a perfume?

On a happier note, I'm glad to meet a fellow outlaw lover, I also sided with them. One more reason to get closer to the project :)

And yes, I am up for Gypsy. My husband often sings for me Bob Dylan's song called "Gypsy Girl". So far, I've been up to my life, I'll be up for Gypsy I reckon :)

12:38 PM EST  
Blogger Vintage Lady said...

I can't believe these beutiful, old ingredients could be banned. This is so sad!

I tried to win Gypsy days ago without success. It is a perfume I would like to try and here I am:-)

I have to copy this list and study it with time. To really understand why.

I would like to have a document about the IFRA regulations and write about it on my blog. I have visited a few blogs but if you know of a comprehensive document online, I would love to know about it.

Also, I would like to know if I could use the image for the Outlaw on my blog.


5:19 PM EST  
Blogger Balutakat said...

I'm ready for Gypsy - I've been missing the smell of my beloved Bucuresti cafes like the kiss of an overseas lover.

3:23 AM EST  
Blogger Proximity said...

That list is heart-stopping, it's so sad what's been happening, but I am beyond glad that some people are willing to stand up and say "this is silly" and become Outlaws.
I think it's probably far too late to enter the draw, but if it's not, I'd love to be entered, it sounds fabulous.

8:39 AM EST  
Blogger anyasgarden said...

Vintage Lady, I'm the president of the Guild, and I commissioned the Outlaw Perfume artwork. If you are writing an associated article, yes, you can use it.

For more information on IFRA, two things. Go to the Guild website and click on news and search for the Primer on Ifra's 40th amendment. The list included in Beth's review was from that. I'm one of three authors of that, and you can quote freely from it, and a credit byline is needed.

For more, go to my blog, and search for IFRA and EU and even FDA. I've been writing about his for years, and no, there is no one place to find it all, since it keeps changing and being updated. Also go to and search out the IFRA, REACH and other related topics.

It's rather daunting, but I've never been one to lay down and let injustice happen. If only more perfumers and bloggers and customers, such as all those who left great, insightful comments on this thread would get the word out more, I truly believe this nonsense could be reversed.

PS: I can't believe all the perfumers who stick their head in the sand, or who studiously ignore this and won't get involved. For years I felt I was the only one with any guts to stand up, and I'm very happy eight others in the Guild stood up with me.

6:29 PM EST  

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