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Niche perfumes of the finest materials inspired by melodic themes

10 Mar ’20

Love in the Time of COVID-19

Posted by James Elliott
CDC Illustration of ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses
CDC Illustration of ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses

This post is going to focus on one topic which – pardon the pun – plagues our global news: the novel coronavirus COVID-19. The information in this post is taken directly from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website and I will note those citations for your reference. Knowledge is power and the best defense against infection is a clean offense.

There are two numbers you should remember when practicing preventative hygiene during the COVID-19 epidemic.[1]

  • For disinfection, diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.
  • If soap and water are not readily available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol may be used.

Let’s talk hand sanitizer for a moment. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.[2] You can always wash your hands when you arrive at your destination, but hand sanitizer is especially useful when you’re on the go.

You can make your own hand sanitizer using alcohol and pure aloe vera gel, but you also have to do the math. (I know. Sorry.)

  • If you have 91% Isopropyl Alcohol, the recipe is 4 parts alcohol and 2 parts aloe vera gel. The math: (4/6)*0.91 = 0.60 or 60% alcohol.
  • If you have 70% Isopropyl Alcohol, the recipe is 11 parts alcohol and 1 part aloe vera gel. (11/12)*0.7 = 0.64 or 64% alcohol. Using 70% alcohol will yield a watery sanitizer, but it meets the CDC recommendation.

You may have seen other DIY recipes online using vodka. Unless you are using 190 Proof Everclear or Polmos Spirytus Rektyfikowany 192 Proof vodka, brands like Tito’s, Absolut, Grey Goose, Ketel One, and Smirnoff vodka lack sufficient alcohol content. If you have Everclear or Spirytus, you can follow the 91% isopropyl alcohol recipe.

Essential oils are not antiviral. You can add a drop or two of essential oil to your hand sanitizer but you honestly don’t need to add anything. If you do choose to add essential oil, remember that citrus oils such as lemon and bergamot are phototoxic, and you should never use lemon verbena as it’s both phototoxic and skin sensitizing. Try 1 drop each of lavender, mint, and rosemary for their calming aromatherapeutic properties.

Remember these preventative actions[3]

  1. Frequently wash your hands with soap and water.
  2. Avoid touching your face.
  3. Stay home when you are sick.
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Lastly, I would encourage you to practice compassion with yourself and others. Check in with your friends and neighbors to make sure everyone is safe and healthy. If you are self isolating, be sure to take periodic work breaks with stretches or gentle exercises.

It will take some time for life to resume its everyday normalcy, but for now just do your best to keep calm and wash your hands.

15 Dec ’19

Year Four

Posted by James Elliott in store news
Photo by Alex Chernenko on Unsplash
Photo: Alex Chernenko

I no longer had a sense of home living in New York City after September 11, 2001. A friend in Long Beach convinced me to grab my dog and move to California to become a yoga teacher. Who wouldn’t see the choice as anything but obvious? It wasn’t until I gave away everything I owned (except my dog) (obvi), moved to Long Beach, and shared a house with eleven other yogis as my bank account drained itself of funds that I realized this may not have been the best choice.

Lucky for me, I thought I joined a yoga school but it was actually a sex cult. If I’m being precise here, an escort agency purchased the yoga school and used it as a vehicle for indoctrinating young people into the fold to become “Tantric healers.” Highlights include one of the “school’s” “teachers” telling me, with full sincerity, “When I go down on a client, I am channeling the energy of past and present gurus into him. He may not know it, but he’ll feel it.” I grabbed my dog, got into my car, and hightailed it out of Southern California.

I used to think that was the most fantastic experience of my life. Turns out it’s celebrating my fourth year as a perfumer. Who would have seen that coming?

Thank you everyone for being on this journey with me. I will never not be grateful for you and your support. This next year is going to be better than any yoga sex cult.

25 Aug ’19

Know Your Natural Perfume

Posted by James Elliott in store news

Know Your Natural Perfume

Maybe you’ve always been a little curious about the ingredients listed in your favorite perfume. The term “ingredients” is slightly misleading as you are reading the contents in order from most to least, as opposed to reading a recipe. Let’s take a look at the contents and shed some light on perfume.

The first ingredient is alcohol. Conventional perfumes will use a blended perfumer’s alcohol that contains ethanol and two bitterants (t-Butyl Alcohol and Bitrex) to deter consumption. Some perfumes may also contain isopropyl myristate (an ester to hold everything together), and monopropylene gylcol (a humectant), but generally perfumers stick to the tried-and-true formulation of alcohol and parfum (our next ingredient).

Parfum is the fragrance in its original concentrated form. A conventional parfum may contain a mixture of natural and synthetic materials, whereas a natural perfume will contain essential oils, absolutes, extracts, and sometimes isolates. The parfum to alcohol ratio can dictate the type of perfume you purchase: eau de cologne (5% parfum), eau de toilette (10%), eau de parfum (15%), or parfum extrait (20%).

Water is the third ingredient, however its presence in perfume is generally a result of the alcohol distillation process. For example, 190 proof ethanol is 95% alcohol and 5% water.

Everything that follows water are the fragrance allergens present in the fragrance. It’s a bit like Inception: the fragrance linalool is present in the fragrance lavender. European regulations require perfumes to list any of the 26 common fragrances that can cause allergic reactions.

California goes a step further and requires notifying consumers when a fragrance contains beta-Myrcene due to Prop 65. This compound occurs naturally in cannabis, hops, and thyme. Compliance is mandatory despite California not differentiating between naturally occurring amounts and industrial concentrations. Still, knowledge is power.

Perfume formulas will remain a tightly guarded secret, but everything else is there for you to read. And now you know how to read the ingredients.

Bringing it all together: one of our most popular fragrances, ETHERIEL is inspired by Lush and contains bergamot, jasmine, mandarin, neroli, olive, petitgrain, sandalwood, tuberose, vanilla, and ylang-ylang in organic cane alcohol.

Now here are the perfume ingredients in accordance with European regulations: alcohol, parfum (fragrance), water (aqua), farnesol, benzyl benzoate, anisyl alcohol, geraniol, cinnamyl alcohol, benzyl cinnamate, eugenol, cinnamal, benzyl alcohol, coumarin.

Knowledge is power, so let’s bring transparency to natural perfume. We’ll be publishing the allergens as ingredients for each fragrance on our website so you can make the best informed decisions about what you choose to wear.

02 Jul ’19

Sound & Fog Anniversary Candle

Posted by James Elliott in new product

In celebration of Sound & Fog reaching a milestone since opening its doors three years ago, I’ve created a very special, very limited edition, SOUND & FOG candle. Like its namesake fragrance, this candle contains tobacco, birch, licorice, benzoin, saffron, coffee, cardamom, and vetiver in 100% soy wax. The wax is filtered and poured by hand in 4 oz. tins for $39.

You can purchase the eau de parfum day or night on the website, but the candle will only be available at Sound & Fog starting this Friday. Get yours before they’re gone.

14 Jun ’19

Filigree & Shadow on Fragrantica

Posted by James Elliott in fragrantica

Thank you, Fragrantica, for listing our perfumes in your database! If you an avid user of the site, please share how much you enjoy our fragrances.

Vielen Dank Fragrantica, dass sie unsere Düfte in ihrer Datenbank aufgelistet haben! Wenn sie ein begeisterter Benutzer der Website sind, teilen sie bitte mit, wie sehr sie unsere Düfte genießen.

(In the meantime, we need to start learning German on Duolingo.)

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