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Filigree & Shadow

Where fragrances become an art of emotions

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.)

20 Apr ’19


Posted by James Elliott in new product, store news

Do something creative every day.
Launch something different each month.

Introducing TEST PRESSINGS, a monthly series featuring three fragrances born out of our constant synesthesia. These are conventional perfumes, using a combination of natural and synthetic materials. And as always, 100% vegan and cruelty-free.

02 Feb ’19

Vegan Certification

Posted by James Elliott
The perfumer’s cat Jóna

Vegan Action has new requirements for its vegan certification. Starting this year, two documents must be submitted for every ingredient used in a finished product: one proving the source of the ingredient is plant, mineral, fungal, or synthetic; another stating that particular ingredient has not been tested on animals since the year 2000. These changes ultimately benefit the consumer to know a business has performed its due diligence to demonstrate its commitment to compassion.

The niche/indie perfume industry is comprised of small businesses working with one another. A perfumer such as myself works with suppliers that are able to sell me quantities of materials that larger companies only sell in very large amounts. (I may buy 1kg of a green tea CO2 extraction whereas a commercial perfume company will buy ten times that amount at minimum.) I also have direct relationships with other small business suppliers that ethically produce natural materials in limited quantities.

It is impossible for all my suppliers of fragrance materials – both natural and synthetic – to produce the necessary documentation Vegan Action now requires. My intention is not to malign Vegan Action because I wholly support this level of consumer transparency. But the reality is that the majority of my suppliers are unable to provide the documentation, whereas others readily acknowledge some ingredients have been subjected to animal testing by the academic community, government agencies, or within the chemical industry. If I were to comply with the requirements, my fragrance collection would be a fraction of what I currently offer due to available ingredients. I am opting to withdraw certification in favor of maintaining my ability to pursue creative work.

I believe in transparency and your trust in what I make is everything. I am committed to a 100% vegan fragrance line and I will never use animal products or allow my perfumes to be tested on animals. I maintain my Certified Vegan and Cruelty Free status with PETA and I will continue to do so. Thank you for reading and above all, your support.