Monthly Archives

January 2014

Indigo Perfumery


Inspiration during the dead of winter can come in the form of color. Or scent. Or both.

In this case, the color of green, with its many tints and shades, represents life and renewal- something we cling to when the extreme cold and snow/ice so totally control our lives.

Who is in the mood for green? Chartreuse? A big smile?

Esteban Vicente’s Garden, 1998, sure fits the bill!

Just looking at it makes us smile. Garden, 1998 was painted when Vicente was 95 years old.

Esteban Vicente was born in 1903 in a small Spanish town named Turegano. His father was an army officer whose passion was art. He took his children (who dreaded those trips) every Sunday afternoon to the Museo del Prado,  where they were exposed to some of the finest European works of art. Vicente began to draw when he was sixteen, entered the army as expected, but only lasted three months there. After studying sculpture at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando for three years, he went out on his own. For the next twelve years, he practiced his craft in Madrid, Paris and Barcelona before moving to New York in 1936.


He lived in New York for the rest of his long life. He was included in the New York School of Abstract Expressionism, along with De Kooning, Pollock, Rothko and Newman, and was chosen to participate in the significant exhibitions of their works. Vicente also spent a good deal of time teaching at prestigious art institutions in the U.S.

We chose the lively and lovely Perle de Mousse as our green muse. Created for jeweler Ann Gerard by the esteemed nose, Bertrand Duchaufour, Perle de Mousse is one of three creations that Ann commissioned to extend her artistic quests from jewelry into a new medium.

Perle de Mousse opens with the color green in the form of galbanum (along with sparkling aldehydes), green mandarin and bergamot. You can immediately picture yourself out in a grassy field on a lovely spring day, an ode to green moss (mousse in French).

Lily of the valley, rose, geranium and jasmine make their delicate appearance, but the scent actually stays fairly constant throughout. Its dry down remains faithful to its green color, with soft, amber/musky accents.

It is a happy, optimistic scent with good longevity and sillage.

Spring is on its way!

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Indigo Perfumery


With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, our thoughts inevitably stray to chocolate. In any form.

One of the more unusual approaches to chocolate (cocoa) is to feature it in fragrances. Not that you’d necessarily want to smell like a chocolate bar, but adding cocoa to the notes of a perfume adds dimension to a scent in a most unusual way.

What is cocoa anyway? Deriving from the Theobroma cacao tree (an evergreen also referred to as the cacao or cocoa tree), its cocoa beans are used to make chocolate and cocoa powder.

A tree begins to bear fruit when it is four or five years old. First it produces clusters of small flowers which develop into woody, ribbed pods that contain between 25 to 50 seeds (or beans). The beans are placed in large wooden boxes and covered with large leaves, such as banana leaves, and left to ferment for five to ten days. They are then sun-dried and roasted. After the roasting, the beans are ground into a coca paste, which is melted down to become cocoa liquor- essentially half cocoa solids and half cocoa butter (its fat content), the product most used in pharmaceuticals. Or, the beans can be steeped in alcohol to become what is called a tincture.

Here at Indigo, there are more than a few fragrances with cocoa as either the main star or in the backup position. In the Home Fragrance line, Belle Fleur’s Cacao Tabaq scented candle allows the cocoa to take a velvety center stage, backed up by subtle tobacco leaves, honey and ebony wood. Gorgeous. Providence Perfume Company’s Cocoa Tuberose natural perfume offers a chocolatey gourmand scent, accented by buttery tuberose and a light pipe tobacco in its final stages. It smells equally good on men or women. PK Perfumes’ Violet Chocolatier was inspired by Daria Jabenko‘s painting of…  chocolate cake and violets. The chocolate bursts out of the starting gate, but is nicely held in check by violet, rose, light spices and, later, white flowers.

In its supporting role, cocoa presents itself in Magnetic Scent’s Untitled #2 and État Libre d’Orange’s Eau de Protection.

What chocolate-inspired fragrance is your favorite?

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