Copper and Perfume Making: The Hidden Magic Ingredient of Artisan Spirits & Fragrances

Posted on May 09, 2017 by Matriarch Blog

  

 The creation of HIGH PERFUMERY is not achievable without copper.

House of Matriarch has incorporated copper into our branding, packaging and presentation as a constant reminder of the Venusian and alchemical foundations of perfume making.  We are always receiving compliments on our packaging, and since people are usually not accustomed to seeing copper in a brand's aesthetic, they often refer to our color palette as "blue and gold". This makes us very happy and we take the opportunity whenever this occurs to educate and draw attention to the alchemy that has taken place within their observation.  Changing copper into gold is the foundation of alchemy itself!

Copper by Christi Meshell

Copper was the first metal used by humans - known by the ancients and modern day alchemists as the "metal of Venus" - perhaps due to it's malleability - perhaps for it's beauty - or maybe because of it's high thermal and electrical conductivity.  Perfumery itself has connection with Venus as the Goddess of Love and Beauty.  How interesting that copper is the "Metal of Venus" and is absolutely essential to perfume making! 

Shown here is the copper still at Glass Distillery in Seattle where the spirits used for House of Matriarch perfumes originate.  While most perfuming alcohol is produced in stainless steel industrial grade factory-like distilleries, this small batch copper still causes reactions that remove undesirable notes/flavors in the distillate and make it 'smoother'.  Without copper, the distillate would smell sharp and unpleasant, overpowering the delicate top notes of our natural perfumes. 

 

 The color of copper is difficult to describe - and to replicate.  The shade is an enigmatic, rainbow effect of reds, golds and beige under magnification.  Ephemeral, it is always changing.  Oxidization adds shades of turquoise and green - known as verdigris. 

 Is it a coincidence that one of the largest statues in the world depicting a woman is made of verdigris copper?  Nope. The Statue of Liberty was modeled after the goddess Ceres who has had strong connotations to both Nature and Venus throughout mythology. 

It has been challenging in a world of "will that be silver or gold?" to find the components needed to complete our packaging - everything copper has to be custom made and even then it is very difficult to achieving a "match" with copper.  Even the Pantone shade is not really copper.  House of Matriarch feels it is worth the extra effort -both from an alchemical sense and an aesthetic one and tells of the level of effort and care we take in creating and presenting our fragrant creations to the world. 

Posted in 2017, aesthetic, alchemical, alchemy, american made, aroma, art and business, artisan, branding, caps, cobalt, compose, conductivity, Connection, copper, craft distillation, Creation, distillate, distillation, energy, ethanol, Glass Distillery, Goddess, gold, grapes, Greek Mythology, halal, High Perfumery, high spirits, House of Matriarch, Love and Beauty, malleable, marketing, metal, METATRON, perfume spirits, Staute of Liberty, Top Perfumes 2017, Venus, vodka

We believe in magic: House of Matriarch Named as Finalist for Best Branded Video Campaign by Taste TV

Posted on November 10, 2015 by Matriarch Blog

TASTE TV has announced that House of Matriarch’s “We Believe in Magic"  video marketing campaign for the Nordstrom 2015 retail launch has been previewed and named as a finalist for the Ferrara Flame Award for Best Branded Video Promotion/Campaign and also for Best Branded Program.

We share this honor with our director and branding team, GIRVIN Design, product stylist Michael Kennedy, producer Jennie Lake and cinematographer Jenessa Joffe of Thousand Faces Media, and cinematographer Adrian Rhetoric of Lamda Entertainment. 

Here are a few behind the scenes pictures from the Trillium shoot:

Mood board for initial vision for the Trillium video.
Michael and Christi creatively collaborating on product styling before filming
Michael perfecting the product on set
Adrian is willing to do whatever it takes to get the shot
Mission accomplished! The final look all comes together in the end.
The whole team who made the magic happen

Posted in Adrian Rhetoric, american made, art and business, artist, awards, beauty will save the world, brand, Christi Meshell, GIRVIN Design, high perfumery, house of matriarch, indie, indie perfume, Jenessa Joffe, Jennie Lake, Lamda Entertainment, luxury fragrance, made in Seattle, made in USA, magic, matriarch, Michael Kennedy, nature is the ultimate luxury, new brand, new luxury brand, Nordstrom, northwest, Olympic Peninsula, Pacific Northwest, taste awards, taste tv, Thousand Faces Media, ultimate luxury, We Believe in Magic

BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY PERFUME - NEW Liquid Music Track

Posted on April 23, 2015 by Matriarch Blog

Have you ever wondered what Richard Ashcroft was walking towards in The Verve's famous music video for their hit "Bittersweet Symphony"? We believe he was headed for a chocolate shop: what else could explain such a singular focus?
Our latest Liquid Music track embodies the broody and melancholic overtones of that epic urban hymn with an unexpected, bitter opening of henna, dong-quai and spikenard.  As the lyrics scream "I can change" so does the perfume, from bitter to sweet, breaking out of the mold of today's cloying mainstream chocolate themed fragrances.  
 
A chorus of blended teas, bittersweet Dutch process cocoa and alluring spices invite the sharp tones to linger, and they lend a very special magic to the bitter chocolate accord.  Bourbonesque charred woods, hints of warm amber and a touch of oud create a velvety, harmonic drydown that takes a full five hours to develop on the skin and lasts overnight.  
  
Created as a bespoke gift for one who cherishes this song, it develops in such an extraordinary way, we decided to offer it as part of our ongoing retail Liquid Music collection. Bittersweet Symphony is available in a 3ml Sample Size,
 a 30ml Decant eau de parfum, and a 100ml Disco Ball Decant eau de parfum (shown above).  

Posted in arrtisan, art, art and business, Art and Perfume, artisan, artisan fragrance, artisan perfume, artisan perfumes, bespoke, Bittersweet Symphony, Christi Meshell, fragrance creation, fragrance design, high perfumery, House of Matriarch, limited edition, Liquid Music, luxury fragrance, luxury perfume, made in Seattle, made in USA, niche, perfume, private label fragrance, Richard Ashcroft, songs, The Verve

Nature is the Ultimate Luxury - Northwest Essence - Niche Perfumery

Posted on February 02, 2015 by Matriarch Blog

CHRISTI MESHELL, the owner and nose behind the Bellevue-based line House of Matriarch High Perfumery, dips her finger into a jar of tobacco-leaf extract and rubs some on the top of my hand, and in an instant I am transported back decades to my grandfather’s tobacco farm in Kentucky. Sticky-sweet tobacco leaves, old barns, haylofts, manure — the scent-memory is unblemished, like a perfectly preserved photograph.

It gives me goose bumps.

Meshell, with her flowing black hair, sumptuous silk prints, sparkly platform heels and fairy goddess grin, is an agent provocateur of scent, melding wildly intriguing elements into luxury fragrances that defy easy descriptions.

She was raised in oil country — Port Arthur, Texas — but she’s a Northwest hippie medicine woman at heart. Every morning she drinks a glass of water infused with frankincense essence. “It’s good for you,” she insists.

Meshell leads her guests past a to-scale human skeleton hanging by the stairwell that leads up to the plush design studio of her atelier, which is decked out like an eccentric sultan’s parlor (that’s a unicorn bust hanging on one wall; that’s a live white dove perched in a picnic basket by the window; that’s loungy electro by Thievery Corporation blaring on the speaker system).

Meshell sits cross-legged on the floor and begins the interview by burning a series of opulent tree resins: Pine, then dragon’s blood, then oud, which is so precious a piece no bigger than a fingernail costs $5.

The smoke rises and curls like a dancing ghost and forms a cloud above our heads.

“This is the original ‘perfume’ — it literally means ‘through smoke,’ ” Meshell says, during a mini-lesson on the evolution of fragrance, from its use in fumigating living quarters and hair to its use in prayer, ceremonies, courtship and other life pursuits.

Meshell says her sense of smell is so exact, she can tell that a man is smoking a Cohiba cigar from a block away. She says she can smell textures, too. Put a cactus close to her face and its physical prickliness will tickle her imagination.

“Your nose is kind of the last real touch point to the natural world,” she says. “It’s like you’re being touched by nature.”

This allows Meshell to work like a collage artist, composing multilayered fragrances with spectacular resonance that project something of the wearer onto everyone who comes near.

“It’s the last thing you put on before leaving the house,” Meshell says. “It’s that mood that you carry with you, your essence, your invisible aura.”

The smell of Puget Sound seaweed mixed with evergreen extracts, cannabis, animal musk and about 300 other ingredients brings a chilled-out, mystical and sexy vibe to the Blackbird perfume Meshell made in a collaboration with the Seattle fragrance brand.

For some customers, she says, her long-lasting, $120 to $300 full-size perfumes are the only material indulgence they allow themselves.

As Meshell shows off a wall-length bookshelf with hundreds of bottled ingredients, she says that some are derived directly from the Pacific Northwest. A blazingly intense lavender essence comes from plants grown in Redmond. She makes seaweed essence with washed-up kelp she gathers on beach walks.

Her favorite place to visit is the Hoh Rain Forest on the Olympic Peninsula with its hanging moss.

“This is the last enchanted forest, and we live in it,” Meshell says of the Northwest in general.

“Nature,” she says, “is the ultimate luxury.”

Tyrone Beason is a Seattle Times, Pacific NW Magazine staff writer. He can be reached at tbeason@seattletimes.com. Alan Berner is a Seattle Times staff photographer.

Posted in agent provocateur of scent, american made, art and business, artisan, artisan fragrance, artisan perfume, Bellevue-based, cannabis, christi meshell, custom fragrance, custom perfume, eastside, Enchanted forest, enchanted forests, evergreen extracts, fine fragrance, fragrance design, fragrance house, high perfumery, Hoh Rain Forest, hookah perfume, house of matriarch, indie perfume, indie perfumer, Local perfume, locally sourced, luxury fragrance, luxury perfume, matriarch, natural, natural perfume, natural perfume manufacturer, natural perfumes, nature, nature is the ultimate luxury, new luxury brand, new natural perfumes, new perfumes, niche, niche fragrance, northwest, Northwest Essence, northwest hippie, olfaction, Olympic Peninsula, original perfume, Pacific Northwest, Pacific NW Magazine, perfume house, Perfumer, private label fragrance, Puget Sound seaweed, raw materials, Redmond Lavender, Seattle, seattle art, seattle fragrance, Seattle fragrance brand, seattle perfume, The Seattle Times, through smoke, tobacco, top artisan perfumes, ultimate luxury, united states, vegan perfumes, washington, west coast, woman owned business