FAQ - House of Matriarch High Perfumery


Click the STOCKISTS tab to see a list of our US retail partners for sampling in person or order under the SHOP tab. We enjoy working closely with our clients and optimizing our time together, so all meetings are by appointment. As we produce lines for other labels, we are bound by strict duties of confidentiality so we are unable to offer tours or allow any public access to our production facilities.

Almost without exception, mass market scents are a varied arrangement of just a few plentiful and inexpensive fragrance components, selected for economy, ease of use and wide scale appeal. This is the reason why with each passing year, mainstream fragrances seem to be merging into one homogenized vibe. For those breaking free of the herd in search of more fragrant fields, House of Matriarch perfumes offer an exciting departure from the ordinary, capturing Nature's limitless beauty in liquid form.

Yes, treat your perfume like a bouquet of flowers or fine chocolate. Not too hot, not too cold. To avoid evaporation of the precious contents, the cap must be tightly closed. Always keep your perfumes upright, this is especially true of roll-ons, as they are by design prone to leakage. Go for steady temperatures, and never near a heat register. Do not expose the bottles for any length of time to sunlight or bright lighting as it will alter the scent. Your vehicle is the very worst place to keep perfume as the temperature extremes are impossible to control. Keeping your perfumes in a closet or dresser will prolong their life, the bathroom counter is a no-no if you plan to keep your perfume for more than 6 months. With proper storage, Matriarch perfumes will last indefinitely, even improving with time.

The perfume house is the "OEM of fragrance." They are established to hold an inventory of ingredients and formularia from which they create products either for their own distribution or for other brands. Of the tens of thousands of scents on the market, there are surprisingly just a handful of large perfume houses that supply the majority of the perfume sold worldwide. Matriarch is classified as a "creative fragrance house" because we create original fragrance designs from raw materials in their purest form. Most fragrances on the market, even "niche" perfumes are not original designs, from a creative perspective they are considered "derivative works". That means they are created from other premixed bases and accords and blends. This takes the guess work out of the equation, but leaves little room for creativity and discovery.

As a full spectrum perfume house, we can create fragrances both with and without animal extracts. These essences are an important part of fragrance history and evolution. We do not debate the subject as we respect the needs and desires of all of our clients and we take pride in the wholehearted way we espouse their creative desires. It is with the utmost respect and reverence for all of Mother Nature's creatures that we judiciously employ these materials when requested or as required to achieve a desired effect in the fragrance. We feel that disclosure is paramount, so we are happy to provide fragrance-specific information to any customer requesting it.

If you prefer vegan perfumes, we offer several here on our website, you can use the search tool above to find them. The collection of ambergris, hyraceum and beeswax absolute do not harm the animal in any way, they are waste products of the animals that create them, and are found and collected later by humans. The remaining animal essences (civet, musk, castoreum) are extremely concentrated, and are among the most rarely sourced materials for the artisan perfumer. We prefer to source vintage essences from personally known sources. The majority of our supply was collected decades ago. Musk presents a unique challenge to High Perfumery, as both the synthetic and natural material musks are rejected by savvy customers for different (and equally valid) reasons. Ambrette seed and other "vegetable musks" are inadequate substitutes for the vast spectrum of musk notes in modern fragrances, so some compromise must be made to achieve these effects when they are desired.

As a creative fragrance house, we are skilled at employing whatever aromatics are necessary to provide the desired results for our clients. We are best known for our luxurious 100% Natural Perfumes, however this level of High Perfumery can be likened to acquiring a taste for single malt scotch, and represents only a fraction of the marketplace. Our fragrance library includes aroma molecules and isolates to meet the demands of current fragrance cultures and trends. In a nutshell, our philosophy is NATURAL FIRST. Our Natural Perfumes are just that: 100% natural. Our mixed-media perfumes are between 88%-99% natural. This is a sharp contrast to mainstream perfumes, which average 2-5% of natural materials.

Top notes provide the first scent impression of a perfume once it has been applied to the skin. They are light, volatile aromas that evaporate quickly. Their scent usually fades within 5-30 minutes of application. Middle notes, or “heart notes,” make up the core of the blend. They may be evident from the start, but will usually take 10-30 minutes for them to fully "bloom" on the skin. These are usually the notes that classify the fragrance family. Base notes are those with the greatest molecular weight and that last the longest. Base notes are also important as fixatives; they help slow down the evaporation rates of the lighter notes, giving the fragrance holding power. A fragrance which does not have traditional top, middle and base notes is usually described as “linear.”

Alcohol is indispensable to High Perfumery because it's the base which dissolves and blends the oils in the perfume together into the magical quintessence. The concentrated spirits blend and bond the multitude of ingredients into an irreversible marriage, and at that moment, the perfume is created. As the ultimate preservative, the alcohol freezes the essences in time, keeping them fresh. It also helps the perfume radiate from your skin once applied. While oil based perfumes are luxurious, they are unstable and oxidize quickly, lasting on average a year or less. Our perfumes actually improve with time and proper storage, like fine wines and spirits, because that is the base from which they are made. While mainstream perfumes are made from industrial grade denatured alcohol, We use the highest quality, certified kosher, natural ethanol distilled here in Washington (from organic grapes and apples) for our perfumes, so they will continue to smell better and better with time.