The seventh fragrance in A Perfumed Bestiary series was formulated by taking prompts from the mythologies and ancient texts that reference the mighty and loyal Gryphon.
Have you read A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness? In the novel, her leading character Diana Bishop, has a technique of problem solving where she visualizes everything in separate parts and starts moving them around, sensing for a pattern in the chaos. This is exactly what I do when creating a fragrance and goes back to when I would create illustrations for magazines and newspapers.
I began with the concept that the Gryphon is a large and powerful animal. Plant essences which evoke animalic notes came up as an option. I then delved into extensive research, making notations of the Gryphons attributes.
- Devotional loyalty
- Keen protective instincts
- Protectors of treasure
- Nests containing gold and other references to gold
- Divine guardian
- Dualism, hybrid of bird+mammal
- Ancient beast
- Eagle (king of birds)
- Lion (king of beasts)
- Landscape: Deserts of the east, Mountain nest guarding gold, treasure or sacred object
Looking over those attributes, I chose essences that related to a few
- Deity —› Essences considered sacred: Frankincense, Myrrh
- Keen protective instincts —› Frankincense
- Majesty —› Frankincense, Resins
- Protection / Divine guardian —› Tree balsams & Resins
- Gold —› Frankincense, Gold
- Ancient beast /Animalic —› Labdanum
- Eagle (king of birds) + Lion (king of beasts): elemental air+earth —› Spice —› Saffron
- Sun: elemental fire —› Spice
- Landscape: Deserts of the east —› Resins
In the end I chose nine essences that I felt related to the Gryphon and most importantly, that the combination of notes evoked the scent of our majestic creature.
- Olive Leaf
- Dragons Blood Resin
If you haven’t already signed up for the next limited edition perfume, join us now with the letter K. I’m planning to ship Letter K in April, but it will depend on the current drama and hysteria.
Opening image: Roger délivrant Angélique by Louis Édouard Rioult, 1824
Graphics and photo ©RoxanaVilla