July 27, 2010
EDITOR’S NOTE: Cafleurebon Natural Perfume Editor & Senior Editor Monica Skye Miller conducted an interview with Dabney Rose in the spring of 2010 on Skye's perfumer's blog. We thought it would be a good companion piece with Skye’s review of Dabney Rose Amberleah.
Any comments on this Rewind will also be eligible for the giveaway of 6 mini cutie pots of Dabney Rose’s Amberleah solid perfumes, please comment on site to enter the draw. 6 winners will be picked randomly on Thursday July 29 at 11:59PM EST.
I came across Miss Dabney Rose while “butterfly netting” perfumers on the web. I was attracted by her funky style and sophisticated idealism within her craft…here is a woman who grabs life by the armfuls of fragrant flowers and crushes; she distills and presents the world with bottles of charming potions, at once medicinal, deliciously scented and emotionally satisfying. She’s a Biker Chick who pulls no punches. She’s tough, gentle and loves nature with all her heart. I “know” this woman in the recesses of my ethereal nature for she knows what I know…the fragrance of Love and the ultimate art of fine perfume have everything in common… a pure expression of “emotional privilege” and by this I mean a type of luxury even the poorest of the poor can experience…the scent of beautiful flowers in full bloom, the crushed leaves of an herbal tea from the grandmother to the grandson, lovely and simple homemade brews unadulterated with consumerism or complex marketing techniques. All in all, a woman after my own heart. She “gets it”. Ladies and gentlemen, may I present Dabney Rose.
Skye: At what point in your life did you have an “Aha!” moment when you decided that you could make and sell your own aromatic products? Can you describe that moment?
Dabney: In ‘86 my first born was getting some diaper rash so I reached inside myself, the garden and a recipe or two and brought forth some “butt salve”. I was adding lavender oil to it which seemed a new twist to folks in my area at the time. I shared the excess and within a year or two our local co-op was selling it in their H&B section. That was a feel good!
Skye: What has been your biggest challenge in formulation and consequently your biggest triumph?
Dabney: Trying to ride my passion and hone my craft in a world largely ignorant of what a hydrosol was. My biggest triumph to date is having someone in France (the fragrance capital of the world) as a repeat customer of my hydrosols by the gallon!
Skye: When formulating a perfume is it a smooth process? Is there such a thing as “perfumers block”?
Dabney: I think the more open I am to my intuitive side, the smoother it is (as with just about anything). Yes, I get blocked on occasion and need to back off and let the energy flow itself.
Skye: Is there a natural (flower/herb) that you would like to see farmers in the US growing more of for the hydrosol & perfume industry?
Dabney: Just more of anything with fragrance! From roses to raspberries. This would enable the small time players to have more to experiment and play with. I’d like to see more farmers markets and “cottages” in front of the word “industry!
Skye: I have heard it said that “a natural perfume is always a medicine”. Do you think this is true?
Dabney: I believe in this one as well. Our imbalances start at the energetic levels (mental/emotional) and this is where we can help re-balance them.
Skye: Which is your favorite hydrosol that you make, which one do you personally reach for the most?
Dabney: Raspberry! The inspiration for this came 100% out of me and I played with it, brought it forth and absolutely love the fragrance!
–Monica Skye Miller, Natural Perfume Editor & Senior Editor