I waited for a long time to have some extra cash so that I could try out perfumes from a most amazing looking perfumer called For Strange Women. Something happened this year and I made enough money to buy some samples off the etsy site I had been stalking for a year. After my perfume box arrived in the mail I fell in love with almost all of the scents. I like to use them all at really different times in my life. One is really good for working on the computer, and I like one for traveling, and one in the mornings…
I am thrilled to post this Q + A interview I had with Jill McKeever recently! Most inspiring!
- What made you want to start a perfume business?
I love natural perfume and at the time I began my business, there was not much out there in the world of interpretive botanical scent with a dark victorian forest style.
2. Tell me a little bit about the process of designing your new scent, Fireside Story?
Fireside Story has been a perfume in my line for several years, but it was only available as a solid, and now it is also available as an oil. My new scent is actually the Sweetgrassperfume oil, which I created based on the smell of dried sweetgrass braids that hung in my studio. The scent is intoxicating, but the essential oil cannot be extracted from it for perfume so I used other natural materials to recreate it.
- Do you ever make a perfume that you don’t really like?
Only when I’m experimenting with test batches! I wouldn’t put anything in my shop if I didn’t love it. But sometimes I fall out of love with perfumes after several years, and at that point I decide to retire them.
4. Do you think your perfumes have magical abilities and if yes could you elaborate on that?
I think that scent is the most magical of our senses, and natural perfume contains the spirit of all manner of plant life, and the process of combining it to awaken our minds and memories and elicit reactions is magical. I think the way every natural perfume smells different on every person based on their unique chemistry is magical. And I think the great energy and love I put into every perfume I make and the strange alchemy involved in the construction of them is magical.
5. Your packaging is very elegant and informative, were you inspired by any particular business or artist in this area of your creation?
Rasputina definitely had an influence on me.
6. Are there perfumers that influence your lines? If yes could you tell me about who they are and how they influence your perfume designs?
No. I try to stay original and inspired by things that come from other places in life
7. How do you stay inspired in creating scents?
I talk to customers, and my assistant Tara, and anyone who cares, about what scent we absolutely are needing in our lives! And sometimes I just know what I want that day and I cook it up.
8. If you had to pick a few favorite base, middle + top notes, what would they be?
all children are loved equally 😉
9. When you start to design a scent, do you have an end goal in mind? If so, what would it usually be?
Yes, I think about a place or an object or a time or idea or feeling that I want to capture in a bottle first and then I go from there
10. Do you make perfumes alone?
I used to, but Tara is usually around these days and she becomes a human test subject when I’m making them.
11. If you could recommend one book that has something to do with perfume, what would it be?
Essence & Alchemy by Mandy Aftel is great!
12. Do you have one or two essential oils that must go into every perfume you make? Could you tell us what they are?
No, my perfumes are all very different from eachother. I do use a lot of orris butter though.
13.I’m a huge fan of your Seashell + Coconut perfume from the strange companion line. How did you discover the essential oil of roasted seashells?
Thank you! The roasted seashells are roasted in a clay vessel in India. They do a lot of cool old-world processes like this in India.
14. What essential oils are you dreaming of acquiring?
I have heard that geosmin is available somewhere but I have yet to track it down.