Gracing the Dawn
Gracing the Dawn
Gracing the Dawn, more so than any of my other creations, has a very tangled and twisted herstory. Originally she was an idea, a draft of notes called The Three Graces specially created for Heather Ettlingers project titled Perfume in a Poem.
Over time, with the birth of many other accords and perfumes, the formula morphed and shifted. The original illumination for the fragrance changed as well, becoming Greg's iconic image at the 2010 San Diego Comic Convention where the perfume was debuted.
Gracing the Dawn is an abundant bouquet of garden flowers seamlessly woven together so that no one floral note stands out. The fragrance is composed like a classic chypre perfume, although much more ethereal. The orchestration of ingredients in Gracing the Dawn shares a few similar essences with Hedera helix and four accords contained in GreenWitch. The four accords have all been crafted by my own hands using essentials oils, absolutes and C02 extracts. In total there are twenty other pure, plant essences including a plethora of flowers. I choose to use whole essences in my perfumes, primarily from the botanical world, no isolates what-so-ever.
I refer to Gracing the Dawn as a violet perfume, although the violet note in the solid version of the fragrance is subtle, it is a more fictional representation. The main scent component of violet flowers comes from the naturally occurring chemical constituent ionones. The natural perfumer has no violet essential oil, C02 extract or absolute. There is a violet leaf absolute but the aroma is not one of the delicate little flowers we all adore, rather it is a very green earthy note derived from the leaves. Opting for maximum nature in my fragrances I utilized Orris and a variety of other whole essences to convey the impression of violets. In the liquid version of this fragrance the violet note was further enhanced with a tincture of violet flowers.
Here's a list of the included essences, which illustrates within the first six ingredients, why this perfume is so costly:
The base alcohol in the liquid expression of Gracing the Dawn is organic grape from Oregon with a tincture of wild and parma violet flowers.
This fragrance contains Africa stone, technically not a botanical ingredient. I used a dilution (tincture) of Africa stone absolute, Procavia capensis. Africa stone is one of those particularly odd ingredients that has made its way into the palette of natural perfumers. It is the fossilized urine, sun baked on rocks of a small African mammal called the Rock Hyrax. Before going into a perfume the substance has gone through a number of alchemic transformations. Africa stone adds an animalic quality to a natural perfume, or in this case an accord. In GreenWitch the ingredient is barely in the perfume since there is minimal amounts of the Faux Musk Accord, however, I wanted to let you all know that it is there.
Like my other creations Martha and I got together several times to discuss the design and color hue for the crochet pouch that would be used for the packaging of the flacon and cases. To bring in the violet element Martha created sweet, little violet flowers that hang from the tie strings for the liquid. All these added details, along with the intricate compacts and French flacons add to the higher end cost of these versions of the fragrance.
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Photographs by Roxana Villa, illustration by Greg Spalenka