Astra Planeta Solid Cologne | Contains Prickly Pear Oil | Alluring, Masculine, Intoxicating

$24.95 USD

The Quintessential Tobacco Scent 

Scent Profile: Black Pepper, Petitgrain, Grapefruit, Neroli, Lavender, Plumeria, Geranium, Oak Moss, Purple Carnation, Australian Sandalwood, Haitian Vetiver, Opopanax Resin, India Olibanum Resin, Ambergris, Tobacco Absolute. 

A Flavorful, Memorable, Relaxing Tobacco Scent, rich in honeyed woody notes with especially boozy and boldly woody undertones. Languid, rich and beguiling, alluring, masculine and down right intoxicating!   

 

Meet Astra Planeta, not your everyday Tobacco forward scent but something a little different, something a little, celestial. Though the full flavor of cured tobacco leaf does indeed lead the way, there is a lot more going on. A range of other scent notes work in tandem to compliment and bolster the accord like no other tobacco scent I have experienced. Thus making Astra Planeta something truly unique.

I really love classic tobacco scents and have many in my collection from vintage to modern! Heck, Cavendish was the first tobacco soap in the wet shaving world...it was also the second scent we put out after our Clásico Bay Rum, our first! So yes, Tobacco scents hold a special place in my heart and I have been influenced by many.

So let's dig into this blend shall we?

First off, if you have not tried a tobacco scented soap yet because you are not a fan of smoking, you have the wrong idea. Tobacco fragrances are not designed to smell anything like cigarettes or ashtrays or burning, but are based on the bold, rich blends of tobacco, before they are smoked. Sometimes, they are based on the actual tobacco flower itself which is the furthest thing from smelling like a Marlboro with its floral bouquet and lightness. 

In Astra Planeta we explore what can be done with the leaf, pushing the limits to see what magic we can pull out or accentuate with the aid of other complimentary scents. This was truly a lot of trial and error...and a lot of waiting around. Each variation of the blend was created then checked daily for almost a week to see how it was developing. The notes taken for Astra Planeta are plentiful, many a yellow note pad was decorated with my chicken scratch, and stained by oils and resins as we moved through the process getting closer to our mark!

Featured Resins or Poetics & Function
 
Opoponax, or sweet myrrh, is a cousin of the healing Myrrh—Commiphora Myrrhawith  a warm-balsamic and sweet honey-like aroma. It is a natural oleo-gum-resin like myrrh and frankincense. Opoponax has been a component of incense and perfumes since Biblical times. I chose to use Opoponax to impart sweet balsamic notes that seemed to blend harmoniously with the tobacco notes. Not only that, but when combined it seemed to create a whole other trait. It was a very noticeable effect that I was not only baffled by, but fell in love with.

Now, what is the most famous pairing for Myrrh? 
 
Olibanum also known as Frankincense, is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, particularly Boswellia sacra, B. carteri, B. thurifera, B. frereana and B. bhaw-dajiana (Burseraceae). The English word is derived from Old French "franc encens" (i.e., high quality incense) and is used in incense and perfumes.

Olibanum is characterized by a balsamic-spicy, slightly lemon, fragrance of incense, with a conifer-like undertone that plays really well also with tobacco leaf.

Frankincense is mentioned in the Bible as one of the three gifts, like Myrrh, that the wise men gave to the young child Jesus. Being that Astra Planeta takes its name from the 5 Greek Gods of the Wandering Stars this marriage of Frankincense & Myrrh seemed to not only work wonders scent-wise but also thematically in the story I am telling. Holy Smokes, no?

Enter The Full Ensemble of Epic!
  
Then came the citrus notes, the florals, the woods, spices and grasses. A whole supportive world was created up and around the Star of the show, Tobacco. Any fan of tobacco scents is sure to appreciate the alchemy that is going on within this blend, it is truly magnificent and I'm proud to be able to offer it finally! 

Wear this accord with the curiosity and intent of the ancient astronomers who married mystery and science in order to try and make sense out of the great big universe that surrounded them!

Solid Cologne?

I must confess, I was not a believer in Solid Colognes until recently! Many times when asked if I would ever consider doing one, my default answer was always:

"Solid Colognes are for hippies and little girls."

I really believed this. I mean, I vividly remember my little sister getting some that came with a doll of hers when she was 5! I also remember seeing the stuff on offer in many a new age store on the shelf next to the incense in intricately carved soapstone compacts, lol. 

I assure you dear reader, my answer wasn't meant to be hurtful or mean spirited, and I admit I was simply wrong and uneducated in the ways of this magical stuff!

So what changed my mind you ask? Quite simply, it was the history. It turns out I actually owned a book on solid perfumes! I know, how is this possible? But it does happen.

Whenever I delve into anything I go full tilt and many years back, when I began working on honing my skills as a perfumer, I ordered every book out there! Some books were even in French! And one, as I mentioned, was on Solid Perfumes... totally didn't read the subtitle when ordering it, all I read was "Perfume". When it arrived, uninterested, I tossed it to the side, only to stumble upon it once more, years later, while transferring books to a new shelf.

And after the many requests from people over the years I did become more curious as to what all the hoopla was about in regards to the balm. So I put the tome on my bed and promised to take a quick gander at it before I fell asleep that night. That gander turned into a marathon session, a real page turner!

I am embarrassed to say I was way wrong, my previous exposure to the stuff was very limited, and I really had no right making up my mind to write it off so quickly. Solid Perfumes & Colognes were born out of a rich history and are totally different animals when it comes to scent carriers. I was looking at them completely wrong.

Fact is, a Solid Cologne is a much more personal, intimate, and tactile creation when compared to say, an Eau De Parfum, Cologne, or Aftershave. It is not meant for everyone in the room to smell but rather those closest to you, as well as yourself. It isn't meant to live on the shelf in your bathroom, but more as a travel companion tucked in your backpack, briefcase, gym bag or carry on!

This is part of the history! Back in the day, solid perfumes were kept close, often on the body, hidden in the secret compartment of a ring, or worn close to the heart in a locket or metal ball called a Pomander. It was always there for a quick whiff or application to the hot spots or facial hair.

Many men and women even carried scent boxes with them back in the day for inhaling while walking the fowl streets of medieval cities! Some of these boxes and compacts held multiple scents to be enjoyed one at a time or all at once or in different combinations. The sniffer could turn on or off the different scents of the accord...That's just AWESOME! Like playing your own composition on a musical instrument. Scent for scents sake!

Even plague doctors got in on the act and kept solid perfume on themselves as well. Many now know that doctors of that time wore curious bird like masks, the beak of which was stuffed with aromatic herbs. These herbs were thought to prevent the spread of the plague, and they were also used to eclipse the stench coming off the patients.

What you may not know is these doctors also came outfitted with a cane that hid a secret flip lid in the handle. This compartment held a blended, solid perfume that could be accessed in a pinch and smeared under the nose. Brilliant!

In Ancient Egypt, solid perfumes were a large part of the culture. An Egyptian  woman often wore what was called an unguent, or scent cone, containing the perfume, on the top of her head. Unlike modern solid perfumes, which are mixed with wax and oils, these ancient fragrances were blended with animal fat, and during the course of the hot day it would melt and anoint the wearer...that's pretty epic!

I could go on, but instead, I encourage you to do your own research. I promise you it is fascinating and will give you a greater appreciation of Solid Cologne and Perfumes!

So, with the weight of history dancing in my head I went to work on creating my own Solid Cologne, and it came out wonderful! Rather than dissolving absolutes, resins, and balsams into alcohol as I typically would for an alcohol based perfume, I carefully heated them, and along with the scent oils, blended them into the Beeswax, Shea Oil, Jojoba oil, Prickly Pear Oil matrix.

I find that, as the perfumer, the scent stays truer longer to the original shape I was going for. Meaning, volatile top notes last longer and heart notes fade slower too! Base notes will last much, much longer as they mix and mingle more organically with your own body chemistry and natural oils seamlessly.

Solid Cologne is a total and complete departure from the chemical reaction one experiences with an alcohol based product. It is more like a harmonious alchemical marriage, than a quick burn and evaporate dry down effect. Very different energetics when compared, and don't misunderstand me, they are both wonderful, but again, unique from each other, and that's what I didn't understand before.

Even the mechanics of application are different. Apply it once or revisit it many times during the day as a pick me up, no one will even notice when you do. There's a very sensual element at play here, like a secret with yourself.

I really have to say, this whole process enriched me as a perfumer, I truly felt part of a greater work. Ok, it's getting a little woo woo, but I think you are picking up what I'm putting down, no?

It's true, I really misunderstood solid perfumes in the past and dismissed them way too soon in my arrogance. If you are like I was, I encourage you to become humble and check them out, otherwise you are doing yourself a great disservice. 

Now...How DO I Use Solid Cologne?

Rub a finger across the top of the solid cologne and apply it to the pulse points & hot spots: wrists, neck, inside of elbow, behind the ears, and heart. You can also use in the beard, moustache or hair. Reapply through the day or whenever yo need a pick me up!

1.5 Oz Heavy Duty Glass Jar & Bakelite Cap

Beeswax, Shea Oil Jojoba oil, Prickly Pear Oil, Fragrance & Rosemary Extract

Handmade in Arizona, USA

Net Wt. 1.5 oz.