STORY TIME

Passion for the finest quality artisanal niche fragrances combined with the inspiration that comes throughout the journey of life, has sparked the creation of a truly unique line of fragrances focused on using raw natural materials, sparing no expense to source only the best from around the world, as well as finding lovely smelling materials in nature to use in fragrances (that is skunk cabbage in the picture above). The fine craftsmanship of TSVGA at times is a family effort.  This brand has created activities for us to do together from foraging in the woods, to creating handmade presentations.  I had a fantastic childhood spending my summers on Long Lake in Maine at Vicki Lin campground (the inspiration behind my campfire fragrance titled “Vicki Lin”).  The smell of campfire became my favorite smell from a young age because of this place, so now when I visit, this muse manifests through TSVGA projects I create while I am there.  It also serves as a place that removes me from being able to work on fragrance and instead, wear everything that I have been working on and really get the time to take notes and finalize them.  The parents had no idea the extent of my interest in this hobby until I launched a brand and they discovered I was a reviewer on YouTube with a collection of 200+ bottles.

Transparency:

A Key Foundation

As a collector over the years, I learned all of the ways I want and do not want TSVGA PARFVMS to operate.  Something I always wanted was transparency, and to be able to see some behind the scenes and inner workings of the brand.  I wanted to see the perfumers station, and the perfumer at work.  I wanted to have a view of his perfume organ, resting assured they had a collection of high quality ingredients.  If they claimed “hand-made” presentation, I wanted to see them making it with their hands.  That is why I enjoy being very open about my process and broadcasting it on youtube and instagram for you all to see.  

Sometimes in natural perfumery, scent profile can vary with one ingredient even if you buy from the same source again, and sometimes an ingredient becomes unavailable. This is no reason to stop making a beloved fragrance. If an ingredient needs to change, then it will change. The fragrance will live on despite mild necessary batch variations, as long as those variations do not severely alter the fragrance. If you are into natural artisanal fragrances, you are likely aware of this already and are okay with it. This happens with natural brands whether they are transparent about it or not. I will also do intentional batch variations at times, and will disclose this under “batch variation” in the details of the fragrance.  

It is important to know each brand’s definition of natural and what their values are. For some brands, “natural” could mean using mainly natural isolates- which really are no less harsh than synthetics.  For those deeply passionate about using all naturals, that means using the raw materials such as essential oils, absolutes, and tinctures.  For TSVGA, the standard has evolved since launch. All fragrances moving forward are planned to be all natural, with no aroma ‘natural’ isolates.  I was initially okay with some partially synthetic fragrances in my line of offerings.  I have since become very sensitive to most synthetic aroma molecules to the point where my throat feels like it is closing up, my eyes burn, I feel nauseous and get a head ache.  This has led to reformulating those blends. I also use natural benzyl benzoate and natural triethyl citrate at times to break up the gunk at the bottom of batches that forms from using cacao and vanilla absolutes etc. I believe it is very important to be transparent with you about all these little details. The lack of disclosure around this has kept me from purchasing many fragrances as brands refuse to reveal information that I believe is important for the consumer to know, especially when it comes to allergies. Folks can be allergic or sensitive to some naturals just how I am to synthetics, and I will always confirm or deny usage of such ingredients in my formulas if you need to know.

Do not be fooled by perfumers that don’t want to invest significantly more money in raw materials that try to convince you that aroma molecules and naturals are the same thing, smell the same, or are somehow more “pure.” And don’t take my word for how much better it feels to inhale naturals vs synthetics either. Your nose will make that decision for you. Your nose knows, and it cannot be fooled. There is a reason some of us choose to make these larger investments and make significantly lower profit margins. To us, it is worth it.

 

The Merge of Visual and Olfactory Art

Since launch, I have put in the extra time and effort to deliver you a truly artisanal indie niche handcrafted experience.   From the materials gathered on adventures in the woods to create unique tinctures, to the presentation of the perfume bottle; this is a fragrance brand that is built on being a one man show to provide something that cannot be mass produced by machines or cheap labor.  With TSVGA you are buying more than just a fragrance.  You are buying art.  You are buying a piece of the artist’s soul.  Creating a niche fragrance brand allows one the shining opportunity to showcase their art and creativity in a functional way (as a perfume bottle), and it is a shame to waste that opportunity.  As a collector, presentation has always been very important to me, so I made it a staple in TSVGA.  I gear my brand toward like-minded folks who care about and appreciate these artisanal aspects of perfumery.  The original bottles required finding the right sized tree, slicing it up, branding the logo straight from the fire, and hand-wrapping the caps. The newer style bottles involve creating a painting or art piece that gets turned into the sticker for the bottle, and the original is sold with the fragrance as the special edition version. I love having each release be more than just good-smelling juice in a bottle. 

Note Secrecy

I believe that knowing note breakdowns ruins the magic and mystery when experiencing a new fragrance. I encourage you to sample first and go into each fragrance with no expectations. Hopefully, your nose will be surprised and leave you only to wonder about the composition, and be able to feel the sensation and beauty of the fragrance, rather than just identifying the notes.  This mystery and wonder is something I value in perfumery, and I want it to be a part of my brand.  I assure you that my fragrances contain high quality natural oils, absolutes, and tinctures.  You are getting what you pay for when purchasing a TSVGA fragrance.  I am aware that revealing the things I use in each fragrance would often be a huge selling point, but I would rather keep the mystery.  Most love this concept, and have enjoyed this “blind” smelling experience.  If you do not, I encourage you to embrace the unknown, and give a sample set a try.  Usually with new releases, I will not release any notes for a while in order to give folks a chance to have this experience.  

No Gender in Fragrance

Pink is not for girls any more than a floral or gourmand scent is.   TSVGA does not assign a “pour homme” or “pour femme” label to any fragrances.  Sure, there are scents we can all recognize and say they smell “masculine” or “feminine” because society has ingrained that thought process within us.  It is okay to acknowledge and be aware of that and at the same time say, “I am going to wear it either way.” The scents I have found most “masculine” in this line are loved and worn by women, and vice versa.  Wear what you like!

Non-Manipulative Marketing

How backwards does it seem to be buying a fragrance out of fear of missing out (FOMO) if you dont blind buy it right away, because a brand advertises it as “limited?”  (also known in the fragrance community as ‘limited until they sell out, then release more’).  TSVGA believes you should be buying fragrances only if you love them, not out of FOMO.   Though, batches will be small, and there may be some waiting time between batches depending on demand.  The visual art aspects of TSVGA will often be limited, like deluxe boxes and art pieces (paintings and one of a kind bottles).  It is important to be able to use materials that will remain somewhat consistent in order to continue making future batches.  Unfortunately with naturals, that is not always possible and I am left with a lot of ingredients that I can no longer use because of this.  I combine these with other types of ingredients I no longer use to create one-off fragrances or small-batch monthly releases that are only available through my patreon.  This prevents these materials from going to waste.  The only thing that may make something in my main line “limited” is if I decide to discontinue, which may happen at any time with any fragrance to be honest, because I have always been that way with my art- starting to hate things I’ve made and not want to hear, see, smell them. 

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