Sacred Perfume: White Sage, Frankincense and Myrrh

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Scent Memory: A Mother’s Portrait

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Au de Kolon by TOULOUR

How about starting 2017 on a high note with Au de Kolon by Canadian based perfumery TOULOUR. I have to admit this fragrance challenged my notion of what a “Natural” perfume is and should represent. However, I think it warrants an honorable mention.

First, just taking a look at the line up of notes: Mint, Honeydew Melon, Bergamot, Lemon, Citral, Civet Absolute, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Vetiver, Fir, Lavender, Clove, Green Leaves, it features many botanical notes. However, the Civet Absolute along with a few others got me thinking, “What is Natural Perfume?” What I will say although this Au de Kolon is certified as natural by TOULOUR, I would have to place it in a separate category for the simple fact it includes; Honeydew Melon, Green Leaves and Civet.

Artic Seascape

Being a Natural Perfumer working exclusively with botanical ingredients, I have to say certainly that, “natural” perfumery is fast becoming an entirely separate category from “botanical” perfumery.

Civet, that animalistic note given to many perfumes to introduce the character of sensuality and attraction. This component actually is considered “natural” being derived from the perineal gland of this mostly nocturnal mammal from tropical Asia and Africa. We commonly refer to it as Musk and boy are we crazy about this note! It can contribute just the right amount of stinky to any fragrant blend making the difference between a nice perfume and a wonderful creation. And yes, Au de Kolon by TOULOUR has this note which adds depth and a spiciness to this historical blend of Eau de Cologne. It remains watery or Marine as do most interpretations of the classic eau de cologne. However, this one has the sharp peppery, spice of Clove which figures strongly among the very green notes that are prominent throughout.


The opening on Au de Kolon is well in keeping with the classic notion, it has loads of citrus, however it moves into a Minty transition with Fir that balances the Lemon, Bergamot and Citral. It makes the top action going on in this fragrance extremely masculine, but slightly smooth around the edges by introducing the note of Honeydew Melon. While the top and middle notes dominate this classic take on the Eau de Cologne, the whole body is held so slightly together by the Patchouli, Oakmoss and Vetiver whiffing up from the bottom. The combining of these three notes serve as a prefect balance to the citrus top while being harmonized by a lavender core.

Overall, the silage of this fragrance is average and last 3-4 hours at best which is pretty much the expectation based on it being a cologne. Au de Kolon by Toulour will serve as a nice addition to any man’s fragrance wardrobe, its fresh, very masculine and spicy.

Rodney Hughes, Perfumer/Writer

Written for Ca Fleure Bon 


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AMERICAN PERFUME: a story untold


Dying Rose - Billy Kidd Photographer


A dying Rose dominates the air with a song
Burning for the Nose to listen,

It crys for mercy clinging to the physical
While death rises, claiming beauty for itself.

c.1990 Rodney Fitzgerald Hughes, All Rights Reserved

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Ca Fleure Bon: Profiles In American Perfumery

Rodney Hughes

Rodney Hughes of Therapeutate Parfums

Profile: I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana to ecstatic parents, who had just about given up on having children, after eight years of trying to conceive. Both my parents were creative types, my dad a Barber and my mom a Cosmetologist. Her specialty was as a Hair Colorist; I remember the acrid smell of lye based products use in those day. My mother Frances, would sit with me for hours demonstrating how to color in my coloring books. I had books with two hundred or more pages and my mother would buy me the 64 box of Crayola Crayons. Now, whenever I smell Beeswax Absolute in reminds me of those unforgettable with her.


Rodney’s mother Frances Louise Hughes

My fascination with art continued with my second grade teacher who taught me to write in cursive; forming of letters and script ignited a sort of fancy-full fire in me, one that I could now combine with color. This is what informed my earliest influences as an artist. By the age of eight, I had extraordinary independence for those days and had distinct aesthetics; I wouldn’t allow anyone to choose my clothes and did my own ironing. Thus, I started my lifelong love affair with high fashion. Early memoires of my grandmother getting dressed for a party are still fresh in my mind. I remember all the layers of under garments- girdles, stockings, garters that went on before her pale pink silk gown. Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew was her fragrance choice.

I moved from the Deep South to the Big Apple (New York City) to study Art and Design at Pratt Institute. I left the fashion industry in 2007 after more than 18 years of designing and manufacturing apparel and home goods. My experience in fashion took me to many destinations around the world and certainly those travels influence me. Having traveled to Sri Lanka and danced along the shore of the Indian Ocean inspired my love of the fragrance L’Autre by Diptyque and is very much present in my fragrance Taprobaine.  Both are very usual fragrances that remind of me of the humidity, spices, sour fruit and tropical flowers encountered while in Colombo. It wasn’t fashion, but the art of healing that opened the door for me into this world of perfumery. I spent much of my adult years on airplanes breathing recycled air, suffering from fatigue and jet lag, which began to affect my health and wellbeing.  I read many books on aromatherapy and began to experiment with essential oils while studying Reiki. Using this knowledge was beneficial to me and to my Reiki clients who I composed synergistic bespoke blends so they could continue the healing process after our sessions. My aromatherapy teacher was a certified instructor, and a career nurse. I later discovered she had been taught the art of natural perfumery by Kathryn Degraff and was also married to a PhD Chemist. From there it was a obvious progression for me to continue my studies in natural perfumery with both Debbie and Howard Freund. I named my brand to honor the Egyptian Therapeutae, which influenced the western history of healing. The  fact that we use the term “essential” is linked to The Essene Healers of Qumran who were influential in teaching Jesus Christ.


Rodney lives and creates perfumes in Bed-Stuy: Digging out of the Polar Vortex

On American Perfumery: I live and work in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, an eclectic neighborhood, which represents the essence of American cultural diversity. Being an artisan in America at this time I believe is essential to our relevance on the global stage. I think it’s the artisans and  the small merchants that will allow us to be a country coming back from the brink of ruin brought down by giant faceless corporations. It is equally important to me to be an example for my community and sharing my art and healing with those who need it most. For me this is American, to dream big, work hard  to achieve whatever goals you set. Big shoes to walk in, but that is how we are “Made in America.”

After Giovanni Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert from the series “Black Light” kehinde wiley

  After Giovanni Bellini’s “St. Francis in the Desert” / from the series “Black Light” Kehinde Wiley, New York Artist

Favorite American Artist:  I love the painter Kehinde Wiley, his work excites me. He portrays black men and hip hop artists by framing them in a way unlike anyone on the art scene today. His art speaks to realism and past Master’s works on many levels, but uses the metaphor and symbolism of floral motifs to convey other ideas. This play on realism intertwined with nature symbolism is a waft of perfume painted and caught in motion. The Art of Perfumery exists in this manner for me as a perfumer, but on the opposite spectrum, it’s the unseen manifest upon our senses. Having chosen to work in Naturals speaks to the respect I have for nature and the marriage between the earth and all of us.

Rodney Hughes, Natural Perfumer forTherapeutate Parfums

Editor’s Note: Rodney is a former Natural Perfume Editor for CaFleureBon from 2010-2011 and his style was pure poetry. If you are new to Cafleurebon I encourage you to read them, including Mandy Aftel’s Trevert , Anya McCoy’s Moondance , Rodney was part of our founding team here and  took part in the Natural Perfumers Guild Mystery of Musk Project, with this lyrical ode to Alexandra Balahoutis’ entry Temple of Musk. Most memorable for me was his  tribute to his Mother, Frances –Michelyn Camen, Editor in Chief


Thanks to Rodney Hughes we have a US reader’s choice for ONE 30ML atomizer of these five special editions:  

 To be eligible, please leave a comment on what you found fascinating about Rodney and his path as well as your choice of fragrance. Draw ends March  3, 2014.


Please like CaFleureBon Profiles in American Perfumery on FACEBOOK ; and your entry will count as two.

We announce the winners on our site and on our Facebook page, so Like Cafleurebon and use our RSS option…or your dream prize wil be just spilled perfume

Posted in artisan perfume, botanical perfume, fragrance, natural perfumery, Natural Perfumes, Parfum, Rodney Hughes Perfumes, Uncategorized | Tagged | 1 Comment


Dying Rose - Billy Kidd Photographer


A dying Rose dominates the air with a song
Burning for the Nose to listen,

It crys for mercy clinging to the physical
While death rises, claiming beauty for itself.

c.1990 Rodney Fitzgerald Hughes, All Rights Reserved

Posted in artisan perfume, botanical perfume, fragrance, Parfum, Poetry, Rodney Hughes Perfumes, Roses | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment



Just wanted to give you a heads-up on the exciting things to come at Therapeutate Parfums.
We are campaigning to raise funds to open our first free standing store and would like to have your support.
Please visit our ambitious and completely possible undertaking to fund the building of a flagship store/ laboratory to house this earth friendly fragrance company.
If you are not familiar with our brand, we began right here in Brooklyn in 2007. Our motto from the very beginning has been “Why can’t Green Fragrance be Luxury?’ And with each new scent we produce, we prove that it can be, from the complex potions to the flacon and packaging that house these sought after fragrances.
We are the first African-American fragrance house to be in the business of Bespoke Natural perfumes. And I am one of the few African descent males to venture out into the world of Luxury Perfumes. What I mean, its not just my name on the bottle, but I create, develop, package and market all fragrances from Therapeutate. The potential of this company is vast and has a future that reaches into global market shares.
The fastest growing areas in fragrance is “Naturals” and “Mens”. Botanical perfumes have made such a stir in the market place, even the large multi-nationals like Estee Lauder and Coty are rushing to develop lines that cater to this expanding niche. That puts us on the cutting edge and posed for success!
Therapeutate Parfums is building a vertical business, it will be a one stop shop for fragrance development, compounding, packaging and marketing of both natural and luxury perfumes. It will cover retail, wholesale and private label development, garnering profit flow from various sectors of the market place.
However, we really need you help at this very juncture. Having a flagship store creates a place to show off the TP experience and we have partnered with and to help make this dream a possibility. Please visit these sites and show your support. There are also some leveled perks that you can take advantage of while they last, so jump in……..beat a drum, blow a horn, send up a smoke signal about our campaign.
As always,
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