New contacts with Grasse

The New Year began not only with working on new perfumes (read more here), but also with looking for new suppliers of ingredients for our perfumes – particulary essential oils and absolutes. Our existing supplier in Italy extended the Christmas break until March, which forced us to look for new suppliers in Italy and France. This unexpected situation turned out to be a great opportunity to establish new business contacts in Grasse, the capital of the world’s perfumery, and to meet new producers of extracts from Neroli, Jasmine, Rose, Oakmoss and Tonka.

The biggest challenge turned out to be making sure that the new supplier offers extracts of the same quality and with the same olfactory profile. Therefore, each new contact started with ordering a set of samples. This allowed us to evaluate a given batch before purchasing larger quantities. Since the commercial offer of each company is different, we finally managed to establish cooperation with not one but three new companies, from which the ordered extracts are already on their way to Warsaw.

The set of samples visible in the photo is extremely close to us: sandalwood essential oil, we have known from the very beginning of creating the brand. It is characterized by a warm, sensual woody fragrance. Very smooth and creamy. When it has not yet been used in our perfumes (e.g Gloria, Sérail and Metarosa), I carried sandalwood oil dissolved in oil to apply on the skin.

Violet Leaf Absolute is one of the first extracts to be used in JAN BARBA perfumes. This ingredient is in our first composition Chypre. It gives it a characteristic roughness, which was traditionally achieved in this type of perfumes by using an oak moss absolute. Violet Leaf offers a warmer color, a more resinous background that better complements the composition and gives it a unique character.

Tonka bean absolute first appeared in Sérail. The high content of natural coumarin (a constituent substance found in the absolute) caused it to reappear in Fougère. The fougère accord, which historically (see Fougère Royal) consisted of lavender and coumarin, in JAN BARBA’s composition gained depth and complexity thanks to the use of the absolute.

Perfumes built on ingredients of natural origin are particularly susceptible to harvest and weather conditions. Their scent varies depending on the region of the world they come from. They require special attention and thorough examination before using them in the finished product. Fortunately, samples allow you to dispel any doubts.

What will the new year smell like at JAN BARBA?

It seems that starting the new year with work on perfumes is slowly turning into a tradition – it has happened to us for at least the third time.

Although the idea for the composition we are currently working on came up in January 2022, now is the time to give it a physical form.

An idea, meticulously written down, is always a challenge – how to recreate a scent that only exists in your head for now?

Every detail is important. The questions we ask ourselves is what ingredients could make up the composition, what image we want to create, what colors it could be associated with and what experiences it could be associated with.

It’s hard to say why the New Year is an impulse to create new compositions. Perhaps it’s those few days off that knock the mind out of its daily paths it wanders.

A moment of respite allows the creative thoughts that form in the background of everyday duties to flow.

Certainly, the winter weather is conducive to this, which deprives the surroundings of the smell. The ideal situation is snow that covers the ground and rotting leaves, and frost that traps the smell of tree bark and leaves. Nature closes these scents for us until spring.

Is it time to talk about the inspirations for the next composition that have been enchanting our noses and heads since yesterday? I guess we’ll wait with that, but in the meantime, we wish you a great New Year!

To learn more about our perfumes, please visit the perfumes page. We would also like to remind you that the fragrance that we had the pleasure to present in 2022 was GLORIA perfume.

Gloria – an announcement

We are slowly completing our work on the 8th fragrance in our perfume collection – Gloria, the work has been going on for several months. That is why we decided to annouce its release.

Gloria, like glory and the highest point in the sky. Luminous, high and sublime fragrance. Like a morning procession, brisk, but already the golden rays of the sun begin to stroke the heads of the participants and the golden frames of the paintings, which sometimes shine with their shine on the still sleepy eyes. The procession carries white flowers, fresh, moist and not yet suffocating. The horse must go ahead somewhere, because you can feel the animalistic notes of its croup, or maybe someone is carrying a jasmine? There is harmony, peace and joy, an atmosphere of connection with a higher being, sublime.

We hope to present Gloria at the end of September.

Perfume manifesto

In our work, we go back to the times when perfumery was a craft. The perfumes were made in small factories in France and Germany, from plants grown on family farms. The raw materials such as essential oils or absolutes, were obtained by the same families right after the harvest. The time when the harvest lasted 30-35 days (Rose), and the harvest from a given year gave slightly different material than in previous years, thus emphasizing the transience of nature.

In the times, that we are referring to, it was normal that perfumes lasted for a short period of time. The short duration was not a “flaw” of the perfume, just a natural feature. The perfumer created perfumes that were not only to fit into the trends of the time, but also to help the person wearing them stay healthy. Already at this stage in the development of perfumery, the fragrance has come a long way in the history of mankind.

The first fragrances, obtained from resins, were reserved for sacrifice and only priests had the right to prepare and burn them (the perfumes of that time were powdered resins that had to be burned to give out the scent, hence the name from Latin per fumum – through smoke). The perfume recipe also appears in the Bible. In ancient Egypt, the invention of the alembic made it possible to obtain essential oils. In later medieval times, perfumes became a weapon against plague. The market for leather gloves impregnated with lavender and rosemary oils to protect against viruses and bacteria has developed. This is when the water of the Hungarian queen is created – first the medicine and the elixir of “youth”, then the first perfume.

In the years 1880-1890 the first synthetic molecules – vanillin and coumarin – were created.


We decided that our fragrances would be created according to the standards of perfumery craftsmanship before that moment. That is why we only use natural essential oils, absolutes and tinctures (which we make ourselves) in the highest concentration of extrait de parfum.

We want our fragrances to be remembered for a long time, and to come back to them. Our perfumes will smell different on everyone, they are discreet, blend with the natural scent of our skin, do not disturb it or mask it. Sometimes, to feel them, you have to bend down, bring your nose up to the neck or wrist. Other times, blown by the wind, can be felt around.

Produced in small batches, they are seasonal, therefore they are also variable, depended on the harvest of plants used in a given composition.

For those for whom it is the first contact with our perfumes, we recommend that you start your adventure with samples.

Reading: the article “On The Nose. How To Make Sense Of Scents “

Link to the article:

In early 2021, The New Yorker published an article by Rachel Syme arguing that our experience of the olfactory world may be much more private than we think, due to the fact that it is shaped by the individual property of our memory.

“Shaped by the idiosyncrasies of memory, our experience of the olfactory world may be more private than we think.”

The author recalls her experiences with perfumes – the ones she took from her mother as a girl, then bought from her earnings as a nanny as a teenager, remembers collecting perfume samples and regular spilling of tuberose from a vial carried in her coat pocket.

Years of interest in the subject allowed Rachel to acquire a vocabulary to describe “scented landscapes.” She thought she knew she loved the scent of violets – their “chalky chocolate shades,” but the moment she sits at the keyboard to write down her experiences, doubts arise – “Was it more like talcum and linden honey? Or like a Barbie doll’s head sprinkled with lemonade? ”

She notes that conversations about smells can be like talking about dreams – “often tedious, rarely satisfying”. He recalls situations known from perfume forums, where for one person the same composition will be like “a fairies dance in the depths of the forest where everything revolves around light and shadow”, while another says “my 5-year-old son said the perfume smells disgusting. > like something dead

The author concludes that the fragrance challenges our ability to express in a way that other senses do not. In the following paragraphs, Rachel wonders if the language of science is helpful in talking about smell? (“If we all knew about indoles, the foul-smelling natural ingredients found both in jasmine flowers and in human excrement … then could we better understand our shared airspace?”

He continues with the discoveries and works of Harold McGee, an American writer who, as Rachel writes, began by dismantling gastronomic smells, but soon went outside the kitchen to document the smells of asteroids, asphalt, urine, wet earth … And who in 2020, as a result, 10 – years of work on naming and categorizing every scent noticeable on earth, he published the book “Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World’s Smells”. (We definitely plan to reach for it.)

What’s more, it touches on topics such as the relationship between smell and business; influence on the history of perfumery of leather tanners, fish sellers, cutters and one of the largest epidemics in the history of mankind in the fourteenth-century Europe; describes what the smell after rain consists of and much more, but in order not to reveal everything, we will stop at this information and recommend that you look at this article, full of tenderness and awareness for the sense of smell, to everyone interested in the topic.