I like to say that my passion for perfumes is innate. When I was little, I used to make “little perfumes” for my dolls using flowers from my mom—she always had talent for planting and making them all bloom. I was raised surrounded by the plants in her nursery called Orvalho Flora e Artesanato (Dew Flowers, Arts and Crafts). It was then –the 1970s in Belo Horizonte—that my passion for aromas flourished. I loved being in a place with the aromas of jasmine that reminded me of myself, roses with their smell of love, and rosemary that brings an intoxicating happy feeling!
In the late 1980s, I began my studies in Chinese Medicine and travelled several times to China. The traditional pharmacies were my favorite places. I used to spend hours taking in the aromas of medicinal plants, therapeutic soups that were being prepared, medicinal oils, white flower balms, and essential oils. And all of these intertwined with the aromas of roses, lotus, jasmine, osmanthus, and huge peonies which colored the grey hutongs courtyards. Amazingly, I can still smell those aromas on the tip of my nose!
In the 1990s, I became a businesswoman and applied my expertise to teaching integrative therapies and to managing people and procedures at a medicinal plant laboratory. In 2015, I experienced an existential crisis and looked for help in Ayurveda and Aromatherapy. They allowed me to smell the aromas of life again. With that, I started to make my “little perfumes” for the soul once again.
In that moment of internal awareness, the alchemy of perfumes was both the mutation and integration of my knowledge of ancient medicines and botanical perfumery. At that time, I felt myself flourishing.
The Aromas of My Life
"Perfumery came to my life in a subtle and unpretentious way, like the redemption of the soul. I took one, two, and then three courses in natural perfumery, yet I still felt I needed more. I needed to search for the origin of that which enchanted me so much. And then I founded Natural Perfume Academy through Ane Wash, a perfumer whom I admire and thank for inspiring and guiding me with love in this scented journey.
In this path of discoveries, I relearned my ability of smelling aromas in a mindful way, analyzing and noting all that came to my mind on the pages of my perfume diary. When I opened each essential oil vial a magical world was unlocked in an aromatic symphony, among notes and chords that danced and perfumed the memories of this experience in ecstasy!
In this olfactory journey, each compartment of my limbic system opened, flourishing my senses and memories of who I am. In this quest of perfumes and of myself, a universe of numerous possibilities appeared to me.
I couldn’t have imagined the grandiosity and complexity that is the art of perfumery. Studying its ancient history starting with alchemy inspired me to research perfume’s path from the beginning of civilization, when men burnt aromatic plants as offerings to the gods, to Ancient Egypt, where perfume was considered sacred and used in rituals to connect to the divine. This perfume was known as Kyphi, the perfume of the gods, and considered by ancient Egyptians a sacred and medicinal incense. It is from Kyphi that humanity’s first perfumes originated.
I didn’t think twice about venturing on my own Kyphi’ journey, guided by the perfume master Justine Crane. Crafting this incense was an initiation process in botanical perfumery. To produce this incense, you need to follow the recipe described on the stones of the Temple of Edfu, which state that you need a full day to work each raw material. There are 16 ancient medicinal plants, each one bursting with its own aroma and balms that are intertwined with the findings described in the sacred writings. I got to know the raw materials in their most fundamental way, and I manually ground them one by one until they became powder. Subsequently, I macerated them with wine in a copper pot to wait for the gestational process. In the last phase, I dissolved myrrh, frankincense, and pine resins in honey. Gathering all these parts was delightful, just as Isis gathered all the body parts of her husband, Osiris. I felt like I was gathering within myself all that had been lost: patience, attention, discipline, and the necessary care to revive and exhale the perfume of the gods. During this incense preparation, a part of each raw material was put in alcohol every day. Finally, “Kyphi Mother Tincture” was born to make perfumes. I slowly cooked the other part in vegetable oils and “Macerated Kyphi” was produced for ointments and scented oils.
Making Kyphi was a process of self-revelation, which inspired me to create the concept of my brand and my first line of products."
KYPHI – "The Perfume Botica was inspired by the passion of making perfumes in the ancient traditions blended with the concept of atelier perfumery: artistic and artisanal. I make customized perfumes considering individual’s histories and preferences, respecting the freedom of being and feeling. It is a process in which histories, emotions, and feelings inspire me to create a perfume with a soul."
- Incense of the Gods – Kyphi
- Perfume of the Gods
- Perfume of the Goddesses
- Ointment of the Gods
- Customized perfumes
- Therapeutic perfumes
- Solid perfumes
- Scented oils
- Therapeutic oils
- Candles for massage
- Soap shop
"Making natural perfumes is the art of transforming nature’s resources into unique perfumes and melding artistic perfumery with current techniques and customs in an environmentally responsible and sustainable way so that this art does not get lost in history and time."
Gisele Maletta Marra
Artistic Botanical Perfumer
@KYPHI__ Botica do Perfume