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The scent of coffee is often associated with warmth, comfort, or a sense of anticipatory pleasure. For me, the smell of coffee is closely associated with…love.

Let me explain: I often have trouble sleeping, and mornings have long been unpleasant for me (other restless sleepers can relate). During the four years that my boyfriend James and I have been together, he has managed to make my mornings more pleasant than I ever imagined possible. He always wakes before me and tiptoes out of the room with the stealth of a ninja, careful not to wake me. At the agreed-upon time (and never sooner), he quietly returns with a hot cup of coffee — brimming with just-the-right-amount of milk and sugar — and places it on my nightstand. He opens the curtains to let a small amount of light into the room and crawls back under the blankets with me. We then have our morning cup of coffee together in bed, discuss our night’s dreams, our plans for the day, our random thoughts.

That cup of morning coffee has come to symbolize peaceful beginnings and represents the comfort of being with someone who knows that it is the little things that can make all the difference.

I have been working on a coffee-based perfume for some time now and recently realized that my preoccupation with coffee had become a very personal one — related to these strongly positive scent associations I now have with coffee. Coffee equals love!

But working with Coffee Absolute is no easy task — its rich, idiosyncratic scent tends to dominate all other essences. I knew I wanted to create a perfume that was evocative of a cup of lovingly-brewed coffee, but I also wanted something multi-layered — not a literal cup of coffee, but a nod in that direction. I also wanted this to be a scent that could be enjoyed equally by men and women — as coffee truly is.

Coffee and Cedarwood (which I recently released as part of my Fall/Winter line) is the happy result of my experimentation with this delicious but difficult essence.

The initial note is tart and dry — a blend of bright citrus, orange flower, and woods. I wanted the top to have a brightness which could balance the heaviness of the coffee base. The middle notes feature soft florals, such as rose, which lend a roundness to the blend and pair well with the woods in the top and base. I concocted a coffee accord in the base with hints of vanilla and caramel-like balsams. I never drink my coffee black, so I imagined the perfect blend with just a touch of sweetness (but not too much!). The coffee accord is paired with the bright, masculine scent of cedarwood and earthy patchouli in order to tilt the scent just slightly from being a simple gourmand to being a woody-gourmand.

I think Coffee & Cedarwood smells AMAZING on men, but I have had just as many female customers respond positively to it. It blends nicely with Medici Cocoa (adds a fresh-sweetness) and Amber Woods (brings out the woodiness). I also love the rich, brown color that the Coffee Arabica lends to the blend.

I am so thrilled that I can now share a little of my morning coffee-love with everyone!

P.S. Happy Anniversary, James! Thanks for all of the little things you do to make my life sweet…

Fragrantly Yours, Tara