Why don’t you use local flowers?

Many of us have this romantic idea that all was much better done back in the olden days….the reality is that we really got better at doing many things with the advancement of knowledge, science and technology. And it is like this for many things in our daily lives: the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the cars we drive. So when the Bermuda Perfumery was established back in 1928, Bermuda had a farming economy, and its income came from being the garden of the US Northeast. We shipped tons of vegetables from Bermuda to the markets of Boston and New York, as well as flowers for about 9 months per year. The idea to start making perfume from our Easter Lilies came at that time. Sometimes the export market did not buy all the flowers and they were thrown into the ocean! W. B. Smith and his daughter Madeline thought that it would be a great idea to make perfume with the flowers instead of discarding them. They brought in a Perfumer from Paris to show them how to extract oils from flowers through the now ancient method of enfleurage. At the same time, they would bring some musks and other oils from northern Africa.

The years then passed, Bermuda changed and transitioned its economy towards tourism and less through farming. The perfume industry also changed and became very aware of the importance of working with good quality essential oils at competitive prices. So the Perfumery stopped farming per se and really started to focus more on creating beautiful fragrances (which for us, are inspired by the scents and experiences of Bermuda). This happened to all the perfume houses around the world. No one in this day and age farms flowers and processes them into fragrances. It is simply not what perfumers do. Today, the essential oils are extracted and compounded by chemical companies who supply perfumers with good quality essential oils.

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