Walking into the laboratory /home / salon of perfumier Jonathon Midgley is akin to stepping back in time to the Salon de Paris of the 18th century, where art, philosophy and only the coolest minds of the era came together to sip coffees, rub shoulders and share their brilliance. And I have no doubt that both Jonathon and I would have done just that in that famed era of enlightenment and his abode reflects that style and his eclectic taste.
But yesterday afternoon I was invited to attend another of Jonathon’s scented soirees to launch two new additions to his perfume range, aptly named Samhain and Beltaine, the exotic aromas of which were inspired by the energies of both those seasons. And so with bubbles in hand I chatted and quaffed and imbibed such heady scents that are signatures of this eccentric perfume maker.
Jonathon doesn’t create aromas that sit within the Myer perfume counter range. No, he draws on his gothic, hermetical, gnostic and magical affiliations and knowledge base to create offerings with names such as Anubis (Egyptian God of the Underworld), Sephiroth (Kabbalistic tree of life), Tibetan Incense, Venus Voluptas, Hathor, Nyx Phaedra and many more from his hermetical leanings. Jonathon introduced both these perfumes with an explanation of the various elements he brought together to represent these sabbat celebrations and also gave an insight into his background and inspiration. It was back in Auckland in 1973 that he first set up Lotus Perfumes following his desire to first reproduce the Holy Anointing Oil and Holy Incense spoken about in the bible (Exodus 30:22-38). He then continued to explore the perfumes of ancient Egypt specialising in the reconstruction of them, using the ancient biblical oils of Frankincense, Myrrh, and Spikenard.
I first met Jonathon back in 2006 at Queensland University, when we were doing similar Religious Studies units. At that time Jonathan had long purple hair down his back and would always wear black and jewellery of the occult. I would visit him at his laboratory and we would sit and talk about magic, Gnosticism, mysticism and all subject matter pertaining to religion, and it was then that I saw Jonathon as the alchemist. I have no doubt that Jonathon brings his knowledge and wisdom from past lifetimes as he uses the powers that were known in antiquity to meld various compounds and elements together to create something quite magical and absolutely heady to the olfactory senses.
If you are interested in these alternative fragrances, Jonathan has a laboratory akin to a mad scientist and can create you anything you want. He operates on a commercial as well as personal basis and can create a fragrance to suit a product launch or assess you personally and create a signature fragrance that is exclusively yours.
I had a fabulous couple of hours with Jonathon and his host of eclectic friends, catching up and snapping photos of his fabulous salon. Take a look at these and you will see exactly what I mean. I’m only too happy to celebrate this guy’s brilliant creations – check him out on Damask Perfumery’s website: http://www.damaskperfumery.com.au/ which gives you all the information.
“ALCHEMY is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher’s stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base metals into the noble metals gold or silver, as well as an elixir of life conferring youth and immortality. Western alchemy is recognized as a protoscience that contributed to the development of modern chemistry and medicine. Alchemists developed a framework of theory, terminology, experimental process and basic laboratory techniques that are still recognizable today. But alchemy differs from modern science in the inclusion of Hermetic principles and practices related to mythology, religion, and spirituality.” (Wikipedia – so it must be true)