Behind the-bottle with shelley waddington lemblem rouge natural rose draw


 Hi, Shelley!

 It’s a pleasure doing a ‘behind the bottle’ with you, finally.

I’ve enjoyed sampling your work, and your latest, botanical l’Emblem Rouge, I find particularly delightful!

First, though, there are so many things I long to ask you, they buzz about in my head like a swarm of wayward bees;-0



I see that you’ve been involved in the creation of perfumes for 18 years- and that you studied with Galimard and received a diploma.

SW: Ida dear, 18 yrs is a typo on my website that I will have corrected.  I started perfuming in 2000. (Preceded by the usual  juvenalia -  childish smelling of paint, gasoline, food, poop, doll skin, sand, railroad tracks, tomato plants, etc; primitive pre-teen experiments mostly involving flowers, water, and auntie’s perfumes;  the later making of a perfumed Chinese puzzle box.) 


When was it that you studied in Grasse? And how long was the program? What did it entail?

SW: I was staying in Mougins in March of 2001 and commuted to Grasse for this short program that had a contrastingly large impact on me taking place when it did, back during the earliest stages of my adult perfume study when Grasse was less publicized and gentrified.  Just being in Grasse, finding the courage to walk into Galimard and tell them, I wish to study, please!  I couldn’t believe my own cheekiness, but I was so HUNGRY for information.    It was there that I learned for the first time about perfume families, accords, the origin of the Galimard naturals, how to properly smell, about fixatives, musks, and dilutions, about balancing the head, heart, and base, and the proper construction of classical perfume. 



Before that my only work had been with simple natural blends diluted in oil.  At Galimard  I met my first “nose” (he was scary) and constructed my first “real” perfume.  Of course it was an Oriental, the Madeleine of my Proustian memory. (I had worn, in succession, Dana’s Tabu, Schiaparelli Shocking, Estee Lauder Youth Dew, Guerlain Shalimar, Oscar de la Renta, Calvin Klein Obsession, Guerlain Samsara.  On a limited budget, one only buys what one likes best.  I didn’t even know at the time that they were all in the same family!)



What did you bring back with you- philosophically, emotionally- from Galimard that carried over into your current work?

SW: At that time there was such a dearth of available information, and a trip to France for me was an expensive leap of faith that I would find someone to learn from.  I returned from my voyage reassured that help and information existed beyond a natural perfume group and a poorly disguised multi-level marketing company.  It instilled a much larger vision and a confidence than I had before dreamed possible. 

For a few more years I continued my work using only naturals, chiefly because those were the only fragrance materials I knew how to source during that time.  When a friend started distributing aromachemicals I was so there. 


You mentioned to me that your previous work prior to perfumery was extremely stressful. May I ask you what that was?


And how you segued into The Scented World?

And when?

SW: I managed large corporate accounts for GE Capital in several Western States for a number of years, followed by work for one of my GE customers, developing the Northeastern region for them. My last ten years prior to early retirement from corporate were as Marketing Manager for an Internet startup that occupied a similar business channel.  I was part of the team that took the company from a struggling startup to a profitable sale to a large corporate entity.

Like so many employees, my continued employment depended on how my results affected the corporate bottom line.  The work was stimulating and rewarding, but business pressures can become all-encompassing .  I longed for a more well-rounded life.

To fulfill my artistic need to produce a tangible product that would satisfy my senses, (even though I was putting in many pressure filled working hours, raising a child and taking care of aging parents), I practiced the discipline of  perfuming to create balance in my life.  Never under-estimate the restorative value of creating beauty!

During those years I sold bath and beauty products and natural perfumes to friends and at the occasional street faire.  By the time I took an early retirement the foundation was in place to hit the ground running with the new, full-time iteration of my perfume business, EnVoyage Perfumes.  

We will celebrate our first anniversary in September, 2011!


 Juan Perez

Is your work purely solo, or do you collaborate with other perfumers on any particular work?

[i.e.-some perfumers ask other noses for their opinion, or share a  brief  with another nose]

SW: I have a collaborative, team oriented personality and have worked behind the scenes with many whose names you would recognize.   A couple years ago a collaborative idea arose between me and my Caribbean colleague Juan Perez.  Our idea worked out surprisingly well and resulted in the recent co- launch of Juan’s Nectars des Iles and my Vents Ardents in May, 2011

We both enjoyed that project so much that another idea for a collaboration occurred to me, this one involving another mutual good friend who’s a master distiller.  I thought, “What would happen if I made a perfume for her and asked her to distill it?”  That’s how the idea for l’Emblem Rouge and l’Eau de Emblem Rouge was conceived, out of having fun with perfume colleagues.



Regarding l’Emblem Rouge:

Any reason why an all-botanical?

Up to now, most of your perfumes have combined both natural and aromachemical materials…

SW: Well, remember that I’ve been composing natural perfumes for many years.  It’s a discipline that I understand, enjoy, and continue with, even though this will be the first one to be launched under the EnVoyage Perfumes brand. 



Also, in this case, I was making something for a friend who prefers natural perfumes and hates patchouli, so that was the brief that I worked with.

L’Emblem Rouge is the first of three all natural perfumes coming out soon that will comprise thenew EnVoyage Rubicon Collection.   Two of them have already received significant pre-launch accolades and one has already won an award.   I look forward to talking with you about these others in the near future.


Why the name l’Emblem Rouge ? Does the name bear a particular significance for you?

Does it have a dual meaning?

SW: That’s an incredibly intuitive question, Chaya, it’s a name that has a multiple quintessence of meaning

The perfume represents an emblem of meaningful friendship.

The lovely eco-cert Iranian Rose Otto is the central fragrance ingredient (hence “rouge” for the color of red roses)

The perfume family it resides in is Rose Soliflore

My friend’s  last name is Rose

United Nations International Friendship Day is celebrated in the month of August.



What was in your mind, when you created it?

How did you go about composing it?

SW: I’d been “hoarding” a most perfect Iranian rose otto that spoke to me of treasured friendship.  I wanted to display this precious essence like a diamond and to weave a beautiful setting that would feature the gem without detracting from it.  So it had to become a natural rose soliflore. 


Dabney Rose

Master distiller Dabney Rose then collaborated with her own alchemical magic and transformed the perfume into a corresponding hydrosol, L'Eau de Emblem Rouge


Side-by-side, the perfume and the hydrosol complete the circle of friendship for which the offerings are intended.

Top:  Cassie, Mace, Cinnamon, Bitter Orange, Juicy Grapefruit, Green Pepper, Iranian galbanum, Violet, and Cistus

Heart Notes:   Iranian Rose Otto, Ylang-Ylang, Heliotrope,  French Jasmine sambac, Violet, and Honey
Base Notes:  
Guaiacwood, Sandalwood, Copaiba, Vetiver, Cedarwood Virginia, Tolu Balsam, Benzoin Siam,   Tonka, Vanilla and Ambergris.

You, dear Chaya, completely understand the reasoning behind every note that was chosen.  If you would like to say more please do! 



I love the hydrosol which you sent with the sample

Please share with our readers what the purpose of utilizing the hydrosol w/ the fragrance is!

SW: The hydrosol, being full of rose otto, fulfills the famed function of traditional rose water and is greatly nourishing for the face and hair.

It also acts to refresh the perfume wonderfully, (we briefly considered calling it a “flash perfume”). 

It is also a light and lovely fragrance to spritz on bed linen and lingerie and is cooling on hot days. 

It’s noteworthy that Dabney’s method of distillation is quite unique.  She doesn’t allow any of the precious oils to be separated from the water. Her hydrosols are “supersaturated” with nourishing botanicals.  That is what makes them so incredibly fragrant.

Also noteworthy is that the pairing of fragrance and hydrosol is our own original concept and the first time this has ever been accomplished as far as we’re aware.



What would you like the person who wears l’Emblem Rouge to experience?

Is there a particular perfume audience you wished to reach?

If so, why?

SW: Oh, many wishes for others here, Chaya. 

I wish to share the breathlessness of discovering real rose otto, a timeless and priceless treasure of the ancient Orient. 

These rose blossoms are literally handpicked from fields owned for hundreds of years by the same family whose knowledge of growing and distilling the rose is a passion and livelihood passed down through the generations. 

I would like each wearer to also experience basking luxuriously in a classically constructed rose soliflore.  And not least, to experience the pleasures of giving and receiving. 

On a philosophical level, many of us have faith that every small act affects the universe beyond what we see and even imagine.  At that level, my hope is that one would have a personal experience of making an act toward world friendship between individuals and nations.

[Shelley mentioned to me shortly thereafter, her desire to express the spiritual and aromatherapeutic connotations of the rose: it represents the Heart Chakra, and the ability to love and accept.]

I‘m certain that our readers will enjoy L’Emblem Rouge as much as I have.

It’s such a classically beautiful thing, so very precious.

Thank you, Shelley-

For taking the time to share your thoughts with me.

And answering some lugubrious questions ;-0


Dear Readers:

In order to preserve the immediacy of our correspondence, I wanted to present it as is.

Emblem Rouge explores the intricacy and challenges inherent in celebrating the rose.

As many of you are already aware, there are literally hundreds of compounds which make the rose what she is; that may be a future conversation.

-Ida Meister, Senior Editor and Natural Perfume Editor

Shelley has offered a  5ml sample and hydrosol for one of our readers.

If you are a huge fan of the rose- as I am- You will be charmed