1904: Revisiting the World’s Fair

In Saint Louis, the 1904 World’s Fair came along at at the perfect time to leave a lasting impact on the city. It was on the verge of becoming a major textile manufacturing hub, leading to a boom in population in the early 20th century.

Forest Park, the largest urban park in the United States, still features a lot of architecture from this event it hosted, including the Saint Louis Art Museum (and Art Hill with its Grand Basin), the Saint Louis Zoo and the Muny Theater.

However, attendees at the time (including my great grandparents) saw things that they could have never imagined in the age before efficient mass communications. Things like ice cream cones, iced tea and other culinary trends are said to have launched, not to mention several Saint Louis coffee roasters, some of which are still in operation today.

Coffee may have been the original inspiration, but in working with it, I realized that I found it worked so much better in tandem with other notes than as the star of the show. With that in mind, I created something that was vibrant, with contrasts in scents and textures to bring out the best in each with this diverse array.

Coffee, Cardamom, Sandalwood and the Base

For the coffee note, I started off with a CO2 extracted coffee bean essential oil, which is rich and full, but it’s a coffee bean scent that does not fully encapsulate a brewed cup of coffee. It’s a worlds away from the Ethiopian coffee bean tincture that I made for Crystal Moon in the Maher Olfactive line. So I added some nuttiness from pyrazine materials. Additionally, I checked out some GC/MS analysis of coffee, leading me to add strawberry furfural (a little bit different than the actual material, but it blended better with the jasmine accord), guiaicol and kephalis.

Since creating a Porch Drinks-inspired scent with Carnavis & Richardson and Catie’s Bubbles, I’ve known that cardamom’s cool spice goes great with coffee. And this note I feel works well with the sandalwood accord, a bacadnol, sandalore, ebanol and javanol accord with methyl octalactone to enhance the creaminess (since cream and coffee go together so well).

Next, I used a big dose of a material called cashmeran. It has a very distinctive texture, a woody note that is so vibrantly textured that you can almost feel it. This fills up all of these notes and makes them positively dance. It’s complemented by tonquitone, a more traditional musk, rich and syrupy.

Jasmine and Lime

This is pretty simple. I used a stripped down jasmine accord that I’ve used before, in part because so many coffees that I love have a jasmine note. However, in this accord, I did add a couple of elements that are found in jasmine in nature, but that I had not included with previous iterations of this accord: fresh, zesty methyl benzoate and the light, airy hexyl cinnamate note (used both due to its nature-identical structure as well as its ability to avoid the sensitivity that cinnamon naturals cause).

Finally, I started thinking about the feeling that cashmeran gave to the base and wanted to give something similar to the jasmine. I used lime oxide, a juicy, idealized lime note that is more stable and does not cause photosensitivity, in order to keep the zesty, electrified feeling throughout the entire formula.

This composition may not be as intricate as others, but the materials were carefully selected to work both in tandem and in contrast. I wanted to reflect that feeling of discovery and realization that the world is bigger and more amazing than you ever could have imagined. 1904 will be released in late September (date TBA) in the Chatillon Lux line, plus Declaration Grooming will be making a soap and aftershave with the scent, as well.

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