Sheila Eggenberger Interview

Hello fellow Perfume Junkies,

Many of you will be familiar with Sheila Eggenberger of TheAlembicatedGenie and her as yet unpublished novel Quantum Demonology that has become a seriously cult-style hit in the fragrance community. Some of you will be going, “Um, What?” and it is to you that I offer this rare insight into a blogger, author and general all round great girl of the scentbloggosphere. Sheila has been a mate and champion in the short time that APJ has been running and I am proud to count her among my yet to be met net friends. Her never say die attitude is a beacon we should all learn to follow.

Photo Stolen fanpop

In conjunction with this interview if you drop in at PerfumePosse today I have reviewed the Olympic Orchids Devilscent Project fragrances Lil#1 & Dev #2 so down the bottom there is a jump you can easily hit to trot across and read there too.

Sheila Eggenberger

Give us a brief history, who was young you, important you defining moments or early fragrant memories that may have herded you towards the ever moving now?

I grew up with a perfume-mad mother, so perfume was everywhere as I grew up, and living in South Florida – a very fragrant spot! – helped, too. Defining perfumista moment: (It ruined me for life!) A coming-of-age trip to Paris for a 14th birthday, when Maman took me to the Guerlain flagship store and told me to buy what I loved. I bought Jicky, since she didn’t wear it and I loved it. Today, I can’t believe I would choose something so …audacious! The next day, I bought (the original) Miss Dior. I was a great-smelling teenager.

What spurred you onto creating the Alembicated Genie?

It was my book, Quantum Demonology, believe it or not. By the time I neared the ending, I had had it with testosterone bombs and rock’n’roll. I wanted an outlet for my girlie sensibilities, so I created Scent Less Sensibilities which became The Alembicated Genie. I never in my wildest dreams expected to become a perfume writer. But life has been exciting ever since!

Do you have a favourite independent perfumer?

Too many to count! Andy Tauer, Vero Kern. Mandy Aftel, Dawn Spencer Hurwitz, Neil Morris, Ellen Covey, Kedra Hart, Maria McElroy of aroma M and Alexis Karl, Amanda Feeley – and a new discovery who has blown my mind – Juan M. Perez of Exotic Island Perfumes. A definite one to watch – and sniff!

What do you see as the most important trend in perfume currently?

Perfume as an art form in its own right. The trend towards indie perfumers pushing the boundaries of defining perfumes is redefining the industry as well as our own perceptions of it. That more and more people are turning to the artistry and dedication of indie perfumers. And I think it’s interesting that more and more, different art forms are coalescing into projects – books and movies to go with perfumes, for instance. And a far sadder trend – world-renowned brands killing the very heritage that made them what they are.

Do you have a signature scent?  If so, what is it and how did you find it? If not, why do you think that is?

In terms of perfume, I’m an utterly faithless slut. I’m fully capable of being virtuous to my favorite brands, but the idea of picking just one perfume gives me hives – and a massive case of indecision. I have complete perfume AHDH. Where would I start, when perfume to me is a case of “Who do I want to be today – tonight – this instant?” But the closest would be Chanel no. 19 eau de parfum, which I’ve worn for over 30 years with no end in sight. It was perfect for a punk and for the Goth that punk became. It’s perfect for this walking midlife crisis and writer wanna-be, even today.

Tell us about Quantum Demonology?

It began with a discography and a discussion in a Copenhagen record store. When I came across a certain inspiring image, it evolved into a short story I wrote one night out of boredom as a joke and posted on my soapbox blog. I never thought I would be asked to continue it, but I was. So I did. Nine months to the day (!), I had a finished first-draft novel. An ode to …music, madness, passion, redemption and perdition, among other things.

How did that translate into the Devilscent Project

I blame Andy Tauer. And Ellen Covey. Perfume was always woven into the storyline. Frankincense and labdanum – two of my favorite notes – are mentioned many times, as are several other perfumes. When I reviewed Andy Tauer’s Incense Extreme as a “Would this be the Devil’s Scent?”, Ellen commented that I nearly dared her to make …the Devil’s Scent and that was how it started. Since then, it’s grown to ten bloggers, eight US indie perfumers, and no less than 19 incarnations of mind-blowing, category-defying perfume, including an incense and a deviously delicious massage bar. 

If there’s anyone reading from the world of Literature Publishing, where can they taste your Quantum Demonology?

They can find some explanations as well as samples of the prologue and the first three chapters in draft form at the Quantum Demonology blog:, many more inspirations on both the book and the Devilscent Project at the Quantum Demonology fan page on Facebook:, and follow the Devilscent Project on Twitter through the hashtag #devilscent.

Photo Stolen Olympic Orchids

Olympic Orchids Devilscent Project fragrances are running a terrific sample program 5 x 3ml Devilscents for $30 delivered to the world.
Read Sheila Eggenberger at TheAlembicatedGenie
Go check PerfumePosse for my reviews of the Olympic Orchid Devilscent Project, go on!

I hope you enjoyed our Sheila Eggenberger interview and also hope to see you tomorrow but till then, love, love, love, from us at APJ.
Portia xx


Scandal by Roja Dove 2007

Hey Hey High End Perfumistas,

My buddy Sheila Eggenberger from TheAlembicatedGenie sent me an atomiser filled with Scandal by Roja Dove recently. It was not on my radar, though Roja Dove is of course one of my heroes, and Sheila quite rightly thought that it should be.

Photo Stolen SydneyMorningHerald

Fragrantica gives these featured accords/notes:
Top: Orange blossom, lily-of-the-valley and bergamot
Heart: Tuberose, jasmine, freesia, rose and ylang-ylang
Base: Sandalwood, musk, orris root, resins, cedar and benzoin

What happens when I put it on? HELLOOOOO White Flowers! A big fat burst of white floral and citric goodness that has a little of the person about it but not a lot. Scandal doesn’t scream though, that’s not its way. There is a much more glamorous fragrance here. I am perfumed most definitely, it is excellent on the sillage and scent bubble and it gets noticed but it’s not burning out my nostril hairs and I think after the initial rush that you could wear it to dinner without spoiling your food, or the food of your dinner partner.

As this first lovely blast calms down there is room for the rose, a slightly spicy tea rose, to make its way to the front of the rest of the bouquet and already there is some powdery, resinous and woodsy undercurrent that stops Scandal from being too heady and floral though it is both of these things. Though Scandal is a big perfume I don’t feel like I am skunking anyone when I wear it, a graceful offering rather than a Fracas or Madonna’s Truth or Dare extravaganza (both of which I love BTW) which practically beat your surrounding noses to death trying to get their attention. Like Scandal is slightly grown up, a little more sure of the world and a place in it that fits a you sized piece of the puzzle. Though more than a nod to the past I think we have a fragrance of the future, definitely my future. I have been brought undone by this lovely floral and now think I want it often. Sheila is naughty giving a fragrance junkie the good stuff, but clearly has me pegged perfectly which can be nice, and is.

Photo Stolen Fragrantica

Scandal maintains its sillage and scent bubble indefinitely!! I can’t believe the staying power. I put it on 3 hours ago and we are still pumping the gorgeousness like it’s been on for 15 minutes.

So I double respritzed on my chest at 4.5 hours to go do a gig and my head nearly blew off. OMG!! It CAN be a weapon of mass destruction! On top of an unfinished wear it becomes super scent BOMB for about an hour, thank all that is merciful we are a ways from town or I would have skunked a whole 40th birthday party. HA HA HA! As it was I was most decidedly fragrant when I walked into the gig and still going strong on my farewells. Now nearly 5 hours later I am still powering away as I go off to bed.

Roja Parfums Scandal Pour Femme
Photo Stolen rojadove

TheCandyPerfumeBoy does a ripper review and Abigail @ ISmellThereforeIAm puts Scandal in her forever Top 10!

ThePoshPeasant has samples/decants from $5.50/ml
RojaDove website has 100ml EdP ₤195

As I use up one of my existent big white florals I think Scandal will have a place in my Frag Fridge, I am going to order a replacement decant until because this one is bone dry.

What is your favourite white floral? I like the idea of wearing them in Spring and Autumn, when is your best white floral time?

Loads of love till tomorrow,
Portia xx