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About Anya McCoy
Anya McCoy is acclaimed as a natural perfume pioneer and mentor to many in the art. She grew up in Philadelphia and delighted in fragrant plants from an early age visiting a neighbor’s rose garden, the pine grove in the nearby park, and raising flowers for her family. As a child who loved perfumes, she would play for hours, sniffing, applying, and analyzing the different fragrances. The hippie stores started to carry essential oils when she was in her teens, and her love of 100% natural aromatics blossomed.
Moving to Berkeley at 20, she decided to study horticulture, botany, and landscape architecture to further her education in fragrant plants. Already a self-taught herbalist, Anya started to extract scent from the abundant fragrant plants of California. She discovered that tincturing and infusing plants for scent was different from herbal extracts and adapted and improved the processes. In the years that followed, she further experimented with distillation and enfleurage, perfecting them until the extracts were strong and beautiful enough to be used in perfumes.
In 1976, she started studying perfumery, having found several books that detailed the secrets of the industry and began blending perfumes with 100% natural aromatics. An innate scientist and artist, she was able to develop methods and processes that suited an artisan perfumer and used them to create perfumes with an ancient history, made modern by innovative techniques.
After receiving a BA in Economic Botany from the University of California and an MLA in Landscape Architecture from SUNY Syracuse, Anya worked for law firms, land developers, and municipalities. She found ways to weave scented plants into river walk, residential and downtown projects she designed and administered.
In 1990 she was elected United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) District Manager for the Soil and Water District in Florida. In 1995, she became the South Florida seed tester and correspondent for Organic Gardening. Anya probably holds the unique position of being the only perfumer ever elected to a state office, and also writing for a national gardening magazine.
Anya’s first perfume line was launched in 1991 in Miami, and the 100% natural perfumes were sold in hotels and boutiques in the South Florida area. She gathered a loyal following of celebrities and chefs who welcomed her on-site visits where she also promoted perfumes, fragrant gardens, and herb plants.
In 2002, Anya started an ambitious natural perfumery project on Yahoo!, dedicating the focus of the group to educate about natural perfumery. Thousands of natural perfumers have been nurtured in the group, whether they practice the art on the hobbyist or professional perfumer level. The group now has over 2900 members who have access to the 50,000+ archived messages, extensive files, links, and other educational resources. The group contains the world's largest repository of information on natural perfumery.
Subsequent to that, she moved to Miami, bought an Art Deco house and created gardens there to grow her own fragrant and edible tropical and subtropical plants year-round.
Anya has been featured in Vogue, Palm Beach Cottages and Gardens, the New York Times, Glamour, Allure, Whole Living, and Glow (Canada). In addition to her retail line and custom perfume work, Anya also provides private label fragrance products to hotels, boutiques and perfume companies, developing natural fragrances for soaps, lotions, hair care, and other bath and body products.
She has written numerous articles on natural perfumery and natural essences for online publications including Basenotes, Fragrantica, and her blog.
In 2007, she began the first online natural perfumery course for distance-learning with the Natural Perfumery Institute, opening the world of natural perfumery study to an international student body who could not travel for education in this art. She authored the first perfumery textbook in America for this course and designed innovative charts, recording forms, and electronic data sheets for the students. Professional perfumery methods of weighing, dilution, and specific gravity were introduced to students in a systematic, rigorous curriculum. The importance of perfume industry standards being used by artisan perfumers is one of Anya’s prime goals as an educator and mentor.
She is the owner and CEO of the Natural Perfumers Guild, an international consortium of businesses and individuals committed to natural fragrance, and she developed the Guild into a self-regulating organization that lobbies and works towards the protection of the perfumers and suppliers of natural fragrances.
In 2013, she was invited to join the American Society of Perfumers, the first artisan perfumer to be so honored.
Always involved in environmental issues, Anya stresses the need for perfumers to become more ecologically-minded, and to promote sustainable growing and processing of botanicals used in perfumery or home fragrance products. Demands for essential oils and other natural aromatics is putting a burden on the planet, and she urges those who can, to grow, and extract whatever fragrant materials they can to lessen that burden.
Anya McCoy a singular authority in the world of fragrance as someone who nurtured and developed natural perfumery into the growing, vital community it has become.
In addition to creating successful perfumes for her line Anya's Garden Perfumes, Anya is also the President of the Natural Perfumers Guild, an international association of over 150 natural perfumers, suppliers, associates, and friends. Anya is a much-beloved mentor and counselor to many in the natural perfumery field, and has made herself available for questions and has contributed commentary and articles in numerous online forums, including the Yahoo group, Basenotes, Perfume of Life, Cafleurebon, Fragrantica, and her blog.
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Create Custom Perfumes the Natural Way
This unprecedented, comprehensive guide from renowned perfumer Anya McCoy is an inspiring resource for anyone interested in creating artisanal perfume at home. Discover simple step-by-step methods for making perfume without harsh chemicals. Jump right in, using local plants and common household ingredients. Soon you’ll be building your own scent collection and creating unforgettable gifts for friends and family.
This book covers a variety of techniques for capturing fragrances from natural materials, making it easy to choose the project that works for your schedule and experience level. Source your own organically grown botanicals, and enjoy the earth-friendly benefits of creating your own essential oils and extractions sustainably. Make your own all-natural perfumes, room and linen sprays, body butters, massage oils, and more. Explore the nuances of scent blending to create delightful fragrances that are unique to you. Packed with easy methods and expert guidance, this book will become an indispensable reference as you grow into a confident scent designer.