Monday, June 29, 2015

On Reviews and Writing

I haven't had a review of my work in a few years, but one is currently in the works and I'm a little bit nervous about it. I've read the review and it is, in a word, stunning. In another word, it's humbling. The reviewer captured exactly how I feel about natural perfumery but never had the words to express. Me, a writer-perfumer, without words.

I'm rewriting the entire book. I've been contemplating it for some time and have now made the decision to write it more in my voice rather than in a text book-like way. As much information as I've got in it thus far, I still feel very detached from the work, and that's not how a writer should feel about a work in progress. Same goes for a perfumer -- if a perfumer isn't feeling the work, then the end result probably isn't going to be a good one. I just have to be who I am and duck when the stings and barbs come flying my way.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Problem With Making Lots of Experimental Product Is . . .

. . . you sometimes end up with this:

1250 mls of thick, goopy liquid soap and no containers to put it in. I'm thinking of adding some borax and baking soda and making it a stain lifting thing for laundry.

I did use some of it (the container was once full to the top) for laundry and it worked very well. It isn't suitable for dishes because when I add it to water, it instantly clouds up and when it finds greasy stuff, it curdles and further fudges the dish water. Plus it wasn't cleaning the dishes well without direct application. What I've got here isn't suitable for shower soap yet as my goal is to get it clear, which means somewhere along the line, probably in the weighing of the raw materials, I messed up. But I want to get rid of this first before I challenge myself to another batch -- I'm running out of large containers to hold all this soap! I'm only making 1 lb test batches and this is what they grow to. I will master this someday. Promise. Then there will be beautiful soft, bubbly, liquid soap from The Scented Djinn in sweet little bottles at the Etsy shop.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Belated Father's Day Mumblings

Father's Day came two weeks after learning about my heritage from an autosomal DNA test, so my dad was already on my mind. I wondered how surprised he'd been to learn (upon his demise) that he was in fact not as Native American as he was led to believe. This is what happens with broken families, sketchy record keeping, and oral family folklore. I was surprised to learn the truth of my heritage for more reasons than the 1% Native American. I also learned that I was 1% North African, 2% Eastern European, 5% Italian or Greek (?), 9% Iberian, 12% English, 14% Western European, 27% Scandinavian, and 29% Irish. I mean, duh on the Irish, I kind of knew that being that I'm fair-skinned, freckled, a red-head, and my maternal grandmother was first generation Irish American, but wow on the rest, right? It's interesting learning about your roots, but also a little disheartening. A part of me is mourning losing my Native American identity, but another part was kind of relieved because it never felt 'real' to me anyway. Like wearing someone else's dress and going to their church. I felt like a fraud, and now I know why. What that 1% says is that one of my four times great grandsomeone was Native American. That's my great-great-great-great grandsomeone. That's a someone who lived roughly around 1700, give or take 25 years. In my mind, 1700 wasn't that long ago. History is alive for me, and it always has been. I don't see it as some old shit that happened a long time ago.

Anyway. I didn't really celebrate Father's Day this year. I didn't post a photo of my da on FB or say Happy Father's Day to my husband. I did give the husband a polished rock that had the word 'joy' inscribed on it because, well, everyone needs a rock with the word 'joy' inscribed on it, especially when they forget the joy on the daily and focus all their attention on the shit.

That's twice I've used that word here and spelled it out instead of replacing the 'i' with an asterisk. Progress.

Over and out.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

36 Bottles of Natural Isolates On the Wall, Take One Down, Pass It Around

Phew! I am so glad that's over with. I have evaluated 36 natural isolates this past month, plus two otherworldly thingamabobs that are on the agenda -- brown sugar distillate, and cantaloupe distillate -- technically not isolates but skirting that hazy area. The natural isolates run the scent gamut, ranging from amazing all the way to wtf. I mean, truly, some of them are completely functional, while others are little more than library pieces to make fun of. To find out more about them, you'll have to buy the book, whenever, and if ever it makes its way to publication.

I'm thinking about creating perfume again. Well, I think about it all the time, but I don't often get the bug to sit down and formulate something -- I need inspiration for that and I think I've found it. Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say there will be a new perfume from The Scented Djinn by the end of 2015. Get 'em while they're hot because I won't be making a 2nd batch.

And speaking of not making a second batch, I kind of wanted to touch back on the previous post here about perfume is art and I never make more than one batch of a 'masterpiece' (and I'm saying that a bit tongue in cheek) -- let me just clarify that a bit. I think in my entire perfuming career I've made a 2nd batch of perfume once. The reasons for not making any more than one batch -- and by 'batch', that can be anywhere from a small 500 ml run to a less small 2000 mls -- are manifold. I often use rare, one-of-a-kind raw materials in my perfumes; blue lotus, for example, in Lylli Bleu. There is a LOT of blue lotus phytol in that composition, and since it was for an exhibition, I held nothing back. I had a few 5 ml bottles I offered for sale, as well as 1 and 2 ml samples, but nothing more than that as the cost of the perfume was stratospheric. And that's how I like to perfume. I like adding rare and one off raw materials, some I've created in my stillroom, and that too makes it nearly impossible to recreate a batch. Since increasing the size of the offerings in the past few years, a batch can run from 32 - 15 ml bottles to 135 - 15 ml bottles. Rarely, rarely, rarely do I ever make a batch larger than 2000 mls, however, if the trials turn up something I feel I can't live without, I might be convinced to double that, or triple it, just so I can have my very own stash to pour on my head. Another reason, and I touched upon that in the previous post, is that I get easily bored doing cookie cutter perfumery. I have to resist the urge to change something up, to experiment, to try to make it better or more intense or lighter or darker or -- you get the picture? It's an impulse disorder, I'm certain of it. The impulse not to remain static.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


My official stance is that the perfumes I create are art, as in, one off work never again to be repeated. I've never actually stated this before, but it is the driving force behind why I rarely, if ever, make second batches of perfumes, despite their popularity. To recreate a natural perfume over and over again is the ultimate definition of boring, plus, one can never truly capture the elegance and refinement and perfection of that first batch. It just cannot be done. What is made is a close approximation, like an oil painting reproduction of a fabulous original -- the copies lose the shimmer of the original, however deft the painter. If a natural perfumer were to continue to recreate a batch year after year, using the same raw materials but different suppliers of those materials, different LOT numbers, different years of distillation or what have you, what you've really got is a reformulation.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I'm not sure if it's because I'm exhausted from not sleeping last night or if I'm going through one of my moods again, but I am so not into writing the book today. Could be because writing about natural isolates is really boring. It is and it isn't. I'm interested in learning as much as I can about natural isolates, I'm just not too keen on gathering up all the information and write about it in a way that makes sense (not like this blog post). The book is just shy of 29,000 and 145 pages and STILL not even remotely close to getting done. This may be a classic case of biting off more than I can chew. At least today anyway.

I just edited out a whole section of the book about anosmia and particularly a bit about a writer *slash* foodie, Molly Birnbaum, who wrote a book in 2011 on the subject of anosmia. She lost her sense of smell due to a horrific bicycle accident just days before she was to begin culinary school in New York City. It's a fascinating story and one I love reading about, but somehow I am unable to relate this coherently in my own book, so I deleted it. About 500 words. I struggled to get it right for weeks before giving up on it. It didn't really add anything to the book. It was anecdotal and interestingly personal, and that was about it. 

I think it's time for a nap.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Natural Isolate Acetaldehyde

This is, to date, my absolute favorite natural isolate, and has been since 2010 when I first encountered it. I adore what it does to natural perfume compositions in the opening, creating a mist of ethereal scent in the top notes that are nothing short of mesmerizing. And the best part is that it disappears into nothingness after less than 30 minutes, so in order to get that effervescent punch once again, you must reapply the perfume. It's an addictive response, I guess, and I do like it, very much. Acetaldehyde is a natural isolate sourced from cassia and cinnamon oils, and, for the record, so is natural benzaldehyde. The first sample I received was diluted to 10%, the second sample, the one in my hands right now, is a 50% dilution in grain alcohol. It is kosher and halal, naturally sourced, and even non-GMO. All these words I've used to describe it do it absolutely no justice whatsoever -- out of the bottle it's nothing to write home about, kind of smells like watered down generic brand whiskey, but in a perfume formulation it does its smoke and mirrors tricks, creating an opening lift and sparkle, like popping the cork on a bottle of Chanel No5 or Tabu, that initial waft of boozy, woody, citrusy, faintly floral shimmer that is gone almost before it is registered. Natural perfumers have achieved this effect through the use of actual spirit alcohols in their formulations -- rum, whiskey, brandy, cognac, bourbon, smoky tequila -- the darker of the distilled spirits, the ones with backbones and hairy knuckles, but it comes down to the fact that sometimes at some point in the evolution of the perfume, the wearer is able to detect that there is rum or whiskey or bourbon or dark tequila in their bottle. Acetaldehyde erases that confusion entirely and provides just the boozy, woody effect without the specific booze identified. It's pretty unstable, as one might guess given its use in perfume as an ethereal top note, and has to be both refrigerated and carefully handled in order to prolong its wee bitty life.

I'm only just beginning to get some of my sense of smell back, it's still a bit touch and go though. It's as if my olfactory organ is having seizures, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't -- mostly for the last week it doesn't, and it's wearing on my nerves. I have student evaluations to finish, and the continued evaluation of more natural isolates, plus just general being able to smell if the dog needs a bath or if the potatoes are scorching in the pot. It's not just that I can't smell most things, it's that when I do smell something, it doesn't smell right, like I don't trust what I'm smelling because I know it isn't -- well, right. For example, this new soap I made has double-distilled patchouli, bergamot, petitgrain, and neroli in it, but all I smell is cigarette tobacco -- yeah, that weird twangy, smoky, bitterish smell that wafts from a freshly opened pack of Camels. This is a whole new experience for me, completely unlike sinus congestion or a run-of-the-mill cold where the passageways are clogged and things aren't moving past the olfactory phalanges for scent to be detected. This is open passageways and smells either not being detected at all, or being misinterpreted completely. I cut an onion last night and didn't smell anything at all, but while mixing fresh garlic into a salad dressing, I got a hint of garlic scent along with a heavy dose of solvent-like paint thinner. Anyway, I'll be happy when the aftermath of the virus moves along. It would be fab to actually know if the dog needs a bath. Which I'm pretty sure she does since the wee one keeps calling her 'the pig'.

Monday, June 08, 2015


This is the Green Man that the wee one made -- or re-made -- and I just caught her trying to dip him in my tea. She said he's ugly and she wants to re-re-make him and wet him in the tea so she can rebuild his arm and give him a bigger head. I got her to stop by insisting he was perfect because it didn't matter what he looked like as long as he smelled good. She agreed he smelled 'yummy' so he's saved from reconstructive surgery -- for now. I believe she's volunteered his services to her step-dad as a car freshener. I haven't sold a single order of these great little incense men. I imagine people think the concept too hokey but I can guarantee the scent is out of this world sublime -- these little men are absolutely drenched in oakmoss and even the subtlest of heat releases a huge cloud of scent into the air. I have one in my car and with the days warming as they have, the inside of my car smells like a forest dream.

 I finally got some soap made -- good soap -- soap that actually turned out as it should. Since purchasing the new scale, I hadn't made any solid soap (until now), just the liquid soap. I'm very happy with this batch. I scented it with double-distilled patchouli oil, bergamot, petitgrain, and some deliciously fruity summer neroli. The base is organic olive, organic coconut, and raw shea butter -- lots and lots of raw shea butter. Then I tossed in a handful of organic poppy seeds for texture. The bubbles are big and airy with a soft creamy texture and the scent is refreshing.
I managed to get a few dozen pages written in the new book, even through the flu. I'm okay now, but it was weird for a while there. The best part of being sick (if that can be said) was nobody was bugging me for dinner or grocery shopping. That left a lot of time to write and read and study and research and order natural isolates -- yes -- natural isolates again. I've been doing a lot of research on them lately since I'm writing an entire chapter in the book about them. I've managed to find reference to a few of them in some very old perfumery books as well, which adds to their allure. Once my nose is 100% functional again I'm going to do some formulating experiments with them. Based on their profiles and their sources, I think I've managed to ferret out a few formulations of interest -- a few decent accords, at the very least. It's really going to be a challenge, though, since everything in the studio's been packed up and locked away again. One of these days I'm going to have to organize this in a way that makes the studio materials accessible and safe. There isn't a separate room with a door and a lock anymore. I work in a common area with a huge closet to store the raw materials, and even that isn't sufficient as I've had to re-box things and store them in the garage again. I've downsized a lot since this last move, selling off redundant items and things that I don't need or can't use but had for 'show'. I miss my show pieces but they served no purpose since I don't have in-studio guests or anybody to show them to. For me they became another piece of furniture to dust ~ ha! The point I was making, though, is that I need to get organized. As usual.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

The Daily Grind

So the cold isn't a cold after all. It's the flu. It's hanging in there and it's moved from my head to my whole body, making me feel hot and itchy and sore -- clanky, like a rusty old tin man. Except for writing the book for an hour or two a day, I've mostly spent the last four days lying in bed, flipping and flopping and alternately pulling up the blankets and throwing them off again. It's miserable. My head isn't as stuffy, but I can't smell anything at all and that weird burn under the skin, the hallmark symptom of a flu virus, bubbles over my body. I feel like a walking plague. I kind of look like one too with my hair a wild rat's nest, dark circles under my eyes, and my skin paler than its usual fish-belly white marred here and there (mostly everywhere) by ginger-colored freckles. I'm taking herbal tonics and drinking lots of green tea, cold and hot, depending on where the virus sets the thermostat. But enough of that. What I've been writing about in the book are updates and elaborations on the natural isolates I evaluated in 2010. That contact I wrote about yesterday came through and I'm now in the door to receive several samples of natural isolates for a small fee, mostly for shipping and hazmat. I am planning to peruse their catalog to at least get the names of all the natural isolates they produce, and hope to order small samples of most, if not all, of them for evaluation.

I've been itching to make soap again, so I've ordered a few raw materials -- double distilled patchouli and neroli -- this next batch is going to be fabulously scented. I won't do it until this bug is over -- nothing like receiving a bit of plague in the mail, no? I've also joined in on a perfume making challenge, something I haven't done in three years. I like the challenge of creating something specific, but I'm not keen on being reviewed so publicly. Well, not me being reviewed but my perfume being reviewed. I think perfume is very personal and a single person rating a perfume based on their own set of criteria can be intimidating. Yeah, yeah, I know, I've reviewed perfumes too, so I should just shut up then. But I won't. There is a difference between reviewing or rating perfume based on personal preference and reviewing or rating perfume based on how well-composed it is. My reviews bounce back and forth, plus, in the past, I've tended to lean too much toward whether or not I liked and respected the perfumer, rather than whether the perfume is well-composed. It's not a very fair way to review. I think that's why I have a great deal of respect for the Institute of Art and Olfaction for their blind reviews/evals of niche and indie brand perfumers. When I was advocating for Le Parfumeur Rebelle, that was one of the awards we wanted to set up, something anyone could participate in and be completely anonymous, allowing their work to speak for itself. That never happened, obviously. LPR served its purpose well.

I'm off to bed again.

Monday, June 01, 2015

These Guys

They look silly, don't they? Hey, what can I say? I aim to please and the wee one was insistent that we make incense people. They actually didn't turn out too badly. In fact, the scent is knock you over divine -- or the scent was knock you over divine last week when I was able to smell. How ironic that I'm writing the chapter (in the new book) on anosmia and I am suddenly struck with a head cold, causing temporary anosmia? I suppose the Universe is presenting me an opportunity, and I'm just learning to listen carefully to the cues.

My plans for the weekend past went awry, as they often do. I made it to the party I was supposed to attend on Saturday, but the stay with the friend and the hen party I missed -- because of the cold. By the time the day was done on Saturday, the cold was in full swing and I wasn't in the mood to infect anyone with the misery. So I went on home -- a two-hour drive -- and straight to bed and have pretty much been there ever since. In the meantime, the dishes are piling up. It's a routine I tire of very quickly in my old age.

So I was working on evaluating those natural isolates and, as I mentioned in an earlier post here, I found the file that included all the natural isolate evaluations from 2010 when I took Shelley Waddington's isolates course, and I've been including those in the new book. Quite a few of those old scent blotters still held on to a lot of scent. I'm quite amazed by them, actually. Others didn't fare so well. Once this cold clears I will continue to evaluate the newer ones, and hopefully add a few more when I make this invaluable connection with a company that sells natural isolates. Crossing my fingers and toes that my affiliation with the Natural Perfume Academy is all it will take to prove legitimacy in ordering their natural isolates. It's free advertising for them if they do because I will recommend them to my European and US students who go on to open perfumeries, and they will be included as a source and supplier in the new book. I hope it works out -- they have a wonderful selection of natural isolates that aren't sold anywhere else. Studying and writing about natural isolates has brought to my attention once again about how confusing those CAS numbers are. Often, but not always, a CAS number is identical for a naturally derived isolate and a synthetically produced scent molecule if the chemical arrangement is identical. What that does is muddy the waters of identification -- for example, how is a natural perfumer to know their natural isolate really is a natural isolate and not a synthetically produced scent molecule if the CAS for both is the same? It comes down to trusting the supply chain, period. Vanillin can be produced from clove oil or lignon produced from the waste materials of the paper making process. It's paper -- or paper waste -- which was once wood, hence its natural source, however . . . how far from the original source should we step before we cease calling the chemical 'natural'? It is a natural perfumers' conundrum.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Woe is Me

I fell down a rabbit hole for that title, just so you know. And no, there is really nothing woeful going on -- I just have the beginnings of a head cold and I'm already 'so over it'. First hay fever, then a cold -- when is it going to stop?! I had just begun to evaluate those natural isolates (what fun!) and now this. Ugh. Double-ugh. Beginning June 1 I'm going high raw. When I eat raw, my system reboots and my immune response to things like viruses and allergens changes to the point where colds and hay fever just pass me by. I did this high raw thing a few years back and it was, in my opinion, one of the most creative periods in my life. Not to mention the healthiest in terms of disease. I stopped eating high raw because of a turkey, a topic which I do not want to discuss. I'm hoping that being raw once again will put me in a better place mentally. I'm reading 'Initiation' by Elizabeth Haich, and it is messing with my head a bit. Strange magic abounds.

I have managed to get a few of the evaluations on the isolates done -- melon aldehyde and alcohol c6 (hexanol). Neither smells that great on their own, in fact, the alcohol c6 smells of an odd combination of fresh greenage and rubber soled tennis shoes. When it dries down it turns to freshly ironed linens, and then within 24 hours it's a mere whisper of sun-warmed cotton. The longevity is not like that of a pure synthetic. Or a good oudh. Twenty-four hours is about the maximum that either of these isolates retain their 'freshness' before petering away to nothingness. You would think that at least the melon aldehyde would have some merit on its own -- well, stop thinking that. It's weird and not entirely pleasant from beginning to drydown. Melon aldehyde smells melony, but it also smells like fusel oil and burning candle wax. I told you it was weird.

Tomorrow I'm heading back into the valley for a baby shower -- the event I'm looking forward to; the valley, not so much. I haven't been all the way into the valley since early April. I miss my friends and family but I do not miss the town anymore. Or the unbearable heat. My old house I miss very much -- it's up for sale now! If I were a woman of means, I'd buy the old thing and renovate it and install one of my kids in it. Owning a piece of history has always interested me. My dreams once were to turn the old house into a perfumer's haven -- a place to learn about perfumery and incense, a place to create and build things; relationships, perfume, Kyphi, soap, food -- a perfumer's B&B. Wouldn't that have been grand?

I've been jonesing to make another batch of soap but I'm hesitant because it turns out my new scale is a piece of crap. Sometimes it tares, sometimes it doesn't. I have a grand total of six useless scales now. And a scientific hotplate that causes the breakers to trip and doesn't keep a steady temperature. What is it with all these 'high tech' doohickies that don't work? I've also stopped using my ultrasonic because it too has decided to misbehave. In fact, I may have already tossed that lump of junk in the garbage. I've sold off my second distillation unit, the glass one, because it just didn't perform. I'm so tired of sinking money into stuff that fails fantastically two seconds after the warranty expires. Maybe I'll just do everything old school; eyeball the measurements and hope for the best. Better increase my liability insurance while I'm at it.

It will all work out. It always does. Somehow.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Writing the Book

Sometimes the inspiration to write doesn't come easily, so I cherry pick through my own old blog posts and read other bloggers' blogs, good blogs on writing and food and scent written by writers, real writers, who give a sh*t about how their work is perceived. They edit and perfect and leave meaningful messages that roll around in the readers' heads for a while. Inspiring. I often think if I took more care to write this blog, I'd have a larger following, but then I remember I'm not a spotlight kind of person and continue writing incomprehensible dreck. For the most part.

The new natural isolates are intriguing. I have already created the evaluation sheets for them, and while poking through my files I found one from 2010 that included all the natural isolates I had evaluated through Shelley Waddington's natural isolates course. I may include those in the new book as well. One thing that really struck me about the old natural isolates was the tenacity on some of the scent strips -- one in particular, the heliotrope iso, was amazing and still very present five years later.  The one natural isolate that intrigues me now is the apricot essence, which I will have to research further. It is stunning. Something I learned about the fruity nat iso's is to use them with a very light hand -- whisper light -- because any more will turn it all Jamba Juice. Not so great when a hint of fruit is all that is required.

I also wrote quite a bit about anosmia and its counterparts, parosmia and hyposmia. I don't believe people who have never experienced not being able to smell understand how devastating not being able to smell really is. One of my examples for anosmia is Molly Birnbaum, one of those lovely writers I talked about earlier, who wrote a book about being anosmic. I remember back in 2011 when her book first came out people posted long, nasty 'reviews' stating that losing one's sense of smell isn't as devastating as, say, dying in war, or dying of starvation, or getting a limb shot off. I think those people might have been coming at the subject at a tilt. Of course it is not as bad as death or starvation; it could be compared to having a limb shot off, but it does certainly merit discussion. I mean, life's destructive forces on us wee humans isn't about competition, is it? My sh*t's worse than your sh*t kind of deal seems a bit narcissistic.


Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Isolates Have Arrived!

Sixteen isolates! Some glorious, some kind of gross. If you want to learn more about them, you're probably going to have to buy my book when I publish it.

Day Two of Liquid Soap Resting

Because it's such a new endeavor to me, I'm finding myself becoming extremely impatient with this liquid soap. I've done hot water tests with it and have found that the longer it sits, the more cloudy the water becomes, which in liquid soapmaking, is not a good thing. It turns out that now it is only suitable for laundry, which is okay too, as far as I'm concerned. I think it would look fabulous in flip top bottles with a TSD label slapped on the side. And I'm still going to work on experiments until I get this right. I want some functional products in my shop. Luxury dish soap and beautifully fragrant laundry and general cleaning soap. I've never been a fan of liquid body soap but I might become one ~ ha!

I am also impatiently awaiting my shipment of natural isolates to evaluate and write about in my new book. I'm excited to be adding this to the work as natural isolates are still a thing of wonder and fear amongst some natural perfumers. Purists will bite off my head, while others will relish the notion of working with nat iso's.

My daughter and I made a couple batches of bath bombs the other day to use in the gift baskets she's creating for her baby shower next month. I haven't made bath bombs in ages. It's kind of like riding a bicycle, after a solid  year of making bath bombs every day for my Delicia shop, I found that the muscle memory was still intact and we were able to make two batches of perfect bath bombs. While making them, I was reminded of the enormous baby head sized bath bombs we used to make for Delicia, and how we loaded them with shea butter and cocoa butter and jojoba and deep, luscious scents like patchouli, vetyver, and sandalwood -- yes, sandalwood! It was a bit of a crazy madhouse at Delicia -- we did all we could to make our products as decadent and stinky as possible. People would visit the shop just to see what we had going on. I remember when we got in an order of Pussy Pucker Pots (lip balm) and we wrote "Pussy Pucker Pots" on our chalk sign outside on the sidewalk, listing all the flavors, and we had a torrent of customers coming in thinking our shop was a sex shop because of the flavor names -- Chocolate Nipple Ripple, Don't Need No MANgo, Clitoris Citrus -- yeah, it was a bit over the top, but it was a lot of fun. The company went out of business in 2006, which was a shame because they were just starting to get somewhere.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Liquid Soap

In the throes of liquid soap making. Watched many online tutorial videos, visited many soap making websites, gathered the tools and the raw materials and I'm probably at the halfway mark as far as getting to liquid soap. I'm at the taffy stage. Which apparently lasts longer than all the other stages because the taffy is becoming taffier and my stirring arm is weak and shaking like a hungry kitten. This is different, but kind of the same as far as progression of the soap -- at some point it goes through a gel phase and that's basically when it's done doing whatever it's going to do. Haven't gotten there yet. Crossing fingers and toes this isn't another failed experiment. I'd love to have patchouli dish soap at the sink.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


I finally figured out that when people tell me that I'm an 'enigma', what they're really saying is that I'm weird.


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