Sunday, September 24, 2006

Saffron and Sex

I just had to throw this in here, since I was on the subject of cumin and man-sweat and I was sort of tight-roping sex.

I've tinctured saffron. Just a smidge cuz that's all I need. Saffron isn't one of those smells that makes you all squishy inside and ask questions. It's interesting. Foody, of course. Stains the hell out of whatever it's mixed with.

I read somewhere, can't recall where exactly (age creates these memory lapses . . . ), that women in ancient times would blend saffron paste with rose oil and apply it to their nipples for their lovers' pleasure. The theory is that the nipple sniffer becomes extremely excited and gives the old girl a healthy toss before passing out next to her, his bright orange nose glowing in the darkness.

So now I'm off to find an acceptable rose oil. And then . . . well, that's none of your business.

Tinctured to Kill


Some things, let's face it, have a greater capacity for high ratings on the Stink Factor Scale.

I imagine animal-derived essences, especially those originating from the excretory and reproductive systems (that would be pee-pee, ca-ca and 'come thee hither' squirt), have a higher rating than say, sandalwood or rose, though both of these have some of their own urine/fecal/sex-me-up swill about them, they're just nicer about it.

One such high rater on the SFS is cumin. Pee-yoo! Another blogger piqued my curiosity about this seemingly innocuous spice with her descriptions of man-sweat, so, of course, I had to try it.

I tinctured one ounce of cumin seeds into 3 ounces of organic grape alcohol just a few days ago. When I went to give it its daily swish, I realized the cap wasn't on tightly because a bit of the juice spilled over my hand. No biggie. Until people in the house started asking if someone needed a bath. And then my daughter had an asthma attack because, she said, someone hadn't "showered after their marathon". I didn't think it smelled THAT bad. I actually thought it was pretty damned good. But maybe in smaller doses instead of a wash.

So, after careful testing, with considerable attention to feedback, I give cumin in tincture form a 9.9 on the SFS. Ten being the highest, zero being water.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

New Directions


Just received a lovely 5ml bottle of jasmine grandiflorum of French origin from New Directions. Knocks. Yer. Socks. Off.

Diluted that baby down to a 30% in organic grape alcohol and already my imagination is whipping up formulas to use it with.

Mmm -- I think I'll blend it with a bit of this lusty long pepper tincture I've been brewing. Maybe toss in a drop or ten of patchouli. P'raps a droplet of oudh. Or go another way entirely and fold it into a Calamyrna fig fruit tincture and add a little peachy accord I stumbled upon.

Oh, the possibilities.

Friday, September 08, 2006

A li'l bit of dis and a li'l bit of dat


The last few weeks have been spent a'samplin'.

I received samples of rosemary, pine and lavender essential oils from France that are just delicious. They smell different from what I'm used to getting, cleaner and 'sparkly'. I am intrigued by these samples.

I received samples of natural perfumes, as well. Quite a few, in fact. Sampling so many different perfumes as I have reminds me of how vastly different blending 'hands' can be. The hands run the spectrum of light, airy, barely-there blending, to heavy, shoulder sagging, slap-you-up-side-the-face, "Look ma! I'm RIGHT HERE!" kinds of blending. Choices are good, no? I mean, it would be a shame if every single blend had the same intensity. Just as our moods change, so should the density of our scent.

When I'm riding, my helmet smashing down my hair, goggles leaving funny alien-eye impressions on my face, I don't want a heavy, flowery, cloying cloud of essence swirling around me. I want sunshine and blue skies. Something light and magical that makes me feel that more than just my body is flying in the wind. Not that I can smell the perfume I'm wearing while cruising down the road at 55 mph, but there is the occassional required stop to dry off the monkey butt or get a cool drink. I don't want to be smashed in the nose with heavy ylang and jasmine and tuberose with a healthy dose of patchouli as I step off the bike ~ I want citrus, a little yuzu with pink grapefruit and maybe a scosh of lime all dressed up with a pinch of labdanum, a hint of galbanum ~ maybe even a bit of that French rosemary.

When I'm off to my favorite pub to share a basket of fried pickles and drink warm, dark beer with a few friends, I want something earthier. Cepes, patchouli, amber blends, oudh with rose, sandalwood with a shadow of jasmine sambac. A scent that's a little heavier, not so floral, more attuned to the atmosphere of dark walls, dark woods, throaty laughter and the scent of rich foods.

Other times, like when I'm feeling a little frisky, I splash on the florals. Linden blossom absolute diluted way down with a teensy bit of vanilla, loads of jasmines and a touch of mushroom, or maybe something a little more complex with carnation, jasmine, rose, tuberose and neroli based in Himalayan cedarwood and oakmoss.

There is a scent for every mood, and a scent-maker for every moody person.

The latest perfume samples I received came from a perfumer who's been at the game a while, but has been thrashed about by the 'powers that be' to the point of almost losing confidence. She needn't fear her creations are as bad as some claim they are (considering the claimants have never actually tried the perfumes and are basing their opinion on hearsay). The samples I received were elementals, beautiful representations of Air, Fire, Earth and Water. The elemental Earth is sensuality in a bottle, warm and sexy, like the strong, muscular arms of your favorite horny he-man. Water is a step away from the beach and delves into the depths where seaweed and quiet lapping waves live, enveloping and gentle. The Air element is fresh and herbal and whispers of open meadows and endless blue skies. Fire is my favorite of the elementals in this batch of samples. It blends the spicy fire with sweetness, like eating Thai food with a big pitcher of sweet tea to douse the flames. Scrumptious!

There are two points I'd like to make here. One is to sample, sample, sample to find your perfect mood scent, and two, don't dare give your opinion of someone's perfumes unless you've actually tried them.

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