Monday, May 28, 2007

Home Brewin'

That lovely bit of rust colored juice is magnolia flower tincture. Pretty it ain't. Aside from the tenacity of the organic grape alcohol itself, this particular juice has a jackhammer effect on the business end of the olfactory nerves. Reminds me of a candiru fish -- finds a path of least resistence and then tunnels until it gets to the spot where it will create the most damage. I find myself swatting at the scent wafting from this bottle, not because it's bad, but because it's swift and angry and pounces on scent detectors like Rampage Jackson hopping up and down on Chuck Liddell in UFC 71. Yeah, it's mean like that. Aggressive.

And, of course, I love it.

Went for a second round of tincturing on those pretty in pink, Dr. Seuss styled, not really mimosa flowers -- gawd, they smell gorgeous. Melony. Juicy honeydew and ripe apricot. Just lovely. Quite slow to translate into alcohol, though, but getting there.

Finished up the most beautiful tribal bellydance costume with authentic coins and stone encrusted pendants. What I see in my mind's eye isn't always what comes out of my fingers, but with this particular project, everything went without a hitch. I'll post pictures of the costume later this week while it's being worn for a recital. If it were a perfume, it would be dark amber and rose otto with hints of Mysore sandalwood and pink lotus.

I'm also putting together an impromptu wedding reception. Spent the day yesterday tulle-ing up an arch, attaching pink silk roses here and there. Turned out very nice. Learned a few things about wedding decorations, like white pipe cleaners are indispensible -- so are twinkie light clips, safety pins and yards and yards and yards (and this could go on forever) of white bobbinette. Oh, I'm also making the wedding cake. Pink champagne with pink frosting and loads of white chocolate shavings. And I'm catering it as well. Olive tapinade, pesto with pine nuts and sun-dried tomato paste on crustini, marinated mushrooms, devils on horseback (prunes stuffed with pecans, wrapped in bacon or provalone and broiled for a minute or two), pecan and cranberry salad -- there's more, but my brain just shut down when it realized how much work I have ahead of me.

The class in June is shaping up nicely. I've had loads and loads of advice from people on how to streamline the course, so thank you all who sent in your words of encouragement -- it's been a tremendous help. Not to mention help from the stars the day I was literally sitting with my forehead resting on my desk contemplating banging it up and down, and then I remembered my horoscope that day, which read: You already have everything you need to make this situation start working for you, so stop searching for answers. It's time to look at your store of knowledge. Give your experiences the appropriate weight and meaning. Yes, I saved it. It seemed meaningful to the situation, as most horoscopes do not.

I got my portable perfumer's chest put together. It looks so cool. There are over 50 different tinctures, essential oils, absolutes and dilutions in that box, all nestled in their own little 1/2 oz corked bottle. I wasn't sure when I started building it if it would hold all the things one would need to put together a perfume, but then I decided to put it to the test, without the inventory list in front of me, and was able to build a tiny little 'fume almost entirely from the box. There was only one essence that was on my perfume blueprint that wasn't in the box -- rosewood. The box can hold about 30 plastic pipettes and two packages of 100 scent strips on top of the bottles, but I don't think I'll put them together that way. The scent strips will soak up the scent from the bottles and will become useless. At any rate, I had a lot of fun putting it together and I encourage anyone interested in the scented arts to build their own little portable gig box.

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