Friday, October 31, 2008

Last Chance to Get Your Scary On

It's the final day to enter your name in the Le Parfumeur Rebelle's October giveaway. Ms. Lisa Farrell of MoonaLisa fame is offering up a trick-or-treat bag of luscious natural skincare and perfumed goodies.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Class Begins October 25th



It will indeed be an exciting year. Nature's Nexus has created a year-long online perfumery course for aspiring natural botanical perfumers. The instruction for this pilot course is (or was) free. The class is full up! We had an overwhelming response to our offer, which was surprising and exciting considering the obstacles.

Though the course itself is free, the evaluation kits of 88 essences plus a packet of 100 scent strips is not; nor is the primer and essence kits of 20 blending primaries housed in a handmade, portable perfumer's organ. These are optional for the course. What is also free are the introduction packets which include a beautifully crafted essence chart.

The course begins with a fully comprehensive safety unit and glossary with references and links, and finishes with instruction on creating and standardizing tinctures and extracts, base building and composing and finishing a perfume.

Writing on this blog may again become scanty for the next year or so . . . or maybe not.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Moonie in October



Just a week or so left to enter your name in the October Le Parfumeur Rebelle Giveaway. This month's giveaway items are fabulously scary-beautiful skincare.

Go get you some!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"I myself am strange and unusual . . . "



Ok. I sent the eau de parfum samplers out, and I had a little part of the booth at Intermountain set up for samples of the same parfums -- and the reactions thus far are mixed. I like that, actually. It means, in a way, that I achieved the goal -- not to create scents that smell like A) aromatherapy, or B) like everyone else's natural botanical stuff. I admit that Serj is closer to a "normal" eau de parfum than is Oshiba. Serj is fruity and slightly floral with underpinnings of earth and moss. Oshiba is -- Oshiba's just different. The inspiration for this perfume came from an accident of fate. I was evaluating materials and found the combination of hiba wood and osmanthus absolue intoxicating. Breathtaking, really. So while Serj was created using repeated trials, a la Carles, Oshiba was directed from outside myself, intuitively, until an odd balance of hiba, osmanthus, rose and labdanum (very little labdanum) was achieved.

Men more than women seem to enjoy these two scents. Serj opens with a blast of sweet, sugary fruitiness and mellows into twining florals to end in a powder patch of vetyver and patchoulis. Oshiba screams from the bottle with almost metallic rage, then settles quietly (as quietly as a kickboxer with ADHD) into figgy, floral, powdery cedarness, the rage still hovering to the end.

So yes, these two scents are strange and unusual, or out of the box, as some have indicated. But like all art, they are reflective of a time and space within this artist's life, which means they won't be around forever. I'm terrible with the forever stuff. Static situations kill me. I will keep a bottle of each for memories, then it's on to the next strange and unusual scent. Or maybe I'll keep it simple and only slightly more than ordinary -- or maybe not.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Soap's On



The Scented Djinn Apothecary at Etsy is now featuring handmade soap. Get them while they last as the next batches won't be available for another four weeks.

Jasmine Geranium, Patchouli Light, Anise, Holy Basil, Orange Vanilla Spice and Frankincense & Myrrh made in a base of virgin olive oil, organic coconut oil and organic cocoa butter or raw shea, scented with essential oils, floral waxes and infusions.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Harvest Arts & Peace Festival

It was so cold in Prather. Both days, Saturday and Sunday, I shivered and shook and couldn't wait for the festival to be done and over with. That's a first. The first day I came home frozen and wind burned, with almost $300 extra dollars in my pocket. The second day was a little warmer, and I came home less cold and only a bit richer. I knew it would be a bad year, and it was. Down by about $75 from last year. No hugely dramatic run-in with the Goat Lady. It's funny, I can't remember anybody's names at these things, except the owners and a couple of the employees. We all of us, me and the rest of the vendors, call each other by what we do or bring to the festival. There's the Purple Hat Guy, the Turtle Man, Bob the Honey Dude, I'm the official Soap Lady, there are the Quilt Girls, the Gourd Woman and the Ciabatta Babes, Tabuleh Chicks . . . well, you get the idea. The Goat Lady did make her early Sunday morning tour of the show and condescendingly clucked over my soaps, saying, "Nice, nice. Hmm." I find it fascinating that she even bothers, or that I don't race over to her booth and cluck and hum and snicker at her goat milk and lavender scented turd cakes. This woman doesn't even know what a stick blender is, for chris'sakes. I'm being unkind. I apologize.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Optimism in the Pouring Rain



Someone once told me that good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people. It's not true. Things just happen, and they happen to everyone. But you already knew that, right? This has been a week of personal trials -- it feels as if my family is melting into puddles -- and everything that's happened is beyond our control. Completely beyond, and the only things to be done are to pray, burn a little sage, and have faith.

I have my 'big show' this weekend. The Intermountain gig. I'm a little concerned that our country's economic woes will, inevitably, spill over into this little mecca of peace and tranquility. It's not been great the past few years at Intermountain in a financial aspect (I'm down about $25 - $50 each progressing year going on seven or eight years, even though the show brings in hundreds of shoppers), but the spiritual aspect is all there and growing exponentially. My enthusiasm for creating mass amounts of gorgeous soap waned at about batch four, around the time my Janus funds dropped nearly $1000 in the span of a moment. If you knew how long it took to earn that $1000 . . .

So, yes, I'm worried. About that and about the reopening of The Scented Djinn. And about the new class I'm tutoring at NNAPA. Frankly, I was surprised, and exceedingly pleased, to see how many people were interested in attending the course, even knowing they might have to shell out a bit of money for evaluation kits, essence kits and primers. Chemistry is currently my enemy and I'm studying like a mad woman everything I can about essential oil chemistry. It's interesting, enlightening and, sadly, demystifying. Chemistry. Hate it. That and math. Give me words. Words and meaning and spirituality and humanity and understanding and love. Give me those because right now I really need them.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Serj & Oshiba Samples Giveaway


Melis, Faerie Made, Roxana, Emily B. and Lisa, please send me your addresses to ohtrueapothecary@yahoo.com and I'll get your samples out ASAP.

The rest of those who entered, I'll be contacting you individually.

Thank you for the enthusiasm!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Busy Bee



I apologize to my regular readers for leaving you hanging this way. Posting small talk isn't my usual modus operandi but [insert sigh here] I've been very busy. And for a brief moment -- well, actually a few weeks -- I had thought to ditch the blog altogether. Along with a few other things. Instead, I've decided to simply extract myself from toxic situations and live more in my own reality.

The Scented Djinn is almost here. A few more touches and the site will be up and running. I'm not nearly as nervous as I am excited. There is a 'parfum' page, an 'eau de toilette' page, an 'eau de cologne' page, an 'eau de fraiche' page, an 'about' page, which is really quite interesting since I gave the job of describing me and who I am to someone else; and the usual privacy policy and contact pages, and then a link to the Etsy site where the soaps and butters and bath fizzies will be listed. It's very simple and scaled down. So very unlike my real life.

The perfume offerings at The Scented Djinn thus far are Serj, which I call an eau de parfum but which is much closer to an extrait or parfum, whose key notes include fir balsam, orange juice, hyacinth and ruh khus. The other (and there will be more as the year progresses) is a perfume called Oshiba, a blend of hiba, labdanum and osmanthus. I'm terrible at describing scents I create, so I'll leave that up to you. I'm giving away samples of Serj and Oshiba to the first ten people who either comment on this blog or write me privately at ohtrueapothecary@yahoo.com -- I believe in complete anonymity, so I won't be screeching your name from the rooftops as the one of the lucky winners -- unless you want me to :D

The perfume room is still in progress. I've decided to leave the carpet in and not pull it up, as I'd previously decided. I think it would be too cold and too hollow without carpet. But the painting, shelving, trim and fans will still be going in -- then I can invite you in when you visit and we can play mad alchemist for the day. But first, a new washing machine is in order . . .

New discoveries in the past year: big, lusty ultrasonics, hydrometers (well, actually, alcoholmeters), EC thingamabobs, fantastic synergies, and Charles Sell.

And the primer is being published right this minute.

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