Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spring and Toilets

Spring is definitely in the air here in sunny*slash*rainy central California. The bread basket is bursting with scent and color. The trees are blooming and pollinating and spewing their love into the atmosphere for all of us allergy sufferers to embrace. Plum trees are usually the first to welcome in the warmer weather, excitedly throwing open their dark branches to break out in pink petaled sweetly scented blossoms reminiscent of plum tea and girlie-girl eau de toilette. Then go the ornamental pears, the dreaded "cum" trees, with their funky sea-like spunk wafting from tiny pearlescent white petals. Daffodils and jonquils are sprouting up everywhere, as are the hyacinths -- more on them later.

The neti pot is in near constant use now, and the stove always has a simmering pot of eau de scare-away-the-nasties going. I'd forgotten how lovely spring is here, and how miserable. I am prepared. I hope.

Been manifesting goodness of late, for myself and for friends. There is a nugget of truth to the theory of positive thinking. An old passion of mine has been reawakened and will be incorporated into the existing obsession ~ fashion and perfume are, after all, perfect mates. Don't mean to sound all mysterious, but I also believe that jumping the gun can jinx a project. So it's on the downlow for the time being. Mum's the word.

While searching the hardware store for a new toilet seat for the antique/vintage FREE toilet (retails at the ReSell store for $200), I found that the nursery department was stocked up on hyacinths. For tincturing. Well, that's not their intended purpose generally, but it is for me. Picked up only three because I wanted to enjoy their scent au naturale before buying up a few dozen, chopping off their heads and cramming them into bottles to drown in 190 proof. The scent is indescribably intoxicating. They're being kept in a decorative pot in the house, the hya triplets, and whenever someone walks inside, they're assaulted by the scent. Much more effective, and environmentally sound, than plug-ins or candles made with "essential oils".

Thursday, February 19, 2009


by anxious1 at


Ever have one of those days (years? lives?) when you forgot to do something really important? Something that you'd been obsessing over, something that, dependent upon the outcome, could make your heart grow a hundred times bigger or tear a little hole in it? Been having a string of those days. Days when disappointment settles like tule fog on the 99.

One of those important little things was to send my usual team of sniffers samples of the new, newest edp. The one with cilantro and patchouli laced throughout. And this is the second time the samples haven't made it into the boxes. The samples are ready to go -- they're packaged, labeled, affixed to their id cards. Some might say that subliminally my mind feels these aren't really ready to go, or that, less subliminally, I fear the critique. Well, sure. Those are possibilities.

On a brighter note, the frankincense samples made it into one of the boxes. Being such a young oil, it's hard to evaluate it properly. It's very sparkly and intense, a bit animalic, like wet fur. Ageing will help its evolution. Hydrosol made it into the box as well, and it, too, may require some ageing as it is just as intense and animalic as the oil. It works wonders on skin, though. I use it on a cotton ball to tone my face after a washing and it smooths everything out nicely.

A bit less obsessed about the oil and hydro than the creation. The outcome of the first two are, to a degree, out of my control; the outcome of the latter is entirely in my hands alone.

So, how 'bout that economy?

Monday, February 16, 2009


One more bird has flown the nest and something dark and somber has settled on the house. I think it's peace, but I'm sure peace should feel a little happier. Or maybe I've been living my entire life on high volume and now that someone's turned the sound down, I'm at a loss. What to do?

Writing again. It's lovely. Volumes are filling, stories that have languished in my super secret memories' treasure box. A manila envelope overflowing with browning newspaper clippings from 40 years ago; tragedies printed about lives ended, irrevocably changed, captured by newspapers that no longer exist. The history of the central valley's true wild and wooly days. And always in the background there is perfume. Fracas, sultry and floral to the point of nausea, wafts from sleeve cuffs; New Newest perfume (mine, a yet unnamed) beckons from a hair band saturated with the scent; that pretty honied-vanilla patchouli from Enfleurage crooks it's paisley hennaed finger, whispering sweet somethings.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Perfumery Without Pretension

Newest installment of Perfumery Without Pretension by Diana Rajchel here.

Experiment Complete

The frankincense experiment, for the time being, is done. There is nearly a gallon of oil-dotted hydrosol, and a few mls of frankincense oil, stinky and bright, kind'a pushy. It was definitely worth the hours and hours and hours of distilling, the occasional "accident", and the questions from curious teens, friends of the resident teens. I overheard one boy ask my son if I was "cooking meth", a look of horror and fear on his face.

The still is finally clean after several stove-top boilings and a brutal scrubbing with a wire pad. Frankincense oil-making is a lesson in many things -- the virtue of patience being one. A day or so after the big explosion, I went to put on my favorite fleece jacket that had been recently washed, and noticed, with just a bit of displeasure, that it had been thrown in the laundry with the rags used to clean the frankincense mush off the walls (and cabinets, refrigerator door, window, stove hood, stove top -- oh, and ceiling). My fleece is saturated in frankincense stink. Which isn't a bad thing, especially while sitting in a crowded movie theater next to a girl wearing Uggs that smell like dog doo, dill pickles, sweat and rotted meat.

I've been formulating again (with gusto). The current work is a juxtaposed scent of cilantro leaf and a really sweet patchouli scored from Enfleurage. It's the Vietnamese variety, and quite possibly the sweetest patch I've ever smelled. The two together, the cilantro and patchouli, dance well, stepping on one another's toes only occasionally. I'm having a little more trouble with the others dancers in the ballroom. It's on its eighth modification and the general consensus is that it smells like a hippie smoking salsa.

Patience, m'dear.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Keeping Apprised

If you're in the business of creating and selling cosmetics in the US, you need to stay informed regarding the FDA's Globalization Act. News isn't as dire as most thought.

Click here for updates on this Act and how it will affect you as a producer of cosmetics, and as a consumer of cosmetics (soap, balms, butters, PERFUME, et al).


PDF file of bill HR-759, the FDA's Globalization Act of 2009 -- cosmetics' portion begins on page 115 of this file.


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