Happily experimenting. Very happily. Dusted off the al-embic, retrieved the hermetically sealed rye flour, and gathered big juicy lemons from the garden. After several trial runs in the still, I discovered that the best way to prep the lemons for distillation is to cut them into small pieces then puree the entire mess, peels, pulp and juice, in the blender and pour that into the still's body. After two hours or so, the fun begins -- brightly scented lemon hydrosol and oil drizzle and drip from the tubing into the receiver. Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly given the obvious oil content of lemons, it takes a very small number of lemons to "make" a significant amount of oil -- 25 lbs of lemons yielded close to 20mls of oil, perhaps a bit more. Unfortunately, I didn't take exact measurements as I was using the oil almost as quickly as it was being produced. Plus I sent off samples across the globe. Yeah, it's just lemon oil -- fresh, lively, lemonade-ish lemon oil -- but I made it.
The cilantro-based eau de toilette (or cologne) seems to have matured into something truly lovely. It receives dilution quite nicely -- doesn't fade and disappear in seconds and smells so clean. Upon first sniff, one may be steered toward a heavily cilantroed pico de gallo; thankfully, the heart of the eau, rose, jasmine, clove and neroli, take over a bit and lead the scent somewhere else -- somewhere almost sweet, definitely floral, not cloying. It's green and fresh and feminine; florals entwine, peek in and out, and finish with deep notes of languid, loamy patchouli and creamy sandalwood. I have plans to offer it and two others, a rich ginger-amber and a bright citrus, in big, clunky spray bottles.
The course is going swimmingly.
It's exciting to watch the students making discoveries -- discoveries such as dilutions creating expansive, blossoming results. Their eagerness to dilute everything in their palettes in order to really smell and evaluate an essence is inspiring. They're a great group of inquisitive, intelligent and adventurous folks from all corners of the globe.
Can a globe actually have corners?
Studying and reading perfume and non-perfume related topics. Read a little Anne Carson. A trashy romance novel. Koontz. Books on vodou, Buddhism, home repair. Particularly on toilets. One does not realize the importance of a properly functioning toilet until one's toilet no longer functions properly. Unfortunately, last night I had to rush out to the hardware store to buy a wax ring and replacement bolts to fix the completely clogged toilet. Also unfortunately, the husband was on his way out the door for the night shift, so I was left to make the repair alone. Which, really, is the case 99% of the time anyway. It's comical to watch a grown man get foolishly bent out of shape over a clogged toilet he knows full well he will not be fixing. Two-hundred-fifty plus pounds of shirtless hairyness stomping about trying to intimidate someone else into doing the dirty work is -- well -- immature. Especially, as I pointed out earlier, he knows full well he's not going to be anywhere near a messy wax ring or poo bits or giardia water.
Imagine my utter dismay at discovering, after pulling the toilet up off the floor, that the clog was caused by a jar of Anastasia's lovely Grainy Daiz face scrub. And being the kind of person who sees signs in everything, I thought, "Oh, no! This means something terrible is going to happen between me and Ana!" I dismissed the thought almost immediately when I realized that someone flushed my scrub down the toilet! My scrub. Ana's scrub. WTF?! Who does that? Yeah, yeah, accidents happen, but I have a house full of toilet checkers who enjoy harassing each other with, "You didn't flush the toilet, dork. That's gross. What kind of cow doesn't flush the toilet after doing THAT?" So it surprises me that this was an accident.
Unless it was the husband. He's notorious for not looking at anything below boob level -- mine, not his. And it's totally within his character to go, "Oops! Flushed that down! Gotta pretend someone else did it 'fore I git in trouble", and then come ripping out of the bathroom like a bull chasing Little Red Riding Hood, making accusations against that infamous invisible family member, Somebody.
I exaggerate. It's fun making fun of him, he's so darned silly. And I'm only exaggerating a little bit.