Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Enjoy the Process

Easier said than done.

It seems that I'm back to that old place, the place where I hold everything too closely, too tightly. Specifically, aromatics. The only way past that is to create. Use the fig tincture that smells of honied, crystallized, sugary fruit, blend it with that rare tea rose that Christopher sells, add a little vintage tolu, just a little because we don't want this to turn into a cinnamon bun or bring the "authorities" banging on the door due to excess usage levels. So. Much. To think. About.

Just enjoy the process.

Some might wonder why I'm not as prolific as other natural botanical perfumers, why do I have just two perfumes on my site, a single eau de toilette, zero colognes and a just one eau fraiche? Because I'm slow and meticulous, and I procrastinate. I have thousands of ideas and play with them all the time, yet I don't rush to finish any one of them. Serj took almost a year of solid work, daily evaluations, formulating and reformulating before I felt it was ready for exposure. Oshiba was inspired by the essences themselves, and took only 4 or 5 months to complete, also with daily work and reformulating. Khamsa was around at the same time I started building Serj, but I really took my time with it. Played a lot with dilution levels and hydrosols with this one. There is another that is near completion, one that I've worked off and on for the past year, that we'll just call "Ji" for now -- I know Ji's character in my olfactory mind, I know exactly how it should smell, but in reality, it's just not there yet. For Ji I wanted to utilize some of the tinctures I have, I wanted to bring something else to the table, something unusual perhaps. Thus far it's too resinous in the base and I'm working on different elements to tone that down. Unless I really dedicate my time and spend every day with Ji until it is complete, it may not be ready until next August.

I tend to over think scent. I tend to wear the prototypes of perfumes until I can't tell whether I like them because they're a truly well made perfume, or because I've gotten used to their scents. I need second and third and fourth opinions, but noses don't live on every corner. Simply saying, "Yeah I like it," or, "Nope, not good," isn't enough. I want to know why -- why do you like it? Why isn't it good? For example, I can tell you why I don't like the modern version of Mitsouko -- it smells like a plastic doll's head straight out of the package. Can someone give me that? "I don't like Serj because it smells like a Christmas tree farm." "Oshiba smells like frozen metal." "Khamsa smells like salsa meets hippie meets orange grove." "Serj smells like iced fruit." "Oshiba smells like temples and ocean wind." "Khamsa smells like fresh cut herbs and wet earth."

Maybe I'll post a Ji giveaway soon, with multiple "winners" and ask that they each use a descriptive sentence to tell how it smells. Good or bad, but with an explanation. Yeah, maybe I'll do that.

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