Wednesday, June 16, 2010


As most of you know, I love getting things done. Start a project= complete to fruition, that's my way. Lately, though, things are piling up, being put aside (the magazine) and saved for a later, more enthusiasm filled day (the new website). Why? Life throws you curve balls. Sometimes big swipin' curve balls with spikes of paranoia and fear and indecision sticking out all over. Gotta learn to duck. So I've been ducking . . . and ducking . . . and ducking some more. I have half a mind to just sit on the bench until all the balls fall out of the air. But, that's really not an option. Sitting out on life, no matter how crazy it gets, is never an option. Pick up the bat and swipe back.

Soap is on the agenda. Been making 11 bar batches of soap for two days now, nice, creamy delicious soap. I miss making soap when I've been away from it for so long. Soaping is meditative, calming. And you pretty much always know what you're going to get (uh, soap?) when the process is over, unlike perfuming where anything can happen, like a drop too much of vanilla turning a stunning floral into vanilla custard pie with a rose on top. Thus far I've done the famous and often requested PoppyMint soap with spearmint, peppermint and black poppyseeds, a rosemary and rhassoul clay spa soap, and a lavender Seville and Himalayan cedar coconut milk and rose hydrosol soap with just a sprinkling of organic lavender flowers. I've said this before, and I'll say it again, the end product is only as good as the ingredients used. I love using minimally refined, sometimes unrefined, organic oils and butters in the soap I make. It really does make a difference in the quality of the soap. Next up is a calico sugar soap made in an organic hemp oil base, then I'm done for a while.

I've thought about writing a little primer on handmade soap care, y'know, like the ones all over the 'net, or were all over the 'net . . . back when I cared to look up soap information and join in all the reindeer games being played on the soap boards and groups. Too. Much. Drama. So I stay off the makers grid and do my own thing, which now might include a silly What to Expect When You're Expecting Handmade Soap For Dummies or some such bologna. It will probably be more of a list of what-not-to-dos than anything else. For example,

Don't let your baby use handmade soap as a teething ring

Don't use handmade soap to catch mice in a mousetrap

Don't drown your handmade soap or it will come back to haunt you

Don't use handmade soap as a weapon -- you could go to prison

And then, of course, maybe something practical, like, don't expect your soap to cure world hunger, make you beautiful, or turn down your bed.

Okay. Enough silliness.

Getting things done. The tea perfume is stewing in its juices. Since I'd been working on it for so long (2 yrs), I only made it to trial #4 before I made my decision as to which trial # was the big winner and would move to the next stage -- production. I imagine it'll be done in a few more weeks. It will be introduced as a limited edition extrait, then perhaps later, when the mood strikes, it will be made into an eau de parfum or eau de toilette. I'm finding more and more that diluted formulation bases bloom like dogwoods in the spring (big white flowers on spindly sun seeking branches) and leave a much more favorable impression than their stronger, less diluted counterparts. Still, there's just something really sexy about an extrait . . .

The incense perfume is in the trial stages. Initially there was to be a little vanilla, but I'm discovering that this bourbon I have loves to upstage everyone else in the choir, so I've gone with tonka instead. The champaca and the tonka together smell more like the incense on which this perfume is based than anything else I've created for it. It's really quite fun, and a challenge, to ferret out individual aromatics and recreate them in another medium, in this case, from incense stick to liquid perfume. So far it's a dead ringer, but my client wants a little smoky greenness added to it, so I'm taking it off the known path a bit. But, that's still a work in progress.

The gorgeous gingered amber is already trialed and tested and approved -- it just needs to be formulated for production, aged or evulsed to maturation, and then it debuts. When? Before summer's end.

Today, though, I'm laying down the scent strip. The wind whipped up late yesterday afternoon and continued through the night, dropping the temperatures from the high 90's to the low 60's in a matter of hours, and that, of course, irritates my friggin' nose! So I fell asleep last night with the sound of howling wind through the cracks in the windows and KiKi the Bedroom Cat doing her best rendition of a mockingbird right in my face. Needless to say, I woke this morning feeling like someone had stuffed a dusty sock up my nose.

Maybe I'll get on that soap . . .

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