I've been a very busy bee of late.
Writing -- a lot! Just not here. Conducting distillation experiments. Gardening. Consulting. More writing . . . and, of course, taking care of my family, which is a full time job.
Re: the garden. It's out of control. There are pumpkin vines going every which way, a patty pan squash taking over the entire grow box, big, fat, oddly shaped purple and pinkish colored heirloom tomatoes everywhere, and that cucumber by the fence? The one I couldn't wait to harvest? Turns out someone at the nursery switched the information cards and my cucumber isn't a cucumber after all. I knew it was a squash. A weird, fat-bottomed stripey green squash with tougher than usual skin for summer squash. Then, after picking about 7 of them and boiling up one in what turned out to be one of the most delicious tasting squash dishes I'd ever eaten, and watching the 6 remaining squash slowly turn from pale stripey green to gold -- the light went on. *Ding!* Did it go on for you too? I did a quick google pic check and discovered to my absolute and utter delight what I have growing rampantly all over my back yard, up over the fence, into the cedar tree and creeping across the patio is -- drum roll, please -- butternut! I use butternut extensively in the fall --- butternut is what I make our pumpkin pies with for Thanksgiving, and sometimes I just cut them down the center, scoop out the seeds, fill the cavity with brown sugar and honey and butter and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and into the oven they go. Butternut. Yes!
On the perfume front, I decided to write an article about collecting antique and vintage perfumery oils and was gifted a bottle of antique rectified cassia by Lisa Camasi that had never been opened. So I've done a revealing pictorial to go along with the article, running the gamut from carefully peeling off the wax paper cover to decanting and storing the contents. It inspired me to pop the corks on all my antique and vintage oils. I've put them up for sale at the NNAPA store as Library Pieces. One ml vials of antique oils of cade, cedar leaf and oleoresin of cubeb. The cubeb is my favorite. It's indescribably lovely. Herbaceous and green and citrusy with earthy, woody notes -- beautiful.
Once again, I'm up to my eyeballs reading "Spagyrics" by Manfred M. Junius. There's a section on fractional distillation that I finally understand. Illustrations are lovely learning tools. Just sayin'. Just don't expect any sulfer/mercury/salt preparations coming out of my studio any time soon -- my witching days are long over . . . or just begun.
I've rewritten a good portion of the perfume course workbook, mostly separating out the workbook pages and giving them their own space -- um -- another workbook. So the original workbook is now just a book with a companion workbook. Same price. Asking students to make copies of eval forms and perfume eval forms and all the other forms in the book was just silly. Who wants to do that? Also added in some information about enfleurage, maceration, distillation, and oil collecting.
Back to work.