Monday, November 15, 2010

Getting Busy

Life as a working perfumer is a juggling act no matter what time of year, but during the holiday season, it's as if the balls in the air have caught fire and someone off to the side has surreptitiously thrown in a few extra, just in case juggling systematically wasn't enough of a challenge.

The art show on the 20th isn't giving me fits as it had been. I'm building up stock and tracking down which notebook holds what perfume that made it through trials but never quite made it into production with a mind toward perhaps finally putting that particular perfume into production. My notebook entries are funny sometimes -- there will be an entry with 15 or 20 different elements, each taking a place on the scale; head, heart, bottom, and an end entry dated a week or so later with statements like, "Sucks! Tossed it . . . NEXT!", "Floral, nice, fresh, stinky . . . okay, not great, but okay. Give it some alone time.", "GARBAGE!", "Smells sour", "Smells f**king awesome!", and "Yessssss!" ~ those with positive remarks make it to real evaluations, the rest get tossed or reworked. Not entirely scientific, is it?

And with juggling that bit of life, there's also family life and the curve balls that come with that; school meetings due to dress code violations (wearing a plain black beanie in cold weather is frowned upon, apparently), doctor's appointments, the constant list of "Mom, I need (fill in the blank) or life will end as we know it", out-of-the-blue bills, nosy neighbors, Jehovah's Witnesses at the door every Tuesday, that funny noise coming from the engine compartment of the Kia . . . it just goes on forever. Perfume and all its related activities keeps me sane. Sort of sane. More sane than usual?

I've been experimenting with solvent extraction. It's a bit crude and somewhat dangerous, and I'm still working out the kinks, but hopefully it will be perfected in time to write about it in the new course book/workbook. I have a bucket of frankincense resin that I'd like to distill this winter and perhaps include a little step-by-step pictorial of the process for the book as well. I have a bad habit of forgetting to take pictures of the distillation process because I'm usually so focused on making sure that everything is clean and perfect and ready to go that picture-taking isn't even a thought. Not until I'm finished and I smack myself in the forehead for forgetting again.

Solid perfumes seem to be the "thing" I'm focused on most right now as far as parfum goes. Someone special wrote me a private note the other day asking if I'm going back to my Blair Witch roots with the dark blog and the dark cameo photography and all the cremes and solids and unguents. I guess I am. It is the dark time of year, and I have been referred to as the dark moon witch on occasion, so, yes, perhaps I am going retro. I know that I have been thinking quite a lot about the old store and Sierra Soapourri, the way the butters and balms and solid perfumes came from the ether, manifested and left into the world. In a way, I guess that's kind of magical. Rootwork is in the air . . .

The art show is coming up, then the holiday rush, then a protracted post-holiday buzz as people pick up the things they wanted but didn't get, then all goes quiet around March. Or maybe it's just me who goes quiet -- I'm at my most productive this time of year because it seems right to be, not just because the holidays are upon us, though that might have some small minuscule bearing on the situation. All I know is that I feel antsy, like I need to get busy.

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