Monday, August 30, 2010

Crazy Annie

Ana by another name. She wrote about me, the crazy Sag, on her blog. You gotta love it.

Kizmet, y'know?

And here I was just getting ready to write about her Kraken soap, which I will get to when my head clears a little more. In the meantime, read what she says ~ it kind of gives me a giggle.

Crazy Annie . . . xo

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Le Parfumeur Rebelle August Giveaway

We're almost at the end of August which means LPR will be drawing the name of this month's winner of the LPR Monthly Giveaway. August entrants vie for a sample packet of gorgeous perfumery raw materials from Sunrose Aromatics.

Cade ~
Hiba wood ~
Fragonia ~
Tagete &
Tobacco Absolutes ~

Go to LPR and enter your name into the hat!

August giveaway ends August 31, 2010 (Tuesday)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ramblin'

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.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

New Tandem Course at Nature's Nexus Academy of Perfuming Arts


A tandem/buddy course is now being offered at NNAPA for those who wish to pair up and learn NBP -- share the cost and double the fun!

For more information, check out the course description here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Out with the Old and in with the -- um -- Old?

Whatever.

I've been asked (repeatedly for years and years now) to bring back some of the oldies but goodies (even greaties and spectacularities *shaking head*) that were created in the days when the Djinn was a Delicia. As in delicious. As in a street front store in a trendy part of town where we, my business partner and I, concocted lovely balms, butters, soaps, perfumes, oils and various other bathing sundries, whilst watching the hustle and bustle of life outside our big picture window.

Delicia was a new gig in town and a lot of people were perplexed. We were interviewed by the local newspaper, and included in the annual "Taste of the Tower" event, as well as participants in the local business' Mardi Gras parade. People would come into our little shop of aromatic wonders and stand in the doorway, mouths hanging open, eyes wide with curiosity, and they'd ask, "Do you guys do piercings?" The more the question was asked, the more snarky and nasty our responses would become. One of my kids was helping out one Saturday afternoon when a particularly obnoxious youngster walked in, stopped dead in his tracks, and said, "What the f**k?! Do you guys do piercings?" To which my child replied sweetly while handing the potty mouth a sample bar of soap, "Yes, we do. First, go wash your tongue with this. Use the hose out front."

It took a while for people to figure out that the piercer was gone, long, long gone, and it was just us, the soap ladies in residence now. Our regulars came in for vats of lavender body butter and fat baby head sized fizzing bath bombs scented with burnt sugar and jasmine sambac. Some came for king-sized bottles of massage oil on a weekly basis (?), some came simply to hang out and chat. One older gentleman came to wash the windows twice a week for a five spot and a bar of peppermint soap, "Lunch and a bath," he would say. This was a neighborhood shop and the regulars lived within walking distance of our little shop, though we did have quite a few folks driving in from across town. And then our online business was hopping crazy.

But what I remember most about it all were the products -- the creativity and ingenuity behind all the skin care -- so I've decided to dig out all the old recipe books and scour them for some new stuff, the stuff with pumpkin seed oil in residence, and organic hemp oil, and mango butter. Already tweaking and playing around . . .

Fall is my favorite time of year, a time of rejuvenation.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Absinthe Dragonfly

This is not something I normally do for another perfumer, or at least have not done recently. Usually I redirect as in "Go here! Here is a good perfumer!" *pointing someplace else*, but not today. Today I'm going to dig in, do a little review.

Let me start this by saying I'm very busy right now. This is my "season", so to speak. From mid-July until January 31st the following year (which, btw, is "Inspire Your Heart With Art Day"), I'm busier than a cat covering a month's worth of sh*t! February brings on the slower months and goes on until, again, mid-July when the whirlwind of insanity strikes again. So, as I should be working on the new perfume book, separating out all the worksheets to create a proper workbook companion to the actual perfume teaching book, rebatching perfumes, writing up the soap menu for the upcoming Intermountain Nursery show, writing two important articles for LPR, I'm here. Doing this. Procrastinating those projects so as not to procrastinate on this one any longer. These are the endnotes to a consultation/evaluation. Oh, man! I'm doing it again! Procrastinating getting on with it! Yeah! Yeah! -- I'm gettin' on!

"Oh, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown!—
The courtier’s, soldier’s, scholar’s, eye, tongue, sword,
Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state,
The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
Th' observed of all observers, quite, quite down!
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched,
That sucked the honey of his music vows,
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh;
That unmatched form and feature of blown youth
Blasted with ecstasy. Oh, woe is me,
T' have seen what I have seen, see what I see"

Ophelia opens with with notes of chamomile, kewda and wormwood like bitterness poured into a cup of sorrow and tears, the notes evoking the anguish of a girl in love being encouraged to "get thee to a nunnery!" These notes persist throughout the entire life of the perfume, which is about 6 hours, and are accompanied by shadows of oakmoss and helichrysm which float in and out like waves. This is a forest and field scent. A scent in which all aspects of a spring born day are represented ~ icy water melting from snow in rivulets that wash over moss covered rocks just come to life through warmer days, fields of wildflowers awakening and scenting the air with their myriad butterfly enticing aromas. A scent in which the danger of a sudden late spring frost looms darkly.

Ophelia at Absinthe Dragonfly. *oops!* I'd previously written "Absinthe Butterfly" -- so not right! So sorry Amanda. Got it straightened out now.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

*Sniff*

No. Not that kind of sniff, a sniveling sniff. The kind of sniff that happens when something awful occurs.

Remember that rose geranium hydrosol I made a couple of months back? Remember there were a few luscious milliliters of essential oil? Remember I didn't separate the oil from the hydro?

Well.

*sniff*

SOMEBODY, that elusive soul who I had thought long gone from the house, has returned, and he has brought with him HAVOC. HAVOC, my arch-nemesis. The pal hiding behind SOMEBODY like the little chicken sh*t he is, abruptly, and with malice, I am sure, opened the little fridge containing the precious hydros, creating a force so strong, so immense, as to thrust the rose geranium hydrosol bottle out of the fridge door and onto the hard floor. Where it shattered. Into a bazillion tiny little pieces. *sniff*

Now for the silver lining ~ the house reeks of rose geranium, as does the floor and the mop and the trash bin.

Still kind of bummed about the vintage bottle getting broken, though . . .

All together now! *SNIFF*!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Isolates Unit on NNAPA Coming Up!

We're very excited at NNAPA (Nature's Nexus Academy of Perfuming Arts), also known as The Natural Perfume Academy, as in just a few days our new isolates unit taught by the talented Ms. Shelley Waddington is scheduled to begin. Even our student mentors are getting in on the fun. I have had the honor of receiving an advance copy of the unit lessons and I have to say the Academy students are in for a real treat.

If you're interested in getting in on the fun, Ms. Waddington is also offering her own online course in natural isolates separate from the Academy beginning September. Here is a copy of the press information for the upcoming off-Academy isolates course:

NATURAL ISOLATES
The New Trend in Natural Perfuming

The use of natural isolates is a new cutting edge trend in natural perfumery.

This online course is designed to allow students and professionals of natural perfumery to take advantage of this new trend by providing a basic understanding of what an isolate is, how it is produced, and how to incorporate isolates into their own perfume compositions. Attendees will also receive a comprehensive bibliography for personal reference.

Upon completion of this class, the student will have a basic understanding of natural isolates and will be ready to begin blending using these fragrance materials.

A kit of natural isolates is available to all registrants.

DATE: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 4 and SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2010

TIME: 2:00 PM PST
Seating is limited to 20 students

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION AND TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE, contact dariaesque2001@yahoo.com.

Instructor Shelley Waddington, MA, is a classically trained perfumer of eleven years standing. She holds a California Teaching Credential and has delivered online seminars and training for eight years.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

To Live & Love: An Ode to Old Whores

There comes a time in your life when calling yourself an old whore no longer seems inappropriate. Even an old man-whore is okay. And I'm not talking about whores as in slut, sleazebag, hoochie, common bus stop skank whore, but more or less someone with a raging sensual side. I mean raging. Absolutely rabid with sensuality. I get this feeling, if one can call it a feeling, when using certain aromatics, or from products made by certain masters of formulation. Vetiver (my spelling-- vetyver) is especially redolent of old whore. So is a nice dense patchouli. Mix them together and you've got something almost toxic with sensuality. Oakmoss does it. So does labdanum and myrrh. To a lesser extent, at least for me, sandalwood can be tossed in there as well. Yet it is the combination of vetyver, patchouli and oakmoss that really reaches into my soul and extracts something long buried. Like remembering to love myself.

After a long delicious conversation on the phone with one of my favorite people today, I decided to take a well-deserved shower with one of my favorite soaps, Old Whore by Eleneetha, aka Ana (at Chant Aromatics on Etsy). What. A. Trip. I never, ever, ever get tired of these combinations of aromatics, the triumvirate of whoreness, both male and female, of vetyver, patch and oakmoss Oh, I know, I do go on, but there's magic in Ana's soap. Magic I can't get enough of. The first time I bathed with this soap it was just before bed time and I remember feeling so languidly relaxed that while I read my trashy romance novel I felt as if I were sinking into a bed of cool, damp earth and the story I was reading came alive. I consciously sorted out this subconscious effect between heaving breasts (in the book) and exciting panting (also in the book) that I was smelling the scent wafting from my skin.

Today, I wear my inner old whore on the outside; on my skin and in my hair (yes! Old Whore is a fabulous shampoo bar). Time to settle in with a cool drink and a hot man-- um, the TV remote.

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