Ramblings on about natural perfumery . . . and other moderately related perfumery stuff, written
by Justine Crane, natural botanical perfumer, olfactogustatorian, writer, alchemist, and owner of The Scented Djinn Apothecary & Thurifercorum
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
A few days have passed since the inclusion of crushed chamomile and aloes wood powder (18 June) and a day or so after that there was a very distinctive aroma of honey floating from the kyphi bowl. But just as with perfume, kyphi needs time and space to settle down to its natural scent and today it smells of chamomile and frankincense, an odd combination it would seem, but one that works nicely thus far. I am crushing orris root (antique/vintage orris root from Absinthe Dragonfly's Amanda Feeley) and let me tell you, orris doesn't like being crushed. It's like mashing walnut hulls, with every smack and grind, bits of orris are violently ejected from the mortar landing everywhere -- in your hair, your eye, in the baby's oatmeal. It's very persnickity stuff. But as you can see, I'm making good work of it. In another couple of days I should have a nice orris powder to add to the kyphi.
The kyphi itself, aside from now smelling of chamomile and frankincense, has turned from golden to red. The term 'golden' will still be applied to the finished project, even if it turns out purple. I have yet to add any oils to the kyphi as I am still in the hand crushing and grinding of herbs mode. The calamus, galangal and cardamom herbs haven't been added yet either and I'm anxious to see what they do to the mix scent-wise. Kyphi takes time and patience; time I have, patience ~ not so much, so I'm fighting the urge to whip out the herb grinder and just go for it. But that's not what the kyphi project is about. It's about listening to the incense through the stages of its creation, letting it tell you where it wants to go, how it must go, and working through with intention.