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
Monday, November 12, 2012
No Title is the Title
This post has no title because it's about everything. Perhaps I'll choose a title from something I write further along. So, it's been a while. The last post was an attempt to get some of my readers engaged in this passion of mine. I got two brave souls to share their experiences and I think for their efforts I will choose them both as winners ~ each of the participants will receive a bar of soap, that I just this minute decided will be a bar of the soap I am making today, a concoction of patchouli, davana, frankincense, vetyver, mitti and holy basil cut fat and bulky, and an anointing oil of the same concoction, as well as a 5 ml bottle of The Scented Djinn organic alcohol based perfume. This whole year, from last September 2011 'til today I've been re-evaluating, well, everything. Whether to continue working in aromatics as a merchant, or just dabble and play and while away my days germinating, planting, harvesting, distilling, teaching, creating butaflors, hydrosols, soaps, perfumes, cooking up aromatic foods and whatnot for no other purpose than to write about them, and enjoy them. But the cruel reality is that I cannot continue to dabble and play without some remuneration, other than the .50 per book sale I currently incur from the single book I have for sale to the public, or the equally small amount of money I'd make from any other books I might publish in the future. So a merchant I remain, and now branding is the game. I'm not good at it. Awful, in fact. I've changed bottle designs and label/logo designs and remained fairly unfocused since I started all this back in 1996. Blame the ADD, blame the bad relationship, the 20-odd kids (I'm joking about that number), the bill collectors, the long days working for others, the lumpy mattress and lack of sleep, the headaches, the transportation issues, the whatever doing whatnot whenever --- oh, what a mess I've created with all these excuses. The plain fact is that I like simple. I like apothecary, oldness, dust and parchment, brown glass and corks and syrupy aromatics, the smell of old wood and the inside of antique steamer trunks. I like twine and handmade labels and handmade paper and sealing waxes and handmade incense -- Kyphi to be precise -- and patchouli powder under my fingernails, and beeswax on the air, and I especially love the old TSD logo, the lovely gypsy woman created by Kimberly Ayers just for me and my then-vision. So my then-vision is my now-vision, and I suppose my secretly always-vision (mostly a secret to me it seems) so that's where I'm going. I'm back to creating beautiful rich soaps, gorgeously dense smelling anointing perfume oils, resin blends and magic spells and good juju and mojo bags stuffed with blessings, and perfumes, perfumes, perfumes. I've got people barking at me for baby head sized bath bombs of patchouli and glitter and blue lotus balms and hydrosols and I'm listening, I am! I'm finally, finally listening. Note from my ADD: If a person barks in my town, they can be stopped and interrogated. Yep. Barking is a gang thing and can result in calls to the police from concerned citizens. So if you're going to bark at me, do it over the phone or in an email.
Today I'm making soap, bergamot petitgrain shortbread with lavender sugar dust, sugar cookies with almonds I roasted with honey and gardenia enfleurage (there are no words -- absolutely none -- that can express the joy that lives in gardenia honey almonds) and I will be doing this while drinking pu-erh from a big yellow mug, and chasing a two-year-old with serious sock issues.