Saturday, August 31, 2013

Selling Sucks

All right? Let's just be honest, hawking wares is a pain in the butt, especially when they're your own. Oh, yeah, it's a wee bit easier to get behind something you've made with your own two hands and artistic vision, but still, how do you not come off sounding like a fat-headed greedy monkey while doing it? I love my skin art (juicy skin products, perfumes, and, yes, tattoos) but that's no guarantee YOU will like them as well. My soaps are simple, and I stand behind their quality ~ extra virgin olive oil, organic when I can get it; organic virgin coconut oil (always), and copious amounts of precious essential oils, CO2 extractions, hand-distilled hydrosols, absolutes, extracts, infusions, and whole herbs and spices ~ this is good stuff (see the fat-headed monkey?) just as I stand behind my perfumes and organic skin and hair care products. They're top drawer even if the packaging can sometimes be a bit wonky, and the delivery time is iffy. Aren't artists supposed to be weird like this? Artists, yes. Business people? No. I guess I'm just not a very good at being a 'business people'. The only time I know my business is doing well is when I have more money to buy more stuff to make more delicious perfume and soap and incense and skin goodies. I don't have a regular product catalog. I don't keep much inventory. Nearly all my creations come from some inspired place and it's a mad scramble to complete, start to finish, before the inspiration fades. I don't have finesse in the art of selling, but set me before a palette of aromatics, bottles of gorgeous plant oils, a bag of organic sugar, some fish flakes, and some rose petals and bergamot peel, and I'm in the zone.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Super Expanding Cumin Dilution

I've been monitoring the 'growth' of the top note for the collab project very closely because of that pesky cumin, and as I had expected, it reached a point of critical somethingorother and took over -- just took the hell over -- it blasts super expanding gamma rays of cuminosity all over the damn place. So back to the drawing board or, er, um, to working the bench; added a little fruit accord, a bit more bergamot, a squeege of basil and voila! Not so much a cumin blast, yet still maintaining that dark crotchety element necessary to keep this on track with the brief. Now to send off another wee sample to the collaborator for approval (or no approval) and then -- then I guess I can put the rubber stamp on it or work on it a bit more. I did ferret out what that weird fruit/protein note I kept getting was ~ a combination of the basil and cumin plus a dash of citrus. It does funky good stuff.

On to the heart.

I'm thinking ylang-ylang, rose, clove, jasmine, orris, patchouli, sandalwood and coriander. Maybe even a bit of carnation and the merest hint (.5% dilution) of peppermint.  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


I cannot stop thinking about the radiation in the Pacific. It hurts me so much. I can't believe that we are 'there', that place, that terribly, terribly impossible place. Wars. Radiated oceans. Poverty. Rampant greed. Stupidity. Inhumanity. It's a bad sci-fi movie and we're living in it.

I'm going out to water the porch plants. I need to find a moment of peace.


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Sweet Twenty Minute Old Top Note Accord

Again with the top note accord for the collaboration project ~ it's sweet. Fruity and floral with a lovely spicy warmth underneath. I'm actually moving toward the 30 minute mark on longevity for this top note -- naturals tend to burn off top notes rather quickly, much quicker than traditional perfumery top notes. The longer this lingers, the more intensely fruity-floral-spicy it becomes. I've shipped off a sample to my collaborator to find out what she thinks. Awaiting quite impatiently, if you hadn't already noticed. If she's dissatisfied, I'm using this top note elsewhere as it is much too lovely to dismiss altogether.

It feels like fall is approaching, and quickly. It is unusual for August mornings here in the valley to be so cool, nearly cold, and for dew to be dropping, which it is. It actually feels more like early October rather than late August.

Remember a month or so back I had brought home kelp balls to dry to use as little containers for kyphi? Well, those little guys never dried, it never became hot enough here for a long enough period of time for them to dry, and in retrospect, I probably should have put them in the oven at 170 to dry them out. No, they didn't dry, instead they deflated, like forgotten Mylar balloons getting weak in the corner, except these little kelp balloons grew tiny spears of crusty sea salt. They looked like they had grown white beards and wrinkled into pancakes. So I tossed them in the garden as fertilizer. Back to the drawing board on that experiment.

The Natural Perfume Academy is gearing up for another six-month intensive perfumery course, and wrapping up the finals of the previous six-month course. It's always a super busy time for me. We're also in the process of putting together an advanced course for students wishing to fast track an apprenticeship style education, which should be available sometime in October.

Speaking of October ( didya like how I did that?), October 2013, the soap, is now available for purchase at The Scented Djinn Etsy Apothecary. Lovely soap.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Trial #2 ~ Collab Project

Now we're getting somewhere. Got the raw materials diluted and began the second set of trials on the head notes for the collaboration project, the cuminy one where I am utilizing the new fruit accord I built. It's interesting and I really dig it. Again, the cumin comes on strong in the wee seconds before drydown, then something marvelous happens -- the fruit accord and other materials begin to bloom and embrace the cumin turning it from abrasively sweaty crotch-like and overly seasoned enchiladas to -- to -- to something spectacularly masculine. It smells like protein and fruit. I don't know how else to describe it, like walking past the doors of a Jamba Juice ~ ha! On the scent strip it's got way more of the cumin than the rest of the materials shining through, but on the skin, ah, that's where it really does it's 'thing' -- effervescent, bright, tropical floral/fruity with just a hint of salty, sweaty skin.

I got the soap loaf cut and drying, the new one, October 2013, and it should be ready to wrap and label next week and then I'll post a few up on Etsy. These bars are really intensely scented. That little swirl of darker brown you see there is a bit of whole oil that I didn't whip into the soap -- basically, I took half the scent compound and poured it into the soap, stirred it in well, then poured the other half in and didn't stir, then poured the soap blend into the mold and walked away. So you get these ribbons of heavy scent throughout the soap. I don't swirl with color, I swirl with scent.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Dancing in the Moonlight

Okay, I admit, there wasn't any dancing in the moonlight at last night's Green Corn Moon potluck and prosperity gathering (a gathering of seven), but there was a delicious Med salad, cannelloni, beans, green beans, baked chicken, and lots of raw veggies. For the cakes and ale we served red velvet cupcakes and a sip of sweet red wine. I love going out to these smaller gatherings of gratefulness, even if our familiarity with one another leads more toward yammering about our lives than to ceremony. Full moon gatherings are great for recharging the old battery.

I'm still working on that top note for the collab project -- today the scent strip smells floral and sweet with just a shadow left of the piercing shaft of spice that is nutmeg. It's unbelievably lovely. This arrangement of materials is working nicely, now I must toy with the levels a bit to get it just right. Wish me luck.

I'm off to the J O B to W O R K. It's not difficult, just boring. Makes for a long day even if it is part-time.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Enough Already!

I briefly saw the title of an article the other day when I googled Facebook from work which stated that Facebook caused depression. Man, I believe it. I think a lot of people have certain expectations of their friends on Facebook, for example, an expectation to comment, like, or share what they've written or reposted from elsewhere. When that doesn't happen, they become disheartened. Then there are all the whingers. Every single post is a bitchfest. A confession. A revelation. Fluffy nothings. I've had it. Must refrain from sitting at work clicking back and forth between Facebook and transcribing truly horrendous honking of bitchfestitudal proportions. It's really not worth poring over posts on FB to find the rare gem of momentary enlightenment. 

Full Moon ~ Full Red Moon ~ Green Corn Moon ~ Blue Moon

I'm sitting here sniffing the back of my hand upon which I dropped two drops of the potential top notes for the collaboration perfume, a sweet combination of lemon, bergamot, 'fruit accord', basil, and cumin. The cumin came on strong, like all sweaty crotchity and whatnot, then as it dried down, it became more beautiful, cohesive, slightly suede. I love the dry down a lot. The opening is piercing, almost abrasive, if I can tone that down, I think this is something I can begin working with. 

Tonight is another full moon, and perhaps it is the moon that has spurred this uncommon rush of creativity. I feel the need to make. I went back yesterday and checked on the leftover edibles I had made for a project and discovered that the neroli mallows had become entirely solid -- no mallowness at all. So I went over the process and realized that that particular batch had crystalized in the pot and that I had to add a little bit of water back into it to remelt the sugar. Needless to say, I believe I accidentally discovered how to make honey comb candy. Next project!

Another project which keeps niggling is my bag-o-tiny-heads-into-eyeglass-chains project. I haven't been able to locate my bead working tools to begin, but then again, I've been pretty busy with other things that I haven't really looked for the tools. When I go a'diggin' for things, I come to realize what a monumental task moving all this stuff out of this house is going to be. I realize with dread how many perfume materials and perfume collectibles I possess, and to wipe away the dread, I foolishly bid on a half-full bottle of vintage 4711 on Ebay -- and win. Yet one more thing to move. Aaaahhh! The bottle is pretty cool looking though.

So a few more days and October 2013, the soap, will be ready to cut and package. It smells so flippin' great! One moment it's davan~y, the next it's frankincense with a swirling of vetyver, another time it smells of the warm and woody and creamy tones of Himalayan cedar. It's an amazing little chameleon of aroma. I triple dosed the scent in this batch rather than following the rules I laid down in my soapmaking book -- 10mls of whole perfume compound to 1 pound of soap base. This one is more like 2.5 ounces per pound. Yow.

Back to that top note accord for the collaboration perfume: on the skin it's warm and floral, sweet and slightly spicy; on the scent strip it's fruit and cumin. Interesting.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A New Week

Let us begin.

I've put Zinziba on sale at The Scented Djinn Etsy Apothecary. We're getting down to the last few bars and I want to clear them out for new stock.

The latest soap, October 2013, is gorgeous. I took a few days to formulate the scent and then let the arrangement marry a day before putting it together in the soap base. The scent is . . . transformative. Lovely and bold and evocative ~ frankincense, davana, vetyver, Himalayan cedar, nutmeg CO2, star anise, Siam wood, Tahitian vanilla CO2, and tolu balsam. It's so gorgeous (I already said that, didn't I?). I kept smelling its scent wafting from the butler's pantry through to my bedroom (the perfume studio) all during the night. The scent lulled me to sleep, despite the scurrying about of rats (insomniacs) in the building. I heard them shuffling and stomping but didn't fully awaken as I continued to drift. It was nice. Not so nice if someone were trying to break in, but a nice respite from the usual bolting upright in bed, heart thudding in my throat when one of the upstairs tenants decides to drop a boulder on their floor at 3AM, which they apparently feel the need to do often.

Work at W O R K is piling up a bit. I'm behind on transcriptions because I'm fumbling through what are now my new duties -- everything else the front office does. The skeleton crew is pretty much fossilized now, the edges turning to dust and slowly crumbling away. It makes me wonder what the future holds for this family business. I'm certain things will work out for them.

I don't know how much longer I can hold on here. I'm suffering short-timer's disease in a big, bad way. I must stick it out for the sake of others. Must.

Did a little sprucing in the studio over the weekend, found some 'lost' aromatics (that Tahitian vanilla CO2 for one), and an entire bucket full of frankincense resin. I wondered how it was that I misplaced a bucket except that while searching for it before I must have mistaken it for something else. I also threw out some bags of herbs -- an entire grocery sack of organic rosemary that I didn't process quickly enough, and two bags of rose geranium leaves. They still smell wonderful and might work in an incense, but there's more where that came from, and I need to downsize in order to get out of here. Don't be surprised, dear friends, if you receive a packet in the mail of some fragrant odd or end from the studio here.

I'm off.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Living Gratefully

I learned a long, long time ago that life and all its wondrous mysteries is a hot mess. There hasn't been a single decade in the history of mankind that someone wasn't wearing the equivalent of a cardboard sign draped over their shoulders warning the end is nigh. Not one. And where are we now? Well, we're still here, the world is crap, capitalists keep on taking, polluters keep paying bribes, liars continue to lie, and revolutions sprout up in the oddest of places -- but we're still here. I won't contemplate for how long because nobody knows. But here we are, so we might as well make it grand, and stop the incessant bitching while sitting on our thumbs. As my mama says, 'Shit or get off the pot!'

I'm gettin' off the pot.

For now.

Simple things cheer me. A squeaky phrase from a dozy baby's mouth, "Nammy, I love you", or a single sprouting lily in a long dormant plant, the scent of a well-used kitchen ~ sugar dust, grapefruit peel, pancakes with maple syrup ~ a great book that pulls you in and refuses to let go, feta cheese with shriveled Greek olives and hot salami for breakfast, a decent perfume review, Ana's soap gallery, a clean bathtub, mocking birds mocking the neighbor's mischievous cat.

Sometimes it's hard for me to see these things when I get distracted by 'the world'.

My normal routine has become to work in the studio in the mornings after I finish plodding through emails and orders and finally Facebook. It's at Facebook that the roller coaster ride begins. Depending on how it's left me feeling, I either go into the studio and really put my nose to the grindstone, or I tinker. Tinkering usually means someone's 'news' has left me down. But I have to admit that I've got the beginnings of a great anti-Facebook pelt growing -- some things manage to get to me, some things don't. Like that review. Ugh. Calling one of my creations an herbal 'thing'? It came off dismissive. The fact that I'm writing about it means it bothered me a little, but I must admit, not much. I didn't think about it all through the night wondering what I could have done to make this particular reviewer like it (me), I didn't dream about it, seeing my entire perfumery career come crashing down on me because of this one little review -- in fact, I didn't even think about it after I read it yesterday until this morning when I got on -- you know -- Facebook, where I saw it again, and my immediate thought was 'dismissive'. So I did too. Sort of. Not entirely because I'm writing about it. Okay. Now it's dismissed.

This is the second year in a million years that I've not had to deal with the back to school rush. I have no one rushing off to school! My 'baby', who will be 18 in September, is living with is father and he gets to deal with the picky-about-clothes and just the right notebook and stacks of forms and -- geesh. I really don't think I could do it again. It's all so fresh in my mind, those forms and buying all those clothes and school supplies and -- well, if you're doing it, I feel for you. Truly. You have my sympathy. Completely.

Now that the edibles I've been working on for the past week have finally been finished and packed, I can move on to something else. Soap perhaps. I'm home alone this weekend so maybe I can get something done. Work on that perfume again -- I have the musk accord finished up, and just completed the final touches on the 'fruit accord' I built for it, now I'm getting ready to actually put the whole perfume together. This is where things tend to get a little hairy. Sticking to the theme. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants type of person, so sticking to a theme, well, that's a struggle for me sometimes. Wish me luck. I'm off to the studio to work (not tinker).

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

The Morning News

I finally slept a full night's sleep, not the restless flopping from edge to edge in the bed, trying to find a better position, trying to wake up a dead limb, or bolting up from an unrepeated bump in the night, or worse, a worry turned nightmare. No. Last night was peaceful and quiet and I actually slept until the alarm went off, despite the fact that I'd left my window open all night, an invitation to the zombies to creep in and wreak havoc. That's okay. I have a machete for that. Teddy Machete. We cuddle every night. Wow, that sounds creepy!

I have been working on a foodie project the past few days and I'm a little behind in delivery. I tried to get all fancy pants and ended up just botching the whole mess and had to begin again from scratch. Tonight I will attempt to finish off the project and then the goods will be shipped priority on Thursday (fingers, toes, and whathaveyou crossed). The problem, it appears, is timing. There is a specific amount of time required before the next step can be done, but if too much time is spent in a later phase, it causes settling and then it's a pain and sometimes impossible to finish without mutilating the end result.Cryptic, isn't it? I finally found my groove, though, after deciding to smoke out the house with Nathaniel's 'Classical Kyphi' and playing Cole Fonseca's Lazarus really loud on the boom box. They still call 'em boom boxes, don't they? Hi fi? Stereo? Gramophone? Whatever. It seems to have worked the kinks out of the process.

Anyway, I've been thinking about my friend T for a while now. Haven't spoken to her in months and I feel bad about that. I miss her voice. The problem is that I have been holding back on her, vital (in my life) information that I feel she wouldn't approve of, and I do so honor her opinion. I feel like I've grown away from who I was a few years ago and I'm not so afraid to let the 'secret' out; I'm ready to come clean and let the chips fall where they may. It can't be any worse than this avoidance.

I am moving in October to Atascadero. That is if the kid who's living with me gets her crap in one basket and finds a place to live here in Fresno by then. That's the plan. Subject to change. As usual. I've struggled here in Fresno long enough, long enough to realize that the business I'm in will never make me the living I've worked so hard for these past 16 or so years if I stay here. Fresno is an odd city, host to over half a million residents, the 5th largest city in California, 34th in the nation, yet it feels like there is no one here. Except those zombies, of course. No one here who has even the slightest idea what a natural perfume is, what kyphi is, the joys of perfumery, none of it. Apathy is rampant. However, having said that, I'm quite certain that once I get going on the central coast, setting up classes and perhaps, eventually, setting up shop, people from Fresno will travel to the coast to attend classes and shop in the shop. I feel hopeful that becoming a destination instead of a place to escape from will be a refreshing change from what I've been dealing with thus far. Even this past weekend while in SLO I spoke to a young lady in a soap shop who was encouraging and said, "Oh, you'll do really well over here."  Well, one hopes. If not, there's always the pokey-ass internet shop.

Speaking of the pokey-ass internet shop, I have a new soap up on The Scented Djinn Etsy Apothecary, Sylvan Dreams, a recycled name but not a recycled soap. It's the balsam fir number I wrote about previously. It's really nice. I gave a few bars to my son a week or so ago and when I went to visit him he had a bar in the shower that I used -- I was impressed by my own work, will wonders never cease? I actually thought it was someone else's soap! I kept looking at it, rolling it over and over in my hand, smelling how intense and gorgeous the scent was, thinking, "Did I make this?" Turns out I did.

Monday, August 05, 2013

From the Sea

Well, I made it! Back from the coast in one piece, and unfortunately carrying along with me on the train in my carry-on a few small strands of bullwhip kelp. Turns out the relatives didn't want to have stinky drying kelp balls at their place. So there they are, the lovely kelp balls oozing slimey kelpy sea water and kelp juices -- I will have to move them out to the sun later so they get real and truly dried. Otherwise I'll just have rotting kelp balls sitting about.
Also during my weekend getaway I took a long motorcycle ride down to Solvang, California. Very touristy, very amusement park-like even though it's an actual town -- sort of. I didn't get any pictures. Maybe next time. We went down with a former resident of Solvang who now lives in the central coast area, and who still has family living down in Solvang. Apparently our riding partner's family owns a restaurant on Copenhagen Drive, the Red Viking, whose specialty is aebleskivers, a traditional Danish round pancake ball thing that you dip in raspberry sauce. If you like pancakes, and I do, aebleskivers will hit the spot. Solvang looks like the main thoroughfare at Disneyland, sans Mickey and gang. Daub and wattle replica buildings line the streets, and the shops are filled with art and clothing and jewelery and a lot of other types of stuff that you really don't need -- a basic tourist town. So we rode on down the road to Chumash, the casino, lost a few bucks and ate at the world's third worst buffet. The buffet refunded us $5 of our meal to apply to gambling, but instead of cashing in, we turned our $5 over to a couple waiting in line to get their club card so they could have the extra dough to lose. When we went to gas up across the street from the casino at the casino gas station, a couple on a motorcycle approached us and asked if we'd like some free gas -- well, heck yeah! They had won $40 in free gas at the casino, but since they were riding a motorcycle, they wouldn't be able to redeem the entire amount of the gas card, valid only at the casino gas station, because they were tourists from Thousand Oaks and were heading home. So we filled up with gas and still had about $10 left on the card, so we passed it along to the next person in line. In the end, we came out a little bit ahead on this trip. Free brunch of aebleskivers, free gas. Not too bad.

In San Luis Obispo I visited my son's friend's grandmother's soap shop, Heart's Desire Soap Co., where I found -- well, soap, of course. Nice soap. The shop was big and airy and had lots and lots of room for TEACHING :) You know what I'm thinking, right? Yeah. Classes. Workshops. We'll see if I can convince the owner to loan me her space for an hour or two every few weeks.

Okay. That's the weekend rundown. Oh, and I got a sunburn on the end of my nose. And yes, when I returned home, it was turned upside down. In fact, I got to thinking that I'm really not liking this 'roommate' situation with my kid. There was a bra lying on the floor in the middle of the foyer when I walked in, and I said, 'Whose bra is this?' To which the 'kid' replied, 'Why you wanna know? You writin' a book?' To which I replied, 'Yes, as a matter of fact I am, but if I weren't, I'd still want to know where this bra, that I've never seen before, the bra lying on the middle of the floor in the foyer of MY house -- where this bra came from!' To which the 'kid' replied ~ nothing. I got an eye roll. When does that stop? The eye roll thing? Ever? Because I'm pretty much done with it.

Friday, August 02, 2013

To the Sea

I'm on a train to the coast this weekend for a bit of R & R from the heat and stagnation that is my hometown. I just hope I don't come home to a flipped upside down house! It happens when leaving youngsters to hold down the fort.

I keep thinking about kelp. Kelp horns, kelp lampshades, kelp lamps, kelp table legs, kelp -- well, you understand what I'm trying to say here. 4th of July I was in Cayucos for the parade and there was an entire band of kelp horn players, and it didn't sound half bad. It got me thinking about other things dried kelp could be used for. Primitive art vessels for kyphi? Wild snaky alien-like light fixtures? I can't carry the wet kelp back with me on the train, but I can leave them with relatives there and hope some animal doesn't drag off my 'art' before I return.

The musk accord was tweaked a bit after yesterday's update. Like I said, it didn't feel furry enough, not animalic enough, and I played around a bit until I felt I'd hit the right combination to bring that element to the fore. I even considered adding a teensy bit of butter CO2 but decided at the last minute not to. I may go back and draw up some of the musk accord and test the butter CO2 in a smaller trial. I'm like a dog with a bone when I get one of these trial thoughts in my head -- they niggle and niggle until I have to do something about them. 

Come Monday, I'm back at the culinary bench, formulating a few luscious aromatic treats, which unfortunately I can't tell you more about because it's kind of a secret. I will tell you about the experiments in a couple of weeks. Promise.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Tell Me About It

The hardest part of an artisan perfumer's work, well, besides all of it, is expressing exactly how a finished composition or particular accord smells. There are so many variables here that it's almost impossible to share an image of perfume without actually smelling the perfume, then it's a matter of comparing notes (no pun intended). I am as guilty as the next artisan perfumer when I describe a composition I have created by saying it is made with cepes, patchouli, jasmine and costus -- what exactly does that tell you? It's almost like a paint artist saying, yes, I painted a gorgeous landscape today, it is brown with green bits and a swatch of blue.

The musk accord I am building is good. Tenacious, which is necessary in building an all natural. It's not quite musky enough for me, so I may be returning to the bench to flesh it out -- or, rather, fur it out. Now, here is where some creative scent description comes into play. You know this is a musk I'm talking about, so you probably have some preconceived notion of what a musk smells like; furry, slightly fecal, doggy breath-like, maybe seaweedy and warm and musty and living. This musk accord I'm currently composing has some of those elements, more of the musty and less of the fur, which I'd dearly love to get in there, and due to the wonders of chemistry, which for the most part elude me, this accord smells a bit like tobacco and angelica root. There is a breathy airiness to it, something of the ether, and the sweet coumarin tones of a tobacconists humidor. There are lots of vanilla notes as well, though nary a drop of vanilla in the composition. However, the longer I smell the strip, the more furry smelling it becomes, so maybe it's a matter of truly getting to know the accord. That sounds an awful lot like work, and who wants to work at smelling a note? Then again, this is a young accord, so time will tell whether it will expand in that regard -- the furry regard. And so to paint the picture of this accord, I will say it inspires images of a well-cared for shaggy dog, let's say a golden retriever, hiding under an old tarnished brass bed with rusted squeaky springs and blanketed by a patchwork quilt, happily chewing on a meatless bone, his bum end sticking out from under the bed, tail thumping joyously on a faded spiral rag rug. I'm thinking there isn't enough wild animal in this musk accord ~ yet. Perhaps I'll give the retriever rabies.

The more I work in the studio, the more solitary the work feels. I love collaborations, so for this long-distance collaboration, I try to imagine that my cohort in scent is standing or sitting next to me, guiding me a little here, making suggestions there, but the process of pretending brings to the fore how very much I would love to teach in person on a regular basis, find an apprentice, someone who is as passionate and geeked out by perfumery as I am.

I am less and less concerned these days with the retail end of my work, less worried about creating a 'masterpiece' because getting to that level of expertise still feels a long way off, despite a few stellar accomplishments. It is the process I love, the way this element works in a composition, the way that one changes the game, and learning that just because an element is rare and exotic doesn't mean it will translate those attributes into a final composition. It's the hand of the perfumer that creates the masterpiece, not the materials necessarily (because anybody can easily botch up a composition containing expensive and exquisite materials). So I trudge on, alone, waiting for the day when I sit elbow to elbow with a real, live collaborator.


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