Friday, April 18, 2014

Honeysuckle Enfleurage, Rose Floral Wax (mebbe), Jasmine Sambac Concrete, and Frankincense Absolute in Alcohol

Nice title, huh? Spells things out pretty clearly, doesn't it? The only thing I didn't list in the title was the 'stuff', and here it comes:

So much is going through my mind as I prepare for the start of a new online perfumery course, trepidation and insecurity reign during this time. I pray that a good group of talkative students arrive instead of students more like me, on the fringes, in the background, never speaking, never asking questions, but still plugging along learning, learning, learning, until near the end of the course, then these people begin to talk about how much they've learned and how happy they are to have taken the course. I like both kinds of students, the engaging and the not, but the engaging give me something akin to instant gratification when I see they're prompt in delivering assignments, post comments, and generally work the room. I have to wait for those others, the ones more like me, to find out their time was well spent. I often wonder sometimes if there are still saboteurs amongst us who talk crap about what we do at The Perfume Academy. I know it sounds paranoid, but there has been evidence to that truth, none I will go into here because -- well, because I believe in moving forward, not standing still stagnating or revisiting the past, and I never go looking for the 'evidence', it presents itself, just as the antagonists have designed it to do. You can't get anything worthwhile done if you get caught up in the quagmire of someone else's issues. A momentary flash of "Oh, f*ck! What now?" And then move on.

I went to the optometrist yesterday, the first time I've seen any kind of health care professional in at least 10 years (possibly 12), to have my eyeglass prescription renewed and get a new pair of glasses. Since visiting a health care professional isn't something I do often (ever), I thought long and hard about it, what kind of frames I wanted, what I was willing to spend on the frames, et cetera. So by the time I got there, it was a quick in and out deal, much to the glee of my new optometrist. His assistant, we'll call him The Frame Man, asked me to the back to pick out frames to try on -- 10 seconds later, I was holding in my hand the frames I wanted. After what I imagine was a fairly routine exam (and no pupil dilating drops! Yay!) Mr. Optometrist says, "Well, everything looks good. Your left eye is exactly the same as it was judging by your current eyeglass prescription, but the right is a little off, so we're fixing that. And I must say, you have beautiful skin! Absolutely flawless." Huh? Though I appreciate the compliment, and I do, believe me, it's this level of intimacy that freaks me out with health care folks. I mean, they're looking at parts of your body, and sometimes really closely, that even you don't get to see. That kind'a weirds me out a bit. I realize it's their job to examine and help when a person's ill, and I'm happy they're there for emergencies, but -- well, if we're not going on a date later on, I really don't want you peering down my gullet or looking up my you-know-what. Not that the optometrist was doing either of those things!

On to the meat and potatoes, as they say. I've begun a honeysuckle enfleurage using organic unrefined coconut oil and, of course, freshly picked honeysuckle. I'm doing the inverted thing because I don't want any pollen or picky things in my enfleurage. Basically I've chilled some oil at the bottom of a casserole dish and lowered it over the top of the honeysuckle flowers so that they don't touch. I'm catching headspace, man. I've got 30 feet of just beginning to bloom honeysuckle, so I should get a pretty decent enfleurage out of it. I hope it's better than the evulsion of honeysuckle I made a few years ago. Weak sauce, that. Anyway, it's just day one on the enfleurage. This could take a while.

 Jasmine Sambac concrete, WLA, unknown date, oh, my heavens, what a gorgeous scent this is! Okay, when you open the tin and take a sniff, it sets you back a little. There's a weird tart note that comes screeching out, like the flesh near the pit of an unripe peach, and it comes off more as a flavor than a scent. Told you it was weird. Then there is the typical sweet, heady, intoxicating floral we're all used to -- only better. First, I have to tell you that the consistency of this is like dried jelly, kind of slippery and only very slightly waxy.

I rubbed a bit of it on the back of my right hand last night and found myself holding it near my nose for the remainder of the evening, even settling to bed with my hand lying next to my nose on the pillow. It's intoxicating and so sweet, unbelievably sweet. It lacks the bold, round, decadent, indolic lushness of jasmine grandiflorum, instead going straight for the heady sweet spot. No poopy notes here at all. I would almost call this girlie, overtly feminine and innocent, but there's something in it that makes it impossible to relegate to virginal innocence -- something wickedly narcotic. I don't consider myself much of a jasmine fan. Imagine how surprised I was to learn that perhaps I have a strong passion for the stuff today? I get it! Finally. The light went on with this stuff. Sweet, soft, powdery, heady floral, notes of orange blossom, hints of ylang-ylang, peach skin, tart fruitiness, that's this jasmine sambac in a nutshell.

This is a frankincense absolute from Robertet that's been slightly diluted with alcohol -- perhaps less than 10% of the total in this bottle is alcohol, to thin it out because it's like frozen syrup! This frankincense is floral. Yep. Floral and resinous with hints of lemon and honey. This isn't a bright sparkly frankincense, as the oil tends to be, but a warm, sweetly rounded, expansive and heady frankincense. This is perfume worthy stuff.

Rose floral wax, Bulgarian, WLA, looks more concrete-y than waxy, but smells like a wax. Actually, it smells like pink lotus, so I'm thinking this is a misprinted container. Upon further examination, yep, this is pink lotus concrete. The usual, watery, slightly muddy, powdery, warm, earthy, hint of mint, and leather, and waxy florals. As it dries off it begins to exhibit more floralness, more of the muddy water aspects arise. It's quite nice.


  1. So much fun to read your thoughts on this amazing stuff! What's more fun!!!!!!XOXO~Laurie

    1. It's great fun. And there's more where that came from, as you know :) xo

  2. Anonymous4:56 AM

    OK, so I'm not a troll (or at least I don't thin so) but your ol' Swedish girlfriend.
    Must say I'm impressed that you make your own enfluorage!! Of the three lotuses I have I love the blue one the most, such a watery scent.
    Went into my studio for the first time ever and put some very old patchouli on my wrist and almost swooned :) Happy Easter dear!

    1. Oh, no, you're no troll! This is my first shot at making honeysuckle enfleurage. I've made a really super delicious gardenia enfleurage in the past. I'm hoping this honeysuckle turns out half as good as that gardenia did. My favorite is the blue as well, but it is becoming difficult to obtain and quite expensive. I have pink lotus products (absolute, wax, and concrete) coming out my ears!

      Ah, old patchouli. Can't go wrong with that.

      Happy Easter to you too! xoxo



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