Last Saturday my 20-year-old daughter's roommate committed suicide inside their shared apartment. It takes me a while to digest these things, and I wouldn't have mentioned it at all, but then early Thursday morning, an acquaintance of my youngest son committed 'suicide by cop', and now I cannot get these deaths out of my head. I dream about them, how both could have been prevented, but more importantly, how damned scary it is for our kids out there. It's nightmare worthy, and that's all I am capable of saying on the subject.
Can we talk about this stuff?
Weird, huh? If you're familiar with valerian, you're probably wrinkling your nose right about now. Valerian is the stuff that smells like dirty (and I mean rank) feet. I remember once going to the new age store to buy some verbena and the girl behind the counter nearly cried because she thought I was going to make her open the jar of valerian! It was pretty comical to see the relief wash over her face when I said, "No! Not that smelly stuff! The verbena -- verbena." Valerian is used frequently in cases of anxiety and sleeplessness, whether in tea form or in gel capsules. There was a time in my life when I used it quite frequently to alleviate the symptoms of panic attacks. It worked, but I had to hold my nose when raising those capsules to my mouth. Okay, now for this stuff; this stuff ain't like that stuff. Yeah, well, there is a pinch of that rankness in there, but there's so much more that it outweighs the stink by far. In my book, I write about sacrificial perfume materials, things we use to help bolster similar but perhaps more expensive or short-lived materials, like a wee tad of lemongrass to help a nice lemon juice essential oil along, or a pin head sized drop of tonka to hold up a lavender note -- stuff like that. In the book I use valerian as a sacrificial for oudh because there are a lot of similarities between valerian and oudh. Both have a slightly rank scent, both are dark and bold smelling, both dry down to sweetness, however, the valerian opens with that rankness much more loudly than does oudh, but it is brief. This particular tin of valerian extract would do so much more for an oudh-based fragrance than any other valerian I've experienced. This valerian is so sweet, like a smooth blonde tobacco absolute, with fruity notes of linden blossom absolute, and the green darkness of an aged helichrysum, and there are rich, sweet oudh notes as well. It's really quite remarkable. I'm not really into oudh-y perfumes, but I do see a future for this valerian extract in my chon based perfume.
My face is slightly puffy and itchy today. It began yesterday about the time I was working with aromatics bare handed. Safety first, motherfu -- oh, you know.