Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Oh, Bots

Every so often I notice the number of views for this blog increases dramatically. This happens about three or four times a year and it's always about bots. They're not real people but programs that jack up the number of views on a site for a variety of nefarious reasons. I used to name them when I first noticed they were hopping onto this blog, and then inevitably there would be another surge of views from the bots I'd name, so I stopped naming them. Now they're just generic bots, bothersome and sometimes malicious if one decides to follow the link to the source, meant to excite the blogger into thinking they've somehow opened a magical miracle doorway in an international forum and have hundreds of new readers. It ain't so.

I've been attempting to evaluate student submissions this week, as well as evaluating a few things perfumery peers have sent, but it's been slow going with the advent of spring, the wind, and the dreaded blooming olive trees. My eyes are itchy and swollen, my nose has had nearly all the outer layers of skin wiped off with rough tissues, and my sinuses are swollen and sensitive. I've been drinking local honey by the tubs, pushing fluids like hot green tea, irrigating as best as I can, but I think I'm just going to have to ride this one out. At least I haven't faced the miserable sinus headache . . . yet. Taking it one day at a time.

I've been reading a lot -- again. Guerilla Marketing, which is somewhat dated, is the latest read through. Also working on Stirring the Senses by Beth Schreibman Gehring. Uplifting and joyful, that book, and completely corresponds to my way of thinking 'small is best', 'simple is elegant', and grateful for even the most mundane of blessings (if blessings can be mundane). I'm also plodding along through the book 'Plant Resins' by Langenheim. Boy, what a book! It's so big you could probably see it from space. I kid. I'm just getting into it and don't have much to say other than I'll be working on that one a while. I just finished up 'The Secret of Scent' by Luca Turin -- for the third time. I learn something new every time I read it, a light goes on in my slow sluggish brain and I 'get' what he's talking about. Scent chemistry eludes me but I feel it is important to have some basic understanding of how it works to become a better perfumer. I'm a visual learning, however, all those hexagons (or whatever they are) with tails and straggly wild hairs sticking off of them are too abstract for me to understand, so I think of these scent chemicals in color blocks. It just makes it simpler for me to grasp. And impossible to explain ~ ha!

I've been trying to come up with ways to teach more classes online and I'm stumped. I am throwing the idea around of doing a series of videos (I know, you've heard that one before) to add to the Natural Perfume Academy's courses, and perhaps even a private course with video for people who are interested in a more one-on-one experience. I've thought about teaching a perfume oil class at the tea shop, but I just can't seem to get my arse in gear to do it. I've been busy with writing the new book and teaching the new course and putting products together and taking care of people and plants, and the weird thing is that for all of this stuff that I do, I still feel idle! Like I'm sitting here devoid of ideas and inspiration, poking about in the 'studio' and fiddling with the book writing and passing the time on Facebook becoming neurotic. That's what it feels like, that's not what I'm actually doing. I've got over 20,000 words on the new book (the old book is 45,000 words including indexes and contents information, bibliography and sources) and I'm no where near done. I feel I am writing a perfumer's opus here. I may need to get some professional help, or at the very least, a perfumer *slash* editor type to help me sort the whole thing out before it goes to publication.

I'm also revisiting the idea of writing some fiction again. Way before perfumery came into my life, my dream was to become a writer. I am a writer but my commercial success lies firmly upon the shoulders of non-fiction writing, instructional writing, which I love, but doesn't fulfill me emotionally the way spinning a yarn does. My hope is to one day use all this perfumery knowledge to write a series of fiction stories. I'm partial to mystery and horror. We'll see where it goes.

My little granddaughter and I spent last Thursday night, the Eve of May, forming wee cones of incense as my paste wasn't cooperating enough to roll onto sticks. She began calling the cones 'witch's hats' and it's stuck. We made about 100 witch's hats, seven or so were rolled by her sweet little hands as she attempted at one point to make voodoo doll-style incense people and became distracted with the task at hand. That was a bit of a light bulb moment as well -- voodoo doll-style wee incense people is a good idea.We can search out bitty gingerbread man cookie cutters and make some fun out of incense.


  1. Anonymous1:56 PM

    Hi Justine,

    Confirming that I'm not a bot, honest!

    The incense doll figures seem too charming to burn, but it is lovely to see that you have an inspiring little helper assisting with your work.

    Good luck, especially with your writing aims and dreams.

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

    1. Hi Anna! She's a great helper and loves to do creative stuff.

      Thank you!



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