Monday, June 29, 2015

On Reviews and Writing

I haven't had a review of my work in a few years, but one is currently in the works and I'm a little bit nervous about it. I've read the review and it is, in a word, stunning. In another word, it's humbling. The reviewer captured exactly how I feel about natural perfumery but never had the words to express. Me, a writer-perfumer, without words.

I'm rewriting the entire book. I've been contemplating it for some time and have now made the decision to write it more in my voice rather than in a text book-like way. As much information as I've got in it thus far, I still feel very detached from the work, and that's not how a writer should feel about a work in progress. Same goes for a perfumer -- if a perfumer isn't feeling the work, then the end result probably isn't going to be a good one. I just have to be who I am and duck when the stings and barbs come flying my way.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Problem With Making Lots of Experimental Product Is . . .

. . . you sometimes end up with this:

1250 mls of thick, goopy liquid soap and no containers to put it in. I'm thinking of adding some borax and baking soda and making it a stain lifting thing for laundry.

I did use some of it (the container was once full to the top) for laundry and it worked very well. It isn't suitable for dishes because when I add it to water, it instantly clouds up and when it finds greasy stuff, it curdles and further fudges the dish water. Plus it wasn't cleaning the dishes well without direct application. What I've got here isn't suitable for shower soap yet as my goal is to get it clear, which means somewhere along the line, probably in the weighing of the raw materials, I messed up. But I want to get rid of this first before I challenge myself to another batch -- I'm running out of large containers to hold all this soap! I'm only making 1 lb test batches and this is what they grow to. I will master this someday. Promise. Then there will be beautiful soft, bubbly, liquid soap from The Scented Djinn in sweet little bottles at the Etsy shop.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Belated Father's Day Mumblings

Father's Day came two weeks after learning about my heritage from an autosomal DNA test, so my dad was already on my mind. I wondered how surprised he'd been to learn (upon his demise) that he was in fact not as Native American as he was led to believe. This is what happens with broken families, sketchy record keeping, and oral family folklore. I was surprised to learn the truth of my heritage for more reasons than the 1% Native American. I also learned that I was 1% North African, 2% Eastern European, 5% Italian or Greek (?), 9% Iberian, 12% English, 14% Western European, 27% Scandinavian, and 29% Irish. I mean, duh on the Irish, I kind of knew that being that I'm fair-skinned, freckled, a red-head, and my maternal grandmother was first generation Irish American, but wow on the rest, right? It's interesting learning about your roots, but also a little disheartening. A part of me is mourning losing my Native American identity, but another part was kind of relieved because it never felt 'real' to me anyway. Like wearing someone else's dress and going to their church. I felt like a fraud, and now I know why. What that 1% says is that one of my four times great grandsomeone was Native American. That's my great-great-great-great grandsomeone. That's a someone who lived roughly around 1700, give or take 25 years. In my mind, 1700 wasn't that long ago. History is alive for me, and it always has been. I don't see it as some old shit that happened a long time ago.

Anyway. I didn't really celebrate Father's Day this year. I didn't post a photo of my da on FB or say Happy Father's Day to my husband. I did give the husband a polished rock that had the word 'joy' inscribed on it because, well, everyone needs a rock with the word 'joy' inscribed on it, especially when they forget the joy on the daily and focus all their attention on the shit.

That's twice I've used that word here and spelled it out instead of replacing the 'i' with an asterisk. Progress.

Over and out.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


My official stance is that the perfumes I create are art, as in, one off work never again to be repeated. I've never actually stated this before, but it is the driving force behind why I rarely, if ever, make second batches of perfumes, despite their popularity. To recreate a natural perfume over and over again is the ultimate definition of boring, plus, one can never truly capture the elegance and refinement and perfection of that first batch. It just cannot be done. What is made is a close approximation, like an oil painting reproduction of a fabulous original -- the copies lose the shimmer of the original, however deft the painter. If a natural perfumer were to continue to recreate a batch year after year, using the same raw materials but different suppliers of those materials, different LOT numbers, different years of distillation or what have you, what you've really got is a reformulation.


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