Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Day Off

I took a day off from the chemistry studies and the research and the writing and the work to go to the farmer's market in Los Osos (by the sea), and discovered a person there selling these:

D'you know what they are? Tuberoses. Stems and stems of tuberoses just stinking up the place. There are two local nurseries who grow tuberoses and sell them until mid-October when the season ends. I had no idea. That picture up there depicts the midnight enfleurage I started moments before dragging my weary bum up to bed. I've never 'done' tuberoses before because they just don't grow in the sweltering heat of my hometown, ye olde Fresno-On-The-Hell-Hole. It's so different here on the coast. What I've discovered about the farmer's markets around here is that in the spring, around March and April, a wee lady brings the branches of blooming lilacs to the San Luis Obispo Thursday evening farmer's market, and in mid summer through the fall, we get these beautiful lush tuberoses to work with. It's amazing moving from a place where finding a bergamot orange is impossible (even though several farms in the area grow them) to coming here where exotic baubles and bibs of natural gorgeousness are sold weekly, some coming from my old hometown! I asked one of the valley growers why they don't sell bergamot or other exotic produce at the farmer's markets in Fresno and she said it was because there wasn't a big market for some of the more exotic things there, but there is a market for them here. Go figure.

The studio smells like an expensive perfume with this vase full of yet-to-bloom tuberoses awaiting their turn in the grease spa. Tuberoses are a beautiful evocative scent -- kind of a weird mixture of honeysuckle, cananga, wintergreen, waxy orange blossom, and bitter almonds. I remember my first experience with tuberose absolute being extremely unpleasant as the extraction was of a very poor grade and upon dilution the tuberose 1% smelled like boiled beef weiner water. My first real experience came from White Lotus Aromatics, and it's where I absolutely fell in love with tuberose after being so solidly turned off by it before. These stems of blossoms smell exactly like the tuberose from White Lotus. Astounding.

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