Saturday, August 22, 2015

Ghosts in the Juice

I was on a roll yesterday with the writing. I started early and before the usual computer routine of checking emails, checking money generating websites (mine), then hopping onto FB and basically wasting time while pretending to 'catch up' with what everyone else is doing; I got up, poured myself a cup of tea, sat down, opened the book document and began writing -- and writing and writing, and by 1 AM this morning I stopped writing and editing (bad habit, can't help but clean up as I go) and went to bed. I did pop into FB a time or two, stopped to make meals for the fam, drove someone to school and dropped off a forgotten thingamabob for somebody, but in the interim I was writing. A lot. And good stuff, too. I'm working on the chemistry of essential oils and now that I actually have some chemistry (very little) under my belt, I can confidently relay the information. All the work I'm doing in the book has inspired the perfuming as well -- Durraq is still a peach perfume, but with many more nuances and a sensuality that was missing. Drop by drop, the creation is becoming live. During one of the book writing breaks, I pulled out a couple of treasure boxes and began evaluating the current juice with eval materials to find which would work well, and I found several fascinating choices, about a half dozen are going to be added to the work to get it where I want it. My previous statement about having this ready by the end of September may not actually happen. I'm thinking closer to the end of October, maybe even the end of the year.

Here is a snippet from the book to give you a taste of what's to come:

"Working with natural raw materials can be a moving and deeply spiritual experience for a natural perfumer, however, the raw materials – the essential oils specifically – do not embody ‘plant spirits’ as many in the business have claimed. Essential oils are functional components of the plant (insect repellent, bee attracting), and waste materials of the plant – the poo, as it were – and it is inappropriate and downright silly to give them a designation of divinity. With the dubious exception of cold-pressed oils, essential oils, absolutes, concretes and CO2 extractions are the end result of applying heat, cold, solvents, or cold and intense pressure to a plant, squeezing out any possibility of a ‘life force’ residing in them. It would be the same as if we stated that the collard greens we cooked for 45 minutes possessed a ‘life force’. However wonderful the essential oils make us feel, there are no wee plant ghosts, spirits, or natural forces hovering in and around our natural perfume compositions."

*UPDATE! I have since rewritten the above ^^ in the book to something more palatable for both myself and others who DO see magic in the essential oils. Magic, not life.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


The writing is becoming a little easier. I heard back from one of my good friends, a mentor and alchemist, about putting forth the weird little circle thing with all the bleed over, and was reassured that I'm on the right track, that the work is genuine and useful. That's really all I was concerned about. I'm not trying to re-write anything here; it's all the same stuff, just a different way of looking at it. And it doesn't surprise me that in my mind's eye the construction of natural perfume is a series of circles -- everything I 'see' in my mind's eye is circles -- years, for example, in my mind are circles. When I was four I drew out a 'year' in crayon for my mother and she thought -- well, I'm not sure what exactly, but I think she was a little surprised and maybe a bit confounded. On my little year graph, I had made each season its own color, and each month as well, like a splendiferous rainbow pie. My spelling was poor as I had just learned to read and wasn't familiar with writing -- everything was phonetic. I think perhaps that's when my 'genius' peaked as I wasn't a particularly good student in school. I remember in first grade being publicly shamed by my teacher for not having an answer to a math question because I was daydreaming and had colored every one of my fingernails with a pencil. Math was a bore and that teacher, in my very vivid imagination, was a witch -- short pin curled black hair, white powdered skin, and bright red lips on a pruney face. She was a mean one, that lady, and she more than lived up to my imagination. I had a rather traumatic and colorful childhood, both at home and in school. Oh, the yarns of self-humiliation I could spin for you.

The point is, I'm going to continue doing what I'm doing in the new book -- continue with my POV and toss the 'right' way of doing it because honestly, my best work ever was done completely the 'wrong' way. Experimentation is my middle name! Not really.

We all, over time, develop our own way of formulating natural perfume, despite all the books and courses we may take, and so long as the end result is a lovely (and marketable) perfume, then the work was done correctly. Now I feel like I'm over explaining . . .

Monday, August 17, 2015

Save the Date!

September 19, 2015 from 1PM to 4PM ~ learn the ancient Egyptian art of Kyphi making at the Kyphi Workshop hosted by Seasons of Spirit (Shannon Wing) in Sanger, CA. Details below:

Cost: $45


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