Thursday, October 22, 2015
Hand Rolled Incense on the Menu
I'm going to be all alone this coming weekend. Everyone has plans to be off somewhere and I don't, so the house is mine! I'm working on a new incense formulation with Hawaiian santal wood, a gorgeous Somali myrrh and Omani frankincense -- the good stuff -- and I'm toying with the idea of adding some of this honey powder I've been hoarding as a binder. I'm also debating whether to roll the incense paste into long sticks sans the bamboo, or roll it onto the bamboo. Decisions, decisions. And there's soap on the menu as well. That hops and artemisia formulation has been stewing for a few days and is almost ready to go in the pot. There's also the writing, which has suddenly taken on a life of its own. The chapters I've been putting off writing have awoken and are very nearly writing themselves! Most of the time I think of myself as an amateur in this 'fume gig, and I am, actually -- no formal training and nearly all avenues of education leading to closed doors, I've struggled to dig up as much as I can about perfumery on my own, and the most important bit -- how to go about getting a hands-on education. It hasn't been easy. Digression! What I'm trying to say is that as much as I think I don't know stuff about building perfumes, once I begin to plumb the old brain pan for useful information to impart, the floodgates open and all this stuff I'd forgotten about comes pouring out! It's all about the 'bird-by-bird' idea -- taking each process and breaking it down into its parts and explaining from step one to step two and so on, and really focusing on imparting that information in a useful and understandable way. In this book, I'm trying very hard to make building perfume something anyone can do with minimal gadgetry, because creating natural perfume -- using those lovely rare aromatics -- isn't about how many toys you have to make them. It's about the sheer beauty of the perfume created. Right? A magnetic stirrer has never 'stirred' my senses ~ ha! But a beautiful aged absolute of frankincense has sent me to other worlds. Just sayin'.