Sunday, October 18, 2015

On Writing and Creating Perfume

I'm back to writing again -- well, I never truly stopped. The flow might be more stilted and jolty these days, but the writing is still happening. I tend to get too wordy, too explanatory, perhaps even over explaining things, so I am forced to go in with the editor's blue pen and mark, mark, mark until all those ragged edges are smoothed down. It's a bit like creating perfume. Smoothing down the rough edges in a composition can be very much like writing a chapter on perfumery. And much like my perfumery style, my writing on the same subject tends to be bold and risky -- I have ideas about how one puts together a perfume that others have not yet begun to entertain. There is certainly a process, but the process only works if the perfumer can make it work.


To date, the new book is over 46,000 words. With two chapters remaining -- well, three, one is halfway done, while two are still just the bones of the story. I've put much of the focus on the ART of creating perfume rather than the BUSINESS of creating perfume, and I'm finding that I dream about it often and lightning bolts of inspiration and ah-ha moments are found in those murky, misty dreams. I have a notebook and pencil next to my bed for when I'm able to rouse myself to write them down, otherwise they're lost to the ether of my subconscious, or I find traces of them in my memory when I wake. Like this sunflower graph. I was thinking of all the ways I've graphed perfume on paper using circles within circles, and colors within colors, and once even tried building a musical composition using Piesse's odophone (disastrous), and because I was working on a sunflower accord, this happened. It made sense in the dream state. I can see room for improvement in the light of day, but since it is conceptual . . .?

I fret overmuch.

I would also like to share a RESOURCE with you perfumers and perfumery students. My son-in-law works for Acme Vial in Paso Robles, CA (to my absolute glee) and they sell -- what else? -- vials! All sorts of vials up to 4 drams (14.7 milliliters = roughly 1/2 ounce) to anyone who wishes to buy them. The 5/8ths shorties are here, as are the tall clear with rubber corks, and glass dropper bottles in wee dram sizes too. They offer amber, green, and cobalt bottles (and clear), AND perfume sampler vials in 1/6th, 5/16th, and 3/8th sizes.  As far as I know, they do not have a minimum order requirement.

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