A few days ago I downloaded the new Windows 10 onto my chugging old computer, since then I haven't been able to figure out how to upload pictures from my camera! It used to be practically automatic -- plug in camera cable, and then *ding!*, a sound prompt and a window would open asking me what to do next, and then I'm happily on my way to both uploading pictures and erasing them from the camera memory card in one fell swoop. Now I plug in my camera, the *ding!* sounds, though a bit more aggressive and deep-throated than the previous *ding!*, and then nothing. No prompt screen, no window, nada. I'm definitely not a computer person -- I bought my first computer to connect with the internet for research and for writing, and to set up shop, and still that's all I do -- beyond that it's all in Martian context for me. I'll figure it out eventually . . . until then, I'm using a very convoluted method of getting photos of my stuff onto this dread box!
I'm nearing the end of what I can do with soap. Not really. It just feels like that because the soap rush has slowed. I'm still deeply intrigued by this honey powder, and then there's that hops soap I'm going to be making. The granddaughter was 'helping' grammie with soap stamping and wrapping and we were discussing soap scent and I whipped out the bottle of hops and an accompanying bottle of artemisia afra for her to sniff, expecting the typical reaction of someone who smells hops -- scrunched up nose, watering eyes, and a loud shriek -- "yuck!" But none of that happened. Instead, she inhaled deeply through her wee nose with her eyes closed, then opened them quickly and said, "It smells like something a witch would wear!" So that's it then. The designated Halloween soap of the season is hops and artemisia, both on the upper end of the narcotizing spectrum, both very strong, potent, and deeply green smelling. This will be a dreaming soap. Something to help calm rattled nerves and allow the user to settle into the dark side of the seasons, all warm and cozy and relaxed.
Here's something -- when I talk to people about natural perfumery, people who never experienced natural perfumes or didn't know they existed before meeting me, they almost always ask how did you get into that? And my answer is always because of natural soap. Yes. If it weren't for a trip back in 1996 to a little ramshackle wood building on the edge of the Columbia State Park in Columbia, California, and a beautiful mossy green bar of natural rosemary soap, I might never have grown into the perfumer I am today. Working with the natural soap making materials for all those years allowed me a slow and naturally progressing education in aromatics. I've never, not for a moment, given a rat's patootie about aromatherapy, no disrespect toward all the great and fabulous aromatherapists out there, but I just didn't care about what oils were used for an ailment. My approach was completely hedonistic in nature. I just wanted to make stuff that smelled gorgeous, period. So when the natural perfume revolution happened in the late 90's, early 2000's, I was on that ride. And what a ride it was! The roads back then were bumpy and poorly paved, and there were 'bandits' at every turn waiting to knock someone off the cart. It was little scary, and a lot of fun. Then I got off the ride because -- well, because it was all a load of pucky. I began to walk the side paths, deeper and deeper into the woods, and found a place I love to be. Right here.