Sunday, January 31, 2016


Since I began seriously working in natural perfumery, around 2003-2004, I've seen a lot of people who were die hard advocates and creators of natural perfume just quit. One day they were there, the next they were gone, having moved onto greener pastures -- often green in the sense that there was money where they went. When Le Parfumeur Rebelle was first conceived in 2006, a lot of those perfumers were reviewed for the e-zine. I knew some of them, reviewed some of them, made life-long friends with some of them. One reason many of these first maverick natural perfumers stopped perfuming is because the dream of building a life and a living from it faded. Some stopped because the work was too difficult, the barriers too high, the politics too disgusting, or their life too difficult to share with the kind of dedication and work necessary to create. I'm not saying they didn't have heart. I'm not saying they didn't have the chops. I'm saying something happened. A slow progression of barriers and set backs and mean-spirited interventions, or a sudden one time bombardment of bad, and that was it. The desire to battle on, to continue creating the art despite the impediments, simply drained away.

What can you do to prevent it from happening to you? How can you stop the slow whittling down of your artistic resolve? First and foremost, unveil the art that you cannot live without. If it's in your heart to write, write. Write even if no one ever reads your words. If your desire for art lies in painting, then paint. Paint for yourself. Paint if no one ever displays your work; paint even if the work lies abandoned in a basement or attic. If it's pottery or poetry, playing the sarangi or dancing, do it because it's in your heart to do so, not because of some pay day you've anticipated, or because of some accolades you feel you deserve.

Art doesn't give a shit about you, it simply wants to exist.

It's raining again. Good rain. Nice, solid sheets of steady rain. We were fortunate here on the central coast to have on and off again El Nino rainy patterns, rather than the days on end of buckets of rain pouring down. Those days may still yet arrive -- this may be one of them, but the on and off thing helped prevent a lot of problems, like oversaturation of the soil causing mudslides or tons of trees toppling over. I live in oak tree country, a few miles in from the ocean, and though I love the rain -- adore it, in fact -- seeing some of those huge old oaks losing their hold and falling tears at my heart. Four years of drought, with 2014 having almost zero rain to speak of, have taken its toll here in Sunny California. Certainly at some point the rain will be a nuisance, as it becomes every El Nino year, but for now I say, bring it on.

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