Tuesday, March 01, 2016
The Gypsy Perfumer
Along with the dream of a thurifercorum, I dream of being a gypsy perfumer. A few times a year, I imagine myself packing up the goods into a wee wagon (probably just a little trailer), and visiting a few cities and towns to teach workshops on all aspects of my style of perfume formulating. I think it would be a fun, lovely, fragrant adventure, and nothing like working a craft show. Back in the day, I used to attend craft shows with my stuff. Sometimes it went well -- very well -- and other times it was just a joke. There was one craft show that was super expensive to get into, but everyone on the local craft circuit said I just had to do it, I'd make loads of money and get my products out there. It was in the country near the little central valley town of Hanford. It cost -- total -- with booth rental, gas, food, prepping and creating all the goods, $600. I made $15. And then that check bounced. And the attendees -- you'd think I'd been dropped into their little cowboy, farmer John, land of milk and honey by a band of wild-haired horny berserkers with bags of weed and Quaaludes hanging from their pockets. The sneers were epic! Elvis would have been so proud. The single person who bought from me was a wild-haired horny berserker, and she wrote a bad check! I never did that show again. I've done other shows where soap and scentmakers would shuffle up to my booth and finger and sniff every item on my table, and then do a hair flip, nose in the air pirouette and giggled as they walked away. It was like junior high all over again -- oh, sure, copy off my English exam, and then treat me like something you need to wipe off your shoe. Ha! I guess I'm guilty of this type of behavior as well. We go to craft shows near home and my daughter will pick up something and I'll say, "Oh, don't get that, I can make it for you." And then I don't. She loves to point this out every time I say it, too. I think I'll stop saying it. Let the crafter get their due without my 'ah, pshaw, I can do that!' attitude getting in the way. I'm getting much better at giving the crafters their due. I often buy handmade soap from another local artisan, as well as ordering some from crafters online. Sometimes it's nice to smell a smell that isn't your smell, y'know? Besides, it's kind of humbling, and heaven knows, humility is in short supply these days.