|Camphor Wood Shavings|
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Camphor Wood of Indonesia
After a couple of years of searching for camphor WOOD -- not crystals, not essential oil, not tincture of crystals -- I finally found someone by pure happenstance who sells the shavings. If you've been creating Kyphi with camphor crystals or camphor oil, you're missing out on something enriching and historical. The camphor wood (Cinnamomum camphora) is so much more multi-faceted and layered than straight camphor crystals or oil; the wood is deeper, richer, woody (think of the dry sun soaked nature of cedar wood chips) and subtle at the same time. Unlike camphor crystals and white camphor oil, the wood contains high amounts of safrole, a toxic substance known to cause cancer. I initially thought I might make a nice camphor wood body incense, which I announced on my business FB page, but after a few minutes of research, I realized that won't be happening. I can, however, make a beautiful powder incense and Kyphi using small amounts of this luscious camphor wood. Camphor wood is the historical ingredient used in Kyphi, not the oil or crystals. I'm anxious to get a batch of Kyphi started and replacing my crystal/oil combination with the wood -- 7 grams, a minuscule amount compared to the weight of the whole -- and watch as the scent unfolds over the next few months. It's exciting that the closer I get to using authentic ingredients in Egyptian Kyphi, the more I feel as if I'm stepping back in time and calling upon the same forces they might have called upon in ritual. One can (day) dream.
More and more ideas are rolling in, and I'm especially surprised by how those stupid 'memories' things that pop up on my feed at FB have turned on a few lights as well. For example, Vintage Rose 10 ml perfume oil that I made in 2014 popped up, and I'm sitting here wondering why I'm not making more of that and selling it for cookie money. It sold like mad and was very popular. I guess it's a problem with how I perceive certain types of work that I do. With Kyphi, production is complicated, semi-ritualistic, semi-experimental, and the time involved to raise the energy (mature) the incense can make even the most patient of people tear out their hair; with perfume, it's more the work of the alchemist, things are a bit more scientific, I have a better hold on how things will turn out, but again, it's a time thing, so more hair tearing. Those little oil works, the soliflores and the simples, those take almost no time at all because they're straight-forward, and the elements used in them are limited to what will enhance the core without overriding. I say that as if they are easy to create. They are, and they aren't. I mean, it only took me a dozen or so years of studying this art form to have that knowledge when something will work -- or not. So easy after years of hard work then. The rate at which I create things depends upon how long it will take to make it, and how deep into the closet I'm willing to dig. Mostly that. The digging thing. Yeah. I think that's why I buy so many new scenting elements -- because it's easier to have the package delivered to the door than it is to pull out box after box and dig through each one to find a bottle of whatzit that I need. So now I've got stockpiles of whatzits everywhere. Lame.