Sunday, June 05, 2016

A Word or Two About Soap, and Sage

Coming home to unfinished projects while spending a good deal of time on the road thinking about all of those unfinished projects is probably not the best way to occupy one's mind while traveling. I fretted over the cider vinegar, worried that the kombucha might have blown its top, wrung my hands over the perfume that's ageing and the incense base that's 'becoming'. And I was thinking about all of the projects on the list yet to begin -- the tea shop soaps, the rebatches of perfume, the vinegar infusions, the masses and masses of incense awaiting life. I even toyed with the idea for a bit of using an organic melt and pour soap base to make some of the soap, but then talked myself out of it. It would save me so much time but would probably make for less than my standard of soap. So I'm switching gears to make hot process soap for a while, just to get some good scent results as I'm finding I'm using more and more scenting elements that are, well, painfully expensive. Hot process allows for most of the scent to 'stick' rather than saponify away as scent does in cold process. I just have to be careful not to make rancid butter soap. Plus, I'm not a huge fan of the hot process soap's texture. Sounds like I'm talking myself out of that option as well!

One of the elements used in the incense I'm creating right now is musk sage, or Clevelandii, blue sage -- my friend Shannon has a HUGE musk sage growing at her farm and my hope is to get over there and distill some of it. The leaves are so perfumey-fragrant, like a combination of sweet florals (think alyssum) and musk, very strong, heady, gorgeous. I have a wee baby musk sage that's been living in a small container for two years that I finally put to earth a little over a month ago. It just bloomed with a single lovely blue bud, something it's never done before. It's part of the chaparral, so it thrives in dry, arid regions, which is what California in general is anymore. I water it maybe once every two weeks and it seems to enjoy that arrangement. I wait most impatiently for it to finally do what Shannon's has done -- get enormous and block the sidewalk. The musk sage adds a very distinctive floral/musk tone to the incense overall. It's sweet and warm and makes you want to really dig into the scent.

I debated whether to write more about the NOLA trip and decided probably not so much. I could talk about the food for days, and I could complain about my less-than-adventurous traveling buddies for the rest of my life, but what would be the point? None of it has anything to do with fragrance (except maybe the food).

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