Wednesday, June 29, 2016

The Trials of an Incenseur

The past seven days have been rife with tragedy and confusion. I'm not ready to get into those things right now, but what I will talk about here is the burst of creative energy that the tragedy has inspired. This spark, this fireball of energy to create, dispels the myth I tell myself about being paralyzed by stress and anxiety, because in the past week I have been a knotted ball of stress and anxiety. I was already set on the path before the tragic event took place, and fully expected to be derailed, like, completely, setting back all of forward motion gained. I basically took a vacation from creativity after finishing the book, and I was struggling to relight the spark. Yes, I did a few things here and there, just enough to keep the shop open. I wasn't dedicated to it, though. I wasn't invested as I should have been. That sounds really stupid for a person trying to make a living creating this type of art to admit. Because it is stupid. Foolish. I foolishly believed that the book would be well-received, and it has not been, and that it would generate the kind of income, however small, that might afford some off time from creating scent so that I could work on more books. Like I said, I've been foolish. There would be no books if I didn't work hard at the art. A not-so-vicious circle there, and a valuable lesson.

In the past three weeks I have created five incense compounds; three to completion, two in the works, with more to come.  One of the finished three, a stick Kyphi, won't stay lit and has to be re-lit several times. It smells amazing; a true-to-Kyphi scent. I've been sending a few in each order as free gifts with little notes to re-light, re-light, re-light. Another, the one with an antique (70 yo) Mysore sandalwood oil and hyacinth extrait, burn beautifully -- and expensively. Those dolls go for 3$ a piece because they have to. Anything less would be giving them away. The scent is extraordinarily gorgeous -- pure, sweet, buttery sandalwood with a shimmer of hyacinth. The final finished incense is another stick version, very strongly scented, spicy and warm and dark. Those burn perfectly. The two undone batches are completely different from one another -- and I've just last night worked out on paper the bones of a new incense, loose grains, made with lots of fabulous raw materials that I've been playing around with. Like blue lotus paste, and a refreshing boswellia thurifera frankincense resin, and propolis. Back to the two in the works: one is a Kyphi, which won't be done for months yet, and the other is melding, that magic time when the ingredients sit with each other for a while before moving on to being shaped or whatever. I made a few test cones from the batch of melding powder and sprinkled them with copper-gold frosty glitter.

I haven't decided yet if the final rolling will be cones this large (4 grams), or if they'll be dusted as the test batch has been. The name of this incense is Tents of Kedar. There are all sorts of animalic notes in this blend, lots of dark, smoky tones. It's sexy.

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