Thursday, December 29, 2016

In Tones of Sepia

Grief is snowballing. As each day passes, the grief, a living, breathing creature now, grows larger. I am seeking joy, but that little fairy eludes me. 'Live in joy', 'Live in joy', is what I hear myself say, a mantra, a conjuring that hasn't reached the ears of the conjured. Toxicity is all around me, embodied in the family whose goals are to make everyone as miserable as they think they are. Live in joy despite the darkness. It's a choice, right?

Live in joy.

A long time ago, Littleflowers sent me a bottle of her then latest perfume, Sepia. Sepia, by definition, is a color -- a reddish-brown color to be specific, or a tone found in monochromatic photography of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. When thinking on 'sepia' as a scent-character study, what is summoned becomes metallic, acidic and tangy, like licking the business end of a D-cell battery. Sepia perfume was just that. Littleflowers nailed it. But the piercing harshness of the opening disappeared after a moment and then a warm, enveloping citrus-meets-leather-meets-dry-old-books-and-resin note took over, thick and heavy, and lingering to the end. I remember being surprised at the accuracy of the perfume Sepia compared the mental scent image of sepia, and while I was taken aback by the opening, I loved it as a representation of both sepias (color & photography). It was also a very calming and meditative scent after the initial copper-charged scent burned off.

~ Sepia weeps. She laments.

Scents of powdery frail paper and murky resinous ink layer atop shy, sparkling lemons and yuzu, citrus fruit bowls took over by a monk’s black-fingered writings.

Sepia is a perfume by Littleflowers. She evolves from thin veils of citrus over spices and leather to dark resinous waxiness and finishes with soft powdery-sweet old paper and apothecary medicaments.

Do I like it? It's right up my olfactory alley. So yes, I do like it. Love it, in fact. It's precious and rare. Like old books bound in copper written in dead languages ~

Having the ability to create a scent that embodies certain non-perfumy elements so perfectly ~ metal, soil, air, water, fire, old books, lightning, rust, dust, and ink ~ using only natural raw materials, AND making them wearable is an art form in and of itself. Most natural scents created to embody these elements are interpretive, in the mind of the creator, and almost never direct and precise. Who really wants to smell like moldering dirt? Or musty old books? Or brackish water? Almost no one. But as an exercise in natural perfume formulation, it is a hard-met challenge.

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