Sunday, January 31, 2016

Art

Since I began seriously working in natural perfumery, around 2003-2004, I've seen a lot of people who were die hard advocates and creators of natural perfume just quit. One day they were there, the next they were gone, having moved onto greener pastures -- often green in the sense that there was money where they went. When Le Parfumeur Rebelle was first conceived in 2006, a lot of those perfumers were reviewed for the e-zine. I knew some of them, reviewed some of them, made life-long friends with some of them. One reason many of these first maverick natural perfumers stopped perfuming is because the dream of building a life and a living from it faded. Some stopped because the work was too difficult, the barriers too high, the politics too disgusting, or their life too difficult to share with the kind of dedication and work necessary to create. I'm not saying they didn't have heart. I'm not saying they didn't have the chops. I'm saying something happened. A slow progression of barriers and set backs and mean-spirited interventions, or a sudden one time bombardment of bad, and that was it. The desire to battle on, to continue creating the art despite the impediments, simply drained away.

What can you do to prevent it from happening to you? How can you stop the slow whittling down of your artistic resolve? First and foremost, unveil the art that you cannot live without. If it's in your heart to write, write. Write even if no one ever reads your words. If your desire for art lies in painting, then paint. Paint for yourself. Paint if no one ever displays your work; paint even if the work lies abandoned in a basement or attic. If it's pottery or poetry, playing the sarangi or dancing, do it because it's in your heart to do so, not because of some pay day you've anticipated, or because of some accolades you feel you deserve.

Art doesn't give a shit about you, it simply wants to exist.

It's raining again. Good rain. Nice, solid sheets of steady rain. We were fortunate here on the central coast to have on and off again El Nino rainy patterns, rather than the days on end of buckets of rain pouring down. Those days may still yet arrive -- this may be one of them, but the on and off thing helped prevent a lot of problems, like oversaturation of the soil causing mudslides or tons of trees toppling over. I live in oak tree country, a few miles in from the ocean, and though I love the rain -- adore it, in fact -- seeing some of those huge old oaks losing their hold and falling tears at my heart. Four years of drought, with 2014 having almost zero rain to speak of, have taken its toll here in Sunny California. Certainly at some point the rain will be a nuisance, as it becomes every El Nino year, but for now I say, bring it on.









Saturday, January 30, 2016


Doing What I Do

I'm watching the stock in the apothecary dwindling with a little bit of nervousness in my gut. I have things to put up, I'm just sitting back on my hands a bit, waiting until a lot of things are ready, and then it's going to be a wave of new, new, new stuff. I started on those eclectic collection packages (grab bags for the lay person), and once those are off the table, it's onto the next, new, and hopefully better. Without a doubt you're going to be slapped in the nose with some bergamot product. I've really just been taking things slow, no particular reason other than I'm still working out a lot of things that are in and around the studio and I don't want to F up. That's all. Not my typical procrastination thingy I do -- or did -- I'm working. I work in the studio every single day. I'm getting things prepped, and I'm taking time to create some really lovely stuff for you. It's the way I'll be working from here on out, I think. I'm no novice at this anymore, I can't always be looking for the next fad product to stick in my line up, or thinking up something that I think someone else will like. I have to stay true to me, and I do natural perfume, and soap, and body butters, and hydrosols, and body and beard oils, and delicious incense, and I teach. So that's what this is going to be from here on out. Perfecting what I know, doing better than what I did the time before, and always striving to make something absolutely stunning and exquisite with simplicity and mindfulness and gratitude.


Friday, January 29, 2016

Endless Possibilities

While I was away, I set the bergamot enfleurage to the side sans bergamot peel because, well, it's just stupid to leave an enfleurage enfleuraging for days on end -- causes molding and other nasty things to happen. Anyway, I expected some of the scent to fade, as citrus does, but was pleasantly surprised to find that not much fading occurred. Some of the bright citrusy bits were more toned down than before I left, but that gorgeous floral note that bergamot possesses was still there, very present. A few more charges and I think I'll bottle her up and put her away for future use. I might put a couple of wee jars up for sale too.

Ideas are flowing like mad right now -- I can't even get a decent night's sleep, my brain is going on and on with the endless possibilities. I'm back to plan A, the one where I rent the condemned space for a studio, but I still need to row up the ducks. Contacting the appropriate people to find out who owns that building space and what it will take to get it up to code again are on the agenda today. I dream about that specific space so often that I have to pursue it to the end. I'm sure you're sick of hearing about it by now. Hopefully one day I'll just announce that I have the space and leave you alone about it. Ha!

I've actually got a couple of soap blends moving along -- a lovely violet and patchouli blend, and then a patchouli and linden blossom blend using this absolutely gorgeous and true to the flower linden blossom CO2 from Enfleurage. It's just stunning. I know, that's a lot of patchouli soap, but in this case, the patchouli serves as a wonderful platform for both of these scents -- and I like patchouli. Lots of people do, despite its poor reputation. What YOU need to realize, patchouli hater you, is that all patchouli is not created equal. For example, some patchouli can smell soft and powdery and floral, while another example can smell fresh and herbaceous and green. Some smells woody and smoky and dry, while others smells leafy and sweet and honey-like. It's like that tomato crop you grow every year, some years, depending on what you do to the soil, how much rain there is or isn't, how often you fuss or don't, your tomatoes grow large but tasteless, or they grow perfectly, or they grow wee and tasty, or you get a bumper crop and have to give baskets of them away to your neighbor, Fred, or you get three tomatoes the whole season. It's never the same. The same thing happens to patchouli, and the oil reflects those variables. So saying you don't like patchouli is like saying you don't like pizza when your only pizza experience has been the French loaf with ketchup and Velveeta your Grandma Flossy made for you as a kid.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

New Stuff! (Again!)

I'm going to be bottling up some new stuff today, and make some soap -- or at least getting the scent formulation made and married before pouring into soap. My storage and studio woes are not over yet, but I can't sit about twiddling my thumbs waiting for everyone else to pop up off their arses to help, so I have to do it on my own. I've come up with a temporary fix, one which I think everyone around me can live with, and it won't cost me half my monthly budget to do it, and it frees up a lot of space for everyone else to use, so . . . . crossing my fingers and toes that all will be well. The off-site studio will have to wait until I get this new incarnation of The Scented Djinn Apothecary & Thurifercorum worked out. It all boils down to $$, as does most everything. I've got to get those ducks in a row before I can move forward, so this is duck #1 rowing up.

I'm getting ready to take what remaining stock there is on The Scented Djinn Apothecary & Thurifercorum and box them up as product medleys at a set price (at least 50% less than retail) to get them off the shelves and into your hands. I have so many single items of product and I really need to clean things up a bit. This would be a great opportunity to get a sampling of what type of work I do at my shop. The medleys may contain a soap, a perfume, a body oil, an incense, or perhaps two soaps and a perfume and . . . or Kyphi and soap, or perfume and a balm. Depends on what there is in stock and what I think would make the most eclectic collection. I don't know how many of these collections I'll be making. Once they're gone, all the old stock, and some of the rare and never-to-be-made again stuff, they're gone. Forever.

Eclectic Collection 2016



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Purpose and Repurpose

As you may have noticed lately, stock in The Scented Djinn Apothecary & Thurifercorum has been dwindling of late. I did create something -- that tuberose and coffee concoction -- but it caused an unfortunate temporary reaction on my skin when I wore it outside that I pulled it from the stock list. I'll repurpose that stuff into soap. Maybe a nice patchouli soap with some very expensive tuberose pommade laced throughout.

I'm still fretting about more space. I actually dreamed about it last night. There is a particular spot I'd like to get my stinky little fingers on but it's been declared unsuitable for occupancy by the local fire department. Apparently someone rented the space last year for their art studio and ended up living in it instead -- tore it up pretty good. I remember seeing the person who rented it fluffing faded silk flowers in the front garden container, talking to herself about how lovely her studio looked. Anyway, in the dream I got that space and with help from some very crafty friends, we put it to rights in no time. I just wish with all my heart that was the reality of it. For now, it looks like I'm going to rent regular storage space and move all of the non-perishable studio items into storage until I can find something that works better. There is another option I haven't fully explored, and that's renting space within an existing business. And there again, it all depends upon the size of the space. I need storage and studio space. With a small area for the girls to play while I'm down there. Still working on the details of it all.

While I was away from home this past weekend, I did have an opportunity to do a little rummage shopping, and I found some old Avon sachet jars (with contents) that I thought would be beautifully repurposed into solid perfume jars or incense jars. They're just pretty and it's a shame to think of them possibly ending up in a landfill somewhere because they're full up with old, rancid scent. They're soaking in a baking soda bath right now to rid them of their pervasive stink after having spent a little time in hot, soapy water and then a bleach rinse. They won't be done until the smell of Avon is completely eliminated. And the little round labels on the bottom come off.

Book sales have slipped dramatically from December's selling-like-hotcakes status. It's a little depressing. I've gotten some feedback privately from a few people who have the new book and are reading it, and all are positive -- thus far. I just hope that I've put in enough of what learning natural perfumers want to know at this stage. I've been discussing the book with someone who said it was loaded with information, but I cautioned this friend to remember that there is so much more left to learn and talk about. I simply wasn't up to writing the opus I had intended. The saying 'Biting off more than you can chew' came to mind more than once while I was writing that book. The discarded chapters represent the beginning of a new book, one which I am in no way ready to begin.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Growth

I don't know if you noticed, but I haven't blogged in a couple of days. That's because I was no where near internet access, nor even phone service. I accompanied my daughter to the mountains to celebrate my granddaughter's 5th birthday with a snow trip. The wee one could hardly be pulled from the drifts when it was time to go. She absolutely loved the snow! As children will do. I, however, stuck to the warm cabin, my Nook books, and spent time watching the wee one sliding off the snow-covered porch. It snowed two of the three days we were there, which meant that each day the wee one went out to play, the landscape had changed from the previous adventure. Like I said, she was beside herself with happiness to spend hours bundled up in a snow suit, double mittens, and snow boots, and left to disk down short slopes -- and sometimes slipping into trees. One night, while she and I were up late watching cartoons, I heard banging sounds from outside and instantly knew what was going on. Having spent my childhood living in those very same mountains, I knew exactly what what causing the ruckus. I rushed to the window, switched on the porch light and caught the scurrying backside of a fat raccoon racing away from the tin trash cans, one lid expertly pried off. I went out and secured the lid and laid a snowboard across the can so the little devil couldn't open it again if he, or she, decided to come back. When I sat back down next to the wee one, I said, "Guess what I just saw outside?" She looked at me with half asleep eyes and said, "A bear?" I answered, "No, silly! A raccoon." Her answer was a shrug of the shoulders and more drooping of the eyelids. I guess if it had been a bear, she may have sat up and paid attention, but a raccoon, apparently, isn't worth her time.

So I'm back and all the projects will resume. I checked my remaining stash of bergamot oranges and they are holding up beautifully. I'm saving all of the peel from the enfleurage to create another hydrosol using peel only instead of whole fruit, as I had done before when the still decided to explode on me. All the pulp and mash boils up too easily into the tubing, plugging it up and causing pressure to build until -- BOOM! There it goes, splashed all over the window and walls, cupboards and ceiling. Not to mention the sauced up floor. I still need to save some peel for cooking. I've got my spring rose and bergamot marshmallows to work up to ship to family and friends. I'm hoping to get an early bloom from the Cecile Brunner's at the organic nursery in Los Osos and use those beauties as the rose component in the mallows.

I'm gearing up to resupply for the year -- organic alcohol, fractionated coconut oil, some raw shea for soap making, lots and lots of incense materials, lots and lots of oils and absolutes -- it's going to be a good year to rebuild and define my business.

A couple of dear friends lit the fire under my bum, sharing some insight into obtaining the studio space I'm looking for. I need to be a bit more flexible with the space and location than I have been. I'm going to start it out as a studio space, and then after a few months, open as a retail shop. The problem is storage. As I've said before, repeatedly, as I'm sure you're aware, is that there is zero storage left in the in-home studio. I have no space to store raw materials, and none to spare for finished product. I just have to get out of here! Because of the space the studio takes up in the house, many household items are left lying around in the open where they ought to be stored away. Anyway, I know I harp on about it, but it really is an issue with business expansion. I simply cannot do it in the current situation. And I'm ready! Able! So this month is a time of searching for a space to work in. Something small, affordable, and with potential retail opportunities.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Marmalade & Enfleurage

I want to talk about the weather first. I know, small talk drives me bonkers as well, but here it is -- man! Is it ever raining right now! Sideways and in sheets! It's spectacular. I left the back slider door open during the night to allow the big cat to go out and do his business, and this morning I found a wading pool in the dining room. And the big cat didn't dare go out, opting for the litter box for the first time in years. At any rate, the pool saved me from lugging water to mop the floor. Now that it's cleaned up, the heat's turned on, and the slider door is firmly closed, me and the wee one can enjoy this cozy rainy day together. 

The marmalade turned out beautifully! Perfect. A mouthful tastes of sweet summer perfume. The little jars have been popping all morning, reminding me that they're waiting for later to be opened and smeared over freshly baked English muffins. I know, English muffins are a pain in the butt to make, but they seem the best delivery system for this lovely bergamot marmalade. 


I also got started on that bergamot enfleurage and it is turning out amazing. The scent is unbelievable. The enfleurage oil soaks up the peel scent so quickly. Honestly, for a while after I received these boxes of bergamot, I was regretting having spent so much on them considering the limited possibilities (or so I thought), but now I'm so happy that I did spend what I did because really, the possibilities are as open as my imagination. Last night it was suggested we take some of the juice of these bergamot on our snow trip this weekend and use it to make margaritas. Bergamot margaritas! Gin and tonic with a bergamot twist. Bergamot sangria. Bergamot simple syrup. 



Thus far I've made a small batch of bergamot hydrosol, 10 jars of bergamot marmalade, bergamot juice for whatever, and a bergamot enfleurage, and there's still a box left to play with. Oh, and some seeds! These are one of those orange trees that grow easily from seed and still produce fruit without any kind of grafting. We shall see. In a few years, I guess.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Marmalading Tonight

I'm sure by now you're sick of hearing about my bergamot oranges, but I have a few words to say about them -- I'm making marmalade tonight! I only wish I had some rose petals to include in the mix to give the bergamot marmalade a rosy tonality. Imagine that on your toast.

It's rainy and soggy today, as it has been off and on since the first of January. It's weird. In the two years I've lived here, I haven't experienced this. It rains differently near the coast than it does in the valley. I remark on it often and I'm sure everyone around me is sick of how much I have to say about it. In the valley, when it rains, it pours, and often for an hour or more at a time; during the last big El Nino, it rained for days on end. But here in the wee mountains near the sea, it rains for a minute or two, then it mists, then the sun is out for an hour, and then it pours for a couple of minutes, and then it's foggy, and then it's something else -- sideways rain, hail, the sun again -- I've never experienced anything so odd in my life in terms of weather. Well, maybe except for the time I lived in San Antonio, Texas, and hail the size of a golf ball knocked Tommy Greene in the head and sent him tumbling down a muddy hill into a swampy ravine with his shirt half torn off and one of his shoes gone missing. That was different. I kind of like the weather here. The hubs mentioned it reminded him of Connecticut weather, where a common saying is, "Don't like the weather? Wait five minutes." Well, I woke this morning to steady rainfall, now the sun is blaring through the windows, but in the sky, just a bit off into the horizon, are the darkest, meanest looking rain clouds I've seen in a while. So I'm waiting. Exactly five minutes.

I pulled the Tuberose & Coffee Oil from the Apothecary. I have used some in my hair, on my hands, up my arms a bit as part of the testing process. I didn't recommend it being used on the face because my intuition said it wasn't a good idea. Something about the rawness of enfleurage pommades and direct plant infusions that give me pause. Anyway, I decided yesterday to use a bit of the oil on my face and neck and I got a rash. I have super sensitive skin, so it might have been the change in product on my face, or it could have been exposure to direct sunlight (I did sit in a car with the window down and the sun on my face, and exactly where the sun was directly hitting my skin is where the rash formed -- there was no rash on my neck where I had also applied the oil). I washed my face with a little soapy water and the rash cleared within an hour, but I'm not risking my clients having something like that happen to them, so the oil has been pulled. Experiment and learn.

I still have some oil dense tuberose enfleurage leftovers that I froze for distilling, so that's gonna happen soon. We'll see what we get there.

A friend of mine, Ane Walsh, who lives in Brazil, recently posted a ton of soap pictures on her Facebook feed, and now I'm jonesing to make soap again. But I'm stuck. Whether it be the retrograde or the HP closet that's holding me back, I don't know, but I have a strong intuitive feeling to just let things sit for a while.

So we sit, me and the things, waiting for the right time.


Sunday, January 17, 2016

More

More applications are in the works for that bergamot. A reader suggested marmalade, and it was on the list -- way, way, way down on the list if any bergamot was left from the previous applications, but now that the bergamot are running out of time in terms of freshness, I'm going to get cracking on that marmalade idea. And enfleurage of the peel. And saving of the juice and dehydrated peel for flavoring. No part of the bergamot will go unused. I want to make a nice, densely scented bergamot pommade for use in solid perfumes -- I will put some up for sale if there is enough to spare. The hydrosol turned out nicely and I'm allowing it to sit undisturbed in it's receiving bottles for a week or so before dispensing into spray bottles. Because it is a distilled product, much of the phototoxic effects are eliminated. And, as usual, I'm not siphoning any of the oil, of which there is plenty, from the hydrosol. Even though the last distillation didn't go as planned (thank you Mercury Retrograde), I'm still pretty stoked to distill more. I planted some hyacinth bulbs in late fall and I'm expecting those to pop sometime next month, plus a friend is growing Cecile Brunner roses that I might get a chance to distill. There's also plenty of white sage, lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, lilac, and tuberose that will be available throughout the year.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mercury Retrograde Puts Pause On -- Everything!

What is it about Mercury retrograde + boredom that makes me so introspective? Is that what this retrograde is about? Introspection, change, letting go? I'm getting off to a very slow start this year. I think it's because I don't have my plan all mapped out yet. I have a rough sketch, but I'm not narrowing the scope of the plan. The good thing is that I can see the plan at its finish -- I can visualize the end game. I can smell it, too, and it is marvelous.

But honestly, this retrograde feels very stagnant. Like everything is on pause -- personal issues, ideas, the stock market! It seems like a hurry up and wait sort of situation with steps to move forward being made, but with the wind pushing back, so the steps are more quarter steps than full ones. The universe has us on lock down!

I had this idea back when I was still writing the book about creating a solid perfume based on waxes and salts -- and now I'm second-guessing myself. Should I move forward and experiment with this idea, or should I kick it aside and continue doing what I'm doing? I don't know. I can see something coming of it, it's just that right now, at this exact moment in time, I fear nothing I, or anyone for that matter, do will work out. So I'm going to wait.

And I'm dreaming in incense again. It seems like everybody is creating some kind of lovely incense, and I'm still sitting here trying to figure out how to sort the HP closet. In the meantime, my imagination is dreaming up a sparkling green tea incense with notes of osmanthus. And violets pervade my thoughts. My violas were killed last winter when they were brought in from the frost and then forgotten. I really miss my violas. My sweet mum planted them in an old ceramic coated stock pot that she had punched holes in the bottom with a rusty ice pick for drainage. She was always planting things in non-pots. I have a succulent she planted for me that's growing nicely in an old tin coffee kettle. I really miss her. What I wouldn't give for another minute of her time.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Killed by the Vengeful Evil Bergamot

Well, I'm done with that for now. The f/cking bergamot distillation has just wreaked its revenge by exploding the still. I'm going to be cleaning bergamot pulp out of the curtains for months . . .

. . . and there's another dent in the retort -- another, fresher dent to match all the other explosion dents that are already on there. I give up. I'll just take what I've got done and leave it at that.


For now ~ ha!


I'm waiting for Mercury Retrograde to finish its shenanigans before moving on to the next distillation of stuff I froze from summer and fall.

Now I have to set up to enfleurage the peel of this bergamot, unless they decide otherwise. Sneaky fruit. The juice isn't too bad, so I'm going to juice some of them and freeze the juice to use in food -- like a nice summer bergamot sponge cake with bergamot infused icing. I've also saved a few dozen seeds to plant later. And I've caught two people in the house using the bergamot like lemon and squeezing it into their bowls of pho. The bergamot smells amazing when juiced and a bit of peel is added to food -- like lemon and orange blossoms. I'm considering making kheer with the peel and some hydrosol, the same way rose water or orange blossom water is used in the recipe. It can be a 'thing'.




Thursday, January 14, 2016

Day Three of The Revenge of the Bergamot Oranges

Yes. Day three of struggling with these beautiful but dangerous and evil fruit. Once again, I had to dismantle the still and sanitize hoses and connectors and whatnot. To be fair to the Evil Bergamot, though, I might have overlooked doing that after the last bout and the clog was an unintentional leftover effect of the prior day's frustration. You'd think I'd learn after dealing with all the moving parts in perfumery that you can't rush this. Not even a little bit. So a freshly blended pot of Evil Bergamot is cooking away, releasing all of its lovely (but evil) scent into the receiving bottle.

I woke this morning to the not-so-dulcet tones of my backyard neighbor croaking on about gas lines and his 'bitchy landlady'. The kettle and pot briefly came to mind. I rarely hear the man, but when I do, it's usually in this context -- something's gone wrong with his washer and/or dryer, or his gas line, or his water line, or whatever other lines, tubes, hoses, appliances, and cables that keep him connected to the civilized world, and telling the repair person who has come to fix it that he can't call his 'bitchy landlady' to repair it because she raises the 'frickin' rent' every time he does. This all occurs, unfortunately, about 10 feet from my back door, on the other side of a sagging chain link fence. We're so close to our neighbors, and not in a touchy feely, 'you're my bestest friend' sort of way. I've never locked eyes on the man, or his wife, but I often hear them singing in the shower. Or telling their little grandson how to 'point and pee'. It's like reality TV, only no one knows there's an audience a few feet away. I can only imagine what they hear coming out of my door. Thoughts to ponder.

Even with the still running, I feel like I'm sitting her twiddling my thumbs! There's one last BIG project to complete before I can get into formulating again. The dreaded Harry Potter closet. Yep. Everything's topsy turvy and stored away in the HP closet, the storage area for the studio, and general catch-all for anything the rest of the fam doesn't feel like dragging up the stairs. It's frustrating knowing exactly where you set something in the HP closet, and then finding a torn umbrella in its place. Or a bowl of cat food. A bowl of cat food? My only response to this bs is, 'Why?' over and over and over again. The HP closet is long overdue for a complete clearing and rearranging. I have to know what's in there, what I use regularly, what I never use, store away the not-used stuff and send it off to a storage facility that isn't in the middle of the house, and organize the regularly-used stuff so I can find it. And then put a lock on the door that only I have a key for. That way when it comes time to move to the off-site studio, everything's right where I need it to be. Or so the theory goes.




Thursday, January 07, 2016

The Scented Djinn Apothecary & Thurifercorum

I find myself resisting the urge to write about non-perfumery related things here on this blog. A journal of what's going on in my life, stuff that includes perfumery but maybe not primarily. It's no one's business about those daily issues -- unless I make them your business -- and I just don't want to be that kind of blogger. I did that when I had the blog "Blogging in the Raw". I was raw vegan for two years, and back then it seemed like all raw vegans wanted to talk about was their poop. I didn't want to discuss my poop, so I struggled to find something helpful to write about, and the blog turned into a processed raw vegan review blog, and I didn't want that either, so I quit. Both the blog and the raw vegan.

I'd love to tell you about my plans for this new year, the simplifying of -- well, everything. I'm honing down and finding my 'voice' in my work. I found that I'm all over the place, as I'm sure you were aware of a long time ago, and in order to move onto the next phase, I have to include a higher level of consistency in my work. I wrote that I'm selling out in a previous post, and in a sense I am, but I'm also not. I'm trying to reach the next level of this gig's evolution. I'd love to tell  you ALL about it, but I haven't quite nailed down exactly how it's to work out. Maybe one day some of you will hit the Etsy site or the new website and it'll be a new (and permanent) incarnation of The Scented Djinn Apothecary & Thurifercorum.

Yesterday my daughter and I went on a little excursion to San Luis Obispo, downtown where all the good stuff happens, so she could use her gift cards at Sephora. I was immediately drawn to their wall of 'fume, but kept getting sidetracked by the wee one insisting on smelling every single perfume on the provided scent strips. She had a fan of reek in her chubby little fingers in no time, waving it about and telling anybody who would listen that she's a perfumer like her Grammy. I found the new to Sephora Tocca line and thought that Liliana (sp?) was a gem, but there were no roll-ons, so I got Florence instead -- it's gorgeous but just a little too gardenia~y for me. Then while standing in the check-out line, I saw a mini coffret of L'Artisan perfumes! The wee box included La Chasse Aux Papillions Eau de Toilette, Mûre Et Musc Eau de Toilette, and Timbuktu Eau de Toilette. I haven't had the opportunity to properly test drive them -- except for Timbuktu, which paired with a glass of craft pear cider made quite the woozy impression. After Sephora, it was off to Lush where the wee one had the sales people working for their wages. She had her little nose in everything, sniffing and poking, and insisted the sales people describe what was inside of each bath bomb, scrub, soap, and butter bar. She walked out with two sweet little tub fizzies, and a third one gratis, with a handwritten note from one of the sales people.


Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Last and Final Deep Discount of all 2015 Stock!

Use coupon code NATURALPERFUME2016 to receive 60% off all orders at The Scented Djinn Apothecary at Etsy.


Village Finds

So I was able to get out of the house yesterday for more than the usual trip out of town, which doesn't count as 'out' as I'm sitting in the car for hours on end, and I find these ~

~ scattered all over the ground near the old Mason's lodge. I look up and see a huge juniper tree just loaded with berries. I picked up a handful to bring home (I didn't have the wildharvesting kit with me or I would have gotten at least an ounce or more) and plan to use these in incense or for cooking. Once the rain lets up (never thought I'd say that again) I'm heading back out to pick what I can find. This village I currently reside in never ceases to surprise me with little gifts like this. I've been able to keep my stock of pine resins and oakmoss up by simply taking a one-hour walk around the neighborhood with the wildharvesting kit in tow. As much as I loved my old home in Fresburg, the only thing I was sure to find on a walk through my neighborhood was trouble.

It's been slow going in both the writing and creating of aromatic arts' departments the past couple of weeks. I felt like I was floundering after I finished the book, as evidenced by the lack of great products on the Etsy site. All the things I promised to put on for the holidays never quite made it into existence. I'm making some changes this year with the aromatic arts, same logo (not changing that again), but more cohesive packaging and more consistent product offerings. Yes, I'm actually going to 'sell out' as an artist for a while and make the same things over and over and over again. *Sigh*. Consistency is necessary, I think, for this to move in a way that is sustainable. New products will be added, poor selling products will be phased out, and you'll be happy to know that you can buy the same soap or perfume or butter or beard oil over and over again wrapped in the same bottle or jar every time you get it. At least that's the plan. It's not a new year, new biz resolution, it's just something I've been tossing around for a while in an effort to make the business more of a business so I can move out of the studio/dining area into a real, off-site studio that will eventually turn into a retail site. It may not all come together until August, or even the beginning of 2017, but it's on the top of the agenda. Book writing will have to wait a year or so until I can pull this together.


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