Saturday, September 23, 2017

Getting In The Groove Again

Both classes, the natural perfume intensive and the Kyphi incense class, are full with energy and synchronicity. It feels like a bit of a let-down when I have to shut down the computer and put the courses to bed for the evening. I'm enjoying myself immensely with this new group of people.

I'm also making Kyphi again. I've yet to get to those boxes in the garage as late Wednesday I began to feel the ticking scratch of a cold coming on. I've been on 12,000 mgs of C a day, zinc supplements, plus otc meds. The sinuses are congested, but I don't feel terrible like I did when I woke up Thursday morning with a pounding headache and a sore throat. It's never a good time for a cold, is it? Such a damned inconvenience no matter when they strike.

Once I get off the computer, in about a half an hour, I'm going to get to cleaning the house. When I'm not well and my energy is petering out, everyone here scatters like rats off a sinking ship. Once I feel better, today, actually, I'm left to clean up. I know. They're all adults. But that's what makes talking to them about cleaning up after their dirty bums so difficult. I get lots of, "I know." And, "I'll do it later." So maybe not quite adults yet.

Once I'm done cleaning the house, I'm going to start the goods for an early supper, and then get to tackling boxes in the garage. It seems like nobody is concerned with what's left out there since the cupboard's are full, the laundry is washed, the dishes are done, and there's food on the table. They're like cavemen -- ha!

I'd better get going then. There's Kyphi to make, and the skincare line -- oh, yeah, I'm starting a new skincare line. It debuts mid-October. Watch for it.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Fall and All She Brings

Now that the mad rush to finish the course is over, and the time it takes to do daily instruction has considerably whittled down the time I spend on the computer, I can get back to the house! I've got tons of boxes to unpack, warranties to fill out and mail, repair issues to deal with, and a string of birthdays coming up. And the central valley here in California seems to have let go of summer, finally. Just in time, too, for the official change into fall. You know you've gotten way to used to hot weather when 90 seems like a pleasant break. That means moving around is easier in terms of what gets done inside and outside.





We've begun the back yard, but there's a lot of work left to do. The soil is what we here in the valley call hardpan. Basically, it's like cement. The builders removed the top layer of soft soil when they leveled the lot, exposing all that lovely red hardpan. It's a mess to deal with, and will take a while to get it in shape for planting. We'll have to add some lime, gypsum, and lots of organic compost and churn it all into the ground. This will take a few weekends of all day digging. Again, the cooler weather helps immensely. Then I can start bulbs in raised beds and get some other plants in the ground. And get some grass growing so the grands will have somewhere to play next spring.

I received a shipment of oils yesterday, and, man, there were some nice ones in this lot. Cardamom CO2 is exquisite, beautifully green and fresh, with lovely floral back notes, and a slight twinge of eucalyptus. The CO2 is deeper and warmer than the cardamom essential oil from Guatamala (also in the box). The Guatamalan sample is brighter and more green with more of those eucalyptus notes and less of the warm floral note. Oakwood CO2 is a revelation. It is gourmand, warm, edible, with vanilla and cognac notes. I really love this stuff! The blue Egyptian chamomile (matricaria chamomilla) is stunning! Sweet, herbal, fruity, and surprisingly warm. Coffee CO2 is like a strong cuppa joe. Another winner. A gorgeous floral/fruity clove bud oil also arrived, reminding me of the turning of the seasons from hot to cool and the long nights spent in my garage studio creating tons of soap for the holidays. The bergamot oil, traditional, non FCF, smells brightly citrusy and sweet with hints of those famous floral notes. This one smells absolutely delicious! And last, but not least, juniper berry oil. This one is sweet and breathy and warm and fabulously beautiful. It reminds me of making Kyphi, the moment after crushing the first berries in the mortar and the sharp, sweet sting of scent that bursts forth.

Speaking of Kyphi, we're finally going to start our Kyphi batch for the course tomorrow on the eve of the new moon. I'm really looking forward to beginning this project.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

New Beginnings

The brand new International Perfume Foundation certified natural perfume course at The Natural Perfume Academy officially begins tomorrow -- well, if that isn't a mouthful. The interest in this course by the public has been astounding. Ruth and I busted our bums for months getting this new course up to par, and I think we're very nearly there. Our tutors have been working hard to update their courses, and we've begun translating the course into Spanish for a new course set to begin next year. This first six-month course will be the pilot course, and tweaks will occur both during and after the end of this run. It's exciting as hell, and a little bit scary as well. I can't help but to get a little nervous before each new course begins, but this one has me in knots. We've got videos -- with me in them (ugh) and I'm not the least bit sure of myself in this arena. We've got slideshows, which are far easier for me mentally -- ha! I've got a programmer working on a perfume formulation program for the course so the students can create their perfumes with ease -- aka, without all the maths involved. We even got an 'official' US and Canadian perfume kit supplier, Sunrose Aromatics, on board with us. We're still working on setting up the same kits with UK, EU, and Australian suppliers. Let me tell you, this isn't easy. Oftentimes, it's simply the politics that prevent forward motion. But we are persistent -- we've been doing this since 2008, so, yeah, we've learned a thing or two about how to get around, under, or barrel right through a problem.

This is where our 2017 Fall six-month course students live. It's pretty darned cool.


Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Garage Blues

Today I tackle the garage. Again. It's getting to the point where I don't want to anymore. Especially kitchen wares. The builders are coming out today to fix or replace the brand new dishwasher. I've been hand washing everything that comes out of those kitchen boxes because of the dishwasher being on the fritz and I'm well and done with it. I am in a rush to get the garage cleared out so I can set up my tables and shelves and get my studio wares sorted out, get some soap going and start on the new products for the shops. I'm under the gun here and it feels like I'm making very little progress. I know I said I work best under pressure, and I do, but there are only so many hours in a day, so many days until the looming deadline, and I'm moving as quickly as I can. It feels a bit like chasing my own bum.

Saturday, September 02, 2017

Jasmine Sambac

So, yesterday was a shopping day, gathering things for the new house to make it habitable, or at least pretty. Things like shower curtains, trash bins, cleaning supplies, etc. While digging around the end-of-summer offerings at a popular department store, I stumbled upon an entire shelf of Maid of Orleans Arabian jasmine, aka, jasmine sambac. And, they were practically giving them away! I got three, but I plan on returning and getting a few more. In my area, this type of jasmine has the potential to bloom year-round, with the best coming in the spring. Right now, these three wee plants are blooming like mad! Especially since getting them here, setting them up on the porch, and giving them a good drenching. 


They weren't blooming like this when I found them, in fact, most of the sambac at the store had very few flowers blooming. 

The scent is heavenly. I will be getting a jar of deodorized coconut oil later today and performing an enfleurage of these blossoms until they stop giving me flowers. It's going to be very hot, around 109 degrees F, a record breaker, and it's been unusually humid -- conditions, I've read, are best for growing this type of jasmine.




Friday, September 01, 2017

The World

Social media is killing me right now. For two weeks here at the new place all I had was my phone and it was plugged into FB constantly. With no internet to do extensive research, study, and writing on the computer itself, I got sucked into the vortex of bs. I'm just now beginning to extricate myself and work on real world projects. My heart just aches for the 'real world', too. I think I'm suffering from information overload, real and bogus.


Not only am I still working on the teacher's manual on the desk top computer for the new perfume course (with help now -- I have an assistant! -- and while sitting on a step-stool and a throw pillow because my office chair was ruined in the move) I'm also starting the first round of Kyphi making in the Walking the Kyphi Path online course I teach. Can I do it? Of course I can.

I found the brand new soap molds that I had been searching for during the entire 10 months we were living at my daughter's house, so I'm going to be making soap again soon -- for myself, and for the shops. I found these gorgeous lotus soap molds too, so those will be the fancy pants perfumed soaps I'll be selling on my official website, www.scenteddjinn.com

Gotta run. There's still so much to do setting up the house -- the garage is a jumble of boxes and furniture that have not yet made their way in. It's a work in progress, and especially taxing since most of the boxes contain kitchen contraptions that require washing before storing, and our nifty new dishwasher doesn't work. The builder's coming to fix that next week.

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