Time for formulation has been almost non-existent over the last few weeks. The inevitable delays caused by the ach-cloud-induced rail journey from Istanbul meant that it took a while for life to return to a state approaching normal. And then, just when daily routines began to settle, I had to enter the usual 10-week phase of the calendar when the commitments of the Day Job spill into my evenings and compel me to enter a form of social hibernation.
All my droppers and essential oils are still there on the window sill, tempting me, but I'm doing my best to ignore their call. I wonder how rusty my nose will be when I eventually find a moment to take a sniff of galbanum or Iso E Super. I expect I probably won't be able to tell the difference between civet and vanillin.
Needless to say, I am trying to inject as many tiny 'olfactory events' into my days as possible. Over the weekend, I visited Salisbury again, convinced I'd track down a smart perfumery. Clearly, my naivete is alive and well: the only scents worth bothering with were to be found at the branch of Debenhams, and even they were mostly pedestrian. Gaultier and Miyake took up a fair amount of counter space with the summer versions of their signature scents. Dior and Estée Lauder were pushing the usual suspects. As expected, there were no Guerlains in sight. The sales assistants were busy chatting about the "gorgeous man" for whom they were gift wrapping some apple-shaped Donna Karan parcel. Sadly, the most interesting thing I found was a little paper plane made by Kenzo in place of the usual smelling strips. I shoved one in my pocket, making sure not to spray anything on it.
Still, I'm not allowed to leave a perfumery without having a sniff of something, so I settled on the new-ish Eau Tendre flanker of Chanel's Chance. Pleasant enough - if you want to smell like an orange peel - but how anyone can consider it to be worthy of standing next to No. 5, Coco and No. 19 is beyond me. Mind you, the entire Chance line has been hugely successful, so I guess Chanel are having the last laugh.
The moral of the story is: if you'd like to have an enjoyable perfume outing, don't go to Salisbury.