Sunday, 20 June 2010

Hard Pressed

I don't quite know how, but in between the extra demands of the day job, the insurmountable ironing and the million-and-one other things that need doing every single weekend, I managed to find a few hours to have a play with my bottles of smellies. The task was to create a heavily animalic smoke accord based on synthetic castoreum, labdanum absolute and vetivert oil. The results were, to put it bluntly, frustrating.

There is still so much I've got to learn. What's more discouraging is that I now seem to be at the phase where each subsequent 'lesson' succeeds in illuminating little more than further gaps in my knowledge. This causes moods to turn bleak. Grim internal conversations echo in my brain. Why persist with this perfumery lark, I ask myself. It's difficult enough to find time for passion/hobby #1: writing. And the expense! Couldn't I have settled on a cheaper hobby? No, I had to go and choose an interest where some of the materials are several times more expensive than gold! But I'm not sure I did choose it. I think it chose me, many, many years ago, when I was the only eight year old I knew with a collection of miniatures of Dior and Oscar De La Renta and Cacharel...

I permit myself a quiet sigh and tell myself that maybe next time, when I try to coax a few drops of magic to emerge from my pipettes, things will go better.


  1. It's easy for me to say, but I would urge you to stick with it. I'm sure you will have that eureka momement when some of the solutions click into place! It would be interesting to read some more detail of what yo have been up to in this regard.

  2. I second what Michael said - stick with it. And my first thought when I read your post was, You do ironing?? Drip dry all your clothes on hangers and any additional creases drop out once you have them on. That's my laxadaisical (spelling?) approach to life.

  3. Michael and MPL: a big Thank you to both of you for writing. I genuinely appreciate the comments.

    Truth be told, I felt a bit rotten about publishing yesterday's post and wondered if it was fair to inflict my pessimism on my readers. But then I decided that if this blog is going to be an accurate record of my attempts to improve my perfumery skills, then it also needs to reflect the times when things aren't pleasant and cheerful.

    But anyway, I will take your encouragement to heart and keep going. I'm certainly nowhere near giving up yet!

    Michael, I have actually wondered about writing more nitty-gritty, nuts-and-bolts style posts, but to perfectly honest, I've kept them to a minimum because I've actually been embarrassed by the thought that they might show up my ignorance of the many aspects of this complex craft. Maybe that attitude needs to change too...?

    And MPL, your ironing comment made me chuckle. Yes, I'm afraid my wife and I do still make use of old fashioned steam and it's going to take a lot to convince us to abandon our archaic ways. You can't beat a good crease ;-)


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