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I may have lessened the momentum of posts on this here blog, but I haven’t been slacking in my hobby. I recently finished reading Perfume by Jean-Claude Ellena, and his experience has affected my approach in making fragrances. I am spending time working on accords – nutmeg and linden blossom, cinnamon leaf and English lavender – while diluting E.O.s to 5% to better understand the nature and tenacity of individual notes. I purchased four different samples of patchouli, and I’m going to spend as much time with them to best understand the strength of each variety when blending.

I had hoped to find Jean-Claude somewhere on social media, alas I suppose he is too busy creating amazing blends to bother with tweets and likes. Some of his students are avid users of social media, and through them I have learned how to express fragrance through language. I was also able to apply meaning to my approach for creating fragrances: synesthesia. I am exploring the concept of synesthesia more in my work(s) as I continue to deepen my exposure to singular notes.

Jean-Claude also blew my mind by sharing that vanilla and labdanum absolutes produce an amazing amber accord. My oud & cannabis blend is a million times better now. I was thinking of calling it “Last Splash” or “Roi” after The Breeders.

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Cascadia Terroir’s red cedar and thujopsis were made for cannabis e.o. I think I also found a great way to incorporate cumin into a fragrance, and believe you me I have tried with that note. You might say the secret ingredient is salt nutmeg.

I should pack a couple vials and send them to Olympia, see what Eric et al think.

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I haven’t received a lot of feedback yet from all of my friends who received samples of my blends, but here is what I have so far.

“I’m wearing the Oud Kush right now and i adore it. The one I’m wearing is almost masculine, but I don’t mind that. I quite enjoy it. It sort of reminds me of the 90s, but in the best way possible. All earthy, Erykah Badu and D’Angelo-ish. [It] fades very quickly. Doesn’t seem to have any lasting power with my body chemistry.”

What’s interesting about oud is that I’ve also experienced a shortened dry-down with oud blends—and not just my own. Even at a parfum extrait concentration, oud can only work its magic for so long. I should figure out a way to keep the oud rocking a little longer than a few hours.

I sent a specifically masculine fragrance to a friend in Brooklyn, the primary base note is choya nakh. The oil is derived from a distillation of crushed seashells in a cedar base. Choya nakh is traditionally used in Russian fragrances, and I am still looking for that just-so blend where the note belongs.

Obviously I have my work hobby cut out for me.

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