082011

20 Aug

 Tami (my cousin) and I made a first batch of natural incense; it’s my first in at least five years. We didn’t happen to have any rosemary, so we couldn’t make the LJ-signature incense (orris, lavender, rosemary); we made Scorpio instead (frankincense, galangal, pine resin). This was held together with laha and lavender distillate water (which will always be my trusted binders, unless sandalwood distillate water turns out to be special stuff, which I think it might prove to be). We finally got rosemary, so we were able to make the LJ-signature incense. I’m still torn about the correct form in which to make incense; we tried short sticks. We even tried using an extruder, which utterly failed. The way to go is joss sticks or cones. My father is big on the idea of dipping coated incense sticks (on bamboo skewers) into various essential oils, coated with basic “flammable” incense dough.
 I’m not so certain that would even work, because essential oils smell very different when burned than the actual powder smells when burned–even the powders themselves are unlikely to smell similar to the up-close experience of the powder. Next up, I will try a pastry extruder (a conical bag with an appropriate tip); it should be perfect for extruding nice straight joss sticks. I will make an executive decision not to use essential oils for enhancing aromatic qualities of given natural incense. It makes sense that if essential oils don’t smell similar when burned as they do up close, I should eschew the use of essential oils in making natural incense. I’m happy figuring out which aromatic powders smell the way I want; I’ll come up with certain combinations with universal appeal. The hardest part will be extruding straight joss sticks (but I’m confident a pastry extruder/decorator will work).
I have the idea that certain aromatics might be considered “perfume blood.” I wouldn’t consider making perfume without certain elements. Benzoin, labdanum, or orris (concrete or CO2) should be used in every perfume; also ambrette. Rose/rose-otto, jasmine/jasmine-sambac are more that I tend to include in every perfume–the trick is knowing how much of those particular essences one can include without all your perfumes smelling the same. Orange-blossom in the heart and corresponding neroli on top are also elements I favor. As are rosewood, petitgrain, and black or pink pepper on top.
 Mary says she thinks the tendency to include certain extracts/notes in perfumes tends to make for a sameness in odor qualities between perfumes/EDTs/EDCs. I’m confident if I use the _correct_ notes, I will weave solid perfumes, perfumes with solid perfume substance. I have enough experience to know that I have plenty of variety in perfume smells that only the most important elements smell similar; as I said certain essences/extracts might be considered perfume blood. The trick is knowing how much of a given note you can include without all your perfume smelling the same. This is all nothing more than my opinion.

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