Coming Home


Well, I’m finally back and thought it only fair to let you know what the heck’s been going on around here.

Part of my silence has been due to me trying to figure out what, if anything all, to do with this blog. But more honestly it’s been about deciding if I wanted to share anything in writing at all. Because, let’s be honest, we don’t always feel like sharing. But it was about more than that.

When I first started out on the path to perfume making three years ago it was with a dream to turn my hobby into a business in some way shape or form. In time after a harsh reality check came the acceptance of the enormous cost of that dream be that logistical, bureaucratic, or financial living here in Italy. It became painfully clear that perfumery was not going to become a career path for me and I really struggled with that truth.

But, making perfumes has been, and still is, important to me.

A lot has come out of letting that desired outcome go, a much more important awareness in my opinion, the discovery of simply making things, exploring simply for the joy of exploration, to create in as many forms and mediums as one is attracted to and can afford. And that’s a lot when you think of what can be done with the humble pen and paper! Calligraphy, photography, watercolour, drawing. These are the things that are calling to me to come out and play.

So, what about perfumery then? What about the evaluations, where do they fit in? And that’s what’s been bothering me. Well more like bothered, impatient and curious at the same time. Has life really led me on this wonderful olfactive journey that has cost a small fortune only to abandon it just because it doesn’t have business potential? Give it up? Give away all my olfactive treasures that I have so lovingly diluted and aged for three years? No. I couldn’t accept that as the end.

Sometimes it’s hard to let a dream go or allow it to morph into something better, more well suited to who you are now.

And it was clear that I had to let the dream go of turning this into a career. With that came the understanding that I didn’t have to let go of the art form; it could still be a very important part of my creative life.

Being someone who needs an objective and having grown up and lived in North America for most of my life I assumed without question that a financial objective was the only or the most important objective to aspire to when choosing to do something, anything. I was wrong.

There is a delicious satisfaction that bubbles up from deep within when I make my mark either as words, as scribbles on a page, or as an olfactive signature. Whether that mark is the perfect S that my eye, hand and nib have formed in perfect harmony on the page or my first blind contour drawing or being outside, shy, tentative afraid even to make a mark with my watercolours, brush and blank paper because painting plein air is so intimidating! That is until I catch a whiff of Larch resin on the crisp autumn breeze from somewhere in the distance. Then another deep breath as I fill my lungs with its chemistry, its magic and mystery and so my courage begins to expand equally and I make a stroke with the brush. This sort of exploration and discovery of self has its own rewards, in unexpected, and often immeasurable ways.

Yes, the evaluations do take a lot of time to do it right, but I’ve decided to continue doing them, I’m not even sure why, I trust the answer will reveal itself in time.

I entertained the idea of doing workshops of putting together a course on YouTube or something like that, but honestly, I don’t feel that to be my contribution. I’d like to continue giving through these posts, with my particular brand of evaluating that hopefully stirs you to even greater discoveries.

Perhaps, when it comes to perfume making, doing the evaluations and sharing my own particular insights with you is what I’m meant to give and share with the world and not a finished perfume. And perhaps what’s important about perfumery in my life is that it’s a vital connection between my brain and the world around me and that it makes me happy.

I have never been comfortable with ambiguity but in the last few months I’ve had to come to terms with it through perfumery and deciding if and how it would continue to be a part of my life. I still don’t know for sure what the answer is and after months of soul searching I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s okay.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for your patience during the silence and on Monday I will be back with a new evaluation.

Wishing you a wonderful day!






6 thoughts on “Coming Home

  1. Hello Maxine,
    wow… strange, I had been wondering what happened to you in the past couple of days, and here you are.

    doubt, seen from another angle, is a blessing. It breaks open old and self-evident perspectives. the more it hurts, the harder you are working at it!

    Everything you do, and I mean everything, is useful in some way or other, if we don’t see it at that moment, that’s because our insight is faulty or incomplete.
    The Larch is always positive… it’s’the humans that specialise in turmoil and intricate pathways, don’t we just.
    Way to go, I am proud of you!


  2. … the means AS the end; thank you for sharing your process! I think it’s wonderful to let your path reveal itself instead of relying on the mind’s value “boxes.”


  3. Hello Maxine, reading your words has really hit something within me and so at nearly 1am I find myself writing to say thank you for the immense openess in your words. I for one love reading your evaluations on naturals. And id be keen to talk to you if possible with a view to working with you and bringing your creative talents aboard my business called Hermitage Oils. Again let me say thanks for this post and I wish you well. Adam


    1. Wow, thanks, Adam! I believe that if I’m going to spend the time writing I want it to also touch people, that’s really important to me. Glad you like the evaluations and just send me an email about your collaboration idea. Love your stuff at Hermitage! Cheers, and talk soon.


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