2016 A Year In Review

2016 A Year In Review

Where to begin?

Probably the biggest discovery is that it was the first year in decades that I hadn’t made any goals for myself – neither mentally nor written. Yikes! And as a result I was all over the map last year.

So what really happened in 2016? Here’s the overview in bullet points:

  • Brain Pickings – this has got to be the best site I was led to read. It’s written by the very talented Maria Popova who describes herself as a reader, writer, interestingness hunter-gatherer, and curious mind at large. I have learned so much in the few short months that I’ve subscribed and what she writes moves me to the point where I donate monthly because it is clearly written with love. The post that got me hooked on Brain Pickings is one where she wrote a review of the book How To Love by Thich Nhat Hanh and the quote is “…The most precious inheritance that parents can give their children is their own happiness.” I always feel that every minute reading her posts is time well spent, and that’s a rarity these days online.
  • Which leads me to one of the highlights of the year, that I became a grandmother! This put centre stage for me the importance of curating my own happiness to lighten not only my daughter’s life but that of my granddaughter. Her birth urged me to make my own happiness a serious priority not as a point of selfishness but of love.
  • I allowed things to fallow and go untended on purpose.
  • I moved the blog from a paid WordPress hosting back to the free WordPress platform. Breathing room. Less pressure.
  • I took a hard look at teaching ESL and am convinced this type of setting is not the right one for me but that I do love to teach and share. Doesn’t totally answer all my questions but it does shine some light. Clarity is a wonderful thing.
  • I invested in a load of new raw materials, mainly aroma chemicals, to add to my olfactive library.
  • I didn’t do as much blending as I wanted to do which is a bummer so I gave myself a challenge making it necessary to blend, a lot, faster…
  • I signed myself up for the town’s Christmas market and made my very first fragrances to sell and sold them! More on that in another post.

I figured I could either waste time flogging myself for time “wasted”, stagnant stats and traction lost (is anything ever lost?) or I could get back to writing about making scents and making sense of scents, my way. I opted for the latter.

If nothing else I learned that I am allowed to be human, make mistakes, not have all the answers and yes, bugger things up a bit every now and then.

I hope you join me Monday as I start off the week with an evaluation of Frankincense essential oil.

Cheers and love!



quotable: go deep


This quote got me thinking of something the guys over at The Minimalists said about passion…found it!  Here it is: “‘Follow Your Passion’ is Crappy Advice”.  They talk of cultivating a passion instead of following one and I think this makes so much sense. Here’s how they break it down:

“Follow” implies that you discover the passion in advance then go match it to a job. At which point, you’re done. “Cultivate” implies that you work toward building passion for your job. This is a longer process but it’s way more likely to pay dividends. It requires you to approach your work like a crafstman. Honing your ability, and then leveraging your value, once good, to shape your working life toward the type of lifestyle that resonates with you.”

When I go deeply I discover I am passionate about creating, I want to create — I need to create every day! Whether it’s a beautiful bouquet of flowers or a cool image or a porcini mushroom risotto, it makes no difference, I must create. What makes me a perfumer is not a passion that all of a sudden grabbed me and said “Hark! This is what you were meant to do your whole life!” although there was some aspect of, “please, sit up and take notice, ’cause I think this could really be a beautiful fit for you and your life.” Yeah, it was more like that. What makes me a perfumer is that every day I choose to sit and study my raw materials, I choose to research botanicals and I choose to follow a certification course to give confidence and structure to a growing skill.  And each day those choices build upon each other and nourish me.

As I am learning and I apply myself daily this doesn’t mean I am full of Eureka! moments, there are days I sit in the chair and ask myself what the hell makes me think I can do this?!

But understanding is dawning that passion flows from desire. Each day as a new piece of understanding fits into this enormous puzzle called my life I make wonderful discoveries, like, “oh, so that’s the role I want synthetics molecules to play in my creations!” or some unexpected nuance in Patchouli I had never noticed before — even after the 100th time smelling it — unveils itself to me. Each time this happens my passion for perfume making grows and forms itself more clearly.

As I go deeply I realize my perfumes do indeed flow from my life. My eclectic nature, my silence, my isolated dwelling, my struggles, joys and triumphs. It’s all here in what I do when I go deep.

Wishing you many wonderful discoveries!

trying to stay patient, but such is life


Trying to remain patient when real-life interrupts my olfactive education is nothing less than super human for someone like me!  But the upside is that I am teaching kids and can draw some satisfaction in knowing that I am doing my part in passing on something positive to the next generation.

But I’m still tincturing, and gathering bottle samples and developing the feel of what I really want to communicate through my perfumes so it’s not all time wasted.  I just did two tinctures: organic cardamom and organic coriander.  More on those when I return.

Also my walking routine has now been in effect for the last two months! Yeah! 6:30 every morning for meditation then a walk with Charlie for an hour; so of course by 8:30 (no, I’m not kidding) I am completed useless.

I will be back, first week of June and can’t wait for when the luxury of endless days to immerse myself in hours of odiferous contemplation, writing and photography!

Until then, have a wonderful May, and remember to get outside and enjoy life!



hello-!What they heck am I up to?!

I’ve been unusually silent in the last two weeks.  I know, sorry about that.

These days have been filled with lots of seat-to-the-chair work: writing, contemplation, creating as well as taking care of the day to day inner and outer business.

During that time I’ve been playing with the idea of pioneering what could be a very big project and giving a little perfume project that began a couple of years ago a gentle nudge once again to get things rolling.  All the while I’ve been communicating inwardly with what these and my current education commitments would require from me to see them through successfully.  Since, traditionally I’ve always taken the time necessary to get in touch with that deeper part of myself whenever I needed to reconnect, this time was no different, hence the moment of silence.

But, I’m ready to act and will be back Monday. Hope you are well and wishing you a wonder-filled week-end!