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I’ve written before about the quality of oils, but White Lotus Aromatics continues to blow my mind with its quality. I previously purchased opopanax from Mountain Rose Herbs and it’s worked well in many formulas. I was a little annoyed with the E.O. beginning to crystallize when it reached a certain level in the bottle, but I am working with a resin and its qualities are not unlike that of honey. The opopanax I purchased from MRH is clear and viscous with a sharp note. As I was running low I decided to order an ounce from WLA this time. The difference is quality couldn’t be any more visceral: the scent has no sharpness, and the color is consistent with opopanax also referred to as “red myrrh.” I made a blend this morning using the opopanax from WLA and I’m excited for my friend/guinea pig to try it out.

I ordered Vanilla absolute, black pepper, and oakwood from MRH. I’ve ordered the vanilla abs. in the past and the quality is good. Now after experiencing a better quality opopanax, I’m somewhat regretful that I didn’t order black pepper from WLA. I’ve looked high and low for other places that could possibly carry oakwood, but MRH has that market cornered. It’s not that I will receive poor quality E.O.s, it’s knowing that I could have done better.

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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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