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I am back from my vacation. Actually, I am back since a couple of days, but I needed some time to get back in pre-holiday mode. Today’s picture shows you one of a couple of water color pictures that I did, sort of in a hurry, either during lunch break or before dinner. It is the view into the Morteratsch valley, with the glacier hiding behind the trees.

This glacier is melting, like most Alpine glaciers, and since about 100 years it is quite dramatic. Nowadays, it’s ice loss accounts for 40 meters. I tend to go there, to the glacier, every year, once. Thus, visiting the glacier in 2010 took about 150 meters less…Last Thursday, getting up at 6 am, I was jogging up there. The air was crisp and clean and the valley was filled with the perfume of fir trees and the moisture of the stream coming from the glacier. A wonderful moment, also because I was all alone.

The last two weeks on the bike, cycling along the Danube and the Inn, following the one down to Passau and the other one up to the Morteratsch glacier, 1400 or so km, were filled with fresh air, and the meditative movement in slow motion, slow compared to travelling by train or car.

As we had sort of a ambitious goal, there was not too much time during the day for painting. But this comes with advantages: The more you have to rush, the less is the danger of getting lost in details. A good friend of mine told me about her painting teacher who told her: A good painting does not need a lot of time. There is some truth to it.

Here’s the thought of today, therefore: A good perfume does not need a lot of time to construct. Sometimes. And sometimes, working too long on a  perfume idea, the scent actually falls apart because you add too many storylines and colors and shades.

But then: Painting and perfume making needs SOME time.  It does not happen in 1 minute, really. And practice. And imagination. And inspiration.

Cycling is perfect there. Lots of time to think, time to imagine all sorts of things and a lot of inspirations. Highlights this year:

The best living rose I smelled these last two weeks was an old, very tiny, pinkish-magenta colored rose in a garden. In Zernez, which is not really your rose place. Just mind blowing.

The highest peak: Bernina, 2300 meters. The wettest day: Bernina passage. yes, not fun really.

The oldest tree: A 400+ years of oak tree.

The oddest building: Walhalla in Germany. It felt like an LSD tripped prince’s Greece flashback.

The coolest encounter: I bumped into Luca Turin, or the other way round. By chance, on the street: We went for a beer and discussed what the chances are for that happening, really. And we talked about perfume, and the industry. It was the first time we met. I hope it won’t be the last time.

The most clearing thought: Actually, we are not facing an explosion of niche perfumery. It might feel like an explosion, but basically it is an implosion.

The most soothing thought: I have the nicest clients on this planet.