making of

spectacular on many levels

The regular readers of this blog know about my Sunday rituals. Human beings need structures and I am no exception there. Most Sundays you see me jogging my half marathon in the hills leading out of Zurich’s west. Yesterday was an absolutely spectacular jog: Starting in bright sunlight and temperatures that are still unusual for the season I ended up facing a huge pile of super grey clouds right in the middle of the tour, after 55 minutes, flying in from my left. It started pouring like hell, 500 meters next to me, like a water veil to the left, but I was running in bright sunlight, dry. And I continued doing so for the rest of the tour, with gusty winds keeping the clouds at a distance, whereby it rained behind me and next to me.  It felt spectacular; it felt like someboy cut through the dark woobly clouds, giving me a safe passage.

So that was nice.

Also nice is the fact that my nose that was useless for a while, is coming back. I used it to smell and inspect the concentrate of the Gardenia fragrance. Mentioned here before: This concentrate is mixed by my supplier of fragrant raw materials,  Essencia. When going into production scale for the first time, there is always a  moment of anxiety and anticipation: There are always small differences between test and trial mixes, and the larger 6 kg batch. I do not really know why this is: It might have to do with little differencies in the quality of the raw materials used. Maybe maturation is a bit different. Who knows.  The bottom line: The concentrate is perfect. Gardenia heaven for Andy, in concentrated form, spectacular.

So that’s nice, too.

Not having smelt it for a while and not thinking about the formula, the scent and its composition comes as a wonderbox.  A bit. I smelled the concentrate with a dear friend over the weekend, and we discussed the mushroom note. And the flowers, and I have to admit: I was checking the formula again, yesterday, after jogging, rediscovering the scent. I forgot that I put three flower absolutes in there: Rose, Jasmine and Orange blossom. Together with other naturals and synthetics, these bring a naturalness and white flowers into the scent:  A bit of a challenge, as other ingredients such as methyl benzoate smell a bit synthetic, and harsh. (Besides an enfleurage super expensive extract of Gardenia, there is no natural gardenia essential oil or absolute. ) But still, these molecules such as methyl benzoate are part of the headspace of the flower. To some extend it is quite amazing how the flower manages to smell so nice in light of the high concentration of these molecules in its head space…. In the fragrance, the flower absolutes like rose absolute or Jasmineabsolute balance tje scent and add softness and deepness. And the orange blossom adds a bright tone, too.

These absolutes also add most of the  color to the scent: In concentrated form it is a nice gentle orange.

And talking about roses: I found time to paint a bit. Yesterday’s object of inspection: An old rose that I will dry in the coming days. The gleamy texture of the flower petals  is gone, all petals are shrivelling, but the color got intensified. What was a bright pink became concentrated mauve – violet -dark grey. A perfect object to play with water colors again. Today’s picture shows you a little detail: I love how the colors and layers merge.

And here’s the full picture. sized down to 300 pixels width. Have a great start into your week!

Old rose

an old rose, hanging in there