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my new home

After much deliberation and thinking myself blue, I have finally settled on a new home.  I’ll write all the details this weekend, but suffice to say that I will be moving into a pretty little apartment in the old city centre just a few hundred feet from where I am now.  It is completely unfurnished and here in France that means no fridge or stove.  As a result, (and this seems so strange to be resorting to),  I have just finished navigating, with the help of my French/English dictionary,  the French Ikea site to pick out my basic furniture. (like a bed!)  I learned some new words and determined that I can get the very basics without breaking the bank.   After packing up all my belongings in Canada and being overwhelmed with how much ‘stuff” I have, this year of minimalism will be great.

As for the fridge and stove, I can get a little apartment refrigerator for about $150 and for a stove, I’ll just get a little plug-in hotplate.  No baked squash for awhile I guess….

 Tomorrow is Friday- a day with the naturals.  Yesterday we covered various citrus products, both essential oils and absolutes.  Some I’ve never worked with before like mandarin and lemon petitgrain as well as orange leaf absolute and orange flower water absolute.  These are all beautiful oils and ones that I am excited to use in new perfumes.  Especially the orange leat absolute with its creamy green fruity dryout. 

Three days per week we study the synthetic chemicals and I have to say that I am really enjoying this. Knowing them is very helpful even in the context of aromatherapy.  Knowing what linalyl acetate smells like on its own makes it possible for me to single it out as a note in Lavender, because it is a chemical constituent of that oil.  Same with linalol in Rosewood oil.  Or the deep orange wintergreen fruityness of methyl anthranilate that is present in orange flower absolute.

 The chemistry aspect of the extraction processes is also interesting to understand. For example, partly why neroli oil smells so different from the fresh flower is because during the distillation process, the water breaks down the very delicate ester linalyl acetate into chemicals such as geraniol, linalol and terpenes. Therefore when an absolute is made with a solvent and no water, the finished product is actually closer chemically to the chemistry of the live flower, and as a result it smells very different as well.  

 Must sleep now…..


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