Written Friday afternoon, 8/17: This afternoon when I ran it was the first time in ages that I’ve really sweat. The temperature was over 90F (32C) and the humidity was relatively high (65% - I looked it up), just pushing over the threshold for really getting soaked in sweat when exercising. The sun was shining and there was heat radiating up from the asphalt. As I sit here writing this, the sweat is running down every part of my body like rivers. My shorts and tank top are soaked. I love it! Of course I’m looking forward to a nice shower at some point, but right now I’m just loving the feel of it being summer. We have so little warm weather here that it’s a novelty, just like fog and rain in the desert.
Before I went running I was working on a new floral accord for a fragrance in progress. It’s going to have a very earthy base with a floral heart, but no roses, carnations, or standard “white flowers”. I wanted the new accord to be a hybrid between a generic orchid base and osmanthus, so I’d been poring over chemical analyses of weird orchid species’ headspaces and osmanthus flowers fresh, picked, in concrete, and in absolute, trying to identify the main players common to all of them. I had a basic orchid-ish accord already, the sort of just-at-the-corner-of-your consciousness scent that would belong to one of those legions of non-showy orchids like the one in the photo. This afternoon I added the first osmanthus framework. When I put a dab of the mix on my skin it was way too strong and “unmelded” at first, but as it dried down, I smelled the possibilities. About an hour into the drydown I went for my run. By that point I was thrilled because I could smell the peachy note that’s in osmanthus, with no peachy stuff having been added. It blew my mind to think that there are so many pathways to the same olfactory experience. After sweating enough to wash away just about anything, the scent is still on my skin. So far so good! …
Written today, 8/18: Later on that evening when I went up to my “lab”, the room was full of the flowery, peachy sillage of my experiment. I still have a lot of tweaking to do, but I think I have basically what I want. I applied some more this morning, and it's mellower than it was yesterday. It still starts out way too strong, but it's a concentrate, after all. It's back to the usual cool and cloudy weather, so I'll get to experience it in a very different context.
[Desert dunes photo from Wikimedia. The Dactylorrhiza fuchsii grows in my garden.]