I haven't blogged in a couple of weeks. I haven't know what to blog about, or rather which to blog about, and life has been so crazy. Crazy in a good way. In the past four weeks I think I've been to four weddings - from Rhode Island to the Dominican Republic, and upstate (where the photo above was taken) - and I have another one coming up this weekend! It's wonderful to see all the expressions of love and commitment.
During the weekdays I've been hustling to get our new candles out to stores. Go check them out and bring a cozy one home from Life of Manek in Toronto, Reliquary in San Francisco, Love Adorned in NYC, or Thistle and Clover in Brooklyn. The response to the candles has been great and we're so excited to bring these fave scents into your homes this season.
Then there's the hurricane. So many business and people have been affected, and some in such a tragic way. Nine days later people still don't have heat and electricity back and some businesses will have to shut their doors forever. There's been a lot of outpouring of help and that's heartwarming to see. The MCMC studio and my apartment survived and for that I feel lucky.
And then the election! I was up until 2:30am last night. I just had to see President Obama's speech.
As the holidays approach it gets busy around the studio but there's lots to look forward to. Thanksgiving and family and Christmas. Tonight is New York's first snow of the year. I'm roasting golden beets and making brownies.
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Warm wishes of blueberry pancakes and a walk in the woods.
The lovely lady I share a studio with, Jennifer, asked Katie and I to model her newest collection of jewelry for Odette NY, called Eye of Ra (check out the full lookbook here and here). I love the esoteric influences in her recent work and happily obliged - especially since it involved a trip to Jackson Heights for henna! I wear the large arrow bracelet now every day.
Photos by Jennifer Sarkilahti.
Photos from the year I spent studying at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in southern France, January - December 2009.
From top: 1) my very first meal, 2) overlooking Cannes, 3) sunset in Cannes, 4) class, 5) sunrise in Cannes during those first few days when I took the bus to Grasse, 6) overlooking Grasse on my morning walk to school, 7) firewood at a local home, 8) mimosa in February, 9) Chie's socks, 10) Robertet's distillery, 11) beeswax absolute, 12) Robertet perfume lab, 13) making a mosaic, 14) the view outside of the Picasso Museum in Antibes, 15) when José came to visit, 16) my mantle, 17) my apartment in the old Banque Du France building, 18) working on formulas at school, 19) rose centifolia being distilled, 20) rose in the process of steam distillation, 21) a pretty garden, 22) rosé at the Chanel rose fields, 23) swimming at the lake, 24) my mantle later in the year, 25) first drafts of my collection.
I'd like to start a new section on this blog here dedicated to teaching a bit about perfumery. When I was first becoming interested in the subject I found it so hard to learn about, and it's important to me that it not be such a privately held art and craft. Having gone down the path myself, I truly believe perfumery can be learned, and like painting or cooking, a little bit of talent and a lot of practice can go a long way.
When is the best time of day to smell?
Your nose is most responsive in the mornings, so if you can, try and practice smelling in the a.m. What does it mean to "practice" smelling? Your nose can be developed and trained, and when you smell something again and again, you can start to catch inflections and nuances. Be sure to use words to describe what you're smelling - is there a sensation of hot or cold, is it slightly metallic or flat, or is the smell bright and yellow? Another benefit to just sitting and smelling is that you'll begin to memorize the ingredients. When you begin blending, you'll be able to conjure in your mind the scents of ingredients, and you can reach for them automatically to incorporate into your mixture, rather than pulling out all of the ingredients and choosing (though you should do this too).
Hope this is helpful. If you have questions of your own you'd like answered, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo of Anne smelling freshly picked pink peppercorn in Mexico by Jose Serrano-McClain.
I turned 30 yesterday! And oddly enough...it was hard for me. It doesn't matter at all to me what age other people are and I have friends from all over the spectrum. But for some reason, as my own 30th birthday started to approach, I started feeling this dread. THIRTY. No going back! No more crazy 20s. I'm a REAL adult.
But I had a really lovely day yesterday, and today I really am 30, looking forward to this new year and all of the exciting things 2012 will bring. I went to the El Museo del Barrio uptown with my husband and saw an amazing show there (and skipped the huuuge line at the Guggenheim!) followed by dinner with friends at Momo Sushi Shack. The whole dinner situation was sort of indescribably epic and wonderful. There was endless sushi, endless sake, and they even turned all the lights off in the whole restaurant to sing happy birthday to me. Go there!
When I was 25, I was having brunch with my friend Jessica outside at some cheesy East Village restaurant. We shook hands and promised each other we'd have our own businesses by age 30. We've both accomplished that, and for that, I am grateful.