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waking up in Paris

One of the best ways discovering and learning more about cities, in my opinion, is jogging, in the morning, when the city awakes, its streets and corners still presenting the dust of the night, the trash still sitting in the shortening shadows of the sun rising, the homeless still sleeping, and the drunks of the night bumping into the busy bees that got up early to serve us coffee later at 9. I did so on Friday in Paris, as I woke up way before six; having done my mails, I decided to go for a jog, at 6.30, and I was amazed how quite Paris still is at this time around the gare de l'Est. Much more quite than I know it from other cities.

The jog was along the Canal St. Martin, starting there where it begins at rue de Faub. du Temple and ending somewhere out there, at the Parc depart. de la Bergère, and from there back along the canal and then through the city, in a circle, discovering a few streets and corners I haven't seen yet. So that was good, and as always when jogging, there is plenty of time to think. I was thinking about fantastic raw materials that I discovered at the XI salon Matières Premières, where me and some friends wondered where the hell these wonderful materials are actually used in light of what we smell these days. And I was running away from the agitation of the next wave of zombie scents flooding the streets and perfumeries. Paris was quite a wake-up call for me, in a certain sense, and I need to get back to this point when my morning dizziness is gone.

Today's picture shows you a Givaudan map of synthetic treasures; some of them I actually use, like Okoumal, or Sandalore (nice!) others I don't. I am so glad that these days, we can use both, in qualities seen never before, synthetics and natural. The salon featured -of course- some synthetic highlights, but most of the suppliers were producers of natural extracts and wow!, there were so many fantastic goodies to smell there. Highlights are, just to mention a few: a Tasmanian blackcurrant bud absolute. A fantastic mimosa absolute, a drop dead rose oil (actually a combination of natural rose oil and other extracts, rendering the rose oil gentler, and bringing this all natural close to the scent of real rose petals) and a Lily enfleurage, and a vetiver, and and and. This was truly inspiring and motivating to move on and play more.

Today, I will play too, but not with scents but with the cellophane manual tool that was delivered while I was in Paris. I will do so while waiting for Fedex and trucks that pick up orders that I prepared in weekend and night shifts before leaving. I guess this day will see me going through a lot of cellophane with little results. As it says in the training manual for the tool: "The operator should at least spend 2 working days training on the machine..."

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