Linden blossom

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  • flowing

    Yesterday, in the factory, under my tauerville sign that I got from a friend, years ago, to celebrate the opening of the two rooms where I spend most of my time these days, yesterday, I made today's blog picture. Very,  very wet. An experiment really.

    Kind of out of control. You see how the colors flows over the face? Magic!

    Here and there (perfumes) I love it when things start to flow and get out of control. I learned, however, that most people do not. Flowing can also mean: Doing something in a different way than before and reinventing things and yourself. Like saying cheers to playtime with Calone. Or goodbye to xyz. To some extent, there 's a part inside me that welcomes crisis mode and the fluidity of breaking points, of interfaces between yesterday and tomorrow. First because I am more effective. And secondly because I am more decisive. Stuff that might have been accepted for years, without complaining, like retailers paying late, or perfumes not selling well, or better said: investments to bring a perfume from one packaging to the other or onto the shelves with little financial return, stuff like that, from one day to the next, gets changed, eliminated completely. Like the Pentachords. What is out there on the shelves may sell and then: That's it.

    And in this sense, every thunderstorm is a relief.

    When announcing the price hike, due to the Swiss Franc going through the roof and due to increased uncertainty of where we end up,  on Facebook about two weeks ago, Marianne asked me there what might change. I think I said something like "everything". Unfortunately, this ship is already partly loaded hence to change everything needs time, more time than I wish. In other words, the homage scents will stay a bit longer because the next batch is made. This however is not true for Zeta- a linden blossom. 1 bottle left. For me. I am sorry.

    But you see how the color flows in the picture? Magic!


  • sowing the seeds

    I couldn't resist picking today's title for today's post, shooting the right picture, and downloading the right tune on itunes...
    Yesterday, the W.-factor and me (finally!!!) were sowing some basil seeds. It is summer, and we decided that we need basil leaves with tomatoes later this summer and that Andy should make a pesto, again later in summer.
    And it is fruit time. All the fruits in the grocery market invite in yummie colors to grab them and eat them, immediately.
    Thus, today's picture illustrates this summer feeling a bit. When writing the post, I remembered a couple of things: My apricot essential oil that I got a while ago from Robertet, that resulted in trial version 3, a soft, fruity floral rosy edp on an ambergris background. I did it, liked it, did not know what to do, thought it did not last like all my other scents and moved on, all enthusiastically working on a hyacinth-lily-theme. This one, by chance, landed on my wrist before going to bed. It was there this morning, it was there this noon, surviving the fear sweat attack at the dentist office, the gym work out and the 45 minutes running, and to some extend the shower. I need to discuss this scent with a professional. It is spicy, floral, green, heady, and I do not know yet why it has a staying power that compares easily to the half life of plutonium.
    Anyhow. I remembered the apricot-floral-rosy-ambergris scent, and I remembered that I need to label the 200+ Zeta bottles, and I remembered that I always wanted to try to do a limited (seasonal) offering. It is summer, and I am thinking about offering ZETA- a linden blossom theme- with something special, for a week or two, like for instance free shipping. To celebrate summer, sort of, and as an experiment, to see what happens. Sort of. I need to think about this one, while I smell the apricots.

  • bear's garlic

    On Friday, I diluted the next batch of the fragrance ZETA - a linden blossom theme-, and put a few drops onto my skin, after pouring the 20 liters into 2 aluminum cans. Just to test the scent and because I have not worn ZETA for a quite a while, almost forgot about  it. I told this the journalist the other day, too. Once a scent is finished and bottled and on the shelves it becomes a thing of the past and I kind of forget about it.

    Thus, last Friday, I sort of discovered the linden blossom theme a little bit again. OK: I am totally biased, but I loved it. And I sort of figured out that the linden blossom extract that I use in the ZETA fragrance might be a good starting point for a room spray. Or a splash. Ha! Another idea.

    But not a candle. Although I smell Tilleuls au vent by L'artisan parfumeur right now. I bought the little 35 gr version of this linden blossom scented candle because I liked its scent a lot, and have it sit on my office table. But I did not light it so far. I just enjoy smelling it the way it is, unburnt. Actually, after yesterday's sudden, unexpected, frantic cleaning attack it is one of the very few things that sit on my office desk. I removed of most trials and papers and books and have room for new things again. At some point, while planing my departure tomorrow, I realized that I do not want to come back in a week from now to this desk. Thus, I am proud owner of an empty desk for a few days.

    This is probably the last post for a while, as I leave Zurich tomorrow and as I am rather busy until then. One of the activities: Collecting Bear's Garlic in the woods.

    The result of this activity you see here: Bear's Garlic pesto for ten spaghetti dinners. Hmmmm. A lovely Sunday to you all. (and the picture to the left shows you the bear's garlic as it grows in the woods these days)


  • ZETA is here and it comes with a draw



    Zeta - a linden blossom theme-  is ready. Yesterday, I put the samples and the discovery set options online and today, the real thing, the 50 ml flacon, will go onto the shop. And I go to Milan today for the Esxcence.

    And with that, this linden blossom story is a thing of the past for me. Contrary to you, I guess. I have to worry about stocks and production later, but for the moment I am fine and have room for new adventures. But before we all engage into new fragrant stories: Here's a thank you to all of you who follow my blog and my venture. MERCI!

    It is important for me to know that you are there, on the other side of the planet maybe, on the other side of my computer's screen, listening to what I try to say. Merci again.

    Now let us celebrate: Here's a little draw. You can win a ZETA- a linden blossom theme- full flacon, boxed and packed, sent to you from Zurich, to any place on planet earth. Please make sure to leave a valid e-mail. Here is my promise: I will not make use of your personal data nor hand over your data to any third party. I will only use it to get in touch with you , if picked your comment as the winning comment.

    Besides the ZETA, full flacon, 50 ml, you can also win a discovery set with 5 samples of your choice as consolation price. Just leave a comment now to be in. I will pick a happy winner next Monday.

    If you do not know what to write: Maybe you wish to comment on the HAIKU going with the ZETA?

    A linden blossom theme

    Linden shade in June-
    sweet rose petals and the light
    of Syracusa.

  • delays as usual and a little sample draw


    EDITED:  March 09 17.30 Swiss time. THE DRAW IS CLOSED. Thank you to all who participated.

    The winners, picked with truly in a random way, are:

    Olivia A.



    Congratuluations again


    Believe it or not: We started working on the design and packaging for the Collectibles in  autumn. Some stuff we ordered in November. Now it is soon spring and as always: Everything gets in with delays. Accidents here, technical troubles there: I am getting used to it. In theory, I should be able to pour and label and box the flacons now, or no: Last week.

    It will - in reality - be in about 2 weeks. For you this means that you have to wait a bit longer for the Linden blossom theme. But wait, here's a treat:

    I got the manual stamping things that I will use to stamp information onto the sample papers. Today's picture shows you my first trials using them; as you may easily see: I need some practice there. The same stamps I will use to bring information onto the packaging. Kind of cool, as it allows me to easily change information from batch to batch (you remember: Collectibles are subject to change from time to time).

    In order to celebrate my first happy stamping of the sample flyers, I will make a little draw: Be the very first to smell the COLLECTIBLE fragrance: ZETA-a linden blossom theme!

    I will pick 3 happy winners using in a  day or two. Just leave a comment below and you enter the draw and your chances are good to win a 1.5 ml sample in a spray atomizer. Once I picked the winners and close the draw, I will announce it here. The draw is international, independent of where you live. And, just in case you do not know what to write in your comment, here's a question for you: "what means linden blossom to you"?

    Your privacy is important to me: You have my word that I will not make any use of your private data except for contacting you after this draw, nor forward them or sell them to any third party.

  • things that matter

    Today, there is more time to think on form, reception of forms and a little bit on function. Why this? Because I will have to do quite some boxing and labeling and sample making today. Time to meditate, think about mails that I need to write and time to think about a packaging issues. Packaging is so important when it comes to presenting fragrances.

    Frighteningly important; so important that I always fear spending too much time and energy on these issues. So many aspects come together and need to fit. Yesterday, for instance, on the way to the movies, all excited because I got to see King's speech in a lovely vintage like cinema, the W.-factor and me discussed briefly the rubber stamp for the Collectibles, respectively for the first fragrance there: The Linden blossom theme.

    I will need to use two rubber stamps for the information that is prone to change from year to year or batch to batch: The EU allergen declaration and the haiku, as I may want to change to another haiku based description sooner or later. This translates into another manual extra step, which means more work to pack the perfume or to produce samples. We discussed this aspect, which translates into more time to get things out. We grumbled a bit about it, realizing that on the other hand, this linden blossom might be one of the few fragrances in this strange perfume market that has a rubber stamp mark on its labels, maybe even with a handwritten "2011" for the year of production, like limited photography prints.

    And, at the end of the day, this matters.

    But what matters more is the form of the perfume. And here is a nice , says it all, concentrated into one sentence description of the form,  by Jo Fairley, in Mail on Sunday Magazine (UK), on roses, featuring a few great rose perfumes, such as Clive Christian's 1872, or Creeds "Fleur de The Rose Bulgare" (I will need to try both  the next time when I am in the UK.)

    She describes the rose chyprée: "Like all chypre perfumes, it's sophisticated - and a little bit "vintage", too." This is charming. And like most creators, I am susceptible to charming words, thus her "With turbocharged staying power, one of the two new rose introductions from a self-taught "niche" perfumer who is the talk of the industry." makes me smile, too.

    But, I smile even more, when I look to the right, where my new camera sits next to me. My old one did not survive surgery and I needed to get a new Nikon. Nikon was nice and gave me a discount. Cheers to Nikon!

    Today's picture is the first shot done with the new baby, shot at 7 am, with shaky sweaty hands. All excited

  • there are no answers, only choices

    The quote "there are no answers, only choices" is from Stanislav Lem's novel Solaris. Removed from its context of exploring intelligent life beyond earth, it is a quote that I find fitting with and for a lot of aspects of life; and it fits with questions we ask, looking into the sky, in search for answers. Unfortunately there are none.

    But there are choices everywhere. Nature works like that, in an endless series of error prone reproduction and selection. And as humans, we work like that, too. We have choices and by choosing we move forward.

    This week, my choices are somewhat relevant. I will have to decide on how to inform my retailing friends and partners on the Linden blossom fragrance. Hopefully, by the end of the week, I will get most of the labels from the printing company. The green flacons should be delivered within the next two weeks. Thus, slowly but surely we should be a bit more specific. How and when I do so will influence for what price, by when and how the Linden blossom fragrance will hit the shelves. So far, I mentioned this upcoming fragrance only on the side, like here on my blog, without any pricing and design details. Thus, I need to choose the dates and price level now. And trust me: This is not easy.

    You see... no answers, only choices.

    Today's picture shows you a cut through red cabbage, scanned. It could go for an alien brain.

  • open camera

    OK, folks: the last few days were very busy and the next few days will also see me running around a bit faster than average.

    Hence,  I did not post yesterday. In fact, yesterday I had a photo camera falling into coma and I tried what every guy interested in high tech does: I tried to fix it myself. This lead to the camera dying a fast but painless death. It is on its way to Nikon heaven now and we hope for a cheap resurrection.  In the mean time: we recycle photos of the past., and start with egg plants, as appetizer food:

    Slice the egg plant, sprinkle salt on top, let stand for an hour, remove the liquid that is forming and then put into a pan with little bit of oil and fry until golden (a bit).

    Put in a try and pour a bouillon over it that you prepared before hand:

    A bit of bouillon (2 dl), garlic, chilly (fine chopped), bay leaves, pepper corns, and a bit vinegar and a bit white wine. Let cook for 2-5 minutes until most of the vinegar is gone. Let cool and pour still warm over the egg plants.

    Let marinate for an hour or two before serving with white bread.

    While you enjoy it, I will continue working: Making new batches of scents and getting all the labels for the first Collectible LINDEN BLOSSOM THEME ready for the printer. Launch: End April.... yeehaw!

  • Linden blossom fragrance matures

    We got the tickets for Milano, heading there for a day towards the end of this week, in order to discuss a few 2011 things with my Italian business partner who takes so much good care on my brand in Italy. I will discuss the plans for the coming months and the scents of spring. And the LINDEN BLOSSOM scent. I hope that I have all ready by April to ship the bottled fragrance that is playing with the Linden blossom note, and that I built around a natural Linden blossom Carbon Dioxide extract from Bulgaria. If interested: you can find out more on the development of this fragrance on the open letters series on Nathan Branch's blog, clicking here.

    I calculated the price of all the raw materials going in there. ... oups. When I create a fragrance I do not think too much about its price. Actually, I do not think at all about its production costs.  Thus, I realized (again), how complex and rich this fragrance is. It is a very flowery composition, with lots and lots of roses, a neroli - citrus chord, an added orange blossom absolute line, ylang, tons of sandalwood essential oil, vanilla carbon dioxide and an overdosed linden blossom essential oil addition.

    I will present the fragrance as part of a separate line within the brand, called Collectibles, in green 50ml pentagonal flacons and a different labeling concept that should underline the artistic, limited and exclusive aspect of the fragrance. The first batch of 1000 flacons are ordered and I should get them in March.

    The scent is mixed and sits in the cellar, maturing as reddish-orange juice, about the same color like the middle point of the pear in the picture to the left. I bought it on Saturday because it looked so yummie and because the color fits neatly with the color of the fragrance concentrate that needs to mature for another 3-4 weeks.

    I will dilute it when I am back from my trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg.

    And yes, the pear has not survived the weekend.

  • Inspiration lingers everywhere and a pre-spring cleaning of a clustered desk

    So it felt like early spring yesterday. The sun got through the early morning fog and it got warm and it truly felt like spring for a moment. Actually, I only wanted to get rid of a few pieces of paper on my desk, but what started innocently as a little engagement turned into a battle and lead to an empty desk. Cleaned of everything that is not needed anymore. It is free from any past activities. Most of them were 30 ml glass vials with perfume trials. I had a lot, really a lot of them.

    While getting rid and reorganizing all the remnants of past searches, of despair  and painful trials I grouped all perfume experiment vials:

    The Linden blossom related: All gone to heaven, except for the final version.

    The fire tree essential oil related searches, discussed on the open letters with Mandy Aftel in Nathan Branch's blog: I keep all them, but put them aside as I have a version that needs to mature and that I consider sort of finished.

    A secret perfume development: Same situation ... I consider it sort of finished.

    A secret perfume development : 90% finished and put aside for fine tuning in the coming weeks.

    All rose soap trials neatly put together and stored away.

    Another secret perfume development, on which I worked for 2 years: finished, and all experimental in between versions gone to heaven except for the final perfume.

    My desk is empty. I have enough fragrances to launch for two years. And with the empty desk I feel like starting new compositions. Inspiration lingers everywhere, for instance in the kitchen (see picture of today...)

    I wonder where this will end.

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