Ambergris…Squid Beaks…and Moby Dick!

I say, that the motion of a Sperm Whale’s flukes above water dispenses a perfume, as when a musk-scented lady rustles her dress in a warm parlor.—Moby Dick, Chapter 92.

This story had me as soon as I turned on nbc.com. A boy found a huge lump of ambergris on the shore in England. It looks like a hunk of bread and is worth a fortune! Ambergris is a rare perfuming ingredient which smells like rubbing alcohol without the volatility. It is thought to be a waxy secretion from the bowels of the sperm whale which protect the walls of their intestines from the beaks and sharp parts of their main food and nemesis, the giant squid. Ambergris is known for a high keyed and long lasting musk-like character. You will probably never handle it in your lifetime but there are simulations which come very close to the real thing. Karanal is one of them but there are others, more natural choices being cypress oil used with patchouli in the proper proportions, and some use labdenum. I have used quite a few of these simulations in my work and they are exquisite. It is a clean but sensual smell, and if properly done (and this is difficult) the animalic side of it all is preserved and served up to your nose in the nicest possible way.

An entire book has been written on the subject, and I am going to get it, of course. Floating Gold is the title and I am sure that it mentions Herman Mellville’s observations on ambergris, too. If you are a fan of perfumery, don’t miss reading Moby Dick; it’s a masterpiece of story telling. Some of the best parts are found in Mellville’s recounting of what life was like on a whaling vessel.

Sometimes, when you are a perfumer, you take an element and you use it as a central theme for the rest of the blend. It is the star and the other parts are bit players who are there only to enhance the main character. I believe a good example of this is Joy by Jean Patou which dances around jasmine in the most sinuous way. I have showcased the spirit of ambergris most notably in my perfume, Fascinator. Everything which went into that blend was there to compliment the divine smell of ambergris and ambergris is so agreeable that it consorts with a great many other wonderful accords and essences to fabulous advantage.

I just do envy that little boy, though, and mostly because he got to actually smell real ambergris. What a treat!

My Pants Smell SO Good! Unfortunately!

I woke up this morning, showered and put on my blue jeans as usual. However, as I was wiggling into my top I noticed this wonderful smell. Since I am a perfumer, this arrested me and I had to find the source. Well, it was coming from my jeans! When I ship I sometimes get a drop of perfume on my fingertips and I unconsciously wipe it off on my jeans. Today I happened to get the perfect proportions of all of the perfumes I had been shipping as additions to the denim and that particular combination really smells great. Alas, I will never be able to duplicate it because I didn’t record what I was using and if I had I probably could not duplicate the ratios of one to the other! So, this will have to remain a happy but ephemeral occurrence. Such are the tribulations of the average perfumer.

The Possets Egyptian Evenings Survey Is Up!

Vote for your favorite fragrance from the Possets Egyptian Evenings Collection of Summer 2012. There is even a place to add comments this time. At Possets we love to know what you think and since this collection was a pretty good departure for me, I am eagerly awaiting your thoughts. The survey will stay up for about 2 weeks, so vote now.

The Conclusion Of Kohlfest & Eyeliner Advice

The final showdown occurred, which kohl was the favorite out of my top two? The one which stayed on the longest, was the darkest, and the most smooth was…Mosha Kitani. There, that is the winner out of all of the kohls I tried. There was a small difference between the darkness of Moroccan Selection and Mosha Kitani and I would have to say that you won’t go wrong with either one in your makeup arsenal.

In all cases, kohl is a wonderful tool for beauty and I will never be without it from now on!

If you want to hear the whole treatise on which kohl was best and a final tip for eyeliner, here it is. I reposted it here so you won’t miss it.

A Fabulous Sale At Possets For Their 6th Birthday

It’s a 18.1936274% off sale! That is also known as taking $2 off everything in the store (except Discontinued fragrances and gift certificates). Everything else is $2 off per bottle across the board. To make it even better, think about those wonderful Egyptian Evenings fragrances…they are on sale, too! So now is the time to buy your Possets’ Summer Collection. AND, there is a brand new Cambienne called SIX which will be a legend for sure, that is included, too. The sale only lasts for a week and is over on Sept. 2. Pop over to Possets to take advantage of this great deal.

The Kohl Showdown–Noon

NoonThis is an unvarnished shot of my eyes at noon. I had rimmed the one on your right with Moroccan Selection, and the one on your left with Mosha Kitani. The Mosha Kitani held up better but there was still dark rimming to both. The Moroccan Selection had come off entirely from the outside corner of my eye to about 1/3 of the way in though. (The is a birthmark under my left eye, that red teardrop). So…

In both cases it was time to reapply the kohl. I could have gone until the end of the day but I think that I would have touched things up anyway at this point, so I am not giving unfair advantage here.

The Kohl Contest

Rolling my eyes at you!In my right eye, Mosha Katani’s Black Surmah. Rolling my eyes at you!In my left eye, Moroccan Selection Kohl. The contest will last all day.

What I noticed right off the bat-Mosha Katani’s Surmah (kohl) was darker. It was also smoother and less grainy and melted into the rim of the lid. Moroccan Selection was a bit lighter, slightly grittier, and didn’t melt right away.

Honestly, if I had not tried them side by side I would never have noted any of these characteristics of Moroccan Selection.

But let’s go for the longevity now. How long will they stay looking pristine? What happens when I take a bath? Will I have to retouch during the day? Let’s find out!

The Eye To Eye Kohl Showdown—Which Is The Best?

I am going to do a serious comparison of my two favorite kohls and see which one lasts the longest over the course of the day. On one eye is going to be Moroccan Selection, and on the other eye will be Moksha Kitani’s Shurmah. Which will last longer or will they be pretty much the same? I hope I can remember and do this tomorrow. More later.

A Video Tour Of The Possetorium In The Works

The Possetorium has been renovated by my landlady. It looks wonderful and I would like to show everyone where I work and where Possets come from. To that end, I am going to be making a video showing the neighborhood, outside and inside of Possets. I did that a couple of years ago but the video was lost and things have been considerably upgraded since then. There have been people who have asked about the environs from which spring Possets, and this will be your answer. Look for it coming to YouTube and this blog soon.

Oh, and there are other goodies up my sleeve. Keep you eye upon us.

My Choice in PHP Editors

I really have gone through a lot of trouble to try to find a good PHP editor. The sticking point seems to be tag completion. Not too many of them have that. You can get a lot of great features on a lot of the free editors, but to get tag completion, you need to have either a paid one or an editor which is so complex you have to have an engineering degree from MIT to set the darned thing up. Here is how they stacked up:

1) Notepad++-Of all the free editors, this one was the best. Though it lacks a plug in for tag completion; it was small, intuitive, fast, customizable, attractive and just about everything you might want. The only other thing it is lacking is robust support, there doesn’t seem to be a community which will answer your questions. It may be out there but I have not found it yet.

2) Bluefish-Good, fast, but no code tag completion. Lots of videos for setting up and such and it is very popular. The interface is just as familiar as Notepad++. Well worth investigating.

3) Netbeans- After downloading this one you had better be fluent in Java because you will need it. I am sure it is very good once you get it installed and running, there is a big active community with this one and lots of resources for helping you install it and make it work BUT you will need all of those resources because it’s bloody hard to get it all straight and running the way you like, then there is a learning curve once it’s up and running. It’s free and if you like to tinker, it (I am sure) is a winner. I think it even has the tag completion feature BUT it demands considerable investment in time from you.

4) Komodo Edit-A big and popular editor with lots of features and customizations possible. It has a paid version, too, which probably gives you moar. Alas, I just felt like this one wasn’t as intuitive as I had hoped. Again, it was pretty demanding.

5) HTML Kit and HTML Kit Tools-The former is free, the latter is the pay for version. I have used HTML Kit for about a year and I think it is great. Very customizable, very intuitive, powerful. Makes coding a breeze. However, I was tempted by the Tools versions and I bought it. Now Tools is one of the few editors which does have the tag completion feature I was wanting but please know there is a good learning curve and confusion factor built into Tools. The creator is a very responsive guy, though, so you are not ignored or sneered at if you go into the support area and ask how to do something. Chami will answer your question in 24 hrs and is very kindly about it. Tools will do just about all things you would want, and then some. Just be patient, be ready to learn, and be ready to pay $50 which is a pittance compared to Dreamweaver at approx $400. Tools will handle XHTML, CSS, and PHP and goodness knows what else. There are lots of free plug-ins to download so you can customize it. I would say it’s well worth it if you are serious about coding and want to take some of the drudgery out of it.

There was one more that was recommended to me by a friend on line and that was phpDesigner 8. I am going to try it out for free and see whether it is the Holy Grail of code editors. It does XHTML, CSS and PHP so….onward, nerds!