Taking a Moment to Gloat

Ever since I started my working life, it has been very hard to get a job. I was born at a time when willing workers had become more numerous than good jobs. And so I: competed like crazy, was disdained by sniffy companies, had to take “good enough” jobs, and endured being told that I could be replaced by just anyone so I had better watch myself or else.

Well, I decided to study a variety of forms of programming and other computer things. I found out that HTML was a remarkably useful skill to have and I turned my nose up at canned programs like Dreamweaver because I wanted to learn to program from scratch and how to control my work product down to the smallest pixel. Others laughed at me because why would I want to work harder? After all, the end product is the end product, right? I don’t think so. If you don’t know why something happened, then you don’t really have command of it.

I learned HTML, then HTML5, I learned CSS and practiced like crazy. I got good at it, good enough to design my own website. It works for me.

Now I am learning some programming in earnest. PHP and MySQL are things I am working through and finding that they are very enjoyable indeed. I will have greater control: of my site, of anyone who I hire to help me out, and the ability to help my customers if they get in a jam. It’s such a relief not have to beg someone else to come in and do a crappy job for too much money, come back and fix it, and put me at the end of their to-do list so that the time between hiring this person and getting the job done is months. I am tired of being the prisoner of that. So, I learn. Then I do. And I prosper in many ways.

So, I felt like that is what you did if you had your own business. Then I ran across this article on line. No one is kidding. I was astounded that they said that “HTML5” was the top search term for employers (at least I think that is what the author means). Good grief, that is the most basic of basic skills. Is it really down to that? Are we so used to having Dreamweaver do our job for us that getting someone who can think from scratch is now at a premium? HTML is something which real programmers don’t call a “language” and will laugh that “it’s not programming….it’s just HTML”; or am I thinking in the past and we really have been reduced to believing that HTML is some Dark Incantation for the initiated only?

If that is indeed what the author meant, I got in my 15 minutes of smirking time. Now I am working for myself but I have the means to get hired by someone else at a handsome salary, and ironically it’s because I am working for myself and picked up that skill. But even more ironically, it’s the thing that protects me from having to work for someone else. !Viva la revolucion!

Cambienne: Six Is Sold Out

The latest version of Cambienne, Cambienne: Six, was immensely popular. I had made as much as possible because I figured that it would sell briskly due to it’s being a commemoration of the Sixth Anniversary of Possets Perfume. It did and now I have had to shut town sales of Cambienne for a while. I will be coming out with another incarnation of that fabulously changing fragrance and so be sure to check the website frequently, or sign up for the newsletter and haunt the forum. So much more to come from Possets.

Alas, Poor Cobalt Violet Is Discontinued

Cobalt Violet was a popular blend but there was one of the ingredients which I cannot get any more and so it was put on the Endangered List. Today I sold the last full bottle of it and I have only one set of 5 Poppets left. I am selling that one on the Possets website and once that is gone, it’s gone. Too bad, it was a great fragrance.


Probably the hottest perfuming ingredient at the moment, oude is faintly understood in the West so I would like to tell you a bit about it. Oude is the product of a parasite which infests evergreen trees in India. The parasite causes the trees to secrete a dark substance which neutralizes the infestation in spots. It just looks like dark wood. However it is harvested and refined and turned into a strong and delightful perfuming ingredient.

Oude is very expensive. The evergreen trees from which it is made are now becoming scarce, and due to the rising demand they are even becoming rare in their natural range. It’s a vicious circle, the rarity (and high price) of oude encourages over harvesting and poaching and that destroys more trees.

However, as with sandalwood, there are synthetic oudes which faithfully mimic the scent of the real thing. What does it smell like? I think it’s volatile and aromatic, somewhat woody with a note of denatured alcohol. The scent becomes stronger as time goes on to about an hour after you put it on in blends where it is featured. Very long lasting, it can be star of a perfume, or it can be used in very small amounts as a fixative for the other parts of a fragrance to ride on.

Oude is also known as agarwood, and there are as many grades of oude as you care to think about. Some are adulterated and added to with fillers to stretch the scent, camphor and just about any other volatile filler like menthol.

Oude burst on the perfume scene at the same time as the Arab Spring, as things Eastern became spotlighted in the world consiousness. Perfumers in all of Arabia have been masters at producing the most lovely renditions of perfume using agarwood and so it became a symbol of our times as well.

I used oude for the first time in my perfume Orion, named after the winter constellation and inspired by a trip to the Cincinnati Observatory. It is a strong blend which does increase as time goes on for the wearer! More masculine and commanding, or equestrienne in nature, I would classify it as sportive and dominant for either sex.

How To Play A Sistrum!

One of the iconic ancient items regarding Egypt was the sistrum, a “rattle” which was used in the worship of Hathor and Bastet. I was wondering, how did you play one and how did it sound. Find out in this video, it’s a lot simpler than I thought! When you click the play arrow, it will probably say that embedding is disabled by request. Click the inner underlined link to YouTube. It’s only about 2 and a half minutes long and I learned a lot!