Perfumery

by Bonnie Pockley

I’ve always been charmed by the idea of perfumery. There are photos of me as a child, grating lavender and other extraneous bits and pieces into a mason jar through an old tennis racquet in the garden. It was, if I remember correctly, a concoction I was preparing for school in the days we spent our morning tea and lunchtime breaks happily setting up shop under the playground fort and in the space between the trees on the fence line. We’d meticulously clear away the tanbark and offer two services to our classmates: massage and beautification. For the second we dipped lengths of lavender in our slightly fermented jars of ‘perfume’ and ran them over wrists and necklines.

To this day the art interests me. In my late adolescence and early 20s I wanted to – but didn’t – pursue it more seriously. Being a very particular area of study, it felt out of reach and like many things, an impossibility. I did look into it though and even found myself unexpectedly – one strange night –  in a perfumer’s workshop, working out who amongst us could smell musk (apparently only 20% of females can smell real musk) and cautiously handling liquid mercury while someone unseen, cooked curry in the other room. But that’s another story for another time. I still, occasionally, make my own perfumed oils. This is one:

6/10 parts sandalwood, 3/10 parts rose, 1/10 parts violet and a stick of vanilla bean. Please note: All oils are diluted in a base of Jojoba.

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