Setting the lab back up this week

The floors in the cottage have their new finish, and the lab now has a new coat of paint in the same color as my bedroom (a soft gray green that I have loved). My furniture has been out in the garage for a week, and I’ve been staying at my parents’ house. Tomorrow everything will be moved back into the house. It was a big job to move all my stuff and I don’t plan to ever do it again, but I think it was worthwhile. The floor finish had failed in a number of places, but it looks really nice now.

The picture above is my bedroom (no furniture) with my lettuce pot garden outside the door. The photo below is the lab, also empty. It will be full again tomorrow and hopefully back in action by the end of the week! :)


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Update: Lab closed Sept 18 – Oct 2

Time to check in. I’m having some work done in the lab next week (floors and paint), so I am packing things in boxes this week to clean up. While I am at it, I’m reorganizing the large ingredient cabinet on the wall and creating more storage space in the refrigerator and shelf unit in the basement. I have been out of space in the lab wall cabinet, so this will really help. The painting should be done on the 28th-29th, and I’ll put the lab back together after that. I will be unable to ship any orders while the lab is closed, from Sept 18 until about Oct 2. I hope I’ve taken care of most people who need orders. Quite a few packages went out last week.

You may have seen the California Valley Fire on the news. The fires are just to the north and east of us, very close but not threatening our area. So sad to see many people lose their homes. We may get a little rain tomorrow (only half an inch, but even that would be a big help to the firefighters).

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Checking in…

A week ago I had the pleasure of spending a day with a family friend that I’ve not seen in years, and then last weekend some of our relatives from Sweden came to visit. It was great to see everyone.

I’m having some work done in the cottage the week of Sept 21 and will have to move everything out of the workroom for a week. I need to keep the shopping cart down until after that, but I will continue to fill orders via email for those who need things in the meantime. I won’t be able to take any orders, even by email, the week of Sept 21, so please plan ahead if you need something before October. I can’t believe how fast the summer is going.

It was well over 100 degrees here today. There is a haze on the horizon, sadly, from the wildfires in the area. No fires are dangerously close to us right now, but they are close enough to cause a smoky haze in the air. Everything is so dry; we really need rain this winter in CA.

Editing to add a note: If you will need an order during Sept 20-28, talk with me ahead of time and I could pack your order ahead to ship on the appropriate date. I’ll have access to email and could ship during that time, but I would need to pre-pack the order before Sept 20. I’ll have the lab back up and running after Sept 28.

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Birds and Butterflies!


A few days ago I watched the first flight of a gulf fritillary butterfly after it emerged from the chrysalis; I was babysitting it for Nancy and had the fun of watching it emerge. The butterfly took a little while to fly off, flapping and drying its wings before it was ready to fly. Then off it went high up into an oak tree.


The next day, I watched a small bird (maybe a finch?) bobbing back and forth wildly as it rode on an anise hyssop wand, eating the seeds from the dried flower pod. The bird was too heavy for the branch so the branch kept falling over to the ground and then popping back up, but the bird held on and kept eating.


It had a pretty yellow breast. We have house finches with red breasts and also these small birds with yellow breasts (not sure what they are). My pictures aren’t great because it was hard to focus while it was in motion and I couldn’t get very close, but it was still fun to get a few photos. Maybe someone can identify it for me.


I’m still working on the gardenia, and getting some medical appointments done while on my time off. My side injury seems healed, and we have family coming this Friday through Sunday.

Hope your summer is going well!

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Drawing for sample sets, and a quick update

You can head over to Cafleurebon if you’d like to enter a drawing for sample sets from SSS, Ineke, and Cognoscenti. The post is about how artisan perfumers name their scents. Naming can be hard!

My side injury is feeling quite a bit better. My assistant is going on vacation soon though, and then we have family coming August 7-9. I will plan to keep the cart down until after August 10 since this is a busy time and since I’m trying to get some medical appointments out of the way now too. I’m still filling orders for people who need gifts or who are timing international packages, so do email me if you need something.

Hope everyone’s summer is going well!

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Temporary Break

I have taken the cart down today for a temporary break. I was going to wait until late July to take a two-week break while my assistant is out of town (last week of July and first week of August), but I’ve strained a muscle or ligament or something in my right side (rib area) and need to give it a rest. If it feels better soon I will put the cart back up as soon as I can.

If you need something for a gift or you are an international customer and want to time a package while you or a friend is visiting the USA, please email me and I will take care of your orders. It won’t be hard to take care of a few orders; I just need to limit them for a few weeks.

Thanks for your understanding (and I apologize for the lack of notice — this was unexpected)!

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Some links: Amber Incense review and more on scent perception

Julie of The Redolent Mermaid blog just posted a review of the new SSS Amber Incense. Her blog, which has a pretty new format, features reviews with gorgeous product photography and fun DIY project tutorials.

I also wanted to post a link to a recent article about scent perception because we’ve been covering that topic here on my blog for quite a few years. I’ve been tagging posts with the tag “genetics” to help identify the topic of the genetic basis for scent perception. If you’re interested in that topic you can search for my posts with the “genetics” tag to find more information. This particular article discusses a way to identify people according to their “olfactory fingerprint” because our scent perception may vary enough from one person to the next to make each one of us identifiably unique. An interesting thought! :)

Just editing this to add a link to another online article on this same study about our olfactory fingerprint. This is fascinating, “Researchers then repeated that sniff test on another 130 subjects. But this time they did a blood test, too, to figure out each person’s HLA type—an immune factor that determines whether you’ll reject someone’s organ, for example. They found that people who perceived smells similarly also had similar HLA types.” They suggest that taking sniff tests may become a first line medical screening test someday.

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