Thursday, October 16, 2014


"It is deadly to be without a confidante, without a guide, without even a tiny cheering section". (Clarissa Pinkola-Estes).

Being a transitional season from abundance to constriction, fall is time of reflection, contemplation, checking the balances in both the physical world and spiritual world. Taking stock of harvests, planning for a long winter. And also - taking note of what's missing from one's spiritual life, seeking it out, and nourishing what is there. These supplies would sustain the soul in a long, harsh, cold and dark winter.

Fall is also a season for sorting. This fall I've been doing a lot of re-structuring for my business, creating a new website which is to be hosted on a new server. Through this process, there was the inevitable weeding out of many fragrances that were not sustainable enough to keep in stock regularly, and get rid of a lot of language that was no longer useful on the website, weeding out not only stale content, but also eliminating things that are taking away from the core of what I do, shifting my focus and taking away energy and attention from what's really important. The new website will be a lot more user-friendly, and all my musings on this blog are integrated into the website as well, which is quite wonderful (all the way back to the first blog posts from 2006!).

The other focus of attention for me this fall has been wrapping up my book project. While it is a new edition of an existing book, it has a lot of new material added (almost double in size). The new book is 218 pages long, printed locally in perfect binding, with ISBN and all... It's bulk of new material includes a glossary for over 250 terms; and 55 original formulae for learning in a very concrete manner about all the different fragrance families and their sub-categories. I really cannot wait for it to be ready so that I can share it with you. But it also brings to a close a very long chapter of procrastination in my life. I am the type of person who sits on an idea for prolonged periods of time, stewing over them so to speak, and then in a very concentrated effort I push it forward to completion. Not unlike birth, now that I come to think of it... The pushing part is the part when progress is visible. But most of the hard work was really done in the procrastination phase, when the ideas just "cook" and morph in my head, undergoing an alchemical process (or perhaps it is me who goes through this process).

But this is already digressing from the topic that I'm set to tackle here. Which brings me back to the quote from Pinkola-Estes' life-changing book "Women Who Run with the Wolves". I've been reading it on and off for a couple of years now, as the ideas in it are really difficult to digest and require integrating in one's psyche to really have an impact and understand the meaning behind her stories and wise feminine lore. That particular quote really struck a chord with me. And since this is a time of reflection, it reminded me of how important it is for someone to have support. It takes a village not just to raise a child; but also to keep that child healthy, connected, vibrant through life. We can't live in a vacuum, and we can't create in a hollow space that occupies nothing but our hearts. An artist needs his audience just as much as my perfumes need your skin to really bloom, breathe, and make a change. So thank you for being my little cheering section. And thank you to SmellyBlog readers to being my confidantes - because this blog is a journal of sorts. Lastly, thank you to all of my colleagues, mentors and students for teaching me, inspiring me and forcing me to move forward and share my  knowledge. It is one of those few things that really keeps me going...

I meant to post this for Thanksgiving (in Canada we celebrated it this past weekend), so I hope this is not too late! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Wishing you all a fragrant fall, a joyous harvest season, and many blessings for the new Jewish year, the new school year, and beyond!

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