Slow makes good—the cause and effect of perfume

Halt, wir sprinten in den Stillstand (stop, we’re sprinting to a standstill)
Warum werden wir nicht langsam langsamer (why don’t we slow down more slowly)
Langsam, langsamer (slow, slower)

—Balbina, “Langsam Langsamer” (Slow Slower)

(Side note: I just discovered Balbina, and 2 music videos in, I’m already coveting her wardrobe. Except the midriff-baring pieces; they wouldn’t suit me, especially not these days. I don’t know what the style is called, with oversized elements and odd angles that make the clothes look like they might be exhibited in a museum.)

I recently bought some more raw materials, and have been getting acquainted with some beautiful ones that I knew thus far only by reputation and not by smell, such as (pink) champaca and narcissus absolute. My initial impression of the champaca is that it smells like ylang ylang tinged with jasmine, backed by something earthy or rubbery that I find a bit challenging. Narcissus is every bit as heady as described, like a more reserved cousin of tuberose with its own story to tell, at least to my nose. It’s definitely not one I can easily memorize, though. I’ve been opening my vial of 10% dilution periodically to sniff and let my brain encode it into its cache. The scent of narcissus has gravitas—it has no time for one who is rushing.

The best thing about all of this is, it’s OK to take time.

The same goes for my own perfume experiments. Sometimes I’ll look at a work in progress and think, I should make another “mod” of this, but I’m not sure where it’s going yet—and it has barely had time to settle! My patience (or pause) is often validated when I smell it a few days later and it’s much more rounded, and the character of the notes start to reveal themselves in the blend.

Perfume is a luxury to be learned and enjoyed slowly. That’s why I’m fully aligned with those who feel that long-form writing is so well suited to sharing the experience of perfume across a distance—it immerses the reader, yet allows space for interpretation and freedom of pace.

All of that said, perfume is also an indispensable companion to get me through the hectic days that will consist of intense frenzy for this last stretch of the year.

Dringende Dinge, Dinge die dringend sind (urgent things, things that are urgent)
Machen sich wichtig, obwohl sie nicht wichtig sind (make themselves important, although they are not important)
Was dringend ist, ist lange noch nicht wichtig (what is urgent is far from important)

—Balbina, “Langsam Langsamer” (Slow Slower)

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