Thursday, May 30, 2019

A book is like perfume -- Take your time with it

    For the last two months I've been working on a book on "fragrance mechanics" as you might call it. The book is titled "Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics". I used the development of a new fragrance of mine as an example of how a theme sketched out with just a handful of aroma drops from dropper bottles can be enlarged into a slightly larger quantity -- rechecked and perfected at this stage -- and then, through the use of a precision scale -- an electronic balance -- the "drops" formula (remember, drops come in no standard size or weight!) is converted into a "grams" formula, and then to a "percents" formula from which any amount of the fragrance can be produced without your having to count drops. Now you just pour each ingredient into your bottle or barrel.

    My fragrance formula took several months to perfect. My book took about the same amount of time or maybe just a little longer. Currently I have a bottle of the fragrance oil in front of me on my desk, aging -- which is to day "blending", each ingredient mixing more thoroughly with the others. This batch was mixed on 5/7/19. I'm giving it a month (until 6/7/19) before I'll add alcohol and water to finish the job.

    This fragrance has taken patience to develop. There were a number of trials, then the production of a slightly larger batch, then the weighing, the calculations of percentages, the calculation of the weigh per kilo (not hard but some math required) and finally the volume per kilo. And all the while I was working on this book, "Creating your own perfume from dropper bottles: Methods, mechanics, and mathematics."

    Just as developing a fragrance involves direction and persistence, so too does writing a book. You can't write a book without first being clear about what you want to write, where you want to go with it, and even then it will always require many, many "adjustments" -- just like the adjustments you make to get the scent right for a new perfume. Both book and perfume require a constant massaging of the elements until they come together in a harmony that solves the puzzle and gives you that product you set out to achieve.

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