© Cindy Beck, 2009
(Keywords: Cindy Beck, Urban Botanic, parfum, perfume, fragrance, bath, body, lotion, funny, humor, Latter-day Saints, LDS, yourLDSNeighborhood.com)
Image from Karlene Browning's Urban Botanic website.
Even though I had a cold last Saturday (January 24), I went to Karlene Browning's Urban Botanic Make and Take, anyway. It was a blast! I don't usually do the party thing—you know, Tupperware parties, Pampered Chef parties, Learn to Knit Underwear for Your Significant Other parties—and I want you to know I'm not just saying the Make and Take was fun in order to be polite.
For those of you who don’t know what an Urban Botanic Make and Take is, it’s a workshop that allows you to create your own fragrance for bath and body. With Urban Botanic’s patented method, you learn how to combine your favorite U.B. perfume oils until the fragrance is just right. Then, you add it to a base to make perfume, lotion, shower gel, and bubble bath.*
You don’t have to be a chemist or a rocket scientist to create a fragrance, nor do you need a college degree … you just need a nose.
Now that I’m a seasoned parfum maker, I have a few words of advice to offer for anyone who might be interested. No, not interested in hearing my sage advice, interested in going to one of Karlene’s parties.
1. Don't miss Karlene's next one.
2. Try not to have a cold, as a nose that feels like someone has packed two caribou and a grizzly bear up it is not helpful to your sniffing experience.
3. Do not take along Listerine Breath Strips to give you whiter teeth and fresher breath. After popping one of those in your mouth, it takes several swigs of water before the scents of lavendar, lemon, white musk, and juniper no longer smell like Listerine, Listerine, Listerine, and Listerine. (I know this because I innocently popped in a breath strip shortly after arriving at Karlene’s house.)
4. Ponder what you'd like to name your personal fragrance ahead of time.
The first fragrance I created consisted of an almond-strawberry infusion. It smelled lovely. I sat there inhaling it, dreaming of fairies riding through the woods in a strawberry coach pulled by tiny, cream-colored bunnies. In the middle of my fantasy, a woodland sprite appeared. Her hair shone in the sun like spun gold, and in a voice that sounded suspiciously like Karlene Browning, she said, "What will you name your creation?”
I shot out of the daydream like a stone from a slingshot. What? I had to name my fragrance? Why wasn’t I warned of this? Surely something as vital as naming a perfume required advance planning—something along the order of what’s required to run for President of the United States. There are tag lines … and sound bites … and photo ops … and … oh, wait. Maybe all I had to do was simply pick a name.
Then the pressure mounted. I’m a writer, and allegedly have an imagination. My special fragrance needed a name that sang, that had originality, rhythm, daring-do. I looked blankly at Karlene. “Umm, so, I have to call it something, huh?”
I stared at my bottle of newly created parfum. I shook it, smelled it again and stalled for time. The clock ticked and the minutes crept by. Arrgg! Everyone is going to know I’m a fraud of a writer—I can’t think of a name!
Finally, out of desperation, I wrote down the only two words that came to mind for my custom-scented fragrance. I showed it to Karlene and said, “Will that work?”
Karlene smiled and said, “Yes, I think Almond-Strawberry does a good job of describing it.”
Five minutes too late, it came to me. “Wait, I know what it should be called—Woodland Sprite!”
Everyone grinned, nodded, and I felt vindicated as a writer. And as a fragrance creator.
Today, as I sit writing this blog entry, my new bottle of Urban Botanic parfum sits next to my keyboard. I’ve sprayed some on my wrists and would love to spend more time telling you about its mysterious, elusive scent … but my strawberry coach pulled by cream-colored bunnies awaits me and I must be off to the woods … to dance with the fairies and sprites.
*From Karlene Browning's Urban Botanic website.
What's playing in my head: Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles.
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