The Smell of Defeat

There comes a time in every artist’s life when they are forced to admit defeat.  The medium defeats the artist’s best effort and they are forced to abandn the project.  I pulled the trays this morning, and uncovered them.  I checked on them tow weeks ago and I thought that the notes were off but I wanted to wait and see.  This morning, the nose rebelled and I had to admit that the fragrance I had so carefully blended was just…well….bad.

I was trying for a spicy oudh, a somewhat heavy Oriental.  What I ended up with was somewhere in the nieghborhood of  burning cardbord, with basenotes of sulfur, and a middle note of burnt flour.

With materials priced at a premium, even at below wholesale, I have been forced to cut back severly on my experimental projects.  Now I am back to the glass tubes to re-formulate and wait again.  The cones I had originally wanted to release at the beginning of summer, along with the bakhoors will have to wait until spring.  I can’t justify using large quantities of (in thhe most recent case, wasting)  precious oils during this economic crisis.

I feel guilty for even trying.  People cannot afford food, rent and many are homeless.  I have decided to donate 20 percent of every sale to my local food bank until this crisis is over, so other than tiny experiments, I won’t be releasing anything new on a wide scale, simply because I can’t afford the cost of production.

So it is all the usual for now, at  No frills.  No changes.  No nonsense.  Just the same beautiful incense.

Love to all,


I surrender to You, O Lord, and admit my unworthiness.  Lord, Jesus Christ, haver mercy on all those who suffer, who are hungry, wounded and hurting from the world.  Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.



3 Responses to “The Smell of Defeat”

  1. I am glad you are back.

  2. thepropolislady Says:

    Dear Columbine,
    I came across your blog accidentally while searching for something else.
    As I skimmed through the blog and your discussion with somebody who wanted your recipes , I was surprised to a great extent.
    As a cradle Serbian orthodox, 55 years old who loves incense and burns it regularly I never knew that one can have different smells.
    We buy ours at the church and its always the same.
    We were given once some beautiful incense from the Holy Land, I remember it was pinkish and smelled beautifully.
    I do not want recipes:)))) but would love to have your price list and explanation about whatever you are selling.
    We live in South Africa and my daughter can organize the payment ( I am very illiterate in that respect).
    My husband is a priest and I am sure that would be a nice surprise for him.
    God bless and looking forward to your reply,

  3. Dear Popadija, (grin!)

    God bless you — I am sorry if certain entries about incense espionage, disturbed you in any way. IT’s just sort of a losing battle with some people to get them to understand that this is the same as stealing. Seems pretty basic but some people just don’t get it! LOL

    God bless you for your inquiry. I am Serbian Orthodox and yes, I do make incense for Orthodox Christians, in many different “flavors”. Obviously, I am only a laywoman, not a nun or monastic, and so the incense I offer is not “holy” such as what you would get from a monastery. But I do my best, and I do pray over all of it, that the Lord will bless it to people. I hope you will take a look at my website by going here:

    I would be happy to ship to South Africa for you — You can just email me, with the name of the item you would like, and let me know your address. Then I can calculate the international postage.

    I will send this message to your email also so you will be sure to receive it.

    Love in Christ,

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