• Morning Notes from Coal Harbour
  • Coal HarbourCreative ProcessJournalPerfume Creation

Morning Notes from Coal Harbour

Morning Notes from Coal Harbour

One of my favourite ways to start the day is a little walk in Coal Harbour. Just a few blocks down Bute Street you'll find Harbour Green park and a little aquaplane airport, from which you can take off any time of the day and fly to Victoria, Nanaimo, the Sunshine Coasts and who knows where else...

I call this my little "morning commute", a necessary piece of fake routine that's paramount for the well-being of someone working from their residential space, in a city that never stops raining. It's easy to find excuses to never leave the house (all good ones too - work that needs to be done, errands around the house, and the desire to throw in a good Pilates routine by the fireplace before doing anything else). But this breath of fresh air, the little connection to the world around me (no matter how alienated and cold it might seem from the warmth of my own abode, and never mind that half of the people outside are absorbed in their cellphones).

Coal Harbour is increasingly populated by taller and larger glass towers, which are pretty - but also completely block the sun in the afternoon. That's why I save Sunset Beach for my evening walks... And in summer mornings (which is when the above photo was taken, though it's hard to tell the season from this photograph...), the green grass is dewy and sometimes even intensely fragrant if it was just cut (which it was on the morning when I took these notes).

My favourite part of my faux daily commute is watching the airplanes take off the water, waiting for that exact moment in time and space where the splashy, noisy trail they leave in the water disappears, and they transform from a fast surfing duck into a flying hawk, circling above the harbour before heading to their destination. And of course - this doesn't come without smell either. Jet fuel never smelled sweeter and more exotic then when mingled with the salty air of seaweed drying in the sun at low tide. Animalic, fishy and verging on the disgusting, but smells like music to my nose.

Last night I finally received the missing piece - one raw material that I terribly needed to get started on this perfume: seaweed absolute. Unlike the seaweed oil I have used in New Orleans and Orcas - this one in full strength is quite disgusting actually; unless you think of it as a packet of hijiki seaweed with the potential of becoming a favourite dish...

And so my composing have began, and not on a very positive note, naturally. I added the seaweed absolute along with a few essences that will make the "jet fuel" accord and the result is, ahum, maybe realistic enough to remind one of the real-life source of inspiration - but certainly not what I'd put on before a night on the town. Or any time, for that matter. However, I stopped right at the exact moment before I would waste too much material and started contemplating juxtaposing this horrific accord with other more delicate and refreshing notes of cut grass, linden blossom and such (all of which remind me of Coal Harbour, of course) and I think I'm off to a pretty good start in my adventure. As long as I don't use it as an excuse to not leave the house tomorrow morning...
  • Coal HarbourCreative ProcessJournalPerfume Creation
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