When you talk with a perfumer – a proper perfumer, not a sort of perfumer – among the terms that occur most often, memory and its cognates have the lion share. Now, I have chosen a profession in which a fair degree of good memory helps, and I have done so in spite being definitely affected by the Goldfish Memory Syndrome. Be it as it may, when I started to deal with perfumery, I wondered if that was a good idea in the first place: I am almost exhausting the whole of my already overstretched memory on recollecting work-related information: should I really be venturing into something equally challenging for my wits? Given that I practice combat-sports, I thought that I’d devote myself to illegal mma fights instead. Gioia was exhilarated when I told her: she was about to kill two birds with one stone. However, her enthusiasm vanished as soon as she realised that my life insurance does not cover death as a result of a me fighting with a thug on steroids in an abandoned underground station. Continua a leggere
Quando parli con un profumiere – un profumiere vero, non una specie di profumiere – una delle prime parole che userà ripetutamente è memoria. Chi scrive ha scelto di fare un mestiere, la ricerca, in cui un po’ di memoria diciamo che aiuta, nonostante sia incontrovertibilmente affetto da sindrome del pesce rosso.
Now, as a blogger I am horribly lazy, to begin with. I have already tried to keep a blog. My first was on a friend’s request: he was an elder man from Esfahan who sold decorated wooden gates dating back to the Qajar era (well, he claimed they were Safavid, but that was a bit exaggerated). Needless to say, we didn’t manage to sell even one. The second time was when I was involved in a weblog co-run by other four guys. That one was on Iran, but it never really took off, partly due to my carelessness. All in all, I don’t think I am the best candidate to successfully run a blog. Moreover, I sort of write for work. I tend to spend much of my time at a desk or in a library researching and writing stuff. Although I am passionate about my job (and despite the fact that my love story with academic research was and is made of ups and downs), when I am done with my job, I don’t really feel like sitting at another desk and write. While I love writing, when I am off I tend to do other things, like stepping on a ring, spending time with the people I love, or reading all the fiction I shunned throughout the years in which I have basically been reading academic literature only. In what remains of my time, I do the perfumery thing – but I rather make fragrances than write about them. However, after more than two years of practice and study (thanks also to the mentoring advice of a celebrity perfumer whom I choose not to mention here), I became kind of good at blending, and I thought that setting up a blog wouldn’t be a bad idea, in order to give myself discipline and start make myself available for creating bespoke fragrances for other than my Guinea pig friends. Oh, right, and that’s the whole point of this blog: without even noticing, and despite the fact that I have a long way to go before I gather the knowledge I aim to get to, I have become a sort of perfumer.
There is a caveat, though: it would seem that I am supposed to submit the draft of my book on Shiʿi Sufi exegesis in the 19th century to OUP in January/March. Therefore, I am going to be slightly busy doing something else. No one expects a post per day, then. Not even one per week, I am afraid.
In the next installment, I will explain the rationale behind naming this weblog Oleafragrans. Oh, and I was going to forget: in principle, I will be posting both in English and in Italian. ‘In principle’ means that some posts will happen to be in English only, others only in Italian, and others in both languages (but please keep in mind the caveat mentioned above)