Well, at least part of the reno follies are drawing slowly to a close. The painters are almost at the point where the building is done. Of course, their idea of this and mine may be slightly different since in the past they had considered “finished” to mean leaving unpainted surfaces that A} they couldn’t reach without too much strain and/or B) could not be seen from the ground by the casual passersby. I have this crazy idea that the whole building should be painted so there has been some disagreement about that, as well as some push-back from Mr. Macho project manage guy who seems to take umbrage at taking orders from a person who is not his boss and (and I may be reading into this) from a, well lets just say it. A homo. But since I have no problems telling him to his face that this homo is the one who approves the checks for, and at the direct request of the building owner, he’d better fall into line. Because I will just make his life a burden to him. She will make him rue the day he was conceived.
Now I have to just get through them putting in the new front doors and it’s Miller Time. Or perhaps a few weeks at Trembling Acres with a Thorazine drip and some nice basket-weaving classes.
Since in it’s infinite wisdom our little city prohibits any construction work to occur on a weekend day without a special permit and a damed good reason why you need to be there on a Saturday (and “we’re too inept to get it done in time otherwise” doesn’t cut it) I had the joyous combination Saturday of a really lovely day and a Facebook notice that Roxana Villa of Roxana Illuminated Perfumes was going to have an open house at her atelier in Agoura Hills in the West Valley. I admit that I sort of hemmed and hawed a little, since it was a 60 mile round trip (damn, LA is big..) and the temps in the Valley would be warm. But then I have been chained if not to this building then certainly to this zip code for a while now and the idea of a pleasant cruise to visit one of the most pleasant people I know and smelling lovely things was the best and cheapest therapy I could think of.
If you’ve been reading my ramblings you know that we are blessed with several very talented local artisans here in the Southland who do wonderful things with scent, and Roxana is one of the best, as Portia can attest. Having at this point lived the better part of my life in this zip code I can attest that few if any I can think of does the scents of California better than she, and the best thing is that she does most of them from items she collects here, sometimes even in her backyard. I had a lovely time revisiting some of the scents I had tried previously and some that I hadn’t yet, most of which are not just a blur (like an idiot I put my notes on the passenger seat on the car and they blew out somewhere in the Malibu hills on the way back.) I did purchase some of her Jasmine Sambac Hydrosol, which can be used as a sort of refresher spray or (although you’re not supposed to so do so at your own risk) spritzed onto plain water as the most refreshing thing ever. Lovely lady that she is, in addition to a warm welcome and a big hug she gifted me some of her new bath salts, which were tinged with the dried essence of a local Malibu red wine and smelled so gorgeous I left the water in the tub for a full day after bathing to scent the room.
On the way over to her I took the Freeway (Santa Monica to the 405 to the 101 to Kanan Road for those of you who like that SNL skit “The Californians”) and on the way back I took Kanan over the hill into a chilly and fogged in Malibu and onto home. I had the top down, KCRW on the radio, I smelled great and spending time with Roxana and the lovely people at her place for an hour was like a weekend at a spa.
I might not need that Thorazine after all..
Jasmine Sambac Hydrosol is $30 and I believe like all of her wares are available at her Etsy site or at her store in the Whizzen (SP?) Square in Agoura, which you should get to if you’re in Los Angeles. I purchased my bottle and was gifted the bath salts. Photo is from her website.