Sunday, 4 July 2010

Pernickety Pipette Practices - A Mug's Game?

When I first began decanting perfume, I remember reading the following warning on NSTperfume, in their comprehensive guide on the subject:

"Avoid plastic funnels, as it is nearly impossible to remove all traces of scent once they’ve been used."

Having adopted a strict mantra of "metal good, plastic bad", I proceeded to apply it to the pipettes I use for decanting from splash bottles. I use them for one scent only and label them to this effect. Now...I have been doing this swapping lark for a year or more, and pipettes are starting to proliferate in my office. This means that I sometimes forget what perfumes I have dedicated pipettes for, and consequently I have at least two for certain scents.

The pipettes are stored in two mugs, notionally in a fanned out display to avoid mutual contamination. By the way, the pipette wearing the improvised bandage made out of a bit of kitchen towel is not ailing, but its designated perfume is deemed to be particularly contagious (Cuir de Lancome).

An interesting post the other day by Notes From The Ledge discussed the subject of "Wandering Minds", as in minds left free to roam off topic in an idle moment. And so it is that when I get distracted from my work, I sometimes find myself staring at the mugs of pipettes - and before you can say "graduated in 0.5ml increments" other images pop into my mind...

And if I ever tire of my hobby, I might be able to fashion interesting household objects out of the used pipettes, drawing my inspiration from this lampshade, which seems to be constructed entirely from uncooked spaghetti.


  1. It perhaps is not surprising that I loved your turn from pipettes. That is a most enjoyable visual trail you have.

    I think I must find that lampshade's sibling. It is...indescribable. (And, it would seem, indescribable is unspellable, if red squigglies are to be believed. Holy cow, now there's three of them. I stand firm.

    And return to topic.)

    As a semi-orthodox FYI, I find that cocktail stirrers are a fine, inexpensive cannula for siphoning and dispensing. The old trick from your childhood...insert straw, close top end with finger, transfer to your brother's back, erm, decant bottle....

  2. pipette wise I haven't ever decanted on a large scale so I've always sprayed in copying a method seen in Les Senteurs. When I went to a perfume making course (which was soooo exciting) we used glass pipettes and the perfumer always uses them- however there are serious safety implication as they are shards of glass so not good around children, pets and to be used very carefully

  3. Hi ScentSelf,

    As ever, your comments are most educational - I must try to give "cannula" an outing some time. It's even more abstruse than "ferrule", at a guess.

    Have you played that pea transfer game with straws? I'm betting you have...

  4. Hi Rose,

    I've seen the SAs at Les Senteurs in action with their stylish decanting techniques. I believe it is called "spraying commando"!

    : - )

  5. Oooh, abstruse. I was afraid you'd say obtuse. Now I can be incomprehensible in an abstract way.

    Were you peddling ferrules whilst out on the road? Ferreting out ferrule customers? But if your ferrule is ferrous it is iron, not plastic, though. Hmmm. I am intrigued. Perplexed, perhaps, but intrigued. (Not that you've obfuscated; just my own slow meanderings down the clue trail...)

    Peas? Straws? Hmm, I don't know WHAT you are talking about. But I do believe I've got entertainment lined up for this day of summer vacation... ;)

  6. "Ferrule" was simply another manifestation of Wandering Mind Syndrome, in this case an assonantal association with your cryptic cannula... : - )

  7. What a great organizing system!

    Do you leave it all out? Or hide them somewhere?

  8. Hi, La Bonne Vivante,

    The mugs normally live on my office windowsill. With half closed eyes, I can imagine they are vases of flowers. Okay, with eyes shut, more like...