Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Grieving Today, and a Love Note to Perfume

Just a few minutes ago, I heard from someone who follows Possets that Fabienne Christenson passed away in hospice. Link to her obituary: Fabienne Christenson

This summer had been difficult for her, and she had let us know on the forum that she was "helping a loved one" in hospice. Looking back at some of her posts, things that were a little confusing now are much more clear. For example, she loved Halloween and always looked forward to making Halloween fragrances, but this year "unexpected things" had come up, and we would not be getting our yearly release. I remember thinking how very out of character that was for her. And, I admit that I was tempted to write her several times, but I know how busy helping someone in hospice can be, and I didn't want to intrude. (Now I'm wishing I had intruded, a little bit.)

She was the first perfumer that I discovered when I started going down the Indie perfume/niche path (not one that someone recommended to me).

I still remember going through the website and ordering samples, getting the samples, and immediately turning around and ordering a few bottles and more samples. Some of the perfumes worked. Some didn't. Such is the nature of skin, chemicals, bodies, and perfume.

One of the things that charmed me about Possets was that Fabienne would include a little personal note on each invoice, and her turnaround time was impressive. If she had issues with a mail carrier, she let us know. She hated delays. She liked to be connected. And it showed. When she had to raise perfume prices, she did so with apologies and warning. All part of her dedication to customer service.

She is one reason that I decided that perfume didn't have to be fussy or full of alcohol or headache inducing. I found more from her that worked for me, that I enjoyed, and when I found out that her company had been started as an essential oil company, that made sense to me. She seemed to care about what she created, and it showed to those who purchased from her.

When I heard the news today, I had an urge to find all of my Halloween bottles, and open them. This was one of her favorite times of year, and it showed in her Halloween releases. In some ways, I find it oddly fitting that somehow she waited until autumn. It was a season she loved, and it was a love she shared with many of us on the forum in her posts, and also in her perfumes. Where else would you find perfumes called Ghost Fart; Gingerbread Whorehouse; or Pumpkin Tied Up, Covered in Honey, and Licked all Over? Her sense of humor, her fun, her delightful approach to an art that some take much too seriously (although to be fair, some don't take seriously enough) charmed me and made me realize that perfume is just one more fantastic way to express myself.

Oh, Fabienne, you will be missed. Thank you for being part of the scent memory of my life, and for sharing your art with us while you were here. I am deeply grateful that I found Possets when I did, and that it was part of what helped start my ongoing love affair with something as small as scent molecules. Science and art can be utterly wonderful when they come together, and Possets is proof of that.

Today, as I watch more leaves being shaken down by unseen winds and I think of all that I love about autumn, I am going to find my Halloween bottles and decide what I'm going to smell like today. I can tell you this: I'm going to be delicious. And I owe that to Fabienne.