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A Good Perfume is So Hard to Find

Do you ever feel like you are either hopelessly ahead of the curve, or spectacularly behind the times, or both?

Ryan’s computer broke down completely, smack in the middle of a week of 6 presentations in 5 days, but I was able to supply mine for the final presentation in Penticton, BC. I had driven from the lower mainland to Kelowna to meet him, and had specifically designated the 3 hours while he was exploring 5 Core Behaviours that are essential for Building Teams with a TEC group, to beginning the arduous task of eliminating duplicates in our combined contact list; we have literally thousands between us. Finding myself computer-less and unable to do that or much else, I nevertheless spent a very satisfying morning.

The day began with a gorgeous drive from Manteo resort in Kelowna. We proceeded across the causeway spanning Okanagan Lake to West Kelowna (formerly West Bank and other now amalgamated communities), and wound our way down the Lake to Penticton. I dropped Ryan and wound my way through lush orchards and vineyards, perched high above the lake, before stopping at The Bench for an organic decaf, albeit Americano, surrounded by local foodstuffs and obviously local conversation. When I exited, patrons were already perched on the patio in anticipation of a glorious sunny September day. Unable to begin the contact purge, what's a girl to do with unexpected time on her hands? Go shopping! I discovered two inspiring treasures at Cherry Lane Mall in Penticton. The first was found in the October Special Harvest Issue of my favourite Victoria magazine. I was enchanted by the handiwork of Michigan artist, Carol Pyykkonen. I treasure the purses and jewellery passed on to me from my maternal grandmother, who loved bling every bit as much as I do.

Ms. Pyykkonen's lovingly crafted accessories reminded me of the gorgeous mirrors and chandeliers for sale at The Lund Hotel.

These creative artists have both utilized salvaged treasures, and have inspired me to fashion something similar of my own.

The second huge find was "The 7 Virtues Perfume." I have been in a war against chemical additives in personal care products since I learned about their serious harm in the mid-nineties. When I used to share this ground-breaking information, people either stared blankly at me or rolled their eyes. I dreamed of developing my own natural skin care line called Ashley Rose. That obviously didn't happen but I still scrutinize ingredients, if the product I purchase is American - Canadian laws insanely don't require such labelling, and strive to purchase personal care products which contain only natural, preferably organic, ingredients (psst, check out

Perfume living up to this standard has been "so hard to find." I did bring some back from Hawaii, but keeping a steady supply that way isn't really an economic option for me. Imagine my delight when I found The 7 Virtues: "vegan, paraben-free, pthalate-free perfume made with essential oils that rebuild nations!" My favourite was "Middle East Peace," but there are 5 to choose from.

Fast forward to December 22, 2014. While on board a flight to Munich, I was given the green light by husband in the pod across the aisle (thank you Air Canada) to peruse the Duty Free catalogue. The first thing I had to purchase was a Roots stuffed beaver with Canada on its T-Shirt - for our grandchildren to tote to the Spengler Cup games while they cheer for their Daddy, Ben Walter, while playing for Team Canada. The second was - you guessed it - The 7 Virtues Vetiver of Haiti eau de Parfum. And I even got aeroplan points!

I am reminded again that we women, who are nostalgic for the past, and industrious for the future, can change the world with one of our favourite pastimes, one purchase at a time, because a good perfume is so hard, but not impossible, to find!

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