Friday, May 20, 2011

Deborah Dolen's Preakness Predictions

Deborah Dolen's Preakness Predictions 2011

The 136th Preakness on May 21,2011 is drawing a little comedy on Twitter. Twitter people want to see "Rapture" and "LeftBehind" in the running. I was thinking "ThereIsNoHeaven" should run in that litte trifecta-owner, naturally, Stephen Hawking, to make a shocker of an ending promised by major know nothing (no not Hawking) but the real master of doom Harold Camping. My take on that expiration date is more a Lucifer date-he knows his time is almost up-not to mention the small detail that Harold Camping signed business contracts that begin after May 21, 2011 .

Back to the real world, betting on the Preakness is always a lot easier than the Kentucky Derby because there are far less horses and those horses who performed well at the Derby usually perform better at the Preakness. The caveat to all of this is horses do not usually win on dirt and go back to win on synthetics. I know I said in my last article, Animal Kingdom had no dirt experience at all and I ruled him out, albiet his Jockey I ruled in. Animal Kingdom won the Derby anyway and I learned an exception to every rule. Animal Kingdom was my belated pick at the Derby because of the Jockey. That Jockey, John Velazquez, was supposed to ride Uncle Mo – who became ill with suspected gastric issues as the Derby approached.

Uncle Mo is still recovering at Winstar Farm where he has been since May 9th. Uncle Mo is doing better and has gained 30 pounds. He had lost at least 60 pounds during his perplexing illness. Speaking of rest, Nehro has been pleasantly excused from the Preakness. His owner, Ahmed Zayat did not feel compelled to enter Nehro in the Preakness and loves his horse enough to give him a break. For that reason alone, Nehro’s owner just won five Preaknesses in my book. This leads to my other point about Animal Kingdom, I think beyond going back to a synthetic track, and the fact he is probably tired – I am betting on him for show. That is third place. He has been run a lot the last year.

Midnight Interlude [7] had a jockey change since the Derby, to Martin Garcia and there is no doubt Garcia knows how to bring Interlude to his best racing potential. My best guesses Derby wise were the Jockey guesses. Since I am talking Jockeys, I need to mention Julien Leproux and “Dialed In” [12.]

Based on all of that, my picks are Mucho Macho Man [9], Dialed In [12], Animal Kingdom [11], and Midnight Interlude [7]. I will just probably trifecta box those four.

To see the Preakness line up click here.

Deborah Dolen on Kentucky Derby 2011

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Deborah Dolen Saratoga NY Summer 2011

Photo Deborah Dolen
Now that I have passed a major bench mark in my life, I am getting back to writing. I am super excited to say some of my writing will take place this summer in Saratoga, NY. I will be in Saratoga for the the "Traverse," which is the oldest thoroughbred horse race in America. With any luck "Uncle Mo" will be there and I can visit with him. I grew up walking and grooming the most beautiful thoroughbreds on the planet, at Saratoga - and for the best Jockeys; Cordero, Shoemaker, and Belmonte to name a few.

As far as Saratoga in August, I am trying to fly in early because Train and Maroon 5 play at Saratoga Performing Arts on the 9th or so of August. I will be visiting a few wineries and a pefumery while I am in upstate NY. If I have it my way I will be right back up there for the change of trees and skiing in Vermont this year. Books I have planned are two - one about making perfume which is more of a DIY endeavor and one "fiction" about the BP oil spill because I really think there was more to that than ever met the eye.

I love making perfume, I think it is like "golf" is to many people - (and I do not like golf) but proponents of golf say it is a "challange" between your own self and a challange that can never really be won. So, they are attracted to a sport they can improve at, but never really "win" and that is very much like the past time of making perfume.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kentucky Derby Run for the Roses by Deborah Dolen

There are many horses in this race, but just the same, many that have never ran on dirt or performed well on dirt - process of elimination is the best way to figure the outcome of the 2011 Kentucky Derby. The track is wet and expected to stay wet, and that will matter. I will get to the horses that only know or prefer grass or synthetic turf in a moment. If you are betting in the Derby try to pick your top six and stay flexible. A few contenders always get scratched at the last minute, so stay flexible. I tend to pick my top six-so last minute exits do not affect my positioning so much.

The favorites right now for the Kentucky Derby are Nehro [19], Twice the Appeal [3], Pants on Fire [7], in that order. Twice the Appeal normally would not be a huge contender, but the jockey, Calvin Borel, former three time Derby winner, (in the last 4 years) sure is. Mucho Macho Man [13] has also proven himself on dirt, and Dialed In [8] who is another favorite, because he is coupled with Jockey Julien Leparoux. Comma to the Top [6] is one I like and Archarcharch [1] - but he is on the inside and I do not think that is a good position for Archarcharch at all. A lot of people like Soldat [17] but I am not sure why because dirt tracks are not his bag. Brilliant Speed [2] is kind of a long shot favorite and I like him.

Picking by Jockeys

If we just picked this race by the Jockey it would be Midnight Interlude [15] with Victor Espinoza, Twice the Appeal [3] Calvin Borel, Animal Kingdom [16] John Velasquez and Dialed in [8] Jockey Julien Leparoux.

Uncle Mo, photo above, who has been a huge favorite simply is not in the running. Uncle Mo is my Secretariat. I had the good fortune to walk and groomed Secretariat when I was younger at Saratoga, then onto Belmont and then the Meadowlands. Uncle Mo has been having serious gastrointestinal issues, and after being looked at by three different vets - they agree he is in no shape to run. His owner is concerned at Uncle Mo's lack of responsiveness to his meds.

Master if Hounds [11] and Animal Kingdom [16] have never ran on dirt and it is supposed to be a wet track. Brilliant Speed [2] and Twin inspired [10] prefer turf or synthetic and never performed well on dirt.

I did not mention 4, 5, 9, 12, 14 and 20. Let's look at them: Stay Thirsty [4] Decisive Moment [5], Derby Kitten [9], Santiva [12] Shackelford [14] and Watch Me Go [20] because they are all long shots for verygood reasons.

Upsets could be Stay Thirsty [4] and Archarcharch [1] who is either going to make it or break it on the inside of the tough first gate.

My betting? I select a few ways and then box them, usually on a trifecta.

Performance: Nehro [19], Mucho Macho Man [13], Archarcharch [1], Pants on Fire [7].

Jockey's: Dialed In [8] Julien Leparoux, Twice the Appeal [3] Calvin Borel, Midnight Interlude [15] with Victor Espinoza, Animal Kingdom [16] John Velasquez.

Lucky Numbers: [3] Twice the Appeal, [4] Stay Thristy [6] Comma to the Top [19] Nehro

Like Names: Brilliant Speed [2,] Twice the Appeal [3], Comma to the Top [6,] Archarcharch [1]

Click here to see more about the horses

Post Derby Results: Animal Kingdom [16] just proved you can win the Kentucky Derby even if you have never ran on dirt. The beauty of Animal Kingdom was the Jockey was supposed to be Uncle Mo's Jockey. John Velasquez was tired of being scratched at previous Derby's and claimed the 2011 Run for the Roses as his own. My first two performance picks were on target and in order. So no more betting by lucky numbers or cool names for me!

Click here to see more about the horses

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Deborah Dolen on Perfume Crafting with Exotic Oils Recipes and Formula's

Excerpt How to Make Perfume and Aromatherapy Basics Copyright © Deborah Dolen 2011 This e-book is available in full version on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook. By Deborah Dolen Mabel White

As summer approaches making your own perfume is a fun and easy project.

Making your own perfume or cologne is extremely easy if you have lots of time to just experiment with blending various scented oils. Almost all scents originate from the oil part of a botanical extraction. Even if a scent is not usually found in an oil form it is always best to try to find the oil version of the scent you like when trying to blend - if it is available in oil form. Vanilla would be a great example. Making vanilla extract is essentially making a perfume. Meaning the scent of vanilla is extracted by a form of alcohal. Vanilla is usually sold as water based (extract) but can be purchased as a much harder to find oil (essential oil)-however the oil based vanilla is going to last much longer in most professional applications. In a nutshell, I made my first perfume years ago by combining different precious oils, fragrance oils, flavor oils and essential oils I liked and had on hand. My formula was a mixture of vanilla, musk, neroli, vetivert, sweet spices, white florals (such as lilly of the valley, white rose), oppomax and incense. It took months to "build." I even soaked incense in oil for a few months, to capture the scent of the incense. (Naturally I strained it when I when I felt it was the most scent I could impart.) For about a year I just dabbed the oil I formulated on myself. It was not until I took that oil mixture I adored and dropped it into a very high proof alcohol (190 proof ethanol) - did it "bloom" and blow me away. I cannot recall why I did that - I think I was just bored or trying to make what I did have stretch to also share with a friend. Dispersing the oil in a high proof alcohol gave the scent so many new facets. Like my creation went from two dimensions to several. Most importantly it made it "throw" just like the Chanel #22 I was trying to copy. Chanel had ceased making that arrangement years back and I could not envision living without #22. Number 22 was known as the "wedding" perfume made with only white flowers. Knowing this was a major advantage to coming close to a copy I liked. There is a "perfumers alcohol" that is about 200 proof, but it is not easy to get. Mainly those who sell it, will elaborate on why you "must" use that. I use whatever I can get my hands on and that is generally "Everclear" or Mohawk, 190 proof.

Dilutions: What Makes Perfume Grade vs Toilet Water Grade?
I will call your final product a “compound” or “ester.” Once you have designed a great scent (compound) and given it a name it is going to be fantastic in any dilution! Your masterpiece “symphony” of oil based compounds will become more multifaceted with the addition of a high proof alcohol. A high proof alcohol such as Everclear 190 will “solve” your oils. Some states can only secure 150 proof and that is acceptable, but still not as good as 190. In fact, I really do not like 150 for much at all-so maybe forget that.

Real perfume is usually 10-20% of the master oils formulation and 80% a very high proof alcohol. Some perfumeries add 5% distilled water in exchange for part of the alcohol but I never have. Colognes are usually maxim 3-5% of the precious formula with 80% alcohal, and 10% distilled water. Toilet water is usually maximum 2% precious oils to 80% alcohol and 20% distilled water. Body splash is pretty much in the cologne dilution category. I do worry about oxidation of precious raw materials so I drop anti-oxidants such as dendritic salt and or vitamin E into my oil blends. ROE, Rosemary Oleoresin extract is also great and very powerful but can discolor the project.

Perfume = 10%-20% compound /5% distilled water/80% alcohol
Cologne 3-5% compound/10% distilled water/85% alcohol
Toilet Water=2% compound/18% distilled water/80% alcohol

Materials to make Perfume?
Beyond securing a high proof alcohol such as Everclear 190 and distilled water, you can draw raw materials to make your compound from many places. I know people who soak special woods in alcohal to extract a special scent. I find that so facinating. I did the same with orange blossoms that were always plenty on my property in Florida. When making your own perfume, you are going to want to buy some atomizers when you are on a roll with a great scent or two. Sephora makes some really neat ones I buy on line - probably half the price of all others ($10) and same peformance. Always keep careful notes. Your best creation could be what you felt your worst mistake. My readers generally have the same materials around the house that I have in my lab. They generally already have fragrance oils, flavor oils and/or essential oils. My Chanel #22 copy had about 50% fragrance oil, 20% flavor oil and 30% essential oil because I drew from what I had. I made careful notes about my sources of each scent because, for example, a vanilla fragrance oil is no where near as strong as vanilla essential oil. This means much less vanilla is needed in my formula if I ever replaced vanilla FO with vanilla EO.

Your Blend Can Go Into Lotion and Crème
Your compound can usually blend right into an already made lotion or crème without adding alcohol. Vanilla is my absolute favorite ingredient, and in almost all of my formulas, but the down side is browning. Vanilla seems to “bloom” into pink dots and over a month’s time make the entire lotion a pinkish brown. It looks just like women’s’ cosmetic foundation. Although the change always freaks me out, many of my friends liked that attribute and felt it was more natural. I am still on the fence about the “blooming” but I still loving my vanilla. Lately I just opt for a synthetic vanilla, that still is from a natural source. It is a tree resin. Meaning not all synthetics are dangerous chemicals. And some "natural" things that are "organic" are more dangerous that synthetics. Arsenic is a great example of a natural substance.

Other Ways to Garner Scent
Many people do not realize water is the most used solvent known to man. When we make a cup of coffee we are using water to “solve” the parts of the bean we are after. This is also known as solvent extraction. Now envision putting barks, petals, spices (in whole or freshly crushed form,) citrus peels and/or moss in the coffee filter. The end result would be a melange of scent.

Looking at scent compounding another way, think of vanilla extract. It is made over time by placing the vanilla bean in a high proof alcohol. To save money and perhaps reduce any residual alcohol smell, some distilled water is added to most extracts. As I said above, making vanilla extract is essentially like making perfume.

Just for Fun! Extraction Project
In 16 ounces of a high proof alcohol (2 cups) put lemon citrus rinds, cinnamon sticks, a vanilla bean (partially macerated- spliced- for maximum flavor,) crushed whole nutmeg or any other peel, rind, aromatic you can think of. Petals are OK but do brown. Allow to sit for a few months, shaking a few times a week. Filter through a coffee filter. For a stronger result do it a second time. I call this “folds,” such as “four fold” if I repeat the process 4 times. The end result should be a wonderful aromatic base you can spray around your home. Keep this away from heat because alcohol is very flammable.

Excerpt How to Make Perfume and Aromatherapy Basics Copyright © Deborah Dolen 2011 This e-book is available in full version on Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook. By Deborah Dolen Mabel White

A very comprehensive list I created years ago is here:

Designer Perfume Notes Index

Deborah Dolen on Perfume Crafting with Exotic Oils Recipes and Formula's

Deborah Dolen on How to Make Perfume

Introduction to Making Perfume and Most Important 66 notes to Have: Propensity Chart by Deborah Dolen

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