Scent Notes: Incense and woodsmoke hang in the air, mingling with dragon’s blood, freshly ground black and pink peppercorns, camphor, allspice, and cardamom, making a delightfully smoky, spicy, sexy scent.

Sharon was at a crossroads in her life. At 30 years old, she was tired of corporate investment banking, the insane hours and expectations, and general attitude of the people she worked with and the clients whose money she handled. Most of them were not nice people, and trying to make rich people richer was making her feel spiritually void. Not that she was exactly poor or living paycheck-to-paycheck herself, but she still felt overwhelming doom every day she had to work … which was pretty much seven days a week at this point. She really didn’t even have to have a job for a while, as she was (naturally) good with money and investments, but she wanted a new job, or at least a new hobby she could do in what little spare time she had. Something intense, something that would get her out of her head and into her body.

After a particularly grueling week, she met up with her artist best friend, Jamie, at a bar close to her office. It was nearly midnight and she had just left the office, but as Jamie also kept weird artist hours, she was of course up and ready to have a few drinks so Sharon could vent off some steam. Jamie was a spark of a human: bright red hair, freckles, adventurous, with energy to spare from the moment she woke up in the morning. It had annoyed Sharon when they were roommates in college, but it was something she had grown to appreciate as they grew up and became best friends. Jamie was already at the bar when Sharon arrived, and shots of smoky mezcal were on the table alongside spicy margaritas, aka, The Jamie. Sharon laughed when she saw this, glad that at least she knew her friend and what to expect from her every time they were together. 

So it was surprising when Jamie invited Sharon to a welding workshop for beginners the next weekend. “I have always wanted to learn to weld,” Jamie said excitedly, finishing her second spicy margarita. “I’m getting more into sculpture now, and I want to be able to construct gigantic monuments by myself. I think you’d have a great time! Even if you keep your shitty job, this can give you some kind of outlet. You burn and melt metal pieces to each other, how frigging cool is that?” (Jamie didn’t swear, something that endeared her further to Sharon as Sharon entered a job with men who felt they could curse and say whatever they wanted with impunity, and generally speaking, they were correct.) “Yeah, sure, why not?” Sharon said, signaling the waiter to bring them another round. “I can at least use it as an excuse to not work full days next weekend, and for that reason alone, I’ll give it a shot. But don’t expect me to be any good at it.” Jamie laughed. “The only people there who will know what they’re doing will be the instructors. They’re not expecting us to be good, only for us to try. I know you hate to not be good at something the first time you do it, but try not to let that stop you from having a great time, okay?” Jamie was right. Sharon had always been a little bit uptight, something that hadn’t changed since entering a corporate world where she was expected to behave with utmost professionalism while her male colleagues could do whatever, as long as they made lots of money for their clients. So maybe this was the perfect activity where she could learn something new and fun and get her mind off of the neverending drudgery that was her job.

The next weekend, she met Jamie outside of a huge warehouse in a random part of the city. Apparently it was no longer a warehouse, but an “artistic visual events space,” according to Jamie. All sorts of artists worked in the warehouse space, including those who welded. They walked in together, Jamie greeting everyone and enthusiastically introducing her friend, Sharon, the corporate drone who needed an injection of fire into her life. Sharon dutifully rolled her eyes but laughed every time, going along with the joke that wasn’t so much a joke, until Jamie introduced her to the instructor, Malcolm. “Welcome, Sharon,” he said, shaking her hand. She felt the heat course through her body from his body, so strong her knees almost gave out. “Wow, what a handshake!” she said. He laughed. “Sorry about that. There’s some intense fire spirit in my family that I’ve inherited. Helps with welding, makes it awkward around beautiful women.” Sharon laughed, flushed, while Jamie rolled her eyes. “Everyone, let’s get started, gather round while we go over some basic safety protocols.” Jamie and Sharon stood together, mostly listening, but also gossiping. “I’ve heard he’s a player,” Jamie said. “Don’t fall for anything cute he says, he’s using his good looks to his advantage so he can keep this job and keep paying for his art.” “Be that as it may, I am going to flirt with him, because I can,” Sharon said. 

Soon enough, they were off to the races, brushing and using acetone on the metal, learning how to use a metal chop saw (with extreme caution and all appropriate safety gear every step of the way). Sharon fastidiously adhered to the rules, and very quickly found the whole process fun. MIG welding might be her new favorite thing. 

Malcolm was super impressed, and she would’ve written it off as him just trying to get her to sign up for another class, but even Jamie agreed. “Your beads are SO straight! Like, damn girl. Mine are not, but maybe that makes them more artistic?” They laughed. “Yes, let’s go with that. Way more artistic. I want to learn all sorts of welding types! I can feel the fire coursing through me. Maybe it was there all along and just took this to awaken?” Sharon wondered. Just then, Malcolm walked up. “Beautiful ladies, would you care to accompany me for drinks?” Jamie bowed out, but Sharon agreed. “But this is not a date. You’re going to tell me everything about all the different types of welding. Not boring jewelry dainty welding, but real welding. This is my new passion, and while you are a gorgeous man, I’m way more into metal than I am into you.” Malcolm laughed. “That’s perfectly fine, I’m happy to tell you everything I know, and I appreciate your honesty. Let’s go talk welding and find your perfect MIG gun online.” Sharon squealed and took his arm, and they walked out of the warehouse in search of a bar to talk about the finer points of welding beads, gasses, differences in MIG guns, and wires.

Scent Notes: Incense and woodsmoke hang in the air, mingling with dragon’s blood, freshly ground black and pink peppercorns, camphor, allspice, and cardamom, making a delightfully smoky, spicy, sexy scent.