Wow, thanks for they feedback and encouragement. When I wrote that, I thought it was probably just stupid ramblings. I'm happy to see that others were able to even expand upon the idea.
Congratulations on your first-ever blog post! It's a great one!
I would add another factor, and that is what we are led to expect by the way we pigeon-hole the scent. When I read that a scent is a fougère or a chypre or an oriental, I have certain expectations about how it will smell and how it will develop over time. Whether the scent conforms to my expectations or not is a factor in my perception. Some come in on target, others fall short of expectations, and others exceed them. What my nose looks for, focuses on, or ignores is a powerful determiner of how I evaluate the scent and how likely I am to wear it in the future.
Keep blogging! You have good ideas, and a very clear style. I look forward to reading more from you.
I'd even add a couple of more variable:
There might be small differences between the odor receptors in your nose and those in mine. I expect everyone here smells vanilla & rose & lemon (wouldn't be here otherwise). But I once read a post by a perfume developer who said, every new molecule we ver tried, there was someone who couldn't smell it. From the varied reactions to synthetic musks, I would guess this is a source of significant variation.
And I'm sure there are big differences in what our minds do with the smell signals coming from our noses. We recognize and react to familiar smells differently from unfamiliar. Going back to the end of your post, you might respond to something now that you didn't notice in a fragrance you dismissed long ago.
OK, I've lost count of how many sources of variations we've listed so far.
Very interesting and well reasoned. Keep bloging.