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Hey, blotter blotter.

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Blotters are those absorbent white paper strips for testing fragrances, invaluable for the first exposure to a total unknown. Not everything gets a trip to my skin for the day. You'd think you could just use a bit of white paper towel...maybe you could, but blotters are plenty cheap and they are easy peasy to write the name of the fragrance on. That's key. I spritz the fat end and write the name of the fragrance and the date and time, in pencil only, because it never fades and won't smear if you over spritz. I see how fast it settles and keep it close for the top notes until I feel it's settled into the heart...then,

I take it to another room.

This accomplishes a few things--it's the only way I can really test projection and sillage, being one person alone at home. Its the only way I can really test more than one fragrance in a day, and the only, only, only thing that makes me happy to straighten up my house and do maintenance chores--specifically, dusting. When I take it to another room, can I still smell it in the air back at my computer? When I go check on it in thirty minutes or an hour, how close do I get before I can smell it? Do those lampshades need to be vacuumed?

I've got lots of perfume ingredients from 05-08, but I never made anything. I got the blotters for that purpose--to test out my mixes. Never going to happen. I don't have a sensitive nose. I get the main players of a fragrance, only, and then I get a visceral, emotional response. The joy I get from my perfumes is muddied when I get too analytical--it feels like trying to explain a joke. Something either makes you laugh or it doesn't. If it doesn't make you laugh right off the bat, then 10 minutes of explanation about WHY the joke is funny probably won't make you laugh, either. Just like a joke, some of the pleasure comes from an element of surprise. I don't want to know too much ahead of time--don't tell me all the punchlines first. Don't tell me which jokes should be funny in your expert opinion. Don't tell me the only really funny guy was Jackie Gleason, or that The Three Stooges set the gold standard for all laughs until eternity. I'm perfectly aware of my strong preference for Buster Keaton. I don't know why. I don't care why. The intellectual pursuit of understanding emotional responses reduces them to zeros and ones, black and white. All the color is drained for me.

It may have come to your attention that I am a woman with too much time on her hands.

Edited to add: And OMG, too many samples, having ordered some desired discovery kits and gotten a load of free samples to go with them, not to mention samples that come with bottle purchases. I've had to upgrade my method.

Now I pinch a crease in the narrow end of the blotter and dip it in the vial to saturate about 1/2 inch of the paper. That leaves me the wider end to write names, times, a few impressions, and any smell alike scents I want to compare to it. I find I don't have a good memory for fragrances, once I get past things I wear often, so this lets me spray another blotter with the other scent and get some distance--both physical and olfactory--between them. I'm keeping my blotters for now, dropped into a little vase, in case I want to go back and see my original scribbles.

I hope you all know, and I'm sure it must be quite obvious, that I'm making all this up as I go along. I might have to blog something tomorrow discussing what an idiot I used to be. Heartwarming thought.

Updated 8th September 2018 at 11:48 PM by Shycat




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