Thoughts on Perfumes as an Obsession
by, 2nd November 2011 at 06:36 PM (2791 Views)
Thoughts on perfume
Beware, this is not an essay containing good structure of thoughts, nor will it bring enlightenment to anyone, it is merely a long personal train of thoughts.
After pursuing perfumes for now more than 3 years I find myself thinking about what they mean to me.
How comes that I spend most of the money I have to “spare” and sometimes even some that I cant really spare?
What is the point of having so many fragrances that a fragrance by fragrance rotation takes a good 2 and a half months before I have worn every single perfume I own?
Is it collecting, is it hoarding, is it a buying disorder?
Is it really about perfumes or is it about something else (I E the community)?
What, to cover the most essential question, is it, that has so many of us hooked?
First of all, I want to express how greatly I derive satisfaction from this hobby. I love wearing scents, I find the joy of divine smells to be tremendous. But most of all I value this board. The exchange of opinions and knowledge is one part, the community¬ itself the other. The contacts made here on BN as real as “virtual” contacts could ever be.
But to come back to my original questions BN has also been a corset of the way my obsession developed. I went from interested and enthusiastic when I first became aware of perfumes, over looking for the “best” perfume out there, over BN newbie, first time nicher, the collection evergrowing, up the point where I am now. Would I have ever vendoured out of drugstore territory? I cant really say. Would I prefer, say Clive Christian over Axe Dark Temptation, side by side? I’m not sure.
I am very happy to be where I am right now, olfactorily speaking, but I sometimes think that journey may have been rushed. I have not taken much time to explore designer scent, have merely scooped up a few along the way and toward Lutens and Tauers I ran.
That way many great fragrances are missed out on.
Why do we (and I strongly include myself) recommend Tom Fords, Malles and Le Labos to newbies?
Yes, to many (me included) they are of better quality than, say, most designers but I do also think that BN an elitist club and there is also quite a bit of subconscious psychology involved. If you get applauded for writing glowing reviews of Amouages you are certainly more inclined to do that rather than getting smashed for liking Paris Hilton. It’s simply peer pressure. However, there is a group of people I want to exclude from this generalization – those old dogs that have been in this hobby for longer than BN exists, sometimes for longer than the internet exists. They have been able to develop their tastes more freely and less prejudiced than those, who have been members pretty much right from the start, like me.
I whish the "just starting out" board would get more, well deserved attention.
This being said, I am grateful for everything niche can offer and probably wouldn’t have found out if it wasn’t for Basenotes.
But I am also happy to see this trend turning around a little, lot’s of young, newer members, who neither can nor want to shell out the big bucks have brought many top notch designers back into focus. I really like how Midnight in Paris for example is perceived.
But I am drifting off topic again.
I’m writing this report in order to answer some questions to myself. I always thought at one point I would be happy with what I have and feel somewhat saturated. However, the opposite seems to be the case. The more I have the more urgently I see what I don’t have, all the while faced with the increasing frustration of not valuing those I have enough. It’s kind of the same with friends. The more you have the less time you can spend with either of them. Can one still maintain a close relationship with even one of them? I, apparently, cannot.
I seriously bow to those with wardrobes they could fill rooms with but still know and love every single one of their perfumes.
It seems that I do have a definite hoarding tendency and I want to separate that a little from the actual hobby which is – after all – wearing fine scents, not owning them.
It is obvious to me that there cant be final closure about this but I find it important to sometimes step back and take a look at what it is that one is after. To become aware that one most likely will not find a holy grail for example. How could one anyway, if by now one needs at least one chypre, leather, fougere etc?
This may seem trivial to you but I for one have to sometimes reflect on my actions, otherwise I may very well end up with a huge (200) collection, probably debts and cant really remember how on earth this could happen.
I think it’s different if you have a good, solid job, perfumes being merely one out of a few hobbies that consumes a part of the money and time you can spare, but I myself am a student and perfumes are the obsession I spent by far the most money on.
In my opinion, with all kinds of luxury, it’s perfectly fine to pursue them as much as wished as long as it brings happiness and doesn’t infer with “necessary” parts of life (rent etc) but in my case it wasn’t all about joy anymore, not about savouring a new acquisition, it was about putting it neatly into the line-up and setting out for the next.
There were times I got so frustrated that I decided to take a break from BN, alas, I always ended up back here. And rightly so, I mean, why would one completely resign from something that brings pleasure, above all negative side effects.
I have made the decision though, that for new fragrances, old ones have to go.
It’s certainly a healthy place to start and makes the hobby more affordable, too.
I guess what this whole monologue comes down to is appreciating BN and all of you,
unloading some thoughts I have weighed in my mind and realizing, that this fascination is not going to go away.
Have a great day everyone and thanks for reading.
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