Advice to newbie perfumistas

    Advice to newbie perfumistas

    post #1 of 6
    Thread Starter 
    This was posted by VanillaGirl on a thread at NowSmellThis, and I found it so succinct and insightful that I wanted to record it here.

    Quote:
    I wish I hadn't splurged on so many 'likes' or 'It's a-cult-favourite-and-I'm-sure-I'll-grow-into-it' bottles back at the start. I feel embarrassed to see so many pristine boxes on my dresser, where I take the bottles out every few weeks and sniff and think 'very nice' and put it back in the box because I don't want to waste a day's sillage on something that doesn't wow me. It took me a long time to realise that the juices I'll actually wear are the ones that have me scrambling desparately to work the budget to get hold of them!

    I'm often struck by how quickly I get through a whole bottle of something I really like - even 100ml. By the time it's 3/4 of the way down, I start to feel reluctant to wear it, not because I've gone off it, but because I don't want to 'waste' my cash on a second bottle! This is nuts - much better to buy a second bottle of a much-loved fume than a new bottle of a never-wear, isn't it?

    My advice to newbies would be to go for vials, then larger spray decants, and only then to make up your mind whether to go for a full bottle. Sometimes the decant exposes the lack of sillage or lasting power, or an unfortunate nuance deep in the drydown that puts you off completely.

    Good lessons, even for the more experienced among us!
    post #2 of 6
    Agreed. Mostly I still think there's a time and place for some of the "likes" even when they aren't the faves that wow us. Sometimes a particular fragrance isn't one of the favorites, but because it hasn't been worn in a while, it can be the perfect choice on a particular day or for a particular occasion.

    We have have a favorite shirt, for example, but that doesn't mean it feels good to wear it every time we can. One of those "likes" can become a great change of pace. I think that variety is part of what makes the conscious choice of any part of personal presentation something enjoyable and fun!

    I can't argue against the advice to use samples and decants early on though. That's good advice, though I'll admit it can be hard to follow at times - for either practical or psychological reasons
    post #3 of 6
    Very good advice. I'd also like to add that fragrances are not a good gift to give unless you're certain you know what the person will like. Most of the fragrances I never, ever wear were given to me by people who couldn't think what else to give me. Worst fragrance-gift horror story ever: my brother got me a Sexual gift set, and Sexual is a fragrance our father wears. The association was so weird, and the male and female versions so similar, I was too freaked out to enjoy the gift.

    One exception to the no-fragrances-as-gifts rule: my aunt once gave me a bunch of little store samples to fill out a gift (a purse) she bought for my birthday, and that as a gift was very cool, because it allowed me to try different scents on for size. It can also be used as a try-before-you-buy promise that you owe them a bottle once they decide which one they like.
    post #4 of 6
    Thread Starter 
    @echerub - Ah, but would you rather have a closet with 10 shirts you love, or 5 shirts you love and 5 shirts you like? The point is to be selective in your purchases so that you only buy the things you can't bear to be without. On the other hand, if you've got the cash to buy things you merely like, go nuts!

    @thefiancee - the "try-before-you-buy" promise is a lovely idea, and I'm sure many fragrance fanatics would be thrilled to receive it. (I sure was.) Just make sure you're not inadvertently promising them a bell jar...
    post #5 of 6
    Ah, I hadn't considered having the entire wardrobe as items that I love - whether we talk of fragrances or clothing

    Perhaps it's because for me, the ones I love tend not to be appropriate in more conservative or "proper" occasions. For example, I enjoy wearing my suits every once in a while but I don't love any of them. If my clothing wardrobe consisted only of things I loved, I wouldn't have any suits at all! Yet, those occasions when I put on my suit are enjoyable nonetheless.

    For fragrances, if I only kept with ones that I love and not any that I only like, I might find myself without anything appropriate for certain occasions. The ones I love most tend to be stronger, brasher, or bolder than may be warranted on a regular basis I enjoy their quieter brethren in my wardrobe, but I don't love the quieter ones.

    Or perhaps it's simply that it's difficult for me to really love an item, so most of the time I'm happy to go with the items that I really-like

    If I could find something for each occasion or mood that I absolutely loved? That would be so wonderful that I wonder if that could be done
    post #6 of 6
    Thread Starter 
    Oh, okay, I get what you're saying. Yes, that's a very good point. I tend to enjoy sweet, full gourmands, and a lot of scents that do well in cold weather. This has made it hard for me to find something that I love that's wearable on sweltering humid summer days.

    So yes, if you want to have a fragrance for every occasion (as we perfume fans usually do!), you'll probably have to include a few that you like rather than love - unless you have very diverse tastes, or are just very lucky.
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    7/5/08 at 8:52pm

    kopah said:



    This was posted by VanillaGirl on a thread at NowSmellThis, and I found it so succinct and insightful that I wanted to record it here.

    Quote:
    I wish I hadn't splurged on so many 'likes' or 'It's a-cult-favourite-and-I'm-sure-I'll-grow-into-it' bottles back at the start. I feel embarrassed to see so many pristine boxes on my dresser, where I take the bottles out every few weeks and sniff and think 'very nice' and put it back in the box because I don't want to waste a day's sillage on something that doesn't wow me. It took me a long time to realise that the juices I'll actually wear are the ones that have me scrambling desparately to work the budget to get hold of them!

    I'm often struck by how quickly I get through a whole bottle of something I really like - even 100ml. By the time it's 3/4 of the way down, I start to feel reluctant to wear it, not because I've gone off it, but because I don't want to 'waste' my cash on a second bottle! This is nuts - much better to buy a second bottle of a much-loved fume than a new bottle of a never-wear, isn't it?

    My advice to newbies would be to go for vials, then larger spray decants, and only then to make up your mind whether to go for a full bottle. Sometimes the decant exposes the lack of sillage or lasting power, or an unfortunate nuance deep in the drydown that puts you off completely.

    Good lessons, even for the more experienced among us!

    7/5/08 at 9:32pm

    echerub said:



    Agreed. Mostly I still think there's a time and place for some of the "likes" even when they aren't the faves that wow us. Sometimes a particular fragrance isn't one of the favorites, but because it hasn't been worn in a while, it can be the perfect choice on a particular day or for a particular occasion.

    We have have a favorite shirt, for example, but that doesn't mean it feels good to wear it every time we can. One of those "likes" can become a great change of pace. I think that variety is part of what makes the conscious choice of any part of personal presentation something enjoyable and fun!

    I can't argue against the advice to use samples and decants early on though. That's good advice, though I'll admit it can be hard to follow at times - for either practical or psychological reasons

    7/6/08 at 5:11am

    thefiancee said:



    Very good advice. I'd also like to add that fragrances are not a good gift to give unless you're certain you know what the person will like. Most of the fragrances I never, ever wear were given to me by people who couldn't think what else to give me. Worst fragrance-gift horror story ever: my brother got me a Sexual gift set, and Sexual is a fragrance our father wears. The association was so weird, and the male and female versions so similar, I was too freaked out to enjoy the gift.

    One exception to the no-fragrances-as-gifts rule: my aunt once gave me a bunch of little store samples to fill out a gift (a purse) she bought for my birthday, and that as a gift was very cool, because it allowed me to try different scents on for size. It can also be used as a try-before-you-buy promise that you owe them a bottle once they decide which one they like.

    7/6/08 at 7:35pm

    kopah said:



    @echerub - Ah, but would you rather have a closet with 10 shirts you love, or 5 shirts you love and 5 shirts you like? The point is to be selective in your purchases so that you only buy the things you can't bear to be without. On the other hand, if you've got the cash to buy things you merely like, go nuts!

    @thefiancee - the "try-before-you-buy" promise is a lovely idea, and I'm sure many fragrance fanatics would be thrilled to receive it. (I sure was.) Just make sure you're not inadvertently promising them a bell jar...

    7/6/08 at 8:11pm

    echerub said:



    Ah, I hadn't considered having the entire wardrobe as items that I love - whether we talk of fragrances or clothing

    Perhaps it's because for me, the ones I love tend not to be appropriate in more conservative or "proper" occasions. For example, I enjoy wearing my suits every once in a while but I don't love any of them. If my clothing wardrobe consisted only of things I loved, I wouldn't have any suits at all! Yet, those occasions when I put on my suit are enjoyable nonetheless.

    For fragrances, if I only kept with ones that I love and not any that I only like, I might find myself without anything appropriate for certain occasions. The ones I love most tend to be stronger, brasher, or bolder than may be warranted on a regular basis I enjoy their quieter brethren in my wardrobe, but I don't love the quieter ones.

    Or perhaps it's simply that it's difficult for me to really love an item, so most of the time I'm happy to go with the items that I really-like

    If I could find something for each occasion or mood that I absolutely loved? That would be so wonderful that I wonder if that could be done

    7/8/08 at 1:11pm

    kopah said:



    Oh, okay, I get what you're saying. Yes, that's a very good point. I tend to enjoy sweet, full gourmands, and a lot of scents that do well in cold weather. This has made it hard for me to find something that I love that's wearable on sweltering humid summer days.

    So yes, if you want to have a fragrance for every occasion (as we perfume fans usually do!), you'll probably have to include a few that you like rather than love - unless you have very diverse tastes, or are just very lucky.





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