Ramblings about fragrances and music...
I used to post on the EZ board, but changed my name and...wont bore you with the details.
I have been interested in the evolution of my preferences for fragrances over time, and wanted some feedback or discussion on the topic. When I first began picking up this habit I really had little knowledge about scents, smells, or fragrances. I knew that I didnt like most of the popular watery, fruity, aqua fragrances, and just had a difficult time finding scents that I felt really suited me. I quickly found that most of the more brash scents just confused me, and many others were dismissed just because they smelled, "too much like cologne." So, like many, I took refuge in the orientals, spicy and woody. I found that I liked the Gucci's Envy, Pour Homme, and Rush. I developed a brief crush on an SA at Nordstrom and spent way too much money: L'Instant, John Varvatos, Magnitism, Bulgari Black, Blu Notte, and because it sometimes stops raining here, Issey Miyake. Then I discovered decants on Ebay and my little chippy is starting to feel a bit out of control. Right now I'm in this Comme Des Garcon's phase...
So what I'm interested in is how some of my old favorites now seem less interesting, or even boring. Rush for example. And some of those brash, weird fragrances have become favorites.
The only analogy that comes to mind is music (I relate most things to music). With music, it is usually the most challenging stuff that I end up enjoying the most, and I tire quickly of light, catchy hooks without substance, no matter how much I like them at first. Some of the more complex, difficult CDG frags remind me of certain Jazz favorites. And, as with music, I find that my tastes have a certain amount of turnover, while some classics can stay in my CD player for years. And of course, in both music and fragrance there is the ongoing, insatiable search for the holy grail...
My weak analogy not withstanding, I would be interested to hear how others have seen their tastes evolve. Is there a better analogy? Do y'all get bored with certain fragrances after a while?
Thanks for listening.
Re: Ramblings about fragrances and music...
For me, my tastes in fragrance have definitely changed as I exposed myself to more and more scents. I'd say I don't have a particular preference or pattern, as a look at my top choices would range from the simply pleasing to the more complex. When I first found BN, like so many others, I was only familiar to those scents found in department stores and places like Sephora. As I lurked the forums, I became familiar and curious about all the acronmyic boutique scents like SMN, LV, MPG, etc. Fortunately (though not for my wallet), there was a local brick and mortar shop where I could sample such scents. I found many of them strange and unwearable, but was still curious. Eventually I moved towards purchasing, some of which have worked, many more have not. I was addicted to new scents, trying to hone my nose in on what worked and what didn't. It was exhausting, frustrating and exhilirating all at once. The full bottle blind purchase was something I eventually gave up on, finding the swap boards and decant purchasing much more financially satisfying. With all the full bottles I had wasting away, it was much easier to swallow bitter pills in small doses by swapping or purchasing samples. As of today, I have more than 60 full bottles and probably 30 decants and have smelled at least 100 others via samples, previous purchases that got swapped or visiting stores. I've since settled into sticking with my current collection, having only made one purchase this year, versus late 2003 - 2004 when I bought everything else.
Originally Posted by SlimPickins
Do I get bored with certain scents? Hmmm...perhaps not so much bored as having found something else I like better. For example, I really like the original Issey Miyake, even if most pan it for being boring or overly popular. I used to wear it more often when my collection was smaller. Then I discovered Inis. It was so much better to me that now, I'll only wear the Issey if for no other reason than just to use it up. I'd never buy it again, but will replace the Inis when it empties. Others in my collection were purchased blindly and so those that don't get much wear aren't so much boring as I didn't like them in the first place.
As for my evolution of tastes, again, I'm not really sure how to describe it. I still like and wear some very mainstream and simple scents, along with those that may be described as richer and more complex. I'd say the biggest difference I notice is I really like musky scents more than I did when I started. If I had sampled Serge Luten's MKK when I first started, I don't think I'd have enjoyed nearly as much as I do now. I also have lost my desire to constantly quest for new scents, having transferred that explorative side to the world of wine. I still enjoy my scents, just don't feel the need or compulsion to sample anything new, as my collection gives me plenty of opportunity to wear something I know I'll really dig or go back and try something I've not worn in a long time.
Anyways, that will end my rambling.
Re: Ramblings about fragrances and music...
I agree with Scentsational - that one's taste matures in direct proportion to the number of scents that you smell thoughtfully; and of course time helps too - the years allow you to build up a large mental "olifactory catalog". If I don't recognise a scent, I'll ask the wearer "What are you wearing?" and if they are interested, ask them what notes they smell and what they like about it. After a while one can smell Chanel No 5 (for example) and say "Jasmine and Rose"... It's really being observant and smelling as much as you can, while making an olefactory catalog in your memory.
I too had a huge wardrobe of fragrances when I was young, now I only keep six on my dresser, all of them from "niche" houses (except for Hermes' Eau d'Orange Verte, which is my only mass market fragrance). This is not to imply any kind of snobbishness: I'm 58, and been using fragrance since I'm 15, so I've had a lot of time to practice smelling fragrance both on myself and others; and as in wine appreciation, the more you drink, the more that you can appreciate the nuances of a complex wine or fragrance.
I find, for example, many of Jean François Laporte's fragrances as compelling as a Bach Toccata and Fugue, and certainly as complex and nuanced; so I wear them with relish. Thirty years ago, I would have turned away from them for a mass market fragrance; today, it's the opposite.
Hope this was of some help.