If none of the poll choices apply, go ahead and explain your sense of where you stand.
If none of the poll choices apply, go ahead and explain your sense of where you stand.
It's been less than a year since I joined here and I've found that the more I think I know the more I learn the deeper I go.
I've also learned my tastes continuously change but that's alright, I'm enjoying the journey and how it integrates with life in general.
The changing taste thing is a killer, eh?
The more I know . . . the more I realize how little I know. Anyone who says they know all that they can know doesn't know what they don't know. Ya know?
I voted for #3, but there is SO much more I want to learn in this hobby. I'm very ignorant of the aromachemicals that play such a very important part in modern perfumery, rather than the - largely - nature-referencing "notes" that act as guidelines.
You can always learn more!
Same as Galamb - I went for #3. I'm fairly competent but always learning something new.
Gotta agree with the last 3 posts. Although It has helped me tremendously now knowing that perfume/cologne refers to the strength and not the sex it's marketed to.
When i grow up I want to have a nose at least in the same ballpark as mrclmind
I'm a definite neophyte and don't mind admitting it since that means I get to continuously learn from folks. Can't say that Basenotes has changed my tastes as much as it's helped me figure out why I liked what I like.
I guess I am somewhere in between intermediate and upper-intermediate level
I can only smell one note in a fragrance. For example, I just can't feel any more then vanilla in Givenchy's Pi.
I can't differentiate amber from leather. I can't tell what is amber and what is leather.
When I smelled Habit Rouge I felt only woods in it.
In Kouros I can feel incense, civet, vanilla, honey, corriander and woods. This is my most complex fragrance.
In Terre's d' Hermes I feel only lemon.
JOOP! Homme smells sooo good, but I don't know what it is in there.
In Jaipur I feel....ah...(this is hard to do...)...flowers....aaah....vanilla. That is the single note I understand.
In Dior Homme I feel....nothing....there is not a single note that I know. I just can't tell what this smells like, even through I used it twice from a sample.
etc etc etc
I'm no newbie, I've been into frags in 16 years now, since I was 14.
But I cannot detect various notes in a frag, well, some of course, but
not many. I simply dosn't interest me, I'm more into the overall smell,
flacon design, and such things.
I'm fairly good at placing frags in genres.
I voted #2.
I can detect at least one note in most things I smell. Sometimes I can even get 2 to 3 notes right the first time. I'm new to even trying to separate the different scents. I, as others have mentioned, typically prefer to take the whole scent in. Picking out each scent kind of takes away the mystery and allure of finding new scents. Yeah, it makes blind buys harder that way, but that's half the fun :).
Kind of off topic, but a great way to test our noses would be to go to a place where there are open testers (without pesky counter girls trying to get you to buy) and try out some stuff. Write down what we think is in it, or text it to ourselves or email.. then come back home and see how accurate we were based on the pyramids and other resources. I think I'll do this in the days to come.
I'm somewhere between option 2 and 3. I've sampled hundreds of scents, but I still don't have near the level of skill at identifying notes as many others on these boards. But, I DO know what I like, so that's at least a good thing.
I would say I was probably #2 , still consider myself a novice enthusiast with an insatiable appetite for knowledge
Not half as articulate as you lot but I know what I like :)
There is a large gap between #2 and #3. How about - sampled hundreds and can identify some/ many?
I've just taken a step up from #1 to #2, I think. Learnt a lot in the last month :)
I'm a 2 as well. I've learned a great deal from BN but I'll never be a "nose".
I am somewhere between Options Two and Three, having sampled over a hundred fragrances and being able to identify many notes. Floral notes give me trouble because my experience with the real things is limited, if improving, thanks to a gardening-crazy mother. Importantly, I am able distinguish what I actually like from what I can appreciate from what I don't like and from what I don't appreciate. That's certainly a start...
As with all education, fragrance appreciation is an ongoing-process and secretly, I hope never to reach a state where I feel as if scent has nothing more to teach me. When it stops being fun, I'm outtie.
I cannot imagine ever knowing all that is about fragrance but, I certainly look forward to the journey on the path of that goal. Fragrance is one of the few things that bring me joy in this world.
I'm still a newbie as far as I'm concerned. One who can't keep his nose from sticking into other people's fragrances, I'm afraid. :wink:
I was at a perfume store earlier, when a Japanese lady walked in and asked the SA if they stock 'Rumeur'. The SA looked perplexed and asked, 'Rumeur?' And I couldn't help but intervened with the quip: "Rumeur from Lanvin". Her boss was amused but the SA was not. That's a little payback for refusing to test the Diorissimo on my skin beyond a cursory dab of her finger (It's an EDT for God's sake, not parfum! And how many people actually walk in to sample the relatively obscure Diorissimo?)
I voted #3, based more on the number I've sampled than the notes I can detect. I am getting better with the notes, but like others have said I feel I still have much to learn.
I can identify several notes and understand at least some of the genres
when people here describe fragrances it seem like an olympic dive. you know opening, middle, base. i wish i could do that. to me it's just linear. even though i know this is not what i smelled a few minutes ago. i can never tell that it is changing on me.
I'm learning more by sheer volume of exposure, I think. I just try and smell every scent possible.
If you want to learn about development over time, just spend $1 on Jean Philipe's version of Obsession for Men. It starts out with lavender, geranium, a spice note, and a green note but then within an hour or so the base emerges, which is amber/benzoin, possibly with some vanilla and spice.
Somewhere between 2 and 3 on the list, and always up for learning more.
Is there a scent school or program somewhere where we can go to have education in fragrance? Serious question - anyone know of actual formal education programs in fragrance? Maybe a textbook or two?
Not to toot my own horn, but I'm actually good with individual notes. Problem is that more than 50% of the time.. notes produce a different smelling accord, which is what will confuse anyone's nose.
Of course some notes are easier to detect than others like say vanilla, as opposed to something like bamboo.
I will say thanks to this site and its members & their reviews, I know a whole lot more than the average guy asking an SA about AdG.
I marked myself a 2, though I may be more of a 1 still. I have been a member for about two years and have posted little, though I've read (and sampled [and blind bought]) a lot throughout that time. My goal, originally, was just to find something to finish off my morning shaves in style, but my appreciation for a wider variety of genres continues to grow, as does my ability to recognize notes and accords. However, I still have a very limited range of experience compared to most members. I think from here on out, my focus will be on sampling for the sake of learning rather than trying to find new bottles to buy. I have settled in with a collection of about 10 scents that I wear regularly, and I could see having a handful of others if I find some that are both striking and wearable enough to warrant it.
On the other hand, I may have to quit coming here altogether, as my addictive and OC tendencies often drive me to unintended purchases when I poke around here too much. In that case, my ability to learn will be greatly hindered without the sounding board and shared wisdom of the BN community.
Definitely a #2! I love trying out a fragrance and being able to pick out certain notes and know why I like or certain fragrance or why I don't. I think I may be coming close to my hundredth sampled fragrance!
I voted #3. Honestly, the only reason I can vote #3 and not #2 is because a few years ago I spent a significant amount of money acquiring a huge number of natural essences ( > 150 different oils/absolutes, etc ). This let me learn what the oils and extracts smelled like in isolated form, although an important caveat is that often these extracts do not smell like the living plant and hence may not be an accurate representation of the note in question. Rose absolutes, for instance, do not smell like a living rose, instead smelling more winey, peppery, decayed, with hints of pickle, etc (qualities heavily dependent upon their location of cultivation and the quality of the extraction itself.)
That is why, when I do my detailed breakdowns of scents, I will usually say, "this smells like X oil" if I find it smells like the oil moreso than the note in nature. In Reflection Man, for instance, I get a very strong orris butter note presence, which is different than the scent of the iris flowers (the ones that actually have any scent). To break it down even further, Reflection utilizes an orris with a lot of ionones which give it a very sweet and shimmering effect, with undertones of raspberries or even hints of grape.
Despite knowledge of individual notes, anyone with any blending experience realizes how quickly notes get lost in the mix, and how two (or more) notes can blend together seamlessly into what appears to be an entirely unique third (and only) note. A tiny bit of fennel seed oil + ylang ylang extra + lavender oils + absolute + a hint of jasmine and beeswax absolute can combine to make a fairly convincing lilac accord (ok, a fairly basic lilac accord, but a start).
Creating new or novel accords is interesting and definitely a large part of perfumery, but I think the true art lies in the way accords and phases of development are woven together. It is very very difficult to have three or more distinct stages in a perfume with seemingly disparate notes and yet to unify the composition seamlessly. It can even be very difficult to make a seemingly linear scent, depending upon the aromachemicals present for the accord you wish to achieve. Creating a long lasting lemon note, for instance, may be very difficult if there are no lemony basenotes available to a perfumer (i'm not aware of all the aromachemicals available so I don't know if this is actually true, but it seems like it must be as there are few long lasting lemon scents). Instead, a bit of illusion and trickery is required. If you can get a note that is "lemon like" (eg: immortelle oil has a lemon like note along with its tea-like characteristics. Keep in mind I'm talking about the essential oil steam distilled from the immortelle flower and not the absolute which produces the maple syrup like note) and then utilize some other notes to "hide the seam" where the lemon notes (say lemon, litsea cubeba, and lemon verbena) fade out, the wearer may perceive this as one long lasting lemon note that is just changing ever so slightly, while in fact all of the lemon oil is long evaporated.
The amount of balance required to create interesting scents that are not too sweet, too cloying, too dirty, etc. and that have no notes jutting out in truly unpleasant ways (but perhaps have a note here or there jutting out just a little to create some interesting tension or contrast) is truly very very difficult. Perfumery is hard. Perfumers should be respected!
I've learned a LOT since working on my own perfumes, and realized just how much there is to learn. It's both daunting and exciting. This is a hobby that will remain interesting lifelong. If you start to get bored with the hobby, consider delving deeper down the rabbit hole. You have no idea just how deep it is!
I put myself down as #2, while it could easily haver bee #1 or even #3.
In my time here, I've found that not only am I very limited, (and I knew that before I started), but that there are many truly wonderful scents that do nothing for me at all. And that judgement of doing nothing for me clouds my ability to either describe or understand a scent.
While my nose is improving at this stage I will not post reviews, I am simply too biased and ignorant.
SoS your post is extremely interesting. I have a "nose" for scent but am in the early stages of developing a sense of how to blend. There is so much to learn! One thing I can add (which may seem pedantic, but from my experience is not) is that if you are in the process of creating scent and get caught up in the moment, you need to pull yourself back a little and record everything. If you create a non-re-createable masterpiece... and you're okay with that, well, that is fine... but I believe that most of us want to be able to come up with that magical formula again and again. I have a few intriguing but one-off scents that I WISH I knew the proportions of ingredients for!