I must have told this story on millions of other threads and on various other occasions so far, but I am always delighted to repeat it all over again:
I come from a family background were fragrances were by far not the passion, the hobby, the addiction at the extents which exist here on Basenotes, yet everyone seemed to own and use something which- and some of my earliest childhood memories are connected to that- "smelled good". Then, at the age of 13-14, I developed an even more keen interest in scents and started to test frags at perfume stores, even buy, read and/or borrow from libraries all sorts of fragrance-related non-fictional, encyclopedic technical literature.
Then, at the age of 14, precisely on the occasion of my 14th anniversary, came the turning point. A an elderly friend of my parents, who was also a guest at my birthday party, an expat who lived for a long time in Paris and was some kind of a dandy (complete with failed marriages, gambling debts, gray hair, elegant suits, an exquisite taste in everything- from cuisine and wine, to social interaction and gentlemanly leisure) gave me my first bottle of "real" designer frag as a gift- Salvador Dali PH (1987). I was so proud of owning this frag, that I wore it on almost any occasion and flaunted the satisfaction of being the owner of such scents, even if it was way too dark, conservative, edgy, heavy and dandified for an age, where I should have worn some generic aquatic to "get the girls", like most boys of the same age did. And while the Dali creation did not improve my "dating persona", it did provide me with a blessing probably even more pleasant and more precious to me: even during my early and late teens, as I also do now, I only liked conservative, old-school, quite formal frags, literally screaming elegance openly and intensely. In parallel to that, I started to spend almost all of my spare cash, whenever the occasion came up, on an initially small, but steadily growing fragrance collection.
Also, I was blessed that even before the "fateful 14" I had the luck to test vintage Eau Sauvage, vintage Antaeus, vintage Vetiver and Heritage by Guerlain and a few other pre-reformulation male fragrance legends and was instantly smitten, up to the point that, though I could not afford them back then, I resolved "this is what I will own one day".
Then, in my early twenties, already having amassed a circa 10+ fragrance wardrobe, I was curious how the frags I already owned or considered buying were reviewed, publicly perceived, compared, in terms of price, quality, longevity, projection, health concerns, value for money, manufacturing techniques, in relation to more similar or more different other frags.
So, naturally, as I typed the search term "fragrance review" on Google, Basenotes among the fist hits and it was almost an instant "love at fist sight", mainly because I was impressed about how complete, how organized and how easily accessible its fragrance database was- I never thought I could ever find info on all fags which might interest me. One thing led to another and, after reading some reviews, I said to myself: "Hey, I can do that too", so I started by reviewing, at fist, only the fragrances I loved and then, gradually, just about every frag I eve came in contact with.
Much later, the same happened with the Basenotes message boards, at first, I was very aloof and reserved and just read them, without posting anything, but then, I was convinced that the more I tend to post and to interact, the more fragrance knowledge I am likely to exchange and to experience, also contributing, as much as I can, to the fragrance knowledge and fragrance information of Basenotes in general.
This is, in a nutshell, "my story" and most or all its focal points.