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  1. #1

    Default A Newbie remembers ...

    What a long, strange trip. Well, strictly speaking, it's not been long per se as I've only been a "perfume patient" for a few weeks, but it's been strange all right.

    It began innocently enough: I was listening to NPR's Talk of The Nation one afternoon when I heard the story of how Chandler Burr happened on Luca Turin waiting for a late train; one thing led to another and Burr ended up writing The Emperor of Scent. I was intrigued! Off to the library, driver, quick I say!

    A few days after, as I put down the book, I realize I am hooked. I begin to rummage through my paltry fragrance collection, snatching at the caps and drawing them to my nose. Do I smell those illusory "notes"? My wife's collection was next. I sprayed, dabbed, splashed, and sniffed, oh boy, did I sniff! Yards of test paper strips soaked with fragrance, the detritus of an olfactory Battle Supreme, lay scattered around my desk.

    My nose started rebelling badly and went on strike for a while, two days into my "illness". After I realized the need to calm "the hell down" as my lovely wife put it, I started prowling the Internet as I waited for my anosmia to subside. I needed to know if I was the only one, if I was "normal", and as usual, like a soon-to-be-terrified hypochondriac feverishly typing his symptoms in to WebMD, I started typing in terms like "fragrance", "perfume", "reviews" into Google and milliseconds later, the great Googlebot spat out the results which were going to determine my quality of life for the next few weeks.

    Atop the list of results was

    It's been several weeks now and I've spent an obscene amount on various and sundry perfumes, fragrances, scents, salves, balms, potions, etc., etc. The stars aligned and started showering me with samples, first from my sister-in-law who worked the Estee Lauder counter at the local mall then from various others. Like my work colleague whose wife, he said, had a ton of perfume samples and he hated all of them. Bring them on down, Sam! And when he did, I found delicious A*men, B*men, Black Cashmere, and others.

    Ebay, that most evil of websites, proferred Jicky and Caron's Le Troisieme Homme. I blundered and bought D&G's Light Blue for full price at a department store, then found a 1.7oz Burberry Brit on clearance for less than $10! Fresh's wonderful Cannabis Santal I obtained from NoNonScents who included free samples of Bond no.9's Bleeker Street and Chez Bond (you bastard! I love you!); a trip to Las Vegas had me getting a bottle of The Dreamer that blew me off the Strip. Recently, Macy's had a Fragrance Festival that caused Pavlovian salivation and my wife and I walked out several hours later with the cutest double-bottle of Gaultier^2.

    Just this weekend, I bought (blind, mind you) Parfums de Nicolai's New York and I can't wait to try it. I'm currently wearing L'Instant de Guerlain and I'm estatic. The worm stirs still: I'm itching to get a bottle of Dior Homme, a bigger bottle of Chinatown, New Haarlem, and more, more, more (Chergui, Creed MI, Knize Ten, Chanel PM)

    Sorry, got lost in the moment there. Sigh.

    So, what should I get next? :-)

  2. #2

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    I have no idea what you should get next, but I enjoyed your post a whole lot! One of the best here in a long long time. Welcome to the obsession anyway!

  3. #3

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    I think yo uare set for a while! You are actually in a frenzy. I've gone through fazes where I will buy so many at a time and realize I have no money left. Just happy bottles of bliss.

    If I had to give any suggestions I would say: Gucci Envy, Sample L'Artisan stuff (Mechant Loup, Tea for Two, Mure et Musc Extreme, Ambre Extreme, Voleur de Roses, Patchouli Patch, Annas Fizz, Bois Farne, Jour de Fete, Safran Troublant... to name a few), Fumerie Turque, Animale Animale, Geir, Frankincense and Myrhh, Santal Noble...

    Go for those. They are splendid! You have a fine collection as is. But nothing is stoping you from sampling!

  4. #4
    Overcome By Fumes
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Tacoma, WA

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    Nothing as fun as the frenzy of a new convert...the passion is palpable. Sometimes I get a bit jaded, but it is nice to smell something anew and feel that beginning energy surge again. Great story!

    Very hard to suggest to you--your instincts seem very strong. Nonetheless, there is a value to checking things first and buying a bit more slowly--you will find as your tastes refine and you redefine what you love, some of the early bottles seem out of place. Of course there is then the swap board...

  5. #5

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    EnvYus: yes, frenzy's the word. I do own Envy (it's excellent) and I have some of those L'Artisan scents in my wishlist. While I was in Las Vegas, I visited a Perfumania and when prompted to buy Animale Animale, I was repulsed by name. Now, I'm kicking myself.

    I've decided that after I get New York, I'll slow down and enjoy the perfumes I have so far. Except for getting a larger bottle of The Dreamer, that is! :-)

  6. #6

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    sorry double post
    Last edited by alaya; 14th November 2006 at 02:23 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    Quote Originally Posted by EnvYuS
    If I had to give any suggestions I would say: Gucci Envy, Sample L'Artisan stuff (Mechant Loup, Tea for Two, Mure et Musc Extreme, Ambre Extreme, Voleur de Roses, Patchouli Patch, Annas Fizz, Bois Farne, Jour de Fete, Safran Troublant... to name a few), Fumerie Turque, Animale Animale, Geir, Frankincense and Myrhh, Santal Noble...
    I would get Fumerie Turque first. Maybe it would be more difficult to buy after Xmas.

  8. #8

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    Awesome post... your excitement is inspiring.

    Just wait until you sink your teeth into Serge Lutens.

  9. #9

    Smile Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    Wow. Your post brings back memories of my first few months after finding this website. I really hurt myself bad. In the bank account that is. It is really difficult to wait for packages but its also like Christmas everyweek. Waiting for swaps or purchases of long dreamed of scents. My tastes changed over time and What I liked BB ( before Basenotes ) and now are somewhat different. I bought blind too much and now I try to get a decant or samples before I take the plunge. Sometimes its the search that is the most fun. Finding a real buy of something that is discontinued ect. I also found out the more I sampled the more individual notes I could pick out of the blends. Enjoy the manic phase of this obsession!

    For sale post

    " I wanna have my kicks before the whole s--t house goes up in flames"

    Quote from Jim Morrison
    The Doors

  10. #10

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    If you like Le 3e Homme, I think you'll like New York. It's a forgiving blind buy and easy to swap here if you find it fails you. Oddly enough, I'm getting Le 3e Homme again after swapping it away last year.
    May I also suggest:
    Pasha (since you like Baldessarini)
    CM Tricorn (not my cup of tea but very good. Reminds me a little of Le 3e Homme)
    In rotation: Greenbriar (new), Silver Mountain Water, Dunhill for Men (1934), Acqua di Parma Colonia, Habit Rouge EDC, Ho Hang, B*Men, Agua Brava

  11. #11

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    Thanks all, I thoroughly appreciate all the encouragement and suggestions!

    I'm definitely going to start sampling before I get any more fragrances, period. I've grown to understand that testing scents on one's own skin is almost a requirement.

    Since I have no qualms about wearing "female" perfumes and my collection contains--to my untrained nose--some disparate scents, I wonder what my tastes in perfume are. Is there even such a thing and is it discernable?

  12. #12

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    This is a great post.
    It will remind many of us of out first forays into fragrances and the power that they can hold.They really are a unique art.
    I will share a quick story. When I was first getting into fragrances I made an impulse purchase of something - Tsar, I think - and quickly found that I wanted to trade it. I ended up swapping it to the most friendly Basenoter, who agreed to swap me the bottle of Tsar. In return he sent me a whole wonderous care package of hard to find samples. The bottle of Tsar probably cost me like $15.00, and I'm sure that those samples were worth a fortune. He included Patou, and Patou Prive, M7, Ungaro(s) I, II and III, Santal Noble, and many others. I've tried to be as generous myself, and have given away a million samples, especially when I see someone new and enthusiastic join the bored. Good luck with your new passion. And PM me if you want a couple cool samples...

  13. #13

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    Quote Originally Posted by SlimPickins
    This is a great post.
    Good luck with your new passion. And PM me if you want a couple cool samples...
    I've been lurking on BN, posting only once in a while and I have come to realize just how incredibly friendly and cordial everyone is here. Thanks a million, Slim! I'm overwhelmed by your offer!

  14. #14

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    The mention of Fumerie Turque here inspires me to ask an off-topic question.

    I have a friend who is going to Las Vegas in a week: does anyone know if FT can be bought there??



  15. #15

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    I say order a bunch of samples from or any other perfume site..and then spend the next few weeks trying them out. Its a great low cost way to test drive even the most expensive fragrances.

  16. #16

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    What's next? I suppose it depends on your dispostion.
    Some of us enjoy the thrill of hunting down the biggest discounts/cheapest prices.
    Others enjoy the thrill of hunting down exotic and weird scents.
    Others are overtaken by the darkside and start wearing women's scents - but beware if you tread this path, some then seem to drown in the darkside, claiming there are no well made men's scents at all.

    The good thing about this hobby is that you can spend as little or as much as you like, and you can go in a number of directions.
    But one direction you'd better take, is the one where you spot and buy good scents going cheap for your wife. She'll then at least get some pleasure following you around, as you pursue your hobby, and it can save you money in the long term - consider it an investment.
    Last edited by Renato; 14th November 2006 at 07:37 AM.

  17. #17

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    Welcome to the fold and thanks for that enthusiastic entrée. It's so hard to get a grip on yourself with all that wonderful smelly stuff out there, isn't it. Won't you love New York, I'm cherishing my decant of it. It is a good idea to settle down and start to really get to know all of your treasures. From my experience I can say that they keep revealing new facets of themselves and returning to first smells after experiencing others can be quite surprising as your mental fragrance map expands. You'll find many opportunities online, including right here of getting samples/decants which is a good way of avoiding bankruptcy

    What you really need to try IMHO:
    Creed, Bois du Portugal (best dry wood)
    Creed, Royal English Leather (best leather)
    Creed, Baie de Genievre (sleeper of the vintage)
    Malle, Musc Ravageur (my favorite musk)
    Villoresi, Piper Nigrum (love it or hate it), Sandalo (my fave Sandalwood)
    Crown Perfumery, everything but especially Sandringham (rare, but some of the best in British perfumery tradition)
    Cacharel pour homme (warm, spicy nutmeg and woods, cosy, brilliant)
    d'Orsay: Etiquette Bleue (oh divine neroli)
    Caron: everything. pour un homme in particular because it's such a classic
    Lutens: Arabie & Ambre Sultan, Fumerie Turque (which Lutens type ar you?)
    Roger & Gallet EdC Jean Marie Farina Extra Vieille (classic cologne)
    Penhaligon's: Blenheim and Hammam Bouquet (English classics)
    Monsieur Balmain (ingenious lemony must-have-for-summer citrus)
    Diptyque, Philosykos (figmania, has to be smelled to be believed)
    Czech & Speake No. 88: my own most recent WOW experience

    Keep sharing your enthusiasm
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  18. #18

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    I am really bewitched by Serge Lutens in general. I can't wait to sniff Chergui and Ambre Sultan especially.

    I must say I'm waiting for Caron's 3rd Man to "steep"--if that's the word I want--before I can truly appreciate it. By which I mean that initial blast has me standing in a wind tunnel of Lavendar wind.

    I have heard some amazing things about Hamman Bouquet and Czech & Speake's No. 88. Of course, I'm a Bond fan, so I'm going to be getting a sample of Floris No. 89. Bois du Portugal sounds amazing.

    I have to say I wasn't taken by GIT and Guerlain's Vetiver for some reason, but I was a very new newbie then so I'm sure it's like a little boy rejecting a 64 Bollinger.

    Renato: I do like some women's fragrances but I'm very careful, as you say, not to get too wrapped up. For instance, I decided to wear my wife's Vera Wang and all was well, until I started getting a bit weary of the drydown. So, I know when to say when. I think! :-)

  19. #19

    Default Re: A Newbie remembers ...

    Quote Originally Posted by ifconfig
    I have to say I wasn't taken by GIT and Guerlain's Vetiver for some reason, but I was a very new newbie then so I'm sure it's like a little boy rejecting a 64 Bollinger.
    While it's worth giving the Basenotes favorites more than one chance, you will find that some, or even many of them end up not being for you. Keep testing though just to make sure.

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