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  1. #1
    trumpet_guy's Avatar
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    Default A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    For my 1000th post, I wanted to give a brief outline of how the fragrance hobby
    (and that's what it is to me) has developed in my own experience -- a sort of
    fragrance memoir.

    Most hobbies seem to go through phases, it seems. There's the initial interest,
    which may have been in the back of the mind, brewing for a long time, or which
    may suddenly pounce on you. In my case, it was the former.

    I had two or three drugstore fragrances in my 20's. Never wore them consistently.
    I explored the discount stores (Kmart, etc...) a few times, but never really wanted
    to put down serious money on a bottle of scent.

    Fast forward to my mid 30's. I would frequently go to stores like Macy's and Nordstrom
    looking for decent sales on clothing. Of course, you always have to pass the fragrance
    counter in these stores. (The high-profit centers are placed near the entrance.)
    I got interested in getting a scent for daily wear. I was approached by a woman
    at Nordstrom pushing Essenza di Zegna. I liked it. I bought a 50ml bottle of it.

    At the time of my first designer fragrance purchase, I had in mind that I wanted
    any scent I buy to be light, not in-your-face. Zegna fit the bill. But here's the kicker:
    they had a website for the fragrance. It was interesting. It listed the predominant notes
    in the scent. Of course, I then had to learn where the notes came from (yeah, mostly
    synthetics, but they are modeled after naturally occuring compounds, and I wanted
    to learn about it). For this, I started searching the Internet and after some time
    stumbled upon Basenotes.

    Hide the wallet!!!!!!!!!

    Well, as many of you have experienced, I soon found that there were many families of
    fragrance creations: fougere, chypre, oriental, woody, aromatic, etc...
    I wanted to find out what those smelled like. And of course I wanted to smell what the
    Fragrance Enlightened were raving about. And here is where the "collecting"
    psychology kicked in. Instead of simply smelling samples and chalking it up to
    experience, I bought bottles of scent upon first or second sniff.

    Well, to wrap this up, I accumulated bottles faster than I had anticipated, but I did acquire
    fragrance knowledge along the way. About $5000 later, the hobby has exhausted its
    collecting phase and I view fragrance as pleasant and refreshing to wear but not a passion
    anymore. I do enjoy a well-crafted scent, but most new designer fragrances don't
    excite me. My tastes moved from light to deep and rich. There aren't many of those
    getting made anymore.

    I want to thank the many Basenoters who have been generous with their time and
    knowledge. It has been an interesting hobby, and I intend to keep up with it in a more
    modest manner for the foreseeable future. And I'm not leaving Basenotes anytime soon,
    I'm just not as rabid as I once was about scent.

    I'm investing more time and money in digital photography these days. The phases of that
    hobby have been similar to my experience with Basenotes: The initial, latent, interest;
    the first inexpensive acquisitions, the discovery of Internet discussion forums, the
    acquisition of way more gear than I ever anticipated, the learning (quite enjoyable) and
    the desire to share the experience on the forums.

    And, above these two hobbies, I still spend time practicing and performing on my
    trumpets: in a community band, at my church, in other churches, and the rare solo
    recital I hope to put on in the next year or so.

    I remain a Basenoter,
    Tim

  2. #2
    the_good_life's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    Thanks for the story. Wouldn't be surprised if many other Basenoters didn't see someting of themselves in there. I certainly did .
    My Wardrobe
    II est de forts parfums pour qui toute matière/Est poreuse. On dirait qu'ils pénètrent le verre.

  3. #3

    narcus's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    Great post - and a lot to think about. I copied it to my personal notebook. Maybe I am slow or maybe I have not spent enough $$$ yet. I still have exciting things to try, and trying nowadays means buy, wear, and wear again in different situations and seasons. But in my fourth year of this journey one thought keeps coming up that wasn't there before: this isn't life, it's just perfume!
    Last edited by narcus; 17th September 2007 at 06:56 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  4. #4
    Basenotes Institution
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    Default Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    Great story Tim - happy 1,000.

  5. #5
    Fiorello's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    Thanks trumpet_guy Tim. What a pleasant and meaningful diversion from the usual fare.

  6. #6
    trumpet_guy's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    One thing I failed to mention in my memoir, and its something some newbies might
    find strange: In the years of this fragrance hobby, owning many high quality scents
    and applying them with reasonable liberality, I've never once received a compliment
    or a criticism about my scents. Not one unsolicited comment either way.

    Well, I take that back, I did spray some in the air when in my cubicle, and
    people who walked by could smell that since it was still in the air. That elicited
    a comment. Otherwise, nada.

    So when the questions come up, "Which scent is the king of compliments?"
    I think, "Who knows?" and really "Who cares?", because there's a good chance
    no one will tell you even if they like or dislike what you are wearing.

    And I think it's largely because of who I work with and hang out with:
    Not an environment where these things would come up. And, I'm not a
    flashy guy nor do I attempt to get noticed by what I wear.

    Regards.
    Last edited by trumpet_guy; 20th September 2007 at 06:11 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    Quote Originally Posted by trumpet_guy View Post

    ...... My tastes moved from light to deep and rich. There aren't many of those
    getting made anymore.......
    Tim, I really enjoyed reading your explorations and 'memoir'.
    Excellently expressed and concise.

    I feel I'm struggling to find out what really appeals to me without getting too
    out-of-proportion about it.

    Michael Edwards' Fragrances of the World helped me somewhat understand classifications and how the juices that appeal to me fit in the larger scheme of the never-ending plethora of bottles.

    Most of the scents I like fit into only one of his thirteen groups, and within that group, in the sub-group called 'deep and rich'. That alone has saved me time and some money.

    The exploration however is truly an appealing hobby. As a novice, the hobby continues to fascinate.

  8. #8
    graffham's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    Thank you for your post. Yours is one of the many reasons I choose to support and remain a basenote fan.

  9. #9
    jellybean1973's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I hope that when I reach my 1000 I'll be able to share in the way you did

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    Definitely a lot that I share in your post; except, I haven't stopped collecting.

    Thanks for the wonderful share, and happy 1000th post!
    Last edited by JaimeB; 14th October 2007 at 07:06 AM.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

    "Why spend life seeking that which does not satisfy? Why remain a slave, when freedom waits? Let your life shine; illumine the world with your truth!"

    My Wardrobe
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    Fiat justitia ruat cælum.

    Let justice be done, even if the sky should fall.

    Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus

    Qui nihil potest sperare, desperet nihil.
    Let him who can hope for nothing despair of nothing.

    —Seneca

  11. #11
    jasper_244's Avatar
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    Default Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    thanks for that Trumpet !

    Congratulations on your 1000th post too !

  12. #12

    Default Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    This was a great post, thanks for writing it. I do the same thing with my hobbies; I get completely absorbed, learn everything there is to know, and then move on... but always still retaining the knowledge and enjoyment, just in a more modest way.

    I've noticed that as I try new fragrances, I'm rarely blown away by them anymore. It's almost like I've found my "core collection" of fragrances, and now there isn't a lot more I need to experience. I've tried a majority of the most expensive and supposedly magnificent fragrances in the world, and strangely, I've found that I actually prefer the scent of pure (high-grade, authentic) sandalwood oil to most of them.

    It's almost like through this varied and sometimes complicated hobby I've realized that my taste is much simpler than I thought.

  13. #13

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    Default Re: A Fragrance Memoir -- My Experience in Olfactory Exploration

    Great post. I could really relate to your pattern of finding hobbies and the stages you go through to explore that hobby. Hopefully I will keep basenotes and fragnances up as a hobby (not an addiction!) and smells many more scents good and bad to find out what I like best.

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