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  1. #1
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    mikeperez23's Avatar
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    Default Scents and context

    Since I have been here on Basenotes, I've been introduced to a significant amount of high quality fragrances, much more than ever before in my life. I sometimes take this for granted (in my hurry to get more, more samples...more fragrances...!) Suffice to say, whether I'm testing out a new fragrance or I'm wearing something out of my wardrobe - I'm smelling pretty good.

    Usually on my way to the office, when my SOTD is swirling all around me in the confined interior of my car, and when my mind can concentrate on the scent - I sometimes imagine that the scent I'm wearing would be MUCH more appropriate for some other occassion besides going into my office for work. I mean, let's face it, the office is not always the best context to appreciate a fine fragrance.

    My SOTD was Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia by Estee Lauder - one of those new 'big florals' that are coming back in style (like Voile Fleur Black Orchid, Sarassins...). The brightness and pure power of this scent immediately transported me (mentally) to a more appropriate context to enjoying PCTG. I felt like spending the morning walking in a botanical garden, dressed in a comfortable seersucker suit and ordering an ice cream cone, while I relaxed the day away. This type of atmosphere would really flatter my scent. Much more than my office would.

    This happens many times. Sometimes I feel like I should be wearing a three piece suit, dressed to the nines and going into a high powered meeting with a customer (Tom Ford for Men Extreme), sometimes it's walking in a rainforest (Route du Vetiver) or sitting down to an extremely delicate pastry and coffee at a sidewalk cafe in the rain (Borneo 1834).

    Of course, there are those moments (ever so often) when I wear a scent and for whatever particular reason I am actually in the perfect context for the scent. This past summer vacation in Puerto Rico I experienced this on the beach, with Virgin Island Water. It was quite amazing and (of course) the happy moments of my vacation are woven together with the scent of VIW.

    Care to share your thoughts on scent and context?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Scents and context

    Haha, funny this thread should come from you, mike.

    The first thought I had was my initial sampling of AdP Colonia Assoluta on a business trip up to Massachusetts. It was a pretty "informal" meeting in terms of dress, but it was with some higher ups with whom I wanted to make a really good first impression. It was pretty much the *perfect* scent for the occasion and really sold me on the fragrance (so much so that I bought a big bottle of it yesterday!)

    Also, had a big fun convention weekend back in June, where I hung out by the pool for three days, drank myself silly with some old friends I hadn't seen for a while and slutted around for the weekend. That was right after I bought my bottle of VIW. It will forever be ingrained as a festive, sun-drenched beach party fragrance after that.

    And last, but not least. Back in May we took a baltic cruise and I brought along two decants of Black Aoud, which I was going to use on a couple of days of the trip. Until I realised on the first wearing that it only took a *tiny* bit to suffice. So the two decants lasted me the whole 12 day cruise. Which included a couple of very memorable days in St Petersburg, Russia. I used up my decants and that was pretty much that. Until I bought a bottle a few weeks back. Immediately I was transported back to the regal hallways of majestic artwork in the Hermitage, and realized the context of first smelling BA in that setting really sealed the deal for me.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Scents and context

    Whenever I think of the context of a scent, I'm always curious as to whether it's a learned association or whether particular scent combinations really do have their own "aura", for lack of a better word, that we innately sense as being appropriate for certain occasions.

    Parfums de Nicolai New York is one of my favourite fragrances of all time, but I can never wear it comfortably without some nicer clothes to go with it. And I honestly don't think it's a conditioned response... I think there just might be some mysterious aspects about scent recognition that we're just not aware of yet. It wouldn't surprise me.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Scents and context

    On the rare occasions I get dressed up in black tie, I simply CRAVE Antaeus or Guerlain's L'Instant Extreme. Jeans and t-shirt on a Saturday morning? It'll very likely be Blue Jeans by Versace, or Burberry Touch, or Ava Luxe's Patchouli Leaves. Sweaters and cool autumn days instantly call for Leonard pour Homme, and rainy days usually put me in a lavender or vetiver mood.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Scents and context

    Good thread.

    When I first started collecting scents, I'd always buy something new (and usually blind) at an airport duty free just before I left for a vacation. Then I'd use that and only that while I was away, so that every time I smelled that particular scent again, it would bring me back to the vacation.

    Except for the year I bought Guerlain Vetiver. I had to leave it in the hotel room (another "I can't believe I did that"). I just couldn't wear it with any success - couldn't get past the "elephant house at the Baltimore Zoo" accord. Hopefully someone else enjoyed it.


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