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  1. #31

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    When I did my counselling training we did a lot of testing of ourselves and each other. One of the discoveries I had was that my major modality is kinesthetic. This means that smell, touch, fine fabrics and *experiencing* living through the senses was very important to me. So I think this theory definitely holds up. I am very picky about food - not so much fine wines etc, but that's just because I'm not particularly enthralled by alcohol, and I love soft and/or interesting fabrics. Smell is one of the most important senses to me, and the evocation of memory by smell is absolutely magical. What a fascinating topic to write about - good luck with your article.
    "I don't know the key to success,
    but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
    Bill Cosby

  2. #32

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    That's interesting about modalities, Clemmie. My predominate modality is auditory, and I find that I particularly enjoy reading and hearing descriptions of fragrances. Language, for me, is the first hook. It's what makes me want to sample and sniff.

    Books like Perfumes: The Guide by Turin & Sanchez, and web forums like this one are a great draw for me, and I SO appreciate the finesse that so many perfume lovers seem to have with the written word. These people frequently leave me in awe, and because of them I've discovered many scented treasures.

    I look forward to seeing the article, Mimi!

  3. #33
    arwen_elf's Avatar
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    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Perfume is such a big part of my private life. It is something I only share with all of you nice people, and I guess the people that have to smell my perfumes everyday. I don't talk to my co-workers about it and my husband really does not understand but lets me be.

    I have loved perfume since I was little, although my mom was a one-perfume lady (Femme). I have even taken some of my dad's fragrances. He loved Egoiste and Declaration Essence and now I wear them too.

    Perfume is my refuge from everything in the outside world, my little private playground and gives me a lot of joy!

  4. #34

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    I agree with Haunani about language being the primary trigger for my interest in perfume. As a market researcher by profession, the urge to classify and look for patterns and similarities between things is a source of great satisfaction. So too is the ability to capture a scent in words, even if this means resorting to the florid and silly metaphors to which I am prone, such as "Blair Witchy" or "mouldy crypt"-like, or "leaf peeping coyly through a freshly creosoted fence" or "rose petal-strewn molten creamy white leather in the back of an old Bentley". My nose is nowhere near acute enough to pick out all the notes accurately, but if I can communicate the feel of a perfume evocatively, I find that very cathartic!

    Basically, I started out one afternoon in January idly googling three perfumes a friend used to wear a lot - and which I didn't much care for - to see whether they shared any common notes (uncannily so, as it turned out!). By the end of a week I had filled three Lever Arch files with print outs from Osmoz and blog sites, filed by fragrance family.

    The next step was to acquire samples to check out the things which had caught my interest during this intensive research phase. This began on a small scale, but the floodgates quickly opened and my collection now runs into the several hundreds, some 7 months later. As the intellectual pastime gained a physical dimension, it was as though a whole new world of sensory pleasure was opening up, with apparently limitless variation. Yes, the therapeutic and escapist value of fragrance is immense, and something I had never recognised or experienced in my previous 30 years of random and indifferent usage of the stuff!

    It would not be stretching a point to say that this interest in perfume came upon me so suddenly and forcibly that it was akin to a religious conversion, not least because I now feel compelled to spread the word amongst my friends and invite them along for testing sessions (got to get through my 8+ years' stock for one thing!). When someone who is perhaps stuck in a rut finds a new scent they really like thanks to my nudging them in the right direction, that is very gratifying.

    So the benefits are in fact threefold, now I think about it - intellectual, physical, and "philanthropic"!

    Oh, to answer your question about the correlation between a love of perfume and the finer things in life, from my experience I think that would broadly hold, although I was a very late developer when it came to perfume! I love designer curtain fabrics and wallpapers, good wine and cheese, indeed I used to work in a deli in Camden (now sadly gone) as a student. I also love jewellery and opulent objects in general, even if I only get to see them in the pages of a glossy home interiors magazine or at a National Trust property. Conversely, the friends I have who are immune to the allure of perfume - including my other half, whose signature scent I have despairingly classified as "Palmolive/industrial" - tend to be a bit functional and utilitarian in their approach to clothes, food, cars etc. There is an interesting thread on this very topic on Nowsmellthis in which the notion of perfumistas as "sensualist geeks" is discussed. The cap certainly fits for me! It is called "People who like Perfume and People who Love it" from June 26th of this year, and if the hyperlink below doesn't fetch it up, there is a link in the archive list of favourite topics (bottom left of the home page):

    http://nowsmellthis.blogharbor.com/b...6/3763927.html
    Last edited by VM I hate civet; 6th September 2008 at 07:17 PM.

  5. #35

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Haunani View Post
    That's interesting about modalities, Clemmie. My predominate modality is auditory, and I find that I particularly enjoy reading and hearing descriptions of fragrances. Language, for me, is the first hook. It's what makes me want to sample and sniff.

    Books like Perfumes: The Guide by Turin & Sanchez, and web forums like this one are a great draw for me, and I SO appreciate the finesse that so many perfume lovers seem to have with the written word. These people frequently leave me in awe, and because of them I've discovered many scented treasures.

    I look forward to seeing the article, Mimi!
    Wow!

    One of my other main modalities was auditory digital (which means I hear voices in my head - no seriously!). When I type, I hear my own voice speaking the words. When I'm thinking, I hear my voice. When I'm thinking about other people, I hear *their* voice - even dead people. It's fascinating, the world of modalities, and how much we do without realising that it is our modalities driving us all the time. Fragrances are hugely important to me, and I can even get offended if someone doesn't like my perfume - I posted a thread about the 'philistines' I work with some time ago (!). It's not their fault, but I find it so odd that they don't appreciate lovely fragrances like I do. This is because that modality is such a strong one for me - it almost makes me something of a snob about it. So I have to try to tone that down when I'm in the workplace. I wear fragrances now that sit closer to my skin, because I realised I am wearing them for ME, not to impress others (and clearly, it doesn't anyway!), so I'm enjoying my perfumes a lot more now.

    Since getting involved with this site, I've discovered the 'elitist' side of my perfume addiction. Whilst I'm still perfectly happy to spray on a cheap cologne if the mood takes me, when I'm shopping for fragrances 'for the future', I invariably head towards the niche areas. I like to wear perfumes others don't recognise, because I like to be asked 'what's that perfume you're wearing?' I don't know what that's about, maybe it's an ego thing, I really haven't analysed it to death, but I love having something that not everyone else has (other than the people here, who of course I'm happy to share with, because we all have the same passion!). The lovely thing about this place is the sample swapping and sharing that occurs so readily. I've learned so much from the people here, and have happily shared fragrances of my own that others have difficulty finding (sadly, sometimes, the postal service lets that down, which is hugely annoying). It's such a fun hobby to have - if a little expensive...

    I've just got Chandler Burr's book, and I'm very much looking forward to delving into that.
    Last edited by Clemmie; 7th September 2008 at 09:34 AM.
    "I don't know the key to success,
    but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
    Bill Cosby

  6. #36

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    That's very interesting about your auditory faculty, Clemmie - it must be quite a comfort to hear the voices of relatives who have died, for example.

    I have also given some thought to the elitist potential of this interest in perfume. I don't think it is mass market perfumes I feel snobby about per se, but rather very loud and/or very sweet ones - thinking of the girly fruity florals that have flooded the market of late, especially the trashier celebrity ones - what some critics collectively refer to as "lolly water". Yes, I think I am quite specific in what I look down on, and would happily wear a very mainstream scent if I thought it well done.

    The issue of whether we wear perfumes for ourselves or to catch the attention of others is another interesting point. I can truthfully say that no one has ever asked me what perfume I am wearing - not that I have consistently been wearing the stuff for long! I look forward to that day with keen anticipation... Perhaps I don't actually put much on and no one will ever comment! Most of the time (in the spirit of scientific inquiry) I am wearing up to six perfumes at once - though I try to limit them when going out! Most are applied with the small dipper you get in those 1ml sample vials, so perhaps that is why they are staying so close to my skin. But though I am evangelical about wanting others to make discoveries beyond their current - and invariably limited - repertoire, it would be true to say that my own perfume-wearing is a private pleasure. Maybe I should give myself a jolly good spritz of something one day and see if anyone remarks on it.

    Going back to Mimi Pompom's article, perhaps she should talk to several of us, as we may well illustrate different facets of this hobby/obsession. There may even be regional differences between us! (There speaks the market researcher in me!). I was meaning, for example, differences to do with our access to fine fragrance retailers and how this has affected the development of our sampling habit.

    Another great thing to come out of this which you touch on is the friendships you make with like-minded people. I can totally relate to that, though my connections so far have been over on the Nowsmellthis site. What I think is good about Basenotes - having finally discovered its Community section! - is the fact that you can start your own topic if you want to. As I mentioned over on the other thread, the database of reviews is a great resource I have already been using.

  7. #37
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    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Clemmie View Post
    I like to wear perfumes others don't recognise, because I like to be asked 'what's that perfume you're wearing?' I don't know what that's about, maybe it's an ego thing, I really haven't analysed it to death, but I love having something that not everyone else has (other than the people here, who of course I'm happy to share with, because we all have the same passion!).
    I also feel drawn to the niche sector. I don't think of it as elitist though. People come and go in my workplace, and I am aware of what they are wearing. For example, a woman came in last week and I recognized she was wearing Bulgaria Omnia. I was relieved that I hadn't chosen that to wear that day. I don't know when I started thinking that it was rude to wear the same clothes outfit as someone else, but I feel the same way about fragrance. I feel it steals the limelight away from the person who is wearing it. They lose their individuality. And I'm all about individuality. Maybe it was Catholic school uniforms that did it to me, I dunno!

    Quote Originally Posted by Clemmie View Post
    The lovely thing about this place is the sample swapping and sharing that occurs so readily. I've learned so much from the people here, and have happily shared fragrances of my own that others have difficulty finding (sadly, sometimes, the postal service lets that down, which is hugely annoying).
    I agree. So many members have been greatly helpful to me. I've learned a lot about little things, and that's helped me learn a lot more about notes and fragrances in general.

  8. #38

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    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    I was hoping to connect with some individuals as well who are passionate about fragrances. I decided to become a perfumer several years ago and found my way in Grasse where I am now a perfumery student. I had the lucky chance to work in an international perfumery company this summer, and what an experience that was.

    For the longest time, I'm looking for someone like me... someone who is consumed by the olfactory world and want to actively participate in it whether it be through creation, writing, consulting, marketing, and what not. Smelling fragrances or being close to raw materials make him or her happy. Led by passion for this art, he or she is willing to take risks and sacrifices to learn and feed the hunger within. The end goal is to be involved in producing something that will please the noses of the people around us.

    If you are him or her and willing to discuss a different level of perfumery, please send me a private message. Thanks.

    - Alex

  9. #39

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Thanks Mimi and everyone in this thread. Many of you just confirm that how lucky I am to be born human and have well function senses.
    To me, I have scents to connect to most event in my life and that is priceless.

  10. #40

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Aiona View Post
    And I'm all about individuality. Maybe it was Catholic school uniforms that did it to me, I dunno.
    I had to laugh at the part about Catholic school uniforms and individuality - you and me both on that one! :-)
    "I don't know the key to success,
    but the key to failure is trying to please everybody."
    Bill Cosby

  11. #41

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Going back to the bit about liking the finer things in life, a number of people have mentioned the fact that their interest in perfumes is intellectually satisfying whilst also appealing to the senses. Tonight I was flicking through a wine guide supplement from the weekend Guardian or Observer, and there was an interview with good old Jancis Robinson saying she got into wine because it had both this "intellectual" and "sensualist" dimension. I'll drink to that!

  12. #42

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by Clemmie View Post
    Wow!

    One of my other main modalities was auditory digital (which means I hear voices in my head - no seriously!). When I type, I hear my own voice speaking the words. When I'm thinking, I hear my voice. When I'm thinking about other people, I hear *their* voice - even dead people.
    Clemmie I am totally surprised that this is not common to everyone. My thoughts have always been 'processed' like this. I can still hear in my mind if I want to the voice of a girl who was in my class at secondary school and who died tragically at the age of sixteen. I can hear the voices of my grandmothers who have both passed on and have always been able to visually recall them and their particular mannerisms with great clarity.

    Someone posted earlier in this thread that there are those who are super-sensory and I agree wholeheartedly with this. I guess I have always perceived things differently to other people, no surprise then that I went to art school where individuality, and its expression, was encouraged. The textures of clothing fabrics, accessories and home furnishings are important to me also. I love soft leather bags but can't stand the feel of hard patent leather, for example, so where quality may be comparable it is purely the sensory experience of touch which is key in determining my preference. With regard to the first post in this thread , for myself I'd have to remove the word 'sensual' and replace it with 'sensory'.
    When it comes to fragrance my knowledge is limited in comparison with others' on Basenotes because I rely mostly on my instinctive response to fragrance and don't pay as much attention as I could perhaps to scent families and discerning notes. There was a time in my life when I tended to intellectualise/analyse the whys and the wherefores of everything but now I see everything I do, and love, as purely an expression of my soul. My love of perfumes is part of that expression and it is very personal, although it's always great to discuss frags with a fellow 'perfumista' ( I don't know enough to call myself a perfumista but I'll use it anyway!)
    I am not sure about people who are passionate about fragrance being more appreciative of 'the finer things in life'. The phrase 'finer things in life' can be taken so many different ways. Mimi pompom could mean aspirational things, or she could mean the simple, pure, experiential things in life. Perhaps both, I'm not sure. I have very simple tastes in food, I don't drink wine, I do love art of course, and have always loved music (from birth I guess!). I love to be caught up in a sense of wonder and awe whether from looking at a painting, or a sunset, a tiny little flower, listening to music, reading a book, experiencing a fragrance or just realising sometimes how amazing my family/friends are. I think if anyone is looking for a thread that connects Basenoters it may well be that we all have a sense of wonder. Now I really have rambled on for far too long...........apologies.
    Last edited by chaelaran1008; 9th September 2008 at 10:53 PM.

  13. #43
    odysseusm's Avatar
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    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Well this is a fantastic thread... and wouldn't it be great to assemble all these people. What a party! Especially the wine-drinking cohort!
    Aside from the expense (!) this is a great hobby-pursuit. It combines my proclivities: enjoying the senses, reflecting and analyzing. The historian in me loves the history behind scents (especially vintage scents) and the collector-acquisitor in me has a field day. I also like that it helps me understand myself, as an individual and in relation to others. Why do I like certain scents, and not others? How can I like a scent on someone else and not on myself? Why does a scent that I liked in my teen years now seem over-the-top? How can people like a scent I detest? How can I adore a scent that others hate? Our identity shifts... scent helps us track those shifts. What is constant, what changes?
    I collected and analyzed wine for decades. I turned those analytical skills to scents. The process is really almost the same.
    Best wishes, with this article.
    Last edited by odysseusm; 25th September 2008 at 03:40 AM.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  14. #44

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Quote Originally Posted by chaelaran1008 View Post
    ....I think if anyone is looking for a thread that connects Basenoters it may well be that we all have a sense of wonder.
    Quote Originally Posted by odysseusm View Post
    ....It combines my proclivities: enjoying the senses, reflecting and analyzing. The historian in me loves the history behind scents (especially vintage scents) and the collector-acquisitor in me has a field day. I also like that it helps me understand myself, as an individual and in relation to others. Why do I like certain scents, and not others? How can I like a scent on someone else and not on myself? Why does a scent that I liked in my teen years now seem over-the-top? How can people like a scent I detest? How can I adore a scent that others hate? Our identity shifts... scent helps us track those shifts. What is constant, what changes? I collected and analyzed wine for decades. I turned those analytical skills to scents. The process is really almost the same.
    These two comments really nail it for me. Here's to more exploring, sensing, collecting, sharing and analyzing together. Over many good bottles of wine, of course. Cheers to all!

  15. #45

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Yes, having a "sense of wonder" is a notion which captures beautifully the whole spectrum of sensory delight, whether it be in "high end" artefacts or expensive food and drink, or joy at simple sensory pleasures like feeling warm sand between your toes, or the scent of May blossom, or that satisfying crunch when you walk on a muddy tyre rut that has frozen over!

    Having a sense of wonder probably goes hand in hand with good powers of observation and a curiosity about the world. Flaubert was noted for turning everyday trivia into "gold" in his novels - it comes down to an appreciation of those little quirky things that may cross your path, even in familiar surroundings. This verse from Louis MacNeice's poem "Snow" sums it up quite nicely!

    World is crazier and more of it than we think,
    Incorrigibly plural. I peel and portion
    A tangerine and spit the pips and feel
    The drunkenness of things being various.
    Last edited by VM I hate civet; 10th September 2008 at 12:12 PM.

  16. #46
    odysseusm's Avatar
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    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Sense of wonder, absolutely. The world is waiting to be discovered. Lovely Celtic Christmas carol, "I wonder as I wander...". Could be my motto.

    Here's a great poem by Pablo Neruda.

    Lost in the forest

    Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig
    and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips:
    maybe it was the voice of the rain crying,
    a cracked bell, or a torn heart.

    Something from far off it seemed
    deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth,
    a shout muffled by huge autumns,
    by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.

    Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig
    sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance
    climbed up through my conscious mind

    as if suddenly the roots I had left behind
    cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood---
    and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  17. #47

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    That's a beautifully evocative poem - and what a fitting last line! The poet may have been thinking of a wood in his native Chile, but I can't help thinking of the fine species of tree where you are. Mentioning forests has just reminded me of the beautiful paintings by The Group of Seven.

    Regarding my own perfume collection, even after 8 months it could most definitely be described as "incorrigibly plural" - and becoming more so with every visit of the postman!

    Oh, and since joining Basenotes, I have been honing my flag recognition skills no end!

  18. #48

    Default Re: people who are passionate about fragrance

    Thank you for posting that poem odysseusm. It is one to savour while reciting aloud , I enjoyed it very much.

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