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  1. #1
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    Quarry's Avatar
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    Default Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Please help me stop wrestling with this idea.

    I am to give a presentation later this month on the subject of ecological landscaping with native plants. I've thought about buying/taking along Demeter Firefly (which smells like grass, soil, and cool, wet dew) and passing some around in a crystal decanter with a stopper so each attendee could choose whether to open and sniff it. Obviously I was thinking about the fun of smelling summer in the middle of winter. I had considered distributing individual vial samples, but I don't know whether my program will attract 15 people or 100 (three programs run concurrently each session).

    Now, folks who are looking to landscape their property with locally native species tend to have a "natural" mindset, so a few may be adverse to snorting synthetic molecules, and some might have true sensitivities, so that's a concern. Also, I don't want to overwhelm my audience by scattering their attention in too many directions.

    As much fun and as memorable as this could be, I think I should err on the side of not doing this, unless you can see beyond my present tortured reasoning or offer alternative ideas.

    If this subject is of interest, you can view the closing segment of my program showing plant closeups set to music [YouTube] (3:25 min.).

  2. #2

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Quarry, I think this is a fabulous idea if the group is smaller (less than 25? maybe?) but might get a little distracting in a larger one. If I were in the audience, it would bring a new dimension to the talk, I would enjoy it a lot. Maybe a little verbal disclaimer about sensitive/allergic types beforehand?
    "It's now very common to hear people say "I'm rather offended by that." As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well so fucking what." - Stephen Fry

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    I think is a fun idea too, but agree with Led that it might be problematic if it's a large audience. How about placing diffuser reeds or mouillettes in the decanter so people can take one if they choose? That might help move the decanter thru the audience quickly and allow people to appreciate what they're smelling while enjoying your presentation.
    Eddie: Sweetie, what are you drinking?
    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
    -- Absolutely Fabulous

  4. #4
    Lifelong Sniffaholic
    30 Roses's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Rather than passing it around, how about having a table on the side that people can visit after the presentation? This would avoid detracting from what you have to say, and is adaptable if a larger audience turns out.

  5. #5
    summer means fireflys
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the video. Lovely pictures, did you take them?
    I've trademarked the color bleu

  6. #6

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Quote Originally Posted by 30 Roses View Post
    ...how about having a table on the side that people can visit after the presentation? .
    I agree.
    And put the fragrance in a diffuser there.
    Or have paper strips and a sprayer for do-it-yourself-ers.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Or: if you have a manageable-sized audience, you could first diffuse small amount of the scent into the room pre-talk. This is so that the folks attending will subconsciously come to associate the content of the event with the smell - without you having to specifically distract them by going on a tangent in your talk. Prepare a small "take-home" goodiebag with your lecture notes/handouts and a small vial of the scent inside in advance. Then, when they leave, present them with the little handout-bag on departure and when they go home they can recall what you said and how you made them feel. Plus it would be quite unusual and fun

  8. #8

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    What a great idea!

    I'm with those that suggest not passing it around during the event. When I do a presentation, I find that you tend to lose the audience's focus and/ or the item doesn't get passed around all the way.
    For sale: JL Scherrer parfum (reduced price) and more!

    "One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other." ~ Jane Austen

    “Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume” ~ Jean de Boufflers

  9. #9

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Quarry, do you have brochure or a handout you could scent?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    I vote for 30 Roses' idea as well. Because there are unfortunately a lot of anti-frag people out there and they will be mollified by getting to avoid the scent table while others enjoy their olfactory treat. BTW it was pleasure to get a peep of floral beauty on bleak NY city day.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Gorgeous plants and a nice "joyful" finish. Brava.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    I like the idea of the take-home samples as a way of anchoring your presentation in the attendees' memories! Perhaps you could offer a limited amount of take-home sets (25 or so) for the first ones to be there? Not sure if that would lead to undue comptetition with the other two programs running
    The idea is great, though, and I would certainly appreciate a novel take on a presentation like that.
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

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  13. #13

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Don't do it during your presentation because you will lose your audience when you are coordinating getting the samples around. Set it up before you start talking ( room fragrance) or give samples out when you are done
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    This idea reminds me of the Chandler Burr presentation we attended in NY. He had soaked paper strips in bottles of the various scents and had runners pass them out. each person was given a ziplock bag to dispose of the strips and "turn off" the scent when he had enough of it.
    I love the idea. Perhaps you could have strips to be given out at the end. I admit I am not adverse to the idea of passing some out at some point during the program, depending on audience size, but I am in the minority here.
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  15. #15

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    It sounds like fun but in practise you will lose your audience and that means that they will not listen to what you say because they are distracted by what else is going on.

    The point of a presentation is that people will listen to what you have to say and you should think about things that might emphasize a point if you need to and how to regrab peoples attention, not give more ways to let someones mind wander about how lovely a piece of paper smelled.

    Presentations are about the person presenting, it's up to you to hold attention with what you have to say and youi should construct one thinking of how you can keep someones attention on what you are saying. Giving out nice smelling samples might be fun if your in the audience because it offers a way of escape, you smell the paper you make up your mind you think its nice. Already this person is not listening top what Quarry is saying. You might be interested in what the other people think of it so you look at their faces, o wow someone is sneezing heavily, guess that didnt go too well then for him etc Regaining this persons attention is going to be hard, their mind has drifted they lost the plot and getting them back onto what your saying is hard.

    Not ideal.

    If you want to do all sorts of fun things in a presentation you have to be so incredibly good at keeping peoples attention and its rare for people to be that good at entertaining and being informative at the same time.
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Is it any wonder I adore you kids? You're brilliant with all your observations.

    By going with the reeds in a stationary setup, the scent's diffusion would be controlled, and those who wish to collect a reed at the end of the program could do so. I can buy 50 12-inch reeds for pennies, cut them in half to make them a convenient, portable size, and put as many into the juice as would accommodate the numbers who show up. Additionally, I bet the scent will stay with the reeds for a while, and Demeter scents need that non-skin media to gain any lasting power.

    Then, on my paper handout, I'll put in a squib about my fragrance fetish and the peculiar wonder of Demeter products.

    Now you've enabled me to make a purchase ... a-n-d ... because shipping is the same regardless of quantity, I just may have to get one or two new Demeters to try. Would any of you like a sample of Firefly? Just let me know.

    REGARDING THE PLANTS
    Thank you, shades. Yes, the plants and pix are all mine. Where once there was nothing but lawn, countless "working plants" now serve the ecological functions they used to up until White settlement just 200 years ago. The yards at our former home (now our rental property) and the schoolhouse we inherited from my parents, and at which we now live, are very much alive. Thank you, Chestnut. Fifty-five minutes of my presentation is about large-scale ideas and issues, for which I show no closeups, and the short music montage at the end is just eye and ear candy. You caught that ending, did you, Zibeline? Amazing that that grapevine spelled my name--I didn't tamper with it a bit.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? UPDATE: SLIDE SHOW LINKED

    In case you'd like to see a boodle of before/after photos of our houses's exteriors and landscapes, I've posted 99% of the photos that'll be used in the BIG PRESENTATION this Saturday in a YouTube slide show. (Only left out the many stolen google.map satellite images.)

    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=...oy&view=videos
    Choose "2009 Presentation to Wild Ones" (10-min. video)
    Be sure to click on "watch in high quality"

    Unlike the "Celebration of American Plants," the above vid has no sound.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Quarry, that's simply amazing! All the work that you guys have done! I love the stone paving, the pond (the intentional one!) and how natural everything looks.

    What did you use old carpet for? And does all that really grow back after winter is over? You'll have to excuse this Florida girl. If you buried me under a foot of snow, I'd permanently perish in about two minutes!
    Eddie: Sweetie, what are you drinking?
    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
    -- Absolutely Fabulous

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    It's a wondrous and queer world, this restoring land to its native values, and some inventive methods have developed in the mere 60-70 years that restoration has been recognized as a science. Carpet, laid down for a year, does a splendid job of killing existent vegetation. If there's a need to appease sensitive neighbors, woodchips can be strewn over the top for a nice appearance. When the carpet gets lifted away, one need only rake the surface clean and sow a mix of local species, then lightly rake and tamp them in place. That's all there is to it, except for the extraordinary leap of faith and patience. Carpet is free and reusable for many years, and prevents having to use chemical vegetation killers.

    Hey, oud, I'm looking at a couple feet of snow right now, and some nights so cold it's dangerous to leave the house, and yet frogs and grasses and mosses and insects and flowers and trees survive the months of ice as though winter was just a nice nap. Every other year or so we perfume a "prescribed burn" to set back some invasives, and the prairie reacts gratefully by greening up almost in a matter of days. I may envy you your warm, sunny California days sometimes, but I do love my land of fire and ice.

    Thanks for playing audience. The ego appreciates the nutrition.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Seeing the images really make me curious about the accompanying presentation, Quarry! Do let us know how it went after Saturday. The unintentional pond was cute
    It is known that there are an infinite number of worlds, simply because there is an infinite amount of space for them to be in. However, not every one of them is inhabited. Any finite number divided by infinity is as near nothing as makes no odds, so the average population of all the planets in the Universe can be said to be zero. From this it follows that the population of the whole Universe is also zero, and that any people you may meet from time to time are merely products of a deranged imagination.

    Douglas Adams

  21. #21

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Fabulous work, Quarry, truly a labor of love! How many years of restoration work does the video cover?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarry View Post
    Every other year or so we perfume a "prescribed burn" to set back some invasives, and the prairie reacts gratefully by greening up almost in a matter of days.
    .
    Sniff and let sniff.

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Oh, egads! I can't even type the world "perform"!!!!!!!!! "Perfume a burn." That's just too good. I'm so glad you caught that, Tang. I'll be re-chuckling all evening now.

    Ah, let's see, the little house at its ugliest (green asbestos shingles) was photographed in 1977. I started natural landscaping in the late 1980s. We moved into the schoolhouse in 2003 and have done all the landscaping since then.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarry View Post
    Carpet, laid down for a year, does a splendid job of killing existent vegetation.
    Amazing pictures, Quarry! Not only the restoration of the building/schoolhouse, but also the vegetation.

    I may have to try the carpet trick on the patches of nasty sticker briars in our backyard!

  24. #24

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Nice work. And I can tell, it was a lot of work. Paradise Lost---and found again. In the middle of a typical suburban landscape, you have restored this place of natural beauty.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    We're back from a great experience ...

    * The Hilton Garden Inn. Our place of lodging and site of the Wild Ones conference has its own air strip connected to the neighboring EAA airport. The EAA Fly-In is the world's largest aviation event. I thought I heard a staff person say something about Harrison Ford staying here (talk about your distant brush with greatness). For a good length of time on Friday afternoon we had the hot tub and pool to ourselves. The bed was way too firm for a good night's sleep, and I should have requested more pillows, however ... there was no dog getting between us, and the non-sleeping time spent there proves these two old souls are still kicking.

    * The presentation. There was a time when DH couldn't handle crowds and confined spaces, but Paxil has opened up the world to him. He took pleasure in manning the table at the back of the room, making sure everyone got the paper handout and dispensing the straight poop about the fragrance display (bottles of Firefly, Earthworm, Ivy, and Wet Garden). About 50 people attended and about 20 took one of the Firefly-soaked reeds. A handful of women were really interested in the fragrances.

    When I speak in public, I turn, uncontrollably, as manic as Robin Williams and as verbose as Lorelei Gilmore. After I spoke, the stern-looking conference chair whom I was meeting for the first time moved in close and said: "I have one criticism for you ..." (I was all ears. Was I talking too fast? Too indistinguishably? I've been blind to some huge personal failing my whole life, haven't I, and you're the one person who will finally impart this awful, dark quality, aren't you?) "... could you just bring a little personality to your presentation?" she said jokingly and breaking into a smile accompanied by a hug.

    Tomorrow marks our 30th wedding anniversary, but those moments during the presentation that DH and I shared with each other and 50 tree-hugging witnesses felt like a ceremony of matrimony . The photos on the big screen were like a flash of our lives passing before our eyes (without the usually requisite near-death experience).

    * I've got plenty of Demeter left over, so if you have any curiosity about these scents, LMK and I'll send some to you!

    One rant: After sending multiple DVDs ahead for the A/V guy to check out, the projection device connected to his laptop squished all of my pictures into a square format!!!
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  26. #26

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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Quarry, YOU DA BOMB!!! Many many thanks for sharing the process and the event with us! (The "1812 Overture" really had me going there...had you also considered Ravel's "Bolero"??!!)

    Kudos to a great lady for a great job...and the little ivy agreed!! (That is SO cool.)

    If you have any Demeters left, I would love to try.
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  27. #27
    summer means fireflys
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    I'm glad it went so well, but then again we all knew that it would!
    I've trademarked the color bleu

  28. #28

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Oh I am so happy to hear it went well, bravo! (And good on you & hubby for renewed companionship and nice feelings ).

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Many congratulations! I wish I could have heard your presentation, especially having seen the video portion. I'm especially happy to hear that you and DH enjoyed some private time during your getaway. Awww!
    Eddie: Sweetie, what are you drinking?
    Patsy: Oh, this? Chanel No. 5.
    -- Absolutely Fabulous

  30. #30

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Congratulations Quarry!
    It seems like a very special evening.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Thank you, my darlings, for the warm pats on the back.

    Taolady, will send a bundle your way as soon as I get a break in the action from the resurfaced clientele.
    In a world where 6 million people are added each month, every landscape matters.

  32. #32

    Default Re: Should I offer fragrance with my presentation? (I'm thinking "no.")

    Belated kudos, Quarry! I can't even imagine the work that went into creating that stunningly beautiful landscape. Glad you guys are celebrating your 30th with new stars in your eyes. I would have loved to hear the text as well -- at least I can enjoy the scratch-n-sniff part!

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