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  1. #1

    Question A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Hello,

    This is not another "What frag gets you poon?" thread, although I do need some fragrance help (of a different sort). Over the past few days, I have been mulling over how to frame my question. My situation is as follows (apologies for length—I come from the sort of family where you get extra credit for saying in 10 words what you could have said in three) :

    I am 22 years old, fairly bright, reasonably good-looking, charming in my own way, blah blah blah...what I mean to say is that the women I take a proper interest in appear to respond to me on my own merits, such as they are. One never knows, of course, but that's part of the fun, isn't it?

    I already own full bottles of Ungaro III, Caron Third Man, and Hermés Concentrée D'Orange Verte —all of which I purchased blind for my own pleasure after a good deal of research here at Basenotes, elsewhere and all of which I adore for different reasons. They all work well with by body chemistry and are complex enough not to bore me (I can now even pick out some of the individual notes!). I am now completely hooked on this scent-as-passion business and I suspect [sigh] that this is going to be a long, torrid, expensive affair...

    I joined Basenotes in the first place because I am looking for something...better, I suppose, is the word. More is more, better is better, and I definitely want better. Given my nominal status as a student , it would appear I am left with no choice but to descend headfirst into the nebulous world of samples. From a philosophical standpoint, I am unsure how to proceed:

    --Broaden my knowledge base with samples spanning the full breadth of the fragrance world and then push deeper into the genres that really move me
    --Go straight to the bigg'uns (Amouage, Guerlain, Lutens, Montale, and their ilk), get a sense of what the highest quality inputs and process actually produces, and use those experiences to frame future scent experiences
    --Some combination of the two approaches

    I am not really looking for sample recommendations (My Wardrobe at present has over 50 I would like to get my hands on) or sample sites (plenty of threads on those). What I am really interested in is how Basenotes members more experienced than I (that is to say, everyone) approached their own journey in scent once they had their “This is absolutely worth my time and money” moment.

    Responses need not be anywhere near as long as my post; indeed, many of the most penetrating scent reviews I have read on BN have been pithy indeed. Every little bit helps me, and I hope that this thread can be of some use and comfort to other newbies in our respective searches for whatever it is each of us seeks.

    Thank you.

  2. #2

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Emlynevermore,

    Sounds like you and I are in the same place as in regards to our journey in the world of fragrances. While I've worn frags for some time now, my experience has been limited to what was "hot", etc. and so I had the same question on my next steps.

    Because of the enormous number of fragrances available, I'm approaching my newfound fascination with frags the same as I did with wines. Basically, just try a little of everything and eventually you'll figure out what you like and dislike. To go back to my wine example, I've found that I like Cabernet Sauvignon's but dislike most Merlot's. In the same way, I've found that I like scents with Citrus, Vetiver, and Vanilla accords, but dislike scents with a heavy Chocolate accord.

    Also, given how much frags cost these days, why take the risk of buying something you might end up hating?

    Good luck!

  3. #3

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Welcome to Basenotes my advice

    Sample, sample, sample and decide what it is you like.
    I started this about a year ago and I have tried many, many samples.
    Living in New York should give you options to going and getting samples from department stores.
    Go and sniff at any store and find things you like on strips then sparay some an a wrist and see how it develops.
    Finally let your nose be your guide if you like it, it is good.
    Last edited by Somerville Metro Man; 21st January 2009 at 09:04 PM.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

  4. #4

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Great question, and I look forward to the further responses.
    My own journey was in some ways simple. I thought it would be wonderful to have a "forest in a bottle" -- something that would capture the quiet exhilaration of walking through a pine forest and smelling that crisp, vital air. I searched "pine" as a note, and doggone it if I haven't tried just about everything in that category. I never did find that perfect pine scent, so that remains a holy grail thing for me.
    But then I remembered a vetiver soap that I liked, and I found a fern soap that I liked; and these introduced me to those notes. I moved into woods generally and light spices and found things to appreciate there. I knew off the bat that I disliked vanilla as a scent (though not in food). I discovered that I have a low tolerance for amber and a guarded interest in patchouli; thus orientals usually do not appeal to me. Modern fresh aquatic/marine scents also hold little appeal for me, for other reasons. So I found that I don't need to cover the waterfront; that some categories per se just don't suit me.
    In other words, what I found through sampling was a greater sense of my likes and dislikes, and thus a better sense of who I am. And my tastes are evolving.
    So the advice to sample broadly is sound. If you find a house that produces one excellent scent, check out their other products. See if all categories suit you, or only some. Be open to variations on themes you enjoy.
    Learn, learn, learn... and enjoy the journey!
    Cheers,
    odysseusm

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

  5. #5

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    My real passion for perfume had to do with realizing that I needed to get out of my head and into my senses, and that in particular I had neglected my nose. I'd pretty consciously educated my palate, my ears, my eyes, but not my nose. Weird, thinks I.
    So I started reading: The Emperor of Scent, The Foul and the Fragrant, Patrick Suskind's wonderful and creepy Perfume. Two blogs in particular were helpful, although I got so much from many, many others: Perfume Shrine and the wonderful, now-unavailable Cognoscented.
    Then I started sniffing everything: dirt, leaves, grass, flowers, wood, spices, food, coffee, wine, other people, and all manner of perfumes. At first I was trying to understand what I like, what elicits an emotional response in me, and I was also looking for perfumes that reminded me of growing up in the mountains of far northern California. Not much success with that last one. But along the way I really got interested in perfumery as art and as cultural artifact.
    As far as learning about perfumes. Yes, sample everything and take notes. And when you can go to the great perfume meccas. If you go into Manhattan for sure go to Aedes De Venustas and loiter shamelessly. They're really nice about it. And if you're in L.A., don't miss a chance to go to LuckyScent's store front, The Perfume Bar. Spray stuff on every inch of skin.
    At this point I feel like I'm sort of running up against the limits of my nose and my schedule. I'm learning more slowly. But I love knowing and having access to many perfumes, and I love choosing one to wear that suits my mood and the purpose of the day. I have a number of blogs that I love reading when I have time, and I love clicking in to Basenotes to see what other people are enjoying.
    Enjoy!

  6. #6

    Thumbs up Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Quote Originally Posted by mchoi76 View Post
    Also, given how much frags cost these days, why take the risk of buying something you might end up hating?
    Thanks, that's exactly the conclusion I reached.

    Interesting comparison to wine; it's not something I have gotten into in any great depth but I imagine I will at some point. Until then, whisky it is.


    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville Metro Man View Post
    Welcome to Basenotes my advice

    Sample, sample, sample and decide what it is you like.
    I started this about a year ago and I have tried many, many samples.
    Living in New York should give you options to going and getting samples from department stores.
    Go and sniff at any store and find things you like on strips then sparay some an a wrist and see how it develops.
    Finally let your nose be your guide if you like it, it is good.
    Good advice there. I live outside of the city but I can see myself quickly becoming a sample whore.

    While I certainly enjoy the scents I already own, sometimes I get the sense that they are all just a little too pleasant. Yatagan, Kouros, and maybe something oud... [enter stage right]


    Quote Originally Posted by odysseusm View Post
    Great question, and I look forward to the further responses.
    My own journey was in some ways simple. I thought it would be wonderful to have a "forest in a bottle" -- something that would capture the quiet exhilaration of walking through a pine forest and smelling that crisp, vital air. I searched "pine" as a note, and doggone it if I haven't tried just about everything in that category. I never did find that perfect pine scent, so that remains a holy grail thing for me.
    But then I remembered a vetiver soap that I liked, and I found a fern soap that I liked; and these introduced me to those notes. I moved into woods generally and light spices and found things to appreciate there. I knew off the bat that I disliked vanilla as a scent (though not in food). I discovered that I have a low tolerance for amber and a guarded interest in patchouli; thus orientals usually do not appeal to me. Modern fresh aquatic/marine scents also hold little appeal for me, for other reasons. So I found that I don't need to cover the waterfront; that some categories per se just don't suit me.
    In other words, what I found through sampling was a greater sense of my likes and dislikes, and thus a better sense of who I am. And my tastes are evolving.
    So the advice to sample broadly is sound. If you find a house that produces one excellent scent, check out their other products. See if all categories suit you, or only some. Be open to variations on themes you enjoy.
    Learn, learn, learn... and enjoy the journey!
    Cheers,
    I find your story most interesting and it was kind of you to share. Myself, I am not moved by pine. I need more experience with vetiver and fern. Quite fond of woods and spices. We seem to have the same views on vanilla (good as food, scent not so much) and patchouli (use with caution), although the one opportunity on which I had occasion to smell genuine amber, it was a little odd and made me swoon (which can be dangerous if you are 6'3", 215 ), so maybe I should try out some orientals. I generally reject aquatics on principle, though perhaps I shouldn't...

    Once I find a few samples I like, I suppose I ought to take a better look at the rest of the house's offerings. Good suggestion that.

    Thanks again.


    Quote Originally Posted by Strollyourlobster View Post
    My real passion for perfume had to do with realizing that I needed to get out of my head and into my senses, and that in particular I had neglected my nose. I'd pretty consciously educated my palate, my ears, my eyes, but not my nose. Weird, thinks I.
    So I started reading: The Emperor of Scent, The Foul and the Fragrant, Patrick Suskind's wonderful and creepy Perfume. Two blogs in particular were helpful, although I got so much from many, many others: Perfume Shrine and the wonderful, now-unavailable Cognoscented.
    Then I started sniffing everything: dirt, leaves, grass, flowers, wood, spices, food, coffee, wine, other people, and all manner of perfumes. At first I was trying to understand what I like, what elicits an emotional response in me, and I was also looking for perfumes that reminded me of growing up in the mountains of far northern California. Not much success with that last one. But along the way I really got interested in perfumery as art and as cultural artifact.
    As far as learning about perfumes. Yes, sample everything and take notes. And when you can go to the great perfume meccas. If you go into Manhattan for sure go to Aedes De Venustas and loiter shamelessly. They're really nice about it. And if you're in L.A., don't miss a chance to go to LuckyScent's store front, The Perfume Bar. Spray stuff on every inch of skin.
    At this point I feel like I'm sort of running up against the limits of my nose and my schedule. I'm learning more slowly. But I love knowing and having access to many perfumes, and I love choosing one to wear that suits my mood and the purpose of the day. I have a number of blogs that I love reading when I have time, and I love clicking in to Basenotes to see what other people are enjoying.
    Enjoy!
    I think I will go the holistic route, too. I run a fair bit but until recently, I was always too worried about my stopwatch and the road ahead instead of the way it made me feel (I take stock every other mile and FYI, it hurts). Still, everything is experience, right?

    I will have to remember the Aedes tip next time I'm down in the city, thanks, though there might be a few other stops along the way.

    Luca Turin's Perfumes: The Guide should keep me occupied for a bit, I think...My ultimate goal is to have a wardrobe of fragrances that I absolutely love and still covers every base.

    Sorry to hear the nose is slowing down; I can't help but suspect that time will, alas, be at a premium in the coming years for me, too. All the more reason to get cracking, eh?

    Much obliged.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    I really don't know how I got into this whole thing. Prior to this year, I hadn't spent more than $10 on a fragrance. I received for Christmas, a bottle of original Polo which I love and I wore it for several days straight. One day, I just thought, "I want to smell like vanilla." I simply wanted to have a different fragrance in my wardrobe to counter the power of Polo. Simple as that. Not much thought at all really. So, I started looking into different things, and eventually I stumbled upon this place. As I researched several vanilla based scents, I kept getting epiphanies of other notes I would like to smell. It all just blossomed from there as I discovered the depth and complexity of this industry. Ever since, i've been spending money.

    In terms of samples, I wouldn't know where to begin. I could literally spend a fortune on samples. I want to smell it all. First though, I slightly beefed up my wardrobe primarily through blind buying(back up with research from this site). I have a nice "little" wardrobe that can tide me over until I can build it up even more. I'm getting into my sampling phase now though. Received my first sample last week(Tobacco Vanille) and i'm considering purchasing a full bottle now. After that, hopefully more sampling, but I must say, i'm a bit sample skeptical. I don't like shelling out cash for samples when I could be buying full bottles, but I guess that is par for the course if you don't want to get burnt. I'll still blind buy some, but on lower priced fragrances.
    Last edited by ibarney5; 22nd January 2009 at 05:30 AM.

  8. #8

    Smile Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Quote Originally Posted by ibarney5 View Post
    I really don't know how I got into this whole thing. Prior to this year, I hadn't spent more than $10 on a fragrance. I received for Christmas, a bottle of original Polo which I love and I wore it for several days straight. One day, I just thought, "I want to smell like vanilla." I simply wanted to have a different fragrance in my wardrobe to counter the power of Polo. Simple as that. Not much thought at all really. So, I started looking into different things, and eventually I stumbled upon this place. As I researched several vanilla based scents, I kept getting epiphanies of other notes I would like to smell. It all just blossomed from there as I discovered the depth and complexity of this industry. Ever since, i've been spending money.

    In terms of samples, I wouldn't know where to begin. I could literally spend a fortune on samples. I want to smell it all. First though, I slightly beefed up my wardrobe primarily through blind buying(back up with research from this site). I have a nice "little" wardrobe that can tide me over until I can build it up even more. I'm getting into my sampling phase now though. Received my first sample last week(Tobacco Vanille) and i'm considering purchasing a full bottle now. After that, hopefully more sampling, but I must say, i'm a bit sample skeptical. I don't like shelling out cash for samples when I could be buying full bottles, but I guess that is par for the course if you don't want to get burnt. I'll still blind buy some, but on lower priced fragrances.
    Thank you for the detailed response.

    I couldn't help but smile when you mentioned Polo. Back in the days before I realized that the FIT of clothing needs to come before the label on the inside, I wore a lot of Polo shirts and jeans (and underpants!). My mother always liked the scent of the green-bottled monster and purchased it, believing it would complement my relative maturity. It struck me as sophisticated but also just a bit "too much" so I ended up returning it (and instead getting the Francesco Totti Italia shirt I had coveted long ahead of Korea/Japan ).

    I am in a similar place with respect to samples; it seems rather foolish to be spending money on tiny vials or decants of things I may not even like, and even more foolish if I do like it because now I have less money to spend on an entire bottle. And yet, there is no denying that sampling is the most economical way to proceed if this fragrance habit is to become anything more than a passing wind in my curious existence. Until a month ago, scent was merely a simple, transient pleasure for me. In some respects, I hope the fundamentally-uplifting aspect of the experience never eludes me, no matter how much I learn about the "notes and bolts" in the coming years.

    If anyone else wishes to reflect on/lament what caused you to swallow that fragrant red pill and especially what further transpired in the wake of that decision, I would be grateful. And thanks again, barney.

  9. #9

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    I should have mentioned this earlier but it completely slipped my mind--I ordered five free 1mL samples from L'Artisan's website ($7 shipping in U.S.) on Thursday and am waiting for them to arrive:

    Ambre Extreme
    Fleur d'Oranger 2007
    Mure et Musc Extreme
    Tea For Two
    Voleur de Roses

    It looks as if they are all "pretty" kinds of scents: sweet amber, orange blossom, berry+musk, strong tea, and rose+patchouli, respectively. I haven't really tried anything of this ilk so this really is something of a high dive for me.

    Nothing ventured, nothing smelt I guess...

  10. #10

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Quote Originally Posted by Emlynevermore View Post
    I am in a similar place with respect to samples; it seems rather foolish to be spending money on tiny vials or decants of things I may not even like, and even more foolish if I do like it because now I have less money to spend on an entire bottle. And yet, there is no denying that sampling is the most economical way to proceed if this fragrance habit is to become anything more than a passing wind in my curious existence. Until a month ago, scent was merely a simple, transient pleasure for me. In some respects, I hope the fundamentally-uplifting aspect of the experience never eludes me, no matter how much I learn about the "notes and bolts" in the coming years.

    If anyone else wishes to reflect on/lament what caused you to swallow that fragrant red pill and especially what further transpired in the wake of that decision, I would be grateful. And thanks again, barney.
    That part resonated with me somewhat, so I thought I'd chip in.
    Back when I registered, I was fleetingly amused by this site, the wardrobe possibilities, the reviews, yadayada. I may have posted a thread along the lines of many a first post: "I'm stuck, what will I like, help". I got the very same (now predictable and understandable) answers: sample, sample, sample. I then proceeded to forget about it all - I wasn't about to spend money on samples of scents which I had no frame of reference for.

    Fast forward to last... may, june? I happened upon this site once again, and for some reason, my interest in these hyper-exclusive "niche" scents was piqued. Some googling revealed that there were brick and mortar stores near me offering those very lines - and I dropped by one time. Having the possibility to smell the variety of what niche actually entails in person, smelling recognizable, unique smells rather than "general drugstore perfume vat A", being able to flit from one bottle to the next, go *blegh* or *hey!* without having had to give it much thought beforehand - that hooked me. I made a mental note of the names I liked. Ran searches through Basenotes and Google with those names. Found blogs, discussions, comparisons. Expert reviews and analysis of what I was smelling. I could now put a name to smells - analyse what it was that I liked or disliked, which in turn meant I could now make reasonably informed choices as far as ordering samples went.

    Moral of the story: I guess there is none. Sampling is indeed, the one best advice I received - it's the only way to connect reviews and "technical" vocabulary to your smelling experience and preferences. While great advice, it still does not sound very helpful to someone who's right at the start, though; I understand that fully. The sheer volume of choice is overwhelming.
    If you have access to a brick and mortar shop, I really recommend that. If not; the line you have ordered samples from now has a lot of off-beat, interesting fragrances and makes a great starting point. Make notes of what you think you smell, what you like and what you don't, and at some point something will click in what it is you (dis)like about that particular scent.
    By now, this should be verbose enough even for your liking. The important part: don't forget to have fun.
    Last edited by Morgaine; 24th January 2009 at 09:31 PM.
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  11. #11

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Today I sampled two men's fragrances, and one of them (Guerlain Homme) strikes me as a kind of junk food or blockbuster movie that somehow satifies. I guess my advice would be that you not become a "perfume snob", because if you are open to smell anything, you might enjoy it, pretenses aside.

    Welcome to BN!

  12. #12

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Sorry it took me so long to respond; I completely forgot about this thread.

    Quote Originally Posted by veuve amiot View Post
    [snipped]

    Moral of the story: I guess there is none. Sampling is indeed, the one best advice I received - it's the only way to connect reviews and "technical" vocabulary to your smelling experience and preferences. While great advice, it still does not sound very helpful to someone who's right at the start, though; I understand that fully. The sheer volume of choice is overwhelming.
    If you have access to a brick and mortar shop, I really recommend that. If not; the line you have ordered samples from now has a lot of off-beat, interesting fragrances and makes a great starting point. Make notes of what you think you smell, what you like and what you don't, and at some point something will click in what it is you (dis)like about that particular scent.
    By now, this should be verbose enough even for your liking. The important part: don't forget to have fun.
    Wonderful story, gentil veuve (christ, I hope that means what I think it does). I love hearing about how people have gotten where they are and the choices they had to make along the way, even in truncated form. So thanks.

    Your suggestion about the brick-and-mortar shops spurred me to do quick google search, which produced two outfits within a reasonable distance. I will give them a call on Thursday to get a feel for what they carry and then drop in at some point, possibly as soon as Friday.

    I always carry a pen and a piece of paper on my person but note-taking--or rather, "note" taking--for this sort of thing hadn't occurred to me yet. Good idea.


    Quote Originally Posted by Asha View Post
    Today I sampled two men's fragrances, and one of them (Guerlain Homme) strikes me as a kind of junk food or blockbuster movie that somehow satifies. I guess my advice would be that you not become a "perfume snob", because if you are open to smell anything, you might enjoy it, pretenses aside.

    Welcome to BN!
    Thanks, Asha; I have certainly felt welcome here since I registered.

    I hope I don't get to a point where I judge a scent merely on its house of origin or pricetag. I really do try and evaluate the people and other things in my life on their own merits so I hope this fascination (and hopefully someday, passion) will be no different.

    The best part of entering this huge world right now is that I get to engage in a sense of childlike wonderment with each new scent, something that is especially important to me since most people have been treating me like an adult since I was about 12 or 13. I hope that giddiness always remains a part of my experience with fragrance.

    The thing I am looking forward to most, I think, is discovering scents that I absolutely do NOT like. In literature and in art, at least, I have found that the things I dislike or do not subscribe to often help me clarify what I do believe in/admire/value and why.

    Is that the case for anyone else? mchoi76 said something to that effect in the first response...

  13. #13

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    I feel that no matter how much I understand now, having a huge rotation is the only way to appreciate what I have. If I wear the same frag more than once in a two week period it starts to become too obvious (though I sometimes break this rule when I first get a frag). So my advice would be to find a comfort level with the number of frags you wear, rather than worrying about the latest frag to get a lot of BN (or other) attention.

  14. #14

    Exclamation Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Before I forget, I am also experiencing a rather embarrassing mental block right now with respect to samples .

    My 1mL L'Artisan samples:

    Ambre Extreme
    Fleur d'Oranger 2007
    Mure et Musc Extreme
    Tea For Two
    Voleur de Roses

    arrived earlier this week but they are just sitting (upright) in my closet for the moment. Sometimes I look at them and I even felt brazen enough yesterday to chance a sniff from the outside of the unopened vials of Voleur and and Mure et Musc, though I dare not repeat how I felt about them.

    I am not afraid, exactly, to open them; if it were outright fear, I would just do what I always do and down a few shots of Wild Turkey before mastering that which stands before me.

    This is more akin to mild trepidation, mostly because I am usually very busy during the day (I feel like I am burning daylight if I sleep too long after sunrise) and don't feel as if I can give the scents the full consideration they deserve in the course of doing whatever else it is I am doing.

    Also, if I ever get around to applying a healthy dose from one of the vials, I am not quite sure what it is I ought to be looking for, apart from whether or not I like the scent and how it makes me feel.

    As I cast a furtive glance in their general direction, the slightly-ajar cards to which the samples are attached appear to be beckoning me...but I cannot bring myself to heed their call.

    HELP!

  15. #15

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    I feel that no matter how much I understand now, having a huge rotation is the only way to appreciate what I have. If I wear the same frag more than once in a two week period it starts to become too obvious (though I sometimes break this rule when I first get a frag). So my advice would be to find a comfort level with the number of frags you wear, rather than worrying about the latest frag to get a lot of BN (or other) attention.
    Hmm...that's interesting, Bigsly.

    I am not usually too bothered over flavor-of-the-month type things; I used to hardly ever watch new movies because there were (and are) are so many older classics I wanted to get through. Now I try and balance past with present a bit more because there is something to be said for a newly-released movie that is only slightly above-average but manages to be relevant in its own time. No sense in allowing the beating present to slide idly by in singleminded search for triumphs of old, eh?

    From what I can gather, even the most experienced of noses on BN are always encountering scents--both new and vintage--that they hadn't tried before which manage to surprise them.

    I would like to get to that point someday. But I have to open my damn samples first...
    Last edited by Emlynevermore; 29th January 2009 at 04:55 AM. Reason: Spelling pistake

  16. #16

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    I guess I should've mentioned that I do hit the samples once in a while too. Basically, I try to make swaps for things I think I might like, and that includes samples. But the thing I was trying to convey that I think is most important has to do with developing a way to appreciate frags, and I'm not claiming that my way is the only or best way, but that it seems to be working for me, and so it might work for others. I seem to find or experience something new with my large rotation, whereas I think that if you wear the same frag several days in a row you might actually do the opposite, which is to condition your sense of smell to be less sensitive to the richness of the frag (assuming it's a good one).

  17. #17

    Thumbs up Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    I guess I should've mentioned that I do hit the samples once in a while too. Basically, I try to make swaps for things I think I might like, and that includes samples. But the thing I was trying to convey that I think is most important has to do with developing a way to appreciate frags, and I'm not claiming that my way is the only or best way, but that it seems to be working for me, and so it might work for others. I seem to find or experience something new with my large rotation, whereas I think that if you wear the same frag several days in a row you might actually do the opposite, which is to condition your sense of smell to be less sensitive to the richness of the frag (assuming it's a good one).
    I think I understand now, and that is an even more interesting point than I had anticipated. I suppose overexposure is a genuine concern, especially to a favored bottle. Someone in another thread pointed out that this is why you can smell the smells in a friend's house but not the smells in your own house.

    I have been avoiding wearing the same frag two days in a row anyway, even with my wardrobe (Concentree D'OV, Ungaro III, Third Man, Z-14) being what it is. Maybe this is one instance of more actually being better.

    At first, I thought I was just being finicky but you have somehow managed to legitimize my neurosis. Sweet!

  18. #18

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Quote Originally Posted by Emlynevermore View Post
    Wonderful story, gentil veuve (christ, I hope that means what I think it does). I love hearing about how people have gotten where they are and the choices they had to make along the way, even in truncated form. So thanks.
    I'm not sure what you think it means, but whatever it is, it may be a comfort to know I nicked the name from the champagne brand.

    I hope I don't get to a point where I judge a scent merely on its house of origin or pricetag.
    I think many -if not most- of us here, upon discovering the world of niche, fall headlong into snobbishness. Nothing to be alarmed about, really - so long as you realize that price isn't necessarily indicative of quality. I find that now that I'm coming down from my snob cloud, I can better distinguish between good designer or drugstore scents and awful cheapies. Before, I thought they were all awful with a few happenstance exceptions. It's been a learning experience.

    The thing I am looking forward to most, I think, is discovering scents that I absolutely do NOT like.
    Absolutely. I now know why I do not like certain designer messes. Still, I'm rather new to it all and I do not consider myself an expert to any degree.
    Simply learning to recognize notes can be enlightening, too - although you have to be a bit more careful there. Your personal preference may not be for pointillism, but that doesn't mean Vincent van Gogh wasn't a great artist. Similarly, you may not enjoy orange blossom, but there may be true gems among the genre.
    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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  19. #19

    Default Re: A Fellow Traveler Seeking Direction...

    Quote Originally Posted by Emlynevermore View Post
    I am in a similar place with respect to samples; it seems rather foolish to be spending money on tiny vials or decants of things I may not even like, and even more foolish if I do like it because now I have less money to spend on an entire bottle. And yet, there is no denying that sampling is the most economical way to proceed if this fragrance habit is to become anything more than a passing wind in my curious existence. Until a month ago, scent was merely a simple, transient pleasure for me. In some respects, I hope the fundamentally-uplifting aspect of the experience never eludes me, no matter how much I learn about the "notes and bolts" in the coming years.
    The issue of spending money (or effort) on sample vials is part of a larger issue. Namely, what is the goal of the entire enterprise? (A) To acquire some excellent scents. or (B) To grow in self-understanding, to develop new aspects of one's consciousness, to transform the self.

    Particularly if the answer is (B), then any expense or efforts along the way are means to that wonderful end! In fact, the more sampling, the more experience, and the more reflection; the more growth and transformation.

    This is true of life in any sense. I don't mean to sound preachy here -- but this is my philosophy of life. Cheers!
    odysseusm

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

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