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  1. #1
    exquisitely me's Avatar
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    Question Guilty by Association

    There's no question about scent being one of the strongest links to memory, so what do you do when good smells have bad memories? I've been going through my collection, and realizing some old favorites are now so tainted I'm never going to wear them again.

    Has anyone out there been forced to cut their losses in a similar fashion? Or had issues of fragrance bringing back unpleasant memories for those around you?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    This is a great question. There was some discussion of this issue in a past post which asked about wearing scents at a funeral (would that scent take on the aura of the day, in memory).
    I have some old warhorse scents that remind me of my younger days, but no traumatic memories associated with those times (aside from the realization that that was then and this is now...)
    My current scents have no memory databank associated with them, so I'm in a happy and unique sort of situation of being a tabula rasa on this.
    I'm sure many others will have some interesting comments, I look forward to them.
    odysseusm

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

  3. #3
    ChantillyLace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    I think if you really liked the scents to start with, given time the bad memories will fade. May take 20 or more years but that is what I have found.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    Many year ago I started wearing Quelque Fleurs. At the time I did not have a lot of perfumes, and because it was new to me I wore it all the time. My best friend passed away around that time and even though 22 years have gone by, every time I smell Quelque Fleurs I can see me at the funeral.

    I could never wear it again, although I have tried it a few times with store testers, the feelings are still there.
    Evenstar

  5. #5
    Basenotes Institution
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    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    Mitsouko and I were best pals for many years. How I loved Mitsouko. Due to a really bad time some years ago, I could no longer bear to wear Mitsouko - too many good memories that made me sad and too many bad memories that made me sad too ! So it was bye bye Mitsouko . Though very few perfumes will ever compare to it.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    If I were avoiding a fragrance because of negative associations with the scent, I'd give the bottle(s) away. There are too many gorgeous fragrances out there to be tied to ones that bring up bad feelings. Purge, purge, purge.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    I have extreme emotions attached to fragrance. There is a long list of loves I won't wear anymore because of feelings I choose not to re-experience. Some of them are:

    Mille Et Une Roses
    White Shoulders
    Obsession
    Opium
    L'Interdit
    Cinnabar
    White Linen
    Eau Dynamisante

    As we all know, there are PLENTY of others to take their place!
    Last edited by ubuandibeme; 3rd February 2009 at 01:24 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    I can't think of a single scent that I have associated with bad memories, just good ones or strange ones, and more often than not it was because someone other than me wore it.


    I agree with Odysseum about some scents making me wistful and nostalgic for my "golden youth", but any traumas back then were from people or my own errors and I just don't connect fragrance to them at all.
    When I was in my early 20s there were a few bad breakups etc, but I associate my fragrances with "me" as a whole and not with any particular romance, etc. If I had a bad experience while wearing a particular fragrance, I'm sure I made just as many good memories in it to compensate.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    The one fragranced product I could not stomach smelling for years was Nivea body oil lotion, actually thinking about it now makes me queezy. Bad, bad memories. P Oddly, the creme does not do this to me.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    Fragrance, for me, seems to transcend all situations. The scents stand on their own, they are never truly associated with positive, nor negative experiences.
    Try as I may, I have never tied a fragrance to an experience. I can tie a scent to a person, but that is it. I guess I am lucky in that aspect; I never have sad or upsetting memories rush over me whilst smelling a scent.
    Music on the other hand has the power to bring me right back to any given moment in my life, well at least one the song is reminiscent of.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

  11. #11
    Basenotes Institution
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    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    I just bought Poison- the original and I am surprised how I can wear this ( one or two sprays ) and how gorgoeous it is. I never wore Poison in my youth because it was that unseen monster that gagged me everywhere. However, now, Poison reminds me of my teenage years and memories are good .
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    Fortunately, I rarely run across a stray whiff of L'air du Temps anymore. Ugh. Can't stand the stuff, due to an extremely annoying college roommate who doused herself in it daily. Several years later I became friends with a woman who wore it occasionally. We became candid enough friends that I felt comfortable sharing my unpleasant association with the scent, & she quit wearing it around me. That's when you know you have a true friend!

  13. #13
    ChantillyLace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    I guess I have been really lucky not to have had a bad time in my life make a perfume unwearable. And I hope it never happens! If I'm having a really bad day, sometimes I will go scentless.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    Some scents are linked to people who I have lost or who have somehow hurt me. Those I mostly leave untouched or - when I feel masochistic - I'll have a quick sniff from the bottle.

    And then there's one - Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille - that I wore the night I came down with a stomach flue... (I'll spare you the details ).
    Can't sniff it without feeling queasy. Hopefully that association will weaken with time. I'm confident.

  15. #15
    exquisitely me's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    Quote Originally Posted by ubuandibeme View Post
    I have extreme emotions attached to fragrance. There is a long list of loves I won't wear anymore because of feelings I choose not to re-experience. Some of them are:

    Mille Et Une Roses
    White Shoulders
    Obsession
    Opium
    L'Interdit
    Cinnabar
    White Linen
    Eau Dynamisante

    As we all know, there are PLENTY of others to take their place!
    Wow Ubu... that's quite a list of retired scents. But you're right about plenty of others. I'm realizing that the bad-association perfumes were a younger, much less sophisticated me, and I'm better off without them. Instead, this is an opportunity to grow, and replace them with superior scents.

  16. #16
    exquisitely me's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guilty by Association

    Quote Originally Posted by potiron View Post
    And then there's one - Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille - that I wore the night I came down with a stomach flue... (I'll spare you the details ).
    Can't sniff it without feeling queasy. Hopefully that association will weaken with time. I'm confident.
    UGH!!! That's a whole different level of bad association!!

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