I can be quite positively affected by the new, assuming that the new speaks to me in terms of emotional transportation, aesthetics, or artistry. This may be either something I have never before encountered or something I have rediscovered. In other words, the addict's high. I have made many a purchase this way; the effect wears off as quickly as the first snort and then the scent is enjoyed as a reliable workhorse, unless I shelve it for a season. I am always interested in how quickly I become dulled to certain of the sensations, through a near-instant anosmia to the full spectrum of a scent. I can recall being enlivened, some years ago, by the civet in vintage Jicky--it was like a melted physical butter. Only later did the fougere qualities become apparent.
There are also negative experiences, too numerous to mention. These nearly always include the instant recoil. I have a lot of trouble, for instance, with tar/leather/smoke notes. There is a whole category of leather fragrances that have made me feel crabby, but if the smell is remotely automotive it makes me queasy.
You want specific fragrances:
Gris Clair/Encens et Lavande cause an organic grounding to my environment. I am often at odds with my physical surroundings and the lavender/herbal tones are reassuring. These two are unrivaled as The Great Equalizers.
Tabac Blond: Fuss about ruinous reformulation aside, this scent is still so unflinchingly contra-modern that it instantly makes me feel wily with creativity. This is important in my line of work, where I have to research, analyze, and pitch--and I only get one chance. Why smell of something your competition may have picked up at Sephora? (I am convinced at this point that many people feel this way about oud.)
Must de Cartier, vintage: A time-and-place scent. My time, not my place. Spills over with suggestion that there might be something beyond the concrete bunkers of suburban offices; the ultimate in aspirational parfum. It is the biggest fraud in personal history. Instantaneously delivers you, with no return ticket, to your roots. You can go home again and wear Enjoli.