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  1. #1

    Question Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    If you had the option of dissecting your favorite fragrance - somehow or another obtaining an exact formula of the fragrance - would you? Would knowing all of its secrets "kill the magic?" Would it enhance your appreciation of it?

    There are a ton of ancillary questions to consider, too - just one of which is, "What if you found out your prized scent, that you thought was made of fine, quality materials, turned out to be almost all cheap synthetics?"

    So - would you dissect your favorite? Why or why not? Feel free to add as many additional thoughts or questions that you considered during the decision process.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I'm always curious, so I would jump at the chance.

    If I found out that there was only cheap synthetics in there, I would marvel at how perfumers can create something beautiful from trash. In any case I would love to know what was in there and ponder how this creates the effect it does.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Been trying to dissect all my favorite scents, to construct the most killer amalgamation[s] of all time. But's it's slow going when you don't own a gas chromatograph. All non-allergen detec work done nose only. I'm certainly well on my way to cracking several of them. Just need to keep sniffing.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Why not? Knowledge is not only power but, the way I see it, the right amount of knowledge applied to your frag can, after taking away some of the initial magic, actually improve it in the case of wise, efficient and practical measures (e.g. increase longevity, keep it away from annoying reformulation, rethink the balance between natural and more synthetic ingredients etc.) - but I guess these measures are quite unrealistic, I admit, for anyone outside of the fragrance industry

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Apart from "do i like it a lot, as in does it smell very nice?", "is it "me"?", "does it last reasonably?" and "does it project like i would want it to?", the answer is no. The provenance and/or kind of materials a frag is made of is not that important to me. Its the experience that matters.
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by perfaddict View Post
    Apart from "do i like it a lot, as in does it smell very nice?", "is it "me"?", "does it last reasonably?" and "does it project like i would want it to?", the answer is no. The provenance and/or kind of materials a frag is made of is not that important to me. Its the experience that matters.
    My exact feelings also.
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  7. #7

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I wouldn't work at dissecting it myself, but if the results were available, sure, I'd have a look. It wouldn't bother me if I learned my favorite was made of cheap and/or synthetic ingredients.
    Spray it, don’t say it…
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  8. #8

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I would! Only to understand why I enjoy what fragrances and what makes them so special.
    “Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.”
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I'm not convinced that I need to know; as long as I have a deep connection to the experience, this is what matters most. If I wanted to analyze it for the sake of developing sometime, perhaps.
    Is the juice worth the squeeze?

  10. #10

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    "What if you found out your prized scent, that you thought was made of fine, quality materials, turned out to be almost all cheap synthetics?"

    Excellent (rhetorical) question. Well, in my case, I'd guess I'd go on loving the scents I love anyway. Green Irish Tweed of today, which I still like a lot, smells to me less "natural" than the ~1999 versions... did my nose change/evolve? or the fragrance? hard to tell...

    The implication of the question is good, though... few of us (not me for sure!) have such a developed nose as to know for sure what's natural what's synthetic, to a close-to-precise degree.

    At the same time, we are not SO modest as not to emphasize the perception of "naturalness," as we are (un)able to perceive it. Probably there are very very few completely natural fragrances out there anyway. I tried some sold as such [profumo.it] and they weren't upsetting to me but they weren't masterpieces either. One could feel that they were natural and pleasant, though.

    In my case, I go for the "evidence of preponderance" - I don't believe that any of the scents I really like don't have a preponderantly (not completely) natural bouquet of elements.

    I'm always subject to justified correction though.

    Ultimately, defining a fragrance as (mostly, rarely totally) "natural" is more often than not

    an attempt at objectivizing an already held perception.

    Not an a priori criterion by which a perception is being formed afterwards.
    Last edited by Addict; 24th July 2010 at 04:27 PM.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Yes. More importantly, I want to know the AMOUNTS of the note. That will help me understand the perfumer's art more than anything. It would also help my nose "tune in" to certain subliminal notes.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I would love that, I would replicate my favorite discontinued scents and wear them all day long.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Of course. One must never be afraid of the truth, just of what might happen to the truth after people get through with it...
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

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  14. #14

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    Of course. One must never be afraid of the truth, just of what might happen to the truth after people get through with it...
    The truth though, is just as evident to you now without the formula at your disposal. The truth of the sensory experience is entirely valid as is, and I think it is erroneous to assume that the truth of the sensory experience would inherently be enhanced by knowing the formula.

    I would tend to think that it could be diminished. Does not the first principle of Tao apply here - that if you can express it in words, it is no longer the first principle? It seems plausible that knowing the formula, one would move further away from this direct experience of the first principle. Of course, given that our society bows down to reason and rationality (or, to borrow Robert Pirsig's phrase, "The Church of Reason"), it is not hard to see why many may believe a more logical and rational interpretation of a scent would be more satisfying. Of course, children often prefer McDonald's to a real home-cooked meal.. until they grow up and finally move out on their own.

    What do we gain and what do we lose by turning appreciation of scent into a more rational, logical exercise?
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    The truth though, is just as evident to you now without the formula at your disposal. The truth of the sensory experience is entirely valid as is, and I think it is erroneous to assume that the truth of the sensory experience would inherently be enhanced by knowing the formula.

    I would tend to think that it could be diminished. Does not the first principle of Tao apply here - that if you can express it in words, it is no longer the first principle? It seems plausible that knowing the formula, one would move further away from this direct experience of the first principle. Of course, given that our society bows down to reason and rationality (or, to borrow Robert Pirsig's phrase, "The Church of Reason"), it is not hard to see why many may believe a more logical and rational interpretation of a scent would be more satisfying. Of course, children often prefer McDonald's to a real home-cooked meal.. until they grow up and finally move out on their own.

    What do we gain and what do we lose by turning appreciation of scent into a more rational, logical exercise?
    I was referring to the truth with a small "t," basically bouncing off the OP's point of knowing if there were cheap ingredients, or which parts of the formula might be synthetic or natural. What I meant to imply is that discovering the presence of cheap or lots of synthetic elements in the composition doesn't alter the impression that the perfume makes on the senses. Learning that (if it is so) doesn't change the character of the thing, although it might change your perception of or reaction to it. Not being afraid of the small "t" truth is protection against that. Nothing you discover by deconstruction or analysis of a physical thing changes its reality. If you are prepared to accept it, it needn't change your psychological reaction to the thing either.

    I agree that looking at a thing too closely often tends to obscure its deeper Truth. Some would say that to know the "pure appearance" is to know the Truth of a phenomenon. We could have a long conversation about what "pure appearance" might mean in this sense, but that would perhaps be better done elsewhere.
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

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  16. #16

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I'd rather learn that it's in fact my father and not santa claus who is bringing me all those presents.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by perfaddict View Post
    Apart from "do i like it a lot, as in does it smell very nice?", "is it "me"?", "does it last reasonably?" and "does it project like i would want it to?", the answer is no. The provenance and/or kind of materials a frag is made of is not that important to me. Its the experience that matters.
    ..of course, it's the experience that matters. But there are some discontinued frags which I love and won't be able to experience again once I've used them up. Therefore I'd want to know the exact formula of, say, Patou PH, would even pay to get the formula. Someone would then be able to recreate it for me.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by JaimeB View Post
    Of course. One must never be afraid of the truth, just of what might happen to the truth after people get through with it...
    Yes.

    I would be happy to know more about my juice. If I were to stop being open to the truth of fragrance, I might as well have stopped at the one-bottle-wardrobe and "my _____ (designer scent) has no synthetics!"
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