Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1

    Default Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Hello ladies .

    I posted this question in the men's forum as well, but I am curious to see if women have interesting, perhaps statistically significant, different answers to this question.

    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.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  2. #2

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Yes, I would! Not sure how much additional understanding of the fragrance I would get out of it, I'm not well versed in aromachemicals at all, but out of sheer curiosity, absolutely. I like to know how things tick, or to know that I would be able to figure it out if I did my homework, at least; and I assume that it would read much as the lists of ingredients of cosmetics and skincare do.
    Any mystery there is to be found would not be ruined by that, the cachet lies in the sheer, sensual pleasure of the fragrance for me, and it's enhanced rather than diminished by better understanding of the work that goes into it.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I think we all deep down inside still have this romantic idea of a man/woman standing in old fashion pharmacy mixing essensial oils into some magic fragrance. The Guerlain history and stories behind the names of their range and Creed with the famous people they created for. Even though a load of rubbish still grip and make us feel special. Really that is all it is the ideal selling the dream the romance. When for years now its some people in white coats in labs mixing chemicals.

    The latest celeb coming out with the, Oh I wanted my fragrance to smell of this and that and my whole life I have dreamed of such a fragrance. Bollocks!!! Some man flashes the cash and then they bring a suitcase full of samples. Yes, Jen,Beyonce etc etc etc you like this one then its your fragrance. Its sold by the bucket load to people who actually think X,Y or X helped create and wears whatever. Until the next celeb comes along as the old one is not selling anymore.

    I like a fragrance I wear it. Do I think its made with the finest oils and flowers picked by virgins by the light of a full moon? No.
    DONNA

  4. #4
    Basenotes Institution
    Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Exactly Where I Should Be
    Posts
    16,346

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I sampled JAR's Diamond Water and fell in love with it. As we all know, JAR don't release their ingredients to the public.Anyway, Diamond Water was so mysterious to me because I didn't know what was in it ...till I realised it was most likely coconut ,carnation and tuberose amongst other things. I am not a fan of coconut - so that killed that lemming. So knowing the notes killed the mystery for Diamond Water.
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    If you broke my favorite scents down and presented me with a list of the aroma chemicals it might be like a showing a chimp a laundry list in Greek. (No, it wouldn't bother me).

  6. #6

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by lilybelle View Post
    If you broke my favorite scents down and presented me with a list of the aroma chemicals it might be like a showing a chimp a laundry list in Greek. (No, it wouldn't bother me).
    Ha! Lillybelle, my sentiments exactly, although I would never have said it so well.
    If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

  7. #7
    Warum's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    2,117
    Blog Entries
    53

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Yes, I would -- given, of course, that I will be given help to support me through learning what each symbol of the formula means.
    Learning about my favorite fragrance will help me learn about myself, and even if I know I will still remain a biggest mystery to me.
    So no fear here.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by lilybelle View Post
    If you broke my favorite scents down and presented me with a list of the aroma chemicals it might be like a showing a chimp a laundry list in Greek. (No, it wouldn't bother me).
    Another chimp here...

    Also, an analogy -- I don't necessarily like a painting more because it's painted with the finest and rarest hand-ground natural pigments on the finest canvas -- vs one made with cheapo student-grade paints on Masonite board. The later may be the finer work. Presumably, is the artistry, along with a particular work's resonance with our own souls, that moves us, not the materials. (on the other, OTHER hand... even the finest perfumers couldn't create a fine, artistic scent from the contents of my pantry... there IS a limit... they do need a "pigment" that can stand up to light and time.)

  9. #9

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I'd love to know, just like I love when they x-ray paintings and show whats happening under the surface.

    Chandler Burr picked apart Un Jardin Après la Mousson here. It doesn't make one jot of difference to my enjoyment, actually I find it all the more interesting! But then I don't have any particular notes or aromachemicals that I dislike/avoid. I imagine if you hate, say, Calone or Iso E Super, finding it by the bucketload in something would take the shine off!
    Out here we are running for the wide open spaces, the road-smell after the rain.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petra Ichor View Post
    Chandler Burr picked apart Un Jardin Après la Mousson here. It doesn't make one jot of difference to my enjoyment, actually I find it all the more interesting! But then I don't have any particular notes or aromachemicals that I dislike/avoid. I imagine if you hate, say, Calone or Iso E Super, finding it by the bucketload in something would take the shine off!
    Thanks so much for this reference! I doused myself in UJALM this morning, so I was able to read while surrounded with the scent.

    [BTW--I love this perfume, and noentheless very much enjoyed Burr's review of it, even though he clearly hates the stuff. But then I never got the colone note he smelled and that wasn't there, and I dislike UJen Med. (which he prefers) makes me smell as if I'd dipped into an herbes de provence infused marinade before popping into the oven]

    I love to everything about how a perfume is composed. It doesn't spoil the fun. On the contrary, it makes the perfume more intriguing, engages my mind.
    "You...put on cologne to write?"(From Midnight in Paris)

    Stop by for a chat: http://perfumedletters.wordpress.com/
    My book reviews: http://www.nstperfume.com/author/Cheryl/

  11. #11

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I love to everything about how a perfume is composed. It doesn't spoil the fun. On the contrary, it makes the perfume more intriguing, engages my mind.
    I think this is the crux of the issue. Originally, I would have said that I too wanted to know what was in the scent. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I tend to over analyze and over intellectualize too many areas of my life, and perfume should be one area where I simply revel in the sensory experience.

    Now, the rational part of my mind is saying that I could appreciate certain elements of a scent's evolution or the intricate aspects of a finely balanced accord even more if I understood them on a rational level, but I wonder if that is really so. If I had the full formula and even an explanation as to why everything fit together just so, would it not lead to a situation where I am now enjoying the intellectual side of the perfume as I wear it - critiquing it against its formula and the expectations generated by that formula (and the explanation of that formula)? Can we ever really unlearn something and see the raw form instead of the meaning imparted by understanding? I surely cannot look at these letters and see the flow and form of letters - the raw lines and curves of them - as easily as someone who is not familiar with our alphabet. It's essentially a digitization of an analog reality. Could rational understanding of a scent be similar? Would we start to smell things that we hand't before - perhaps because we now feel we should as we see small amounts of the ingredient listed in the formula? Would the magic of a "beautiful orange blossom accord" fall to pieces when we see that no orange blossom is even used, but instead a trick utilizing a few cheap synthetics (let us imagine they are not even orange blossom oriented synthetics).

    I think it's easy to say that knowledge of the formula wouldn't change our perception of the scent, but impossible to prove that until it is (potentially) too late. What is potentially more damaging - in my opinion - is the shift of enjoyment from a more primal sensorial experience into the realm of rationality. Not everything needs to be treated rationally. More rationality does not inherently enhance the experience or lead to more beauty; in fact, I think it can detract from it in this case.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  12. #12

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    SculptureofSoul, I do think you can experience something in its raw form, its "itness", rather than being locked in the familiarity of labeling and thereby losing that directness. You can have have it both ways, and they will augment each other, alternately. Having the language and skills of interpretation is a good thing and doesn't detract from experiencing directly. Perhaps we tend to favor a routine way of functioning, and the other goes a bit rusty. But that can be remedied with practice. We have that choice as humans, isn't that great?

  13. #13

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I would. And then I'd start looking up other scents with similar ingredients in other variations on my neverending quest for the Holy Grail. The chase is better than the catch!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by lilybelle View Post
    SculptureofSoul, I do think you can experience something in its raw form, its "itness", rather than being locked in the familiarity of labeling and thereby losing that directness. You can have have it both ways, and they will augment each other, alternately. Having the language and skills of interpretation is a good thing and doesn't detract from experiencing directly. Perhaps we tend to favor a routine way of functioning, and the other goes a bit rusty. But that can be remedied with practice. We have that choice as humans, isn't that great?
    I think you make a good point although I think it is debatable. I may revisit that point later but not in this post. In this post, I just want to ask what value the formula would really be to those who have no training in perfumery? It would be so nearly impossible for the untrained layman to understand the synthesis of the components - much like it is impossible to understand a language simply by knowing the alphabet. You could maybe pick out a word here or there, but wouldn't really be able to see how it is functioning in the sentence. In this case, a bit of knowledge could be more harmful than none if the person mistakenly thought they understood the function of some component and extrapolated information (e.g predicted other scents to look into) based on their faulty understanding.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  15. #15

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    No I don't want to dissect any fragrance. That is too much work. And I'm not against synthetic perfumes as long as they smell good, and some notes can't be made from natural ingredients. But in fact the fragrances that I love the most have at least some ingredients from nature: Nicolaï's, Grossmith's, Caléche, Nr 5 and Salvador Dali ... I'm rather sure of that. So I suppose that if I got to know that one of them was pure synthetic (I don't think that's possible) I would be astonished and upset.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    I think you make a good point although I think it is debatable. I may revisit that point later but not in this post. In this post, I just want to ask what value the formula would really be to those who have no training in perfumery? It would be so nearly impossible for the untrained layman to understand the synthesis of the components - much like it is impossible to understand a language simply by knowing the alphabet. You could maybe pick out a word here or there, but wouldn't really be able to see how it is functioning in the sentence. In this case, a bit of knowledge could be more harmful than none if the person mistakenly thought they understood the function of some component and extrapolated information (e.g predicted other scents to look into) based on their faulty understanding.
    In that case then, I do not need to understand the constituent parts to appreciate that the sum transcends those parts. And I realize my limitations and set my priorities - I don't need to become conversant in biochemistry in order to thoroughly love fragrance (thank goodness! ). I do recognize certain notes or accords, though, that please me. For example, I'm wary of "cashmere woods" because I dislike that accord. Coumarin and I are on pretty good terms, though. That kind of simple information is helpful to me.

  17. #17
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    6,864

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    .....
    Last edited by pluran; 26th July 2010 at 03:53 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Anyone else care to offer their opinion? I was hoping this question could stir up some thoughts on the philosophical elements of fragrance enjoyment alongside the more surface level consideration of the question itself.
    ***For sale:

    Iris Pallida 50ml

    Ungaro I 75ml

    and more!
    - http://www.basenotes.net/threads/301...n-Man-and-more

  19. #19
    Lifelong Sniffaholic
    30 Roses's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    11,376
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    I didn't notice this thread earlier.

    I am someone who likes to see the special features on DVDs to find out how certain effects were made, and all the other minute details. However, every time I see the movie afterward, I think, "this is the 30 second scene of driving in the rain that they had to spend one entire night filming" or "it looks like they're flying kites but actually the strings are attached to fishing rods off-camera" (real examples from The Shipping News.

    I'm not sure if that enhances or reduces my pleasure in watching the movie, but it does shift it from a more right-brain to a more left-brain experience. I think that would be true of learning the breakdown of a fragrance as well.

    I still watch DVD special features despite the subsequent mental shift that occurs, so I think I wouldn't mind knowing the breakdown of my fragrances either.

  20. #20
    Kal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    157
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: Women's Edition: Would you dissect your favorite scent?

    Good question Sculpture

    I'm not a big fan of dissecting my perfumes even by note let alone by chemical - particularly my favorites. Dissection certainly changes perception for me and while that's fine for fragrances I do not adore, I just want to enjoy the ones I do.

    I have a gas in trying to pick out notes when testing mediocre scents and on further investigation have been tickled pink to find I have detected notes correctly but that's about the extent I want to travel. I know that most if not all perfumes are entirely synthetic by now - even the classics - and while I find that a real shame and continue to search for vintage formulations, it doesn't *really* bother me until a perfume has been ruined by them. I wont mention any here in case I cause tears ...

    Considering that the synthetics are designed around the exact formula as the naturals, they should smell the same so a simple notes list is fine for me. Though I still don't get why *they* proclaim an Iris note when Iris's do not smell ... yes I know it's the scent of 3million roots all ground to fine dust and yadda yadda but to the layman it means little if anything at all. Unless that layman is an avid iris gardener. >.>

    Anyway, for me, being given a list of the aromachemicals would be as the aforementioned Greek to a chimp but a list of notes can be damaging too so I do not foray into certain fragrances. Dissecting my perfumes can cheapen them for me and like Mimi/Mystic I can imagine knowing certain notes would ruin my enjoyment. I also like to review perfumes with no knowledge of the notes as that has coloured my opinion in the past.

    After lurking on this site for about a year I decided to join so I could ask a question about a two fragrances that share something in common - I don't know why I've never asked the question but I think I will soon. There is nothing in the note breakdown of either frag that indicates why they are such scrubbers to me and why I can't stand them on anyone else either. I always thought it was certain notes that I don't like and actually avoided things with *insert a perceived offensive note* but I was wrong to do so. I have learnt that a note breakdown is not indicative of how a fragrance will smell.

    I think this question is personal - some people would not be moved by the knowledge, some people would. For me, a little knowledge is dangerous.

    I think as you said, some things need to be left to the senses.
    He isn't poor because he lacks money but because everything he wants is unobtainable ...

    My name is KaL - EL - EL - L - L - L ! D:

Similar Threads

  1. Would you dissect your favorite scent?
    By SculptureOfSoul in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 26th July 2010, 02:34 AM
  2. Your favorite women's fragrance, on her, on you.
    By Kevin Guyer in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 12th April 2008, 03:10 PM
  3. Your favorite limited edition scent?
    By discovolante in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 9th August 2005, 06:31 AM
  4. Your favorite limited edition scent?
    By in forum Male Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 1st January 1970, 01:00 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •