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  1. #1

    Default First time deconstructing a perfume. (There is no Santa Claus!)

    Ok, so I just posted a comment about not being able to sniff a perfume and detect any of its notes. I cannot even risk a guess.

    Then I read, on Armany Code's review page (the only perfume I currently own), that it has top notes of bergamot and lemon. I couldn't believe it and thought, "Bullsh*t! I don't smell those fruits at all!" What I smell is, vaguely speaking, something very warm, mildly spicy, mildly sweet and very comforting. A warm blanket on a winter day. The image of a sensual, tanned man hugging me and protecting me also comes to mind (not a bad image at all to have!). Lemons and bergamots did not even remotely cross my mind.

    I thought "What the heck. Let's check this!" and ran for my bottle... expecting to still smell "spicy warm blanket" and not much else. But then... sniff... "DAMN IT!!! This thing IS citrus! *sniff* I can't believe it! *sniff* Yep, this is bergamot... *sniff* Damn, this is really lemon!"

    For some reason, this shocked me. Sure, I was glad that I could detect the top notes of a perfume for the first time in my life, but I felt sad too. It was a bit like discovering that there is no Santa Claus. My Armany Code was not a magic liquid conjured out of an intangible, faraway land from another dmension, made perhaps of dreams and abstract ideas... NO, it's just a real, physical, normal concoction made of real, ordinary ingredients, like (gasp!) lemons. What a letdown.

    I could see this another way. I could feel marveled that something so mundane as a lemon can be manipulated by man into such a wonderful scent. That sounds pretty inspiring. Perhaps tomorrow I will; right now I'm still too busy feeling shocked.

    I just hope that this new "vision" won't ruin the scent for me. When I wear this, will I continue "seeing" a warm blanket, combined with the sensual tanned man? Or from now on, will I only think "lemon and bergamot"? Better yet, will I see all of it combined? That would be nice. The dream, poetic aspect, along with the physical, practical aspect.

    I'm still sniffing my wrist, and (half an hour after applying it) the citrus is but all gone. Too bad, because I really wanted it back. Olive flower? Guiac wood? Tonka bean? What the hell are those, and what are they supposed to smell like? Without knowing it, it's useless to try and analyze it any further.

    I have a very long way to go...

    Mila
    ooOoo ~ 2mila.livejournal.com ~ ooOoo

  2. #2

    Default Re: First time deconstructing a perfume. (There is no Santa Claus!)

    Quote Originally Posted by ysmdy View Post
    For some reason, this shocked me. Sure, I was glad that I could detect the top notes of a perfume for the first time in my life, but I felt sad too. It was a bit like discovering that there is no Santa Claus. My Armany Code was not a magic liquid conjured out of an intangible, faraway land from another dmension, made perhaps of dreams and abstract ideas... NO, it's just a real, physical, normal concoction made of real, ordinary ingredients, like (gasp!) lemons. What a letdown.

    I could see this another way. I could feel marveled that something so mundane as a lemon can be manipulated by man into such a wonderful scent. That sounds pretty inspiring. Perhaps tomorrow I will; right now I'm still too busy feeling shocked.

    Mila
    Great post.

    I have been relatively fond of frags for a decade now and serious about them for the latter half of that decade. And I can not pick out individual notes with ease yet. I can pick out accords / general themes and obviously can identify the fragrance as a whole at various stages of its progression.


    What I love is reading up on what ingredients a perfumer has used to then go and create some of the incredible accords I am able to pick out. This is what causes me to marvel at the truly inspired works of art good perfumers create.

  3. #3

    Default Re: First time deconstructing a perfume. (There is no Santa Claus!)

    If you want to read something fascinating, go to the Female Fragrance Forum and search the forum for the term "blind sniff". Once a month (approximately), a group of Basenoters attempt to guess the notes on a set of unlabeled fragrances - it's like 20 questions.

  4. #4
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: First time deconstructing a perfume. (There is no Santa Claus!)

    Not everyone has the ability to detect and distinguish the notes at each level. I surely don't!

  5. #5

    Default Re: First time deconstructing a perfume. (There is no Santa Claus!)

    I certainly understand. However, by reading the notes and comments and by multiple wearings/sniffings of multiple frags, I am starting to detect the particular notes on first smellings.

    This is a bitter-sweet thing for me, as I am fond of first impressions although, I am now finding pride in knowing a note.

    I have found some success in being able to switch between the smelling of "note" and "composition" recently. I hope to hone this as a skill so that I dont lose the pleasure of "first love" in smelling a scent.

    Previously, the composition was what mattered. Now I am starting to be able to break things down and sometimes this makes the composition more impressive... like, "Wow! You made these things smell like that?" Sometimes though, it makes you wonder... like,"How could these things smell so bleh?" or worse, "What did you do to these things?!?!?!?"

    Regards,

    ...NDN-01!!!

  6. #6
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Default Re: First time deconstructing a perfume. (There is no Santa Claus!)

    Quote Originally Posted by rompip View Post
    Great post.

    I have been relatively fond of frags for a decade now and serious about them for the latter half of that decade. And I can not pick out individual notes with ease yet. I can pick out accords / general themes and obviously can identify the fragrance as a whole at various stages of its progression.
    Just a quick note to say I am glad to see a South African on this Forum. One of my all-time favorite countries. Was there in 2004 for three enchanting weeks in the Western and Eastern provinces. Cheers to the Springboks!
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  7. #7

    Default Re: First time deconstructing a perfume. (There is no Santa Claus!)

    It's the combination of notes, the way it's constructed, the quality of ingredients, etc. And yes, Virginia, when you find the really good ones, it is "magical" (though it's true that Santa may not smell that great after doing all that work on Christmas Eve!).

  8. #8

    Default Re: First time deconstructing a perfume. (There is no Santa Claus!)

    Quote Originally Posted by matildaben View Post
    If you want to read something fascinating, go to the Female Fragrance Forum and search the forum for the term "blind sniff". Once a month (approximately), a group of Basenoters attempt to guess the notes on a set of unlabeled fragrances - it's like 20 questions.
    That sounds fascinating indeed - it's on my to-read list! :-)

    Matildaben, I used to live in Seattle before coming to Australia! In fact, I own a townhouse in Fremont. Sometimes I get really homesick... LOVE Seattle.

    Mila
    ooOoo ~ 2mila.livejournal.com ~ ooOoo

  9. #9
    Basenotes Plus
    knit at nite's Avatar
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    Default Re: First time deconstructing a perfume. (There is no Santa Claus!)

    That is a fantastic post, ysmdy!

    But you can smell the notes and have your beautiful images too. Instead of seeing the glass (or perfume bottle) as half empty, think of what beautiful creations came out of everyday objects such as lemons- to inspire you.
    A Scent Rescuer
    Every great perfume deserves a good home

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