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  1. #1

    Default How does one become an elite BN'er??

    I have only in the past year started to become ultra fascinated by scents and perfume, but I find that it has become nearly an obsession. An obsession which nobody else I know possesses. What I'm wondering, is how do I push it to the next level? How do I learn what all the notes smell like, without buying all the essential oils? When watching youtube reviews, I notice people list the notes, but I doubt they know what half those notes smell like. How do I smell all the niche colognes/ or afford them for that matter. Doesn't wearing 100 different smells in a year start to confuse people? Is it possible to have a signature scent, and still be a cologne connoisseur? I'd love to hear stories from the "pros" lol.

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Not a pro or expert by any means but if you are obsessed like I am, you will in time increase your understanding about things which you mention. There are a lot of knowledgeable people at Basenotes who are very helpful and enlightening.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    There is always so much new information and knowledge to discover here on Basenotes, irrespective of the joining date and/or the number of posts

  4. #4

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Congrats on beginning your journey. I've been doing this for a long time. I joined in 2003, but lurked since at least 2000 I think--I've learned a lot.

    In the beginning I think I owned three or four scents. What got me into this was going over to a friend's house and seeing 5 different bottles of cologne, which I was impressed by. So I started hanging out at the fragrance counters and buying anything new that came out. I remember "11" was the number of bottles I had, where I knew it was going to be serious.

    I remember wanting to make my own cologne too. I didn't know how to make oils and stuff, so I just played around. I had a $30 gift card for a grocery store, so I went and bought a bunch of ingredients that I thought I could make cologne out of: lemons, oranges, ginger, mint, etc-- and I went around collecting things out of the yard: moss from the base of trees, woods, flowers, leaves, etc. I remember boiling all this stuff and trying to make something out of it-- it wasn't really a usable fragrance-- but it was like a kind of citrus water thing. Basically a big expensive mess that was useless but fun, nevertheless.

    Well, fast forward a few years and I kept getting more and more scents into my drobe. Eventually I decided to get a beginner kit of materials, then a bigger kit and then eventually augmenting this with hundreds more materials that I bought on an ad hoc basis.

    I think it does take a lot of time to REALLY know what certain materials do in a blend. Many times the straight material smells almost nothing like it does when you smell its effects in a perfume. I trust my nose to tell me something; I then draw upon my experience to translate that into something usable.

    I also pay very close attention to reviews on here. Even those who aren't the most articulate have a point they're trying to convey and often, I've learned something about a scent from those who were struggling very hard to describe some aspect of the scent. Also there are some fabulous noses on here who DO know the notes pretty well when they smell them-- some people might be fakers, but then also many people come from all over the world-- sometimes from places where some of these exotic materials are quite common and ubiquitous-- and they can detect them the same way you or I can detect something like cinnamon or rose.


    I think one way to know what notes smell like (if you don't have kits) is to cross-reference scents having the same notes. For example (and this is why it becomes beneficial to have a large drobe), you might want to know what "rosemary" does in a scent. So you might look in the directory to see what scents contain rosemary. OR, if you're like many of us, you tend to remember the pyramids for most scents in your drobe and can rattle off a few immediately. So I can pull out my Rive Gauche PH, M7, Helmut Lang EDC, Un Jardin En Mediterranee, and Eau Sauvage for starters. And I can see what they have in common. It may not be easy at first, but over time you will begin to be able to pick these things out without looking at pyramids.

    A lot of Basenoters do this kind of thing by buying several vetiver scents-- vetiver is one of the most popular notes and one of the easiest to detect and cross-reference, because it's used in many different ways-- from being overt(Vetiver Extraordinaire) to being subtle (D&G Masculine).

    Your nose does not become "confused" wearing all those different scents; it becomes sharper. I have probably 270 full colognes in my collection (+ hundreds of samples) and find time to wear each one maybe once or twice a year. I do have about 10-15 that I consider "signatures" for different occasions: My formal scent for weddings/funerals (Jo Malone Amber & Lavender), first dates (Terre D'Hermes, Gucci PH II, YSL L'Homme), Christmas (M7, Ambre Sultan, Must de Cartier Essence PH), Easter (Prada Amber PH, Chanel Monsieur Concentree, Eau de Cartier)... etc.

    "The greenhorn is the ultimate victor in everything; it is he that gets the most out of life." G.K. Chesterton

    Good luck.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    Congrats on beginning your journey. I've been doing this for a long time. I joined in 2003, but lurked since at least 2000 I think--I've learned a lot.

    In the beginning I think I owned three or four scents. What got me into this was going over to a friend's house and seeing 5 different bottles of cologne, which I was impressed by. So I started hanging out at the fragrance counters and buying anything new that came out. I remember "11" was the number of bottles I had, where I knew it was going to be serious.

    I remember wanting to make my own cologne too. I didn't know how to make oils and stuff, so I just played around. I had a $30 gift card for a grocery store, so I went and bought a bunch of ingredients that I thought I could make cologne out of: lemons, oranges, ginger, mint, etc-- and I went around collecting things out of the yard: moss from the base of trees, woods, flowers, leaves, etc. I remember boiling all this stuff and trying to make something out of it-- it wasn't really a usable fragrance-- but it was like a kind of citrus water thing. Basically a big expensive mess that was useless but fun, nevertheless.

    Well, fast forward a few years and I kept getting more and more scents into my drobe. Eventually I decided to get a beginner kit of materials, then a bigger kit and then eventually augmenting this with hundreds more materials that I bought on an ad hoc basis.

    I think it does take a lot of time to REALLY know what certain materials do in a blend. Many times the straight material smells almost nothing like it does when you smell its effects in a perfume. I trust my nose to tell me something; I then draw upon my experience to translate that into something usable.

    I also pay very close attention to reviews on here. Even those who aren't the most articulate have a point they're trying to convey and often, I've learned something about a scent from those who were struggling very hard to describe some aspect of the scent. Also there are some fabulous noses on here who DO know the notes pretty well when they smell them-- some people might be fakers, but then also many people come from all over the world-- sometimes from places where some of these exotic materials are quite common and ubiquitous-- and they can detect them the same way you or I can detect something like cinnamon or rose.


    I think one way to know what notes smell like (if you don't have kits) is to cross-reference scents having the same notes. For example (and this is why it becomes beneficial to have a large drobe), you might want to know what "rosemary" does in a scent. So you might look in the directory to see what scents contain rosemary. OR, if you're like many of us, you tend to remember the pyramids for most scents in your drobe and can rattle off a few immediately. So I can pull out my Rive Gauche PH, M7, Helmut Lang EDC, Un Jardin En Mediterranee, and Eau Sauvage for starters. And I can see what they have in common. It may not be easy at first, but over time you will begin to be able to pick these things out without looking at pyramids.

    A lot of Basenoters do this kind of thing by buying several vetiver scents-- vetiver is one of the most popular notes and one of the easiest to detect and cross-reference, because it's used in many different ways-- from being overt(Vetiver Extraordinaire) to being subtle (D&G Masculine).

    Your nose does not become "confused" wearing all those different scents; it becomes sharper. I have probably 270 full colognes in my collection (+ hundreds of samples) and find time to wear each one maybe once or twice a year. I do have about 10-15 that I consider "signatures" for different occasions: My formal scent for weddings/funerals (Jo Malone Amber & Lavender), first dates (Terre D'Hermes, Gucci PH II, YSL L'Homme), Christmas (M7, Ambre Sultan, Must de Cartier Essence PH), Easter (Prada Amber PH, Chanel Monsieur Concentree, Eau de Cartier)... etc.

    "The greenhorn is the ultimate victor in everything; it is he that gets the most out of life." G.K. Chesterton

    Good luck.
    I can't tell you how much I appreciate your post, exactly what I was hoping for in response. I certainly won't expect to figure it all out any time soon, but I love your Chesterton quote (he's one of my favorites). The fun is in the exploration I suppose.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Wonderfully said, Indie Guy.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Well said, Indie. thanks for taking to time to put all that knowledge into words.

  8. #8
    Guest05
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    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    ...
    Last edited by Guest05; 10th March 2012 at 05:01 AM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Asaskian View Post
    Correspondances

    La Nature est un temple où de vivants piliers
    Laissent parfois sortir de confuses paroles;
    L'homme y passe à travers des forêts de symboles
    Qui l'observent avec des regards familiers.

    Comme de longs échos qui de loin se confondent
    Dans une ténébreuse et profonde unité,
    Vaste comme la nuit et comme la clarté,
    Les parfums, les couleurs et les sons se répondent.

    II est des parfums frais comme des chairs d'enfants,
    Doux comme les hautbois, verts comme les prairies,
    — Et d'autres, corrompus, riches et triomphants,

    Ayant l'expansion des choses infinies,
    Comme l'ambre, le musc, le benjoin et l'encens,
    Qui chantent les transports de l'esprit et des sens.

    — Charles Baudelaire

    Correspondences

    Nature is a temple in which living pillars
    Sometimes give voice to confused words;
    Man passes there through forests of symbols
    Which look at him with understanding eyes.

    Like prolonged echoes mingling in the distance
    In a deep and tenebrous unity,
    Vast as the dark of night and as the light of day,
    Perfumes, sounds, and colors correspond.

    There are perfumes as cool as the flesh of children,
    Sweet as oboes, green as meadows
    — And others are corrupt, and rich, triumphant,

    With power to expand into infinity,
    Like amber and incense, musk, benzoin,
    That sing the ecstasy of the soul and senses.

    — Translation by William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

    ----------------------------
    That is how I look at perfumes.... an essential, intrinsic part of life but so primal that we land up ignoring scents. To take time to re-connect is what this is all about.
    Perhaps my reach is too philosophical but I can't seem to bring my interaction down to a mundane level anymore.
    Great poem.

  10. #10

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    It's an ongoing thing. You are always a "student," AFAIC. There are a few reasonable approaches. One is to buy a bunch of samples and study them, relative to the listed notes and the reviews. Many new fragrances in particular list notes that are difficult if not impossible to detect, so keep that in mind (and read the reviews, which should help in that regard). My approach was to buy several inexpensive fragrances of different genres that got good reviews here. The thing is that if you keep sampling and studying, you will certainly learn more and more, but your tastes may change significantly (and that's why I don't like BNers telling newbies to buy expensive niche fragrances, rather than to do a lot of sampling).

    Let's face it, if you can't afford to own 50 or 100 niche bottles then you have to just get samples or go for vintage or designer (unless you are satisfied by the good cheapos, like Pino Silvestre). Personally, I prefer vintage now so price isn't a big issue (patience will reward you with good prices on ebay). Lastly, olfactory fatigue is often a problem for newbies, which is why I devised a technique to largely avoid the top notes. Doing this allows me to appreciate fragrances for many hours, whereas I'll often read a BNer say that same fragrance is weak and disappears within an hour. Many fragrances are "front loaded" but then quickly transition into a "generic" base; apparently this is the best way to sell their inexpensive concoctions to the "masses," and it's yet another reason to avoid top notes as much as possible when you are a newbie.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Nice post Indie_Guy

  12. #12

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Nomader View Post
    I can't tell you how much I appreciate your post, exactly what I was hoping for in response. I certainly won't expect to figure it all out any time soon, but I love your Chesterton quote (he's one of my favorites). The fun is in the exploration I suppose.
    You're welcome! Definitely enjoy the journey.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    It's an ongoing thing. You are always a "student," AFAIC. There are a few reasonable approaches. One is to buy a bunch of samples and study them, relative to the listed notes and the reviews. Many new fragrances in particular list notes that are difficult if not impossible to detect, so keep that in mind (and read the reviews, which should help in that regard). My approach was to buy several inexpensive fragrances of different genres that got good reviews here. The thing is that if you keep sampling and studying, you will certainly learn more and more, but your tastes may change significantly (and that's why I don't like BNers telling newbies to buy expensive niche fragrances, rather than to do a lot of sampling).

    Let's face it, if you can't afford to own 50 or 100 niche bottles then you have to just get samples or go for vintage or designer (unless you are satisfied by the good cheapos, like Pino Silvestre). Personally, I prefer vintage now so price isn't a big issue (patience will reward you with good prices on ebay). Lastly, olfactory fatigue is often a problem for newbies, which is why I devised a technique to largely avoid the top notes. Doing this allows me to appreciate fragrances for many hours, whereas I'll often read a BNer say that same fragrance is weak and disappears within an hour. Many fragrances are "front loaded" but then quickly transition into a "generic" base; apparently this is the best way to sell their inexpensive concoctions to the "masses," and it's yet another reason to avoid top notes as much as possible when you are a newbie.

    So would you say that fragrance fanatics are different than other genres of fashion, in that price doesn't always mean "better"? It seems to me that niche and designer fragrances both get their fair share of criticism on this site, which is kind of refreshing. Also, is it ever truly worth owning a large bottle of cologne, if one plans on owning a variety? Is there shelf life issues?

  14. #14

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Price does not always mean 'better' in any walk of life, certainly not other branches of fashion. What it means is more expensive, which usually means more fashionable - but better might mean a whole lot of other things . . . Fashion passes, style remains . . .

    There are shelf-life issues, some scents more than others will degrade over time and storage conditions have a big effect (a sunny windowsill is a really bad idea). However many scents will keep quite successfully for years - I'd suggest the question you should ask yourself is 'will I ever want it again once I've moved on to something else?' and 'will it still be available?' Difficult questions both of them . . .

    Enjoy the journey
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  15. #15
    AromiErotici
    Guest

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Be careful what you aspire to. You just may become it.

  16. #16

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Nomader View Post
    So would you say that fragrance fanatics are different than other genres of fashion, in that price doesn't always mean "better"? It seems to me that niche and designer fragrances both get their fair share of criticism on this site, which is kind of refreshing. Also, is it ever truly worth owning a large bottle of cologne, if one plans on owning a variety? Is there shelf life issues?
    I'm not in it for fashion, just like wine connoisseurs may not care about anything except the wine (though in that case the food you eat with it is generally considered important; with frags, most consider weather/climate). Some of the old designer frags had high-quality ingredients and also excellent blending, so they are in no way inferior to niche, generally-speaking. I think the reason why a lot of BNers like what I call "true niche" is that they feature new notes, like oud, or "amp up" notes that the old designer kept within the blend (like incense), and they contain less notes, so that they are closer to essential oils. Thus, it's a matter of taste in these cases, nothing else. What I like most are frags that smell natural to me, have more than a few strong notes (which I can detect) that are "balanced," with some contrast among the notes (which creates dynamism). One "old" way to create contrast was to use an animalic note, but that's not common in today's designer frags. Some recent frags also smell really "synthetic" to me, such as Dunhill Desire for a Man, which actually makes me feel ill, though I like everything else about it (can't wear it though).

  17. #17

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Some good responses. My two "scents."

    Take care to do it as something fun. Don't get too hung up on the mintuiae. A lot of men, and some women, throw themselves into pursuits like this at a level such that it becomes work like. No need to do that.

    Some people have a natural knack to bust out the notes. I don't. But over time I've gotten to be able recognize many of them.

    Knowing all the categories (fougere, oriental, etc) comes a bit easier over time too. But again, not necessary to enjoy this.

    Read here a lot, join the conversations. Use the directory a lot. Sample, sample, sample. If you are as passionate about this as you seem to be, it will come pretty naturally.

    The best way to get the knowledge you seek is to take your time and enjoy the learning.
    I'm not elite, or an expert, but thanks to everybody here, I do know a lot. I'm more into the personality of the fragrances. Who would wear this? Is it right for me?

    What you describe as your "secret obsession" is something many of us share. I'm just a guy who always enjoyed fragrance. Got it from my dad I'd say, who was usually kinda stylin. Might have had 4-5 frags when I joined here. Always buying the "scent du jour" that the SAs were pushing...and a lot cool bottle designs. Finding this place was very liberating. Allowed me to read, research and direct myself to the scents I would try. You can come out of the "fume head closet" now.

    Welcome aboard. Start saving money...
    Last edited by StylinLA; 14th August 2011 at 05:19 PM.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Trying to identify all the notes is a fruitless exercise. Scents can have anywhere from 50 to 200 components in them. Had you been around 11 years ago, you could have looked up a scent at any of three or four sites, and found three or four fragrance pyramids or note descriptions that were all different - for the exact same scent. And bits of each description seemed quite valid.
    Read "Perfume: the Guide" - you'll notice that some of their descriptions don't really tally up directly with the commonly espoused fragrance pyramids.

    Elitism can be a funny thing. At various times here, we've had people say that no male designer scent was worthy of consideration, that only niche scents were any good - because of their workmanship, quality, artisinal skills, natural ingredients etc. Then I recollect several chaps saying that female scents were the only ones worthy of consideration - one chap saying that there was not one male fragrance that even came close to the quality of female scents - and they only wore female scents.

    Laughable I know - but that's how people can get carried away with elitism.

    As for niche scents, I was around when niche scents from numerous then obscure houses became all the craze. Many were indeed good and interesting. But many others were just following a new recipe. In the past, unisex scents were made up of predominantly unisex notes - citrus and the like. they didn't smell particularly feminine or masculine. Then someone came up with the bright idea of mixing masculine and feminine notes, and calling the result Unisex. Well, they were a big hit here, though I was never that enthused by them.

    Anyhow, have fun exploring.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  19. #19

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    Be careful what you aspire to. You just may become it.
    Exactly! and when you do, there's no turning back! ha!

  20. #20

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Lastly, olfactory fatigue is often a problem for newbies, which is why I devised a technique to largely avoid the top notes.
    I'm curious, what technique have you developed? I'd like to try it. Especially for just testing it out around the house to get the feel of a new one. I've blown my nose on a few by accident or by regular application methods.

  21. #21
    AromiErotici
    Guest

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Partario View Post
    I'm curious, what technique have you developed? I'd like to try it. Especially for just testing it out around the house to get the feel of a new one. I've blown my nose on a few by accident or by regular application methods.
    The Bigsly Anti-Fatigue Technique ( B.A.F.T.) is ready to go national in a minute. You had better get up to speed my friend.

  22. #22

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by AromiErotici View Post
    The Bigsly Anti-Fatigue Technique ( B.A.F.T.) is ready to go national in a minute. You had better get up to speed my friend.
    Time to jump aboard on ground level then!

  23. #23

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Welcome Nomader! You are in good company here as this excellent thread demonstrates. Nice posts everybody.

  24. #24

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Partario View Post
    I'm curious, what technique have you developed? I'd like to try it. Especially for just testing it out around the house to get the feel of a new one. I've blown my nose on a few by accident or by regular application methods.
    One thing you can try is to decant into dab vials or small bottles, which are cheap on sites like www.madinaonline.com

    You can then dab some on, as long as you blow on that area and try not to breathe in for a while. When you think it's fairly dry, you then go to another room. If you can only spray, then it's even more important to go to another room after drying the area. Using a blow dryer might work too, but I haven't tried it. Remember not to focus on the smell. Just let it waft up. If you want, use your hand to waft it. Smelling up close on the skin distorts it. Another idea is to spray on a handkerchief and put it in your shirt pocket, if you think it works better on fabric. If you do that, you can spray it on in another room and just wait 20 minutes before putting it in your pocket.

  25. #25

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Thanks man, I'll have to give that a try sometime. When you put it on your skin though, where do you typically put it?

  26. #26

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    I am amazed at how much I've learned from just the few weeks I've been on here. The more you read the better it gets.

    I suggest having another window open to google when you do. That way you can get definitions for words you see and images of the fragrances as you are reading.

    ...just a newbie myself.

  27. #27

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Partario View Post
    Thanks man, I'll have to give that a try sometime. When you put it on your skin though, where do you typically put it?
    I try to put it around the shirt line, so that it mostly wafts upwards. As you might guess, I almost always wear a button shirt. If the fragrance is too strong, though, you might want to try letting it come through the shirt. Also, you can apply it lower, just above the navel.

  28. #28
    Guest05
    Guest

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    ...
    Last edited by Guest05; 10th March 2012 at 05:10 AM.

  29. #29
    Basenotes Institution
    mikeperez23's Avatar
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    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Great recommendations on this thread.

    Welcome to BN Nomader. My simple answer to your original question (How does one become an elite BN'er?) is this: Trust your nose.

    Don't worry about what we say. Or what 'chicks' or your friends say. Don't listen to Sales Associates at dept. stores and don't expect to find a scent you love from an ad in a magazine. Just sample stuff, be patient and trust your nose. It sounds very simple, but actually it is very difficult.

  30. #30

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    I looked up some of the notes that I knew I liked, and found a bottle that seemed to go along with them. TED by Ted Lapidus, and the incredibly cheap price doesn't hurt. Anyways, just came in today, and I love it. It gets me excited that I can find cheap scents, that match my taste, budget, and last on my skin. Anyways, I'm going to keep taking all of your advice, searching, looking, smelling... I really think the fun of it is in the discussion, and also in the anticipation for the mailman!

  31. #31
    Guest05
    Guest

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    ...
    Last edited by Guest05; 10th March 2012 at 05:12 AM.

  32. #32

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Nomader View Post
    I really think the fun of it is in... the anticipation for the mailman!
    Like Christmas 100 or so times a year ! LOL.

  33. #33
    Frag Bomb Squadron XVII
    Diamondflame's Avatar
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    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by StylinLA View Post
    Welcome aboard. Start saving money...
    SOmehow I read the above as 'start spending money'. LOL.

  34. #34

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    SOmehow I read the above as 'start spending money'. LOL.
    both are true if you believe that saving money means buying something that you absolutely don't need for slightly less than you might have paid for it somewhere / sometime else . . .
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  35. #35

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    SOmehow I read the above as 'start spending money'. LOL.
    Yeah, but depending on income, you may have to put some away to splurge ahead...

  36. #36

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Quote Originally Posted by StylinLA View Post
    Yeah, but depending on income, you may have to put some away to splurge ahead...
    Not a bad plan whatever your income: in these times you never know when your income might suddenly drop to nothing as I've discovered more than once over the last 10 years!
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation I’m happy to quote: if you want free advice, that’s what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  37. #37

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    I remember after discovering this place feeling much as OP. There was a honeymoon period where I just bought tons of stuff every month. No big regrets, but if I had it to do over, would have made much more use of purchased samples and small decants. Bought a handful of scents that I do like, but rarely, if ever wear.

  38. #38

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    Just stick around here for a while and sample EVERYTHING.

  39. #39

    Default Re: How does one become an elite BN'er??

    I don't think ones ability to detect and determine various notes in a fragrance makes one an "elite" fragrance aficionado -- connoisseur perhaps. A well-trained "robot" could do the same.

    Like any sense, however, it can be trained to a level which may seem superhuman to outsiders. Remember most people have a sense of smell...but SCENTS are a matter of perception and perception takes place in the brain; so smell is the "talent" part, you are gifted or you are not that gifted. Scent detection/determination is a matter of brain training. First, "tune" your brain to the notes by taking a trip to the grocery store and gathering various commonly used fragrance notes...citrus..cinnamon, etc OR purchase a "scent palette" like Le Labo's Olfactionary (http://store.lelabofragrances.com/en...actionary.html). I am not endorsing their $520 product, it's just the first I found.

    Now the fun part. "Listen", with your nose, to a fragrance. What notes do you recognize?

    The "art" part is more subjective. Things like composition, quality of ingredients, sillage, projection, linear/non-linear, etc. are analytical ways of describing the fragrance. There IS, however, the "X" factor, like in all art. Just as a singer can have perfect pitch or a violin can have perfect intonation, there is always the question...is it likable? This may seem intangible at first but it is blatantly obvious when you experience it. It's the difference between Britney Spears and Sarah Brightman or a Hofner violin and a Stradivarius.

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