Thread: Fragrance Myths and realities
Some fragrance myths I was thinking of were the ad copy created by some fragrance companies stating that various aristocrats (named and unnamed) created or wore their scents.
Reality: pure advertising hype.
My fav myth is rubbing "bruises the molecules."
"...her fragrance all in my keeping; softly she comes in the night." Lyrics, Gordon Lightfoot, "Softly."
"Christian Dior / You wasted your life
On aroma and clothes / Fabric and dyes." Christian Dior - Morrissey
Dr. Hannibal Lecter: ...You use Evian skin cream, and sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps … but not today.
Just returning to the coffee myth, which just came up in another thread I thought I'd add this potential explanation for it's currency and persistence:
I suspect, though could certainly not prove, that the coffee bean idea came about because no perfumery counter or boutique wanted to send customers outside for a breath of fresh air, for fear they would not come back in.
So when someone came up with the clever wheeze of the coffee beans, others followed suit and before you know it an urban myth was born.
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I am a nurse...molecules from any odor attach to hundreds of uniquely different receptors in the nose the combinations of receptors triggered help our brain distinguish over 10,000 different odors. many fragrances use a combination of similar volatile oils. we get mixed up after smelling similar scents...Coffee has powerful volatile oils . you could just as easily use an orange,banana, chocolate, gasoline or any other strong volatile oil not usually found in fragrance. it doesn't "reset" the receptors, it just overwhelms them with different triggers. It does work, but not b/c of "mysterious" reasons some people give....
1) I hadn't heard this one.
2) I sometimes have a hard time getting a read on a fragrance on a card, but that's usually due to olfactory fatigue. Things do smell different on cards - sometimes enough to change my opinion of them. I have to admit that I have done the "spray the air" thing. I got the idea to do this from reading an article by Jean Carles where he said that atomizing into the air of the room is the only way to perceive the full fragrance quickly. On paper or skin you have to wait hours for the basenotes to come out. I don't know if I believe it, but I have found air sniffing to be useful. I try not to get it on anything, though.
3) This one's new to me too.
4) I can see this if you want to get a light misting of something very strong. I think spraying from a distance to spread it out more makes more sense than making a cloud and walking through it. That way you don't waste 90% of the juice.
6) I've gotten better, but olfactory fatigue is a problem when sampling. If you sniff closely several perfumes that have many of the same ingredients, your nose will lose sensitivity to those components. That will distort your perception of other perfumes. One trick I've heard perfumers use to analyze a perfume is to identify a key note, smell it in isolation to force olfactory fatigue, and then smell the perfume to see what it smells like with that note "subtracted". Then they can continue to test with more and more notes deleted by fatigue to analyze the composition in more detail.
7) I'm in the "coffee beans don't work" camp. I can't put it any better than Chris Bartlett. I try to just get some deep breaths of unscented air to help a bit.
I was in the duty free in Manchester and the (flamboyantly gay) SA was pushing JPG Fleur de Male at me. I tested I tested Prada Amber for women, and he was appalled. He discretely informed me that it was for women, and was taken aback when I told him that I was aware of that.
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Rubbing wrists cannot crush molecules...otherwise we would all explode in an atomic nuclear fission explosion. IT CAN cause friction that causes heat that evaporates highest volatile oils..ie TOP NOTES. This causes the progression to heart notes/base notes faster.
That could well be the reason, yes!I suspect, though could certainly not prove, that the coffee bean idea came about because no perfumery counter or boutique wanted to send customers outside for a breath of fresh air, for fear they would not come back in.
If I'm sniffing at a fragrance counter, one thing I notice is the reactions of the SAs if I have a spray and then say I'm going to go for a walk around and see how it goes in the fresh air. In two local stores recently (Debenhams and John Lewis), the SA response was "yes, that's a good approach" (or wtte). These are both stores where I have gone back and made purchases.
But I don't know enough to argue any of that; I'm just theorizing.
PS - don't rub too hard or too long - the molecules will go too far into the future!
That fragrances have genitalia.
While I do accept the existence of social or cultural associations pertaining to certain notes/accords, I won't accept having them forced down my throat.
I have really enjoyed this thread.
My problem with the coffee beans set out in stores is that they are old, sad, stale beans that smell bad. Set out new beans if you want to perpetuate the myth!
In terms of "crushing the molecules", I like to get 'em down to Rutherford gold foil experiment thinness -- not really, but I do like to share the love with the opposite wrist.
You all are so helpful, I appreciate your insights.
Science is not only compatible with spirituality, it is a profound source of spirituality. When we recognize our place in an immensity of light-years and in the passage of ages, when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life, then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined, is surely spiritual. ..Carl Sagan