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  1. #1

    Default Article: Xtreme Scents : Stages on Scent's Way

  2. #2

    Default Re: Article: Xtreme Scents : Stages on Scent's Way

    Excellent article, Chris. Based on the stages you discuss, I seem to follow into the second stage. When I pick what to wear a particular day I try to match it to the environment I'll be in, the clothes I'll wear and the mood I want to be in. The struggle for me comes from the latter - the mood. Sometimes I pick something that I think would smell great and would put me in just the right mental state. Then, 2 hours later I change my mind and I start thinking: maybe a sandalwood would have been better in this rainy weather; vetiver doesn't really work for me right now, it's too nostalgic and that's not how I feel.

    I've noticed that we usually associate certain notes with certain moods and I think this is true for all people. The difference is that first-stagers have not realized this trait, while the second-stagers may have. For me, for example, vetiver is nostalgic, sandalwood is warm-cozy, citrus is happy, incense is contemplative. When I pick a scent I think of what I'll be mostly doing today and what would put in the right mood for my day. If I'm going to a coffee shop to think about the meaning of life and read Viktor Frankl, I'll probably wear CdG's Kyoto because of its incense and coffee notes. If I'm going for a swim in the morning and want to unpretentiously lounge by the pool after, I would probably wear something citrussy like Eau D'Orange Verte.

    I would love to see your article expanded. There are so many nuances and stages of being stage 2 and beyond. Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez allude to some of them in their perfume guide. Briefly they talk about how first you get obsessed by fragrances in general and you buy everything you get your hands on; then you get into the niches and avantgarde scents; then you realize that even dollar store scents are not bad at all. It would be great to expand on the idea of how we select scents.

    Great work.

  3. #3
    Basenotes Member
    Join Date
    May 2012


    I've really enjoyed this article. As I visualized the situations that the author put the reader into through his stories, it made me smile out of memory, as that is exactly how I first felt and how I've seen others react in the same situation.

    Great Job!

  4. #4


    Thanks for articulating some things that have been bubbling in my brain. I can certainly identify with all aspects of the journey. I don't think I was ever a neanderthal, however, as I have always loved variety in all things.
    I have scents for various purposes: casual, formal, warm weather, cold weather etc. When I catch myself creating new purposes to justify a purchase (I have a scent that I wear specifically to rock concerts and similar events), I sometimes wish that I could go back to being happy with wearing whatever I find in my Christmas stocking, until the bottle runs out.

  5. #5


    What a fun article! I really loved the additional comments; especially the notes about going to the prom. It made me happy to reminisce and remember that I "borrowed" a spray of Chanel No. 5 from my grandma for the occasion, which to this day, is the scent I wear whenever I have a formal event to attend or when I think of her and I miss her since she passed.

    It made me giggle to remember that my Neanderthal scent was Love's Baby Soft back in junior high, which lasted until my uncle began working at a department store and brought home boxes and boxes of department store "testers" that opened me up to the wonderful world of olfactory pleasure and how each scent evoked a different emotion; I was enchanted by the delicate Pavlova, intrigued by Fracas, felt surges of love from the classic Ralph Lauren red bottle, and felt playful with Lily of the Valley by Floris......

  6. #6
    Thalia's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Glendale, CA


    I think the appeal of "the newest thing" is not that it will be somehow the best, but it will be the most fashionable and trendy. The sales pitch is aimed at the same people who have to buy a red belt because a magazine said it was this season's must-have. If you're wearing the latest thing, you are with-it and fashionable (and if it has a designer label, so much the better!), and you are definitely not "old" because "old" is the worst possible thing you could be. Which takes it right back to your point about the first stage -- you are trying to impress others, not please yourself.

  7. #7
    Super Member CompassRose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Greater Toronto area

    Default Re: Article: Xtreme Scents : Stages on Scent's Way

    I've been thinking about this article for some time, in connection with my own current fragrance quest -- and really, I do take issue with your characterisation of the one-scent wearer as stage, oh, I don't know, one and a half. Like the poly evangelists who confuse chosen monogamy with "blind brainwashing by cultural norms" you are mistaking, in some if not many cases, considered choice for lack of thought.

    Scent is one of the deepest connections we have with our animal brains. The scent I choose to wear is in no way as trivial as the omelette I may or may not eat that day. Your scent is yourself. You want to change yourself every day? Go ahead. Me, I feel unhappy and out of sorts when I put on clothes that smell like the wardrobe of a stranger, with half-washed out samples of this and that still clinging to them like rags.

    It's not about style, or marketing, or pretty pictures of half-naked people intertwined, or the bottle. It's about the scent that merges with my own scent to form, for that stage of my life, the perfect.... under-everything underclothing, as it were. The skin of my skin. I can change my clothes, my shoes, my jewellery... my skin, my body, will be the same. I wear my clothes on my body. My scent becomes my body.

    Certainly no one else is choosing it for me. The "right" scent stays right till it's wrong (a phenomenon I have also noticed in my lovers, by the way. I've always known a relationship was over when I could no longer stand the smell of the person's body -- and no amount of scent or deodorant or showering can possibly disguise that essential shift, when it happens.)

    No amount of knowledge of notes will tell me whether a specific fragrance will have that magic with my own skin. I might be able to predict whether I'll like something or not, whether it's a four or a five on the five-point scale. But the fragrance I'm looking for, the scent I will inhabit, is not on the scale.

    As for fitting into time and space, my body fits into time and space as it always does. I can help it, with rainboots or evening gowns or heavy sweaters. But my self, my skin, is the same, and my skin is my scent, which when I find it will dwell in my house even when I'm out of it, and linger in my wardrobe like a ghost, marking it indelibly as mine.

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