That's a great post L'HBI and I agree. I've had positive experiences explaining fragrance to people who have a passion for wine, microbrews, painting/visual art, coffee, cooking.
For others, I just say it's one of my many vices.
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I've never experienced a negative reaction either, but when I do talk about my hobby, I always like to bring up the links between the olfactory system and emotional memory. People tend to show a bit of empathy for your passion when you ask them to consider how their favourite smells make them feel and what memories they invoke.
I think if someone was to challenge it further, I'd make the shoe analogy - thanks OP!
L'Homme Blanc Individuel: awesome response, and regarding your date story, what a creative and absolute baller move! Also, please tell me more about this $25 amplifier you allude to.
I've gotten more and more comfortable with my passion and interest in this hobby, and I definitely think it's important to gauge how much your 'audience' wants to know. I am fortunate to work in a place where others wear and appreciate fragrances, and though I've gotten a variety of comments, some positive and some baffled-to-negative ("Who's the hippie?" type stuff) I've learned to roll with it, and I try to gauge when someone wants to hear about the note pyramid or how great Slumberhouse is and how cool that this dudes make this stuff right here in Portland, and when it's just better to leave it at "thanks"--or *shrug*. I do try to avoid going on the defensive--if someone comments on how I smell, usually it's an invitation, not a provocation.
No one really knows the extent of my collection (even my my most recent GF never saw the 'vault,' though she did seem to enjoy and note appreciation for the different frags I'd sport) and I'm not wearing it on my sleeve, any more than I go around telling people how many LPs or books or pairs of shoes I own. I'm honest about the fact that I'm a collector, and that extends in a lot of different directions, along the vectors of my passions.
Overall, I've found that the conversations about smell, scent, senses and art that have arisen due to this pursuit have been really exciting, and I think at least a few of my friends' eyes have been opened a bit wider to the power, meaning and art of fragrances. Remember, we are missionaries, not apologists.
First, I used to be very confrontational, and, to my shame, nearly offensive or at least controversial, whenever this happened and there were differences on this particular subject.
But over time, it became more "live and let live" to me, for a variety of reasons. Partly because there is Basenotes and this community has an important contribution to free, unrestricted, non-judgmental, but also erudite, entertaining fragrance discussion, partly because respecting each and every opinion is important, partly because some of the people indifferent or even downright hostile about fragrance discover and even learn to enjoy fragrance later on, partly because of/thanks to other various unpredictable factors, changing fragrance related-discussion and interaction for the least common motives.
As he makes his way through life, a gentleman is beset by all manner of rogues and ruffians who do not appreciate the finer things.
So adopt a scornful attitude, and snort derisively at them. It really is the only way to keep them in their place.
Last edited by Oscroft; 1st February 2013 at 12:11 AM.
I find it's fairly easy to explain why I love fragrances. Generally by drawing a comparison to the way people spend so much money and effort to stimulate their senses in more commonplace ways such as with music.
I like craft beer. If someone asks me why, I'll tell them.
I like abstract photography. If someone asks me why, I'll tell them.
I like perfume. If someone asks me why, I'll tell them.
"Follow your nose. It always knows." -- Toucan Sam
No one challenges me about, as all my other hobbies are way more expensive. I've only spent a few hundred on perfume (ok, probably over £1000 now) and tens of thousands on my other hobbies.
Usually some degree of understanding. As I find most who look oddly at my collection are looking at fragrance as though it's a type of cosmetic. From that perspective it does seem unusual that anyone would buy more than is necessary to fill their immediate needs. A lot of people don't really see their sense of smell as something to be indulged actively in the same way that they might indulge their sense of taste by way of fine dining for example - even if smell does come into that. In the end it's just not something most people tend to think about in my experience. However I find that when I invite them to think about it and make some comparisons they usually appreciate the why a little better.but what does explaining that get you in return
I started my current job a little more than a year ago and just recently started having all my fragrance orders and swaps shipped to my work so that I could get them way before they would reach my house. Anyways, at first some of the guys thought it was a little weird that I owned so many bottles of cologne and that I had so many new ones coming on a reguar basis. Once I explained how different notes and accords blended together to make certain things happen, and they would sniff a spray on a card every time a new one came in, they actually became really really interested in fragrances. Now everytime I get a package, they seem more anxious then me to see what I got and to get a sniff and for me to explain the notes that are in it, etc.. The manager has bought a bottle of Tom Ford Extreme because he loved it so much and one of the salesman bought a bottle of Original Santal because of my vice. Just thought I'd share my experience.
CURRENT TOP 5
1. Dior Homme Intense
2. Creed Aventus
3. Tom Ford Extreme
4. Gucci Pour Homme II
5. Terre d'Hermes
to me scents are like dresses, shoes and other stuff you may want to possess..they are symbols like all collectible items..if someone can't grasp my passions it is not my problem..also I try not to buy stuff I won't wear!
...Sailing the Oceans of Boredom....
good share, colognejunkie2000
I don't usually get too much grief about it from those around me. My wife on the other, does not get it and it has caused a number of problems in the past. We have an ok agreement going right now, so all is good.