Loads of people are anosmic to various common synthetics so we do perceive any given product differently.
Lots of people cannot be anosmic to certain things because anosmia is a serious medical condition that is not common. So I don't know what part in can play in perceiving perfume.
Also, here are the associated conditions that go hand in hand with anosmia almost always:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Vitamin B12 deficiency
Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis caused by Naegleria fowleri
I mean this is a VERY serious condition, we are talking serious here, and all I hear all the time is "maybe you're anosmic, maybe I'm anosmic", no you are not.
Last edited by deadidol; 23rd May 2014 at 06:13 PM.
I would add that it's also a matter of language: when we say "this perfume smells completely different on two people" what do we mean? What is really implying the word "different"? How much different? To what extent? Smell lacks a specific language, so we're sort of short of accurate words to define the experience of smelling and smelling differences.
In my opinion the perceived differences between two people wearing the same perfume have much more to do with the different people and the idea we have of them.. (This afternoon my partner told me she recognized Premier Figuier on a collegue. I asked her if she felt it different- PF is one of my most beloved and worn fragrances- and she said "of course"! But it was PF nevertheless and she recognized it without any doubt!)
"Your fragrance with a fume of iodine" L. Cohen
What do we think of hyperosmia—on an increase in our ability to smell? My own experience of spending the last year learning about 300+ individual materials in isolation has proven helpful to my ability to figure out what's going on in a perfume (still largely flawed).
I agree that the whole idea of perfume absorbing into skin is rather beside the point. I had no idea it was so prevalent. Well, other than with the 'Perfume Police'. They are very big on that. (Another conversation). That said, I once ate a whole clove of garlic as an experiment- what was I thinking? I stank to high Heaven the whole next day as it emanated from me- everywhere.
See my blog; http://www.basenotes.net/blogs/2645-kumquat
I wish we had a mythbusters episode regarding perfume, if anyone can get in contact with those people? Either way, I entirely reject the notion that there are changes between people when it comes to perfume, not only because of my basic scientific knowledge but also what an art piece means. Art cannot change, a finished work of art is just that, finished. It cannot change after the artist signs it off because if it did, then it would be a pointless endeavor.
Does Chanel No 5 smell different on paper than it does on my skin? To me it does. Its still Chanel No 5. Isn't it?
Perfume has to be worn, has to hang, on something.
Ocean Greyness looks a whole lot different in the Guggenheim than it would in your living room, right? And obviously, that is a very imperfect analogy, but when perfume is worn, it is worn on someone. And someone is not free of fragrance. And neither is someone else.
Two people, take your pick, can smell different to a third 'smeller'. Agree?
Ever been on a subway?
Two people on a subway car can smell very different to a third rider on the car. Put Chanel No5 on both of them. Hopefully they both smell better to the third rider, but they may also still smell very different to the third. AND, its still Chanel No 5, they are both wearing right?
If you wanted to prove your hypothesis scientifically, how would you go about it? It would involve putting Chanel No 5 on a lot of people, and having at least two sniffers smell them all and note differences (or not). Right? Can you cite to any science to support your view?
Last edited by james1051; 23rd May 2014 at 10:12 PM.
Of course the same fragrance will smell different on different people. The same fragrance will smell different on the same person under different circumstances . Your age, your health and even your diet (amongst other things) will affect how a fragrance will smell.
And whilst an object such as a painting or a sculpture or even a piece of music will not change, ones interpretation of it can change. All Art involves a dialogue between at least two (the work and the observer); no work of art can exist in a vacuum, unseen, unlistened to, unsmelled.
I'm really struggling to appreciate the level of science in this thread, such as : perfume doesn't get absorbed into the skin?
If you belive that then whatever you say needs to be taken with a large dose of salt.
Comparing perfume to a work of art like a fixed solid object like a painting and saying because perfume is like a work of art it can never change once it's been made is down right ridiculous. Granted the perfume will remain stable and the same for quite a period of time but only in the bottle, not once it's out the bottle and the molecules are now interacting and mixing with the compounds in the air and on your skin.
A perfume is made out of volatile liquid substances that can most definitely smell different in varying conditions of temperature/rate of evaporation, skin type/chemistry. Skin is is like a little microcosm, it holds oils, bacteria, residual chemicals from creams/soaps/atmospheric contamination etc and most definitely will interact with the compounds in perfume, to what degree depends on the person, could it be noticeable most definitely. Perfume can smell different even on paper depending on the ambient temps/humidity conditions and type of paper.
A perfume works by flooding the air with sufficient fragrance molecules so that they overcome the residual and ambient smells, the rate at which the various molecules that comprise a perfume are depleted/evaporated/absorbed make up it's scent signature/development/notes and sillage/longevity. All those factors can only be fixed in laboratory conditions with the perfume applied to an inert substance, out in the real world there can be significant variability, some of the perfume compounds may be absorbed on some skins more than others, some oily skins may trap some of the compounds and extend them or slightly modify them, if it's very hot, humid or cold the rate of evaporation of the various compounds will change. The perfume compounds may not "change" per say when they hit the skin, the compounds will still initially all be there as per how they were made but they will be remixed and joined with other compounds so there's no ways in hell the smell could somehow be rigidly fixed.
One of the fundamental challenges in perfume design is the rate of depletion of the various compounds, if you are relying on 3 compounds to compose a perfume and one evaporates/depletes significantly faster than the other 2 then after 15 minutes you will only be smelling the 2 compounds, the perfume now smells different.
Last edited by Airlight; 24th May 2014 at 08:38 AM.