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  1. #1
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    thrilledchilled's Avatar
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    Default summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    The only connection to fragrance I had was my mother would wear some now and then. It was so long ago and I have no idea what, but they seemed to me at the time very heavy but also intriguing perfumes.

    Now, fast forward to about a year ago.

    It's been a great year. I had never worn fragrance in my life and now I have hundreds of bottles and attars.

    I thought I wasn't interested much in designer and I'm still not much. But vintage has been a huge surprise. I love vintage. I also love some of the classics such as Fahrenheit in all versions.

    I was taken to all-naturals but I'm more now focused on various fragrances that I love mostly from artisanal brands and no longer a snob about designer.

    So in brief that's my story...thank you for the most amazing year and hope to be here a long time.
    FYI: I spray all fragrances on clothing, never on skin.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    I’ve worn some form of scent (Avon, Jean Naté) since I was a child. Mom wore L’Air du Temps and dad wore Old Spice. Mom & I wore gallons of Giorgio in the 80’s. When I got old enough to have a job, my first big purchase was Dior Poison. It’s been a continuous journey since then. Discovered niche in 2005 and it spiraled into a real obsession. Now I’m on the tail end of the acquisition phase, but still loving and wearing.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    My pops was a big fragrance wearer many years ago. Just picked up where he left off. Don't purchase full bottles like I use to, but an amazing journey nonetheless.
    <div class="bnsotd"><b>Currently wearing:</b> <a href="ID26148387.html"><img src="http://www.basenotes.net/photos/products/33/26148387-7393.jpg"> Carven L'Eau Intense by Carven</a></div>

  4. #4

    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    Birth to now, in a few non-exhaustive, nonexclusive and not necessarily 100% objective reference data and/or main points:

    - 0 to roughly 14, though not wearing fragrances yet nor interested in and at some point even slightly allergic to them, remembering my parents wearing certain deodorants and scents: mother predominantly classic feminines along the lines of Chanel 5 and Miss Dior, father mostly sporty, by now also classic deodorants like Fa, Bac, (mostly discontinued types of) Axe and Denim, Hattrick Classic and others along these lines

    - same age, but also including first experiences that may have sparked a certain, albeit mostly diffuse and mostly subconscious fragrance interest: smelling the mostly if not entirely vintage formulations of scents along the lines of but not limited to Chanel pour Monsieur, Eau Sauvage, Knize Ten, Azzaro pour Homme, Antaeus, Armani Eau pour Homme, Tsar, Gucci Nobile, 4711 (classic) EDC, One Man Show, Force Majeuere (along with other vintage Bogarts), Gucci Nobile among others, with the immediate thought of "wow, these do smell good, really wishing to smell like this when I grow up"

    - 14 to most of the early adult age, first fragrance quality fragrance present-namely Salvador Dali PH, first fragrance book (both aged 14), followed by finally admitting a certain fragrance interest and the first perfume purchases, from mass market and quite generic like Adidas Classic/Classic Blue and Adidas Dynamic/Dynamic Pulse, Paco Energy, Oriflame New Spirit as well as a few more classic highlights like Chevignon Brand, Drakkar Noir. Ungaro III

    - early/mid twenties until today-mostly the discovery of niche, of BN, of vintage classics (almost around the same time) and finally admitting to be truly into fragrance classic, rarely to never again buying scents due to hypes and compliments alone, while far more openly enjoying and communicative not just regarding the fragrance hobby alone but also the direction this hobby may lead to during sometime, actually most likely anytime in future

  5. #5

    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    I used to collect scented/carved soaps when I was a kid; like age seven or so. I've always been very smell-centric.

    This is just the natural progression.

    My mother wore Opium and L'Air du Temps, and my father would rotate between Zizanie, Royal Copenhagen, Paco Rabanne pour Homme, and One Man Show. My parents didn't wear fragrances regularly, but I clearly remember what fragrances they wore.
    Last edited by mistersurgery; 21st November 2019 at 08:15 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    My dad never wore anything growing up, but my grandpa always wore what he referred to as "aftershave" - as far as I know, he wore Guerlain Vetiver, Grey Flannel, and was a Light Blue devotee toward the end of his life (he died a few years ago). He also gave me my first fragrances - stuff that he bought but didn't like - Hanae Mori and L'Eau d'Issey, as well as a bottle of The One as a birthday gift when I was in college. My mom wore Lancome Tresor when I was a kid, although I don't remember that as much.

    Was somewhat obsessed with Axe in high school (oof), then my tastes evolved as I got the hand-me-downs from my grandpa. The first bottle I bought for myself was Terre d'Hermes. At that time I was a "signature scent" guy, so once that bottle was empty I moved on to La Nuit de l'Homme and YSL Homme Sport. Then about three years ago I started poking around more online and buying more fragrances. In the last year and a half or so I've discovered BN, and really started building up my collection.

    Overall though I've always really liked nice smelling things, and prioritized scenting myself/my home. I have a much longer running (6-7 years) interest in Japanese incense, which was how I first got introduced to oud (or aloeswood, as it's referred to in that context).
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  7. #7

    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    My dad wore Drakkar Noir, my mom wore Poison.

    My grandfather wore Brut, and he bought me a bottle when I was very young because I enjoyed splashing it on when he visited.

    The first fragrance I personally purchased was Polo Blue.

    I didn't properly get into fragrances until years later when my wife started exploring the world of luxe-niche perfume and took me on a trip to find something for me. Tom Ford ended up being a gateway brand for me, and then I moved on to more classic, barbershop-y houses (English and Italian).

  8. #8
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    I consider myself a late bloomer - better late than never. While I've always had a sense of smell growing up I didn't formally started collecting bottles until many years later. I consider myself at the tail end of this journey. It's mostly just backups now to stuff that I already own and enjoy. The final stage of the journey was to formally explore vintage fragrances and that stage is getting closer to completion. I hope to go on hiatus / semi-retirement in the near future.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    My Dad wore Mennen and Shulton

    My mom wore Avon, Chanel, Revlon, Houbigant, Coty, Merle Norman, and Elisabeth Arden. She loved Brut, Stetson and Royal Copenhagen but he wouldn't wear them, so I eventually did for her.

    Uncle on mom's side was an English Leather and Canoe fan.

    I was given all of the above over time as a teen, eventually discovering 90's mainstream scents like Curve, Nautica, Polo Blue, Tommy, and CK on my own. Eventually got tons of Avon, which sparked my collection interest. Full-blown hobby fraghead only within the last 10 years.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    Quote Originally Posted by Zealot Crusader View Post

    My mom wore Avon, Chanel, Revlon, Houbigant, Coty, Merle Norman, and Elisabeth Arden.
    Did Merle Norman once make perfumes? My mom wore their spackle-like makup, but I don't remember them having perfumes.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    My fragrance journey started in the early 60s when I taught at the university and lived in Paris. It took off from there.
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  12. #12
    The Devil in the Details
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    Did Merle Norman once make perfumes? My mom wore their spackle-like makup, but I don't remember them having perfumes.
    They did, but they weren't popular. She worked there briefly before switching to Avon + school cafeteria lunchlady.
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  13. #13

    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    What solvents can use to dilute crystal meterial like amber gold,coumirin,vanillin.. etc I'm in starting block

  14. #14
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    Very soon after I was born Emeraude I associated with my mother. All of the females in the early life was a Kaleidoscope of Chanels, Guerlain and Avons. One Grandfather White collar always scented of Myrrh tooth powder. The other Blue-collar scented with Old Spice and later English Leather.
    My father went scentless until lately I've caught him wearing Vintage Givenchy Gentleman. I gave him a sample of Bois du Portugal which he liked, however would never buy for himself mostly due to price.
    Avon Leather I was gifted often, however in 1968 I was allowed to pick out Eau Sauvage and was later delighted to see Bullitt and read somewhere that Steve McQueen endorsed it. Around the same time I remembered having a crush on an older blond relation who sported No
    5 and a Catherine Deneuve coiffe. The 70's for myself was Rive Gauche Givenchy Gentleman, YSL Pour Homme. 80's was Paco Rabanne,Pour Homme and later Tiffany For Men, Armani Eau Pour Homme. 1990's Bel Ami, Boss before No.1. After ADG was released I pretty much begged off until the late 2000's and I found an Early Vintage Bel Ami.
    Never thought I would caught with iver a 100 bottle of a variety I have now.
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  15. #15
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    One of my earliest fragrance memories was probably when I was 5 or so going with my dad to JC Penny's perfume counter (the nicest store we had access to at the time) and "helping" him choose a scent for my mother's Christmas present. He would very carefully choose her a new scent every year and put it in her stocking. I don't remember what it was that year, but I remember White Diamonds, Poison, Knowing, Euphoria (the last one he bought her before he died), and most notably Dazzling Silver - notable because Dazzling Gold turned up in my stocking the same year. It was his way of telling me that he thought I was grown enough for my own "proper" perfume. Weirdly I know he wore a scent, but don't immediately recall what it was! Old Spice maybe? Going to have to ask my mom!

    Another early memory was playing with the "antique" (in reality probably only 10-15 years old) Avon perfume pots on the vanity in my great-grandmother's spare bedroom. It was where the dress-up clothes were kept and it was so fun playing a fancy lady in front of that big mirror and smelling the different things. That vanity is now where I keep my (much larger) perfume collection and I still have one of those old Avon pots as a memento.

    My grandmother was also really fond of Avon and she once gifted me a scented necklace of mesmerise that I think she got as a freebie from her Avon lady. It was the same grandmother who gave me $20 at the drugstore when I was about 13 or 14 and told me to pick something out for myself - I chose Charlie Red after much deliberation (and not a lot of choice!). I recently discovered this was still around and paid a whopping £2 for a bottle for memory's sake and being really surprised at how thoroughly decent a scent it really is, even after all this time.

    In my early 20s, I remember trying a lot of perfume, but never really finding anything I liked either at the drugstore or at the fragrance counter of various department stores - it all smelled "fussy" to me. I liked the cheap cheerful playfulness of Demeter scents and bought a fair few of those in Ulta which I would layer. I also somewhere along the way picked up Yardley's English Lavender, which I liked the freshness simplicity of and wore a lot in college. But anytime I had a really special event to go to, it was Dazzling Gold I would reach for.

    Then around the time I moved to London, I discovered Lush, then their sister brand B Never to Busy to be Beautiful and went on a group trip to the fragrance counter at Liberty's which blew my mind! I found so many incredible things and then quickly discovered that the vast vast vast majority was way out of my price range. So I stuck with Lush and BNever until they folded and the odd scent I'd discover I liked in duty free. A couple of years ago, I got really into aromatherapy, initially to try and help with my seasonal depression and then for the fun for it and would (still!) do my own blends for my home diffuser.

    About a year ago (late 30s), with my finances vastly improved, I made the leap and subscribed to Bloom Perfumery's monthly sample service, registered on this site, (which I've ghosted on and off for about 6 or 7 years) and started really smelling and exploring in earnest.
    My current rotation:
    Vetivers: Root of all Goodness by Parterre & Autumn 19 by Ffern
    Skin scents: Shermine by Pierre Guillaume & Goddess by Lush
    Work horses: Magnetica by Voronoi, Paithaini by Penhaligons & 154 by Jo Malone

  16. #16
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    My own early years’ exposure to the scented world revolved around my parents.
    Homemaker Mom:
    makeup powder, lipstick, vanilla essence and kitchen spices (she’s a great cook)
    Mechanic Dad:
    Vitalis hair tonic, motor oil, cigarettes (was a heavy smoker).


    The absence of ‘floral perfumes’ in the household probably explained why I generally find floral notes ‘gender neutral’. Only started getting interested in personal fragrances at 16 when girls became ‘more interesting’. Body sprays were the only thing within financial reach then. Even so I didn’t like them all that much, finding them olfactorily abrasive.

    For a long time I was a one-bottle-until-it’s-gone-type of fragrance user until 2009 when I found Basenotes and the world of fragrance reviewing ( thanks to mathewfoo). The rest as they say was history. My collection grew exponentially.
    “...too many among us die at thirty and are buried at eighty.” - Robin Sharma

  17. #17

    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    I hope to go on hiatus / semi-retirement in the near future.
    As do I.

    I joined up here to kinda fill in some gaps in my sampling and build out my collection a bit. I've done that and had a good (and excessive) year of blind-buys and sampling and swapping.

    But I see myself stepping away from BN in the near future.

  18. #18

    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    Barely paid attention to perfumes until around 2010 (smell nice on girlfriends was as far as I noticed them) then started to develop an interest and realised that I had missed out. I think smelling the usual, ubiquitous fragrances as a kid, Eternity, Obsession, Cool Water and such, may have put me off. Interestingly, once I started to explore classic scents quite a few smelled very familiar, so I must have been around perfumes more than I can remember.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    When I was a kid, we had several bottles of Avon. My mom's best friend was an Avon lady. Those porcelain race cars and busts were all over the bathroom cabinet.
    I had a bottle of Avon Buckaroo. My dad has a bottle of Brut and Chaps.
    My brother had a bottle of Stetson, I think, and then Drakkar. He wore Drakkar all the time, as well as his friends.

    I remember getting a bottle of IRON cologne as my next scent and another relative gifted me Brut as well.

    I my teenage years, middle school, I had a bottle of Samba. I also went through several bottles of Aspen and Preferred Stock.

    It wasn't until high school that I was able to buy my own bottle, Polo Sport. The next year, I was gifted a bottle of Tommy and also Cool Water.

    And after that it was a bottle or two every year or so of different designers.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."
    Currently wearing: Polo by Ralph Lauren

  20. #20
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    Polo was released when I was kid, and made a big splash. Chaps and Stetson were also big at the time. My father used English Leather, which I thought was great.

    Deodorant was usually my fragrance. I cycled through a bunch of designer deodorant sticks from Macy's. A bunch of Calvin Kleins.

    I had in-laws to buy presents for, and I started getting them fragrances. I became curious whether I was getting them the best stuff, and started doing online searching. It's fuzzy how I gravitated to Basenotes. It basically just won out in my searches. Usually something in the Basenotes forums would answer my question.

    Discovering decant shops was a breakthrough. Then the floodgates opened with sample swaps. Getting comfortable buying perfume on eBay was a game-changer, which brings us to the present.

  21. #21
    Dependent Danny Mitchell's Avatar
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    Polo was released when I was kid, and made a big splash. Chaps and Stetson were also big at the time. My father used English Leather, which I thought was great.

    Deodorant was usually my fragrance. I cycled through a bunch of designer deodorant sticks from Macy's. A bunch of Calvin Kleins.

    I had in-laws to buy presents for, and I started getting them fragrances. I became curious whether I was getting them the best stuff, and started doing online searching. It's fuzzy how I gravitated to Basenotes. It basically just won out in my searches. Usually something in the Basenotes forums would answer my question.

    Discovering decant shops was a breakthrough. Then the floodgates opened with sample swaps. Getting comfortable buying perfume on eBay was a game-changer, which brings us to the present.
    Oh, I forgot about English Leather. My dad always had a bottle of that as well.
    "Ducks eat for free at Subway."
    Currently wearing: Polo by Ralph Lauren

  22. #22

    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    Below is just a summary of standouts that helped inform me along the way. The ones worthy of making memories and inroads into the hobby and other world or fragrance. Obviously there are others not listed here but I just wanted to touch on the notables.


    Early 1990s

    During this time I did what most young males do and reached for my father’s Fabergé Brut, though completely discordant with my own tastes and sense of self. To say the least I eventually balked at that one. However, when he saw me reaching for Dana English Leather I was given it as a gift, so I suppose that was my first mainstay, though I really never reached for it that often (and I suspect the bottle still holds 75% somewhere hidden at my parents’ home). One further noted gifted acquisition was none other than Old Spice. However, I grew tired of that because too many of my peers were beginning to experiment with fragrances and this one was too often around me. Again, I suspect I have one old glass (!!) bottle sitting around parents’ place.


    Mid- to late-1990s

    During this time my mother was not into Avon as much any more and turned her attention to Yves Rocher . . . it seems more popular on the central and eastern side of the country. With all the freebies and discounts afforded by way of her larger orders I came into possession of such fragrances as Yves Rocher Antarctic, Yves Rocher Aztek, and Yves Rocher Tel Quel. So that was a quick introduction to an early freshie and some woody orientals. I preferred the latter two but, as with all Yves Rocher, projection/sillage were nothing to write home about. Having said that, Tel Quel would effectively be my introduction about 5-7 years later to Gucci Envy; whereas Tel Quel came out with the appearance of a more uncivilized version of it, Envy would smooth out all those edges and be the supremely more refined version. Funny how that happens. My girlfriend at the time gifted me with Giorgio Beverly Hills Red for Men. This provided me some instant cred as a proper date and special occasion scent . . . she got this for me because she melted for it smelling it on me. And with all those smooch spots on my neck, albeit embarrassingly, it was the first time a fragrance really made me feel sexy and confident . . . I mean, that is pretty much the template of the experience people are looking for to classify a scent as attracting others. I would try a 2nd bottle in the early 2000s, now moved on from this prior period, but Red for Men just seemed too much, too strong, too much of a cacophony of an endless ingredient list. As such, it was also a hint to come of my tastes and where I was going, and it would further reveal my interest in the more watercolour scent profile of Jean-Claude Ellena. This was just an early hint of that transition.

    Other 1990s notables include Ralph Lauren Polo, a gift from my parents. While their researched intentions were noble, and while it fit my more dress-up nature due to uniforms at school and my then appreciation for a collar over a t-shirt, it just felt too mature for me at the time. I kept it with me and tried going back to it once in a while but I could not overcome my bias. And, yes, just to instil some envy in the fragheads out there my 80% full bottle sits carefully packed away at my parents’ home. Ha!! . . . I might just dig that now vintage juice out and try it again. Either way, I cannot lose.

    But my first true purchase with my own earnings was Ralph Lauren Polo Sport. As fairly athletic person who played a number of team sports each season this one captured my attention. While Calvin Klein was marketed more loudly at the time I stayed with Polo Sport for its fresh and uplifting profile. It was the perfect accompaniment for my unbalanced hormonal sweaty profile. During that time went through two bottles and even purchased the entire gift set with the shaving lotion, body lotion, and after shave. After that? - university came, I grew up and kinda moved away from fragrance for a while.


    University 2000s

    Hardly anything. I left all my frags at home. The campus was liberal and definitely not given to any invasive corporate overtures, and somehow this included fragrance. Nobody, it seemed, men or women, wore much of anything except for rank raw patchouli (the hippies and grunge cultural studies set) or vanilla (the blue blood social sciences such as history and economics, and definitely some of the grad students). While I eventually fell into the latter set my predisposition towards something not too flamboyant and more natural led me to vanilla oil. And this led me to Body Shop Vanilla. Cheap, inoffensive, soft sillage, generally likeable, and certainly never really trying. That’s all I really have to offer from that period.


    2003-2009

    Following my first job in private banking (bored, didn’t last long) I entered The world of arts & culture. And after testing many different fragrances and owning quite a number too, the one that stood out was Gucci Envy. Please remember that most people at that time are not so much into the “hobby” as they are just trying to find their “signature scent.” That’s where I was and Envy checked off so many boxes for me: it was smooth and elegant, perfect for a young professional with ambitions, perfectly fit into my industry, and quickly and appreciably became my signature amongst peers, friends and clients. It was soooo easy to wear, so easy to love being with. During that time I went through three (!!!) bottles. Never did I imagine that it would become the grail it is today! . . . and, no, before you ask, there is not a bottle cached away somewhere at my parents’ home. Not this time. I’m down to mLs.

    Other notables that I variously wore and enjoyed - to mix things up, for seasonal, for special occasions - were Burberry Brit, Versace The Dreamer, and Burberry London for Men. These gave me a chance to appreciate spices and tobaccos. I feel bad about the latter, however, because while I realize it’s held up well amongst fragrance lovers I grew tired of it just before finishing the bottle. I do research everything and it began as a love but somehow that dissipated . . . and that one was the biggest mystery to me, how my nose just shut it out eventually. I suppose it’s analogous to a relationship that begins strong but then the magic disappears more quickly that usual. Ho hum.

    However, the big hint of where I would be going was my acquisition of Hermès TdH the very first week it came out. It was pure serendipity as I was just walking through Holt Renfrew and a SA known to me motioned me over to try it. The store literally had their opening soirèe for it the day before, so I was inadvertently on top of this release before most people. It was not just love at first smell and wear, it became my signature scent for work for a long time, it introduced me to Hermès, and, more significantly it introduced me to Jean-Claude Ellena whose fragrances I have since had a number of. Vetiver Tonka has been a mainstay vetiver for a long time now.


    2005-Present

    I separate this one because during this time Helmut Lang EdC and EdP slowly became strong loved that have carried with me to this day. I acquired bottles and then, following Mr. Lang’s departure in 2005 from the Prada Group, I sourced new ones through eBay, as well as scooped up all the samples I could find. While it became pricier and pricier I was doing it at such an early stage that now I have valuable little collection, though not for sale (ha!). Hmm . . . maybe a sample or two. Helmut Lang would begin again under Theory Link Holdings in 2007 but the fragrances were not re-released at that time. The 2014 re-issues were NOT the disaster they could have been. In fact, EdC remains within a fair and acceptable hair of the original, and the EdP has actually slid along the spectrum more into proper unisex territory, thus benefiting my personal tastes. Helmut Lang is just simply my all-time favourite.


    Present

    Except for some holdovers mentioned above that have stayed with me I won’t comment on anything in particular here. Why? - because now I’m slowly evolving into the hobby from a much broader approach. And the point of this exercise as far as I can surmise was just to summarize my journey to this point.

    What I am left with, most notably, is a desire to get back to my parents’ home for Christmas and unsheathe that long-lost, lovingly stored bottle of old Polo. Mind you, that doesn’t mean I’ve necessarily grown to love it . . . yet.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    Quote Originally Posted by Rabidsenses View Post
    Below is just a summary of standouts that helped inform me along the way. The ones worthy of making memories and inroads into the hobby and other world or fragrance. Obviously there are others not listed here but I just wanted to touch on the notables.


    Early 1990s

    During this time I did what most young males do and reached for my father’s Fabergé Brut, though completely discordant with my own tastes and sense of self. To say the least I eventually balked at that one. However, when he saw me reaching for Dana English Leather I was given it as a gift, so I suppose that was my first mainstay, though I really never reached for it that often (and I suspect the bottle still holds 75% somewhere hidden at my parents’ home). One further noted gifted acquisition was none other than Old Spice. However, I grew tired of that because too many of my peers were beginning to experiment with fragrances and this one was too often around me. Again, I suspect I have one old glass (!!) bottle sitting around parents’ place.


    Mid- to late-1990s

    During this time my mother was not into Avon as much any more and turned her attention to Yves Rocher . . . it seems more popular on the central and eastern side of the country. With all the freebies and discounts afforded by way of her larger orders I came into possession of such fragrances as Yves Rocher Antarctic, Yves Rocher Aztek, and Yves Rocher Tel Quel. So that was a quick introduction to an early freshie and some woody orientals. I preferred the latter two but, as with all Yves Rocher, projection/sillage were nothing to write home about. Having said that, Tel Quel would effectively be my introduction about 5-7 years later to Gucci Envy; whereas Tel Quel came out with the appearance of a more uncivilized version of it, Envy would smooth out all those edges and be the supremely more refined version. Funny how that happens. My girlfriend at the time gifted me with Giorgio Beverly Hills Red for Men. This provided me some instant cred as a proper date and special occasion scent . . . she got this for me because she melted for it smelling it on me. And with all those smooch spots on my neck, albeit embarrassingly, it was the first time a fragrance really made me feel sexy and confident . . . I mean, that is pretty much the template of the experience people are looking for to classify a scent as attracting others. I would try a 2nd bottle in the early 2000s, now moved on from this prior period, but Red for Men just seemed too much, too strong, too much of a cacophony of an endless ingredient list. As such, it was also a hint to come of my tastes and where I was going, and it would further reveal my interest in the more watercolour scent profile of Jean-Claude Ellena. This was just an early hint of that transition.

    Other 1990s notables include Ralph Lauren Polo, a gift from my parents. While their researched intentions were noble, and while it fit my more dress-up nature due to uniforms at school and my then appreciation for a collar over a t-shirt, it just felt too mature for me at the time. I kept it with me and tried going back to it once in a while but I could not overcome my bias. And, yes, just to instil some envy in the fragheads out there my 80% full bottle sits carefully packed away at my parents’ home. Ha!! . . . I might just dig that now vintage juice out and try it again. Either way, I cannot lose.

    But my first true purchase with my own earnings was Ralph Lauren Polo Sport. As fairly athletic person who played a number of team sports each season this one captured my attention. While Calvin Klein was marketed more loudly at the time I stayed with Polo Sport for its fresh and uplifting profile. It was the perfect accompaniment for my unbalanced hormonal sweaty profile. During that time went through two bottles and even purchased the entire gift set with the shaving lotion, body lotion, and after shave. After that? - university came, I grew up and kinda moved away from fragrance for a while.


    University 2000s

    Hardly anything. I left all my frags at home. The campus was liberal and definitely not given to any invasive corporate overtures, and somehow this included fragrance. Nobody, it seemed, men or women, wore much of anything except for rank raw patchouli (the hippies and grunge cultural studies set) or vanilla (the blue blood social sciences such as history and economics, and definitely some of the grad students). While I eventually fell into the latter set my predisposition towards something not too flamboyant and more natural led me to vanilla oil. And this led me to Body Shop Vanilla. Cheap, inoffensive, soft sillage, generally likeable, and certainly never really trying. That’s all I really have to offer from that period.


    2003-2009

    Following my first job in private banking (bored, didn’t last long) I entered The world of arts & culture. And after testing many different fragrances and owning quite a number too, the one that stood out was Gucci Envy. Please remember that most people at that time are not so much into the “hobby” as they are just trying to find their “signature scent.” That’s where I was and Envy checked off so many boxes for me: it was smooth and elegant, perfect for a young professional with ambitions, perfectly fit into my industry, and quickly and appreciably became my signature amongst peers, friends and clients. It was soooo easy to wear, so easy to love being with. During that time I went through three (!!!) bottles. Never did I imagine that it would become the grail it is today! . . . and, no, before you ask, there is not a bottle cached away somewhere at my parents’ home. Not this time. I’m down to mLs.

    Other notables that I variously wore and enjoyed - to mix things up, for seasonal, for special occasions - were Burberry Brit, Versace The Dreamer, and Burberry London for Men. These gave me a chance to appreciate spices and tobaccos. I feel bad about the latter, however, because while I realize it’s held up well amongst fragrance lovers I grew tired of it just before finishing the bottle. I do research everything and it began as a love but somehow that dissipated . . . and that one was the biggest mystery to me, how my nose just shut it out eventually. I suppose it’s analogous to a relationship that begins strong but then the magic disappears more quickly that usual. Ho hum.

    However, the big hint of where I would be going was my acquisition of Hermès TdH the very first week it came out. It was pure serendipity as I was just walking through Holt Renfrew and a SA known to me motioned me over to try it. The store literally had their opening soirèe for it the day before, so I was inadvertently on top of this release before most people. It was not just love at first smell and wear, it became my signature scent for work for a long time, it introduced me to Hermès, and, more significantly it introduced me to Jean-Claude Ellena whose fragrances I have since had a number of. Vetiver Tonka has been a mainstay vetiver for a long time now.


    2005-Present

    I separate this one because during this time Helmut Lang EdC and EdP slowly became strong loved that have carried with me to this day. I acquired bottles and then, following Mr. Lang’s departure in 2005 from the Prada Group, I sourced new ones through eBay, as well as scooped up all the samples I could find. While it became pricier and pricier I was doing it at such an early stage that now I have valuable little collection, though not for sale (ha!). Hmm . . . maybe a sample or two. Helmut Lang would begin again under Theory Link Holdings in 2007 but the fragrances were not re-released at that time. The 2014 re-issues were NOT the disaster they could have been. In fact, EdC remains within a fair and acceptable hair of the original, and the EdP has actually slid along the spectrum more into proper unisex territory, thus benefiting my personal tastes. Helmut Lang is just simply my all-time favourite.


    Present

    Except for some holdovers mentioned above that have stayed with me I won’t comment on anything in particular here. Why? - because now I’m slowly evolving into the hobby from a much broader approach. And the point of this exercise as far as I can surmise was just to summarize my journey to this point.

    What I am left with, most notably, is a desire to get back to my parents’ home for Christmas and unsheathe that long-lost, lovingly stored bottle of old Polo. Mind you, that doesn’t mean I’ve necessarily grown to love it . . . yet.
    This is fantastic. Thank you. You have done good bottles stashed. Lol.
    FYI: I spray all fragrances on clothing, never on skin.

  24. #24

    Default Re: summarize your fragrance journey from birth to now

    Quote Originally Posted by thrilledchilled View Post
    This is fantastic. Thank you. You have done good bottles stashed. Lol.

    Thank you!

    I edited a number out (as we all need to) but my mind keeps coming back to one in particular that I missed: Guy Laroche Drakkar Noir.

    Yeah, technically this scent mash-up predated the other mash-up, Red for Men, by about year. While the latter dialled me in to the idea that a fragrance could make me feel sexy Drakkar Noir made me feel kinda, um, like a man for the first time and not some gangly boy. For about 12-18 months I used it strictly for parties and social occasions. I liked it. It invariably turned heads and grabbed attention. It’s a busy-body, a serious fragrance to attempt wearing at that age. But, yeah, it was manhood or bust with that one, and it left an impression.

    I suspect that some day I’ll locate the still half-full bottle at my parents. But it would be an early-1990s issue.




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