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Confessions of a Perfume Dork

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
One night right before Christmas, I got online to review the differences and compare the bottles of Lolita Lempicka versus LL Midnight. Why? Because all along, I've had a borderline dorky fascination with perfume, and having bought/received two different bottles over two weeks, both of which I was totally stoked about, I decided to play around on the internets and see what I could see.

It all started with Dune. I discovered it on the arm of a fellow sixth-grader, one who was trying to break into modeling. On my summer blueberry picking earnings, I bought myself a mini. Then I bought Liz Claiborne. Then Passion. I began to receive as gifts Cotys, Danas, and Avons (courtesy of a favorite aunt), which, in their big bottles, were used much more than my miniature treasures. At 13, I became enamored with Emeraude, and bought a bottle purely off their fabulous marketing strategy.(You can read my review of it to see how that experience went down....) Some time during my 8th grade year, I perceived that my young teenage self didn't need to be wearing grown up perfumes. I wore them all till the bottles were empty (except for Passion and the Pinesol-esque Emeraude) and adopted the scented body lotion. These, and the addition of Bath & Body Works to the local mall, perfumed me through my high school days. College was a different story. I clad myself in black and high heels, seldom wore jeans, painted my lips dark, and wore Tresor and Rapture.

Then I dropped out. My late teens and early 20s were tumultuous and while I still yearned to smell more sophisticated than my Calgon and Love Spell scented peers, my tastes took a turn for the demure. I turned to scents that I felt projected an air of calm, and I wore them whether I liked them or not (Alfred Sung Shi was good; Jacques Fath put it lightly...not so much.) I found one that I liked a lot. It projected nothing that I was trying to be, nothing I was trying to hide. It somehow felt natural to me, maybe the most *me* that a fragrance had ever been. During these chaotic times, I hardly ever wore it.

I decided, at 22, to do a major overhauling and make some positive changes. All that perfume was thrown out, with a bunch of other garbage. I didn't wear perfume for a couple years, until the man I would eventually marry presented me with Chance. I wore this sparingly, unsure if I was even a perfume type of gal anymore. He took me to fragrance counters to test different scents, and he bought me Pure Poison for our wedding. I, meanwhile, fell in love with Lolita Lempicka. Now it should be noted here that I, at this point, thought perfume should be a gift from one lover to another. I wouldn't buy my own jewelry, and I wouldn't buy myself perfume. I felt, if he doesn't like it, doesn't feel a connection with it, then what in the world is the point! Well, being such a wonderful guy, he finally bought me Lolita Lempicka, not because it was his favorite, but because I had been asking for it for so long. Emboldened by this revelation, that my husband didn't need to love every perfume I choose to wear, I went out and bought myself, eight years after I first found it, another bottle of the fragrance that I loved but rarely wore during those chaotic times-- Hypnotic Poison. And it's better than I remember.

Then I got online. I discovered Basenotes. I began writing reviews, reading reviews, and rediscovering a world I never thought I'd be interested in again. I discovered there's another Chanel number, one that I'd never heard of before-- No. 22. I became intrigued. I became obsessive. This was no department store fragrance here-- with only the rare, overpriced, and dubiously aged sample available on ebay, No. 22 was something I was begining to believe I would never EVER be able to smell.

I discovered The Perfumed Court. I ordered samples of 22 edt and pure parfum. I searched for reviews of this elusive fragrance and discovered Perfume Posse and their wonderful primers, Perfume 101 & 201.

I developed a wish list. Before my No. 22 samples had even arrived, I had sent for my second package of decants. At present, I'm waiting for the last of that order to arrive. Tomorrow I embark on a beginner's journey through the Carons. A month ago, I had never heard of this house! I think I'll begin with Parfum Sacre. And that will be another story for another day, perhaps.

Updated 26th January 2009 at 06:31 AM by Sunnyfunny (what's up with the asterisks?)



  1. JaimeB's Avatar
    A wonderful perfume-a-logue! Thanks for letting us in on your journey. It's always great to hear how others got into perfumes and where their journey has taken them. Welcome to Basenotes, and keep us posted on those Carons! They're among my favorites, and I always like to see how others think of them.
  2. Makeup Maniac's Avatar
    Loved reading the ups and downs of your fragrance journey, SF.
    I think I started with Parfum Sacre when I discovered the Carons, too.
    I liked it then, but now I seldom reach for it. I find the peppery aspect a bit too over the top sometimes, I think. I have discovered quite a bit on my journey- for instance, I'm a chypre lover. (Ten years ago I had no idea what a chypre even was, let alone how to pronounce it!) I also have a realll big soft spot for dark or doctored-up rose scents although I never wear a rose soliflore scent. This ride is fun, isn't it?!
    Oh and what do you think of Chanel No. 22, btw? I look forward to reading more of your sniffings!
  3. telecaster's Avatar
    Enjoyed reading all your blogs! Delightful! I certainly fall into that category of "Perfume Dork". Sometimes I feel like there are so many perfumes, so little time, and much still to learn. I may need to take a more organized approach. Currently, I tend to try,test,sample which ever way the wind is blowing. I need to enjoy the journey!! I guess that's half the fun isn't it?! I too recently discovered The Perfumed Court and plan to try more of the decant route. Love the way you write... personal, sincere, genuine!! Draws the reader in!! I suppose it answers my question about how you got into perfumes. I find it interesting how fragrance can evoke vivid, past memories! I'm not sure I have the courage to blog yet! I too look forward to reading more about your passion for fragrance!


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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000