Thursday, September 15, 2011

Some of my thoughts for the freshly anointed (a.k.a budding perfumistas)

There's been a lot of posts written about advice for budding perfumistas, so this is not advice, these are the things I learned in the process of becoming one. :)

1. Once you start calling yourself a perfumista (perfume lover, perfume geek, however you want to call yourself), IT'S FOR LIFE. There is just no way you are going to go back to that time in the past when your nose could distinguish only the most common things. And dismiss them in the next instant.

2. However do you start, ordering an army of samples and getting lost in their perfumed sillage or taking time with one by one, it will still take a couple of years of constant smelling for your nose to learn enough so you can finally smell and name the nuances.
Take your time, the journey is lovely and fragrant.

3. After learning this works for me, I actually read it on one of the perfume blogs as proven fact. Nowadays, when I smell anything, I breathe in several quick breaths instead of one long one. Pretty much like a dog sniffing out something. :) Works much better.

4. Once the fragrant world opens its doors and lets you in, you will be joyfully smelling everything in your path as you probably won't be familiar with the smell of so many things you live surrounded with. And you will start cataloguing them in your mind.

5. Your sense of smell will improve and you'll be able to detect whiffs of things people around you won't be able to smell.

6. Don't got for naturals if you haven't had previous experience with essential oils and are unfamiliar with the way they smell. Naturals are a perfume category for itself.

7. Pretty much the same goes for vintage. It takes time to understand and like perfumes from days past. But you will. :)

8. The perfume community is full of the most lovely people you are ever going to virtually meet (and some of them you might actually meet in real life). Finding beauty in such an ethereal thing like perfume is not something many people actually appreciate and my thoughts run in the vein of perfume people being positive and optimistic to find and actively search for beauty in those little wispy whiffs.

9. Frustration with mainstream will abound. But sometimes, a gem will be found among those shelves of synthetic fruity-florals (or whatever the current vogue).

10. At one point, you will be sure samples procreate and have children of their own. Beacuse they will take over every free space you have (and those that aren't free, too).

11. Don't worry if at one point you lose all enthusiasm for smelling and you feel you'll never get it back. It happens. It also never lasts long. :)

12. Thanks to Undina who reminded me - NEVER SAY NEVER. :) You might think you don't like a perfume family or a single note, but it's just a question of discovering the right perfume that will open the door into the previously forbidden smelly teritorry (you just wait and see). :)


P.S. I plan on updating the list when something new occurs to me.

24 comments:

  1. No more black background? :)
    Love your list, especially no 10 with procreation. :)

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  2. Ines, a lovely post, and how true! Thanks for pointing out all the positives in this wonderful 'hobby' of ours.

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  3. This oh so newbie thanks you for a great post. I hadn't yet found the sniffing advice.
    Samples do procreate -- when I started a spreadsheet recently I was astonished to find how many samples were already in my possession, especially some pre-reformulation goodies. I didn't remember having more than a few. See what happens when you allow them to hang out in a dark drawer!

    -- Lindaloo

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  4. Ines, so true! I'd add something about proving to yourself eventually that there are not that many notes/scents that fit under the blanket statement: "I do not like/can't ever wear ".

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  5. Thanks Ankica. I'm pretty sure the children of my samples already have children of their own. ;)

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  6. Thank you MIchael!
    It's not difficult to point out the positives, they really are many in the perfume world. :)

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  7. Thank you very much Bloody Frida! :)
    It was fun writing this.

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  8. Love that post! You are in for life - so true!

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  9. Lindaloo, lol.
    Anyone enetering the perfume world, sooner or later (usually sooner) ends up thinking how in the world did the samples accumulate to such an amount?!
    And then goes out for more. :)

    I only remember post from NST on the newbies:

    http://www.nstperfume.com/2008/05/29/things-i-wish-id-known-as-a-newbie-perfumista-part-1/

    http://www.nstperfume.com/2008/06/09/things-i-wish-id-known-as-a-newbie-perfumista-part-2/

    There are many interesting articles in the general part of their site. :)

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  10. Undina, you're absolutely right. :)
    I can't believe I forgot that! I'll add it to the list. Thank you!

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  11. Thanks Olfactoria!
    I think this is the only thing I know that when I hear for life, doesn't scare me to run the other way. :)

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  12. Excellent post! I've noticed that the constant-commenters -- those who don't start blogs of their own -- tend to "turn over" every couple of years, so there are always newbies needing guidance. I certainly appreciate all the education and general loveliness I received from the veterans when I started.

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  13. I agree, this is a great list. And thanks for the links to NST posts on the topic as well. I still consider myself a newbie, so I take all the advice I can get.

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  14. Thank you Olfacta! :)
    I must say, I felt very welcome when I entered the perfume wolrd and the feeling seems to propagate (which is a really lovely thing to be part of).

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  15. anotherperfumeblog, NST has a lot to answer for when it comes to my fall down the perfume rabbit hole. :) They are the ones where it all started from. One day I stumbled upon them, and the rest is history. :)

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  16. Fun post - and very true! NST seems to have been the starting point for so many of us!..:)

    With regard to naturals - you are right, I think - I bought essential oils and absolutes very early in my 'geek days' (to try blending) so I was able to appreciate them early on..

    And that 'never say never' line is sooo true (for me that note is probably leather. I am all over it these days)

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  17. Thank you Lavanya. :)
    I actually dabbled with essential oils long before my perfume obsession, because I was trying to improve my body lotions, creams, etc. So I learned to like the way they smell long before.
    My never say never note was rose. Now I adore it. :)

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  18. Very true observations, though three years on from contracting sudden onset perfume mania, I am still waiting for my nose to become more discerning.

    I have largely tuned out to vintage and naturals, it must be said. Am struggling with the plethora of regular stuff!

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  19. Vanessa, I'd say I'm into this for the last 5 years almost (some 2 years before I started blogging) and I still struggle smelling/recognizing some of the notes without the list of notes. I'm learning my way through. And having a lot of fun! :)

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  20. What a wonderful list of nuggets of wisdom and advice for those new to the world of fragrance!

    Sharing with the world!

    ~Michelle for Primal Mist Perfumes

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  21. Wonderful post. I especially love "never say never". I've slowly grown to like so many notes that I used to hate. Someday I might even learn to love Oud. Maybe. It could happen.

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  22. Thank you ChickenFreak. :)
    I've learned that never say never works in every day life too. Now I'm very careful of what I say.

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