There can be little doubt that, for the most part, mainstream perfume consumerism succeeds mainly because of its capacity to fan the flames of our desires to be other than we are. Whether we want to be sexier, more confident, successful, or mysterious, the designer perfume houses know how to push our buttons. For me, […]Read More QUICK SNIFF: The adult practice of playing perfume dress-up
“What do you think of this?” I ask hopefully, as I place my perfume-scented wrist near my friend’s face. When her nose wrinkles and she pulls away, I hear a scale descending into a minor chord. I am disappointed. “What IS that?” she asks, and, as all hope that she will share my pleasure is […]Read More Respecting the perfume tastes of others: Is tolerance really the best we can do?
Though Fancy Nights is a darling of the fragcom, I don’t just dislike it, I find it deeply distasteful. Since there’s nothing in particular about the relationship of notes that should make me react so negatively, it has occurred to me that part of my negativity may be rooted in snobbish bias. I mean, not […]Read More QUICK SNIFF: A bias against cheapies?
As a doorway into the complex nature of beauty and attraction, you couldn’t do much better than experience complex perfumes. Though many of them are merely pretty, or even achingly pretty, those that lodge in our consciousness, that call us back for another sniff (and then another and another) often aren’t “pretty” at all. In […]Read More Beyond the binary: The ugly-beautiful dance of complex perfumes
“Eighty percent of love is smell” — Tom Robbins It’s pretty common (isn’t it?) to think of our olfactory sense as somehow baser and more animalistic than, say, vision. Maybe partly because we are so close to snuffling animal familiars — dogs who seem driven and guided more by snout than eyes — we think […]Read More QUCK SNIFF: Is perfume really just an animal thing?
When I first fell into the perfume rabbit hole, I limited myself to the artier, more intellectualized side of Fumetown, at sites such as Bois de Jasmin, Kafkaesque, Persolaise, Now Smell This, The Non-Blonde, and Grain de Musc. While these sites certainly do often address factors such as price and “performance,” these are usually secondary […]Read More Beast-mode performers: Masculinity and the bro perfume community
It seems to me that most serious perfume-heads reject the notion of a signature scent because we are drawn to such a wide array of perfumes. Though I am in this category, sometimes I entertain the fantasy of finding a single scent that feels “like me.” I think this is partly a reflection of my […]Read More Quick Sniff: Signature scent? No way! But…..