Why do we love perfumes?
Why do we love perfume/fragrance? the answer is it brings some beautiful smell that obviously changes mode and heels our heart from inside. Everyone loves fragrance and perfume and we always keep a good collection of them.
Even the most brute with tough hides have their hearts melted at one sniff of a lovely scent such as Mitsouko. Scents have a magical quality. They transport us to a different place and time. They get etched into our memories as pockets of most cherished events. Different smells bring different memories.
To someone, the sweet smell of caramelized onions might bring memories of their mother’s (or father’s) kitchen. The noble smell of tuberose might be reminiscent of a garden in a house you lived in years ago, or the all-encompassing smell of passion rose a memory of a lovely date which despite your efforts didn’t lead anywhere. Scents tend to bring our most treasured memories, filling a sense of joy in life. We capture these fleeting memories through the sense of smell.
Then, a great perfume has certain subjectivity about it. Everyone appreciates it for personal reasons. I adore my Habit rouge not because it is well blended or that it (sort of) stood the test of times, but because the whiffs I get throughout the day never fail to put a smile on my face.
Perfume is a great hobby. Not only it is one of the most accessible ones, but it also provides many ways to explore and appreciate the world in your unique way. Like any other great hobby, it lets you understand various nuances of the world. It also helps you to understand yourself.
Ever been in a situation when your nose just can’t like something which everyone adores? If I was not exposed to the world of perfumes, I would have meekly tried to convince myself that I should like the damn thing. But as you spend more time, you get more independent and fearless in your thought. While deservedly so, a whole lot of people might love GIT, I might not have the same degree of appreciation. It has a lovely green smell that brings joy to the great outdoors, but not something I enjoy in my own person.
This hobby is subjective and independent. Everyone can find their own island which they can appreciate in their own way. Then, over years, we have many forums, the likes of Parfumo, through which we all can discuss our favorite perfumes. The more we discuss, the more we learn. Apart from the esteemed critics, people you know, on and off the internet, are your truest compasses to navigate this world.
Biggest of all, there is a missing piece that we have – a poetic expression. Perfumes let us explore our inner Frost, Rilke, Ghalib, or the likes. Through this world of perfumes, we learn to express ourselves and sharpen our poetic senses, and, in a way, become sophisticated. That, to me, is one of the ultimate pleasures in life.
When you can appreciate finer elements even in the most ignored things. When you have developed a more sophisticated lens to perceive the world. When you can rely on your senses and knowledge alone. When you can find tremendous joy in the novel smell of a lemon peel. I love it!
Must do for every perfume lover (not really though)!
– Read Perfume the guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. I honestly believe, although lacking any motivation to track the origin, that all perfume critiques started from this guide. Not only it’s highly informative, but also excessively funny. Luca is a scientist and you can see nuances in his commentary, which never cease to be hilarious. And, Tania is gracefully independent, witty yet relatable.
– Set a perfume budget for yourself. Don’t blow your entire monthly allowance on buying the latest and greatest. I have done it in the past. While people might make you believe, you can’t eat perfumes and you absolutely shouldn’t!
– Trust the nose! Know how a great perfumer can make a wonderful fragrance out of measly ingredients, and a bad one can not even make a decent perfume out of pure oud and rose oils (some of the most expensive oils).
– Know the perfumer. It’s easy to get super geeky about this kind of stuff. Slowly but surely, you would start to see a perfumer’s style, which helps in navigation e.g. Giacobetti masters in composing fruit scents, and such, and some of those will make absolutely stunning air fresheners. Nobody does loud florals like Roucel and airy structures like Ellena. The list goes on!
– Trust your nose! While perfumes might smell differently depending on your skin chemistry, and weather conditions, you simply might have a different preference.
– Don’t (always) chase longevity! Most trained perfumers understand how perfumes are used, and they compose perfumes so that they can last when worn.
– Don’t be overly attached to a discontinued perfume. Want a replacement? Go to Michael Edwards; he does it for living.
– Know the industry! Reformulations for many many reasons happen and are not always as bad as popularized. Do some research and you should be fine.
– Don’t overthink. What if you don’t like something which everybody seems to be raving about. Well, it is possible. Not every perfume is Mitsouko (or Dior Homme, if you like)!
– Wear what you like. Like any other industry, perfumes are marketed in a certain way to maximize profits. So, despite what marketing or overtly gender-targeted bottle is telling you, it’s entirely possible that that fragrance can be worn by any gender.
– Don’t equate price label to quality. Expensive is not always good, and cheap is not always bad. Since there are huge markups on perfumes, chances are that a 60-dollar bottle has the same (at times, better when it’s Chanel or Guerlain) quality ingredients than those in that precious 200-dollar bottle.
– Last, not least, have fun!
What makes you love perfumes? comment below and share your love, and passion for the best perfume.