Tuesday, October 26, 2010

A bit of scent

A perfume post! When was the last time? I just searched this blog, and the answer is "no results." Did I not use the word "perfume"? Using the word "scent", I find a lot of results, 10 pages of them, but the answer to "when is the last time I wrote about scent (or perfume)" is "I do not know."

It's not as if I haven't been wearing scents, or smelling things. My apartment smelled like pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg for most of the day, and it was heavenly. While I was baking muffins, I didn't smell a thing, but when someone came in to do some work in the apartment, I had just removed the muffin tray from the oven, and he said, "It smells fantastic in here!" For that, he got a muffin, and I walked outside so I could walk back in again, and appreciate just how good those muffins smelled. I may like the scent I'm wearing, but the smell of baked goods has it beat.*

Today I'm wearing Serge Lutens' Chypre Rouge. I've written about this scent at least four times, including how I came to own a lovely little bottle of this stuff I couldn't possibly afford to buy, why I chose to wear it while duck was cooking, and my waffling about whether I loved it or loathed it (the scent, not the duck).

I have come to feel stupid about scent. I used to have a keen nose, and could tell you what some elusive note was without a thought. I could smell a scent once and remember it. When I lived in the city (not the last time), I could most times identify what scent any person was wearing, though these days that would be considerably harder to do, given the sheer variety.

I have no idea what point I came here to make. Maybe all I wanted to convey is that I still love scent. My obsession seems to have abated, and I no longer spend hours reading perfume blogs each day, nor do I trade samples, though I sometimes feel the urge. Then again, even though I've got a long list on MUA, no one has contacted me about a trade, so perhaps there's a general lessening of interest in the culture. Any perfumista reading this, tell me, is that true, or is it, as they say, just me?

There are some (not) new scents I'm quite curious about. I did find myself looking at L'artisan's website last week, and realizing I still have not sniffed Havana Vanille, which was released in 2009. A 2008 release, Nasomatto's China White, has remained a mystery, for no one sells samples of it, and not one person has it listed for trade. These are but two, and there's at least a year of new releases I am utterly unaware of.

I did count my samples before I moved six months ago, and I was up to over 250 before I gave up counting. Amongst these, I haven't a clue how many I have not worn, but only held up to my nose to assess. I'm nervous about application; I wore some Chergui a few weeks ago, a scent which I declared was my "new lover" on June 17, 2008. So much for old loves. I developed a headache, nausea, and couldn't scrub enough. I wasn't that I didn't like the smell (well, theoretically); it made me sick. I had to take a long walk outside after my futile scrubbing. Afterwards, I felt a bit sad. I was concerned my love of scent was truly over and done with.

It appears not. I'm loving the way I smell right now. Don't ask me to describe it, though. I can do that no longer.

Image note: Juan Sanchez Cotan "Still Life with Game Fowl, Vegetables, and Fruit" 1602

*However, I do not want to wear the smell of baked goods or any other edibles (save mushrooms, perhaps). There's a plethora of perfumes, plug-ins, candles, shampoo, and just about anything one can stick a scent into that smell of chocolate, pumpkin, cinnamon, cakes, even donuts, and, well, I just find them oh so cloying. I'm going to sound like an old curmudgeon, but I want my food to smell like food and my perfume to smell like perfume. Yes, I've made chocolate soap, but it was a disaster, and someone tried to eat one that was in the shape of star. It didn't help that I had wrapped them with colored cellophane like the edible bonbons they should have been.

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