This blog has become a lonesome place mainly because I wasn’t happy with the quality of my writing. I also felt like a fraud writing about perfume as I wasn’t an expert and couldn’t tell my jasmine from my freesia.
Very recently I went to a workshop given by one of the founders of The Perfume Society, Jo Fairley. It was called ‘Improve your sense of smell’ and boy was it interesting. Jo said that smell is our ‘Cinderella’ sense, and we don’t respect it, and the only way to improve it was to smell things regularly and write about the experience. It’s a different approach, rather than getting hung up on the precision of the ingredients, instead to consider what we feel and remember when smelling the scent. A perfume may make you think of a place, a person, a piece of music or a type of fabric and these impressions are your own personal take on the fragrance itself.
The Perfume Society produce regular boxes of samples which are available to both subscribers and non-subscribers. They generally consist of 8 or so official samples (usually the small atomizer ones rather than the dippy stick ), a book of blotters to test the perfume on and a bonus other item such as a hand cream or nail varnish. The boxes usually mix the normal designer perfumes and more niche perfumeries. Why would I pay for samples rather than walk around a department store and spray or look hangdog until they had out a sample? Well, I certainly don’t have the skills at getting samples from department stores counters (Is there a secret handshake? Did I miss a memo?) and for me testing a fragrance in a perfume hall is akin to to trying to listen to radio at a rock concert. Of course I could be very clever and spray onto a card, and have a pen so I can make a note of the perfume, but that’s way too organised.
So I’m re-purposing the blog to write down my impressions. In fact, I considered using twitter as by nature my descriptions are quite brief, but by the time I’ve written out the perfume house and the name of the fragrance I barely had space to write anything. There will be very few pictures on this blog as it’s mainly going to be written on my tablet while I sniff the pre-sprayed blotter/spill which has had at least a couple of hours to rest.