Finding those perfumes that really match is not easy. The market offers an abundance that is over-whelming even to the most passionate and curious perfumista. But it is worth it, and once you learn how to navigate and recognize the patterns in your preferences it is not as complicated as it looks. For myself, I choose to ask for guidance so that I can find perfumes that I have not discovered where notes that I like have been used. I ask for stories about them and I ask for help to discover new brands. I don't look for someone to help me choose my perfume as I have trained myself now to translate thoughts and aspects of my character to notes and types of perfumes. If you feel unsure about such things, talk to someone who is skilled and really takes the time to help you find a perfume for the creative you or the you that wants something comforting or uplifting or mischievous or escapist. For a true perfume expert these are not strange questions. Choose the right advisor.
I am sure you have been in the situation where you just love a perfume that someone is wearing, you go buy it... and... anticlimax. It doesn't feel like you thought it would, it is not as amazing on you. You wonder if your mind and memory played tricks on you. This is not unusual. But it is a great reminder of two things - perfume is like a relationship - it is not about you and not about the other - it is about happens in between, in the space that is the together.
Perfume sensations are created in the meeting between a formula and a person's skin. And every person's skin is different. There is nothing objective about perfume. The other thing is - do not make hasty decisions. It does not matter how skilled you are, you just do not know what a perfume that is composed with top, heart and base will smell like in an hour of five on you. No one knows. The super-charming person who sells it to you doesn't know even if she or he is an expert and amazing. Take your time. Get a sample if you can. Get ten samples of ten perfumes with sandalwood if that is what you are looking for. Take your time. Apply the perfume, take a coffee and come back in an hour. And don't be disappointed if your friend's magic potion smells boring on you. Or different. Be curious. You'll find your magic potion, maybe there is just some little detail that needs to be different for you. Try to detect what the difference is - does it smell sweeter in him/her? Does it smell more flowery on you? Try to remember the difference and ask an expert.
|Skin, painted by Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema|
He introduces me to Serge Lutens' Ambre Sultan, and I am amazed because this - is the darker version of Ambre Narguilé that I have been wishing for.
|Tillya Kori Madrash, Samarkand|
I meet my friend for coffee again, he is wearing the darkest most intriguing strange thing thats smells like a love affair on the way to Samarcand and words that cannot be spoken. "What are you wearing?", I say. He answers, "You have it, Ambre Narguilé". It is a mystery to me where the carnal alluring notes disappear when I wear it. Same perfume. Completely different experiences. On me it is Christmas dessert and the Nutcracker, on him a secret night in Venice, a 19th century emerald shining from a décolletage at the opera. Forbidden. "Warn me?"
I have more examples, oh so many more. Of perfumes that surprise and confuse and alter as they evolve on one person's skin or another's. Of the infinite mysteries that create a love affair between the nose and the mind. This is one of the many reasons why perfumes fascinate me.
Come, let's dance!