We have heard others say far too often that choosing a perfume only relates to our own taste, as it lies outside of external situations and landscapes, and of other people’s judgement.
Do you agree? How do you choose a perfume? Have you ever thought about this?
Based on my own experience I will try to tell you very simply what my point of view is on the choice of a perfume.
It is important to keep in mind that when we describe a scent we also borrow adjectives that involve our other senses: taste, hearing, touch.
This means the language of olfaction is made of matter, shape, colours, emotional states and memories.
If you think of it, an aroma can be soft, heavy, dark, savoury and at the same time bodily, bright, sweet.
Perfume is a combination of notes that can be heard just like a song or a familiar voice coming from a distance.
Therefore, just as in a symphony, the essence needs to be balanced, always in tune, pleasant and never too loud, as it could bother our neighbour downstairs, or our colleague in the office.
Choosing one scent over another is a form of respect towards who shares a space with us, and who did not take part in the choice.
Olfactory selfishness is a form of freedom we can express only when we decide to share spaces with someone we are intimate with, or when we want to start a secret dialogue with our skin and pamper it with our favourite perfumes, even the strongest, complicated and bold ones, without risking to violently invade other people’s spaces and end up being unpleasant.
Persistence is one of the technical aspects we need to evaluate in order to choose what to wear during the day, but it is not the most important one, it is not a necessary requirement for our chosen scent.
We cannot expect formulas containing a good percentage of natural and precious raw materials to last forever.
It is clear that any perfume that only lasts a few seconds has a flaw, but we always need to analyse its content, materials, concentration and the type of construct.
Let us not forget that there is poetry hidden even in an eau de cologne, which has come back into fashion recently.
The risk is also that of missing out on the beauty of a gesture: spraying and reviving one’s perfume during the day, maybe having looked in our handbag or work bag, is a very sensual gesture.
In order for this very significant gesture for perfumery to gain value again and be present throughout our day, I suggest you choose miniature sizes, which are handy and easy to carry.
Applying and dabbing a drop of scented oil with the tips of our fingers, I think of Musk by Alyssa Ashley (satin dry oil made to perfume the body), is a true love call, a feather that gently touches our skin.
Company has never been as necessary for us as in this period to keep us from being sad: nowadays, with our phones, we can feel company from a distance and it has its own dignity, but with the restrictions linked to Covid-19 we need to deal with the annoyance of solitude; and perfume, living as a guest on our skin, is our ally.
Does the choice imply spending time with a fragrance? My answer is yes!
It is a warm presence that listens to the most hidden parts of us, it’s a support, the invisible figure we can call when in need.
Do not be afraid of the most intimate and delicate trails of scent, even silence can comfort us, they are the “reset button” for the nose, which is unfortunately too often exposed, as it is right in the middle of our faces, to strong and invasive smells.
If you would like to find out more about a new scent and understand whether it would get on well with the other perfumes on your shelves, I suggest you spray it on your skin, to get to know it a little better, but also on a paper tester strip, the mouillette, also known as touche.
In order not to risk missing out on any phase of its evolution, remember to write down what time you start the test and to write what happens as the notes start to combine.
You needn't be in a hurry, perfume needs to be sipped calmly, you cannot judge a film without having seen the ending.
This is my assignment for you all, give a scent the time: the head notes will switch the stage lights on, you will learn to know it through its heart notes and it will tell you its story with all its base notes.
Do you want to find out which olfactory family makes for you?