Monday Question – Are You A Perfume Missionary?

Are you a zealot when it comes to converting others to perfumedom?

Do you like to inspire others to wear certain scents?

Do you love to go shopping for perfume with others?

Do like to spread your love (and knowledge) of perfume among the uninitiated?

My Answer:

To put it shortly: No, I am not.

I am delighted if I find out about a friend being into perfume too, and I love nothing more than a good chat about perfume, but I don’t talk about it to others who are not into it. At all. I do not try to convert anybody, I do not even make a single suggestion, but I love to give advice if asked.

I don’t know why I am not only not spreading the word, I am positively secretive about it. Probably because people often perceive perfume as being superficial or insubstantive, which couldn’t be further from the truth, as we all know. I suspect there is not just a little bit of snobbism in my being mute about perfume in my everyday life. Part of me thinks, if you don’t know about it, it is your own fault and in ignorance thou shalt remain. 🙂

No so nice of me. It is part self-protection (“I don’t want to be seen as superficial.”) and part snobbery (“You have no idea, so I look down on you!”).

But I guess I am putting out the word after all, since I am writing a blog! 😉

What about you? Are you on a mission or more into the esoteric idea of perfumista-dom?

Picture source.

About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
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27 Responses to Monday Question – Are You A Perfume Missionary?

  1. bloody frida says:

    Oh I talk about scent all the time-esp when folks think I smell good – I always say though “I’m a little obsessed…!”


  2. deeHowe says:

    You are too hard on yourself! I can’t picture you as being snobby about anything; now, people’s perceptions of your perfume love might be a different thing 🙂

    I’m a total missionary, but I always have been, so far as smells are concerned. When I first found Now Smell This, I instantly loved the title of the blog, because it’s a combination of words often formed on my lips. “Smell this.” then, “Now smell THIS!” So it only seems natural that my obsession with making people smell all the things I smell would bleed over into perfumedom.

    My best friend was visiting us last weekend, and I gave her a tour of the perfume cabinet. Before she left, she thanked me for the “lesson,” which I thought was funny, but she was sincere. It may have had something to do with the 10mL atomizer freshly decanted for her, thrust safely into a pocket 🙂

    My husband and I have a best male friend, and he sent me an email the other day, asking for the name of a perfume that I sprayed on him once. I asked, “are you going to buy it?!” and he said, and I quote:
    “someday… mostly i am starting a list of things i like and or want to check out.”

    If that’s not the beginning, I don’t know what is!

    Love this week’s question B!
    xoxox 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      I would love to get a tour and a lesson through your perfume cabinet, your friend is lucky!
      Your enthusiasm is so infectious, I can just imagine you engendering budding perfumistas left and right. Maybe I have been rebuffed so many times, I just have given up. But that is what my lovely online-community friends are for – to share the love! 🙂

      • deeHowe says:

        Infectious is a good word—infectious and chronic 🙂

        LOL, I’d love to give you a tour! My poor friend got sprayed with no less than three perfumes (I applied EXTREME restraint) on top of the one she was already wearing. Because you have to demonstrate, no?

        I suspected that it was having been rebuffed, and not genuine snobbery. We’re here for you, and we share your love!

        • Olfactoria says:

          I know you are, my friend! One day, I’ll come back to that offer of a tour! 😉
          And meanwhile I am waiting with bated breath alongside Tara, for your Youtube debut!

    • Tara says:

      Dee, I want a tour of your perfume cabinet too! Please post one on You Tube right away 🙂 Katie Puckrik’s Fragrance Collection videos are fantastic don’t you think?

  3. Ines says:

    It seems my answers are no to each of your questions. 🙂
    I love it how you said you look down upon unitiated people. I sometimes do the same, especially with people only ever trying and buying regular store perfumes. (I’m awfully snobbish that way, I know)
    Also, I noticed some other people looking down on me because I spend so much money on such unimportant things as perfumes which basically means I’m throwing money away. It was never said in so many words but was hinted at.
    I don’t care, if it makes me happy, it’s worth it (and besides, I noticed those people who look down upon me aren’t as happy as I am). 🙂

  4. Tara says:

    Great question as usual. I do feel very sheepish about telling most people about my perfumania, just because I think they just won’t “get it” and think I’m odd – possibly rightly! With my few closest friends however I do love suggesting perfumes they may like – I’m having dinner with a friend this week and taking a sample of Ofresia because I think she’ll like it. I’ll also often buy my mother and sister perfumes I think they’ll like. I see myself as more of a match-maker than a missionary! I do think people will find their own way down the rabbit-hole if they’re meant to 🙂

  5. lady jane grey says:

    Oh yes, definitely a missionary ! And I think a good one : last week a member of my flock bougth a bottle of Tom Ford’s private collection (Tobacco Vanille), the other one splashed a fortune for LeLabo’s Poivre at Liberty… As you can see, there is no bank account safe anymore after I spread my religion !

  6. Alice C says:

    My husband and daughter tolerate my mania (I am a relative newbie in perfumeland- -less than 6 months hooked). I think my son (almost 14 yo) enjoys it! He has definite opinions on the fragrances I thrust under his nose upon my wrist. He also claims most of the men’s fragrance samples which come my way. He even asked for cologne for Christmas. I recently (in January) began daily Facebook status updates which detail a SoTD. Several friends comment regularly.

    • deeHowe says:

      Alice, that’s so cool that your son is involved! Having the online community is really a lifesaver, but having a person in your house that’s supportive is sure nice 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is lovely about your son taking to perfume as well. It must be great to share your passion!
      I follow your Facebook missives daily, I really like your succinct descriptions. 🙂

  7. Tarleisio says:

    One questionable aspect of growing older is that I don’t care three fig perfumes worth about other people’s opinions, so…I’m not so much a missionary as an all-out zealot..:( And I’m not shy about saying so, either. This applies equally well to any other of my, ahem, passions and predilections. “Oh, you poor thing, you mean you don’t know? Let me tell you.., and off I go, tilting at windmills or just on Crusade…Dona Quixota or Joan of Arc, I’m not sure which!

    I can always blame it on my Aries moon…;)

    My sister, no slouch in any department store scent department, went to Paris a while back, so of course I sent her to L’Artisan, and Malle, and even the Palais Royal. She said it took her weeks to recover, and I believe her. Since then, I’ve gone quieter. That was cruel. If all you know is designer stuff and Big Sis sends you to Lutens and your nose and your brain explodes, that’s not always a good thing.

    On the other hand, if the end justifies the means, then…who cares what it is so long as it’s fabulous, right? Only the “noses” know or need to!

    I might be a raging snob. But I keep fabulous – and fabulously scented! – company! 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      Your attitude is excellent. Alas, I am still far from not caring about others opinions (albeit it is getting better the older I get). I am delighted to keep your fabulous and snobbish company, dear T! 😉

  8. iodine says:

    How lovely and conforting to find oneself among … soulmates! I do experience feelings similar to the ones expressed above when I speak about my passion for perfumes to people…
    To answer your question, I tend to be kind of an obsessed priestess with the people I love, trying to convinced them to explore themselves through fragrances!
    I’ve had a certain success with my girlfriend (who often told me she had been seduced also by… my scents!): she didn’t care much about perfumes, before, now she has become very refined and has great taste in finding fragrances that suits her (her first perfume purchase ever was.. Malle’s French Lover!!).
    Then I love to talk about perfumes and organize little sniff parties (on the couch after dinner, with my personal collection…still quite small!, or in shops that allow you a certain freedom of movement) with close friends who show interest towards my scent and expressly ask for it.
    I don’t have any interest in converting people who think that the sticky and nauseating vanilla that everybody seems to wear it’s the best fragrance ever smelled! I’m quite a snob, too, happy to be in such scented company!

    • Olfactoria says:

      A scent party, I love that idea, that must be wonderful!
      You are so right, Iodine, the perfume community is made up of soulmates, it is great to be a part of it! 🙂
      Thank you for your lovely comment!

  9. vanessa says:

    I am positively evangelical in my approach to spreading the fragrant gospel, and my missionary zeal has paid off in spades: I have found signature scents for half a dozen people, one of them a complete stranger on Twitter, to whom I fed perfume tips in Tweet-sized chunks!, while my brother and several other friends are now full-on, born again perfumistas, with a Luckyscent habit to be proud of. : – )

    That said, I only attempt to convert those who have opened the door wide to me as scent-seeking souls ripe for plucking, and am careful to monitor my conversation and emails to non-fumehead friends.

  10. My answer to all of them: No.
    Most people, even close friends, don’t know that I am perfume obsessed. Of course, my perfume friends and readers of my blog know (family and friends don’t know about my blog). I look at as this is my thing and it isn’t for everyone. I don’t want to hear about their obsession with the newest reality TV show or their biotech research. I have friends that are snobs too: olive oil snobs, gin snobs, even salt snobs. We may talk about those things but only when asked. We give recommendations. I may ask “what is the best American extra virgin for under $20” and they may ask me “what is a perfume like Prescriptives Calyx”. But, I never volunteer this information. That’s bad social skills and shows my inability to have appropriate perspective taking.

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