At the beginning of our journey through Perfumeland most of us will encounter a number of small milestones which make us feel more and more like a member of this secret scented society. Here are some of mine which I equate to my “Perfumista rites of passage”. You may relate…
My First Perfume Blog
I was searching online for carnation perfumes when I landed on my very first perfume blog: Now Smell This. I was pretty much hooked from that moment on, but it took a couple of years of lurking before I felt confident enough to comment. This turned out to be a life-changing moment because I went on to comment on other blogs and connect with lots of lovely perfume people.
My First Sample Purchase
I vividly remember the overwhelming excitement I felt on receiving my first sample purchase through the post. I pounced on that Les Senteurs package like a cat on a mouse.
Out of interest, I looked up my first couple of orders from The Perfumed Court. These included lots of Guerlains (Habit Rouge, Jicky, Apres L’Ondee, Shalimar, Mitsouko and L’Heure Bleue) and several “masterpieces” according to Perfumes: The A-Z Guide by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez (Badgley Mischka, Diorella, Cuir de Russie, Missoni and Dzing!).
My First Scrubber
My first scrubber was Garofano by Lorenzo Villoresi which, on me, reeked of musty carnations that had been left to decay in stagnant water for several weeks. As I took to the sink to erase all traces with soap and water, there was at least the satisfaction that I now knew exactly what it was like to encounter a scrubber.
My First Swap
The cost of purchasing samples soon built up, so it made sense to swap away my unwanted vials. I did this through Make-up Alley where I “met” the lovely Vanessa of Bonkers About Perfume for the first time and – more informally – by appealing for swappers in the UK on a blog, to great success. I found Frederice Malle’s Une Rose, Hermessence Osmanthe Yunnan and Ormonde Jayne’s Champaca like this but it was also a helpful way to eliminate perfumes I didn’t like without expense.
My First Unsniffed Purchase
Unsniffed purchases are particularly tempting in the early days and luckily mine worked out quite well. The first was Ca Sent Beau by Kenzo, followed by Caron’s Bellodgia and Lancôme’s Cuir. The last one turned out to be an all-time favourite. I think it’s no bad thing if several years down the road, we can still get so excited about something we have never tried that we are prepared to take the gamble. (I currently have my eye on the Dita Von Teese 20ml EDP).
Moving Past “The Guide”
“Perfumes: The A-Z Guide” by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez is a wonderful read and a useful resource, but I did tend to rely too much on it in the beginning. There came a point however, when I realized that my taste and opinions didn’t always concur with theirs and this was not necessarily a bad thing. I was no longer put off trying something, just because they criticized it, or wonder why I didn’t like something they thought was wonderful. I prefer Equistrius by Parfums d’Empire to Chanel’s No.18 and that’s just fine.
Are there any 5 star perfumes from “The Guide” that you can’t stand, or poorly rated ones that you think are great?
Please share your own rites of passage and add any I have missed.