Shrinkage – How My Perfume Wearing Habits Change

As the dear regular reader knows, my perfume wearing habits have changed significantly over the past months. I grew from voraciously testing and wearing at least three perfumes a day to steadfastly depleting an entire bottle of one single perfume in a few weeks.

Talk about shrinkage…

george costanza shrinkage

In the past weeks, my habits have changed again.

You must know, from November onwards until the new year, I was literally unable to wear anything else, but my beloved Hermès L’Ambre des Merveilles.

And not only because L’Ambre was that good. I just couldn’t stand anything else. I got a headache at the mere thought of something heavier. I felt almost repulsed by the idea of a strong and powerful scent on me. God knows why, but perfume suddenly was something I needed to keep away from me. Fortunately the one, L’Ambre, was still wearable for me, but nothing else came close.

That was a worrying situation for sure. What about my collection, what about all the money I spent… was it all worthless to me now? Would I never again be able to appreciate the beauty of, say, a Guerlain, on my skin instead of just intellectually?

The situation went on for so long, that I thought my perfume obsession was lost for good.

Then slowly, I started to branch out again. I tried this and that, always in the tiniest dose and worked a few beloveds back into my rotation.

The great majority of my collection is still off limits, the prospect of a major headache is still looming when I only look at certain perfumes, but I’m able to wear a few more now.

In my rotation these days are: Jour d’Hermès, Chanel Bois des Iles, Jo Malone Blackberry&Bay, Roja Dove Unspoken extrait and surprisingly – Frédéric Malle Iris Poudre. These perfumes are not obviously only of one particular genre of scent (i.e. only very lightweight ones, or only florals…), so I’m not sure why these work, whereas other old favorites like Cuir de Lancome, Amouage Beloved, Guerlain Cuir Beluga or Malle’s Carnal Flower languish untouched in their boxes, despite the fact that I love them so much (alas, only in theory these days).

Have you ever experienced something similar? Did you ever feel bothered by perfume for such a long time?

What are your favorites at the moment?


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98 Responses to Shrinkage – How My Perfume Wearing Habits Change

  1. behemot says:

    Oh, I don’t really know what it means, but I am feeling the same way.. And one of few fragrances I am wearing now is..SURPRISE. , Hermes L’Ambre de Merveilles!!! And I purchased Blackberry and Bay online a few hours ago. Please, help me, because I don’t understand why these two fragrances are so tempting right now ..Are they so easy to wear and relaxing … Are we tired of being perfumistas..

    • Olfactoria says:

      It’s so good to hear that you are feeling the same way right now, behemot!
      Those two perfumes are so undemanding, maybe that is their appeal?
      We are not tired of being perfumistas forever, I think it is just a phase (I sincerely hope so at least!).

  2. Tatiana says:

    I’m going through a phase right now where I’m looking at my collection and thinking, “Ugh, why did I ever think I needed a bottle of THAT?” I’m trying to be careful in what I set aside to sell or give away so that I don’t have regrets down the road. Our weather has been down and up. Rainy and moderate, then clear and fairly cold for where I live with overnight lows of -3C and highs of 7C and now our overnight lows are 7C and our high today was 19C. It makes it hard to decide what scent to put on. I’ve also been feeling various life stresses and while not major, they do effect my moods and wants. While it was cold I thoroughly enjoyed L’Ambre des Merveilles and used up my last drop of vintage Opium extrait from the bottle my DH gave to me when we were just dating 24 years ago. Others in my current rotation are 31 Rue Cambon, Bottega Venetta, Equistrius and 28 La Pausa. I love Mitsouko but I can’t even bring myself to think about wearing it right now. And for all my love of Portrait of a Lady, I put it on the other day and almost gagged. Sigh. At least I own enough to find at least one scent I’ll like for the day.

  3. Jordan River says:

    It’s all part of the journey. Your nose knows what you need right now.

  4. Joanna says:

    I know just what you mean. I’ve had days where smelling a perfume that I had at one time loved would actually repulse me (this happened once with Daim Blond – it was too screetchy one morning, I can’t explain it – but I’m now back to loving it). Or there are a string of days when I don’t wear a single drop of perfume. I think we just all go through phases, as part of the ebb and flow of life. I’m now firmly in the loving-and-wearing-perfume phase, and loving in particular MFK Lumiere Noir Pour Femme – a dark, sexy patchouli rose. Can’t get enough of it! FM’s L’eau d’Hiver is also a cold weather staple for me; I never tire of it.

    • Olfactoria says:

      The back and forth I’ve had with Serge Lutens is legendary, his perfumes have a way of repulsing and attracting me in unpredictable ways, in fact that I never know how I fell about them is the only constant. 😉

      JCE’s L’Eau d’Hiver is simply put a perfect fragance.

      • Lila says:

        I can totally relate to this article. I am the SAME way with Serge! I fell hard for Louve and Tubereuse Criminelle but lately I can’t figure out for the life of me why I have them. Currently, I can’t get enough of Fleurs de Citronnier and Seville a L’Aube. I could pour the whole bottle of FdC on myself and still not get enough of it.

      • bookgirl01 says:

        You know, I think you’re onto something. I’ve swapped away nearly every SL bottle I’ve owned because I sort of fell out of love with them and was no longer able to appreciate them as I once had. I still have a bottle of Bois Vanille, which I can only ever wear on certain days when I’m not overwhelmed by its sweetness.

    • Annina (nina) says:

      MFK Lumiere is on the top of my fb wish list! My sample is almost gone… 😦

  5. Martha says:

    (My apologies if this is a duplicate; it looked like it didn’t take.)

    I was just grumbling about my usual solstice reaction. Every year, I have a shift in perfume tastes starting shortly after the solstice (it happens twice a year) and lasting several weeks. So far, my old tastes have always come back afterward, but this year is more extreme than ever before; I seem to like perhaps one out of twenty of my usual favorites. I just received a quite expensive bottle that I dithered over for a very long time before ordering…and I don’t like it. I _washed it off_. I’m sure I will like it again, but it’s dismaying that all I can do is admire the bottle and wait.

    • Olfactoria says:

      (The first comment was falsely marked as spam by the system sorry.)

      How interesting, that you can make a connection between solstice and your perfumes tastes. It is annoying to get something new and then being unable to wear it. May I be curious and ask which perfume it is?

      • Martha says:

        My theory is that my scent taste change is all about day length. A year or three ago, I burbled about an experiment on voles, of all things 🙂 that seemed related.

        It’s Carillon Pour un Ange. I loved it when I finished off my latest sample, blissful oh-my-oh-my-oh-my sniffing (though interestingly, I see in my own blog that it wasn’t love at first sniff), and today I actually disliked it. I trust that I will turn that around, but I’m not making any more long-debated purchases until the turnaround comes. (And I want Din Dan! Want! Want! Before they outlaw lemons! Must not buy.)

    • ginzaintherain says:

      …but three in one day was a little excessive, nicht wahr?

      I think even the number you have in rotation is quite high! Currently I am Eau Duelle on weekdays, and Vaniglia Del Madagascar and Tonka Imperiale ( sprayed on my coat) at weekends. This to me feels natural and normal. Come Spring, things will start to change….

  6. Lynley says:

    I have been going through the same thing too, that this summer I can’t wear what I absolutely loved last year. The temperatures now are about 35-40 degrees, and whilst last summer I could only wear cooling scents- the 1st three Hermes Jardins, Guerlain Vetiver, colognes, I suddenly feel now that they aren’t comforting enough, even though it’s so hot. I have an old back injury that’s playing up so I thought maybe it’s some kind of need for a sweet nurturing feel to surround me? But this summer it’s summer flowers and fruit: Ninfeo Mio’s fig, the orange blossom of APOM and Seville a L’Aube, tuberose in Fracas and MPG Tubereuse, Nuda’s jasmine, and lavender in A Taste of Heaven by Kilian. I’m also craving a fb of By Night, White, by Profumo del Forte. I was sent a small sample and adore it! But none of these I would even have contemplated wearing last year! I put on some Escale a Portofino the other day and it depressed me enough to wash it off! The only one from last year I can wear and still adore is Guerlain Cologne Du68, maybe as it has a sweetish drydown, but it’s certainly feeling neglected too!

    • Olfactoria says:

      It’s strange how our sense of smell seems to be so fickle. Taste in visual arts or in music does not nearly seem so unreliable Nd prone to change…

      I hope you find your “perfect for this summer” scents.

  7. Undina says:

    (Couldn’t help but laugh at the title and the visual :))

    I’m testing much less recently.Though it’s mostly not because of the fatigue (well, maybe a little) but because I started wearing more of my “special” perfumes – and by the end of the work day in the office I want to either enjoy what’s left from the scent or even re-apply it and wear for the rest of the evening. This way I enjoy my perfumes more. Though a couple of times I was questioning whether that was a perfume that caused a headache (and I’m not a headache-prone person!). I hope it wasn’t…

    • Olfactoria says:

      It’s good to hear you are wearing your “for special” perfumes every day. Essentially that is what I’m doing too and that is the good side of the story.

      George Costanza unveiled the truth about shrinkage to the world after all, I had to honour him in this post. 😉

  8. cookie queen says:

    I put it down down to hormones. Loving something one minute and gagging the next. And addictive obsessive compulsive disorders. I too have Carnal Flower stored in a cool place, until such times where I may have to turn to it again. There are times when we need peace in our lives, and frantically applying three perfumes a day (or more, as I have surely done/do and running around with noses stuck to various body parts, (not to mention burning nostrils) can be bloody exhausting. Winter is a more peaceful time for me. I find this overwhelming behaviour to be much more of a joy in the three remaining months. Which gives plenty of time to “perfume party”!! That is how I feel today. Ha ha. This winter? La Myrrhe mostly.

  9. ringthing says:

    The visual made me laugh, too. 🙂 Winter is my favorite season and I love my rich, dark perfumes but this year, nothing feels quite right. There’s much in my life that’s unavoidable and not pleasant at the moment; the same experiences we all face as we get older, with elderly family and everyone’s health. I’m reaching for simpler and soothing: Musc Samarkind, Passage d’Enfer, Kyoto. Pacifica Spanish Amber is pretty but fleeting and it smells good spritzed over any of these. If I’m feeling dressier, Bottega Veneta has become my standard. I feel the need for comfort but my standard comfort scents feel too heavy right now. I think we go through so many different stages in life and the gentler powers change with us – the music we listen to, foods we eat, perfume we wear. Different phases weave in and out. I have faith that my beloved Shalimar extrait will be just what I crave when this phase has passed.

  10. Sandra says:

    It is a phase. Roll with it! I have never been one to wear more than one perfume a day. I love reapplying in the afternoons and evenings. Now in the winter I have my guerlains in heavy rotation. Florals will start to interest me come March and April.

  11. poodle says:

    I agree with Cookie Queen and say it’s hormones too sometimes. Since I hit my 40’s I have more headaches, fatigue, you name it. I have perfumes I know I love and some days they just smell absolutely awful on me. A week later and they are wonderful. I try not to read too much into it. I just tuck them away until my mood/nose changes. I also think that our tastes change over time and things we used to like we may not anymore and vice versa. I’m sure we all have perfumes we hated at one point which we now love. For me, that’s No. 5. Likewise, there are perfumes I used to love that I just can’t stand anymore like Estée Lauder Beautiful. I think it’s all a natural phase and as long as I can find at least one scent to love at a time I am okay with it.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Very sensible thinking, poodle. As long as there is one to love, we’re good.

    • Cookie Queen says:

      It is definitely kind of hormonal or mood based. You know, if everything is going along just fine, and I smell fabulous, it only takes a moment of stress, and then I can´t stand whatever it is I am wearing. Sometimes it is only for a couple of minutes, but if it is for example, a difference of opinion with one of my teenagers (!!!!!!) then the scent can annoy me for as long as it takes to sort it out. Curious. Our perfume smells best to us AND others when we are loving what we are wearing. Of course our tastes change over time, thank goodness. But let´s face it, in general we are all barking ………. 🙂

  12. Tara says:

    Dear B, I hope the comments make you feel better. I can understand that it might be worrying and of course you have the added pressure of blogging but this is absolutely all part of the journey. I would be surprised if anyone could sustain testing 3 perfumes a day for more than a few years. More than likely you just needed to slow down and give your nose a break. Please don’t panic!

    I find the list of perfumes you are wearing at the moment really interesintg. To me they are either comfortingly light, like Bay and Blackberry and Jour d’Hermes, or comfortingly plush, like Bois des Iles and Iris Poudre. So get the comfort you need and just go with it. All will be well.

    As for me, the testing of new things on a regular basis stopped about a year ago. I get to wear my collection now so it’s no bad thing. Right now I’m mostly wearing my latest full bottle purchase, Ormonde Woman. It’s what I need right now and I know others will get wear at other times of the year. Perfume should be a pleasure, not a duty!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Well said, dearest T. It shouldn’t be a duty and this is why, I’m trying not to force it but just go with the flow, but of course it does have an impact on blogging.

      It’s great that you are so happy with Ormonde Woman.

  13. One’s changing preferences makes a person feel a bit schizophrenic. I know that last winter, I was all about the ambers. This winter, I am barely touching them as I seem to go either vanilla or rose where Guerlain Spirituese Double Vanille and FM’s Portrait of a Lady seem to be fragrances in the heaviest rotation. Wait, I just figured it out while writing this, my nose wants the more expensive perfumes these days.. LOL!

  14. Perhaps try taking a perfume break, five or so days without, then try something new, and for a few weeks. Sometimes you do have to give your nose and mind a rest. Perhaps you can find a classically trained perfumer you can ask about this? Some have chemistry degrees and have done a lot of research into reactions and might know something of this phenomenon. I am thinking someone like Christophe Laudmiel, who is very scientific. It might be a certain perhaps new ingredient that has come along that subtly disagrees with you.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is a very intriguing idea, Lucy.
      Although it gives me hope that not all is lost that I can’t imagine being entirely unscented for five days. 🙂
      Maybe I’ll try to contact Monsieur Laudamiel and maybe I’m lucky and he answers. Thanks for your input!

  15. I also wanted to add that I have read the trend is toward much lighter scents this year, so this could be one more sign that many are longing for more subtle perfume choices. Also, there is a big difference between losing the sense of smell and becoming hypersensitive to smells, one might be caused by a flu or medication and the other hormonally or the early states of pregnancy. In any case, there is a Sense of Smell Institute associated with the Fragrance Foundation that has lots of links and referrals to smell disorder information, if it should come to that. I hope it all resolves by itself very soon!

  16. Annina (nina) says:

    I have to chime in and agree with the comments on hormones. I’m drawn to different scents throughout the month, but they don’t smell different on me. It’s more about tolerance for me. My favorites right now: (surprise!) L’Amber de Merv, 31RC, Bois de Iles. I wear L’Heure Bleue year round, at some point in almost every day. Would that count as a signature??

    I have been sampling like mad, but I only use my wrists. I spray my comfort/daily scent on my neck, and save the other real estate for testing. I won’t commit the neck/chest until I come across something I adore. As of late, It’s been MFK Lumiere Noir Pour Femme and Ormonde Jayne Woman.

  17. Sassa says:

    I’ve recently become devoted to By Kilian Sweet Redemption. Don’t ask me why, I can’t even wax poetic about it, it’s just something that I put on every day, and keep sniffing throughout the day. I bought the travel set, and I’ve worked through about half of it.
    Oh well, it’s better than testing a string of scents that I don’t really care for, trying to find something interesting about them. For now, anyway.

  18. Philipp says:

    This week I did not have to go to work, so I spent it in the most bohemian way: watching old Woody Allen movies and re-sampling old fragrance samples.

  19. Dominic says:

    OMG, I can’t believe I’m reading this, but I’m having similar weird phase right now. It happened a few days in a row I didn’t put on anything, cause everything seemed to be not good or not good enough, not even sure why. I had similar thoughts about my collection. Hasn’t it gotten too big? Have I made too many compulsive purchases? (I have only about 25 bottles btw) especially that just after Xmas i got some more Angel on sale and A Petite Rbe Noire half price which I liked mainly because of that cherry note. Later I quickly decided to get Lolita Lempicka which I was reminded of recently by the Guerlain lady who talked about similarity to LPRN. So i got it without sniffing. And, if that was not enough, for the love and trust to Maurice Roucel, i bought L de Lolita without sniffing neither. Now I’m thinkin whether I should already register with some doctor;-) or this is the result of the fear regarding upcoming reformulations cause I’m thinking of getting more stuff. In that whole enthusiasm I still can’t decide what to wear. It’s like the more I got the more undecided I get. But luckily all my stuff is loved by me and I know it just need the right moment. Maybe it’s just the beginning of the year.

    • Olfactoria says:

      It’s reassuring to hear many suffer from the same kind of indecision and unhappiness with our collections from time to time. As Jordan said: It’s all part of the journey.

  20. I understand. This kind of overload and change in tastes happens to me with fragrance, books, and music. When I’m in this slump in reading, I just focus on one author or one topic and soon feel grounded again. In fragrance, I’m slowly enjoying Mona’s Discovery Set, one per week. I’ve bought the full bottle of Vanille, and have plans for Musc and Rose when my bank account recovers. There are several scents in my cabinet that I know I will never love, and plan to give them away. It’s hard to do, especially when you can’t totally discount the ability to morph from one set of perceptions to another. With music, I just go back and play Bach. He clears the head and makes one feel as if an illness has passed. Best of luck with all the shifts in tastes. It’s a roller coaster ride. Best, Anita

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is a very good way to deal with that: going slow and going with your “baseline favorites” to clear the head.
      It makes me happy that you are enjoying MdO so much!

  21. brie says:

    Oh I have much to say on this subject!
    First off, I am similar to other commenters in that I like certain scents for the different seasons as well as Winter Solstice and the first day of Spring (turning points in perfume wearing for me and I also have specific scents that I only wear on those two days).
    I find that some of the scents I loved from my youth I can no longer wear as they do promote too much nostalgia. Yet I keep a few around in sample vials for sniffing purposes only.
    There is very little that sets me off in regard to perfume. However, the two individuals I spend most of my time with (hubby and perfume despising co-worker with whom I share an office) have much to say about what I wear. During allergy season hubby gets wicked migraines and any conventional or too strong perfume puts him in a state of nausea! And believe you me I hear about it! During these times I tend to gravitate towards naturals and just plain essential oils (last autumn I wore nothing but patchouli e.o blended in sweet almond oil all over my body-it left my entire wardrobe smelling divine and although it was potent neither co-worker nor hubby complained). In the spring I slather organic coconut oil all over myself not only as a moisturizer but also because the scent is so intoxicating! And for variety I can add a bit of citrus e.o.s to the coconut oil. Co-worker is usually bothered by anything I wear if it is not sprayed or dabbed judiciously. Last month I doused myself daily with Ineke’s Evening Edged in Gold and Pacifica’s Tibetan Mountain Temple as they both seemed a good antidote for the ridiculously cold weather we experienced in the Northeast. Currently I am wearing and loving the new natural from SSS Cocoa Sandalwood- it sits close to the skin, offends no one and I can happily sniff my wrist all day long without having to hear any complaints. Come the spring I hope to be wearing SSS natural Spicy Citrus Vetiver (crossing my fingers it will be released!) and SSS Jour Ensoilielle. I prefer to stick with one scent (as you did with L’Ambre) for a while until I finish the bottle. Also, am loving Reglisse Noire and Pacifica Meditteranean Fig.

  22. Suzanne says:

    Well, if that isn’t the most perfect picture to illustrate your post! Oh gosh, now I feel like going on a major Seinfeld bender. 😀

    I don’t think I’ve ever experienced perfume ennui (or shrinkage) to the degree you have, except in regard to sampling new things, since it takes time away from the fragrances I love. But I make it easy on myself and usually only sample two or three fragrances that are new to me in any given week. It makes for poor blogging on my part, but more enjoyment.

    By the way, you’ve kept your blog eminently readable during this period. Between your “beautiful things” post and guest writers, I actually think the variety here is as great as, and maybe even better than, when you were reviewing new perfumes all the time. Much as I love perfume, I know I’m not going to try most of the perfumes that get reviewed (at any blog), so a change of pace like what you’ve done here at OT is quite refreshing.

    • brie says:

      Completely agree with Suzanne! I love your guest writers, hearing about visitors and perfume shopping sprees and most especially adore the “beautiful things” posts….keep them all coming!!!

    • Olfactoria says:

      George is inimitable! Remember the episode when he pretended to be a marine biologist and had to go save the whale? How he told the story later at the diner is fantastic. M and I laugh about that so often. 🙂

      Thank you so, so much for your feedback about the “new” OT. I get something like disappointment from some, like I have given up or am just too lazy. Your opinion is the one I’ll choose to listen to. 🙂

      • Lynley says:

        Please don’t be disheartened by your perfume ‘lull’, or feel pressured to be anything but true to yourself and the situation. I haven’t been commenting on your blog for long but I’ve been reading it for ages, and I’m still as excited as I ever was when a new post appears! 🙂 and besides, we are all in different phases of our perfume journeys, discovering scents that may not be new but are new to us, or re-discovering them when our tastes change. So all the perfume reviews you have written previously are still new and fresh to us 🙂 And really, it’s quite lovely how you are being so open and honest about your perfume journey, and about events in your world. You share a part of yourself with us that is different from our own lives, sometimes that’s enough 🙂

      • Kimberly says:

        Seconding the love for the “new OT”. My finances haven’t been that great lately, so it is actually nice to get my fix of perfume news tempered with things I am not temped to spend money on. And you, yes, you, are one of my worst enablers. Sometimes I read one of your marvelously written reviews and find it hard to rest until I’ve tried whatever it is. And, if that is not bad enough, I think your writing has actually gotten better than it was (which was wonderful already) in the last few months. With all the love you put into this blog, I would never call you lazy.

      • Undina says:

        I don’t want to say that I like the new OT more but I definitely like it not less than the old format.

      • arline says:

        I would also add, that you do a great interview, and I would love more of them on this blog 🙂

  23. Lady Jane Grey says:

    I’m going through a rather quiet parfum phase as well – I’m so busy at the moment that I have no time to muse. I haven’t even used parfum daily these past weeks and I rather kept them for weekends, or when going out. So it looks like parfum is an intellektual issue for me, I need my time to get a “vision” and be able to enjoy it…

  24. lucasai says:

    My collection is small enough that I just can’t imagine in getting even smaller.

  25. arline says:

    In the grand scheme of things, your “aversion” to what you have been so passionate about, has not been that long. It makes sense, that your nose and spirit needed a rest.

    I know for me, that if I had directed that much of my olfactory senses the way you did, I would have become overwhelmed. You needed to go to both extremes, and now you are finding the balance that works for you.

    I love what you said to Lusassai. “It’s not about the size of the collection, but how you use it.”

    I too have a small collection. I am good with it small, and I don’t want a ton of perfumes that I only wear sometimes. I want to smell like me, enhanced 🙂 I want to use what I have and enjoy it to the fullest. And I still want to have my hand in creating a perfume of my own. I enjoy when someone says (like yesterday for me), I thought I smelt you!!!! Amber and sandalwood!!!
    Don’t you know, this person has never smelt the particular perfume that I was wearing on me before, because I just got it!!!!

    Everyone is unique in how they approach things, and this is no different.

    I love hearing about your process, and seeing what others contribute, its fun!!!

  26. At times like this, I find the “Like” button super inadequate because obviously, I do not like that you have been in the worrying situation of not knowing if you will be able to return to your perfume collection! Please accept my “Like” as a “Support and Many Hugs” button.

    I can’t say that the same thing has happened to me. I do go through phases when I am absolutely head over heels in love with something and want to wear it all the time. For example, I just snagged one of the last two Iris Ganache bottles at Saks last week and have been reaching for it non-stop until today when I forced myself to wear Shalimar instead. I think I actually slapped myself and shouted, “It’s discontinued, you fool!”

  27. Alexandra says:

    This year I have been recording my perfume wearing habits (seriously what does this obsession turn us into? I have multiple perfume spread sheets… not to mention a pie chart). The one thing I have noticed is that while I am still fairly promiscuous when it comes to day to day perfume wearing; on lazy evenings and weekends, when I am not trying to be anything except my jeans-clad woolly-jumper self, I always wear SL’s Chergui and on special evening I nearly always reach for NVs Mohur. Does this mean I have found my perfect scents for these occasions and there’s a possibility I will find my perfect work scent and then that will be it?!

    Actually now I have written that down, it doesn’t sound so bad, maybe I am finally moving out of my newbie phase when I just have to smell and wear everything. Now I have some firm favourites that I love, admire AND can wear; I am giving myself the space to enjoy them while still retaining my curiosity for perfume – hummm this approach could work…

    I think it is a wonderful thing that you have found a perfume that works so well for you, but I also have absolutely no doubt that new perfumes will still come along to distract you. It will happen when you least expect it and probably at the exact moment you have stopped thinking about it.

    p.s. can I add my love for the ‘beautiful things’ posts??

    • Olfactoria says:

      We develop the strangest habits in Perfumeland… 😉

      I feel I want to congratulate you on finding two perfect ones that make you feel great. Maybe that is what it is all about. Not knowing and smelling everything, but finding what is comfortable.

  28. Vanessa says:

    I just sorted out a box of “things to sample” and did so with a heavy heart because I too need the light and plush comfort perfumes which Tara identified up further up the thread, and don’t want to risk being dragged down by dreary scent disappointments on any given day. I am wearing perfumes I know will deliver, or conversely sometimes forgetting to wear anything at all, or wearing the same thing three days running – all rather out of character for me. My interest in new things is within moderate bounds too, which is as well, given that I am not able to get to London very often, and am not doing the foreign travel I used to with work.

  29. Natalie says:

    I have had the experience of not being able to wear perfume or stand the smell of any perfume, for several weeks at a time. Usually the ability to enjoy perfume has come back slowly, so that even for a few weeks after the fact my taste is very limited (as you describe with such a great metaphor!). It is different than the “fatigue” that I sometimes get where I just don’t want to smell a bunch of different things, as it is a strong aversion to anything that smells, almost to the point of making me feel unwell. I wish that I had some explanation, but I don’t. I’m glad that so far the desire to test perfumes has always come back. But I have never been up to three a day every day! Those might be a level of strenuousness you could happily give up. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is true, Natalie! It was clear that the pace would and could not last and I’ve made my peace with that.
      It is good to hear (although it is not a good thing of course!) that you experienced similar phases.

  30. Raluca says:

    I also think that these phases are hormone related. It doesn’t sound poetic at all, I know. The intolerance or high sensitivity to fragrances of pregnant women is well documented. I had no morning sickness, but I could not wear any perfume at all while pregnant. Also, I read that it can be related to stress and adrenal exhaustion. I am quoting here: There are some other classic symptoms that come with longer-term pressure on the adrenals to perform. These include a heightened sense of smell. At first, one is more acutely aware of odors, all smells, pleasant and obnoxious.
    The sense of smell is our most basic survival instinct. When life is threatened, subtly or measurably, the mechanism governing survival is triggered. Therefore, one of the first really noticeable indications of prolonged stress is increased sensitivity to odor. This can focus predominantly on noxious odors such as petroleum fumes but it affects tolerance of perfumes and even assessment of pheromones, those mysterious exudations that repel or attract” Also, the chemicals they use in the fragrances are known to provoke some hormonal disruption. Which is a bit scary when you think of all these regulations against many of the natural ingredients and that our beloved perfumes are more and more concoctions of all sorts of synthetic ingredients. But we don’t want to think of that!!!!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hello Raluca,
      thank you for your informative comment. I can certainly imagine that prolonged stress might be the culprit for my perfume-fatigue, thank you for explaining it.

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