Monday Question – WHY Do You Love Perfume So Much?

In this space we talk about which and what, how and when, if or not to wear perfume, how to store it, when and where to buy it, what we love and what we hate…

Today I want to know what we rarely talk about: Why do you love perfume?

Why do you think scent and smell is such an important part of your life?

What makes you want to smell good?

What makes you seek out new scents?

Why is it that perfume makes you happy?

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My Answer:

When I think about my senses, I know that I like to look good for myself and for others, I like to hear and speak sense (whenever possible), I like to touch and be touched, so it only seems logical to me that I also want to smell good things and I want others to enjoy the way I smell.

To borrow the words of Jerry Maguire: perfume completes me.

I don’t feel ready to face the world without perfume. I need perfume to make myself presentable, to escape more mundane moments, to use it as an emotional crutch in times of anger, sadness and even happiness.

Perfume makes memories. Perfume is a way to connect, to anchor me in the moment as well as take me away from it if necessary.

Perfume is loaded with meaning and provides endless ways of inner travel and adventure.

Perfume is a means of escape as much as an everyday grooming tool. It is versatile and it is indispensible.

Perfume is such an easy way to make myself happy. When nothing else goes, when I’m stressed out, when I have no time for myself, when I need a break, I can still smell my wrist and smile about my secret getaway, my private breath of beauty.

Perfume is beauty. I soak it up, I shamelessly use it to fill myself to the brim with beauty in the hope to pass on some of it to world.

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42 Responses to Monday Question – WHY Do You Love Perfume So Much?

  1. LeSputnik says:

    On top of being part of being one of the most sensual and ephemeral pleasure, perfume is for me a cocoon, protecting and cushioning life, enhancing its pleasure. But it is also a very often subconscious way to communicate with others : I am quite an abrupt person – to put it gently – and I like to think that my sweet scents carry another approach of my personality, or at least I hope!

  2. Undina says:

    For me perfume is a simple pleasure but without calories ; -)

    And if you want a serious answer: since I loved perfume from a very early age – long before I had all those reasons you described and with which I completely agree – I think my brain is just wired that way. I love perfumes.

  3. Marjo says:

    I couldn’t agree more with,Undina. It’s protection, comfort, pleasure. I just would’nt live without it.

  4. Ines says:

    I like difference. And perfume enables it. Each day you can choose to smell different and in a manner that fits that day.
    It is simply pleasure opening your nostrils and breathing in the fumes. One that brings a smile to your face and sometimes eases stress and emotional turmoil (depending on the perfume). Is tehre anything better you could ask for?

  5. happyface313 says:

    🙂 Because it can change my mood instantly! 🙂
    A very HAPPY Monday to you! 🙂

  6. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Good Parfum is Beauty – Extraordinary Parfum is Art.
    For me : Parfum is a way of expressing myself.

  7. ringthing says:

    I love perfume because I am a sensualist as you described so eloquently, Birgit. It provides a means of escape when needed, a bit of pleasure that’s just for me (if others like it, that’s lovely too). It’s another facet of self expression that can change my mood. In the tiny rural Midwest town where I live, perfume is unavailable except for those mainstream offerings available at every drugstore, so to learn about perfume and to be part of the online perfume loving community is like belonging to a secret club.

  8. Audrey says:

    I love it for a variety of reasons. Scent has always been a major factor in my landscape. I’m a sensory person so anything that is pervasive in my range becomes the experience that I remember. I associate scent with places , people, mood, and texture. I also have many things in my life that are relatively stressful , so scent is one thing that can immediately calm me down if keep me in check. It can turn my white tee shirt into an urban statement or a casual luxury. It can make me feel beautiful if I’m having an off day. It both sets and changes my attitude. Finally, perfumes change and develop their own personality. The ones in your closet do this, and the industry does this as well, so there’s always something to explore…..

  9. cookie queen says:

    I love perfume as you well know, and second the various comments above. I do believe though, at least in my case, that it is an addiction. “To devote of surrender oneself to something habitually or obsessively …”
    “Being enslaved to a habit or practice that is psychologically (or physically) habit forming ….”
    (merriam-webster)
    If it was illegal would we seek it out anyway? My obsessiveness has me heading to Florence.
    Very good question today. Hugs.

  10. Vanessa says:

    I agree with all the reasons you put forward – most eloquently, as ringthing said. I love how it enables me to be such a chameleon, ‘toggling between selves’, to quote myself 😉 – both real and aspirational. Occasionally also ironic! It is the ultimate dresser upperer.

  11. Hi Birgit,
    I love to smell good, but also I love to smell the goods. So many scents are absolutely astoundingly beautiful, interesting, unusual, disgusting and/or memories held in fragrance. Tonight we went for a motor bike ride around Sydney and I left my helmet open a crack, as we rode past on the bikes I was given little miniature fragrance hits: a roast chicken shop, jasmine vine, car smells, beach and surf scents, city smells, jonquils, fresh mown grass and even the chips from McDonalds all wafted their way into my nose. I am as excited by perfume in a bottle as those fragrances on the road, almost every one takes me somewhere, gives me something, enriches and educates me.
    I am an omnivorous scent eater, a fragovore perhaps.
    Portia xx

  12. Eleebelle says:

    Wow, what a question! I just had to weigh in because I’ve been thinking about this lately (in the sense that I’ve been examining all the money that I’ve been spending on scents), and I think my love of perfumes comes from a desire to create an image or a precedent for myself. It’s like part of an outfit (or even a costume) and can be used to define or illustrate myself of my own accord and can change depending on what I want to convey or share. I find it empowering.

    Of course, I also love candles, lotions, soaps, the smells of foods, etc. Scent has always engaged and relaxed me in a way that other sensory input doesn’t seem to. Being able to surround yourself with what make you happy is such a beautiful thing!

  13. Funny you should ask! 😉 I posted this essay on my blog last week about what drew me to fragrance and the significance of it in my life. I hope you enjoy it! http://mommyennui.com/2014/09/04/my-journey-from-loves-baby-soft-to-chanel-no-5/

  14. anitathepianist says:

    This is an interesting question, one with many possible answers. I suspect that it is a physical attribute that some people have and others, not so much. Scents have been fascinating to me since I was a child. Unfortunately, many of those scents would better be called odors. Bad odors actually made me ill, and my family tried to keep me away from things that would make me sick. When I discovered perfume, it was such a explosion of pleasure and that experience has not lessened. I have a “nose” and wish that it could have been used in the fragrance business.

  15. empliau says:

    Such a deceptively simple question, and so complex an answer, if answer there is. I have always loved perfume, but haven’t consistently worn it, although I always have owned at least one bottle. For many years I had a signature scent, which was the only one I wanted, and I was content that way. It is only in *cough* middle age that I have expanded my fragrance base. I think many others have expressed, and well, what I would say – that the scent of the day sometimes has a message about how I’m feeling, or how I want to feel: It is beautiful and makes me happy, or is rich and subtle, and makes me confident, or is warm and delicious, and makes me comfortable and relaxed.

  16. nemo says:

    Perfume is so many things to me! It is beauty, it helps me set my mood, and in its own small way, it helps me put my own (temporary) mark on the world around me. It reminds me to pay attention to the little details, and it helps me live life in the present. That all sounds awfully corny, but some things are hard to put into words and that is what perfume is for!

  17. Cotton Red says:

    Because a perfume chest is the most versatile, invisible wardrobe: to feel cozy (like pajamas), to be casual yet chic (the perfect white shirt), to conceal/protect (dark/navy coat), for extra confidence (leather jacket for lads or little black dress for ladies), etc etc. Perfume also offers limitless ways to twist/subvert one’s outer look with olfactory suggestions (e.g. sexy-layers-beneath-pinstripe-suit, romantic-but-tough-edge, etc). Awesome post, B.!

  18. ladywinther says:

    Oh, there are so many reasons why I love perfume, it’s because it lifts me when I’m down, makes me feel strong(er) when I need to, it protects me from the world, but it also makes me stand out, makes me feel proud of myself, enhances me as a person. As a musician, perfume to me is art- it is a coposition, an idea, an image or a moment captured in scent. I have always been fascinated by smells, and have the strongest of my memories connected to it- my mother baking bread, my grandmother ironing granddads shirts (which she HATED doing) and the smell of musty old attics, to mention a few.

  19. Suzanne says:

    It’s a form of beauty/art that you can take anywhere, and wearing it personalizes the perfume, makes me feel like I own it in a way that I couldn’t own another piece of art (unless I created the artwork myself). There’s something mystical about the experience.

    And all of the reasons that you and others provided, too, are also why I love perfume. Great Monday question, Birgit. (And sorry that it took until Friday for me to answer it.) 😀

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