How does a perfume lover transgress to becoming a perfume junkie?
A question that is impossible to answer with just one idea. However, online perfume magazine - Fragrantica.com helped me journey from lover to (contented) obsessive.
Here's how it happened..
Many years ago I wore an aromatic body mist by Decleor. This extraordinarily beautiful creation was discontinued, leaving me bereft of it's spicy, exotic delights. It's primary note was liquorice, or at least, that was all I could remember my nose identifying. I began a search to hunt down a fragrance containing this elusive note. At the time, only the Lempicka fragrances were known to contain the rather foody spice, sadly, I was repulsed by their sticky sweetness.
Googling led me to discover Caron's 'Eau de Reglisse', or 'liquorice water' which had it's own page on Fragrantica. The page told me of it's key notes, gave me opinions of Fragrantica members in the form of reviews, a history of the fragrance house and most importantly, the possibility of replacing my beloved fragrance.
Further googling led me to an independent perfumery that posted me a sample of Eau de Reglisse (amongst a generous bag of testers from other niche houses). I was hooked. I bought the fragrance and began to research the other eccentric little vials of wonder on Fragrantica.
Fragrantica encouraged me to test my olfactory ability, I would apply a sample, ponder it's initial effect, consider it's journey from top to base notes and write down what notes I thought it might contain. I then referenced Fragrantica's database to see how many I had guessed correctly. I surprised myself with the realisation that I was skilled at this. Try it, it's the beginning of training your nose..
Another relentlessly addictive tool on the website allowed me to 'search by notes', meaning that I could enter in a few of my favourite smells: grass, bay, hawthorn etc and a magical list would appear of links to fragrances made for my unorthodox taste.. except those of us that have a 'blind buying' habit know that we can't always predict the cumulative effect of our favoured smells!
As my collection grew I joined in 'swops' with other members, a method of disposing of our unsatisfying blind buys and lesser loved fumes and getting something new to love in return. With an ebay purchase of a sizable stash of empty vials and atomisers, my collection additionally allowed me to gift samples to others. This ultimately resulted in 'fragrance buddies', of which I shall write in a future post.
Of course, this was only one element of my journey, but Fragrantica remains my daily dose of an obsessive community. After all, who in the reality of our daily lives shares the hunt for the perfect elixir as we do?