9.01.2008

Scent- It's a Personal Thing



In my on-going quest to be fully in the present moment I do several “exercises” throughout the day involving the five senses. My favorite sense (if there can be one) is smell. I love to pause during my day and smell things. It may sound odd, but it is a sensory experience that I believe is very powerful. I’ll smell the ground coffee before I put it in the pot. I’ll smell the beautiful rose that I see on my way to work. I’ll smell my shampoo before I wash my hair. I love taking in scents! After all, I don’t want my nose to think I take it for granted!

When it comes to personal scent- it’s a very personal thing. Up until now, I happened to be very loyal, using the only perfume that worked for me: “Stella”, by Stella McCartney. I LOVE this scent! It is evocative of roses and works so well with the chemistry of my skin. I would try samples of other perfumes when I went to Sephora or a department store but nothing ever got me like Stella did.

I was, however, fascinated by those women who seem to have several perfume bottles displayed on their vanity. Did they wear each and every one? My question was answered the other day when speaking with a co-worker of mine. We greeted each other and she mentioned that I smelled delightful. I told her it was “Stella”, the only perfume I wear. She was in shock. “How could you only wear one perfume?” she asked me in earnest, “What about the changing of the seasons? Or going from day to night?”

These were things I had never though of before with regard to scent. I guess Stella, if it were to be classified into seasons, would be a spring/ summer fragrance. I have worn it year round for the last four years! Even in England in the dead of winter! My co-worker, who happens to be fashionable, fabulous and European, went on to tell me she is addicted to perfume and collects it. She changes perfume depending on the occasion and feels like a different person with each scent.

This really got me thinking. Well it wasn’t as if I hadn’t tried new perfumes. I had. Actually a few months ago I bought Sarah Jessica Parker’s “Lovely” because I had smelled it in a magazine and was impressed. I never thought I’d buy a perfume by a celebrity but alas, I had. I only wear SJP’s scent about once a month. It is, in fact, lovely, but it isn’t the type of scent that moves me profoundly. And as a daily connoisseur, I need to be moved profoundly.

Then, a few days ago I finished reading a book on beauty that I HIGHLY recommend. It is called “Beauty Confidential” by Nadine Haobsh. She is a former beauty editor, turned beauty blogger and I loved everything she had to say as well as her style of writing. In fact, I realized that she and I had a lot in common when it came to products. Some of her personal favorites are also mine! So when we got to the chapter on perfume, I was interested to see what she had to say. She gives a thorough and comprehensive list of modern classics as well as classic classics. She also goes on to list the qualities that these perfumes have (woodsy, vanilla, floral, musk).

Her all time favorite perfume is Narciso Rodriguez, “For Her”. So seeing as how I tended to agree with her other beauty choices, I went to Sephora yesterday to try it out. I knew I couldn’t just buy it online because scent is such a personal thing. For example, so many people rave about how they love Chanel No. 5. I’ve tried it so many times wondering if I’m crazy but I can’t stand it! So I knew I couldn’t go on recommendation alone. I sprayed my wrist and then walked around the shop for a half an hour (which wasn’t hard. I LOVE Sephora). I kept smelling my wrist and it was amazing how this scent evolved. Needless to say, I bought it and smelled my wrist for the rest of the day. It is my new favorite! This doesn’t mean I’m kicking “Stella” to the curb! I’m going to find room for both in my scent library.

I would be interested to hear what perfumes you daily connoisseurs wear. Let me know!

Spiritual Practice: Smell! Smell! Smell! Smell things throughout your day. It will calm your nervous system and bring you into the present moment.

3 comments:

ScentScelf said...

I find, too, that scent is an incredibly personal thing. However, there are some common threads that I have found among the perfume-loving folk that relate directly to your post.

Seasons, mood, wardrobe, occasion, personal pleasure vs. desire to please other...these all can affect one's choice of scent. Of course, what you choose to apply given the motivation is where the individual comes in... :)

Something like a Chanel No5, or some of the "older" or more intense fragrances, may be smells you do not like now, but come to appreciate in the future. I think it's probably worth revisiting them occasionally, just to see if your preferences have changed as a result of your heightened awareness.

For me, not every day has to present a profound scent. If you like Lovely and choose to wear it for simple pleasure rather than profound, I believe you have chosen the equivalent of a comfortable sweater over a perfectly cut blouse. Both have their purposes.

Phew! Obviously, your good writing and thoughtful presentation inspire reflection in themselves! Glad you've started this blog.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Scentscelf- Your feedback is fantastic! And I absolutely agree with you regarding the evolution of taste in scent as you mature. For example, I tried sushi when I was 9 years old and HATED it! Now Japanese is my favorite cuisine. Same thing with wine. I do have hopes one day that I'll love Chanel No. 5. I will take you suggestion and not give up on it!

You're also right about Lovely. I think the reason I wear it only once a month is because I tend to wear it on a lazy day when not much is going on. I do love the scent and it is the equivalent of wearing comfortable and soft sweater.

Thanks for your thoughtful comments...

Daniella C said...

I've been thinking about this lately. I have one perfume, Tocca's Collette, that my husbands loves, but I kind of want to switch it up every once and while! I've also tried Chanel No.5 and as much as I want to love it, I really don't. I prefer Coco Mademoiselle, if I had to choose a Chanel scent. Next time i'm out, I think i'll try some new ones... you've inspired me!

 
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