The evolution of the perfumista

I think we all begin the same way.  One day we are casually spraying our BBW or whatever we’ve been in the habit of wearing since high school.  Then the next day we wake up and we’re sick to death of it.  Maybe the bottle ran out and we don’t want the same thing.  Or possible we feel overloaded with the same scent and desire something new.  different.  not what you, or your friends (unless you are my friend!) has been wearing.  People fling suggestions of Curve or Angel or the new such and such and you sniff and thing “meh.” Suddenly you are on a mission to find your new signature scent.

That’s how it began for me and many others.  I would spend hours at Ulta and Sephora and the middle-department stores sniffing and dismissing.  Everything seemed so, for lack of better word, common.  Then you hear about some mystical perfume — for me it was Caron Tabac Blonde and Nuit de Noel– and you spend hours googling reviews, attempting to snipe ebay auctions (what???!!! 300 dollars for 1/4 ounce and it’s OLD?!?!?)  somehow, you get your hands on a sample (thanks Patty, the enabler) and think AHA it’s my Holy Grail!  I found it, Fait Accompli!! 

But, like that first hit of crack, it is never enough.  You wonder what is out there…what the other perfumes all the reviews keep talking about smell like.  You are CONVINCED getting a vintage bottle onr Balmain Vent Vert for an obscene amount on ebay will CHANGE your LIFE.  Hell, it might even make you skinnier–mostly because you won’t be able to afford to eat for two weeks after said purchase.  And…as you bought it unsniffed, it disappoints you.  So it joins the pile of other such purchases and sample vials that are taking over your bathroom cabinent.  the cabinent of shame…

But you grow–eventually, after smelling lots of things, you can distinguish various notes from one another and grow to see perfumes you once dismissed as divine as they are supposed to be.  You assume a certain rhythm to your madness.  Jicky for summer and lingerie, Amoureuse to feel sexy or to wear to the butterfly gardens with your pink floral ensemble.  Onda and Djedi for rain, Djedi for wallowing in despair. 

Which brings you to the next phase . It is increasingly harder to become impressed with your sniff vials.  SOmething really has to knock your socks off to get a fourth try and the coveted bottle spot on your shelf.  Infact, you feel the need to purge to about 20 bottles (per season) and a good 10 of them are the seasonless.  You streamline, re-bay and desire a wardrobe built on true love, less impulse.  At times it feels like the high in the perfume addicition has worn off, but you realize, it is coming into a certain deeper appreciation of the olfactory art.  You still want to sniff new things, however, one or two stellar reviews don’t send you into the deep debt end of ebay anymore.  And thank god, because ramen for dinner is getting kind of old…

I’ve been working on some reviews in my draft section.  But a bit lazily as I’ve been spending time with my “wardrobe” of things I’ve mentioned before or am still too awed to get up the gumption to write about.  One thing coming soon is an interview with someone’s work that I admire very much.  I’m almost a bit star-struck in a way.  This blog has a very small readership, and I write like a drunken moneky upholding e.e. cummings’ direguard for punctuation and capitals…. Though I am very excited nonetheless and look forward to interviewing.

Published in: on July 16, 2008 at 9:38 am  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great description of the process of falling into the perfumista obsession! I think for me it was more feeling deprived of stimuli at a job in which I worked in a windowless, vinyl-tiled basement office. I started researching perfumes, and then researched them a little more, and more… and haven’t stopped for over a year and half now. Thanks for the post! I’m off to do some re-ebaying. :^)

  2. You are about the same perfumista age as me 🙂 What are you re-ebaying? anything good?

  3. Great post!

  4. Ah, right, let’s see… Well let me know if you think any of this is good! I’ve been procrastinating on re-ebaying these…
    1. A quarter ounce of Rive Gauche parfum that is the newer formulation I think. It doesn’t compare to the older version I have. It’s a little rosier, not as raspy. Also, I have some new body lotion to go along with the parfum.

    2. A small, very pretty bottle of Crepe de Chine edc with the ivory-colored deco screw-cap. I think it’s an ounce. I bought that one at an antiques mall, actually, and it was sealed. It’s in great shape, but it just doesn’t do much for me.

    3. Three super-mini vintage samples of YSL Y. Very pretty scent to these too, but I just prefer more angular greens like #19 and vintage Miss Dior to this type of rounder, fruitier green.

    Stuff like that. I should really get into the swap thing on Perfume of Life, but I just don’t have the energy! But if you’re interested in swapping something, just lemme know. I’m at work, so I’m sure there’s some other stuff too. Oh, like a 99%-full-minus-about-three-sprays bottle of Anisia Bella. That was a mistake to buy unsniffed!

    Hee, take care!

  5. Aimee, I’ll have to cross refernce some of those notes 🙂 definately ebay the Y YSL and the crepe de chine! The should bring you some good money if you highlight that they are vintage!

  6. Perhaps small but AWESOME readership! 😉 “Re-bay” actually caused me to laugh out loud while I was supposed to be sitting quietly backstage at my theater with my secret laptop, taking advantage of the wireless internet while waiting for curtain. Bad, perfumequeen, bad! Making me laugh so.

  7. Awww thanks! *blush*

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