Sunday, February 26, 2012

Too Rich for Me?

So many thoughts about perfume as a passion, especially in regards to price point and after reading Bois de Jasmin's post which kinda shook me up a bit.  I have re-wrote and re-thought this post for days - wondering how to adequately state how I feel about this subject, without sounding 'poor me' and with encouraging folks to get involved w/this passion no matter where you stand on the economic scale.

Now that both me and The Moth are unemployed, I think "Is perfume loving only for the more well-to-do folks?"  Because I tend to view perfume as I do art, I have to say yes.  And, no.

Let's do yes first.

Yes because you first need to sniff what's out there. And this takes money, pure and simple.

My son is amused that I collect perfume and art ("collect" is a relative term - I don't have the cash for true collection of either - I just purchase what I like and can afford...my most recent art purchase is the photo in this post from a very talented artist Eli Steltenpohl who graduated from Oberlin last year.  But given that I dabble in art, have a ton of artist friends, and am involved w/swapping art stuff on-line, I do have things that I consider priceless). My son is more realistic - meaning, he'll spend money on computers (well, he is a programmer) and good kitchen utensils. Okay, I'm rambling here!

Now for No - no, it doesn't matter how much you make because everyone experience the beauty, introspection, excitement, enchantment and pure joy of scent given the relative affordability of samples and other sources where you can sniff for free.

For instance, you can go to department stores (IF they're in your area - unfortunately for a lot of us i.e. living outside big cities, this doesn't give you a lot of variety, but at least you can sniff Daisy and some Lauders, basic Guerlains and Chanels, etc.)  Your local mall may also have a Perfumania-type store - again, not a lot of variety, but you can start seeing what type of scent you like.

There may be a head-shop type of place, where there may be some perfume oils - take a dip into these, and see what intrigues you. ( For instance, Spiritual Sky used to be available back in the day, and I would sniff and/or purchase the patchouli, frangipani, etc.).  Or your local CVS-type store that may have Demeters and maybe even some Sanborn Orange Blossom!

The first thing I tell to acquaintances and friends who are interested in perfume (other than 'come over and let's go through my stash' or ask folks what they like already and send them samples that I think they also may enjoy) is to go to Sephora and get some free ones.  (Again, a problem for those who live hours away from places, and a problem for those who do not have adequate transportation.  For instance, where I live, the county cut MOST of the public transportation due to budget troubles.). If they are interested in reading more, I turn them on to the perfume blogging community.

And I send folks to The Perfumed Court. TPC has some terrific 'beginniner collections".  LuckyScent has samples for $3.00  Many of the natural/indie perfumers out there also have great prices on samples and sample collections.

Go sniff people.  I mean, if someone is around who smells good, ask them what they are wearing!  I personally love it when folks ask me.

Ask around - there may be a hidden perfume freak in your circle of friends and families! I bet you have a memory of what your grandmother or father or aunt wore.

And remember, you do not have to purchase full bottles!

No because it is my experience that the perfume blogging community is so incredibly generous.

A thank you to all of you who have sent not only me but others samples, decants and full bottles!  Birgit, Carol/WAFT, Joan Elaine, Marie, Meg/Olenska,  Michael, Undina and Vanessa, and my in-town fragrance friend FF/'Jicky" who launched me on this venture after I was at her house and sniffed Lutens for the first time.  And the nudge from Left Coast Nose helped too!

The outpouring (pun intended) of the good folks here in the blog-o-sphere is absolutely mind-blowing.  I have so many unsniffed samples, I can blog for years without having to purchase anything!

So what is my point ?  Well personally I would like to say to folks who read this that you don't have to be 'rich' to enjoy the many facets of the perfume industry.  Second, that the perfume community has a wealth of information, and again generosity. Having just joined the Facebook Fragrance Friends, I can state yet again that the perfume community is truly lovely.

I want to point out that I have put up a separate page of my full bottles - it's not a huge array, but if anyone reading would like a sample from anything on that page, please feel free to email me/post a reply and ask!  I'd love to share the juice!

Let's see...is that all I wanted to say?  (I hope this is understandable - it is quite jumpy-around-y but that's how I think and talk ;)

Bush Specimen by Eli Steltenpohl 


EDIT:  Also if you're a blogger, sometimes perfumers and/or perfume companies send you free sample for you to review.

23 comments:

  1. I really appreciated reading your thoughts on this. I'm just in the beginnings of the perfume obsession and sometimes I can't help thinking that my timing is horrible given the fact that we don't really have much in the way of "fun money" with my husband unemployed.

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    1. Karen, thank you! My DH was told on Friday he's laid off for at least a month. Please feel free to look at my bottles page - I'd be more than happy to send you samples!

      I really like decants - Suzanne from Eiderdown has some beauties, as well as folks on that Facebook site, and other places.

      Anything I can do to help, I'm here!

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    2. You are so sweet to offer. I'm lucky to live in an area where nearly any scent is available to be sniffed if one is willing to make the effort (I can take the commuter train into NYC) and deal with the sales associates so it would be the height of selfishness to take you on it

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    3. OMG you have NYC at your disposal! How wonderful!!! But it wouldn't be selfish at all if there is something I have already. Truly!

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  2. I agree, no matter what your income perfume sniff for one and all!
    I couldn't find my every day lotion last night after a bath so I grabbed the Chanel 19 lotion. Can I just say? I have never smelled so delicous in my life! How wonderful to go to sleep with that wafting around me.
    It make me smile when you said hollyhocks were your favorite flower , no fragrance!
    xx
    julie
    p.s. I adore them too

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    1. hello Julie!! I love #19 - ooh a lotion - would like to waft away with that!

      I know - I love hollyhocks and they have no scent. I am an oddball (it's because they, in my thought process, are sturdy and weedlike and so enchanting!)

      So glad you stopped by!

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  3. Great post, and you have flagged up some very good sources and resources for perfume acquisition. As well as the kindness of individual fumeheads, your good self included, I found Ebay and MUA invaluable as ways to diversify my collection, by swapping or buying inexpensively in the first place.

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    1. I'm wearing a sweater tonight that still has the scent of Labdanum on it!

      ooh I forgot to add those - thank you my dear Bonks! I want to send you Route de The but cannot find your addy! Can you email me it again?

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    2. Please forgive the potentially stupid question: MUA?

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    3. Karen, it is the website MakeUp Alley - there are forums and swaps over there

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    4. ah, thank you. And I even have an account there.

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  4. I really sympathize with your situation and I hope at least one of you will find job soon. It sucks :(

    To your list I want to add brand's websites: some of them have relatively inexpensive samples purchase option, some allow to subscribe to updates and offer free samples for their new perfumes.

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    1. Hello Undina! Thank you for your kind words.

      And oh! I didn't realise that re: brand websites - guess what I'll be doing today!? :)

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  5. This was a great and stimulating read, my friend. Love of scent is not dependent upon cash at hand. I've sought out perfume whether I had a windfall in my pocket, or not a thin dime to my name. In every case, I found something lovely that was commensurate with whatever monetary resources I had on hand-- proving that beauty can be found at all price points. The ingenuity of the perfumista is the key. And then, when one has got it, one can share it-- another joy.

    I so admire what you're doing with your bottle/sample inventory that it has galvanized me to get back on track w/ mine. I took everything out of my scent cabinet yesterday and photographed it (including your lovely banners!)-- next comes the itemizing. I'm thinking of how to share it all better. I may do what you've done and add a bottle list, or a sample-swap list. And I am pondering my contribution to Ari's charitable drive.

    See how you've inspired me!

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    1. Thank you so much Meg!

      I am hoping to get all my samples up on this blog soon - I have a few I just want to get rid of; coupla scrubbers for me but perhaps others would enjoy

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  6. Always willing to share perfume and perfume experiences with you, my friend! Hang in there.

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  7. I would love to share some things with you, Frida. And now that I have your address, you can't say no. :-D

    But first I have to figure out what I have that you might like to sniff. I might have to employ a spy who knows you well, but I will figure it out.

    Har, har, har, har... (yes, that's my evil laugh)

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    1. Egads, I was going to mention your decants in this post...Arghhh! So sorry, my friend!!

      hehee love your evil laugh. You truly don't need to send anything, but as you said, I can't say no! I love rose and incense for starters, not big on aldehydes.

      <3

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  8. Hi Bloody Frida, You're right. If you live in big cities, you're set. NYC? Pretty much anything you'd want to smell, including amazing essential oils, is there. When I began delving into perfume, I was making pretty good money, and buying perfume was nothing. But now, virtually unemployed (by choice) and freelance writing, I'm stalled in sniffing the things that I want. It's frustrating, but if you save your pennies, you can do it.

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    1. Hello!! Yes, it can be frustrating but it's kinda like a treasure hunt - finding lovely sniffables in odd places. And I must admit, I really am enjoying unemployment! ;)

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  9. And yes, re: decants. But they add up. FAST.

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    1. hehee, yes they do - and being part of the FFF group on facebook doesn't help! ;)

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