That inescapable Eureka moment…! The Perfumed Dandy’s Fragrant Forum

Today The Dandy wonders…

Just when do you come over all Archimedes?

By which of course one doesn’t mean when do you become an astronomer, mathematician, physicist, engineer and inventor of Classical Antiquity…

But, when does the penny drop?

At what moment do you decide that you simply must have a scent?

Are you a love at first sniff sort of person?

Do you deliberate, cogitate and consider before adding to your collection?

The Dandy wishes, as you may speculate… well… I’ll tell all, if you do!

Yours ever

The Perfumed Dandy.

The Perfumed Dandy

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34 responses to “That inescapable Eureka moment…! The Perfumed Dandy’s Fragrant Forum

  1. Lilybelle

    I’m generally a love at first sniff/first sight person. That’s just how I am. There’s always that risk of it not working out. 50/50 that it will is pretty good odds, though. Nevertheless, I have learned to steel myself to wait, both for monetary and for discriminating reasons (I’m trying). Sometimes it’s more fun that way. A couple of scents that I originally thought were not for me, have become indispensable. You just never know until you’ve lived with one. And slept in one — that’s always a good test for me. If it is a fragrance that becomes a part of me, inspires me, changes my world in some way for the better, that’s the green light. 🙂

    • Dearest Lily
      I have, as I think you can possibly imagine, a good deal of sympathy with your position.
      I mean, 50/50: they are rather good odds. If one had them at the horses or the gaming tables one would go for them, no?
      Though by way of qualification, I should say that on the spur of the moment normally means an hour or so, though I don’t dismiss top notes out of hand as some aficionados do, it’s in the heart that my greatest pleasure lies, so I wait for that to show itself before giving my heart away in return.
      As for scents that have truly appalled me at first and then I’ve fallen for…. I must get thinking, perhaps Tabu, but that was an association with a particular brand of floor cleaner!
      Your sleep test is just the best though… a perfume cannot be a part of one’s life until it’s been to one’s bed now can it?
      What happens though when friends start taking it to bed too!?!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Lilybelle

        Regarding Tabu, I once found it revolting, then eventually I came to love it. However, any fragrance that wears me cannot be “the one” for me. So that one doesn’t count. And it must be top, heart, and base notes that make me fall in love, of course. I once thought Bal a Versailles was not for me. How wrong I was! I don’t know, Mr. Dandy, what does happen when friends start taking one’s fragrance to bed? Does it make the fragrance less yours, or do you simply put it out of your mind?

      • Dearest Lily
        Yes, Tabu does where one… it’s a perfume that’s only ever interested in being the boss!
        Interesting then that you should mention Bal a Versailles in the same breath, for many people speak of it the same way, yet I’ve never found the scent so… opulent to the point of decadent. Animalic in and antiseptic world, but never overpowering, never domineering.
        As to when one’s friends take one’s perfumes to bed? On occasion it’s just about tolerable but when a favourite fragrance is unfaithful too often I don;t think it’s ever truly forgiven!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  2. Hmm, that depends. I sometimes fall in love with something at first sniff, but I end up changing my mind after a while. There are also cases where I “test drive” a perfume first before finally purchasing it – or not.

    • Dearest Elfin One
      The ‘test drive’ is an important part of the purchasing process for any perfume I feel.
      More like a ‘first date’ or even, in some cases a courtship, where I feel the need to go back and try and try again, not knowing whether this will be the one.
      Even those who dazzle on the first date though can sometimes turn out to be duffs don;t you find?
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  3. Dear Mr Dandy

    I am in the fortunate position of having a friend who has an amazing perfume collection that she happily lets me borrow for blogging purposes. Once upon a time, I was the sort of person who found chypres terribly old fashioned and unappealing. Then one day I tried Balmain de Balmain and Jolie Madame. Within seconds i was a die hard chypre fan. I suddenly got it. The penny dropped with a loud clang. Within minutes I was online ordering a 100ml bottle of Jolie Madame and we have never been parted. It was indeed an epiphany.

    Your friend
    Iscent

    • Dearest Iscent
      Indeed, the epiphany, that change of mind… but where I wonder does the moment lie between like and ‘must have’?
      I don’t really ever ‘shop’ for perfumes, I suppose I’m in a perpetual state of hunting for new scents, but there’s invariably a moment somewhere after first acquaintance and before consummation by purchase where the deal is sealed, when I know that it’s gone beyond being merely charming into the realm of something I’d like to have (at my disposal), to own, to share space with…
      I think it’s probably, in truth, the first time for most, but I’m not sure for all…
      Now if only I had a friend like your Lisa!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Dear Mr Dandy

        It’s an interesting point isn’t it? As a blogger/reviewer, you and I come across acres of scent so it takes something pretty special for me to think “I must own that NOW”. To be honest, that’s only happened about half a dozen times, no matter how much I love something. I can recall three: Prada Infusion D’Iris, Eau de Cartier and Jolie Madame. I had to have them. Luckily these urges coincided with birthdays and Christmas!

        Your friend
        IScent

      • Dearest Iscent
        You know, on reflection, it seems to be almost exclusively leathers and greens that have the power to turn The Dandy’s head on an instant. Then it’s a question of stepping back before as a friend once remarked ‘you buy that black merino wool v neck again’. Is it sufficiently different, better, more beautiful to the many examples I have in my collection?
        Perhaps I keep falling for archetypes, the olfactory equivalent of Hitchcock and his blondes:complete with the unhealthy obsession.
        Note to self:try to take a leaf out of Iscents book and time pangs of desire better!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

      • Dear Mr Dandy

        Indeed, the hard part when dealing with so many beautiful scents is NOT falling in love. It wouldn’t be practical. I suppose this is how Warren Beatty must have felt when he finally got married. I can’t have ’em all, so I have to choose really well.

        Oh and it’s OK to have a “type”. Perfume does that to you. It makes you a slave to your proclivities.

        Your friend
        IScent

  4. I never entirely learn my lesson and sometimes there are foul base notes that finally appear and make me want to weep (that fake sandalwood!!! never! never!) but on the whole I am a love at first sniff person. The other day in Dubai I bought, almost without thinking (but then at that point I had already been up for way too long), Dolce & Gabbana’s Velvet Desire, a sharp and arresting jasmine/tuberose white floral that I knew I couldn’t leave without despite the vast swathes of luxurious of oudhs on offer. As it turns out I can’t entirely carry off the final notes, which are a little too feminine and jasmine creamy, but I regret it not a jot. Just smelling it in its velvet box and getting that initial white floral hit makes me happy. In my own shallow way.

    • Dearest Ginza
      My feeling is that some lessons are there not to be learnt.
      I do know exactly what you mean about the ghastly artificial base note that lurks in the third hour to break a perfectly good heart, but then again, just as some friends are good for a night out but not for a weekend away, so some scents are the stuff of an afternoon but not a whole day.
      After all what are ablutions for?
      Also, if we were to be so terribly sensible all the time then that enduring imbecilic pleasure ‘the airport purchase’ would be forever denied to us, and that would be a tragedy. Though I would have been save Allure Homme (what was, what WAS I thinking of) I might never have chanced on a dozen,no two dozen other treats. Then, of course,lest we forget in this ever more ‘one mall world’ there are still treats specific to time and place that might never reappear:that bottle of Mystere, a Moroccan dupe for a Dior I swear’s better than the thing itself. No, some things must be bought in the minute even if we have to pay for it with patchy patchoulis and synthetic sandalwoods.
      Adore those first hours of Velvet Desire, then douche, that’s The Dandy’s advice!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • You know your words are just sheer beauty, sometimes, Dandy.

        To come home after the day I have just had, this is sheer succour. The tears have literally just risen to the eye corners.

      • Dearest Ginza
        No! Please, please say that miserable old toad work hasn’t settled a menacing glare on you already.
        Or is it the knee? Is the surgery soon?
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

      • ‘Kin nightmare. MRI yesterday (which I strangely enjoyed, actually, though it didn’t exactly help my tinnitus. It was rather like a dreamy, avant garde electronica concert), then lost my voice last night just before a monstrously gruelling week ahead of teaching, which will see me a limp husk by Saturday.

        I can’t, or rather shouldn’t, complain though. One can’t just go about blabbering on about vanilla and lying in swathes of daffodils all the time, although….

      • Dearest Ginza
        Why can’t one?
        One means the bit about blathering on about vanilla and daffodils etc.
        MRI:the novelty,I find, wears off after about the twentieth time!
        There is such a thing as too much medical examination masquerading as German 1970s low-fi.
        Be better soon.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

      • Kraftwerk through the muslin and sharp pincing metal could wear thin I definitely can imagine…

  5. Nena

    Sometimes it takes me a while to decide if I like a perfume, and sometimes it’s love at first sniff. Portrait of a Lady was a case of the latter, and I’m hoping Liu is too.

    • Dearest Nena
      I suspect we’re all a little of, in spite of everything I’ve said above.But, I wonder, do you tend one way or the other? Are you a love at first sight sort of person,or generally speaking to you like a scent to court your favours?
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Nena

        I prefer to wear something for at least a little while before I decide whether I like it or not. Although there have been a few cases where it has been love from the minute I’ve sniffed it from the bottle or sample vial.

      • Dearest Nena
        Yes, very sensible. One has to be certain. POAL was one time you fell at first sniff…. any others?
        For me there have beenquite a few Eau de Campagne, M/Mink,Chamade, Troisieme Homme, Azuree, Visa…heavens,now I sound so impestuous!
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  6. I was thinking about it because I’m writing a post on a similar topic but since mine isn’t even close to be ready I don’t mind answering your question.

    I think that most perfumes I liked enough to add to my collection I liked the first time I tried. I might decide not to go for a perfume I thought I liked on the first sniff or I can develop a stronger attachment to the perfume as I keep testing it but in my perfumista years I do not remember changing from dislike to love.

    • Dearest U
      Clear headed and reflective:exactly as I would have expected.
      Your answer has set me thinking, and I believe I’m with you: time seems to reinforce desire in my case rather than to change dislike into love.
      Perfumes that I have taken a real aversion to have rarely, if ever, won me round, the only exception being where I find an earlier version, pre-reformulation, which is something quite different. But I think we’d all agree that’s a separate scent, no?
      The only other game-changer is time, perhaps if I’d have tried Alliage at 19 it wouldn’t have appealed, Chamade proved to provoking…. then again always adored my mother’s old Diors from Miss through to Diorissimo taking in the Roudnitskas,so perhaps not.
      Now I shall be pondering all day whether there’s a perfume that has really caused a change of heart in a good way,there are plenty I’ve fallen out of love with!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  7. Lilybelle

    I agree – it seems to depend on time. There is a time for certain fragrances, and other (few) fragrances are forever and always.

  8. SallyM

    Oh I’m unabashedly a love at first sniff person. Unfortunately (or not!) this impetuous side of me results in buy at first sniff. So far I haven’t been disappointed by something bought, something later hideous comes – I’m more likely to be a victim of missing out on something glorious that I have rejected at first sniff.

    • Dearest Sally
      If nothing evil has come your way by this tenderness of heart then I say -rejoice in having such exquisite instant taste!
      There is also that anxiety of missing out… no matter how many leather perfumes I have, in particular, well, and greens, what if this is ‘the one’.
      Yes, much to be said for having loved and rued that never having loved at all!
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

  9. Nena

    I’ve been trying my hardest to think of some instances where I’ve fallen in love with a scent straight away, but I’m having a bit of a hard time. Portrait of a Lady is certainly the main example, and I know I did the same thing with the original Dita Von Teese and No. 5 Eau Premiere (I’m considering buying the latter, since it’s getting a lovely new bottle, but I’ve bought a decant of Liu, and I’m waiting to see if that’s better). Nothing else has come to mind yet, though.

    • Dearest Nena
      It’s funny you should mention Eau Premiere…I’ve been thinking about it recently.I don;t have it, but was wondering whether that was an absence from my collection as I always enjoy it when I come across it.It’s one of those fragrances that it never seems the right time to buy! Something else always pops up at the potential point of purchase and it never makes it into the swag bag….
      I wonder does anyone else have that:a scent that seems to stay perpetually on the wish list?
      Yours ever
      The Perfumed Dandy

      • Nena

        I have that, most notably Eau Premiere and Coco Mademoiselle. I might finally get Eau Premiere soon, but I can never bring myself to get Coco Mademoiselle. It’s nice, but it’s also kinda boring, and so widely worn.

  10. rosestrang

    I had a sort of eureka moment when I was packing for my journey to Eigg. I’d received a free perfume pen through Perfume Shrine – a hilarious piece of diamond encrusted bling with a perfume spray device in the end. Anyway, on instinct I filled it with Philosykos, which seemed to suggest this is my desert/Hebridean island perfume, it’s true that no other perfume uplifts me in quite the same way, and I always seem to be running out of it!

    On the train I was was eating a slightly under-ripe banana and offered the banana skin to my long suffering friend to have a sniff then compare and contrast with the underripe banana note of Philosykos, it’s definitely there!

    I’ve been having some olfactory high points in the past few days – the smell of the last glow of a wood burning stove – scented, perfumy and smoky (probably my favourite smell of all time). Also, I went into one of those complex camping shops that seem designed for survivalists awaiting the apocalypse. The high point was sniffing some waxed waterproof trousers – you know that waxed jacket smell? I sniffed to the point of hyper ventilation and I just hope the locals didn’t spot me!

    (By the way – I’m in the midst of my first Eigg painting which will be posted tomorrow!)

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