You’ve been fascinated by perfume all your life. Or maybe your interest was piqued after smelling a wonderful and mesmerizing scent or reading a review so well-written that it almost felt like you were holding the bottle in your hands and sniffing the juice inside. It doesn’t matter. You now love perfume. You love wearing it and smelling it on others, but you don’t understand it yet.
You know what you like, but you can’t distinguish the notes, let alone describe how it smells to someone else. Perfume is so fleeting and personal, how can you describe it, anyway? But you’re intrigued. You start doing your research, learning its language, collecting as many bottles as you can… You become obsessed with perfume, but is that enough to call yourself a perfumista? Perfumistas are connoisseurs who simply cannot live without perfume.
Here are five signs that you are becoming one:
1. You follow the experts, but trust your nose only
You are subscribed to at least 10 perfume blogs and have even found the courage to leave comments. You used to be scared to join in the conversation with all those people who clearly have a deep knowledge of perfume, but now you have your own opinions to share. You have also read all the main books on perfume, including Luca Turin’s A-Z Guide, and while they taught you a lot, you’ve found that you don’t often agree with the opinions of the experts. You’ve come to trust your nose only. And that’s a good thing.
2. You don’t have a signature scent
When you first become interested in perfume, you smell every scent you can get your hands on and eagerly await the launch of new fragrances, in the hope to find your signature scent, that special blend that completely represents you. But a perfumista knows that such a scent doesn’t exist. And even if it did, she would bore of it easily. A true perfumista rarely wears the same scent two days in a row. Instead, every morning she chooses a different scent based on her mood, or her outfit, or what she’ll do that day, or even on the season. Sometimes, she’ll even lie awake in bed thinking about what scent to wear for a special occasion.
3. Your perfume collection is shrinking
During the initial stages of your perfume obsession, you save money so that you can buy any fragrance you like (and there are many). And, of course, you collect all the classics, even the ones you can’t stand, because… well, they’re classics. Every perfumista must have them all in her collection, right? Wrong. A perfumista is familiar with all the classics and keeps up to date with the new releases, but she’s very picky when it comes to buying a new perfume. She’ll get a new fragrance only when it really speaks to her and she knows it’ll suit her. All the other scents in her vast collection, the ones she only likes, will soon be sold, swapped or given away to friends.
4. You can smell different nuances of the same note
To perfume newbies, most notes in the same fragrance family will smell similar. Their nose will pick up a floral bouquet or a fruity cocktail, but they’ll find it hard to distinguish the exact notes that make up the accord. A perfumista, on the other hand, will not only be able to distinguish a rose from an iris, but will also know what type of rose scents works best for her. You may even realise that a note that you thought you hated can actually smell good when one of its facets is amped up (or down).
5. Perfume has become a source of pleasure to you
If you’re just getting into perfume, you’ll start smelling anything you come in contact with: the flowers at the park, the delicious aroma coming out of a restaurant kitchen, the fragrance your coworker is wearing, and even unusual things like oil, wax and books. You had never paid attention to all these smells before, and now they’re almost overwhelming. You love it because they allow you to learn how to distinguish single notes, until one day you realize that’s not why you do it anymore. Now you’re smelling your wrist several times a day, take in the scent of flowers blooming in your front yard, and savour the aroma of the pasta you’ve just cooked, simply because you like it. Perfume, in all its forms, has become a source of pleasure to you. A pleasure you can just never imagine giving up.
Are you becoming a perfumista or your interest in fragrance has just started to bloom? Or maybe you don’t like it at all?