Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tauer Bottle Giveaway & Thoughts on Perfume Writing

Andy Tauer of Tauer Parfums is having his Advent Calendar again this year for the length of December, countring down till Christmas. For the occasion he has prepared an all-naturals, all botanical limited edition fragrance, Le Cologne du Maghreb {sic} and today Perfume Shrine is honoured to host the giveaway of one 50ml (1.7oz) bottle of it to anywhere in the world*!

It is a classical cologne, with a woody baseline chord, "a firework of natural citrus notes, exploding into expensive sparkles, on a background with ambreine and cedarwood from the Moroccan High Atlas".
Like all colognes it is not made to last but it is a fragrant joy, living in the moment, leaving you with the finest veil of woods on your skin.
Ingredients: Citrus essential oils and absolutes (such as lemon, bergamot, clementine, mandarine, grapefruit, orange blossom absolute, neroli oil), rose absolute and oil, cedarwood, ambrein, cistrose and much more.
What you need to do to be eligible? Simple: Answer the question which follows this post in the comments section.

So, on with today's post! Where I bemoan the proliferation of perfume venues lately, because I feel like a fool nowadays. (NB: I'm NOT only referring to blogs, but also and mainly fora, Facebook pages, corporate sites with a blog appearence, Livejournal journals etc).
Mind you, I'm not really complaining: First of all, mine goes from strength to strength judging by numbers; and numbers don't lie. Plus I distinctly recall when five years ago there were only a handful of venues and publications in English to really read about perfume, beyond advertorials (Those who read French nevertheless always had ample material to choose from; even though it often entailed cajoling the ears with pretty stories, it also involved delving into serious & acclaimed books on the subject). Contrast with today where one is spoilt for choice and can pick what they read and where they draw their info from at the flick of a finger on the keyboard. Which is good!!
Want a shopping & new releases site? You've got it. Want a webzine with lots of contributors offering their views? There's more than one around. You want all the press releases amassed & archived? There's a data bank at your call. You want history, chemistry, opinions on the industry? You're catered for. Is there sheer awe in you in front of a "difficult" perfume and secret joy at discovering one that draws compliments? Numerous fans are there to share their own experiences and to identify with. Are you a novice searching for answers to questions? Someone did the dirty work and compiled primers.

Yet -and this is the crux of the matter- sometimes it seems everyone and their hamster is keeping a perfume journal which they share with the world, no offense to hamsters. The initiative is understandable; a new hobby injects a certain enthusiasm. What is perhaps less apparent is that so very often the echo of information that has been perhaps erroneously transferred into pixels or 0 & 1 signs (whichever way you prefer to look at it) is getting transmitted all over the universe and beyond; if Nasa's data is anything to go by. Information flows and this flow sometimes gets in the way of fact. It's one thing to entertain a rumour -as long as it's clear it's such- and another to actually transmit it as the absolute truth. Legend becomes reality and you have well-intended people criticizing an artistic video commercial for No.5 negating the Süskind-inspired idea and missing the point entirely by saying straight-faced and with conviction that No.5 was chosen for a name because it was the 5th pick by Coco from a series of mods. Who knew, right? Not me, I wasn't there. Of course, one might argue that perfume always relied on mythos. In fact its very core is its escapist quality that allows us to dream. Still, how do you differentiate? Where do you draw the line? What do you pick? And who authorised one version of this myth and not another?

Another problem with having innumerable venues for discussing perfume is that inevitably the mind tires and the eye skims. I can only read so much on any given morning, first thing before I sip the kaymak off my Turkish coffee and get down to fine tuning the details for the day's lecture. If someone who is professionally accustomed to reading exceedingly fast can't read more than a handful of sites, how can the average perfume lover who might have a boss breathing down their neck or kids dragging them around? Additionally, how can anyone comment intelligently? Whereas in the beginning discussion was conducted through comments on perfume fora and the comment section of blogs making it easier to follow syllogism & reasoning, it now seems that the discussion is conducted via blogs & venues themselves: Instead of commenting on someone else's blog or someone else's thread on a forum, people begin their own venue (their own blog, Live Journal, Facebook page etc.) and converse via them. It's not the people or the usernames doing the back & forth; it's the web pages doing it. You need a detailed manual to wade through (not to mention people are reluctant to put links & quotes to make you understand what they're talking about) and I often feel plain silly not knowing the whole background of the discussion. This polyphony -and indeed contrapuntal style- is not necessarily a bad thing; on the contrary! But it risks getting bypassed due to a flummox of words each vying for individual attention.

What do you think? What do you seek when reading about perfume?

ETA: I only now (see what I mean?) just read a post by Brian on I Smell therefore I Am (snarky & witty at the same time) which I urge you to read on this link. Thought-provoking!!

*NB: The prize will be shipped by Tauer Perfumes in Switzerland directly to the winner. The company states: "We ship to the address given to us and do not contact the addressee afterwards, nor will we use the contact information for any other purpose than sending the prize, nor will we forward the address to anybody else".

DRAW is open till Sunday 5th Dec. midnight.


  1. I seek to be inspired, elated and amused. Reading about fragrance adds some lightness to the day. Also: the scent one wears gains meaning and patina when you've read about it.

  2. Anonymous10:42

    I seek diverse point of view from critics and writers I have (subjectively) chosen to trust. I started a blog from sheer enthusiasm in discovering the perfume universe but soon realised I have to keep silent & learn more.
    I understand the webzone keeps the conversation alive and well between 'industry' and creators as well as perfume lovers, my voice is but an echo at the moment. Wisdom comes from experience :) ...
    Violaine P.
    (i cannot enter my google account)

  3. I haven't been blogging about perfume for very long (although I have been THINKING about perfume for years and years) so perhaps my views don't carry as much weight as those of people who've been in the game for quite some time. However, for what it's worth, I'll say that the fragmentation of audiences is something that is happening in all modes of communication. This may sound defeatist, but it is true. As you state in your post, whether it's a negative development is another matter.

    My feeling is that the well-written, useful blogs - and of course, this may include several new blogs - will keep going from strength to strength, because they'll be supported by encouragement from their readers.

    And as for what I seek when I read about perfume... I must confess that I really don't read very many blogs at all, but the main thing I look for is a passion for the subject and a genuine desire to engage with the reader.

  4. Oh dear, I should also have said: please DON'T enter me in the draw. I'm fortunate enough to be able to give someone else a chance to win a bottle of Andy's latest.

  5. More than anything else I always look for passion in what a person has written. A passion for what one is discussing or writing about isn't easy to fake, and it makes reading an article or blog entry a much more involving experience. I love knowing that someone is writing about a topic simply because they love it and it brings them some kind of joy.

    I also look for signs of a writer's personality in their words, something that tells you a bit about who they are. An author's work can be as informative and knowledgeable as possible, but if it's lacking personality I don't think it will succeed in engaging the reader. There has to be a voice behind the words, if that makes sense.

  6. Honestly, I don't really think a proliferation of blogs is a problem (on any topic). The way I see it, if you want any type of useful discussion, you need intelligent readers and they will recognize the blogs that offer recycled information and no serious content.
    It's true that none of us has the time to read all of them, and sometimes I even skim (or skip) some posts by bloggers I usually enjoy reading. Not every post by every blogger is equally interesting to everyone which is to be expected.
    One thing I like very much about many people writing about perfume is that it enables you to find information about pretty much any perfume out there (which due to proliferation of releases, a constanzt amount of bloggers couldn't possibly handle). And if one is not sure whether the review is valid, there are always other reviews on the same blog that can give you insight into the validity of the stated review.
    I hope I didn't complicate my thoughts on the subject too much. :)
    And I would love a chance to win a bottle of Andy Tauer's limited creation.

  7. AlexP11:20

    Very complex and hard to describe....I'm an typical reader of blogs on perfume, never had a blog(I do not indent in the future), rarely commenting on the blogs but reading them at least once in a week(if not announced via twitter, FB,etc about new posts) . So, I'm a typical blog reader, actually the "customer" of perfume writers.
    I've done a selection of perfume blogs during time,it took almost one year to do it, and I streamed my reading to only 12 blogs. Why those 12 and what do I seek when reading them? From some of them I want to get the blogger's opinion on a perfume(consider them as art critics)from others the "technical side" on compositions and from others is just that I like their style in writting.
    To conclude answering what do I seek : a critical revue(with ups and downs) with some so called "technical details" and written with style.
    And pleeeease enter me into the draw! Thanks

  8. Like the commenters before me, I look for passion about perfume, personality and style in the writing, reviews, some technical information. I think about scientists and other artists with their own proliferation of blogging. What must they do to sort it all out? Like Ines, I read some, skip some. Time is precious. Please enter me in the draw. And thank you!

  9. Truth to tell, I'm procrastinating here :-) And since I love perfumes I enjoy reading perfume blogs. I seek different point of view on scents I wear and I also seek inspiration on what to try next.

  10. I enjoy reading the diversity of opinion, knowledge and experience. However, because there are so many blogs I have to keep to a few each day,otherwise I'd be reading all day instead of working!

  11. I like that there are a lot of perfume writings: perfume reviews are subjective, and it can be helpful to get lots of different viewpoints (particularly when you really know the reviewer's taste, based on their other reviews) for those of us who don't have access to stores to do any testing.

    Plus, it's just a nice break from "real world" stress, like war and work and health and aging and the quest to succeed. Really, it's nice read about perfume (which is somewhat frivolous but also full of joy and beauty) to give my day some levity.

    I look for different things at different times when I'm reading. Online, I'm not looking for much in the way of images (but I do look for good images in books like Michael Edwards'). Sometimes I'm looking for technical information about chemicals, particularly when I really like a fragrance and want to know what I find so compelling in it, and what else I might like. But most of the time, I'm looking for a well written description of the experience of the perfume *by that one person*. I think it's subjective, so I try to read a large group of those singular viewpoints.

    And I like the sites that have lots of reader comments and that are welcoming of newcomers. I like that sort of atmosphere on a blog.

    I don't even mind the misinformation. I work in marketing, so I understand that there can be a complexity in the "truth" that you hear about a product (or a piece of art) and it's development.

    Please enter me!

  12. I agree with many others here - I stick with the blogs that I feel offer me what I'm looking for; style, passion for the subject, humor, honesty & credibility. It doesn't matter to me if the bloggers are new to the scene or experienced professionals. It's also important to me that the blogger welcomes different points of view and doesn't 'talk-down' to their readers. That kind of thing can really put me off!
    Anyway, rant over, thanks for hosting the drawing!

  13. I will return with individual replies & questions to each and everyone of you shortly.

    However, one thing to consider: I mentioned VENUES, not just blogs! (and newcomers are just as welcome as old timers)

    Everyone here is focusing on blogs for some reason (I think that's a good sign, since most are independent) but there are some sites and fora and webzines out there, which also tackle the subject of perfume and they vary wildly in scope/intent. Just bear that in mind, it makes for an even wider scope of discussion. ;-)

  14. Thanks for reminding us about different venues. I don't spend a lot of time reading the fora, just checking in now and then. The webzines can be terrifically helpful in finding descriptive information, sometimes not. When I am reading online, all these venues tend to smush together.

    I like what RM has written. Good humor is often more important to me than depth of experience, as are discovery, synergy, delight.

  15. I look for information in all sorts of places, but in general, I look for the ones with a certain ..gravity about the subject matter, and a willingness to check the facts.

    In blogs, however, it's slightly different. Since perfume is such a highly personal choice and perceptions of it are so subjective, I tend to gravitate towards those blogs that are...personal, with something of the flavor of the writer behind them, and passionate about their subject matter, without resorting to preciousness yet with a sense of play about them. I mean, perfume is also supposed to be fun, right? And if it isn't, it should be!

    I'm one of the ignoble perfume bloggers myself, but I try to make a point of a) not claiming to know everything and b) not aspiring to the exalted heights of those who know far more than myself. Never forgetting, of course, that perfume should also be - fun, and always to make a point of engaging my (few) readers in a dialogue when I can.

    Passion - perspective - and humor. That's what I look for! And often enough, I find it, too!

  16. He, he, I completely dismissed other venues (as I rarely visit them). :) Basically, I visit other venues when they pop up on google when I search for something and basenotes when I'm trying to search through notes.
    I don't really put much evidence into what people write on fora, I think it's because they don't seem to invest so much time into thinking about perfume (which might not be true but it feels like that to me).

  17. Inspiration and kwnowledge. That's what I seek when I read about perfumes anywhere (blogs, books, discussion forums, webs...).
    I seek inspiration to decide what perfumes I really need or want to smell, because there are so many that I simply don't have time to try them all :)
    And I'm always willing to know more about this art: how to identify notes, how natural perfumes are blended, which places, people or ages inspired a perfume...

    Thanks for this chance to try an Andy Tauer creation.

  18. Bradamante,

    there's definitely a fun side to perfume. But I most identify with what you say about perfumes gaining patina (excellent thought!!) through the reflected experience of someone else: This explains why perfume writing (and blogging) has become so popular! Doesn't it? And why some perfumes have become so much revered over some others. (I don't necessarily mean masterpieces, but very popular ones, even older ones). Agree?

  19. Violaine,

    enthusiasm is as good a motive as any. In fact it's the only honest motive of starting one's own page!

    IMO What is concerning is when web sites are used as a tool to access a specific goal which isn't clear to the reader from the beginning: enter corporate blogs (a few have sprung in the general "beauty" sector), sites which advertise a certain service, fora which sprung out of a specific company etc. That's something different, isn't it?
    But in essence (no pun intended) all writing serves in some small part into "advertising" the writer ~it's been that way ever since. This is subtler and more smartly manipulated sometimes in this particular arena.

    By all means, do copy and paste your website for all to see here if you want to! :-)

  20. P,

    the way I see it, it isn't the length of time one has been writing but the voice they bring and its individuality. The authority is often a perceived value rather than a real one; not meaning to negate anyone's claims to authority chops here, just saying.
    Fragmenting of communication is an inevitable course I suppose, but it does create a bit of a puzzle when one doesn't have all the pieces of the puzzle on hand. If my message is transmitted to a couple of people and that couple of people communicate with another couple of people and transfer it, then the point gets across; and vice versa towards me.
    But what happens when we're all speaking on empty air? (If there is no discourse, it might be construed as such).

  21. And yup, I know you're in the project yourself, so you must have tried it already.

  22. Clarification to the above: I don't mean you've tried and are not interested in owning a bottle, LOL, just that you're hosting your own giveaway AFAIK.

  23. Spike,

    passion is certainly a defining and differentiating marker. Some corporate blogs can't fake it.
    On the other hand, I do know of a prominent beauty blogger who shall remain nameless who actually worked for a major cosmetics company while all the while mainting an "independent" blog. Coincidence or what, all the products of that firm received good reviews on the whole.
    There's the even more difficult nut to crack of a "fabricated personality": It takes a certain intelligence to do it, which of course only attests the intellectual powers of the one who does it, but it does pose its own little ethical dilemma in the end, doesn't it? I'm probably overanalysing. (Brian got me thinking).

    Maybe perfume writing has become an extention of perfume the industry itself, in the way that the same manner perfume mythos is constructed (see how Coco manipulated her own mythology for instance, polishing off the rough parts, omitting details she found negative), the same a perfume writer's mythos can be adorned to be adored. Maybe we like this submersion into the fairy tale on all levels?

  24. Ines,

    I'm happy and lucky to have readers like yourself who don't just skim and say "wow, I need to try that!" and who complicate thoughts! (Perhaps that gapping awe happens more often on fashion & beauty blogs, I might be oversimplifying here for our purposes, bear with me).
    Loyal reading ~or at least consistent reading~ does offer a glimpse into the steady quality/validity of a reviewing site, that's very true! The drawback is one has to invest some time in the first place to actually do that; and if there are a hundred venues, how does one pick a handful then without having to read all of them for 6 months or so? I'm afraid they either rely on whom they're friends with (or can identify with based on some cursory posts), or who is most popular (The "2=2=4 because 1 million mathematicians can't be wrong" principle is what I like to call it). So, is it meritocraty or is it private under-the-table-PR?
    Who knows!

  25. Alex,

    thanks for such a from the heart confession on what makes you tick as a reader. I admire you for having the time and inclination to read 12! I wish I could follow as many regularly.

    Now on to the core theme: Selection. I hear you. It's a delicate balance and one can't score all the time, I suppose.

    Of course I have included you in the draw, thanks for stopping by! Good luck!

  26. Fernando16:18

    There are several things I look for. Knowledge is probably the first: I want some indication that the writer has real experience with perfume and knows what she or he is talking about. Just as important is style: if it's hard to read or badly written, it's not usually worth the effort. It helps if the perfumes being discussed are ones I might have access to and be interested in; it's fun to read about Emeraude once, but then it starts getting frustrating, given that I probably won't ever smell the real thing.

    Other important things are regular updating and a point of view. I want to read someone who has something to say. Of course, a blog with a point of view might turn me off if I don't agree with that view, but that's good too, as it limits the range of things to read. Updating is important too: if I visit several times and it's always the same post, I'll stop showing up.

    I'm usually not too interested in the personal life of the blogger, so I tend to react badly when too much of that starts entering into the site. That can be offset by really good writing, but good writing is rare.

    I tend not to visit too many corporate sites, I guess because I'm suspicious about their impartiality. I'm also less than interested in overly "literary" writing, the sort that is "pretty" just to be pretty.

    Finally, my natural greediness means that giveaways always get my attention...

  27. QC,

    the scientific arena in blogging is a hilarious one if only because these people tend to have heated arguments about matters which to the uninvolved seem completely uncomprehensible and minutiae. I could say about some Byzantinoligists....but I really mustn't. (And after all, this is more of a foreign language phenomenon than a Greek one, as the local blogs are either extremely popular news-reeling things or entirely personal affairs. It will catch on eventually, no doubt...)Artists seem more blaze to me. I might be wrong, though.

    The matter of time is what I often think of myself: It's humanly impossible to read everything. I tried to for about a week or so a long while ago and it drained me. I couldn't function properly, I couldn't get off my chair fast enough. I prefer living. But one needs to be informed to engage in intelligent commentary and this is what prompted me into this discussion.
    Plus I tend to write long posts myself, even though I perfectly know that many readers eyes glaze and they only want to read really short and to the point reviews. Why do I do it, then?? *wacko emoticon*

  28. Loar,

    you procastrinator, you, come here and sit by me. I should be finishing reading some student's papers and editing a text I should have submitted since this morning.

    It's interesting that you mention seeking inspiration on what to try, as the avalanche of perfume launches does require some selective editing being done by people who have the benefit of sorting out the new releases. This is actually a valuable service some sites provide (not sure if I belong in this group, but I do respect that service a lot).

    Do you feel validated if someone praises your choice or crestfallen and a little irked if someone doesn't consider it chic?

  29. Tara,

    exactly! So true.
    I know I'm personally guilty of having missed lots of good content from comrades over time (Is that a good word to use? I don't mean it politically). It's sad but there you have it.

  30. GG,

    excellent points all around, thanks for sharing! And hope you find this venue welcoming, we certainly don't bite :-)

    The subjectivity of perfume appreciation/response (note I use the words "appreciation/response" and not necessarily "value") is what sparks the desire to have many venues in the first place. If people react differently to the same things, then there is a wealth of experiences to share and subsequently compare & contrast which makes it all very interesting!!
    It also makes it quite confusing too, because there is no established language platform on which to base the transliteration of the experience: So what is "sweaty" to you might not be "sweaty" to me, but "spicy" (I'm actually getting inspired by something I read on another blog when Persolaise above fragrance consulted for someone close and they were both smelling a vetiver-rich cologne).
    So, indeed, reading "a large group of singular viewpoints" gives an insight into how the specific reviewer/author is perceiving things. Which is a joy in itself, isn't it?

    As to perfume reading giving levity, I can't but agree. It is a beautiful subject and one which should impart pleasure on our lives, instead of mental and social constipation (forgive my French!)

  31. GG,

    I forgot to ask:
    Going by one of your criterion though, if a new blog or new venue in general (Facebook page, livejournal etc) doesn't have any "friends" or comments though, isn't it automatically at a disadvantage just because it's new and hasn't established itself yet?

  32. RM,

    thanks for chimming in.
    Certainly the newess of a venue doesn't automatically provide any lack of authority. If Michael Edwards or Jean Paul Guerlain started blogging tomorrow, would that diminish their credibility? I don't think so...
    Nor does the "old timer" nuance profer any laurels by itself: One has to prove their mettle again and again, I feel.

    I agree about having authors talking down to the readers being off-putting: This is why I stopped reading a couple of venues myself, alas. Validating oneself through a written medium that is fueled by readership itself anyway is rather pathetic. ;-)

  33. QC,

    the smushing together is what I was thinking about. Thanks for using that terrific word, it's what I needed!

    Humour is the ability to take one's "work" very seriously, but not ones'self all too seriously. I think. (It's easier said than done, but I try, scout's honour). :-)

  34. T,

    I admire your style and there are no exalted heights, I assure you!
    Engaging in dialogue is of course very illuminating for the author as well as for the reader: It's taking time to listen which makes for a wiser writer.

    I do have to think a bit more about perfume being a different matter than other subjects, however: Why do we so often perceive perfume as so subjective? There are objective qualities about it which one should be able to discuss without engaging into cat-fights surely ("NO, I find White Diamonds a masterpiece, don't you dare rip it apart, I love it!" "Obviously you're a half-learned twit who hasn't read her Freud for saying so" etc. etc. ~no offence to admirers of White Diamonds, of course)
    I feel that we actively seek to perceive perfume in a very subjective manner because personal fragrance is considered so very intimate; and choice of that personal fragrance is so very ...personal! And personality-reflecting as a result. An insult to one's perfume (or even worse, odour) rings far more scathing than a cursory stub against their fashion sense, I find. Don't you think?

  35. Ines,

    yes, I know, bloggers think in the scope of blogs, this is why I considered it important to mention webzines, fora, archived sites etc. The power of Google is terrific and ultimately it's the thing that confirms some sort of authority: people click repeatedly on things they find concise (sp?) and useful.

    Touché on people on fora appearing as if not investing too much time about articulating their thoughts on perfume: We return to what I said above> A perfume writing venue inevitably serves as an advertising platform for the writer him/herself! Contrasted with the anonimity of the fora...

  36. Isa,

    the editing through the maze of 1000 launches a year is a hard toil which can't be sufficiently recompensated. I'm kidding of course (Or am I? the swill I have smelled in the process....)
    It's satisfying to know that people enjoy reading about different aspects of the art of perfumery.

    Good luck on the advent giveaway!

  37. Fernando,

    absolutely stellar breaking down of the criteria! Very useful.

    I catch your mention of availability (very valid!), language and your point about updating (also legit, although maybe a bit "unfair" on those who have tighter schedules).
    As to personal life seeping in, I can't say that I personally belong to that group, but there is a sort of "style" which is exactly that: Some very influential blogs (not perfume related, not "sites" in general either) have succeeded exactly because of that style adopted. But perfume is a commodity and an object that one has to graft onto themselves I think, so having too much information about peripheral subjects would be distracting! Is that what you meant, did I catch that right?

    LOL on the giveaways. Honesty is such an appealing quality!

  38. Geordan17:22

    I read different blogs for different reasons. I like some of the older ones because they have a sense of scholarship (?) to them. I read some of the newer ones because I like the personalities that bleed through. I could literally sit and read perfume blogs all-day-long... I don't normally, but I could, very easily. I like hearing about new things, or love re-reading posts about fragrances I love. Finally, I read a few boards because of the sense of community that is found there... I've made some great friends, who understand my passion, unlike my "real-life" friends.

  39. Anonymous17:46

    Hi E!

    My first thought on reading this post today was that you had already read Brian's blog (I read his the other day) and you were responding to his entry. And then I read further that you just stumbled upon it after you posted your blog entry for today. I am glad you posted this today because I was hoping you would after I read Brian's blog the other day. Good timing!

    I prefer venues like the various perfume boards /blogs. On the boards there of lots of opinions that vary and agree at the same time. All different styles of collecting, purchasing and your chosen scent of the day are in place and shared. I have met so many people like me who love perfume in person or on the net. I love it. Info on discounts, etc. are also found on the boards and I also like that if I happen to be looking for a deal on a particular scent. And, I love the swap and sell features on all boards. ( POL though has really ticked me off with that no selling of bottles on the swap page anymore. )

    As for blogs, I read just a few. For me it comes down to the style of the blog, the writing, the design,etc.

    Thankfully there are quite a few blogs out there now that I can choose from to ehance my passion for my perfume habit.

    I personally canNOT stand perfume blogs that are scientific or so intellectual that I fall asleep while reading them. While those blogs are not my thing, I know there are people who appreciate them. And that's what it's about in my opinion - Variety and something for everyone. Just like perfume.

    NST is my favorite because it's light reading / short and sweet and there is variety and I find it a friendly place and not intimidating.

    I am also a fan of Bois de Jasmin. I just like her style of writing and we seem to like the same perfumes. If she likes a particular scent, chances are that I will also. I think that's kind of cool.

    The common thread that connects us all is our appreciation and love for perfume. Whether that be wearing it, writing about it, creating it, selling it, hosting sniffapaloozas, etc. It's a small but diverse world and I am glad to be a part of it.


  40. I literally embarassed myself with my atrocious typo on "meritocracy" above. Sorry everyone! That should serve me right for using politically-charged terms (comrades etc) into what is after all only a perfume blog!

  41. Geordan,

    interesting thoughts, hadn't thought of it that way.
    There's a huge amount of truth there is what you say about perfume community: I sense it on the boards I participate. Who else would sit with eyes peeled and read about how a perfume experiment we conducted with an unsuspecting victim went awry or how we scored a bargain at a consignment store?

    Thanks for stopping by, much appreciated.

  42. Don't enter me in the draw, I just wanted to comment:

    1) is there something wrong with the name of the perfume? Since you wrote {sic}

    2) I'm thrilled to see an explosion of interest in perfumery all over the interwebz. My only complaint is that I'd like to see the same level of enthusiasm and honesty reflected in the manufacturers' output. (Yep, looking right at you, Belle d'Opium and Chanel Bleu), to name two off the top of my head.

  43. Dawn dearest! Hello! How are you?

    LOL, no, I never compose a post to respond to another one's post. Like I said, it makes for confusion if webpages talk to each other. I prefer going to the venue and saying what I have to reply there. Or if I believe it is a kickstarting point for further discussion, linking (so people can see where the hell I'm coming from) and then blabbing on....

    I agree that the sense of community on a board is precious and I do miss the camaraderie of the bottle swap function page on POL. Too bad...it was stellar because one felt one swapped with people one knew.

    True about short & sweet, I know most people want that which is why NST is such a huge success commercially (and justifiably so!). Perfume is a hobby but also a shopping "sport" and one needs to have all the releases, the coupons etc amassed in one place alongside free-er content.

    I couldn't do that. Then again, hopefully I don't become too boring either. :-P
    I'm glad to be part of the whole thing, to be sure.

    What no one mentioned thus far, but I find most crucial, is navigation ease. Give me a site with lots of click-throughs, lots of advertising cutting through posts and sub-pages appearing under menus etc and I soon abandon it.
    Isn't that aspect important to you folks?

  44. Anonymous18:13

    Oh yeah....same here about the pop-up kind of advertisements. That does bug me and I will abandon that site.

    Off to the gym, but I'll respond in more detail later.

    p.s. Go to MUA and check out the link that was posted today about F. Malle calling us geeks. What say you? Lost in translation - possibly?

    Ciao bella!


  45. March,

    honey, how are you? So happy to see you here. I trust you're not "buried" in snow? We've been having unseasonally warm weather these past few days, I'm thinking of donning my bikini! Anyway...

    To revert to topic at hand and your questions:

    1) Good eye and see where Bela's bitch-slapping got me?? LOL! I didn't want to embarass Andy ~who has already printed all the labels out, so it would be useless to say anything out loud~ and I simultaneously wanted to save my own butt getting chaffed from spell-checking police! Seriously now: Technically it should be La Cologne. Then again, La Cologne is not really existent in French as one would say L'Eau de Cologne (just Cologne being the city); see my relevant Guerlain post about this (La Cologne du Parfumeur: there is some back & forth in the comments about it)

    2)Say that again!! If only the industry showed as much enthusiasm! What's happened is I "see" businessmen saying "Hey folks, look what's happening in the interwebz! There's tons of people wanting to have exclusive perfumes and talking about it every day! There's a shitload of money (pardon my French) to be made here! Let's give them 'exclusive' perfumes with weird smells without really investing!" (The rest is history). That's one side which has me less than thrilled... :/
    But then again, the Net is a democratic medium and in order to have democracy and free speech you will have the money mongers/vultures biding their time. Alas, it's inescapable, I fear.

  46. Dawn,

    looking forward to your renewed commentary! Have a good work out!

    Yeah, saw the Malle mention. I think he's amazed himself by all the attention (he's not a chemist, so I should think he finds it baffling that we want to know what's in there). Funny how they mentioned me up top in that article of theirs along with Katie and then left out the link. Bwah......I'm gonna cry! :-P

    (Will return with some answers I gave to a journalist who asked me about some "sensitive" issues next week, I think he mangled them!)

  47. london18:29

    i read the blogs who seem to know what they're talking about. Just don't ask me how I make that determination!

  48. Anonymous18:58

    I read perfume blogs because
    a) they enable me to find out more about the perfumes I love;
    b) they suggest other perfumes that I might love, being of the same family or sharing the same "nose", for example;
    c) they sift through new perfumes and provide unbiased and often candid opinions about them; and
    d) they encourage anyone to join in and share ideas and thoughts and information. This blog has done all these things and is doing the latter right now!

    When every perfume release is lauded by its company as the olfactory equivalent of the Second Coming, it is so refreshing to see that others too maintain a healthy scepticism and rely solely on how good it smells. If it doesn't smell good, the rest is just noise.

    I don't use any social networking sites or any other media fora: straight-forward perfume blogs satisfy my curiosity about perfume amply.

    cheerio, and I'd be grateful to be included in the Andy Tauer draw,

    Anna in Edinburgh

  49. Hi El, I"m wearing Orange Star today and loving it, so I'm very curious about the new one! I have been following the collaboration of sorts between Andy and Mandy on Nathan's blog, which I've found truly fascinating. Coming up with a new way to approach writing about and experiencing perfume this way was a fabulous idea and I'm so glad I was onto it!

    That said, what I look for in the few blogs I follow is erudition, irreverence, and a seriously informed, original, iconoclastic (is that the same as irreverance I wonder?) point of view. I am no longer very interested in most hobbyist's perfume blogs, including my own, started long ago, which I have abandoned. I love getting together with other Perfumistas for a sniff, but that's real life and loads of fun.

    I live in Hollywood, so I completely ignore hype and hyperbole, and have a complete disinterest in marketing, celebrity, and boring self appointed gurus, which I extend to my internet exploits. I'm also a bit ADD, so I never do the same thing two days in a row, so I don't get too daunted by the rash of perfume info out there unless I"m researching something.

    I've always appreciated your erudition and multifaceted approach to perfume and culture, keep it up and ignore the rest! XXX

  50. Thalia19:20

    I want to read intelligent, thoughtful commentary from someone who has an interesting perspective on perfume. I DON'T want to read advertorial, or one of those bloggers who gets tons of freebies and gives them all glowing reviews. I also want to read something with a bit more depth than "This smells sooooooo sexy! I love it!"

  51. I'm always puzzled by the perspective that there can be too many venues. Or, for that matter, that there can be too many perfumes. Tastes vary. Different people look for different things. As far as I'm concerned, the more venues and the more perfumes, the merrier.

    That said, this is one of the blogs I keep coming back to for all the excellent reasons listed by others above. I would love to entered in the draw for Any Tauer's new perfume. I am always interested to see what he will do next.

  52. I look for a mixture of intelligent information, humor and honesty in perfume reviews. It's interesting to hear a little bit about the perfumer's background or the perfume's chemical makeup, but I usually have the most fun reading the writer's subjective and no-holds-barred opinion of the fragrance.

  53. I read most of the comments to this post and many of them had good points in them, but actually Amy (commenting before me) managed to write it down pretty much the same way I feel.

    I enjoy a variety of views and I have 10 blogs in a bookmark-tab ”Perfume blogs” that I check pretty much daily (yours and Andy's included), even though I don't comment much. Basenotes I visit every now and then. Gotta say I love Brian's writing on ismellthereforeiam about and around perfume. And I miss Lee of perfumeposse.

  54. I read just about all of them, but admit that I skim for content unless it ia a perfume review. A review can be defined as anywhere from 3 line to a whole page declaring what the author thought of the fragrance. Yes it is nice to know the notes but when the same things is written on 5 different blogs, I skim. If there is a new release I can count on multiple blogs to give me the same info and I can always count on Perfume Shrine to get the latest on Guerlains or some of the more obscure. Oh and I really enjoy some perfumer blogs due to their style, but it's just like making friends no? instead of a face-to-face meeting we just meet online.

  55. When I read any kind of perfume writing, I am looking for the writer to make me feel as if I am smelling what they're smelling. That's all. Evocative writing, not too flowery, but detailed and descriptive enough to make me understand what I would be experiencing if I were in the room with them.

  56. Lists and comments about individual notes helps, history and legend are really fun. But the absolute best is the read about the way a fragrance makes a reviewer feel, the memories stirred, the visions seen, the emotions evoked. That's were there the fragrance obsessed really get down to the business of sharing.

  57. Valentine00:39

    I like having a handful of well-written, well-versed reliable perfume blogs that get updated on at least a weekly basis. I'll usually skim through the topics for the day and read whatever articles I find interesting in full, usually if there's a new release that sounds promising or there's a review of a scent I've been curious about. I also like informative essays about fragrances in general, and I usually give various interviews and perfume shop reviews a nice skim. I like having a diversity of perfume blogs available when I want to know about a specific fragrance. I love being able to type in a name and having more than just one or two opinions come up.

  58. I suppose what I want is to read of perfumes I might actually wear -- or have a chance to smell before buying.

    I love Tauer fragrances and would love to win.

    I remember when a kind stranger (at the time) sent me sample vials of a great number of one person's fragrances. That was beyond what anyone would expect. And it gave me a chance to seriously try them, after being overwhelmed by the selection in Europe.

  59. I like reviews of new and old scents, with comments on its genealogy, uniqueness, or banality!

  60. Being newer to the world that is perfume, I found a mentor of sorts to learn from and one thing I am grateful for is the list of select well-written perfume blogs (that included yours) she directed me to. It is definitely overwhelming out there with so many vying for your attention and I appreciate having delightful and trustworthy sites to spend my limited time on. And please include me in the draw! Thanks :-)

  61. This comment has been removed by the author.

  62. Anonymous05:13

    I have had to narrow my reading down to 6 a day, the same 6 of course. I want the writers to be close to my age and be able to reference culturally specific experiences of mine. Therein lies the rub people, but it does happen. A good chuckle is always appreciated.
    What irritates the hell out of me is a meandering, pseudo poetic, difficult to decipher, cryptic review of perfume. The tend to be self indulgent - yawn. But whatever. Sorry.

  63. What I would really want to read is the whole atmosphere that the writer/blogger creates in one entry. Seriously, it's not only the perfume we are reading. In fact, it's fragrant product that we call it perfume. The writer puts his or her writing skills to elevate features he or she absorbs from it. It could be interpreted poetically, practically, even dramatically. I've read fantastic articles from these types of writing. It's the writing skills that live up to the plate.

    Also, as a fellow perfume blogger, I would love to see how other perfumistas see some specific perfumes that I have strong opinions on. Sort of a comparison I always do, whether I have the same says or not.

  64. I look for someone who shares a thoughtful perspective, preferably with humor. There are a lot of people out there who know a lot more than me & I enjoy learning from and exploring with the writer.

  65. This comment has been removed by the author.

  66. I also would NOT like to be entered in the draw, since I was lucky enough to win a treat from you and Anya's Garden already (thank you again!).

    I just wanted to say that since I have a new blog (of mixed content, but it's the perfume I'm most happy writing about), it's been a little difficult getting situated. I have found many of you to be very inspiring, including Perfume Shrine, and I can also see how different my writing is from what I've read out there. This gives me hope that even though I'm not formally educated in perfumery, I've still got a voice that some people may be interested in hearing. Simply put: I love writing, and I love perfume. That is what drives me to write, and those are the qualities I seek in others for providing my reading material. That is good enough for me. :)

  67. I don't know. Originally I just started reading perfume blogs because the writers were intelligent and funny. I didn't actually have much active interest in perfume until after reading the blogs for a while. Now I mostly just read people's reviews on perfumes to go on "a trip"; to dip my finger into the olfactory experience that so exhilarates my fellow people. =)

    (By the way sorry if I ended up double-posting. There was a weird glitch and an error page popped up so I tried to post again.)

  68. Zazie09:57

    I follow roughly 10 perfume blogs, some I follow more regularly than others, some show inevitable signs of fatigue, some show too much self-confidence...
    Some are simply a real pleasure.
    Many bloggers that today are startled at the number of amateurs posting their fragrant perception, started in the very same way - with naive posts, inaccuarate information- and have grown into more experienced and relevant voices. Time will make many amateurs loose their enthusiasm, leaving behind haunted blogs thick with cobwebs, while others will grow into interesting and enjoyable sources of information. Hopefully.
    To be honest, I follow ten perfume blogs because not a single one satisfies me completely: many have slacky, unfriendly designs, others seem too self conscious, others often indulge into purple prose, some waste too much space in reporting rumors and insider's gossip.
    I feel that ALL the blogs I follow would benefit from more serious, informative and enjoyable reviews and less small talk! And ALL would benefit of a design update.

  69. PS - focusing on blogs instead of venues because blogs are really where I do my reading about perfume. Venues are where I occasionally chatter mindlessly about perfume, and it's more motivated by being bored or procrastinating from something in real life that I'm supposed to be doing etc. It can be interesting and fun, but more and more I find that it's not learning/reading that I'm doing, it's answering others' questions, making suggestions for newcomers, or answering polls that I don't think anyone reads the replies to (it's more about talking than listening).

  70. At the beginning I was a bit irritated by the tone of your post here, bit elitist? But I love your blog anyway so it goes.
    o I think it's quite simple, it is like with all media. There are different qualities and they address to different targets. You have Financial Times and you have Daily Mail. The same with the web pages addressed to perfume lovers. It is a lot but people with different needs will go to check different pages. The one who love Britney Spears perfumes will find their places while L'Artisan Parfumeur will go in other places. (trivia: the other day a lady hosting a web page promoting cheap new releases asked boisdejasmin to advertise her blog as an exchange. It was so funny)
    o I can't say enough about how grateful I am to web and people like you for what I learnt about perfumes. It takes time, of course, to learn to make a difference between real knowledge and rumours. And many times it's frustrating, you don't find enough knowledge. Still, it's amazing. Living 30 years ago it would have taken me years to find out things that now I find by a simple click.
    o Somebody said something about irreverence. Here lately I have a problem, between the old and trustful bloggers you can find less and less irreverence. That perfume is not good, it stinks, yes, I want to read that, too. Lost are days when Luca Turin was blogging with guts. I have the feeling that these old and great bloggers want to address to a too big audience, losing the critical approach. If I visit these blogs is because I need that.
    o There is still a lot of place. Sadly, I find many web pages being copies of older ones. While there is a big need for different approaches, new points of view. Socially, historically, technically. There are so many things I would be curious about. In fact, at the moment the things are quite stuck in a certain way of blogging or forums.

    I do blog, too, with big humility and doubts. It's just that sometimes I'm so full of my own experiences and thoughts about perfumes. Simple idea that somebody there could share my thoughts.

  71. Just before reading your post, I was reading his :)

    I don't know why people feel Internet is limited place for few (best) people... I guess this also goes for reviewing perfumes.

    I have around 40 blogs that I follow, enjoy reading when I travel with bus to work (or sometimes at work - but rarely! :D).

    I don't care if reviews are one line or entire story - if it is perfume that I am interested in - it's like entire adventure :)comparing, thinking, revising :)

    I love reading also about art of perfumery, specially about perfumers who write about their processes and development of (new) perfumes.

    It is really like coming home and 20 friends are waiting for you (or in my case - i meet them in bus) to discuss thing that we all adore - perfume :)

  72. My how comments mushroomed, it's certainly an interesting issue I guess and I will do my best to listen and take heed.

    So on with the replies:


    all right, I promise I won't! Operative word "seem". *evil grin*

  73. Anna,

    I'm very glad you have seen that the scope of this post is exactly to encourage people to leave feedback and help me improve.

    As to companies (and glossies and press releases and some affiliated sites) making perfumes sound like the Second Coming, let me just add that that would be resplendid with an Apocalyptic catastrophe beforehand, if we keep to the scriptures, right? So...

  74. Wendy,

    honey, I haven't written! Sorry!! (must amend, must amend). Did my package reach you btw?

    It's a wise move to be a bit distanced from it all; it can become confusing if one ingests too much of the fruits of perfume writing. LOL! I guess your being at the epicentre of glamour-industry you have an advantage over us.

    And oh, thanks for the wonderful compliment. But I'm definitely not mad at anyone for writing what they write. They might have a point!

  75. Thalia,

    advertorial is the worst sin in my book: It's so fake, most of the time. Yet, there are sites which perpetuate it masquerading as genuine amateur sites and I find that both tragic and hilarious at the same time.

  76. Kathryn,

    I see where you're coming from. But I ask you, with 1000 perfume launches a year, can you give your undivided attention to each and every one of them? No. Natural selection ensues. It's the same with 1000 venues. Only it's a pity because some of them have such good content. Perhaps if more joined under a collective umbrella, taking turns into writing, then we might all profit from their thoughts more constructively? This is food for thought.

    Thanks for your loyalty and you're in the draw, good luck!

  77. Amy,

    I think you're speaking on behalf of many. This might be why it's so fun to hear of someone who absolutely loves to pieces something we personally hate and vice versa. We want to ask "what mushrooms did she eat?" :D

  78. Mikael,

    thanks for commenting and for reading regularly. It honours me.

    I do find Brian to be gifted and I do miss Lee as well (Lee had a most individual streak which appealed to me a lot)

  79. Fernando15:18

    Hi, Elena.

    I guess wanting constant updates would be unfair, but wanting updates seems reasonable to me. I've seen blogs that seem to have no updates for a month... If I really like that blog, I might sign up for an RSS feed, but wouldn't visit regularly.

    As to the personal stuff, I don't mind it if it is apropos, or if it is done in an entertaining way. But it does set up an extra hurdle, since it means that I have to like the personality, not just the ideas. (And no, you hardly do any of it... I'll even admit I'm curious where you teach, and whether my classicist son might have heard of your work!)

    But in the end, I'm a professor: I want to hear from folks who know something I don't and can help me learn more!

  80. Womo,

    thanks and good point! There is an online meeting which substitutes some IRL conversation about something which we find interesting. I guess the Net has brought together people with common interests. In small places with small chances of meeting them in the flesh, this is invaluable.

    Your thought on skimming when you read the same subject on 5 blogs does give food for thought. I suppose we all want to cover the latest because that's where the demand lies (and the curiosity), but it does make for a sameness which is perhaps too much when there are several online sites covering the same perfume. Point taken!

  81. C,

    yup, that's most useful I find!
    I think some of us have been impressed by poetic reviews by two male -acclaimed- reviewers we all know, who have managed to speak about perfumes without actually describing them, and thus get carried away into thinking this is the proper way to do it. Obviously not and they definitely have their own style which is inimmitable.

  82. Presch,

    if I understand correctly (?) the golden medium is if there is a little factual info and a lot of sentiment-driven fantasy. It's definitely how perfume works for at least two centuries now. Can't argue with that.

  83. Valentine,

    very interesting what you say there!
    It's true that it's best when there is some diversity on specific fragrances. I suppose this is the aim of sites such as Basenotes, Fragrantica and MUA. I love leafing through their archived reviews section.

    Now, if all blogs review the same things, however, as per a commenter above who made an interesting point, it might become boring to the reader. I wonder if it's the difference of format: everything under the same roof as opposed to scattered opinions on the same subject on different pages. Eh?

  84. Karin,

    accesibility is one factor I'm keeping tabs on in my mind as we speak.

    You're in the draw so good luck!

    And as to kindness within the community and sharing, yes, that's one endearing feature, I whole-heartedly agree.

  85. Datura,

    great criteria! Banality is overlooked but it's so abundant these days.

  86. GG,

    I'm very thankful she directed you to me. I take this as a high compliment!
    Overwhelming is right: Perfume has become an overwhelming business in general. Too many things to catch on.

    Good luck with the draw!

  87. Anon,

    I am taking notes. Thank you!
    There is indeed a relevance to the experiences of the reader and I wonder how any one blog can cater to everyone, since the Net is an international medium. Cryptic might be in the eye of the beholder, since what's cryptic to one might not be cryptic to another with -exactly- different life experiences, but I think I know what you really mean.

  88. Craig,

    this explains perfectly why I derived such pleasure from two now defunct blogs: the writers were absolutely stellar.

    (and I can't but agree that Bleu isn't as woody as to be classified in woodies; all I detect is that sweet licorice thing in the wake of A*men etc. plus some ambroxan)

  89. PKlagrange,

    thanks for commenting, this is an added bonus, humour; yes!

  90. Carrie,

    assuredly! I find that the motivation to self-publish works cathartically for many and finding one's own voice comes with the passage of time for sure. There is someone out there reading, so it should account for something right? I wish you every possible success and sense of self-fulfilment!

    My only gripe was that it's hard to keep up, hard to engage in an intelligent continous commentary. Boards can be trifle and blogs can be scattered. That's all...

  91. Cailley,

    thanks for bringing a most fascintating facet into the discussion: becoming interested in perfume reading because you found the style engaging! This is a reverse case of reader's absorbsion and I find it thrilling and wonderful to witness. (It's almost Poe-like in its subliminary message: a dream within a dream)

  92. Jicky L.15:38

    No wonder the comment "mushroomed" with such a lovely prize! I seldom read about perfume in other venues than blog, but I a a few blogs (maybe 5) that I read regularly, one of them being yours. Part of the reason I only read these five or so is habit, I don't in any way assume there isn't other blogs out there I would enjoy as well. But what these blogs have in common, I think, is that they are well written (language is very important to me), full of knowledge (I learn something, and I can trust them). And since I read blogs (any blogs, not just the perfume ones) as much for fun as anything else, they must of course entertain me.

  93. Zazie,

    this is perhaps the most helpful comment of them all. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    It's refreshing as well as
    humbling & wisening to hear that not one venue can satisfy all possible needs. The question is whether it should even try. This is something to carefully consider and I promise to do that in the following days. Your feedback is deeply appreciated.

  94. Proximity/A,

    I believe you have accidentally erased one of your comments? Anyway, I'm replying to this one with the PS. on it.

    You have a very valid point in what you say about boards: This is why they have become repetitive and therefore a little boring sometimes. There is too much talking, less listening, as you say. The whole format sometimes is geared into talking vs.listening. I'm a firm believer in the adage that format dictates content. Are you?

  95. Maria,

    I assure you there is no intention of being elitist in the bad sense of the word (i.e.discriminating). There is only aspiration to be in the elite in the meritocracy sense of the word (i.e.to excel). I believe this is what everyone should strive for and I see you have created a blog yourself, so you know that anyway. One wants to be as good as they can be. Which is good! I wish you every possible success in your project and will keep an eye on it.

    It's always a satisfying experience to hear there has been learning and pleasure weaned from these pages. I am deeply honoured to hear that. On the other hand, do I feel like I'm the be all and end all of blogging? Assuredly not. Like Zazie said above, not one venue can satisfy all perfume needs. I find this very wise. And it negates much of the stress that some bloggers and some boards have. So, the reader will naturally select what is more relevant and this is a healthy process. Sometimes, the reader even selects specific sections of a venue. And that's a healthy process too!

    I DO miss the ballsy way Luca managed to shred some things to pieces. He had his own reasons and his own criteria of course, but the clear, distinct opinion was something which I respected. Sometimes, I feel bloggers and boards are a bit afraid if they diss too much they might lose their priveleges of having a continuous stream of advance samples to try, something which in a way ensures their continuation.
    Of course some of us are more independent than some others (there are lots of "fake" sites posing as genuine ones).

    It's true that there is a certain rut where perfume writing has get stuck in. We need to think how to get out of it. As you wisely say there is still a lot of place, but it needs to be different.

  96. Bellatrix,

    thanks for commenting.

    I have to say perhaps my point wasn't crystal clear. It's not that there is no place for everyone or that only the "best" should write. It's that too many voices risk having a message scattered and hard to follow. There is no concrete, common ground on all venues and there is no common umbrella under which to organise so as to fight our "causes". This is what I'm personally concerned. It's riskier to be engulfed into some sort of corporate take-over too (in some cases) or of a bullying campaign from a conglomerate in some cases.

    But I get what you're getting at and I understand the need to compare human experiences: It's like with story-telling. Man (and woman) is but an Ulysses, needing to unfold their own personal Odyssey. :-)

  97. Jicky,

    thank you for your kind words (careful lest they go over my head!! LOL) and yes, a lovely prize indeed. Good luck!

    I hear you and it's absolutely true that habit has to do with some of it. It's human nature. I'm a creature of habit myself. That doesn't mean there aren't gems out there. And it's missing them that I lament, due to my time and finger clicking being ever so definite. :(

  98. Anonymous17:47

    What do I seek when reading about perfume? What I was after when I started reading about perfume was information-- what was I smelling? How to separate out the notes, what is it that is speaking to me-- I guess I was looking for tools to explore my own preferences. This is still a large part of why I keep reading about perfume. What I have found in the 5 or 6 blogs I regularly read is a sense of camaraderie, humor and enjoyment. Basically, I read the blogs of people who speak in voices I would actually like to hear from across a cup of coffee or glass of wine. If someone is mean or pretentious in their writing, it shows up pretty immediately and I skip reading the blog and don't bookmark it, and generally dismiss it from my memory. I enjoyed reading Brian's post--but I guess since I have found a small number of blogs (to which I am absolutely devoted, Perfumeshrine being front and center) I am not really troubled with the proliferation of blogs. I sometimes find a new voice when I am looking for a specific perfume review, will read a few different takes on the same perfume, and go back and read the folks who seem to be coming at the perfume from an angle I enjoy-- the history, context, relation to other aspects of culture. And--the people with whom I find I am in agreement. I would love to be entered for the Tauer-- love reading Perfumeshrine--Best, Mary

  99. I don't see the excess of information as a bad thing. In fact, having diversity is always better than relying on a few fonts. And the size of industry at this point, produzing so many launches year after year, make it impossible for a few people to try them all and review it properly. The diversity of blogs and channels of information end covering more about different facets of the fragrance world. What us, as readers, need to do is to select the ones that we identify most and keep reading them. I'd be nice if there were more sites like the drydown, where you can have like an index of recent post of several blogs, so you don't need to waist time navigating for all them to search what you want to read. The excess of information is not the problem, the problem is how to organize this ensuring that what you write end reaching the ideal public that will see something useful in what you say.

  100. When I read about perfume I seek to momentarily look (smell) from someone else's perspective. Random.org, pick me.

  101. (Before I forget - don't enter me in the draw. In the trade and giveaway realm, I don't give, due to an irrational level of Postal Regulation Phobia, so it seems only right that I don't take.)

    I think that almost any topic inevitably crosses the "I can't read everything that's written" boundary, once the Internet glances at it. To me, it's not surprising or dismaying that perfume discussion is crossing that boundary--it's surprising that it's still so close to the boundary that we're noticing the crossing.

    I can understand a pang of nostalgia, the way that one might feel nostalgia for the days when people walked down the street of their tiny town and never saw a face that they didn't already know. Losing that small, tight group is indeed losing something of value. But keeping a world small enough to know everyone also means giving up variety and new ideas, and once you have to fight to keep that exclusivity, the fight itself seems to destroy the community's value.

    I admit that I've very recently had to go to Google Reader to have any hope of keeping up with the hundreds of blogs that interest me - not just about perfume, but writing, gardening, food, and just plain babbling. There are only a couple of dozen that I always read, but I like to remember to glance at each of the bigger group once in a while, and doing that by bookmarking and going to the blog itself just stopped working.

    (I realize that you're not only talking about blogs, but apparently I am. :) I don't perceive an excess of perfume forums, perhaps because I haven't been looking hard. I lightly participate on Basenotes and occasionally look into a couple of others.)

    As for what I want in perfume writing, I think that I'm largely reading to read. Good information about perfumes and perfume topics that interest me is great, but I'm reading to hear someone who writes with a good and engaging voice, and who gives away at least a little bit of themselves. This means that there's a fair chance that a hobbyist blog that started just yesterday might jump to the top of my list of Feeds To Be Sure To Read.

    I do sometimes find myself wishing that the perfume blogging world as a whole had some sort of keyword scheme, so that I could promptly Google all reviews of a given scent, or all of those articles musing about the signature scent concept, or, well, whatever. But of course, if we agreed on keywords, fourteen seconds later the spammers would be using them in advertising.

    As one last note, I have a personal philosophy that is emphatically anti-perfectionism. So while it's always good to continually improve one's efforts, I pretty instantly reject the idea that someone should reach a sort of competitive level of quality before they expose their personal efforts (and most, though not all, of these blogs are personal endeavors) to the world. So I'm all in favor of serving that fallen cake to friends, and launching a blog with one happy rambling post that may or may not be all that informed.

  102. Anonymous21:58

    Hi! Thanks for the drawing. I read about perfume online to have a community to share and relate with over perfumes. Most of my friends are not perfumistas (actually, maybe none!) and online on blogs is where I find voices that make sure I am not insane! And, of course, help me out with info and join in with emoting about our love for scent!

  103. Being relatively new to the world of perfume, I find the abundance of information and opinion a little overwhelming.
    I like to read blogs with a balance of information, with a light-hearted attitude - sofar what I have read here certainly lives up to that. I love the description, and it's nice to read from the sidelines, not knowing that much about perfume.

  104. Anonymous22:32

    I love to read about perfume. It's fun, and I like the very knowledgeable reviewers as well as the noobies. I especially like when I find someone with very similar tastes and body chemistry to mine, so I can get what feels like tailored recommendations!

    Erica Y

  105. Monika22:50

    I stick to blogs, and am not interested in the other venues; there is just too much out there.

    The blogs I read on a regular basis tend to be very personal -- you get a strong impression of the writer, and their likes and dislikes. I like reading diverging viewpoints because I feel that I can learn something. Knowledge, insight, humour, wit, writing ability... these are all the things that I look for.

  106. Lisa D22:55

    I find the sheer amount of information available mind-boggling, and a bit frightening. I read a few favorite perfume blogs, and I rely on them to extract important information from the mass that I simply don't have the time to sift through. I also experience a deep sense of satisfaction from knowing that there's a group of people (and it's amazingly large) who share my obsession with scent.

  107. Monika22:58

    I should add that I am a regular reader of Andy's blog, and follow the links he provides, so I guess to *do* head to other venues.

    But even though Andy is a perfumer, his blog is so wide-ranging and the perfumery discussions so fascinating, I guess I don't categorize him in that "other venue" category along with the marketing tools. Andy is all about the passion for perfumery!

  108. I just want to know if the person writing the blog Likes or Hates the perfume!
    That way I can figure out if I would too for if you know what the writer likes , then you can think - this person is similar to me - she/he likes tuberose or whatever and as you know Helg, we in Australia do not - sadly - get all the fragrances you and others talk of and in this way I get an "idea" about that scent and if it gets to my shores I know to seek it out or - forget it! LOL

  109. Anonymous23:20

    For 1) helpful tips - best way to test, best way to spray, etc. 2) new perspectives which give me ways of appreciating scents, alternatives to my primitive fear or affection response. 3) The AHA moment! When I come across the exact word that pins down what seemed to be a shifting shapeless experience: for instance, a reviewer described filles en aguilles as introspective - exactly that sober inward turning it elicited in me. There was even a word for it!

  110. sunsetsong23:27

    I love that so many people have an opinion about perfume and the number of blogs is a good sign. It is impossible to read them all for sure. The best thing is that I now make informed choices when I buy perfume.

  111. ElizabethN23:34

    Well, I'll be honest - it's always nice to read reviews that show a similar appreciation for scents that I adore, but I also just like straightforward, understandable reviews, so that I can actually figure out what the perfume is like. I especially like visual descriptions (that's the synesthetic in me) and comparisons, although that doesn't help if you haven't tried the scent it's being compared to!,I love to see the same passion for scent as I have, too. And I prefer a down-to-earth quality in the attitude of the blogger, too. Gee, I sure expect a lot!! :)

  112. I am looking for a little humor, some unique insight into a fragrance that I haven't tried. I am also looking for personal stories. Actually, all of the above woven into a brief post.

    I live in a third world country and it is difficult to find fragrances here. So, in order to try things, I have to buy samples. I need to really be intrigued in order to go through all of the work to try something.

  113. My favourite time every day is when I read about perfumes.
    I like to read many point of views and I also write in my blog

  114. I'm usually looking for straightforward information from blogs. I also appreciate thoughtful reviews and posts about perfumery in general.

  115. I seek the imaginary sensations that naturally comes to me upon reading descriptions. It's not strange that different artistic expressions has many things in common, and I find it possible to experience a composition through the notes and descriptions, and actually experience it again smelling the actually thing.

  116. cjj8800:37

    I love to read notes and the inspiration for the perfume. I try to read as many points of view before making even a sample purchase.

  117. Daniele R.00:46

    Personally, I seek good writing, reviews, and interesting viewpoints. I seek a great community more than straight-up information, and I look for passion without pretension. I wouldn't worry about the proliferation of new perfume blogs and venues. In the end, most blogs won't have the quality to prosper, and the ones that do deserve their audience, right? :)

  118. Olivia A01:06

    Hmm... When I read about perfume, sometimes it's just to learn more information... But sometimes it is for the poetry of it. Especially on the perfume blogs I frequent, like this one, I find that the perfume reviews and perfumer interviews are erudite and eloquent, and for me, reading them is like taking delight in the beauty of little gems - whether a review is positive, negative, or somewhere in between :-)

    Thanks for the thought provoking question, and for hosting this day's Advent calendar giveaway from Andy :-) (please enter me?)

  119. I read about perfume to add to the experience of smelling it for the first time. I am a believer in "conscious consumption," knowing the background and source of anything one chooses to buy, and perfume is no exception. It's a bonus that often perfume reviews are beautifully written and interesting to boot.

  120. Hmmm- well I read for the reviews- mostly. Also to hear about new perfumes (I know there are lots complaining about the vast launches- to many to care to sniff-yet I do care to sniff many!)

  121. In any writing I look for honesty and passion. I look for expertise and novice opinions both. What I like to read is actually highly varied. Anything that can help me appreciate the art perfume making or perfume wearing is something that I want to read.

  122. Before I forget, please allow me to request entrance in Andy's drawing.
    I think a variety of venues for information is a good thing---there's no rule that says in seeking reviews or information on perfume xyz needs to be all inclusive or exhaustive (or exhausting!) If you want a little additional information, a few very technical reviews or more anecdotal opinions; it's nice to be able to find that.....so much is out there, pick and choose! Read what you want, ignore the rest!
    Personally, I look for some reviews just to get a general feel for something new (or new to me) in the end: the only opinion of a scent that REALLY matters is my own! As for blogs--there I'm seeking camaraderie and small bits of other things: humor, the occasional shopping recommendation, sharing...that's basically it.
    Unfortunately; in perfume as in any other area of interest---there are going to be people who just take themselves too darn seriously. At that point I employ that little "x" in the corner ...it works wonders....and it encourages me to get a little work done. :-) someone rather intelligent once said: Relax people, it's only a blog.

  123. In reading about perfume I seek an account on how it behaves on the skin, what it does on the reviewer's skin. To make that relevant to me I'd like some context of what that reviewer's skin is like (e.g. "I was shot to death by a blast of galbanum, but my skin is know to amplify green scents to the point of the weapons of mass destruction"). I also like to see the mentioning of what they generally like and don't like in perfumes. If someone says, "and this reminded me of dreaded vintage Arpege extrait", I'll know that this person experiences perfumes in a very different way than I do.

    And I also love a reference to history, art, and just a good story :)

    Thanks for hosting!

  124. Notes, category, and maybe first impression from a few reviewers I trust. I find that many fall into the trap of writing non-sense that has nothing to do with the fragrance. Others get too judgmental because the fragrance is nothing new! It drives me nuts when this is all what the reviewer can say about a fragrance. Sorry for venting.

  125. I liketo learn more! The more I read, the more I can smell the subtle notes...sometimes they elude me otherwise....

  126. Lauren04:08

    I read a few perfume blogs that inspire me to try something new and/or simply give information about notes, availability, price, etc. Funny is good, too, sometimes, or moving to tears.

    I hope I'm not to late to enter :)

  127. A really good perfume can set the tenor of my day. It can make me feel more confident and "executive" on a day when I give a speech; it can make me feel sensual, or joyful, or girly, or balanced. Reading blog entries about how a fragrance I've never smelled has made the writer feel is kind of a vicarious way of living new perfume experiences without having to spend money -- cheap thrills really. Sometimes new perfume isn't in the budget, so reading about it is the next best thing.

  128. Cathy Anderson04:54

    We should remember we are animals, albeit sophisticated ones, and our sense of smell should be celebrated. I like to read stories about perfumes - their creation, their unfolding when you wear them and what they do to your mind. Dwell on the good ones, but publish unflinching reviews of the crap ones, not just feeble praise.

  129. Leanne05:16

    I have been an online reader of various subject matters for a number of years, with perfume and perfumery being a more recent interest. I am solely a reader rather than producer of content, and the blogs I like are those that:
    (a) post regularly (e.g. 2 or 3 times a week)
    (b) have their own opinion and are happy to share it, though won't diverge too much from the focii of their blog
    (c) is involved in the community and encourages discussion
    (d) does reviews and discussions rather than just post the latest marketing spiel
    (e) respectful of others

    That's why I like your site, perfume posse, nst, non-blonde etc

  130. I like to hear about the creative process and real world experiences involving scents, how they shape memories and experiences of everyones lives.

  131. Opinions on sites like MUA and Basenotes have been one of my great teachers... and lead me to such beauties that I would never have reached on my own.

    On the other hand, it does fan the flames of 'obsession'.... needing to try things, a kind of desperation....

    But it is what it is!I love perfume too much to distance myself from all the talk surrounding it.

  132. When I read about perfume, I look for insight on the perfume's creation, the history of the perfume house as well as its creator. I am fairly new to the world of niche perfumes, so I am always looking for suggestions on scents to sniff. I like the impressive volume of opinions and reviews that are available through blogs.

  133. zeram107:38

    I seek information about the process of the making of perfume/fragrances, as well as others personal insights into ones that I am curently interested in.r

  134. hello. about perfume on net, i hardly check blog about perfume, to tell the truth, except Andy's. ive got some of his perfume and ive been into his stuff. when i check perfumes on Blog or Hp or info is when i have some perfume id like to search for, for some info and stuff. but its also good to peep some sites to read about new perfumes which just got released.

  135. i seek to find information on when each perfume is best to wear eg day/night and type of fragrence eg floral

  136. I guess once a trend gets popular, it means overabundance on the internets. Just like fashion blogging - everyone is now a fashion blogger. Luckily, not everyone is a perfume blogger, but we're getting close.
    Of the myriad of perfume blogs that are out there, I only read a few - the established 'classics' :). When reading I usually look for reviews, insights on composition and also insights on ingredients. And thanks to perfume blogs, we have swaps, which is definitely great!

  137. Given the sheer number of pages out there now, I tend to look for either a site with encyclopedic listings and reviews a la Basenotes, or an individual with similar tastes. While I love perfume and scent, I can't read about it all the time.

  138. A search for the 'perfect' scent led me down the rabbit hole of blogs, forums, books and magazines on the subject. Along the way, I have fallen out of love with many blogs. Perhaps its my fickle nature, but now I drift in and out of them.
    Some blogs seem to have been taken over by cliques of commenters (all the cool kids!), and it turns me off completely.
    The great thing about Andy's advent calendar is the gentle nudge towards those blogs with a little more substance.

  139. Good morning, Andy!
    I prefere to read some perfume-blogs from people I know them, trust them and I know my taste is similar to theirs. I live in Internet many years already and I was happy to meet a lot of "parfmaniacs" (like Sergey borisov-Moonfish, or ladycriminelle) that turned their "mania" into profession. So, I'm looking for the notes and accords that interest me and pay my attention what my perfume-friend think.

  140. Lilybug09:29

    I don't think it's a problem having so many people writing about perfume. Like TV shows and books and all, you miss most of it but friends etc direct you to new things and life continues on regardless. I don't feel any pressure to keep up. I just go with what is enriching to me, which is usually the witty, the knowledgeable and the quirky. No plans to start a fragrance blog myself though, thank goodness for all :)

  141. I seek informations about the type of the fragrance, notes and accords, tenacity, longevity. I seek comparison to other fragrances I know. I don't like quasi-scientific descriptions because they don't give me any idea about how the fragrance smells.

  142. Do you feel validated if someone praises your choice or crestfallen and a little irked if someone doesn't consider it chic?

    Not really... everyone has a different taste. Although it's always nice to hear that "my precious" is a masterpiece I won't stop using a perfume just because someone (even Luca Turin :-)) said it's a complete shit.

  143. I love to read about what notes there are.

  144. I like it when I find someone with similar taste and body chemistry to mine, so I can get an idea of what probably will suit me - especially when it comes to fragrances I by chance happen to come across that are not sold in my country - then I can try to buy unsniffed.
    I also like to read what others feel about my perfume collection, and what notes that are detectable as my nose is not trained enough to differentiate between various notes.
    I read, then I re-sniff to see if I can recognize what's been written. It's a learning process.
    And tips and recommendation on what to do with fragrances that are kind of a lost case on me is also good reading, sometomes I can find a way of carrying a non-performing fragrance off on me by trying other techniques or with layering.

  145. I love reading reviews & spend hours on my laptop. Problem is I finish up wanting to buy almost every fragrance I read about!
    Andy Tauer I love.......please enter me into the draw.........this year I might be lucky!

  146. solocha11:35

    I like reading not too lengthy, but interesting reviews - mostly of rare niche editions or mainstream scents. Not too much into vintage fragrances. I also like articles which describe types of perfume addicts or types of behaviour when encountering certain fragrances.

  147. Anonymous11:54

    I just spent half an hour reading your post an skimming the comments. All I can say is: spot on. Not possible to keep track. I subscribed to about 5 blog posts and it is far out for me to follow them on a daily basis, as I am regularly sidetracked into the 'you might also like this...' and further on from there. My perfume passion is maybe 3 years old and I regret all posts I missed up to that date - there are many interesting posts in the blog archives. Well, my oldest unread mail is from early 2009...so things keep massing up.

  148. Anonymous11:54

    My feeling is that the well-written, useful blogs

  149. A lot of people can do the research and post the facts. Very few can actually describe a scent with words in a way that you start smelling it by reading the description. And should you sample this fragrance in the future you migt even feel that you have smelled this before.

  150. I ve started to read basenotes years ago when I discovered perfume world. and I still love to read reviews from all other fragrance sites although they differ a lof, they can help me to understand pros and cons of particular fragrance and help me to decide and think about buying new pefume. I usually buy new scent after reading as much reviews as possible. I am easily influenced.:-) and I love all that stuff aroung - notes, classification, suitability for age groups, day time, special events, and I love to know designers noses too - if I love particular scent I try to read about other scents created by same "nose".
    lubaska dot k at gmail dot com

  151. hotlanta linda12:41

    I wish to read about the scent`s ingredients, the imagination/story behind the scent and it`s bottle/box too!! In short, no stone unturned! :-) It helps to joke w other perfumistas when things go bump in the night - like the IFRA. Go Outlaws!!!!

  152. Anonymous12:53

    I just read 6-7 blogs. The ones that to me seem to have proven their worth by being around for quite a long time. A mixture of European and American blogs, because I like to observe the differences. I don't even bother to try a lot of new scents. I do make an effort however to keep up with the output of some perfume houses that I like. Goutal, De Nicolaï, Parfums Divine, Tauer and Malle are the ones I tend to want to try most new releases from. Sometimes a review will make me want to try something from another house. Like I still want to sniff the 3 latest from Honoré des Prés.


    bb dot vanduin at google mail dot com

  153. I enjoy wits and funny comments
    I always want to know how other people feel about perfumes i love or hate
    i learn a lot from several blogs about this fine art of composing perfumes
    thanks to all

  154. Nancy C.13:13

    I tend to stick with blogs where the writers give thoughtful reviews and it is obvious they have had a lot of experience with many perfumers and brands so that the review can be trusted.

  155. I look for information, depth and breadth of related knowledge, a range of reviews, clear commitment to the area, and a sense of personality. (Jeez, I don't want much, do I?)

  156. ashleyron9118113:53

    Sometimes, I just want to know if the reviewer simply likes it or not. Sometimes you read an entire review and description and you are no closer to knowing if they actually like the perfume. I know that perfume is different to everyone so maybe they dont want to sway the reader too much. However, after awhile you get the idea of what certain perfume bloggers like and love and if its along your same tastes you just want them to say "It's Amazing!!"

  157. I love to be connected with my peer perfume lovers and read about my favorite subject. I also can keep being informed about new products and trends.

    Please enter me into the draw.

  158. i sometimes feel like we're all discussing minor variations in the proliferation of fruitchoulis. there's not much groundbreaking work to smell, with the obvious exceptions, andy's work being one of them.
    as for the multitude of blogs, i read them all, and save my favorites for future reference.

  159. I seek the truth and it sets me free.

  160. Anonymous15:02

    I always look for different points of view about various scents/ components, seeking inspiration and having fun as a true perfume-obsessed person. Please enter me in the drawing, thank you. Alica - alica@cleis.net

  161. Fernando,

    I guess commited blogging takes a certain discipline. Life intervenes, but once you have really commited yourself...Personally I find it a form of keeping me in track and it betters me in other ways requiring discipline as well.

    Point taken about wanting to learn (we have that in common) and I wish your son had heard of my work, it would mean it would have spread in a really substantial way. It's local (college level) and involves Bronze Age.
    Thanks for saying I don't intermingle too much of my personal stuff into the writing; it's something I actively try to keep in a delicate balance: The readers needs to know a couple of facts so as to know where you're coming from and not assume stuff that isn't true; then again they don't want to know too much information for various reasons, one of which might be sheer boredom with me!!

  162. Mary,

    thanks for your most kind compliments and for your continued readership.
    There are certainly points in Brian's post that are worth considering as a compass into what might alienate a potential reader, hence I linked his post after I had composed my own as an addendum: I take this compilation as an educational medium.

    I hear you on choosing with the criteria of wanting to hear the person talking as if it were in real life. That would make for a very fun reading as well, there is a spontaneity in the Net which is very new. I doubt there was ever such a spontaneous means of communication between reader and audience; perhaps the 19th century periodicals (magazines/feuilletons) with their word-of-mouth feedback that affected the plot in the next instalment, but it's doubtful.

    Best of luck in the giveaway!

  163. When reading about any subject I seek an authentic voice, when I find a "voice" or opinion I connect with it is very encouraging, and I love being surprised by unique points of view. In a climate of proliferation, of everything, (blogs, venues, choices, opinions), I try to take more time to have a long cup of tea, get off my computer, and smell the roses. Just for balance. And then a walk in the garden to pinch some lavender

  164. Rick,

    no, the excess of information isn't a bad thing, nor did I mean to imply it would be. What I ~perhaps clumpsily, I'll grant you~ tried to say is that the augmentation of the number of fragrant launches sometimes produces its own "monsters" in the form of venues that spring out of a wish of promotion, rather than genuine enthusiasm and the desire to write/share.
    I see this phenomenon all the time, mainly because so many want to get established through reciprocal linkage with an independent "real" blog. It's fortunate that it transpires through people's comments that these "fake" venues don't have the readership I had feared. It makes for a cleaner slate and a more honest one! (Let's not talk about spamming with fake "comments", because it takes a significant chunk of my day. If people want to advertise I don't get why they don't do it in an open and upfront way)

    I certainly agree with your excellent and intelligent point that a better organisation of the fragrant Net (like the Drydown, which is a good start!!) would allow everyone to pick and choose what interests them most and would also help to keep the discussion relevant and trackable. Let's hope that someone will come up with the proper way to do it effectively.

  165. Frances15:36

    I'm not trying for the draw because I think it'd be a bit cheeky of me (not being a frequent commenter and just showing up for the contest).

    That out of the way, what I want in a perfume blog is a lot like what I look for in a good political blog. Yes, I'll admit to favoring views that match my own, but I appreciate skill and knowledge of the subject at hand. In perfume writing especially, I really enjoy lush, sensual prose. I love seeing perfume connected to paintings and places and history, and in my experience, that kind of writing is quite rare. At the moment, Perfume Shrine is my go-to place for perfume knowledge but I like NST as well. One thing I really dislike is when people dismiss a perfume as "Aagh, it smells HORRIBLE, stay away, I wish I could give this zero stars" or criticise it for lacking complexity "Oh, it's just a linear rose etc don't bother". Sometimes a linear rose is nice. I would never go to such blogs and post rude comments, I just avoid them.

    PS Perfume Shrine will always be quite special to me because through the review for Jubilation 25, I came across Amouage's Lyric, the perfume which converted me to the wonderful ways of fragrance :-)

  166. Sadly, I'm not able to look at blogs at work (they've got a big firewall up!), which is when I have the most downtime to do so at certain points of the day. So because of the hours I work, I am no longer able to read as many as I'd like as regularly as I used to.

    I agree that it is so hard to sift through the various venues sometimes when I Google search for a review of a new scent I'm interested in or some discontinued, rare beauty I'm chasing down. The main things I look for when searching for these, or really just when browsing with no real purpose, is writing style and content. There are certain scents that I could care less to read about, and then there are also those bloggers, those who post regularly on the boards, etc. that I particularly love to read because they feel like a "real" writer with great language, intellect, and opinion.

    But in the end, I don't think over-saturation is a problem for me because I am pretty quick to decide when I land somewhere if I need to keep reading or if it is not my style. Sure, I certainly get annoyed if I find someone or somewhere that doesn't seem dedicated to perfume or perfume writing at all and is just running around professing extreme opinions just for the sake of expressing an opinion. But I love the variety that is out there for our little community to utilize and enjoy as we see fit!

    Very excited for the contest entry as well, thanks to Andy for his month long fun!

  167. TRhoardes,

    hope it will!

  168. Chicken Freak,

    a comment full of opinion and information nuggets that are useful, I thank you for my heart for writing all this here.

    It's not essentially nostalgia on my part, I assure you, as I never was part of the initial clique (still am not, if you notice closely enough!), therefore I had no horse in the run to want to preserve any known status quo. In fact new ways of doing things was exactly what I was hoping for. And I'm happy that numerous new voices have found their own style and their own audience!

    But...conversing means following a syllogism and the counter-arguments which follow. When those are scattered all over the place, often with no linkage through to the relevant posts, or are cryptic and imply things which one might be totally unawares of, it becomes confusing! And embarassing!
    It's also why I tend to participate less and less on perfume fora, where the discussion unavoidably gets also nuanced by the dynamics of said board. It's human nature I guess. Someone above proposed that boards are mostly about talking vs. listening, which is valid enough in my experience. Anyway...

    Interesting what you say about personal stuff seeping through, which contrasts with what Fernando said on the subject. It's a delicate balance, in my opinion and I need to give this some more thought. As to perfectionism, I guess it's an individual choice and I understand where you're coming from: the non-perfect project which turns out to be entirely charming exactly due to its imperfections sounds particularly American to me (no qualitative nuance is what I'm saying here), as attested by certain US public figures who have represented the notion to great aplomp. It's perhaps a cultural difference that I would personally feel "being fake" if I tried to present it that way. It needs to be genuine to be charming.

    Google Reader sounds like just the thing for me: I haven't used it, preferring to actually offer my hits to sites I enjoy, but if it's as effective it might be good to consider it. Thanks for suggesting it.
    But I THINK there IS ALREADY a search blog that allows to Google only perfume reviews!! (how great is that?) I believe it was linked at some point at Basenotes, but ~I'm hanging my head in shame~ I have forgotten its name *sob*...If anyone recalls, I would be very grateful if you posted the link in the comments here for all to see, thanks!

  169. For some reason my comment was posted thrice. My apologies!

  170. I want to be informed/advised without being patronised. I want an honest opinion from the writer - if they like/don't like something I want to know why. I guess I'm still looking for inspiration and to find my 'signature' scent.

  171. Anon,

    glad you have found a group of sympathisers online. God knows it's very difficult in real life where people's eyes start to glaze after the first 5 minutes of explaining why I collect perfumes and write about them...

    Good luck!

  172. Rachel,

    yeah, isn't a bit? I feel like a student who needs to read all the bibliography before submitting their own dissertation and finding the task daunting!

    Thanks for your trust in Perfume Shrine and hope that we continue to inject content with a pleasant balance of seriousness and light-heartedness!

  173. I just want my perfume reading to be informative. List of notes, prices, sizes available, where it will be offered, and maybe a review from someone who knows what they are talking about.

  174. Erica,

    some of the noobies (as you call them) have an uncanny way to hot the nail on the head exactly because they go straight to the effect instead of the "composing" part. I always laugh out loud when I come across some such description and nod my head "but it's true!"

    As to having a "scent twin" ~as it's affectionally called on boards~ it's truly invaluable!! So is a "fragenemy" though (someone who fits to a T everything you despise in scents; that way you also know what to avoid!)

  175. Monika,


    Most blogs are a labour of love with some exceptions (like I delineated above in the comments). I think readers are smarter than taking credit for and know how to differentiate!

    Thanks for reading.

  176. Lisa,

    it is a bit frightening, isn't it? Like I said above, like a student daunted by having to read all the bibliography before submitting their own dissertation.
    On the other hand, it does seem that lots of people are at least interested (if not obsessed) in perfume and that can only be a good thing! The more invested people are in their pleasureable "fix" the greater demands they can pose to companies producing that pleasurable "fix". It's all good.

  177. Monika,

    can't argue with your line of thinking: I love Andy to pieces because he's a very honest, very genuine guy. He is both smart and sensitive and he has real passion.
    His blog is among the very best!

  178. Lady Jicky/M,

    LOL! You're so right! I think sometimes in our efforts to write something clever, we tend (all right, I tend; I can live with my shortcoming and try to improve) to overlook trasnfering a clear opinion of "thumbs up" or "thumbs down". Or perhaps some much stuff is lukewarm these days, you can't knock that theory, can you?

    Don't ever hesitate to write me and ask for samples of anything that you're dying to try if I have it on hand. (Then again, I know you're not dying to try, which is what makes you such a wise, balanced lady anyway!)

  179. Anon,

    excellent ideas and you have inspired me to write a relevant post soon.
    The AHA moment (I feel like I'm channelling Paula Begoun here) is rare but precious when it happens. Glad it happened for such a glorious scent as FeA!

  180. Sunsetsong,

    I find that perfume shopping would be impossible without some guidance from bloggers and boards/data banks. There's just so much out there now!!

    Thanks for commenting!

  181. ElizabethN,

    a lot perhaps but not outwordly expectations. I hear you! Nice touch saying that comparisons have to be within scents that are well-known and not equally obscure to something reviewed in the first place! Very true.

  182. Kelley,

    thanks for stopping by and I sympathise, shopping isn't easy without having some guidance in what to seek out. Hope we're helping and point taken about brevity.

  183. Fragrancescout,

    thanks for commenting. :-)

    Blogging: Un' aventura meravigliosa; e del tutto verosimile che l' autore va essere un amico!

  184. Justin,

    thanks for commenting and points well taken. I hear you!

  185. Kanaires,

    if I understand correctly the intermingling through different artistic media makes for a fuller comprehension of the olfactory experience? Which repeats itself more fully when actually experiencing the scent in question for yourself?

  186. Cjj88,

    I think perfume companies have cottoned on to people liking reading notes and stories about creation (hence the flowery press releases). The question is how much they adhere to what is actually true or transateable in the scent itself.
    You're wise to read before purchasing! Makes all the difference in the world.

  187. Daniele,

    there is such a thing as natural selection indeed and this is witnessed by the eventual demise of some boards. And it's good when there is some form of community, that way people exchange ideas and even samples and become even more informed and entertained, what's not to like?

  188. Olivia,

    thank you for the kind words. Glad you're enjoying the writing.

    It's been a very fruitful post that resulted in an invaluable exchange with my readers, so I will consider it a great success and a great lesson.

    Of course you're included! :-)

  189. niina,

    thank you! Consious consumption sounds like just the thing! It's always great to make an informed choice and glad the perfume world has proven to be interesting beyond the shopping help.

  190. Helen,

    a good core of reviews is certainly important. I admire your courage and enthusiasm about sniffing lots. It takes some rigorous scheduling to do so, so kudos.

  191. Thea,

    thank you, I guess the field needs to be varied because people by their very nature ARE varied. I'm all for passion and honesty!

  192. Helg,
    I just had to say you had me laughing out loud with channeling Paula Begoun. :D
    This discussion has really become quite enlightening and useful for bloggers - learning more about what readers look for and how to improve our own writing (or the blog design, I felt personally called out with that one). :)

  193. I look for the smell to be described in text in a way that I can understand and appreciate

  194. Daisy,

    before I forget, you're included. :-)

    Now, variety IS a good thing. I am not complaining on that.
    But you have to agree there is a big degree of sameness out there as well. Not everyone brings their own unique voice, which makes the exercise redundant in the end, doesn't it?

    It's fun to know that there's even a "relax, it's only a blog" blog out there! Obviously, lots of people are complaining on the seriousness of bloggers on assorted matters/subjects, which makes me wonder why there is so much negativity towards seriousness (genuine seriousness I mean, not pretence) in the first place, so I'm just tossing the idea on to the table for further discussion if you care to.

    It's most offputting when there is condenscending to the reader, me thinks. One makes a conscious effort to leave a comment, so the author might as well make the effort to answer civilly and intelligently without smart-ass tactics.

  195. Warum,

    excellent point and one which I hadn't thought of really in so much detail. It bears repeating: Being specific about individual de facto differences while experiencing and writing about perfume. Thank you!

    You're welcome on the hosting, I think it's a great Xmas gift from Andy to his fans. And I'm honoured to be able to host it.

  196. MB,

    thank you for the input, you make an excellent point. It's not very helpful nor practical, true.
    In defence of those who argue that perfumes today don't being anything new to the conversation and thus don're describe them, I chalk it up to some disenchantment with the whole industry; it stems from genuine ennui, although I get your point that ultimately it doesn't serve to enlighten the reader who might not have the same ennui to begin with.

  197. Anonymous16:59

    I seek to be inspired by amazing perfume description--a genius to my mind as well as my nose. Better than reading poetry sometimes!

  198. ~elise,

    and sometimes reading about those tiny notes more or less "creates" them in out head, no? :-)
    I think companies rely on that sort of "trick" quite a bit!
    But it's certainly true that sometimes when we hear someone describing an effect, we have an AHA moment (see above) and smack our forehead with our palm ("why didn't I think of that right away? It was at the tip of my tongue")

  199. Lauren,

    you're not too late, fear not!

    It's good to hear that a sentimental factor is not totally unappropriate!

  200. Pauel17:05

    I want to improve my information skills, also it is very interesting to know, how differently people describe the same fragrance.


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