Thursday, August 29, 2013

How I Reflect on Fragrance: My Notebooks

It's likely not surprising to you that I approach fragrances in a very particular way. When I began to fall down the fragrant rabbit hole I quickly noticed that my memory was not capable of keeping up with all the samples I was trying and thinking about. I'd order ten to fifteen samples, try them all and reflect on their various strengths and weaknesses throughout the day. Though I enjoyed their scent, it then became challenging to remember my first impressions when I sat down to draft a post about a fragrance that I'd first smelled months before.

Late this spring I cracked open a few unused and unloved notebooks on my shelf and made an effort to keep track of the samples I was testing at the very least. What started as a way to indicate perfumes I'd tried and liked or disliked or wanted to try evolved into a structured method of thinking about fragrance that helps me make full bottle purchases and subsequently post about the perfume on Getting Cheeky.

Whenever I like a perfume I crack open a new page in my notebooks and begin to brainstorm the following things: notes, my initial impression, the dry down (or my impression of the fragrance over time), the "nitty gritty" (or my impression of the base notes/fragrance after many hours of wear), my overall thoughts and the imagery I associate with the fragrance. The dry down and "nitty gritty" are the areas that really help me determine how I feel about any given perfume as they force me to think about how I perceive the fragrance against my skin on a deeper level than my initial "that smells so nice!" reaction.

As a beauty/fragrance blogger, the notes, initial impression and imagery are the points that I use to write a blog post. I may use these thoughts that I have while wearing a perfume for the first time weeks or even months later when I'm finally in possession of a larger sample or full bottle and find myself looking for creative ways to photograph the product and subsequently write a review.

I absolutely adore perfume and order and or receive samples at least once a week. It's wonderful to live such a fragrant life, but the downside is that I can often feel overwhelmed by the number of perfumes I'm smelling or even worse, forget that I've smelled an excellent fragrance because I just sniffed too many that week! Keeping these notebooks force me to think about perfume carefully, subjectively and imaginatively in such a way that curbs impulse spending and lends itself to writing blog posts later.

Do you have a way that you keep track of fragrance samples that you've had the opportunity to sniff? How do you reflect on perfumes that you like or dislike?