Friday, July 25, 2008

Eau de... Toilet? Wait, that says Toilette. Phew.

Browsing the streets along the beach for bargains and deals is one of the most fun things a girl (or guy, not judging) can do to occupy themselves. Now while there are tons of designer ' inspired ' articles, handmade works of art, paintings, clothes and accessories, there is one market that drives everybody insane.

No, not the questionable films and music market. The fragrance market. In every corner of a reputable shop, you will find a nice and wide selection of fragrances for you to purchase. Perfume in ranges from famous designer label creations to sickly home concotions of lesser known chemists. There's a scent for everyone. Or two. Or three...

I was never a stranger to the world of smell. It has always been one of the deciding factors in whether or not I like or despise something. As a kid I always preferred the option that smelled better, and held my noise when I walked by trash cans. And even though I had terrible allergies, I sniffed every flower and blade of grass marginally possible, explaining my red cheeks and puffy eyes each day.

Back to the shops after a day of beach visits, you take in labels and pictures and shiny embellishments that catch your eye with the promise of appealing. ' Buy mee, you won't regret it, come on one whiff and you're gonna be hooked, I swear! ' And so, package by package called my name as I listed and breezed through boxes and glass vials.

Guerlain, Givenchy, Dior, Chanel, Escada, Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana, the list continued through ages of well known creators. I nodded back and forth, sampling Kenzo and Thierry Mugler and wrinkling my nose at Vera Wang and Nina Ricci. Sweet, sweet, too overpoweringly sticky and sugary. Oh no, don't get me wrong. I like my dose of girly... But not powderpuff cavities, thank you much. I prefer spicy and ambery orientals, bitter or cleaner gourmands, lighter and breezier florals, the odd chypre or subtle musk.

Perfume is a huge hit in trends and fashion, but it also has a huge psychological effect on people and animals. If someone smells bad, you're not going to hang around them for long, are you? Smell is the most primal attraction we have in association with places, people, things, everything around us. So a good fragrance can sometimes be all you need for a trip down memory lane, or a cause for later visits.

And that, dearest journal, is how I became a perfumista. There's people who like perfume, and there's people who absolutely love and adore it. I just so happen to fall into the latter category, and have recently started hunting for information about how fragrances are made and their effects (psychology is a wonderful obsession of mine). How the top, heart, and base notes will play off each other wonderfully in a symphonious depiction almost like music, or will clash like banging metal pans with wooden spoons means the world to people like me. The fun has just started.

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