I get up early. The morning is when my nose is also at its best. This is when I do my fragrance testing.
I hate to forget. But forgetting is human. As much as I wish each perfume experience was so special that I’d never forget it, I actually forget pretty quickly. There is way too much information to keep track of things in my head. This was a fairly early realization in my fragrance experience. I needed a place to keep notes. Every purchase, details about each wearing, how I found a fragrance and why I was interested in it. I needed a database system to track all my perfume activity.
I grew up watching and rewatching the movie My Blue Heaven. This probably wasn’t an appropriate movie for a child, but I appreciate the parents for trusting me to have a sense of humor at such a young age. There’s a scene where nerdy FBI agent Barney Coopersmith’s wife is leaving him for a minor league pitcher, her main gripe with Barney being that he’s boring, that “he has a system for everything.”
American Perfumer Colorado by DSH Perfumes delivers on its promise of carrying you to the middle of a forest. I’m particularly interested in two aspects of this perfume: exploring various conifers and immortelle.
When Vero Kern died, I hadn’t yet been into fragrances long enough for her work to get on my radar. I saw the outpouring of love and interest on social media, but didn’t know anything about her or her work. Over the months following, I read more and mentions often popped up. I sought samples of her perfumes, and was able to get a few small vials from some of the decanting services.
I was fascinated. As I started smelling perfume, I began to have an experience that I hadn’t before. The experience was defined by two distinct facets that, when combined, sucked me into this whole perfume thing. First: logic. Smelling fragrances gave me something to think about. Second: emotion. I’d smell something and I’d feel a little patter in my heart. I suppose that is a physical reaction, but it stimulated an emotion of excitement, enjoyment, pleasure.
My Uncle Reno had a smell about him. I’d see him most often at my grandmother’s house, where we’d often go for Sunday dinner. It was a special smell. It suited a man of his age – which was, to me, as a child still in single digits, just old. It was a good smell. Pleasant. A little sweet, but a little off. It wasn’t floral, but it wasn’t not floral either. It didn’t fill the room, but you only had to walk where he had walked to easily smell it. It wasn’t loud, but there was no mistaking it. There was no hiding it. When he left, it was still there. It’s was my Uncle Reno’s signature scent. And the memory of it has stayed with me for more than three decades.