Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Olfactory Pleasure: A Theorem

Today I was feeling a little tired and burned out, so I didn't want to think too much about my perfume. That sounds ridiculous, I know. I mean, how much thought does it take? But I just didn't have the psychic energy to think about matching my scent to my mood or the weather or the colors of my dress. I just wanted to put on something that would smell pretty and make me feel comfortable all day.

I opted for BPAL's Lorelai, which is a very simple fragrance containing neroli, sandalwood, and ylang ylang. It's a sweet floral, but with a creaminess and a roundness that I find very soothing. Often sandalwood can rise up and drown out everything else on me, but this particular sandalwood stays in its place and just grounds the florals. The neroli gives it almost a whiff of orange Creamsicles that is quite lovely.

I've been going through my growing stash of BPAL samples and organizing the ones I have available for sale or swap. I was thinking about grouping them thematically, which could help isolate notes they have in common so as to help educate the nose. I noticed that certain of the scents are much more complex than others -- not just the number of notes in the blend, but also conflicting notes, notes that play off one another. Some morph over time as you wear them, leaving a different impression than the one you start with. Some are fairly high-concept and are meant to evoke very specific places, characters, or experiences. At some point I'll share some of my experiences with these, because I find them very interesting to wear and think about.

But today I didn't want any of that cognition and analysis. I don't detect anything especially evocative of the story of Lorelai in this particular perfume, and what you start with is pretty much where you end up. And some days that's just what I need.

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