Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sooooooo perfume.

 I grew up in a fragrance-free household. This was due mostly to my father's intense asthma and terrible allergies, but there was also my sister-slash-roommate's general intolerance of smelly things and my brother's finicky nose to consider.  The end result was that we all became rather scent sensitive. Just walking past candle stores would give us headaches. We cycled through slews of laundry soaps, trying to find one that was gentle, but still cleaned and softened our clothing without smelling like much of anything. And I got the tongue-lashing of a lifetime when my parents found out I had not one, but two incense burners hidden under my bed. (I had a friend whose family burned incense on the daily, and it struck fragrance-free me as crazy cool and rebellious.) As much as I loved candles and body splashes and scented lip balms, I quickly realized that none of us were used to Smelling The Things. I retired my few fragranced objects, thought little of it, and had a pretty awesome childhood.

Things have changed since then. Life is still awesome, of course. But beyond that, I've gotten used to fragrances thanks to graduate school friends who loved tart warmers, and several years of living on my own in damp apartments, which fostered my appreciation for candles and dehumidifiers. As a family, we've grown older and, as a result, we've gotten busier. We're separated from each other for much of the day...meaning I can spritz on some perfume at 6am before work, and by the time we're all home (around 6pm), most of the fragrance will have faded. Other smells will have muted out what remains: dinner cooking, tea brewing, laundry being folded. I can enjoy my fragrances without making everybody else sick.

I also got smarter. As a preteen, I'd coated my entire body with generous spritzes of gummy bear-scented body splash. The end result? You could smell me from a mile away. Now I tend to use the tiniest bit of fragrance in my hair and on my wrists; if it's especially potent, like Thierry Mugler Angel, I stick to just the coiffure. That way, nobody smells me unless they get close enough for a hug...and that's what I want.

Not only did I hate the idea of giving my dad an asthma attack, but I've also realized that I have a fondness for niche fragrances, which can be hard to find and stupidly expensive. Buying a $200 bottle of perfume didn't appeal to me quite as much as, say, using that $200 to buy a slew of MAC lipsticks, or several new foundations to try out. But now that I'm (I'm gonna say it) getting older, and my tastes are sort of "settling down," I think I can save up my pennies for the occasional fragrance. (I've already whined to my handy boyfriend for a perfume box to store my goodies.)

This blog has discussed a happy mish-mash of stuff that interests me, relating mostly to beauty and drag, but sometimes veering in to things like art and food. And yet I've generally steered clear of fragrance, with the possible exception of lotion reviews and the occasional mention in a meme.  That's probably not going to be the case anymore. I'm not saying I'm going to post a ton of fragrance reviews here--they're really difficult to write, and at the end of the day, "color cosmetics" are still my main interest in the beauty world--but I'm excited to occasionally share my new fragrance interests and adventures with all of you in 2015.

Case in point? This post necessitated the creation of a "product: fragrance" tag. I'm ready.

Happy New Year!

PS: You have two weeks left to enter the Winter SOS Giveaway! This will probably be my last giveaway for a while, so enter while you can!


  1. You need to try Scentbird! Go look it up right now! You can have a mix of designer and niche on your list and get something new every month. It's so fun.

    1. I've been checking that and Olfactif out! I'm considering saving up for a 3-month subscription...we'll see!

  2. I've stuck to mostly Guerlain Shalimar and Chanel No. 5 as they are the only fragrances that wouldn't cause myself or my mother to have an allergy attack! Growing up, I was extremely sensitive to both food dye and fragrances---going to my grandmother's house was a nightmare. Only recently have I been able to wear fragrances and get over my sensitivities, so trying out new fragrances this year is appealing to me too!

    Hope you had a nice NYE!

    1. I LOVE Shalimar! I'm hoping to save up for a bottle of the EDP.