Event scents are the ones whose mere presence is an event. They are performers. They make you pay attention. Not because they slap you across the face (or smother it...can you hear me, beautiful but room only for you Fracas?), but because either through their development, or the way they transport you through memory and time, you find yourself paying attention to them instead of your environment.
I mentioned SIP Black Rosette the other day as one of those perfumes. That's one in the development category; you find yourself ignoring everything else so you can follow its development. Then there's En Passant, on my wrist as I write, transporting me to beautiful spring, gone now, on a day when I know fall will soon be gone, too. There's Arpege, which not only has a development event, it goads my musician self into seeing if I can identify intervals. And there's any number of I Hate Perfume iterations, but I'll refer to Black March, because it gobsmacks me into the middle of one of my pots when I'm out with the terracota, dirt, and flats of plants on a spring day. (I know other people get earth dirt, but I get potting soil, all the way. Love it.)
Opposite the Event Scent is how I want to smell. Not simply an amplification of my own "au naturel," as it were, but a scent that extends me. What was that line about "making me more than I am?" There's Parfumerie Generale L'Ombre Fauve. I could disappear into that one myself, a delicious creamy musk that is ever so slightly sweet on me. Leather you lick. Also from PG, Bois Blond. That makes me feel like I'm wearing a little bit of my favorite patch of forest. I know, not a direct association. It's not a Christopher Brosius creepily on target re-creation. It is an impression, and I like the way it smells, and the way it smells on me. And then there's L'Artisan Fleur de Narcisse, which never lets you settle into thinking it's "pretty," but is a beautiful trip through a true narcissus, and hay, and what not. Compositions, these are, in every sense of the word.
Unfortunately, this event scent/my smell duality leaves me with a few knots. What, for example, to do with my Chanel loves? Bois des Iles. (Sighs.) This is gorgeous, but I both get caught up in smelling it as wanting to smell of it. Those aldehydes draw attention. They're a bit showy. They live on their own. This means it is not a "what I want to smell like" perfume, but a "what I want you to smell on me" perfume. There are others: Bel Respiro. Amarige. (Actually, I think you could put white florals in general in this category, as far as I am concerned.) And bridging the gap between: Lancome Magie Noire.
Shalimar? I love to smell it, and love to smell it on me, but I harbor no illusions that it is a part of me. Event Scent. Musc Samarkind? Gently sweet, but a hint of animal that rides close to my skin and makes me double check every time I sniff. Me Scent.