Saturday, October 4, 2008

Sampling Rituals

How do you do it?

This summer, I had developed a rather pleasant morning routine. Cup of tea, check the e-mail, pick the samples of the day. Apply samples, check blogs while experiencing the top notes. Fire up the Wii-Fit, perform balance/strength/cardio/yoga as appropriate. Check in on the dry-downs--frequently while in the midst of Wii-Fitting. By that time, others are up, breakfast is underway, and by the time shower time arrives, decisions can be made about first impressions.

The ever interesting and informative Nathan Branch recently explained why he tends to review a quad at a time; in a sort of humorous karmic moment, he makes jest of the very practice I found myself in: combining yoga and sampling. A practice which, I must say, allowed for sampling not just quartets, but sextets of scent. Yes, it's goofy, I know. And can tend to be a "splat it all on the wall and see what sticks" approach. But I had found myself with a LOT of samples, and knew that the easy days of summer were going to come to an end...

But that's not the only way I've done it.

Before that, I had been limiting myself to one fragrance at a time, fully committing myself to whatever the single choice was. And allowing it the whole day, just in case it was one of those rare beasts that introduced a whole new character more than two hours into it, or which magically reappeared after seeming to disappear. A much more intimate and relaxed way of making an acquaintance. And one to which I find I am returning as the hectic fall schedule gets into full swing. It's rather nice to have a laid-back pace to at least one thing in my day.

And then, there is not doing it at all.

For one of two reasons: either I am taking a total scent break, or I am in a period of wearing only that which I know well, and can predict how it will behave on a given day. Recently, there was a week of no scent, followed by one day/one scent. I was inclined to stick with one week/one scent, but ended up a little too curious...this is, after all, my first fall as an all-out fragrance fan. The cooler weather offers so many opportunities for getting to know things a little (or a lot) differently; I guess it's just not possible for me to have a Scent of the Season.

Thus, I am currently inclined toward loyalty, but actually practicing more of a SOTD kind of practice.



Jenavira13 said...

I admit as I am drinking my tea and looking at the internet, I'm usually thinking of what I want to wear that day. It's at night when I am in bed that I test usually while watching TV or reading, I usually like to spend most of my day in one scent.

ScentScelf said...

Ah! I have a cozy chair, with books, and things to attend to, and a dish of samples in vials, but usually I don't dare to try new stuff at night...I have to be careful of going to sleep with any scent on at all, let alone a "stranger." Too early and too late are headache triggers for me...

...but such is my experience. I hear about people who select a fragrance to go to sleep with...often a big floral!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Oh I LOVE hearing about other people's rituals... I, too, sample at night. I suppose I am petrified of having a scent on me throughout the day that I detest. I usually put the sample on while having a cup of coffee (yes I drink coffee only at night- it's weird) and let it develop while reading or watching tv. The ultimate test comes when I let my chihuahua, Gatsby smell my wrist. If he lingers and starts to lick it is a winner. If he snorts and walks away- a most definite loser!

ScentScelf said...

DC, I know what you mean about fear of the potential of a new scent. The joy of my summer morning routine was that there was a built-in "scrub." (And, come to think of it, I couldn't have pulled off so much sniffery if the summer hadn't been so unusually mild for so much of it.)

I love the chihuahua test...I have two cats who were VERY attracted to a couple of scents this summer, trying to lick that patch. (Must go back and look for civet?) The dog, he's an amber/musk kind of guy.

As for the coffee at night, well, I live with someone who can do that. :)

Abigail said...

Like Jenavira I'm a nighttime sampler. I usually choose a fragrant friend for the day at the office (no strangers who I may detest or who may cause migraine!), then I can't wait to get home and sample all night. Once home and the daytime scent is removed I probably sample between 2-4 in an evening. I *always* apply a bedtime scent and these vary with the season but are never strangers either! On weekends I usually wear about 2-3 fragrances each day. I never go without a fragrance unless I'm sick or have a headache. Going without a fragrance seems like unnecessary boredom.

ScentScelf said...

Abigail, do you scrub before applying your bedtime scent?

I once had an interesting experience where I had put something well into the evening (unusual for me), and realized sometime in the sleep cycle that it had morphed--part of my brain really wanted to observe, and the other, winning, part said "go back to sleep!"

I see you are firmly in the camp of fragrance as part of your daily dressing. :)