Saturday, November 15, 2008

Morning Notes

Ah, the simple pleasures of waking up, preparing a cup of tea, and sitting down to read a few blogs, scan the news, check your e-mail.

Sometimes, I also use this time to run a passel of samples through their paces. To the right, you see notes from this morning's run. Because my synapses don't fire reliably on demand, it helps to keep track of what has been applied where. You can also see jottings of first impressions. Don't believe for a minute that I am always so organized, or that I always follow the same pattern.

A few years ago, a fair amount of my free time was given over to exploring the world of online auctions. What I learned from that experience means I am still comfortable nosing around for various somethings when appropriate, including fragrance. This second picture is of a collection of Estee Lauder fragrances through the years--all minis, all in perfume strength.
These things were ubiquitous at auction for a while; the trick was simply being patient and waiting for your maximum bid to be the winning bid.

A raft of minis like this gives me a chance to experience the manufacturer's range, and peek at historical developments. I can read reviews of Azuree, Youth Dew, Cinnabar, Private Collection, Knowing, White Linen, Aliage, etcetera, and have a schmear on my arm ready to sniff for fuller comprehension. Scent-O-Rama. Samples and minis have been potent enablers in my scent home schooling program. Kind of like those oenophile kits you can get--you know, a bunch of vials of "notes" from wine, to help train your nose and become a better appreciator of the art of the vintner?

I have bunches of sample vials now, thanks to online shops that offer samples (Luckyscent), decanters (The Perfumed Court, the closing but ever fabulous Fishbone), and swaps with friends and posters on MakeUp Alley. It's fun to spend intense phases in exploration mode, with four patches of samples going. Speed dating of a sort; getting to know a small crew all at once. A danger, of course, is over empasis on the top notes, unfortunate (and maybe even unknown) cross-effects, and lack of quality time.

A positive aspect of a sample slam is that you can absorb a lot of information in one go-around, especially if you take some notes and/or read up on what you are wearing while you are wearing it.

Having just spent most of a week enjoying some quality time with Bois des Isles, I was happy to go on a bit of a bender. The work week was distance running; Saturday was sprints. Or, if you will, I went to work listening to a symphony, and Saturday was a playlist of singles. If interval training works for getting your body into shape, maybe this approach will make buff my nose.

Coming up: the middle zone--spending some quality time with variations on a particular note.


The Daily Connoisseur said...

I must say, I am incredibly impressed! I love that you take notes... I can't tell you how many times I've tested something, came back to it months later only to wonder if I liked it at all in the first place!

ScentScelf said...

Don't be too impressed...notice I say "don't believe...I am always so organized..."--too true. Sometimes, I just dive in and don't worry about remembering down the line--or worse yet, imagine that I will remember down the line--and just have fun playing around.

I guess, truth be told, that when I am taking notes, it is in a way part of the fun. ;-0

At one point, I had a spreadsheet ready for comments, but now I'm lucky to just keep up with inventory. It DOES help if I'm in the middle of somebody's writing, and they mention a scent, to be able to just call up the spreadsheet to see if I have it, rather than rummage through vials & decants. (Some I remember, some I don't.)

Rose said...

I quite often sample slam and then don't try anything for a couple of days. Notes can definitely help, especially when something has very different scents over a few hours.

I have occasionally got great layering ideas unintetionally as a result of from multi sampling.

ScentScelf said...

Yes, the sampling slam has led to some of my layering inspirations (or accidents)...not all good, natch...but fun.