Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009: The Year that Has Been




English is a funny language, even for native speakers.  All those fabulous words to choose from, forming a rich and nuanced pool of options for expression.  All that streamlining and collapsing and utter elimination of verb conjugations, with various forms understood by one written expression.  The kind of stuff native English speakers curse when they find in other languages:  “Plus perfect? What the heck is perfect?” and “Third person singular neuter?  Why the heck are you distinguishing between gender, let alone distinguishing and then throwing it out the window for Door #3?”

Yeah, it’s quirky.

But English lets me express a theme that helped define my year in a seemingly bland and potentially awkward title like “2009: The Year that Has Been.” 

The choice would seem to be “2009: The Year that Was,” or, to bring it closer to my subject, “2009:  The Year in Perfume.”  The Year that Was, inviting a list of fill in the blank declarations of static fact.

Fact is, this has been a year of many states, morphing, and much learning, on going.  This was, is, and always will be, The Year That Has Been.  Including with perfume.

In 2009, I have been covetous, dismissive, obsessive, apathetic, passionate, and distanced.   With perfume.  Okay, in my life overall, too, but particularly with perfume.

I have expanded my collection to a size that causes me some discomfort when asked to show it to non-perfume mortals.  Yet I still have moments when I find myself jealous of someone else’s stash of, say, vintage Jolie Madame, or another person’s array of Serge Lutens bell jars.  My personal code of conduct has evolved to the point where I will allow myself a moment of jealousy IF IT IS A PERFUME I AM FAMILIAR WITH AND LOVE AND WOULD WEAR ON A REGULAR BASIS.  Otherwise, I have to proceed directly to step two, which is nod to the wealth which is perfume in the world, be happy for that person, and move on.  If I’m having trouble with that last step, I make myself go look at all the samples and decants I have that await final decisions or disbursement, and tell myself to get over it already.

Mind you, the room I go to do this is a room we grandly call The Library.  Which I have always wanted to have in a house.  Which has now been created out of what was intended to be a small bedroom.   Which allows me to put [almost] all of my books up on shelves, visible, touchable, smellable...a sensual map of stories and ideas that have already passed through my brain and others that await exploration.

Which, come to think of it, is an apt descriptor of why I love having a perfume “library.”  It appears covetous and obsessive.  To be totally honest, in some ways, it is.  But it is also passionate.  

But wait, you say, you have also been...apathetic?  Distanced?  Yes, in 2009, I have found myself hitting a wall.  In perfume, and in other endeavors.  If I were smart enough, I’d recognize this state; it has reared up in the past when going down a path that is difficult, whether the challenge is creative (and invited) or interpersonal (invited or unexpected).  What feels like a shut down, a lack of caring, is really me going inward.  Taking a break, if you will, so that I can process in a different way.  What generally happens is that I end up coming out on the other side, feeling at peace, having a renewed curiosity and energy, and proceeding with a greater sense of comfort with the challenge.

What has been interesting about 2009 is that I have been presented with a new face on what should been a known demon.  I thought I totally lost interest in perfume.  But really, I had to stop the external input for a while, and let stuff rumble around in nooks and crannies that I understand are there but I can’t see.  I have had to, in perfume and in life, relearn the lessons of application and processing, of influencing and waiting, of understanding and reunderstanding.  Big shifts that cannot have every visible moment defined or controlled.

In 2009, I have been in control, and totally out of control.  

The Best of the Best of 2009 has been embracing both.



There have been perfume revelations in 2009, which shall affect my perfumed future.  Here are some I’ll be exploring in my Transition to 2010:


“I Tried It, I Finally Get It, I Still Don’t Like It:  So ‘Souko Me”


“The Waves:  Dedication, Exploration, Puttering, Rest”


“That’s Right, I’m Purging:  Your Name Below if you’re interested in inheriting this bottle”


“Aw, I *Like* Havana Vanille”



Other bests of 2009:

☄Adding new favorite blogs to my stable, like I Smell Therefore I Am and Olfactorama.

☄Adding some full bottles to my collection, and playing like a big girl.  I now have En Passant and L’Eau d’Hiver, both of which some would challenge as “real” perfumes.  Ask me if I care.  I love them, and would feel as sad about never ending up with them as I would if I never am able to land a vintage chypre.

☄Scoring a couple of old formula Silences at a profoundly reasonable price.

☄Wearing Madame Rochas and having my spouse note the “nice smelling perfume” that “is interesting, did it change?” during a nuzzle.  Score one for old fashioned perfume!  Score again for reasonable price!!  Score thrice for having spouse recognize and appreciate one’s own quirky interests!!!

☄Meeting in person a someone who had been an acquaintance in perfume, segued into a fun and interesting correspondent, and who now is truly a friend.  Very cool.  Very much one of life’s blessings.

☄You.  You came to read this.  How cool is that?

Enjoy the remainder of 2009, whatever it has been and shall be determined to have been.  ☺

Speaking of enjoying the waning hours of 2009, don't forget to visit other bloggers in this project:







13 comments:

Mals86 said...

Yay! You're back!

Looking forward to reading your epiphanies.

Scent Hive said...

So glad to have found your blog this year, another highlight :-)

Happy New Year!
~Trish

Rose said...

Hi Scentscelf- so lovely to have you back here and I really enjoyed your round up of the year. I think for many 2009 brings up mixed feelings, I know it does for me in some ways.

I couldn't agree more about En Passant and L'eau D'Hiver- they should be future classics. Both are utterly beautiful- I re tried my Malle's at home over Christmas (I don't have all my fumes with me all the time!) and I just thought wow they have really achieved something here.

I hope 2010 is a very good year for you and look forward to seeing you in the blogosphere- Rx

Rose said...

also so souko really made me laugh!! It took me along time and then suddenly I loved it- but I don't and never will love Chanel No 5- I don't get it- but so No 5 me doesn't sound as good!

ScentScelf said...

Mals, thanks! I hope I don't sound like Rodney Dangerfield when I say "it's good to be back..." ;)

I also hope to be registering my presence at your blog more...your posts are always fun to visit.

ScentScelf said...

Trish,
And welcoming you is one of my highlights! It's been fun to see Scent Hive buzz with activity. :)

ScentScelf said...

Rose,
Aren't those Ellena/FM offerings lovely? They're not a whomp you upside the head kinda something, but such a consistent delight...and one you find yourself realizing has penetrated deeply without drilling or insisting. Just by...being.

Brother, we're on the same wavelength when it comes to Mitsy and No 5. How about your tag could be, "Don't Slap Me No 5?" (Read it as a double negative...right? is it working for you? oh, I know, had to put a groaner in there before the year was out...guess I am a little bit of an awkward standup comedian... ;) )

Qwendy said...

Oh, my, you've been HERE all the while? I've always loved the name of your blog, spied on other's fave lists, never got here until now, happily du to Helg's wonderful quirky list of bloggers for her Best Project, brava!

Love the tone of your ramblings...

I need time to digest everything, let's be in touch soon!

ScentScelf said...

Yay, Qwendy's been by!

Happy to have you here, hope to see you again soon. Here's to happy circumstance, and best in the new year.

brian said...

Now I'M jealous. You have a library? I can't tell you how many houses I've passed at night, coveting the glimpses I got of their libraries. It's always seemed so...luxuriant to me. I dream of having my books stored not in precarious stacks but on shelves, out in the open, all in one place.

But I digress. You're the first person I've heard rave about Hiver. I've always wanted it but feared it was faint and fleeting. Or is that true?

NylaAlatorre0301 said...

成人線上女優欣賞情色線上直播情色線上直播網成人片觀賞成人片觀看論壇成人片觀看成人片西洋片成人片線上成人片網成人片微風成人片觀看微風成人片彩虹成人片觀看小潘潘成人片成人卡漫線上直播免費美眉視訊免費英語線上教學免費聊天免費聊天視訊網站免費聊天視訊網d760免費聊天視訊軟體免費聊天視免費聊天情人d760免費聊天區免費聊天室交友免費聊天室申請踢人免費聊天室免費聊天性伴侶免費聊天firework免費聊天66k視訊美女一對一視訊美女下載視訊美女交友視訊聊天視視訊聊天館視訊聊天電話視訊聊天英文視訊聊天送點數300視訊聊天美女視訊聊天網ilover99視訊聊天網站視訊聊天申請加盟視訊聊天69視訊聊天520視訊聊天.

ScentScelf said...

Hey, Brian...

Would that I could say the books are all in their place. As with my perfume, I'd say I'm doing well when 80-90% is in place, and all tight when 95% is there. There's always something in play, of course. And, as comforting and stabilizing as it is to have a place for everything and everything in its place, I will never be able to fully dismiss the me that understands things in piles.

That said, yeah, it's cool. I'm glad I did it. If you decide to go ahead, heavy duty standards&brackets and shelving will be your friend. But let me know your source, so I can buy stock in them ahead of time... ;)

Hiver. You know, it doesn't develop much. But it is tenacious, and has enough interest to make it worth a long ride. It's kind of like if you could get the happy centering refresh of a certain cologne, or the bitch slap of a galbanum opening, reinterpreted as a keeper. All metaphorical, not meant to literally equate any notes. Just an impression. I'll be contacting you re: trying it.

ScentScelf said...

Hey, Brian...

Would that I could say the books are all in their place. As with my perfume, I'd say I'm doing well when 80-90% is in place, and all tight when 95% is there. There's always something in play, of course. And, as comforting and stabilizing as it is to have a place for everything and everything in its place, I will never be able to fully dismiss the me that understands things in piles.

That said, yeah, it's cool. I'm glad I did it. If you decide to go ahead, heavy duty standards&brackets and shelving will be your friend. But let me know your source, so I can buy stock in them ahead of time... ;)

Hiver. You know, it doesn't develop much. But it is tenacious, and has enough interest to make it worth a long ride. It's kind of like if you could get the happy centering refresh of a certain cologne, or the bitch slap of a galbanum opening, reinterpreted as a keeper. All metaphorical, not meant to literally equate any notes. Just an impression. I'll be contacting you re: trying it.