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Perfume [Jun. 1st, 2016|11:39 pm]
Saturday we did something really different: we went to a perfumer.

A little while back, Sarah gave us gift certificates to Essense Studio, which is a little shop up on the north end of Boulder that sells perfume. It's run by a lady named Dawn, who is a master perfumer and some kind of olfactory savant.

It's a little tiny shop, and there was a group of three other customers there talking to Dawn, but we'd already decided that this visit wasn't about buying anything, it was about exploration, figuring that our noses would be too worn-out to make any decisions by the time we were done. So we just spent a while sniffing different perfumes while the others finished up. This was really interesting, because there were a whole lot of "wow, I don't think I've ever smelled something like that before" experiences. We both found lots of things that we liked the smell of (though wouldn't necessarily want to wear), plus a number that we didn't.

Anyway, after we had Dawn to ourselves, we told her that we had gift certificates and that we didn't know anything about perfume and don't pay much attention to scent and didn't have any vocabulary for talking about it, and that we wanted to learn all about it and educate our noses before we tried to pick something.

And we learned so many things! She talked to us for like an hour and explained all kinds of really interesting stuff about the volatility of the notes that make up perfumes and categories of scents and the different effects that people go for (a decent fraction of what she makes are sort of hybrid perfume / aromatherapy mixes) and it was such novel territory to explore that we both found it just fascinating. And it's such a joy to have somebody with deep expertise like that share it with you. (She clearly was very enthused to have an attentive audience.)

We also found out that I have "green" skin, which is why I can't wear most popular men's colognes. But there was a sandalwood-based mix that works really well on me, and I think I will definitely get some of it when we go back. We're also planning on doing a dual consultation to see if she can figure out something that will work for both of us.

Other nice things this weekend: dinner at Dae Gee with Bob & Jeff on Friday night. We saw Neal & Rhonda there, so on Monday we picked up some kimchi and gimbap from H-Mart to bring to Rhonda's birthday barbecue. Got to see several friends that we don't see often and socialize for a good long while. And we got a lot of downtime on Sunday. An excellent 3-day weekend!

[User Picture]From: pink_halen
2016-06-02 05:53 am (UTC)
It's not easy being "green".
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[User Picture]From: kybearfuzz
2016-06-02 11:43 pm (UTC)
I've never even thought of going to a perfumer. It sounds fascinating. I'd love to ask her why some people chose to wear such strong, almost overpowering scents. She probably has some amazing insights to what the scent says about the individual.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2016-06-03 02:43 am (UTC)
She actually talked about that! Some people come in and want a very powerful scent that makes a strong impression. Reasons vary, but she mentioned that sometimes people do it because they want attention, and sometimes they use it as a kind of barrier, to keep people from getting too close. And sometimes it's even both! Like, "make me stand out in a crowd but also give me space in the crowd."

And there's this very milky smelling, young-girl perfume she sells, and the group that buys it most is a particular kind of woman in her early 50s. She thinks it's all about motherhood, and that they want to feel both like a mom and like they're being mothered, all at the same time...
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[User Picture]From: huxbear
2016-06-09 03:33 am (UTC)
I'm *very* scent-oriented (one of my allergies/headache-triggers is "chemical"/"artificial"-based scents) and learned about the differences when I started to get into aromatherapy & it made a HUGE impact! This lady sounds awesome! What a fun adventure you guys get to embark upon! :-D
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