Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Brainer

In the past few months, I have been feeling a writer's-resistance for writing about my experiences with perfumes. Blogging about perfumes and "reviewing" them for over 2 years has taught me a lot about perfume. But it also taught me that olfactory fatigue is not just a physical phenomenon; it is actually possible to beat the fun out of something you love by talking about it too much. And this is precisely what I have been trying to avoid recently by not writing perfume reviews for a long time, and instead - enjoying the many other aspects of perfumery, such as perfume creation itself; developing new scented products. My scented candles and sachets for the home have been a pleasure to work on and test and try at my own space; and scenting teas (and chocolates!) added another dimension to my life with quiet, peaceful rituals that I can appreciate alone or with friends.

I have spoken last year about a general fatigue that I'm sensing in the perfume world. New launches every day, loads of information online that could eat up a whole day in research, endless perfume blogs (and new ones that emerge quite often too). This abundance is great, but it also has its side effects.

"How much perfume knowledge is too much?" asks Angela of Now Smell This. And her question couldn't have been more relevant. I've been asking the same thing myself. While I can't say my knowledge even begins to scrape the surface of what a perfumer should know, the endless amount of perfume-related information that floods our brains is overwhelming. To the point that it might as well beat the fun out of it for some of us. And I'm afraid it has done just that, judging by the number of excellent perfume blogs that have been sitting stale with no blog entry for months and months on end (of course, there could be other reasons for not posting on a blog, but I still think there is a trend here).

In the past few months, I have stumbled upon very few new perfume (or new to me) that left with an urge to blog. I haven't even bothered trying any of the many new collections that were released recently (i.e.: Tom Ford's Private Blends). Obviously, I'm just feeling overwhelmed.

At the same time, I am enjoying wearing and making perfumes, sipping teas and cooking with aromatic spices and herbs, discovering new flavours I've never tried before, and experimenting with new combination of notes and flavours with much pleasure. Instead of trying a different perfume every day (I've done that over certain periods of my life before) I'm just enjoying a few that I really like, and coming back to old favourites. Instead of feeling pressure to write about whatever is shiny and new, I'm just enjoying the perfumes I already have and love.

At the same time, I'm also trying to un-learn my note-desection tendancies, and instead - just enjoy the fragrane as a whole. And nothing could be more appropriate to remedy this analytic disease than a very complex Chypre: chic, sophisticated, earthy, grounding, with subtle nuances and evolution that can never bore even the most experienced nose.

I've been coming back to my old and all-time favourites - Miss Dior, Femme (the vintage is so beautiful it makes me want to never cry again when I smell a perfume!), and my very own Ayalitta. I have been avoiding Mitsouko because I have worn it too much when I was in the hospital when Tamya broke her leg but have worn it again a few times this fall already. It feels like coming home from a long, uncomfortable journey...



At October 31, 2008 1:57 PM, Blogger Ageless Beauty said...

Its so true that too much knowledge can ruin an experience! I sometimes feel that way with writing, like knowing about editing rules makes me read without absorbing any of the content. And so far as skin care goes...well, understanding what an ingredient is can make it much less intriguing.

At November 01, 2008 5:26 AM, Blogger ScentScelf said...

First of all, your illustration had me chuckling...I am so used to your beautiful, lyrical choices, that this one had added "oomph" in the fun category.

Overload and fatigue are for real, whether from tangible inputs, or "virtual" ones (such as information/knowledge). And I absolutely believe that our bodies and brains are wise in telling us to slow down, or pull back, or even turn away when necessary. I am glad you are listening to yours....

At November 01, 2008 6:56 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Ageless Beauty,
Thank you for commenting!
Being too cerebral can totally take away from the experience. I'm glad I know nothing about editing rules... In fact, I think it is my lack of knowledge of the English language that allows me to express myself so freely in writing.
I wish for all of us to experience every moment anew and enjoy the present.

At November 01, 2008 6:59 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

It is Halloween after all, so I thought the brainy photo soaked in formaldehyde is just the right thing ;)
I'm very flattered you find my other photos lyrical! I really enjoy picking them (and sometimes, taking them myself).

Yes, the overload is a reality. At least I'm not alone here in noticing that. Listening to ourselves is the least we can do. After all, our resources (including attention and time) are limited and we should use them wisely.


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