The Isle Of Perfume.

Fullscreen capture 2172016 121311 AMWhere do perfume-holics live? Or go to when they want to de-stress, relax and spray with abandon? They go to the The Isle of Perfume, a little known stretch of land on an undisclosed continent, whispered about only in closed circles, location known only by word-of-mouth.

The cost to visit is very little, actually, all you need is your time and your hobby. As with any society, there are some basic rules. Although the idea of a sweet-smelling utopia with fragrant unicorns might be a wonderful dream, any society worth it’s weight in gold must be regulated in some way to keep its inhabitants happy.

Our policies are rather simple here, on the IoP. You must be versed in perfumery. If asked what your favorite notes are, a blank stare would never suffice. Although there really isn’t a right answer, an inhabitant might respond with  “I love vanilla, patchouli, tonka bean and oak moss for the winter months when it’s cold. But they could be rather cloying once the warmer weather hits. That’s when I’ll bring out some lighter, sweeter notes, like honey or raspberry into the mix. Summertime I’ll go very light with coconut added in.” Totally confused? Not if you’re a member of The Isle of Perfume. We know what we mean.

Our heaven is talking, living, breathing perfumes. And we don’t  use the word addiction about it, either. This is our hobby, our passion. We all collect perfumes in different manners. Some collect by the bottle, some collect by the sample, some by the decant. It really doesn’t matter, as long as we collect to sniff different scents each day. That’s what we do.

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We explore scents. We document them. We keep our Journals. Kind of like a library of information about our perfumes and what we have experienced about each and every one of them. To others, this might seem like a mania, a psychosis of sorts. But it’s not at all. There are some that collect stamps or cds(music in any form), motorcycles, cars…you name it, there are collectors of all sorts. And some, other very expensive hobbies.

Ours is the same. I suppose it’s just that with the internet it’s considered relatively “new” to some that have never heard of others interested in perfume that would go so far to collect the juice, keep it protected, documented, showcase it at times and talk about it with similar interested persons around the world. It’s a hobby that’s really not new. There have been fragrance consultants for decades.

When I was a teen-ager, I met my first one who introduced me to perfumes in my hometown. I later went on to become a fragrance consultant and also, for those of you who are familiar with the term , a fragrance model. Because of that type of employment, I was lucky enough to be able to start my collection of perfume. That was a few decades ago and now with the internet, younger generations are beginning to love perfume and enjoy this hobby.

So why is perfume considered a unique hobby ? A ridiculous hobby? A wasteful hobby to some? What gives anyone the right to determine what is wasteful or what is pleasurable? No one should be judgemental about anyone else’s pleasure unless it is hurting someone.

For some, a handful of perfumes, perhaps 3 or 4 bottles suffice. For true perfume hobbyists, or curators, that number can exceed anywhere from 100 to 1000 or more.

Explaining my hobby to a sales associate at a fragrance counter can be taxing. When they spritz a perfume on a strip of paper and want me to smell it without asking first, I usually respond with, “Thanks, I have that…”, and then they’ll suggest another, and I’ll have to say, “Thanks, have that too…”. They could go on and on, with me responding that I have this one or that one, or that I don’t have that one because I find it too linear or the longevity is just too poor, but I try to stop them.

If I use certain terms with them, and they catch the idea that I do have a few more bottles than the average person, they might ask just how many do I own. When I tell them, the reaction is usually the same. Eyes open wide, mouth drops open, and then the questions begin. Why, why and more whys.

Sometimes a sales associate wants to know more about perfume and I get hammered about the intricacies of perfume, which is great. I love talking perfume and if I have an interested audience, ask away. But the point is, why ask why?

Perfume is an ethereal experience. It lifts spirits. Using essential oils to ward off sickness has helped people through the ages, so why has using perfume to lift spirits not been recognized in the same way? Perfume has essential oils in it, also. Many people derive the same experience, the same beneficial emotional properties that others do from essential oils. It can lift one from depressive moods, help you to sleep better, put you in a better mood, make you feel sexy, give you strength and a whole host of other emotions.

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If a person takes the time to carefully build their collection, researching their purchases, buying their perfume bottles to suit their needs, storing them properly so the collection so it  will last, documenting the bottles in some sort of journal or spreadsheet, it’s a definitive hobby. It becomes a stress-reliever. It helps them to relax. Working with their hobby makes them a better person because it eases their emotions and relaxes them. Perfumes takes them away just as any other hobby takes another away to their special place.

The internet has now drawn attention to perfume as much as any other commodity because of online-buying and marketing. Because our society is based on smartphones we are inundated with ads and apps from sites like Ebay and Pinterest that are gateways to ideas on how to build our collections, no matter what they might be. And should that collection be perfumes, well then, I’ll just take my breaks on the Isle of Perfume, my idea of Heaven.



All works past, present and future are protected under a CCC. Creative Common License, Kaarie Blake Musings by Kaarie Blake is licensed under a Creative Common Attribution-Noncommercial-Noderivs-3.0-Unported License.



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