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Fragrances, Thoughts, and Life
9 days ago - 10.06.2024
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Spring 2024 - Fragrances, Thoughts, and Life

Spring 2024 - Fragrances, Thoughts, and Life

This spring is the spring that I graduate university. Surely like every single student who has come before me and every single student who will come after me, the feelings within me are strange and foreign. What do I do now? Who am I as a person?

To live life you need problems. If you get everything the minute you want it, then what's the point of living?

Jake the Dog

I'm not sure what it is exactly that I want as I try to envision the future. I think there's a stigma, perhaps, around "self-reinvention"—maybe a preconception that the need or desire for it means that one must've not been true to themselves in some way. But, how can we grow if we are not changing ourselves? And for me, right now marks a transitional period where I think some self-reinvention is unavoidable; my adulthood is starting to take shape.

Fragrance is only a small, small sliver of my self-reinvention journey, but a fruitful one. In a sense, my interest in this hobby reflects a microcosm of my overall cognitive and emotional development. I've been more willing to slow down and explore my senses deeply, and I find my palate expanding to enjoy a variety of new things in all areas of life. All that's true for me when it comes to fragrance too.

For me, fragrance is not just about smelling good. Like when I bother to pick out an outfit and do my makeup, picking out a fragrance gives me time to think about the day ahead and say, "yes, this day is worth getting ready for and this is who I'd like to be". I think we need little motivators like that to keep life exciting.

I'm still pretty new to exploring fragrance, but here's what I've been trying this spring plus some rambling thoughts. My goal for the next year is to go through and use up a large portion of my collection so I can both enjoy what I have on hand and also make room to further curate my collection as I find my identity.

Oyédo by Diptyque (Sample)

I picked up a sample of OyédoOyédo from the Nordstrom at my local mall at least a year ago now. I was quite curious about Diptyque because of how popular Philosykos (Eau de Parfum)Philosykos Eau de Parfum had become on social media. That latter fragrance had drawn me in because I was enamored by Greek mythology at the time, and the symbol of the fig in Madeline Miller's The Song of Achilles was particularly alluring. Back then, when I gone to the Nordstrom stand and sampled Philosykos, it was a bit too green for me (I love it now, though). That was when I had just begun becoming seriously interested in fragrance, and all I knew was that I liked citruses—so I asked the sales associate for a sample of a citrus Diptyque fragrance. I was given Oyédo.

I wish I liked this more. With key notes of yuzu, tangerine, thyme, and raspberry, Diptyque states that this fragrance was inspired by an empire in the Land of the Rising Sun (Edo). I like the opening a lot: it's as if you pierced the peel of a bitter yuzu fruit. It's a pretty calming and realistic scent, as in it's something you might genuinely smell taking a stroll through a verdant courtyard with yuzu trees. I just don't think the medicinal drydown agrees with me, sadly. Maybe it's the thyme in conjunction with the citrus? Also, I do not pick up on any raspberry whatsoever. I finished this sample on the rare occasions I found myself to be in a specific mood.

Champagne Apple & Honey by Bath & Body Works (Bottle)

I remember when I got Champagne Apple & Honey by Bath & Body Works (BBW) very clearly. BBW had a large sale two years ago and my roommates and I (the four of us) made a big combined order to save on shipping. I didn't know much about fragrance or BBW, but I liked scented products and I thought this packaging was cute.

This scent is fine. It's a mellow apple scent, not juicy or bright, which is perfect for a muted autumnal vibe. I think BBW maybe gets crap sometimes because it's not considered "real fragrance" (whatever that means). Although it's true that the development of a BBW product is probably much less in-depth than the development of a typical designer or niche fragrance, I think smelling good and enjoying fragrance can come at any price. And I enjoyed this in a very unremarkable, but overall pleasant way. I wore this nearly exclusively for a couple of academic quarters in my sophomore year, and now the smell reminds me of my old dorm room. I won't be repurchasing, but it was fun while I had it. I finished this bottle this year (finally) using it as a mindless daily wear.

Cassili by Parfums de Marly (Sample)

My sample of CassiliCassili was also sourced from Nordstrom. I went because of the hype around Delina (Eau de Parfum)Delina Eau de Parfum, but my store was completely out of that one. I left instead with Cassili.

This is nice, it's candy-like and fruity and a little floral. It feels like an early breakfast on the patio of an overpriced cafe in some quaint European village in bloom. There's some slight complexity to it, and it's very feminine, which always puts me in a flirty mood. I don't have much to say about this one. While it's definitely a pleasing scent, I found that it didn't really excite me or stand out to me, maybe because I don't have any meaningful emotional connection to it. I finished this sample using it as a daily wear when I bothered to make myself presentable.

Tory Burch by Tory Burch (Mini)

Gosh, I think I got my mini of Tory Burch (Eau de Parfum)Tory Burch Eau de Parfum as part of Sephora's holiday perfume sampler kit in 2019. Five years ago! I wasn't even big on fragrance back then, I just liked the novelty of the kit. I found myself often forgetting to use the samples, even though I enjoyed sniffing them in their bottles. Being only 17, it felt nice to own nice things, but I hadn't fully grasped the luxury of mindfully using nice things. I've unearthed the samples again recently, and have been intentionally working on enjoying them to their full potential.

Tory Burch is supposed to have top notes of grapefruit and mandarin orange, although I barely smell them. I wonder if it's because of my mini bottle's age, or if it's because of that one week I accidentally left the top off the bottle and the volatile notes disintegrated—or both. Even so, I really like this fragrance actually. It's not very memorable, but there's something so lovely about the sweet, nectary flowers. It smells honeyed in a way, without being gourmand at all. I feel like you can truly wear this for any occasion. As of writing this, I'm still working on finishing my mini.

Eden Juicy Apple by Kayali (Sample)

Another apple fragrance, Eden Juicy Apple | 01Eden Juicy Apple | 01 this time. Funny, because I'd always thought I was more of a citrus girl than a pome girl, but I guess this spring is proving me wrong. I smelled this one in Sephora, and unlike Champagne Apple & Honey, which is a mellow apple, this one is bright and juicy with a teensy bit of powdery floral. I can almost taste the crispy flesh in my mouth, not to sound gruesome.

Anyway, I liked it on the tester strip and decided to get a sample to wear to my graduation commencement ceremony next week. The occasion matches the fragrance in my opinion: cheerful, youthful, radiant, hopeful. I'm reaching here, but perhaps there's also some parallel to be drawn between Eve leaving the garden of Eden and me leaving behind the ignorance and bliss of childhood. As of writing this, I'm still working on finishing my sample.

Honeysuckle Lemon Curd by Haus of Gloi (Sample)

Last but not least: Honeysuckle Lemon CurdHoneysuckle Lemon Curd. This was my very first brush with indie fragrance oils, and I think I picked this up around the winter holidays in 2022. I had only just discovered indie fragrances, and I loved how they were about capturing a specific fleeting moment or feeling, whereas designer fragrances were mostly marketed to "smell good, in general, to nearly everyone". I remember being really disappointed when I had opened my samples from Haus of Gloi when they arrived. They just smelled like generic candles to me. However, over time, my opinion of them improved greatly, probably from a combination of letting the fragrance oils rest, my palate expanding, and also my knowledge of fragrances growing. These days, I've had many hits with indie fragrances.

Haus of Gloi's fragrance oils (and most indie perfumes, really) are incredibly transformative. This one smelled like cheap kitchen soap to me when I first got it, but now I find it quite interesting. It opens with an incredibly fresh and zesty lemon, but not tart and bitter. It's not gourmand in the opening at all. As it dries, it becomes a powdery, floral cake that's a little food-like, but not saccharine. I really like it as a bedtime scent; I find it very soothing even though citruses are commonly associated with alertness. As the fragrance transforms from bright to mild, so do I transform from awake to asleep, I guess. Sorry for being corny. As of writing this, I'm still working on finishing my sample.

Summary

This season marks many transitions for me. Sure, I'm graduating college, but more importantly, I'm experiencing fragrance in a mindful way for the first time. I'm receptive to so many new scent profiles, like how a child goes from hating all vegetables to enjoying their complex flavors as an adult. I'm also trying to cycle out old fragrances by enjoying wearing them, making room to curate my future collection more carefully.

This spring, I'm using OyédoOyédo, Champagne Apple & Honey by BBW, CassiliCassili, Tory Burch (Eau de Parfum)Tory Burch Eau de Parfum, Eden Juicy Apple | 01Eden Juicy Apple | 01, and Honeysuckle Lemon CurdHoneysuckle Lemon Curd.

Last updated 10.06.2024 - 06:13 PM
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