How to appreciate perfume and be confident in your opinion

While Nick and Kelly were with the rest of the world’s hip librarians buying quite a lot of independent comics at Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art Festival I was down on Prince Street with the fashionistas at Trade School, learning about perfume. It was a gorgeous warm sunny flowery April Saturday and I felt so lucky to be in New York and able to full advantage. Cost of the class? One subway ride, and one recipe of pumpkin spice cupcakes with chocolate frosting that I tried to give anonymously to my coworkers last week. The eponymous barter requested was “an act of kindness.” And in return I now appreciate perfume and am far more confident in my opinions. Thank you to volunteer instructors Liz and Anaheed, who shared their 50+ bottles of scents for our experiments- I hope you are working on a book for those not lucky enough to attend.

Important highlights from the class:

  • Do not buy any perfume based on how it smells in the bottle, on paper or after the first few minutes on your skin.  It really is true that scents interact differently with different body chemistry (we smelled the same scent on different people to test this).  Also, it changes over time from the top to the middle to the base note.  I was sniffing myself all day.
  • Don’t feel pressured by salespeople and don’t listen to their opinions about what might be right for you.  Or your ideas about what kind of person you are so the scents you should like.  One of the most interesting and compelling perfumes turned out to have a top note of gasoline, so leave those preconceptions at the door and go for what you like based on smelling it.
  • Sadly, since this was a blindish smell test, I did not find out until just now that my favorite perfume from the day costs $250.   I guess my sister is right and I am like “Sarah Parker from that sex show” after I’m in New York for a few hours.



Author: Emily

Writer/ Librarian

2 thoughts on “How to appreciate perfume and be confident in your opinion”

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