Exile on Mainstream Street

Although this isn’t the post I want to make, it’s the one that I owe my fragrance friends, before I make the post that I actually do want to make.

To say I’ve been away for a while would be an understatement.  After a long absence from the fragrance scene, I made a brief return in 2014, followed by an even longer absence.   Until now.

Were it not for a truly fascinating and important scientific paper on olfaction which just appeared, I would probably not be making this post, much less the next one.  However, I feel that it is something approximating a duty to share my scientific thoughts on said paper, and thus this brief return to the fragrance world.

So what have I been up to?  Work.  Keeping my computer very, very clean.  Keeping my mind clear and my body functional – and the whole, relatively pain-free.  And most of all, helping to steer the hive mind back into a functional state, where thoughts and ideas range freely.  Which, unfortunately, is not possible in the Fragrant Neutral Zone, located somewhere between The Very Voyager Federation and the Romneyan Empire.  Thus, I now find myself in the company of all sorts of heroes and villains.  Shape shifters.  Veterans of the Troll Wars.  Assorted spies, provocateurs, info-mercenaries, and the low-paid or unpaid workers who lay down both astroturf and natural grass.  Old farts.  Young hooligans.  Ex-this and almost-that.  Any and all of which may be a lie.  It’s a bit like Star Wars, and a bit like the Old West.  A table full of old friends and new strangers playing with marked cards.  And I would be lying if I said that I haven’t developed a taste for it.

But I miss fragrance.  I miss recording my scent of the day.  However, eventually one learns not to show up at the watering hole every day.  So, like Bleu de Chanel, I’ve learned to be a bit more unexpected.  My apologies for that.

Exiled on Mainstream Street, I stumble into the cool nights of Bleu de Chanel EDP.

Exiled on Mainstream Street, I stumble into the cool nights of Bleu de Chanel EDP.

Without the peer pressure of fellow fragrance lovers, I wear EXACTLY what I want.  It’s almost like back when my love for fragrance was pure and unshared.  I find that I now wear almost entirely mainstream fragrances.  Even more, I have fallen for certain perfumers.  The Polges – especially Olivier.  The Ellenas – especially Jean-Claude.  I drift into niche, but for the most part, I wear designer scents.  And it’s OK.  I’m happy.

I used to care if other people understood why I loved certain fragrances.  Now, not so much.  We love what – and who – we love.  There’s no need to justify or apologize for that.  How we show or don’t show that love matters, but trying to deny or justify is unnecessary.  As far as fragrance is concerned, there is only one really good reason to tell people why I love something.  And that would be so they might share that love – so that they, too, might appreciate the same beauty.  But to be honest, there are plenty of others who can do this.  I won’t fool myself into thinking that my contribution to the communal love of fragrance was ever more than a small and easily replaceable part.  Letting it go feels good.

Anyway, I leave you now.  Turning back into the twilight, I stumble along, down Mainstream Street, toward another adventure, in another town.  But before I go, I leave you with this – my next post.

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