Friday, August 17, 2012

Perfume people, ease my worried mind

I recently became, it would seem, hyper-sensitized to a certain sweet, powdery synthetic musk material that appears in a lot of floral perfumes. I believe you can find it in Estee Lauder Pleasures and the similar but more recent Cartier Baiser Vole -- but the perfume that tipped the balance for me was Diane (by Diane von Furstenberg), in the eau de toilette concentration. I liked Diane well enough in EDP but the EDT is completely overwhelmed by this purple-gray laundry musk.

NBD, I thought, I'll just avoid Diane. But yesterday, to my horror, I put on Flower by Kenzo (one of my favorite perfumes!) and all I could smell was this dreaded musk. After an hour or two of torture I attempted to wash it off, but today, a good 24 hours later, I can still smell it on my arm.

So I have a question for my perfume-loving readers: Have you ever found yourself suddenly oversensitive to a certain material that never bothered you before, and if so, did it ever, eventually, go away? I hate to think I'll never be able to wear Flower again.

11 comments:

  1. Every once in a while, some aromachemical in certain florals, usually reformulated eighties frags, will pierce right through my head. Not always. It comes and goes, but I raise these bottles with a little anxiety every time. I've noticed it in Olene, Sung, Giorgio and others. In some it never went away and whatever it was was all I could smell. I know exactly the musk you're talking about in Diane. It doesn't bother me (in fact, I chose the EDT over the EDP) but if it did I'd be in trouble.

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    1. "Comes and goes" gives me hope -- I just don't want Flower to be ruined for me forever. This material must be present in all kinds of things and never bothered me until last week. Now it smells about 10x as strong as it did before...

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  2. Lots of times I have to put a scent away for a few weeks/months. When I come back to it I like it again.

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  3. Elisa, this happens to me constantly, but not necessarily because of a certain ingredient or perfume element. I notice it most with my chypre perfumes (which I alternately think are hideous or divine), but all are subject to my love/hate whims.

    I would suggest there are differences in our chemistry/hormones/mood almost DAILY. In fact, I believe that perfumes actually smell different on me at different times - not just to me, but to other people as well. These variations seem to correlate with food preferences, too.

    Sometimes, it helps me to take a break from all perfume for a couple of days (which feels like forever) so my nose can 'recalibrate.' Set your Flower aside for awhile and come back to it later. I have faith that you will love it once again.

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  4. Thanks, Kate and Josephine -- I'm not going to touch Flower for a few months, in the hopes that we can be reunited in love in the future.

    And J, I have that kind of relationship with certain chypres. Paloma Piccaso, in particular, smells so right some days and SO WRONG on others.

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  5. I don't think Flower will be ruined for you forever, Elisa! I do wonder what sets this sort of reaction off, and it does happen to me from time to time as well--part of the reason I'm reluctant to get rid of full bottles. I loved it so hard at one point, right? I think Josephine is on to something--certain notes just get so *screechy* sometimes, and it's hard to pinpoint why. I think this "purple-gray laundry musk" (you've appropriately stressed me out with that description) will retreat back into part of the chorus before long, and even sing for you again.

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    1. It seems to me that synthetic materials are mainly the ones that can go all haywire and unstable, but I wouldn't swear to it. Anyway, I'm maintaining hope and keeping Flower in the back of my cabinet till fall....

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  6. This happened to me with amber. So many of my favorites contained amber. And then one day, I couldn't stand amber. It literally made me feel sick. I stopped wearing them for over 3 years. And then out of nowhere, I got my amber mojo back (last winter). So, don't get rid of Flower yet.

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    1. Oh, wow -- if I lost my taste for amber I'd be so screwed! Like you many of my faves are amber based. But, again, that's a very heartening story. Hope is not lost!

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  7. Yes and yes. I have developed a passing dislike of elements in the some of my favorites, e.g., the bergamot that is in many Guerlains, vanilla (big problem), sandalwood (also a big problem), and frankincense. In each case, I eventually returned to normal. I do think it just takes time and not forcing yourself to wear them.

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    1. A passing dislike of sandalwood? That is actually hard for me to imagine!

      The particular combination of bergamot and vanilla in Shalimar and similar old-fashioned orientals (notably vintage Emeraude) has always been stomach-turning for me, actually -- I am still waiting to one day outgrow this reaction!

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