Perfume is well known to smell different on different people, but have you ever had the same perfume vary on you when you traveled?
The first, and only, time—so far—that this happened to me was with Juliette Has a Gun Sunny Side Up. I liked all the samples in their discovery kit that I bought, except for Anyway, which is supposed to showcase neroli, Hedione, and Ambroxan, but ended up neither here nor there for me. Otherwise, even the gourmands, such as MMMM…, were quite palatable. Mad Madame and Lady Vengeance are both delectable, red-lipsticked roses that make a strong statement.
Sunny Side Up is an easy sandalwood, sweet but not saccharine, warm but not suffocating. It is meant to highlight sandalwood, vanilla, and jasmine—and though I’m not a particular fan of vanilla or jasmine, these notes work well to complement the round woodiness. This perfume fit me like a favorite sweater, or tunic, depending on the season; casual, and perfect for a day out on the town. Say, a city on the East Coast of the United States, where I’m based.
I brought my sample with me to London, England last summer. It was light jacket weather, with occasional spells of drizzle. Definitely more humid. To my surprise, I started finding Sunny Side Up too sweet and a bit annoying. The smell seemed to have changed. So much for initial impressions…? I soon diverted my attentions to a litany of skin-scent, musky, bois de this-and-that types and heavy oud-rose contenders as I embarked on a sniffing tour in earnest, and put Sunny Side Up aside for the rest of the trip.
Once back in my regular environment, however, I used it again, and voilà, it was as pleasant as before. Not too sweet. Certainly not annoying. It smelled just like it did before (qualitatively different from how it smelled in London).
If anyone has an explanation from a chemistry standpoint, I’d be curious to know. Which aromachemicals are most susceptible to variation with humidity? Is it more about other environmental factors? Have you experienced something similar?