In search of a scent for new beginnings

About a week after moving to a different apartment with the same floor plan within the same building, I started a new job, remotely. I’ve heard that people tend to take a similar approach to jobs as to other aspects of their lives, and it’s been pretty true for me especially in the sense that I am more selective in what I consider as options and don’t jump around, for better or worse. Among my peers, I have observed that those who changed companies every couple of years seemed to advance their careers faster that way. My general pattern has been to start fresh (faced), build some key relationships, earn recognition internally—and then the structure or other factors outside of my control would change, and by the time I would leave, it wouldn’t be “a difficult decision” at all; rather, a much overdue one. I don’t mean that change is a driver for leaving—most of us wouldn’t stay long anywhere if it were, would we?!—I am simply saying this is how my circumstances happen to have unfolded.

The new job is a significant and positive shift for me—interestingly, the full effect is currently tempered by the absence of physical manifestation due to starting remotely. Instead of commuting to a new office and sitting at a new desk, I am meeting lots of new people via video and reading documents in a new template, etc. However, I have made some physical changes for myself: I’ve started wearing more “office-like” clothes and minimal jewelry (versus very casual clothes and no jewelry before), installed a webcam rather than using the laptop camera, and started using a different browser, just because. My mental well-being has definitely improved, too.

Naturally, I wanted to celebrate with a new perfume, so I started seeking out things to smell again. I braved the Tom Ford counter at Nordstrom and met a most wonderful SA, who showed me one fragrance after another and then folded all the blotters neatly into a sheet of tissue paper in such a way that they were kept separate from each other so I could take them home. There are so many good reviews by fellow bloggers and I won’t even attempt my own for any of them, but I will say that the ones that held my interest were Rose Prick, Soleil Brûlant, and Tuscan Leather. Tubereuse Nue was pleasant but nothing groundbreaking, and Bitter Peach dried down to a single note of gamma undecalactone for me so I was not impressed. Rose Prick is quite jammy at the opening and dries down to a lovely, soft, pink, comforting rose that retains its elegance. Soleil Brûlant was fascinating to me as I hadn’t really smelled anything like it before, so I couldn’t articulate my impressions, but it had a suntan lotion vibe that seems to be getting more popular again. Tuscan Leather, with its notes of luxury leather, raspberry, and thyme, attracted me right away and I got a decanted sample of it—after a few wears, though, I’ve begun to resist its charms. Ombre Leather I tried on another occasion and was disappointed as it quickly devolved into an almost medicinal, synthetic smell, as though the leather had turned into plastic. I really wanted to like it based on the descriptions I had read about how true the scent was to its name!

I also bought a Floraïku discovery set as it seemed reasonable (especially compared with many of the others on offer—is it just me or are discovery kits getting more and more expensive?) So far I’ve only tried a few, and they have been pleasant but not amazing. Between Two Trees, featuring grapefruit oil, mate absolute, and vetiver oil, reminds me of a cleaner version of Le Labo Vetiver 46. It’s simplified and sweeter in a nectar sort of way. It managed not to smell anywhere as “dirty” as my memory of Vetiver 46 even after I worked up a sweat doing manual labor related to setting up a new bookcase. My Shadow on the Wall, with violet leaf absolute, mimosa absolute, and sandalwood oil, has a similar effect on me as Atelier Cologne’s lesser-known Sous le Toit de Paris—the desiccating violet note seems to bind to receptors along the inside of my nostrils and tug the membranes taut. I don’t think it gets to the extent of causing temporary anosmia for me, as potent ionones are wont to do, but it certainly feels like the powdery greenness chills and dries the air.

I do like Floraïku’s visual aesthetic, with the watercolor-style pictures and bottle-cap designs, as well as the idea of accompanying each perfume with a poem (albeit not a real haiku). I’m sure I’ll find more to like in this set, and maybe even to write about.

3 thoughts on “In search of a scent for new beginnings

  1. Congratulations on the new job!

    The combination of me hating changes, being usually more useful for the job/company that it’s useful to me and my complete inability to “sell myself” usually results in me staying at one place much longer than it is wise from any point of view.

    I’m a Tom Ford fan, but they keep discontinuing good perfumes. My most favorite perfume from the line (and the only FB for me – my vSO has one FB of one of the “ouds” cant remember which) is discontinued Fleur de Chine. Rose Prick is my latest favorite and a travel bottle. Other than that, I’ve been using decants (buying from the splits – or even on eBay from people who buy those humongous decanters is much more affordable): Amber Absolute (disc), Champaca Absolute, Black Violet (disc), Arabian Wood (disc), 3 of the Vert collection (disc). And on my vSO I love Tuscan Leather, Tobaco Vanille, Japon Noir (disc) and Moss Breches (disc).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!
      I wish more places would cultivate the value of “deeper” versus “broader” and reward people based on merit with less emphasis on personality, but I suppose it’s difficult unless one is highly specialized.

      I know the juice is what matters but I haven’t gotten used to the idea of decants beyond samples—the vial/bottle is still too much an expected part of the experience for me. It sounds like a smart option though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In general, I agree with you, and these days I’m prepared to pay more for a brand travel spray vs. a decant from someone’s bottle. But 7-10 years ago almost nobody had bottles smaller than 50 ml (and oftentimes 100 ml). There are perfumes that I wouldn’t mind using up 5, maybe 10 ml, but not ready to commit to a large bottle. 20-30 ml – I could still somehow justify, but not 100 🙂

        I do not usually use perfumes from samples – other than to test. That’s why I have either bottles of 5-10 ml decants. Those that I finish and still like, I get a bottle.

        Liked by 1 person

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