perfume and memory

I started thinking about perfume a lot a while ago because of wanting to confront people who wear too much. I think it’s absolutely an old custom that has been mal-translado to current times. It was designed to mask the smell of people who only bathed twice a year. For people who bathe any more than once a week, probably with fragranced soap applying scented lotions afterward, wearing perfume is overkill. I think it’s weird to wear it all the time, although wearing it sometimes is nice for tradition’s sake.

Then I was thinking about gender and marketing as they relate to perfume. At least among people who wear it all the time, I think the main reason most people wear it is marketing now, really. And most of the marketing is cheesy. Whom does this appeal to?

And the near-solitary, unwavering take of marketing on perfume/cologne is sex or love. So they imply that the scent appeals to the opposite sex. I think that could be true, maybe, but not really a primary motivator when it comes to the scents themselves. Misdirected.

When talking about buying decisions– isn’t it more likely that people choose fragrances because *they* like them? How do men choose colognes when they buy them for themselves? Or do they normally just wear scents their girlfriends give them? Do their girlfriends choose colognes they like or ones they think their boyfriends will like?

I guess that is why CK One was genius. Although I never liked the way it smelled. Too piney (haha too “male,” es decir…?)

I always used to spray on Jean-Paul Gaultier’s Le Male when I passed it in the department store, thinking of it as a statement of self-fulfillment that I would wear men’s cologne to please myself with the way it smells. It’s a soft, powdery smell that is kind of feminine but doesn’t come across that way when a guy wears it.

Anyway, ostensibly I wore it because of making that statement… but the fact is the reason I liked it and wanted to wear it was because it reminded me of a guy I fell for.

That’s probably one of the more important things about perfumes is memory, just for the nature of olfactories and their connection to memory. So you associate the scent with the emotion, but mostly as scent relates to memory. You aren’t thinking about scent so much in the moment that you form a memory. Just afterward, when the smell whisks you back into the memory of that moment.

The memory I think is more strongly tied to the scent than whether the scent appealed to me. It’s just the fact that that was the smell that was present when I experienced these strong emotions. Because it was the cologne he happened to wear. Which I assume he chose because he liked the way it smelled.

I have never bought perfume except once, for myself. Acqua di Giò by Georgio Armani. I like the way it smells. I wish multimedia included smell. I bought the stuff when I was 15 and still have half a bottle (14 years later). When I have worn it, it’s never been due to thinking dudes like the way it smells. I guess it is a pretty feminine scent though. It smells dewey, fresh, and it has a lot of energy. I don’t know that I would be able to imagine a dude wearing it, but I guess a dude might like it okay on me.

When I have worn it, it’s mainly because it’s felt ceremonial. Which I think is what dudes would probably like about it, mainly, also. Thinking, “Oh, that’s nice. She’s doing something special tonight.”

Which probably goes back to memory again. You are sort of “marking” a special occasion. Maybe that’s part of why I think it’s kind of brutish to wear it all the time.

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