Thursday, 20 November 2014

Josh Asks - Whose nose is more important, yours or your partner's?

Josh doesn't "do" perfume.
He wears Tom Ford For Men because his girlfriend's mum bought it for him.
However one evening in the pub he started asking some great questions so I started a feature called "Josh Asks..."

The full question is -
Whose nose is more important, yours or your partner's?
This question came up after I gave Josh a sample of Frapin "1270" and whilst he liked it he remarked that his partner did not. I think this topic is important, it ties in with finding your own fragrance identity and not being influenced by others in such a pursuit. However, as with all things, it is not always that simple.

I'm splitting this answer into three sections because I love lists and compartmentalisation-
1. Wearing what you like, for you.
2. Not purposefully upsetting others.
3. Association can improve a smell.

1. Wearing what you like, for you.

I wear fragrance that I like, I do not wear fragrance for other people.
To elaborate on this, I would not want to receive a fragrance as a gift, something that a friend has liked and picked out thinking I would like it because most likely I would not.
I think choosing and finding a fragrance is a very personal process that is a solo pursuit, perhaps helped by a knowledgeable guide.

Notice how this is the opposite to Josh's process where he was given a fragrance as a present and wears that, however for me I am more invested in fragrance as a hobby so put more weight into the selection of something I want to own and wear.
So if someone got me a fragrance that they loved but I did not I would not wear it simply to please them, I think such an action is not being authentic or true to yourself,

2. Not purposefully upsetting others.

So after I have found a fragrance that I love and want to wear all the time if I come across someone who dislikes it that's fine, it is expected. But if someone says it gives them a headache or my colleagues at work say it makes them want to be sick, well then I don't think I would wear that one again, especially in that situation.

To bring the point back to Josh's example perhaps something in 1270 was very off-putting for his partner, in which case he would knowingly be upsetting her by wearing it.
I don't imagine there are many fragrances that fulfil this criteria but I can think of some that are either over-bearing or have a nasty note that I wouldn't want to smell for prolonged periods.

3. Association can improve a smell.

Continuing using Josh as the guinea pig example, imagine that his partner is not repulsed to the fragrance but does not love it as she may another one. Well she is in luck, as my next story illustrates.
A lady friend who works in perfume (She shall be called D) recently married, we were talking about the associative power of fragrance and she explained to me that before she met her husband she did not think much of Terre D'Hermes.

Well guess where this story goes? 

Now that she has been around him wearing it regularly she has associated that fragrance with him and in a strange olfactory feedback loop now likes Terre D'Hermes (And who doesn't? It's 4th best seller in France)

Leadenhall Market Book Display

What's the answer?

For me the overall theme is remaining true to yourself in what you buy and wear in the realm of smellies.
I believe this way your fragrance will be a true extension of your character and a more accurate expression of self and, as we see in the third point, people may end up liking it because it is what you wear.


  1. It's an interesting topic! I thought about in in a slightly different plane (and will elaborate on it eventually in a post) but I agree with your list.
    In the office those who work closely with me have a power of veto on the perfumes I wear to work: since I have a big collection there is no good reason for anybody to suffer through something they actively dislike when I can easily choose something else to wear.
    If my vSO would dislike any of the perfumes I liked, I would have worn them while we weren't together: not a single perfume is worth upsetting people you love.

  2. "Not a single perfume is worth upsetting people you love."
    I like that :)


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