I have been writing regularly about perfume for over two years, and in that time I’ve questioned my reasons almost every day. I mean, what teenager thinks to himself, ‘how can I describe this perfume to an audience on the Internet?’ That’s just not something you see every day; shouldn’t I be going through a Goth phase or something?
This blog began as a way to catalogue my personal thoughts about fragrance, but has since expanded into much more than that. Today it is my venue for highlighting the best in the beauty world and calling out overhyped products.
But why perfume? Why blog about scent?
I admit that blogging about fragrance can sometimes feel like blindly searching for the light switch in a dark room. If you’ve ever tried describing a smell to someone then you know how dependant you are on your words to convey a personal experience.
Try the aroma of a LUSH Cosmetics store; it’s iconic, but how can you tell someone who has never been there what it’s like? Go ahead, give it a go.
Not so easy, is it? So how come I – along with the rest of the fragrance bloggers out there – do this on a weekly basis? And most importantly, why?
The ‘How’ is not so straightforward, but I’m trying to get to the bottom of it in my interviews series by asking other bloggers about their process. But I can give you my take on the ‘Why,’ and you might be surprised at how simple it is.
Take a major newspaper – the Toronto Star, for example. On its front page you’ll find interesting pieces about what’s happening locally and around the globe. A few pages in you’ll locate the business news, and a bit later, sports. A few times a week you might even get a fashion-related insert, and that’s what we’re looking for here.
Fashion news happen all the time, everywhere. Every time a designer releases a new collection (which is quite often, if you’re keeping up), changes the colour of their signature piece, or opens a new flagship store in this hip city or that it’s all news, and people need to know about it. After all, what fashionista would be caught dead wearing what is now last season’s coat?!
It’s the same with perfume, in a lot of ways. Perfume is as much a fashion accessory as a chic scarf or pair or patent leather gloves. Big fashion companies know that fragrance is an inexpensive way for consumers to buy into the brand without dishing out thousands for a haute couture gown. Fine fragrance is perhaps the last thing you put on as you get dressed, even after the statement lipstick and the high heels. It’s a finishing touch, it’s the Pièce De Résistance, it’s the— well, you get the point. Fashion houses rely on perfume just as much as we all do.
So when a new perfume comes out – no matter if it’s a $15 body spray from Bath & Body Works or a $250 Tom Ford – people want to hear about it. And if you’ve ever had the chance to leaf through press releases from beauty companies, you know you’re not getting the full story from “a revolutionary technology that merges life and light into liquid form in this exquisite fragrance that smells like rainbows and mountaintops.” You need honest reporting, and you can count on the traditional media to be tainted by fancy launch parties and private jets. So, it’s up to the bloggers – people like you and I, with a bottle of molecules suspended in alcohol and an Internet connection – to tell the truth.
And that’s the ‘Why’: we blog about perfume because it is a branch of fashion all too often glossed over or filled with unrealistic buzz. We write about what things smell like to help you find what you’re looking for and help you avoid what you’re not looking for. We might occasionally get a parcel in the mail with some brand new juice, but without the pressure of editors, word counts and deadlines we can get to the story beyond what meets the eye. Fragrance is everything to a fragrance blogger – the smell, longevity, projection, the presentation – it’s all this big thing we think about constantly.
Honest reporting is the name of the game, folks. Just fashion-forward people writing about what you need to know, and smelling fabulous.