Friday, June 27, 2008

Angela nailed it: We're Sensualist Geeks

Yesterday I read the post by Angela at Now Smell This, shaking my head in agreement and laughing out loud. Almost all the comments that followed her post vibrated like bees in a hive working for the same purpose, having similar motivations and all pursuing their ultimate pleasure…pleasure itself.
If you’re reading this, you definitely have an above average adoration of perfume, but it might also signify that you have a keen interest in literature, music, theater, tea, chocolate, five star restaurants, wine, gardening (think David Austen roses) and yoga. My favorite chocolate, mmm, that’s easy ~ Vosges. My favorite coffee, Peaberry from Trader Joe’s. Can I just eat any old sandwich for lunch? Nope. Can I buy any old set of sheets from Target. Nope. Can I just buy candles at Walmart? (are you kidding, that store smells gross?!). What I’m getting at here is not that I’m some sort of snob, but that I take enormous pleasure in pleasure itself. I live to enjoy every moment; I live to experience life at its most beautiful and sensual. Beauty and pleasure (and not narrow-minded, popular culture’s version of beauty of course), and the attainment of it is a spiritual pursuit for me. The sandwich I choose to eat for lunch might be an egg and ‘cress on very thin white bread from Pepperidge Farm and the egg salad needs to be made with 2/3 egg whites. I need to sleep on sheets of the highest thread count, considering how many hours of my life I spend sleeping, the sheets ought to be sumptuous, don’t you think? Vosges chocolate, I’m betting you’ve heard of it. If not, you ought to find out; it’s a-m-a-z-i-n-g. Candles from Walmart, that’s not possible, I need candles made from soy wax that are naturally scented and last forever.

It might sound as if I actually am a snob, and I prefer only the best brands and exclusive lines, to prove something to the outside world, but think about this: if you're a Sensualist Geek, you live for the pursuit of choosing items that cause an orgasmic sensory experience. For the most part, all these sensory items, disappear after you enjoy them. I'm making this point because it's not as if anyone else knows what perfume you're wearing and it's cost, perfume is, invisible to everyone except you. Also, for the other senses, taste, touch, sound; most of these items are also invisible, such as food, wine, chocolate and music which all disappear after you've eaten/listened to them. The sheets you sleep on, not many will ever know the brand or cost of these. I'm pointing this out because these items we consume/experience for ourselves. Nobody else will ever know what brand of perfume, type of tea, coffee or hand soap you prefer. This is completely different from the person who purchases products solely for the purpose of flashing their labels around (think of that Prada/Kate Spade bag, that BMW, a Zegna tie, those Gucci loafers, etc.)

Many of our sensory delights are expensive but if you are a Sensualist Geek you figure out how to purchase all of your special items at a discount. Everything can be had for less if you know where to look. And that’s where the first aspect of “Geek” comes in. You love researching the odd, unusual, special, beautiful and vintage in every category. You take pleasure in finding these things online, or at some oddball shop or wherever it might be. You don’t think of it as a chore to find that out-of-print book by your favorite author, you live for the pursuit of these things.

The second aspect of Sensualist Geekery is the need to research and understand all of our favorite sensual pleasures to the Nth degree. How many of you reading this know far more than the average person about perfume, the notes/accords, the various esteemed noses, the history of the perfume houses? How many of you can recite the most obscure varieties of tea, can recite David Lynch films in scary detail, understand the difference between egygptian cotton and the "rest" and know all about thread count, know the exact differences between dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate (and know that white chocolate isn't really chocolate at all, and milk chocolate verges on being candy rather than chocolate due to it's low ratio of pure cacao)...? You see what I mean, yes?

Getting back to perfume, as one of the sensory pleasures of a Sensualist Geek….I’ve noticed that I have a more acute sense of smell than most people. I can smell something burning in the oven way before anyone else in my house. I can smell when the weather is about to change many hours in advance. Of course I can smell when it’s going to snow. I could tell that my neighbor put caraway seeds in his apple pie crust before even biting into it. So, aside from a personality trait, perhaps Sensualist Geeks are also wired to notice, experience, sensory cues more intensely and quickly than others. It might make sense for survival. Darwin’s theory, might have been: Survival of the Sensualist?
Just in case, Vosges website:
Peace, Love and Chocolate….


Gail S said...

Here's my best example: I could tell when my piece-of-doodoo ex-husband had been smoking pot when the smell would wake me up from a sound sleep in the upstairs bedroom when he walked in the back door downstairs, before he even got to the staircase. Yeah, I understand aaaalllll about a keen sense of smell!

Abigail said...

it's no wonder he's an ex - your sense of smell took him down! he couldn't cover up those lies ;-)
what a perfect example of 'survival of the sensualist.'

Unknown said...

wow you explained me perfectly and i'm only 14 the thing about the chocolate i knew that, thats why i can't stand white chocolate its not real! also perfume every time me and my mom go to macy's i always try to smell as many perfumes as i can until finally she drags me into a different section and food if i don't like it i won't eat it whats the point of eating something you don't like? but anyway thank you for the article

Unknown said...

I just get it. Thank you for making me feel a little less lonely in a WalMart world.