Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Importance of the Fellow Perfume F(r)iend

If you don't have a perfume buddy, a PBFF, I suggest you find one.  Most of us spend time on perfume blogs, I think, not just because we want to read up on the latest releases but to hear other people's thoughts, to derive some sense of a larger community revolving around shared interests and relentless passions.  That's one thing.  That's great.  I enjoy the comments we get on our posts, and the dialogue that opens with the outside world.  That's important.  We aren't doing this for our health.  We both have day jobs, and night jobs, and in between jobs, pets, partners, and pastimes.

But what makes this blog possible, despite all those distractions, is my friendship with Abigail, my partner in I Smell Therefore I Am, and in many respects the site is an expression of the mutual affection we feel for each other.  We email almost every day and assume something is wrong if we don't hear back.  We encourage each other, give support, listen, vent: our communications are so full of perfume chatter that an outsider might assume we have a superficial relationship, but that's just the scaffolding for a much deeper sort of bond.  When I first talked to Abigail on the phone I felt an enormous sense of relief.  I couldn't stop talking.  It was just like our emails, only more so.  Within an hour we'd covered everything from our favorite blogs and perfumes to movies and TV and our individual back stories.  Neither of us asked the other to, um, tone it down.  Neither's eyes started to glaze over after so many minutes of perfume talk.  At this point I consider Abigail one of my closest friends, and I'm not sure what the landscape of my day, let alone world, would look like without her.  I'm telling you, you need this kind of friend.

Plus, you get gifts in the mail.  I just got one today.  Yet another one, I should say.  What is it about perfume lovers?  We have to share.  We want you to smell what we're talking about.  And here's the thing: we spend so much time being disappointed with the people closest to us for not engaging with perfume, not getting it, not appreciating it, not trying to pin it down or run off on imaginative emotional tangents with it.  To find someone who loves it as much as you do is one of the most extraordinary things.  You want to trade secrets, introduce your loves to their loves.  You know how it feels to exist in a day to day world where no one really goes ga ga over perfume.  Having a friend like Abigail means being able to fly that freak flag, non stop, full throttle, 24/7.   It also means you have a sense, an empathy, for the dreariness of that other world, that day to day where people are perfectly happy smelling like nothing in particular, deadening themselves to the world of smell.  You know what I'm talking about: I'm talking about the way people act when you walk into the room smelling of perfume.  It's as if you've come in with a gun, more often than not.  Receiving a perfume gift in the mail is indescribably blissful, an antidote to that squalid state of affairs.

Find someone you like on a blog.  Abigail and I met on The Perfume Critic, in the chat room.  It happens.  Find yourself this kind of friend.  The rewards will make it worth your time and effort.  Plus--another plus--you will find out about fantastic perfumes you've never heard of.  Abigail introduced me to Ava Luxe, Liz Zorn, and so many others I can't count.  And on some days I think I probably couldn't live without Ava Luxe's Cafe Noir and Midnight Violet.  Not that I'm dramatic or anything.  Oh, nevermind.  Abigail understands.


Anonymous said...

What a moving post, Brian, thank you!
I wholeheartedly agree with you, we all need a fellow perfume f(r)iend. One of my closest friends that I met on MUA used to live in the same town with me. Since she moved away, I feel like not only am I missing the joy of our perfume banter and sniffing together. There was more to that, the knowledge of being understood and living and breathing in the same world, it's kind of intoxicating, forgive me for being too grand. Who would've though...perfume, such a frivolous thing. Not.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I wanted to add,
AL's Cafe Noir and Midnight Violet loom large in my legend as well:)
Also, her Palisander and Figuer.

Tania said...

I envy your perfume friendship - I need one like that! ;-)

I have one friend who likes scent, and she gets some of my cast-offs, but she has little patience for perfume talk.
Everyone else I know... well, let's just say that I daren't let them see how huge my collection is, for fear of a lecture on wasting my money! (I had a friend staying once who found it while snooping, and he would not shut up later in email about how I could have had a bigger place by now if I hadn't spent all that money on trivia. And he wonders why I keep resisting his efforts to get me using Skype - I assume so he can nag me verbally, too!)


Dearest! How sweet!!! I do have a fragrance friend soul mate - his Name is Henrique Brito and he has his own fragrance blog. We meet, we speak hours over the phone, we exchange fragrances and gifts and most of all we support each other. I know exactly what you mean in this article. BUT i have to break it to you: most of the people compete with each other for a place under the spot light. I bumped into dark souls in my quest for this kind of fragrant quest. You would be horrified to hear how people sometimes twist things and think they other is just trying to get something, steal something....pretty weird stuff.
Thank God, I found him and he is very dear to me. I also found in facebook some pretty illuminated people.
I love this blog. You are super nice!!!

Brian said...

Don't I know it, Shitrit. Don't I know it. It's good to have a friend to sit outside the light with and poke fun at at the pretension together.