birds do it, bees do it

This SUNDAY August 15, 2010 1-3pm

Join Olfactive and Matt Osowski, biologist at WRA, Environmental Consultancy, and wetlands and California native plants expert, leads a walking tour of the California Garden focusing on fragrant plants, flowers and pollination in What the Nose Knows series at the University of California Botanical Garden.

Admission is free with general admission ($9 – discounts for seniors and students, FREE for UCB students).

ATTENDANCE IS LIMITED TO 30 PERSONS. Call 510-643-2755 to reserve  your spot.

*     *     *

DON’T MISS THE LAST TWO TALKS OF THE SERIES!

August 29, 2010 1-2pm    Scent and the Art of Tea

Toshiko Ueda, educator at the Urasenke Foundation San Francisco and proprietor of Atelier B Pastry in San Francisco gives a presentation on the role of scent in Japanese tea ceremony.

September 12, 2010 1-2pm    Scents that Heal

Have you wondered why such potent incense wafts out of your acupuncturist or holistic therapist’s office? Kil-Young Yu, LAc, acupuncturist and herbalist at Oakland Community Acupuncture explains this and the medicinal properties of other odoriferous herbs in the Traditional Chinese Herb Garden.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS SERIES…

Most garden enthusiasts are drawn to the magnificent visual display of the diverse landscapes at the University of California Botanical Garden in Berkeley, CA. Why not give your eyes a break and the your nose lead you instead through the labyrinth of flowers, bushes, herbs and trees?

“What the Nose Knows” is a series of unique, interactive scent-based experiences of the UC Botanical Garden held in August and September 2010. Each event features a talk or walking tour with a scent expert in the Chinese Herb Garden, Asian and Californian sections. Guests will meet at the main Garden entrance just before 1pm.

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guest story N°3 – the fish sauce affair

scent story by Trang

It was so cold that winter that we stood by the furnace and kissed. He said I tasted like cigarettes and fish sauce. And then, an octave lower, “I love it.”

The boy is now gone, along with the smoking habit. But like so many things we obsess over because of their maddening potency, Vietnamese nước mấm remains the epitome of this affliction. For me at least. My name is Trang, and I’m addicted to fish sauce. I confess. I will seek every vehicle to transport it to my mouth. I simmer down chicken carcasses for broth, but really, just to be able to dip bits of flesh in fish sauce kicked up with slivers of chili and a hit of lime. I wilt garlicky pea shoots because the bright green bite picks up the richness of fish sauce perfectly. I put a few drops of this fermented liquid in my butternut squash soup for that extra, discernable depth. Capers aside, my beurre noir sauce is not complete without it.

I can’t claim this obsession as my own eccentric quirk though. Known as nam pla in Thailand, patis in the Philippines, badec in Laos, and bagoong in Indonesia, fish sauce is adored across Southeast Asia and resonates in histories of the world. Once it was a great favorite of the Romans. Apicius cited it over 2,000 years ago in his cookbook, calling it garum and liquamen produced in salting factories, and sold by salsarii. From the loftiest Roman foodie court to the lowliest peasant hovel, fish sauce held its place in nearly every home. The most superior of this form was made using “the fresh spilled blood from the still-beating heart of a live mackerel.” The Greeks prized fish sauce so much they used it in social negotiations of desire. In one case, a man refused to trade his stash for an evening with a famed courtesan. The English dubbed their version fishpickle, and the original Worcestershire sauce claims to be the happy descendent of this.

For the uninitiated or lily-livered, fish sauce proper can be a dense salt-punch to the face. It’s visceral and pungent, funky even. It assaults the senses. After all, we are talking about a pure concentrated liquid extracted from fresh fish (usually uneviscerated anchovies) steeped in layers of salt and fermented in huge wooden or ceramic vats for 1-2 years until the clear supernatant liquid oozes out. Microbial digestion of carbohydrates (sugars and starches) and salt ensure that the liquid remains pure. Once extracted, the liquid basks in the hot sun to mellow and develop flavor; the rest of the original concoction is fashioned into other edibles, namely fish paste. Much like the processes of casketing wine or scotch to encourage depth and smoothness, the best fish sauce leads a life of leisure before it is filtered, bottled, and sent off to work.

The sensitive palate can pick up complex notes of sea salt and noses of caramel in the first pour. This transparent amber liquid is comparable—in mouth feel, unctuousness, and depth—to the first pour of a vintner’s blend, or the first press of the most verdant extra virgin olive oil. It’s the difference between 2% and whole milk. This upper echelon of the fish sauce hierarchy is generally reserved for closest of kin, gifted to the most esteemed patrons, or used to lube up influential officials to this very day. Subsequent pours lack the same tone, clarity and complexity, but are nonetheless delicious (and more economical for everyday cooking). The sauce itself may be “dark” in flavor, but gussied up with a squeeze of lime, sugar and garlic, and the liquor grows bright and festive. Most of us have typically encountered fish sauce in this peppy diluted form: as a dip for Vietnamese spring-rolls, or as dressing in a bracing Thai papaya salad. Its uses, however, extend beyond the usual blendings and fixes.

At the risk of sounding like a dogmatic Vietnameanie, I will state: it is not okay to use soy sauce in place of fish sauce! Soy sauce floods and overtakes other flavors, which is fine if you want that. Fish sauce, on the other hand, harmonizes ingredients and conducts symphonies. It is a little alchemy in the kitchen, whether you prefer your magic rustic or elegant, rowdy or refined. But to experience the full toasty nuttiness of this condiment, choose a first pour of superior quality (labeled nuoc mam nhi on Vietnamese brands). The different is a few dollars, but worth it. Splash a few drops over some grilled fish, drizzle over a bed of baby watercress. Or, as I do, pour into a shallow dish and dip, dip, dip your fingers in. And if you can find someone who will kiss you afterwards, count that as your double bliss.

new features

Find exceptional fragrances in major US and European cities on TOP SCENT SHOPS.

AND…

Keep up with the latest information on scent in Gardening, Arts & Literature, Gastronomy, Science & Medicine at NOSE IN THE NEWS.

And if you haven’t gotten there yet, read new short fiction that draws together memory, fantasy and some keen olfactory sense in scent stories N°1 through N°7 and guest scent stories “Bitten Apples, “Return to the Source” & “The Fish Sauce Affair“.

learn about natural perfumery this SUNDAY

Join Olfactive and perfumer Laurie Stern of Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery for the next scent lecture Honoring Antiquity: The Art of Natural Perfumery in What the Nose Knows series at the University of California Botanical Garden this Sunday August 8, 2010 1-2pm.

Admission is free with general admission ($9 – discounts for seniors and students). After the talk, guests are welcome to explore the rest of the Garden on their own.

ATTENDANCE IS LIMITED TO 30 PERSONS. Call to RSVP at 510-643-2755

Honoring Antiquity: The Art of Natural Perfumery

Natural perfumery is an ancient art form that consists of capturing the essence of flowers, leaves, and woods and mixing them to create something new and delightful. During this event, Laurie Stern, the artisanal botanical perfumer behind Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery, will share her expertise and sense of delight in the world of natural perfumery. You will have the rare opportunity to experience some of Laurie’s aromatic treasures from all over the globe. Laurie will also share perfume stories from antiquity to the present that are inspiring, rich and sensual.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS LECTURE SERIES…

Most garden enthusiasts are drawn to the magnificent visual display of the diverse landscapes at the University of California Botanical Garden in Berkeley, CA. Why not give your eyes a break and the your nose lead you instead through the labyrinth of flowers, bushes, herbs and trees?

“What the Nose Knows” is a series of unique, interactive scent-based experiences of the UC Botanical Garden held in August and September 2010. Each event features a talk or walking tour with a scent expert in the Chinese Herb Garden, Asian and Californian sections. Guests will meet at the main Garden entrance just before 1pm.

UPCOMING TALKS

August 15, 2010 1-3pm    Birds Do It, Bees Do It

Matt Osowski, biologist at WRA, Environmental Consultancy, and wetlands and California native plants expert, leads a walking tour of the California Garden focusing on fragrant plants, flowers and pollination.

August 29, 2010 1-2pm    Scent and the Art of Tea

Toshiko Ueda, educator at the Urasenke Foundation San Francisco and proprietor of Atelier B Pastry in San Francisco gives a presentation on the role of scent in Japanese tea ceremony.

September 12, 2010 1-2pm    Scents that Heal

Have you wondered why such potent incense wafts out of your acupuncturist or holistic therapist’s office? Kil-Young Yu, LAc, acupuncturist and herbalist at Oakland Community Acupuncture explains this and the medicinal properties of other odoriferous herbs in the Traditional Chinese Herb Garden.

join us at Olfactive’s first Scent Event

Do you smell?

Most garden enthusiasts are drawn to the magnificent visual display of the diverse landscapes at the University of California Botanical Garden in Berkeley, CA. Why not give your eyes a break and the your nose lead you instead through the labyrinth of flowers, bushes, herbs and trees?

“What the Nose Knows” is a series of unique, interactive scent-based experiences of the UC Botanical Garden held on select Sundays in August and September 2010. Each event features a talk or walking tour with a scent expert in the Chinese Herb Garden, Asian and Californian sections. Guests will meet at the main Garden entrance just before 1pm. Each talk lasts approximately 1-2 hours. Admission is and free with general admission ($9 – discounts for seniors and students).

ATTENDANCE IS LIMITED TO 30 PERSONS.

Schedule of Events

August 1, 2010 1-3pm    Awaken Your Senses

To kick off the Nose Knows series, Gina Zupsich, Olfactive Scent Institute founder, introduces a nose-guided tour of the herb garden. She will show some techniques to maximize your olfactory experience and highlight how some of these plants are used in cooking, health, beauty and magic. The Garden’s own herb horticulturist Elaine Sedlack will be present to answer questions.

August 8, 2010 1-2pm Honoring Antiquity: The Art of Natural Perfumery

Natural perfumery is an ancient art form that consists of capturing the essence of flowers, leaves, and woods and mixing them to create something new and delightful. During this event, Laurie Stern, the artisanal botanical perfumer behind Velvet and Sweet Pea’s Purrfumery, will share her expertise and sense of delight in the world of natural perfumery. You will have the rare opportunity to experience some of Laurie’s aromatic treasures from all over the globe. Laurie will also share perfume stories from antiquity to the present that are inspiring, rich and sensual.

August 15, 2010 1-3pm    Birds Do It, Bees Do It

Matt Osowski, biologist at WRA, Environmental Consultancy, and wetlands and California native plants expert, leads a walking tour of the California Garden focusing on fragrant plants, flowers and pollination.

August 29, 2010 1-2pm    Scent and the Art of Tea

Toshiko Ueda, educator at the Urasenke Foundation San Francisco and proprietor of Atelier B Pastry in San Francisco gives a presentation on the role of scent in Japanese tea ceremony.

September 12, 2010 1-2pm    Scents that Heal

Have you wondered why such potent incense wafts out of your acupuncturist or holistic therapist’s office? Kil-Young Yu, LAc, acupuncturist and herbalist at Oakland Community Acupuncture explains this and the medicinal properties of other odoriferous herbs in the Traditional Chinese Herb Garden.

guest story N°2 – retour à la source

Back to the Source

– scent story by Laureline –

Skip to the original French version.

Just before turning fifty, one summer, Marie-Claire read Perfume by Süskind. There are certain books which, upon reading them, engender in us, or retrace, according to the philosopher Ricœur, the very contours of our life. For Marie-Claire, Literature suddenly gave her a nose right in the middle of her face. She know that she had one, perhaps even one more prominent than most, and more sensitive for she recognized in her nasal papillae the components of flowers and spices that a woman or man happened to be wearing during the day. All of a sudden, she discovered that this nose would help her heal others.

Marie-Claire had two first names, linked by a hyphen, two names composed by chance, as if by essence they granted their bearer two lives instead of just one. Marie-Claire had, in fact, had many lives, from her work in agro-alimentation in the Dordogne, directing regional cultures to her desire to create an entirely different culture and plant an artists’ residence in her town, which, thanks to funds from city hall and the state, had subsisted for nearly ten years. When the money ran out, Marie-Claire was forty years old. She thought that it was just as well, there were different joys for every decade.

She had just found out that her grandfather was a diviner, which finally explained the meaning of the tingling sensations she felt in her hands, the electric charges she experienced in full force not only when embracing others or gliding her hand over the handle of a car door, but the violent jolts that moved through her as soon as she approached any object made of iron. Then again, she had been well aware of the fact that people felt better when she rested her hands on their backs during long conversations. Her healing was such that though the artists’ residence was packed, the great calm and spirit of regeneration that reigned made it seem more like a spa retreat. Marie-Claire decided to train as massage therapist in Paris and join a massage therapy clinic.

Until she turned fifty, Marie-Claire dedicated herself to training in different therapeutic modalities for treating aches and pains with massage. It was while reading Perfume that her nose became a pharmaceutical laboratory on its own. She had a revelation: a body concealed odors where the body’s memory had been imprinted as if in colored characters on a sheet of paper. By working on these odors, one could undoubtedly modify the pains trapped inside of the body. In the next decade of her life, Marie-Claire decided to specialize in the aromatherapy massage.

When I paid her a visit in Paris, she calmly told me where she had found her calling: it was in a book devoted to a perfume-loving murder capable of controlling the minds of others, a scent puppeteer who unleashed human bodies by gently manipulating the delicate threads of odor.

Such a tale should have raised my suspicion about this masseuse. A shrewd mixture of her oils would undoubtedly have the power to command my body to unconsciously perform dangerous acts.

Then she explained to me about aromatherapy to treat severe amnesiacs. In hospitals, doctors would administer them chemical compounds that implant a sort of odor catheter in their memories which would draw out their memories to the surface of their mind piece by piece. I was suddenly filled with envy: I had always thought that inhaling a package of just opened Haribo strawberry gummies would bring me out of the deepest coma. To my great disappointment, floral-scented essential oils have nothing to do with chemical miracles. I would have adored being massaged with oil of warm bread rising in the oven and oil of butter saturating a French croissant.

In order to extract the hidden resin of my memory, buried in the recesses of my nose, Marie-Claire laid me down on a massage table, I heard the clinking of bottles she was opening, I had a pitied thought for the pure essence extracted from sacrificed flowers whose life had been crushed to reaffirm mine. Marie-Claire spread these concentrates over my skin, the scent of cedar, sage, the prickling of the lemon tree and the wild secrets of the mauve lilac and other more exotic smells whose names I don’t recall. While smoothing these odors to penetrate my skin, taking each cell of my body for a tiny nose unto itself, Marie-Claire lulled me with her voice.

After a half an hour of her verbal massage, I wondered, “How do you know which oils to use?”

Marie-Claire laughed, “I sense it through the vibrations in your body. When it responds well, my hands receive a discharge of electricity.”

My body suddenly appeared to me as an immense field left fallow for years over which Marie-Claire’s hands wandered slowly step by step, attuned to the slightest magnetic tremor that would send her subsoils of water. A well hollowed between my shoulder blades where Marie-Claire drew from the deep waters that she let my nose drink in to relax me. I was propelled from the massage table to a hilltop in a village of Charentes on a bed of thick, damp grass when rolling around in it, searching with your eyes for a four-leafed clover, nose brushing the ground, your tongue chances upon a taste of calcium from a pebble. I had sought these clovers at the foot of a statue of a crucifix which protected a square of wild greenery at its base. I treated myself to three of them for the occasion.

***

Retour à la source

– scent story de Laureline –

Juste avant ses cinquante ans, Marie-Claire lu, un été, Le Parfum, de Süskind. Certains livres nous engendrent aussitôt fini, ils refigurent, disait le philosophe Ricoeur, jusqu’aux contours de notre vie. Pour Marie-Claire, la Littérature lui donna soudain un nez en plein visage. Elle savait qu’elle en possédait un, plus proéminent que la normale peut-être, plus sensible aussi car elle reconnaissait jusque sur ses papilles les composants de fleurs et d’épices qu’homme ou femme portaient la journée. Soudain, elle découvrit que ce nez l’aiderait à soigner.

Marie-Claire avait deux prénoms, reliés par un trait d’union, les prénoms composés ont de la chance, comme si par essence ils accordaient à leur propriétaire deux vies au lieu d’une. Marie-Claire en avaient eu plusieurs des vies, depuis son travail dans l’agro-alimentaire en Dordogne, gérant les cultures régionales, à son désir de faire une tout autre culture et d’implanter dans son village une résidence d’artistes qui avec différents fonds de la mairie et de l’Etat avait pu subsister près de dix ans. Quand l’argent avait définitivement manqué, Marie-Claire avait quarante ans et se dit que ça tombait bien : à chaque dizaine, ses plaisirs.

Elle venait de se découvrir un grand-père sourcier, et enfin lui avait été révélé le pourquoi de ces chatouillements dans ses propres mains, de ses décharges électriques qu’elle prenait à tout va, pas seulement en embrassant les autres ou en frôlant une portière de voiture, mais des secousses violentes dès qu’elle approchait un objet contenant du fer, et puis elle avait bien remarqué combien les gens se sentaient mieux quand elle posait longuement ses mains sur leur dos en faisant la conversation, au point que sa résidence d’artistes ne désemplissait pas : on y trouvait plus de calme et de régénérescence qu’en Thalasso thérapie. Marie-Claire décida de suivre une formation de masseuse à Paris et de s’installer dans un cabinet en association avec d’autres.

Jusqu’à ses cinquante ans, Marie-Claire se dédia à diverses formations pour soigner les douleurs corporelles avec ses massages. C’est en lisant Le Parfum que son nez devint un laboratoire pharmaceutique à lui-seul. Elle eut une révélation : un corps recélait des odeurs où se trouvait la mémoire du corps comme imprimée en caractères colorés sur une page : en opérant sur les odeurs, sans doute on pouvait modifier les douleurs prisonnières dans le corps. Pour sa nouvelle dizaine, Marie-Claire décida de se spécialiser dans le massage aux huiles essentielles.

Lorsque je la consultai à Paris, elle me raconta ainsi tranquillement d’où lui venait sa vocation : c’était un livre consacré à un meurtrier amoureux des parfums, contrôlant même jusqu’aux cerveaux des autres, marionnetiste par l’odeur dont il tirait les fils subtils pour déchaîner les corps humains.

Cela aurait dû me rendre cette masseuse suspecte. Sans doute un mélange savant de ces huiles avait-il le pouvoir de commander à mon corps des actes inconscients dangereux.

Elle m’expliqua ensuite le travail en aromathérapie pour les grands amnésiques. A l’hôpital, les médecins leur donnent à respirer des composés chimiques pour que l’odeur se plante comme une sonde dans leurs souvenirs et les tire ensuite morceaux par morceaux à la surface. Je les enviai soudain : j’ai toujours pensé qu’humer un paquet de fraises Tagada Haribo fraîchement ouvert me sortirait du coma le plus profond. A mon grand regret les huiles essentielles aux senteurs florales n’ont rien à voir avec ces merveilles chimiques. J’aurais adoré être massée à l’huile de pain chaud gonflant dans le four et au beurre imprégant la pâte du croissant français.

Pour extraire les sucs cachés de ma mémoire, enfouis dans l’arrière-cour de mon nez, Marie-Claire m’allongea donc sur une table de massage, j’entendis le cliquetis de flacons qu’elle ouvrait, j’eus une pensée apitoyée sur cette essence pure extraite des fleurs sacrifiées, dont on avait broyé la vie pour raffermir la mienne. Marie-Claire répandit ces concentrés sur ma peau, odeurs de cèdre, de sauge, piquotement du citronnier et secret sauvage du Lilas mauve, d’autres senteurs plus exotiques dont je ne retins pas le nom. Tout en poussant celles-ci à pénétrer ma peau, prenant chaque cellule de mon corps pour un nez miniature, Marie-Claire me berçait de sa voix.

Après une demie-heure de massage parlant, je m’étonnai : “comment savez-vous laquelle de ces huiles choisir ?”

Marie-Claire rit : “Je le sens aux vibrations de ton corps. Lorsqu’il réagit bien, mes mains reçoivent une décharge de courant électrique.”

Mon corps m’apparut soudain comme un immense champ de terre laissé en jachère depuis des années, et que les mains de Marie-Claire parcouraient lentement, comme pas après pas, sensible au moindre tremblement magnétique que lui enverrait les sous-sols gorgés d’eau. Un puits se creusa entre mes omoplates d’où Marie-Claire tira des eaux profondes qu’elle donna à boire à mon nez pour me détendre. Je fus projetée de la table de massage au sommet d’une colline d’un village de Charentes, sur un emplacement d’herbes humides généreuses quand on s’enroule dedans, en cherchant des yeux un trèfle à quatre feuilles, le nez à raz de terre, et que la langue même s’aventure à goûter le calcaire d’un caillou. Ces trèfles, je les cherchai au pied d’un Christ en croix qui protégeait un carré de verdure folle à ses pieds et m’en offrit trois pour l’occasion.

guest story N°1 – bitten apples

– scent story by David –

We met in an orchard, innocent August. The air was split wide open with the smell of bitten apples. You were riding out of afternoons, wars of attrition into winter, successions of teeth. You wanted possession. Eyes wild for speckled sun streaked skin, you wanted that last hot burn of ripeness. All the wrong animals had answered your want ads and in a rage you left town leaving a litany of acrimony the color of raw grey metal behind. Finite NOs.

Breaking the gate was just so easy after that. Aftermath, open vowels, back tire dug deep into the muddy roadside. You just cut the engine. Looking right. Left. Right again. And the river was out of question. Somehow breaking a lock, climbing a fence, was easier than swimming.

In the orchard the ground was firm. Grassy with yellow curled leaves that didn’t crunch but flattened out of their concave underneath your feet. They were still warm, so fall of empires, embers—warm, so you took your shoes off. Apples wheeled away from your feet everywhere in wild spirals. Golden mean. Red storm of winter just about to begin. Sweetness struck you aggressively, a discrete snap, and reaching down to pick the first one up, you saw me.

I was lying naked, face down on a deep blue blanket, my back exposed to the sun. Sleeping. The stage screen of sheltering sky contracted suddenly. Machineworks were moving behind, switching gears where you couldn’t see. You moved to leave, run perhaps, but my back was speckled, weathered just a little like the skin of the apples.

What would the cold explosion of juice from the first fruit in your hand taste like just then? What would the long wound cords of muscle just beneath my warmed skin feel like between your teeth?

The heft of the apple in your hand was so satisfying, so heavy. You smiled. Such a potent lie. Like gravity. Consequence.

You breathed in.

quick tips for creative perfume wear

When you wear any extra scent, you have to think about how your body will express it. I like to discuss scent in musical terms.

Try to keep in the following facts in mind when wearing scent:

1. What your natural odor is – musky, sweet, spicy, sour – these tones will affect the way scents smell on you. Think of your natural body odor as the core note in changing chords made through all of the scents you use. Like clothing, many people like the way something smells “objectively,” on a piece of paper, in a bottle or subjectively on a friend, a lover or even a stranger. You should wear the scent, and not let the scent wear you.

2. Soaps, lotions, hair-products, make-up, fabric, clothing detergent, the things you cook, eat and drink along with any odors in your home have scent, even if they claim to be “fragrance-free.” These items will produce notes in your scent ensemble.

3. What kind of a chord are you creating? Do you prefer perfect harmony or some dissonance? Pay attention to whether or not certain scent notes stick out or blend and which are stronger or fainter.

4. Remember that other people experience your scent differently than you. This is obvious when we get into a crowded train or bus, but your application of scents might be announcing yourself to strangers blocks away. Is this something you want to achieve? Don’t be afraid to ask friends if they can smell you or your scent. You might not care at all how you smell to others or you might care a lot.

5. Scent changes throughout the day and in different environments. The quality of the air around you will impact your own scent song like an ever-changing orchestra or symphony. As one perfume expert remarked recently, the same perfume on the same person at the same time of day will smell different in San Francisco and in LA, again different in Paris, Kerala, Lubbock, and Dorset.

This is my habitual way of wearing my signature scent when I’m not feeling a particular mood:

spray left wrist, then right wrist from about 4 inches away (not one then rubbing wrists together – who taught that technique anyway? It’s a waste of good perfume!)

spray behind left then right ear also 4 inches away

spray chest (décolletage) about a foot away

spray one foot in front at about neck level, then walk through, repeat one more time

Note: I have normal-dry skin and wear medium-light scents. For anything heavier, I only spray my wrists or neck.

Tips for creative scent use:

1. Blend your scents together with awareness:

your natural odor (sweet) your shampoo (green apple) + body wash (almond) + moisturizer (honeysuckle) = one pretty harmonious chord.

Adding a floral oriental like Obsession would probably clash, but also overpower all of the other notes. You might choose CKONE instead to keep a consistent green fruity song.

2. Apply perfume to only certain areas of your body for effect. The closer you apply to warm, oily areas (behind ears, nape of neck, cleavage, wrists and inside of elbows), the longer scent will last. Try applying only to wrists or to neck or just to your hair. For subtler scent, apply only to your knees or ankles!

3. Mix perfume. Experiment with two scents (either perfume or perfume and soap, lotion, etc) you like. You can spray them on separate sheets of paper or one on each wrist and smell them side by side. Put one scent on your wrists, another on your neck or both on the same spot. Don’t over apply with this technique!

4. Evaluate the potency of different scents. If your soap is strong-smelling, wear lighter perfume or apply less. Perfumes also come in a range of power. In order from strongest to weakest:

parfum

eau de parfum

eau de toilette

Liquid spray, oil or solid, even these versions of the same scent, will smell differently because of concentration and the chemicals in alcohol and oils used as their base.

5. Keep a log that records your reactions to your own scent. What do you learn about your natural odor regarding your preferences, you friends and loved ones preferences for your scent? How do you respond to a perfume at first spray (top notes), after several minutes (middle notes) and after several hours (base notes)? How does your perfume change after intense activity outside or at the gym? And at the very end of the day? Record the range of feelings that the scents you wear cause in you.

6. Write your own scent journal or story about your personal adventures in scent! Enjoy the myriad of smells at play around you during your travels and in everyday life.