“Cheating”, Plus When Do You NOT Scent Yourself?

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
This thread is in two parts, since I always have questions rolling around in my mind.

1. When you first sample a new fragrance, do you go in blindly, or “cheat” and read up on the notes?

Because my nose is such a novice one, I find myself reading up the notes and reviews of a scent before and after (sometimes checking in while) I sample it to see if I find those notes or those sentiments. I’m not sure if this is beneficial to experiencing the scent in it’s entirety, or if it’s taking away from the moment by setting up my mind to “find” certain things, or going in with a bias.

2. When, if ever, do you choose NOT to wear fragrance? I will restrain myself if someone in the house is nauseous, or not feeling well in a way that a scent may affect them; I will hold off (or spray verrrrrry lightly) for a long car ride; I will not spray before breakfast.
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
1. I usually only acquire a sample because I've read the notes and some form of commentary.

I do the same as well.

But I wonder if I read too much (usually out of excitement for an arrival, or wanting to see if something I smell is actually in the scent profile) especially when it comes to personal reviews … enough to skew my own views 😕
 

LiveJazz

Funky fresh
Basenotes Plus
Mar 16, 2006
But I wonder if I read too much (usually out of excitement for an arrival, or wanting to see if something I smell is actually in the scent profile) especially when it comes to personal reviews … enough to skew my own views 😕

That's exactly why I love blind sample passes.

I'd sniff blindly more, but it's actually really difficult to acquire a sample and genuinely have no preconceived notion of what it's going to smell like.

Just by knowing the brand, date of release, and a basic idea of category (hard to avoid when acquiring a sample), you have some pretty good context clues to sway perception. It's an interesting conundrum, and why organized blind sampling is such a fantastic learning experience.
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
1. If it's a house I already collect - blindly. if it's a new house I'm contemplating - after research is done.
2. At a funeral or a visit to a doctor or dentist's office.

A funeral, yes. That’s very respectful. I don’t think I’ve ever worn a fragrance to a wake or a ceremony myself, but I believe it was more due to sadness than a conscious decision.

I actually hadn’t thought about holding off for an appointment! That makes a lot of sense. Now I feel rude 😬
 

Schubertian

Basenotes Junkie
Apr 8, 2021
1. Usually I've done my research before I buy or otherwise obtain any samples. It's fun to try blind, but difficult unless you have a helper.
2. Consciously? Virtually never. I feel strange if I don't wear any perfume, as if I'm incompletely dressed. I would go completely scentless only for medical appointments, I think, but for some other occasions I might apply perfume very sparingly or/and a very light one. The usual occasions where consideration towards others is important.
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
That's exactly why I love blind sample passes.

I'd sniff blindly more, but it's actually really difficult to acquire a sample and genuinely have no preconceived notion of what it's going to smell like.

Just by knowing the brand, date of release, and a basic idea of category (hard to avoid when acquiring a sample), you have some pretty good context clues to sway perception. It's an interesting conundrum, and why organized blind sampling is such a fantastic learning experience.

I’d never heard of this … wow, that sounds so interesting!

Perhaps I should stay away from personal reviews until after I’ve sampled, and stick to what you’d mentioned - the “basic idea of category”, and informative context rather than an actual reviewer’s own opinion.
 
Aug 16, 2022
I actually hadn’t thought about holding off for an appointment! That makes a lot of sense. Now I feel rude 😬
I wore something "mass appealing" in low quantity to the dentist last time and everyone was unusually nice to me, so I think you can make it work.

The times I think it's inappropriate to wear fragrance is when you don't want to say "I want to smell better than the average person". Funerals probably fit that, as well as at work if you're a doctor. It might give poor impressions about your priorites, when you're responsible for serious things. But if it's a spray of something that just smells like soap or deodorant, why not, since "I want to be clean" is rarely bad taste.

Back to the first question, I may or may not see notes first but I don't really trust them. They bald face lie sometimes. That said, I don't think I'll blind buy those with "tobacco", which I read as "rotten cherries or damp garbage".
 

cheapimitation

Basenotes Dependent
May 15, 2015
This thread is in two parts, since I always have questions rolling around in my mind.

1. When you first sample a new fragrance, do you go in blindly, or “cheat” and read up on the notes?

Because my nose is such a novice one, I find myself reading up the notes and reviews of a scent before and after (sometimes checking in while) I sample it to see if I find those notes or those sentiments. I’m not sure if this is beneficial to experiencing the scent in it’s entirety, or if it’s taking away from the moment by setting up my mind to “find” certain things, or going in with a bias.

2. When, if ever, do you choose NOT to wear fragrance? I will restrain myself if someone in the house is nauseous, or not feeling well in a way that a scent may affect them; I will hold off (or spray verrrrrry lightly) for a long car ride; I will not spray before breakfast.
1. I do both, just depends on teh fragrance, sometimes I'll try somethign at the store that I have no idea what it is supposed to be and the look up the notes later. It is definitely an interesting exercise to see how knowing the notes changes your perception of what you smell.

2. Hmm I don't have any particular time I choose not to wear fragrance, but on days I am working closely next to people I"m conscious not to wear anything too strong during the day.
 

ultravisitor

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 4, 2014
I'll look over the notes to get a general idea, but I don't put too much stock into them. After all, lists of fragrance notes are not lists of ingredients, and I think a lot of people make that mistake.

Also, I don't want to be someone who sees something in a list of notes and doesn't smell it but keeps going back to "find" it, as if it's something that is actually there when it isn't. There's also the whole problem of different places listing different notes for the same fragrance.
 

Ken_Russell

Basenotes Institution
Jan 21, 2006
1- frequently tending to read up on the fragrance, but ultimately, the amount as well as variety of the fragrances tested with no prior info about the notes turns out fairly equal, if not even slightly more than the first

2- tending to avoid going scentless as much as possible and apart from very serious health concerns (or otherwise very exhausting periods of work related stress and/or a busy schedule) and strictly, specific fragrance free occasions, enjoy to wear the scents of the day even when staying at home
 

WarmJewel

Basenotes Junkie
Oct 5, 2022
1/ I do a lot of research on fragrances before I try one that is unfamiliar to me. So I guess you could say I'm a big fat cheat!

2/ There was a time when I rarely ever wore one if I wasn't going out anywhere. Now, since my fragrance passion 'reboot', choosing a fragance to wear is as normal as deciding what clothes to wear whether I'm going out or not.
 

Redneck Perfumisto

League of Cycloöctadiene Isomer Aestheticists
Basenotes Plus
Feb 27, 2008
A great way to develop olfactory vision is to "anti-cheat" when sniffing testers in the store. Don't mark the scent blotters and keep them only named in your mind by smell. Shuffle and re-identify. Then take home and repeat. Test your IDs with samples if you got any.

As for "cheating" on note ID in smelling new fragrances, I think a mix is good. Read notes first and find them on some, sniff first and check your IDs on others.

Bottom line, push your abilities to increase them. When you "gain" new notes, it is a great satisfaction.
 

AndyL

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 2, 2022
1. When you first sample a new fragrance, do you go in blindly, or “cheat” and read up on the notes?
2. When, if ever, do you choose NOT to wear fragrance?
1. I really can't distinguish many notes. I know what I like, and what I don't like... but that's a pretty big stroke of the brush. Heck, tonka bean is probably in close to half of my fragrances and I have no idea what it really smells like. Not to say I don't do research before I buy. But upon receiving the new fragrance I just spray it on and either I like it or I don't.

2. We always carry a scent, regardless if we are wearing a fragrances or not. In very discreet situations, I'd wear something neutral to my natural scent and keep it to a shot on the chest or the like... not on exposed skin. However, when I'm sick with a cold, flu, or whatever these days... I have no desire to wear a fragrance.
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
1. Usually I've done my research before I buy or otherwise obtain any samples. It's fun to try blind, but difficult unless you have a helper.
2. Consciously? Virtually never. I feel strange if I don't wear any perfume, as if I'm incompletely dressed. I would go completely scentless only for medical appointments, I think, but for some other occasions I might apply perfume very sparingly or/and a very light one. The usual occasions where consideration towards others is important.

I feel strange without perfume as well.

Your last statement is very important.

I feel terrible now - it’s not as if I spray myself liberally before an appointment, but I’ve never thought to go without on these occasions. My poor practitioners 😞
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
I wore something "mass appealing" in low quantity to the dentist last time and everyone was unusually nice to me, so I think you can make it work.

The times I think it's inappropriate to wear fragrance is when you don't want to say "I want to smell better than the average person". Funerals probably fit that, as well as at work if you're a doctor. It might give poor impressions about your priorites, when you're responsible for serious things. But if it's a spray of something that just smells like soap or deodorant, why not, since "I want to be clean" is rarely bad taste.

Back to the first question, I may or may not see notes first but I don't really trust them. They bald face lie sometimes. That said, I don't think I'll blind buy those with "tobacco", which I read as "rotten cherries or damp garbage".

😆

I wonder - with that in mind, if I go back to my Tobacco Vanille with that thought … would I smell rotten cherries or damp garbage? Hmmmm.

I think that everything else you mentioned is very practical!
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
1. I do both, just depends on teh fragrance, sometimes I'll try somethign at the store that I have no idea what it is supposed to be and the look up the notes later. It is definitely an interesting exercise to see how knowing the notes changes your perception of what you smell.

2. Hmm I don't have any particular time I choose not to wear fragrance, but on days I am working closely next to people I"m conscious not to wear anything too strong during the day.

Absolutely!

I would have to be more seasoned to do this, though.
 

cheapimitation

Basenotes Dependent
May 15, 2015
I feel strange without perfume as well.

Your last statement is very important.

I feel terrible now - it’s not as if I spray myself liberally before an appointment, but I’ve never thought to go without on these occasions. My poor practitioners 😞
It's funny this came up now, I just had a dentist appointment yesterday and I went with Hermes Osmanthe Yunan because it is super soft stays close to the skin.

But I wouldn't worry about it to much as long as your not an over sprayer, I"m sure your healthcare providers are used to dealing with a lot worse things than a patient who smells good! haha
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
I'll look over the notes to get a general idea, but I don't put too much stock into them. After all, lists of fragrance notes are not lists of ingredients, and I think a lot of people make that mistake.

Also, I don't want to be someone who sees something in a list of notes and doesn't smell it but keeps going back to "find" it, as if it's something that is actually there when it isn't. There's also the whole problem of different places listing different notes for the same fragrance.

I never thought about it from this perspective!

Also, I may or may not have been that “someone” you’ve mentioned in your second paragraph.
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
1. Given the prices on full bottles and even samples these days, I normally check out notes etc before trying anything.

2. There's not often that I do not wear a fragrance at all however I don't fresh spray fragrance when I go to the gym and more often than not I wear predominantly safe fragrances at work.

Very, very reasonable.
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
2- tending to avoid going scentless as much as possible and apart from very serious health concerns (or otherwise very exhausting periods of work related stress and/or a busy schedule) and strictly, specific fragrance free occasions, enjoy to wear the scents of the day even when staying at home

I 100% love to do this as well.
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
2/ There was a time when I rarely ever wore one if I wasn't going out anywhere. Now, since my fragrance passion 'reboot', choosing a fragance to wear is as normal as deciding what clothes to wear whether I'm going out or not.

I feel the same way!

Although, I get way more excited about choosing a scent, over picking out a pair of jeans.
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
1) I usually “cheat,” because it’s impractical not to.

2) I don’t scent myself for medical/dental appointments.

I’m never wearing perfume to an appointment ever again.

My dentist is a brilliantly charismatic man, with equally amazing technical skill - he’s such a gem. I recommend him to anyone I can. He can make a root canal enjoyable (and has! He’s hilarious). The reason I say this is, he would be 100% honest with me if I brought this topic up - I’m sure that it all boils down to personal preference, but I’m definitely going to ask him his view on this as well.

I can’t believe how ignorant I’ve been when it comes to this 🤦🏻‍♀️ However, ErroneousFact makes a great point about the exception of smelling “clean” rather than scented.
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
A great way to develop olfactory vision is to "anti-cheat" when sniffing testers in the store. Don't mark the scent blotters and keep them only named in your mind by smell. Shuffle and re-identify. Then take home and repeat. Test your IDs with samples if you got any.

As for "cheating" on note ID in smelling new fragrances, I think a mix is good. Read notes first and find them on some, sniff first and check your IDs on others.

Bottom line, push your abilities to increase them. When you "gain" new notes, it is a great satisfaction.

Words of wisdom! Thank you.
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
1. I really can't distinguish many notes. I know what I like, and what I don't like... but that's a pretty big stroke of the brush. Heck, tonka bean is probably in close to half of my fragrances and I have no idea what it really smells like. Not to say I don't do research before I buy. But upon receiving the new fragrance I just spray it on and either I like it or I don't.

2. We always carry a scent, regardless if we are wearing a fragrances or not. In very discreet situations, I'd wear something neutral to my natural scent and keep it to a shot on the chest or the like... not on exposed skin. However, when I'm sick with a cold, flu, or whatever these days... I have no desire to wear a fragrance.

I can definitely relate!
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
It's funny this came up now, I just had a dentist appointment yesterday and I went with Hermes Osmanthe Yunan because it is super soft stays close to the skin.

But I wouldn't worry about it to much as long as your not an over sprayer, I"m sure your healthcare providers are used to dealing with a lot worse things than a patient who smells good! haha

This made me feel quite a bit better 😊

I hope your appointment went well!
 

PStoller

I’m not old, I’m vintage.
Basenotes Plus
Aug 1, 2019
I’m never wearing perfume to an appointment ever again.

My dentist is a brilliantly charismatic man, with equally amazing technical skill - he’s such a gem. I recommend him to anyone I can. He can make a root canal enjoyable (and has! He’s hilarious). The reason I say this is, he would be 100% honest with me if I brought this topic up - I’m sure that it all boils down to personal preference, but I’m definitely going to ask him his view on this as well.

I can’t believe how ignorant I’ve been when it comes to this 🤦🏻‍♀️ However, ErroneousFact makes a great point about the exception of smelling “clean” rather than scented.

I stopped because my previous dentist had a hygienist who was allergic. From that, I decided it was never a good idea to force someone in that position to be captive to my fragrance choices, allergic or not. I just douse myself when I get home—and force my wife to live with it.

FYI, my current dentist is a wonderful woman who has become close friends with my wife. They're working together on the professional issues of pharmacy and dentistry, and they sit on each other's boards. (And we've volunteered to babysit for her charming children.)
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
I stopped because my previous dentist had a hygienist who was allergic. From that, I decided it was never a good idea to force someone in that position to be captive to my fragrance choices, allergic or not. I just douse myself when I get home—and force my wife to live with it.

FYI, my current dentist is a wonderful woman who has become close friends with my wife. They're working together on the professional issues of pharmacy and dentistry, and they sit on each other's boards. (And we've volunteered to babysit for her charming children.)

I had a good laugh at the end of the first paragraph 😆

On a serious note, I’m severely disappointed in myself that I did not consider allergies (having two children with multiple food allergies!). Allergies!! That is an extremely important point. Thank you so much for bringing that to my attention.

On a more pleasant note, that is so lovely that your wife and your dentist have become both friends and colleagues! Offering to babysit her children is such a thoughtful gesture 🙂. Your dentist sounds like such a wonderful person.

My dentist and I initially bonded over the fact that his favorite Japanese restaurant that he and his wife frequent was the one that my mother has been running (and firing me from, in my youth) for the past 30+ years - and his nephews (oh my goodness, I think his nephews … now I’ve forgotten exactly who 😬) went to the same private school as the owner’s children, and knew them well.

Such a small world!
 

Tea_Lilly

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jun 4, 2022
1. When you first sample a new fragrance, do you go in blindly, or “cheat” and read up on the notes?

Because my nose is such a novice one, I find myself reading up the notes and reviews of a scent before and after (sometimes checking in while) I sample it to see if I find those notes or those sentiments. I’m not sure if this is beneficial to experiencing the scent in it’s entirety, or if it’s taking away from the moment by setting up my mind to “find” certain things, or going in with a bias.

2. When, if ever, do you choose NOT to wear fragrance? I will restrain myself if someone in the house is nauseous, or not feeling well in a way that a scent may affect them; I will hold off (or spray verrrrrry lightly) for a long car ride; I will not spray before breakfast.
1. If possible/convenient I try to read the notes first (especially if I'm testing on skin or obtaining a sample). Helps me know what to expect and/or to select things that I have more of a chance to like. Also, since I'm a novice too, I'm hoping it will help me to recognize notes. However, just because notes are listed, doesn't mean that I will smell them/be able to distinguish them and even if you know the notes in a fragrance, it doesn't tell you how prominent that note will be - or if it is part of an accord rather than being an individual note.

2. I would choose not to wear a fragrance around a really small child, or someone who I know it will bother (ex. is nauseous, allergic, in the hospital etc.). I would wear a scent to the dentist/medical appt. in some circumstances but it would be 1 spray of something modern and unobtrusive. I would not wear a vintage in these circumstances as more chance for folks to be sensitive to it.
 

Zenwannabee

Basenotes Junkie
Sep 15, 2009
I likely spend way too much time reading about and researching fragrances. I don’t really “buy blind” very often anymore.

And though I am seldom unscented, I concur with the above in holding off for medical and dental appointments. I also go very easy on the trigger if I know I will be in confined spaces for long stretches with others (i.e. long car rides, on planes, and in conference rooms or meetings). And I would likely not wear fragrance to a job interview either.
 

kosui no kaori

Basenotes Dependent
Sep 14, 2022
1. If possible/convenient I try to read the notes first (especially if I'm testing on skin or obtaining a sample). Helps me know what to expect and/or to select things that I have more of a chance to like. Also, since I'm a novice too, I'm hoping it will help me to recognize notes. However, just because notes are listed, doesn't mean that I will smell them/be able to distinguish them and even if you know the notes in a fragrance, it doesn't tell you how prominent that note will be - or if it is part of an accord rather than being an individual note.

2. I would choose not to wear a fragrance around a really small child, or someone who I know it will bother (ex. is nauseous, allergic, in the hospital etc.). I would wear a scent to the dentist/medical appt. in some circumstances but it would be 1 spray of something modern and unobtrusive. I would not wear a vintage in these circumstances as more chance for folks to be sensitive to it.

All great points, and logical as always 🙂

I especially appreciated “or if it is part of an accord rather than being an individual note”.

Much to my surprise, perfume as a hobby turns out to be far deeper than “smelling nice things”, and really requires an open mind - something that I can sometimes lack (stubborn). I love that I’m learning things here that end up enriching me as a whole 👍🏻
 

Oviatt

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 30, 2007
1.) Thank goodness stores have wifi as I often pull up reviews right at the counter.
2.) Only when hunting or fishing or engaging any field sport. The irony is that anyone who actually wore Habit Rouge while fox hunting runs the risk of being kicked out. The only scent you should smell when out shooting birds should be a slight whiff of Hoppes No 9. I do go scentless or go easy on doctor appointment days. I wear scent at funerals--it is a part of being well-dressed and well-groomed which is, I think, the epitome of showing respect. At my mother's funeral several of the women in my family wore Shalimar (her signature) as an homage.
 

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