So Eau’ver It – Can Popularity Ruin A Perfume’s Appeal?

Image courtesy of Susan S. Xie. Used with permission.

I’ve a confession to make: I’m a Maison Francis Kurkdijan Baccarat Rouge 540 devotee – however I type of hate myself for it. I really like the way it smells, I really like the way it makes me really feel after I put on it and I really like when individuals touch upon it. But the factor is, it’s a fragrance that may be thought-about one of many biggest – and hottest – of our time. And though that’s for an excellent motive, it’s additionally the very factor that makes me query my very own decisions.
I choose myself for eager to douse myself in one thing that’s so well-known and so recognisable as a result of, for a very long time, I’ve worn scents which can be a bit extra off the overwhelmed observe. While everyone was going loopy for Escentric Molecules 01, I used to be sporting The Beautiful Mind Series Volume 1: Intelligence & Fantasy, each, by the way, created by the identical perfumer, Geza Schoen. Then, whereas Le Labo’s Santal 33 was having its second, the model’s lesser identified Another 13 grew to become my signature. As quickly as I observed that gaining in fragrance recognition, I quietly moved onto Thé Matcha 26.

Instagram

Call it scent snobbery, however I do know it’s not simply me who feels this manner about sporting the identical fragrance as different individuals. A fast ballot on my Instagram led to tons of of replies from individuals who’ve sought out new fragrances after their beloved go-to steadily grew to become extra well-known or fell foul of copycatting. ‘Jo Malone London’s Velvet Rose and Oud was my wedding ceremony scent. My finest buddies purchased it for me and had the lid engraved with my new initials – however now I don’t put on it as a result of Aldi does a extra reasonably priced dupe so it is misplaced its specialness,’ learn one reply. ‘I really like sporting Coco Chanel, my mum and grandma wore it too, so it was nearly like a household secret as a result of everyone else wore Chanel No.5, however a couple of years in the past it began getting extra well-liked and it made me uncontrollably rage,’ learn one other response.
But what’s it about retaining possession of a scent that makes us indignant when it’s absorbed into the zeitgeist? As Nick Gilbert, fragrance knowledgeable and founding father of perfume consultancy Olfiction says, ‘It’s overwhelmingly true that over publicity results in boredom and indifference in the direction of something. This holds true for perfume as a lot because it does meals, music or clothes.’ In brief, after we odor our pleasingly area of interest fragrance spritzed on each different particular person in Soho, our noses get the ick.

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Scientifically talking, although, it’s as a result of our sense of odor is extremely highly effective and shouldn’t be underestimated. ‘Not solely is odor the one sense that’s absolutely developed and in a position to work correctly whereas a foetus remains to be throughout the womb, however all different sensory data acquired into the mind comes from the related receptor (eyes, pores and skin, and many others) through the thalamus, however odor bypasses that. That means it’s processed extra rapidly and goes straight to the limbic system – residence to the important thing areas of the mind concerned in processing feelings and recollections,’ explains neuromarketing specialist Katie Hart.

It’s overwhelmingly true that over publicity results in boredom and indifference in the direction of something.

Psychotherapist Roxy Rhodes agrees, including that as a result of odor triggers our emotional mind, it will possibly transport us again to a time, place or particular person linked to it. ‘However, this pathway may be erased with repeated smelling, so the hyperlink to the reminiscence turns into overridden and weakened – because of this, smelling one thing frequently simply dilutes it and actually adjustments its which means,’ she says. When we intentionally hunt down lesser identified fragrances with the concept only a few individuals can even be sporting them, these scent recollections stay in focus as a substitute of turning into blurred.
‘But when a scent turns into ubiquitous, a few of that draw is misplaced,’ explains Gilbert. ‘It’s not all unfavourable although, and it’s necessary to keep in mind that a perfume doesn’t all of the sudden turn out to be “dangerous” simply because everyone is sporting it. Years in the past I solely wore Dior Homme for some time, and I’d discover different individuals sporting it too. I beloved the perfume, and so it was all the time good to odor it on different individuals,’ he says.

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Perhaps it’s all a matter of fragrance perspective. Another reply to my Instagram ballot was equally as optimistic: ‘Santal 33 and Baccarat Rouge are my all time favorite scents. I really like how they’re so noticeable and fairly robust, so once you odor them on individuals, on the bus or in a store, it’s such a well-known feeling. It’s like being in a bit of membership.’ And that couldn’t be extra true – pretty much as good as it’s to odor completely different, it will possibly typically be simply as good to know you’re not alone. Plus, as Gilbert says: ‘It’s a lot much less mortifying to have the identical perfume as one other particular person than once you flip as much as an occasion in the identical outfit, particularly as a result of all of us put on perfume otherwise owing to our “pores and skin chemistry”, private fashion, and so forth.’

I really like perfumes which can be noticeable, so once you odor them on individuals… it is a acquainted feeling. It’s like being in a bit of membership.

For me, I do know I used to be late to the Baccarat Rouge occasion so I’ve no alternative however to be on board with the overexposure of it – I’m contributing to it as properly, in spite of everything – and whereas which may make it concurrently extra and fewer interesting, my relationship with Another 13 is a unique story altogether. Although I may not put on it half as typically as I as soon as did, I now really feel a way of delight after I odor it on different individuals. It brings again recollections of the time in my life after I did put on it – and that’s the beauty of fragrance, it has an unrivalled skill to move you to a cheerful place instantly. Even when a perfume may not be fairly as impressively distinctive to me as I’d like, the recollections related to it all the time will probably be.

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