|Kitteh is available to take questions...|
Let's take these questions in the order asked, shall we?
1. Are you re-testing any of the perfumes?
In a word, yes, though not the way you expect probably. Part of this challenge, actually, was to force me to start working through my purgatory stash, which frankly is still huge. When I started at the beginning of the year, I had over 200 samples I had been sitting on. Not knowing anything about perfume, it took me several months to buy a bottle of any kind because I felt totally overwhelmed. So I bought a ton of samples. Many of them I tried, but never gotten around to reviewing. The challenge was a sort of way to force me to actually get moving on it.
Why hadn't I said anything about those I'd tried before?
When I started this little blog, I tried to stick to things I loved for two reasons. One, I wanted to talk about my perfume joy! not my perfume disappointment/agitation. So I tended to write about things that moved me happily. Scents that didn't stand out went back into the pile for another go round, with the hope I might love them later.
Two, I can have kind of a sharp tongue. If you've read any of my feminist aesthetic critique pieces, you'll see that I could have been slam book queen of even the bitchiest high school. But I recognize that scents that I don't care for or actively turn me off might be something someone else loves the way I love S-Perfumes 100% Love or CB I Hate Perfume Black March. And I don't want to go hating on something someone else loves. When I first started, I gave an abrupt and scathing review to Solange Cosmic. The review still stands on my blog, and I leave it there because I still think it's a scrubber despite notes that I see today and think "Why don't like this!?!", but I'm much less likely to write such an instantly and purely negative review today than I was three years ago.
The consequence was a back log of perfumes that deserved comment, but nothing I felt the need to write a 1-2 page single-spaced paper about. The challenge also provided me with a way to sort of hit-it-and-quit-it review things that I thought were nice, but not swoon worthy, and still be writing a substantive piece instead of a thumb nail post over and over again.
2. Wearing for 4 hours with many of perfumes (if we're not talking Tauers, Amouages and those occasionals that you hate ;) ) leaves some time even during the week day to apply something you've previously tried. Do you use that time? Or do you give yourself a rest?
I do use that time, usually trying the things that end up posted about at the end of a week two maybe three times. The other thing I do with that time is swap to something I have a bottle of and already know I like. Testing for me will go something like this, on average:
Monday morning: I hate the world, and wear something I like so I don't kill anyone at work. Also coffee. Lots of coffee. Drinking a lot of really strong coffee and screw with my nose, so I try not to sample on Monday mornings.
Monday evening: Perfume A on right arm, Perfume B on left arm. Immediate impressions, initial notes, thoughts, poem/song/film connections.
Monday night, before bed: Something comforting and known or something strong to sample, which I can't wear to work because my workplace is not perfume friendly, which is one of the primary reasons I'd kind of like to find a new job. Seriously. It's a major work hang-up for me. So I test big scents at night and keep a pad next to the bed. Also, I only sleep about 6 hours a day, so night means like 10pm, but I won't go to bed until midnight or 1am.
The rest of the week sort of spins out similarly, with me retrying things I know don't have huge sillage in the mornings while at work, taking an afternoon to do side-by-side comparisons where they occur to me, taking more notes, etc. Occasionally I take a pass day, because I am too tired to write. I have a lot of writing to do; I draft all day at work, I freelance, I write here on Feminine Things, and I am working on revisions to my first novel. FN1. Some days, the nose is willing but the creative spark isn't. So I take a day.
3. With some perfumes I noticed I start liking them more on the second/third try - aren't you afraid to miss any you might like not on a first sniff?
I am ALWAYS afraid of that. That Cosmic review? Haunted me enough that I BOUGHT ANOTHER SAMPLE OF SOMETHING I HATED. Yeah. I bought something I disliked twice for fear it was my newness to perfume that made me dislike it. It wasn't. Cosmic is not for me. And I feel good saying that now. But I'm always afraid of that, which is why almost nothing gets posted without being tried twice, usually at different times of day on different days.
Here are some other questions that have come my way I thought I should answer publicly.
4. What's with the theme weeks?
So two things have happened here at Feminine Things that were completely unanticipated by me when I started at the beginning of the year. The first is that perfumers have started contact me and sending me their perfume to review. Not many and not often, but it's happening occasionally. FN2. FN3. The second thing is that I keep finding new houses I really want to try and they keep selling me these handy dandy sample sets, with 10-12 scents, which works out to about two weeks of reviews. It wasn't planned when I started, but I've liked the theme weeks that cover five or six scents by one house, so expect to keep seeing them. I'm also hoping to do some theme weeks by note, but that's a Perfumed Court order or two away.
Anyone else have any questions for me? About the challenge, the mixes, Feminine Things, or me? Or anything really? Anyone? Beuller? FN4.
The lines are open.
FN1. Yeah, I can't believe I just dropped that in either. It's a big deal to me, life long dream , blah blah blah. Whatever. I can't bring myself to talk about it yet. But yeah I'm doing it. Started last September, first draft was completed back in April, and I'm in the heavy line by line editing period before the second draft goes to my handful of readers in October/November. I'm hoping to start looking for an agent by the end of year. So there you have it. When I feel like I have more to tell you, I will.
FN3. My solicitation and review policy is here if you're interested.
FN4. "Ummm, he's sick." Sorry. Had to do it.