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The geography of scent - variations in perception 8 years ago
My wife and I were just up in northern Minnesota on vacation and found that several of our fragrances took on a noticeably different scent than we experience at home here in the southeastern US. I suppose there are many variables that could account for the perceived change, everything from change of diet, chemical make up of the water (e.g. higher/lower chlorine content), air quality and humidity, but I've never experienced anything quite like this before. My wife typically radiates "Chamade" beautifully but while up north it was flat and had a noticeable talcum quality. When I wear "Derby" at home it's quite mellow and its longevity is average. Up north it became rather sharp and strong and it lasted much longer. I didn't like it so much. On the other hand, "Fille en aguille" seemed to have a richer palette of notes and "L'Âme d'un Héros" took on a sharper more focused quality. As much as I like "L'Âme d'un Héros" at home, I liked it even more in MN.
Has anybody else experienced this geographical conundrum?
Last edited by Greysolon on 25.05.2014, 12:35; edited 5 times in total
8 years ago
I have traveled to other countries and my perfume smells the same.

Also, what is water chemistry? Where do these terms come from? It's like skin chemistry, the term doesn't even exist in medical books.
8 years ago
I'm not much of a traveller Greysolon, but I think you probably answered the question when you speculated on climatic differences.
I imagine that the change in geography is akin to a shift in season, making some aspects of the perfume's composition seem more, or less, pronounced.
When I travel, it's usually in summer to a place that's only marginally warmer than home but which has markedly higher humidity and less temperature variation. Some perfumes become suffocating so I often pack my 'disappointments' - the one's that I feel are too weak or bitter or have disappointing sillage and longevity. I'm surprised at how often these perfumes come into their own in the subtropics. In winter they do not work at all.
It's interesting. though, that the changes you perceive are greater than usual.
8 years ago
Well, I travelled from my home country, very hot and humid, to a cold place for a week, no change at all on the perfume I took, which I use at home and used every day for that whole week.
8 years ago
I certainly agree, Triffid, but I've never perceived such a variation and I travel a good bit. It's just a curious thing because some of the changes we experienced seemed counterintuitive to what one would expect. Kind of a "first world" problem anyway Rolling EyesWink The atmospheric quality of the region around Lake Superior is mountain-like in the sense that it's drier and very clear. I sunburn there -when the sun is actually shining- in an instant. Here in the southeast the air has lots of particulates and haze and, of course, humidity. I can be outside in the blazing sun with little effect. With that in mind you'd think that would correlate to longevity being predictably longer or shorter but it wasn't the case. Like I said, it was just a curious thing.
Last edited by Greysolon on 25.05.2014, 14:09; edited 1 time in total
8 years ago
Greysolon, I can confirm that in a cold and dry climate "Chamade" smells kinda flat and reminds me of old makeup more than any celebrated perfume. Humidity and temperature do affect perfume, some scents just open up in warmer weather and more humid climates and I think that's why a lot of famous green scents are just flat of even noxious here.

As for water chemistry being a myth, I don't even get what you're trying to say, EM. It is a well known fact that different water supplies contain different minerals which can in turn affect the water's properties in e.g. washing and cooking. Some of those minerals are accumulated in the human body as well. Where is the myth?

Edit: oh that was a deleted user trying to start some shit... never mind
8 years ago
Sweetgrass:
Greysolon, I can confirm that in a cold and dry climate "Chamade" smells kinda flat and reminds me of old makeup more than any celebrated perfume. Humidity and temperature do affect perfume, some scents just open up in warmer weather and more humid climates and I think that's why a lot of famous green scents are just flat of even noxious here.

Thanks, Sweetgrass. That I went from swooning over my wife when she wore Chamade to saying, "Uh, what are you wearing?" was just weird.

Sweetgrass:
Edit: oh that was a deleted user trying to start some shit... never mind
It's alive... Thankfully, I think we've been saved. Shocked
8 years ago
Perhaps it was the air quality that made your and your wife's fragrances smell different. I only assume where you visited had cleaner air than where you usually live.

Old persistent troll is old; but nonetheless, I must address. Pure water in itself IS a chemical. It is a perfect example of chemistry in nature. Sheesh! No myth there.
8 years ago
Grey … I can confirm that climate and definitely affects the way some fragrances react on me. In the hot humidity of my Island job, favourites like Prada's Infusion d'Homme and Cartier's Goutte de Rose and Declaration d'un Soir veritably blossom on my skin, radiate more and last longer. When I wear them in cool weather they are done and dusted in a few hours. I've taken to not wearing d'un Soir in the dry heat of South African summers as it develops a metallic nastiness that I haven't experienced anywhere else.
I'm currently in chilly and wet weather in NW England, where my Terre d'Hermes seems to be flourishing and I'm getting amazing projection and longevity out of Guerlain's AA Flora Rosa, which is only an EDT.
Weather and geographic positioning definitely affects the way fragrance smells (I should know, I'm permanently traveling!) … any contrary opinion is simply ridiculous and uneducated!
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