Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Perfume: The Care and Feeding of a New Bottle

You know how some things are so obvious that you can't see them? I recently (and less recently) puzzled over why I so often wear a sample the day that I get a spanking new bottle of perfume. I realized the obvious answer today - it's about scent associations.

The first few times that I wear a new perfume are likely to be the times that determine the associations - happy and excited, relaxed and comfortable, sad and frustrated, sleepy and hungry, whatever - that I have with that scent.  If a scent develops an association with something unpleasant, it's going to be difficult to fix that association. If I can't fix it, that's pretty much that for my nice new bottle.

The day when I get the bottle is no more guaranteed to be a good day than any other. (Well, receiving new perfume gives the day some extra points, of course.) So odds are, that day doesn't qualify for actually wearing the new perfume. But it feels weird to wear any other full bottle if I have a new one. So, I wear a sample. I just, apparently, do this whole reasoning process without actually noticing that I'm doing it.

Makes sense to me now, in a thoroughly nonsensical sort of way.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons. Click for details.

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