Originally Posted by johnvw
Thanks to those who responded to my previous question. There is something else I wonder that I will venture to ask, hoping for the same kinds of "non-snarky" replies: What is it about the experience of wearing colognes that makes it significant enough to share with SF members in a thread this long? Thanks in advance.
That's a really hard question to answer, but I'll give it a shot. I think most people think of fragrance as something you wear to impress potential romantic partners, or maybe just to smell nice. If you think of fragrance that way, then there's probably not much interesting to say; something either "smells nice" or it doesn't. Everyone who's a regular poster here thinks of fragrance as something more than that. Perfumery is a kind of art form, and the people here are connoisseurs of that art. There are different genres of perfume (chypre, fougere, gourmand, oriental, fresh, etc.), and there are various interesting and innovative things that perfumers can do within those genres. These general categories guide our perception of what we're smelling, just like categories such as baroque, romantic, serialist, minimalist, etc. guide our perception of music. Those guides allow you to perceive in a very nuanced way, and thus give you lots to talk about. Of course if your primary interest in music were just to have something nice in the background, then it wouldn't seem like there's much interesting to talk about.
I'll also add here that, in our society at least, the sense of smell is very poorly cultivated. (By "our society," I mean at least North America, but I think I can include Western Europe too. I can't make any broader claims than that.) Once you do begin to cultivate your sense of smell, a whole new world opens up for you, and it's quite fascinating. Again, that provides a lot of things to talk about.