What is perfume?

At the physical level, perfume is simply a mixture of fragrant essential oils, aroma compounds, fixatives, and solvents. But this mixture of scented materials and other ingredients is more than just a sum of its parts. Fragrant materials differ in their volatility,  so the olfactory impression of a fragrance changes as it dries down.

Perfume is an olfactory form of communication, conveying thoughts such as memories, hopes, desires, and dreams. It is often an art form; an olfactory symphony of therapeutic capacity – relaxing or stimulating. It can be and is indeed used to create, modify, or recall memories. For some, perfume is an obsession…

Scent Gourmand aims…

  • to entertain, educate, and muse over the world of fragrance, hopefully thereby providing some sinless pleasure for perfume gluttons other than just myself.

Scent Gourmand is…

  • a place I record my experiences with fragrance and things related to it.
  • a compilation of tips for lovers of scent.
  • a small catalog of information about perfume and the fragrance industry.
  • a series of posts that share my impressions  – either in detail (including silly narratives) or based on initial impressions (usually of samples).
  • an exploration of ways to describe scent. I enjoy the challenge of trying to explain smells my readers cannot put their noses on. I’m no literary artist, though, so don’t expect prosaic beauty.

Scent Gourmand is not…

  • a place to find updates on the latest news related to scent. Although I may eventually blog about these things, I’m neither good at keeping on top of recent fragrance releases, etc., nor have any desire to.
  • representative of any particular stance on scent. I generally do not take a side in the battle between natural and synthetic, niche and mass market, or whatever else is being contested out there, although depending on my mood, you might read me whine about something. I basically like stuff that smells good (to me)… or at least interesting, with less regard to how it’s packaged, where it came from, how it was made, and who made it.
  • dedicated to reviews. I do indeed write about specific perfumes, but they are not central to this site.
  • subsidized. My opinions, impressions, and insights are my own.

Scent Gourmand is…

  • written by Trine Mork.

I’m originally from Montréal but have been living all over Japan since 1995. I’m currently based in Miyazaki, a relatively laid-back part of the country. I’m a fairly new fume head, and I have much to learn. I have always loved perfume, and I can pinpoint my first stiff of Thierry Mugler’s Angel in an Ottawa department store in the 90s as being the starting point of my upward-spiraling interest in fragrance, but it wasn’t until my introduction to several niche brands offered in Tokyo’s department stores that my interest started to become obsession-like.

My overall scent preferences are for the woody, oriental, leather, and aromatic variety. I tend not to appreciate florals unless they are a little naughty.

I try not to buy full bottles of fragrances that perform poorly, regardless of how lovely they smell. What is the point if you have to stick your nose right on your skin in order for the scent to be perceived? That said, my perfume collection can get out of control if I let it. I wear perfume mostly for my own enjoyment.

Despite living in scent-conservative Japan, I love the beastly fragrances served up by the likes of Andy Tauer, Montale, and Serge Lutens. I do not have a signature scent, but have spent long periods of time in relationships with one or the other. I do consider the occasion and weather when selecting my day’s fragrance (sometimes changing later in the day), but more often than not, I wear perfume to match my mood.

I believe all scent is inherently unisex. The pour homme and pour femme labeling is nothing more than a brilliant fabrication of the marketing world, in my opinion. Just like yan is masculine and yin in feminine in Feng Shui, florals are defined as feminine as fougères (ferns) as masculine in perfumery, but I believe they different categories of scent can and should be enjoyed by all, regardless of gender. If I ever refer to a scent as masculine, I don’t mean it is limited to males wearers; gals can wear blue and guys can wear pink, after all.

I hope you gain some scents (bad pun intended) of who I am by exploring my site, and I hope you find something of value in its pages!

NOTE: This is version 2.0 of Scent Gourmand. I was root hacked some time ago and I ended up loosing half my posts as well as all my drafts (the backups needed backups, apparently). Many, many tears have been shed, but hopefully this site will be all the better for the attention I am dedicated to recreating and nurturing it.

Disclaimer

Perfumer's World - The Art and Technology of Perfumery Certificate

My only qualifications for writing about perfumes are being a fragrance fan and taking a short perfumery course at Perfumer’s World. Any reviews you find here are based on subjective olfactory experiences, so ultimately you should only trust your own nose. My reviews are not promotional. Promotional samples are welcome, but this does not mean that they will be reviewed favourably a priori. Writings on this blog are by me. Images are mostly those procured from ads, those from affiliate advertising, those with creative commons licensing, or my own.

I participate as an Amazon Services LLC Associate, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. I also host Google Ads on this site, and have affiliate relationships with various fragrance-related retailers.