Tuesday, 25 August 2015

The Colour Of Scent


Let's talk colours. It sounds like a contradiction but it's a wonderful way of describing perfumes. One of the biggest problems with choosing a fragrance is making yourself understood when you say what you like or don't like. When we're children we learn our alphabet, our words and the way to describe something that we can see, but describing smells was always glossed over. This is starting to change now that "Marty The Mighty Nose" has started to visit schools, but what about us that never got to meet Marty?

The next time that you smell a perfume start to think about it as a colour. Now, your choice of colour will probably be different to mine, and both of ours will be different to Ethel who lives down the road at number 16. It doesn't matter, and here's why.

If you go to your local department store then you'll usually get asked what you do and don't like to smell in your perfumes. The problem with this is that ingredients used in large quantities are completely different to the same ones used in smaller amounts. I know, it's not rocket science, but we all forget this and fall into the "recipe" trap. If you are looking for an overdose of an ingredient then this approach can be perfect, but for more subtle combinations it rarely works.

BUT, and I'm sorry for starting a sentence with a grammatically incorrect word, using colour descriptions can really help. Here's how. When you smell a perfume try and visualise a colour as part of your description. When someone else smells it they may come up with a different colour, but at that point you can start to link to each other's perception. If you see a perfume as blue but I see it as green then I can show you my "green" fragrances, which hopefully will be your "blue". Do you see?

Okay, this is a very simplified example, but it really can help narrow your choices down. Obviously you need a salesperson that also uses colour descriptions, but it's getting more common. Maybe a big thank you should go to Marty for making us oldies start smelling with our eyes.

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