Of course you can! The way I answer any queries is "show me a girl who doesn't like a guy that smells nice!"
What do You think - can a straight guy get away with collecting fragrances up in multiple dozens? My personal interest grew after a long time occasionally fiddling around with all natural aromas like Mysore Sandalwood the like. Then I discovered the ideas of famous Luca Turin. I jumped onto the train towards Comme Des Garcons Odeur 53/71, Secretions Magnifiques and other "deconstructive" reinventions of perfumery. But looking through this board diappoints me again.
Perfume is considered anything in between a fashion accessory and a wonderdrug. Creeds offerings are praised alone for their "notes" yelled out in preliminary press kits. Secretions Magnifiques is considerd the vanishing point of all evil. Every once in a while someone desperately queries for his next purchase - "niche" or "designer"?
In short, the vast majority of us behaves pretty functional in the setting of supply and demand (in this order). I'm afraid to have to say, theres a lack of thought, awareness. That renders the cultural meaning of smell making to that said business with more or less unaware consumers on one side and not so true producers on the other.
To be a collector (whatever that means) in this surrounding seems to be dull. I couldn't get anyone around into this. Now I'm afraid people look at me as a dumb mindless snooper. Any caveats?
Of course you can! The way I answer any queries is "show me a girl who doesn't like a guy that smells nice!"
To those who can't wrap their little heads around the idea of perfume collection, perhaps an appeal to their 'greed' may work. Vintage hard-to-find stuff almost always command a good figure in auctions. But people collect for a variety of reasons, some functional, others less so. What makes one reason any more valid than the other? A collector typically finds pleasure in his pursuit, and a certain measure of pride/satisfaction in his collection. Aren't these reasons enough? So quit worrying over how others perceive your hobby & perhaps you might enjoy your collection more. After all it's your money you're spending, not theirs.
Nobody is thinking about you. Everyone is too busy with their own internal voices and insecurities to give yours much thought.
Definitely, not dumb at all! One can be a straight guy and still smell fabulous.
Smelling good is not dumb. What is dumb, is smelling bad because some boof-head has an issue with someone collecting colognes and smelling good.
A man can collect whatever he wants.
Everyone in the real world tells me that its all just a waste of money but it doesnt bother me . My BN friends tell me its all good !!!
Is there any evidence of connection between fragrance and sexual orientation? If so I'm not aware of it and logically speaking there's no reason there would be such a connection. I'm straight and mostly wear feminine-marketed fragrances. Again, no connection with sexual orientation, no reason there would be.. It's posts like the op's they remind us of the stereotyping and misconceptions that still pervade the world. Just like there's no connection between music, visual art, etc. and sexual procession orientation there's no connection with the perfume art form. It's too bad the op is stuck in an old, insecure mode of thinking.
Also, the fact that I have a closet full of fragrances that are uncommon and smell absolutely fantastic is always weird until a friend of mine (male or female) smells one they love and then suddenly wants to smell everything I own. If you enjoy it and it's not obsessive, by all means, enjoy your collection!
Kim A. Herzinger, an English professor, award-winning author and avid collector (not fragrances though), comments on obsession with collecting:
"Collecting is a means by which one relieves a basic sense of incompletion brought on by unfulfilled childhood needs. It functions as a form of wish fulfillment, which eases deep-rooted uncertainties and existential dread.”
I have had several other periods of semi-obsessive collection activity in my life. Collector coins, wine, books. Passion for adding to those collections has cooled somewhat over the years but definitely not gone away.
And then again collecting anything systematically may just indicate an interest/like/love for the collected items. I rationalize such to be my current interest in both having my 'cakes' and smelling them too. Gender appropriateness be damned. We are talking commonly shared scent receptors here, not culturally imposed stereotypes.
Last edited by kbe; 27th April 2011 at 02:15 PM.
I close my eyes, only for a moment and the moment's gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All we are is dust in the wind--Kansas
It makes much more sense to me than collecting coins or stamps.
In the overall scheme of things, it's no more dumb than collecting most things.
Why are you collecting? Who's going to get the collection when you are gone?
I buy them to wear them and I smell different pretty much every day of the month and life is WAY too short to worry about people thinking you are dumb for smelling good.
I could see maybe it would be considered unwise to go without food, paying your bills etc to snag that bottle of cologne, but other than that if it's just money you'd spend at the bar, movies, going out etc. Who cares??
“Perfume is like cocktails without the hangover, like chocolate without the calories, like an affair without tears, like a vacation from which you never have to come back.”
However this is secondary because the OP question was regarding collecting fragrance, not wearing fragrance. And if anyone thinks there's no difference they are wrong - I have dozens of perfumes I've collected for one reason or another (rarity, financial value, completing a collection, etc.) that I have no intention of opening whatsoever. Collecting perfume doesn't even have anything to do with the antiquated stereotype described above and is analogous to collecting any other art form.
If you find perfume collecting dull then perhaps it's not for you? I've been collecting perfume a long time and I find it's both interesting and fun. It would probably be boring if I limited myself to masculine-marketed fragrances available from e-tailers and the mall, but luckily there are decades worth of interesting and rare fragrances to seek after, explore, and enjoy collecting. Just yesterday I bought, after I don't know how many years of looking, one of the rarest vintage Carons out there. Can't wait to share the photo with BN, post it in my album, and of course put it on the vintage Caron shelf. Even better it's not sealed so I won't feel bad opening and smelling the perfume itself. Perhaps this isn't for everyone - not everything is - but if one finds what they collect to be dull perhaps it's not right for them?To be a collector (whatever that means) in this surrounding seems to be dull. I couldn't get anyone around into this. Now I'm afraid people look at me as a dumb mindless snooper. Any caveats?
Not all discussions on Basenotes are X vs. Y or deigner vs. niche. There are many worthwhile discussion that are about the science, art, or philosophy of perfumery. Yes, there used to be more of it but this is like everything else. Things evolve. Perhaps those of us who are concerned should encourage such discussions more.
You don't have to convert or convince others to become collectors or even love scents in order to enjoy frgrances (or anything collectible). Collecting fragrances (as in nineXseven's example) isn't any more dumb or smart than other collections. Enjoy them for yourself and if you're insecure about revealing your hobby to others, then don't.
By the way, everyone should check out the "hoarding" thread on the Abuse Clinic board for other good opinions.
What I miss with this being a true collective hobby is some kind of structure, apparent properties by which the treasured objects can be sorted. How otherwise would You conclude that a branch of the collection is completed? Everything is kind of arbitrary: Creed made a "chypre" in 1875 or so - BS! Do we need collections of mediocre sports frags or the next 10 Creed offerings or a documentation of Chanel drowning? Is a "niche" company worth collection? Is it really collection in the original sense, or is it just buying, hoping for a revelation again and again? I'm quite close to consider the latter the most frequent motivation to make "the next purchase" here on basenotes.
Alas, for me, or fortunately so the big times of experimental fragrances seem to be over. ELdO goes mainstream, so does Comme Des Garcons. Other "niche" firms try hard to come up with worthy more classical frags for the wealthy. I have many of the experimentals, like a lot and this singular branch in my collection is complete. I've got some classics, ad I really don't need such "niche"-things anymore.
Thanks for Your input, helped a lot!
You don't even have to be "enlightened" to see that.
Don't you think that it's kind of funny that our oh so "enlightened" gentlemen of all people seem to be hurt the most in their male identity here?
collected three things in my life: stamps, guns, colognes
Why YES .... it is dumb and gay and every other derogatory moniker you can attach to it - but I do it anyway.
Having said that, Adonis is correct
False. You were by no means being general. You stated a very specific situation (man wearing woman's clothing) and attributed your personal beliefs to it (that people will find it inappropriate). Again, I will say that there are many walks in life, and what you may find abnormal may be nothing more than status quo for others.
Yes there are differences between men and women. But there are no constructs within those differences. Do you find a woman wearing pants odd? It was unheard of until the early 1900's. It is still unheard of in many cultures today. Different means nothing other than not the same.
Let me be frank, I am straight as an arrow, always have been, always will be. I do not pretend to understand things such as cross dressing or sexual orientations other than my own. What I do know is that they exist and they are part of a different culture, value, and belief system than my own. It does not make me think less of a person because they dont want to be like me. And, no person should expect me to be like them.
No it is not dumb.
Collecting anything at all is really curious isn't it. Is it obsession, building up of intellectual data models, a hopeless search for links of meaning, or a symptomatic mental twitch that has us grasping at straws of totally irrelevant items trying without hope to see a connection. Plus it smells good.
Collecting things!? The gathering of groups of stuff together because of this or that connecting link to sit and admire and peruse the common qualities and interesting variations - it is a sign of intellectual competitiveness and the willingness to engage in the curiosities of the world in hopes of find meaning. The collector is reaching out to understand the the patterns and stuff of the world. It is to put a pattern to what is otherwise a loosely presented art in a world that is too free to exist. We are not all caught in a postmodern mix up of pop cultural moments . . . . there is a thread here, and I am going to find it. So I collect fragrances and scent memories.
However, barring results from research (why does everyone need research to accept common sense arguments?) I feel it's a bit naive to suppose that there aren't scores of people who find a man's interest and collection of fragrances effeminate. Field tests done: my ex-girlfriend (who was Polish and lived in Czech Republic) not only found it effeminate and surprising, but also a bit of a turn-off sexually. My current girlfriend (American) was surprised that I had this "hobby" and such an extensive knowledge on any of it. She was also shocked to learn that many of the world's perfume innovators have been men - and many heterosexual men at that. When I dated in college, women were always pleasantly drawn to me for smelling good - a trait that I noticed most of my male peers did not share. So in my experience, and I'm sure in the experience of the OP, the stereotypes, antiquated as they may be, still apply to social expectations of male/female grooming behavior. Those of us in the small basenotes community who have a heightened knowledge of fragrance and its trappings might be well-served by a reminder that society as a whole still has some rigid gender definitions for certain things.
Let's get real here.
Before we get to that, let me point out that the comparison of perfume to clothing fails for a number of reasons. Even if we're talking about wearing fragrance instead of collecting (the topic of the thread) the comparison still fails. Fragrance is personal and unless one chooses to broadcast their fragrance it is essentially for one's personal enjoyment. There is no connection between fragrance choice and sexual orientation. Any perceived connection further fails among perfume aficionados who are trained to ignore socialized gender associations with certain notes and accords. Contrast this with clothing choice; wearing the opposite gender's clothing in public broadcasts a very overt and very strong message about one's sexuality and sexual orientation.
However this is really beyond the point because I the stereotypes I referred to, described in my above post and in response to your first post on this thread, was that caring about one's appearance is somehow effeminate. Neither you nor I referred to cross-dressing as part of this discussion (see posts #14, #18). The addition of the cross-dressing reference is irrelevant to this discussion and quite likely included to be provocative and confuse the discussion. As I interpreted post #14 the discussion covered men's appearances generally (in men's clothing).
It is an accepted norm in 2011 that heterosexual men can care about their appearance, their clothing, their skincare, etc. without being effeminate. This is evidenced in popular culture. Magazines like GQ, Esquire, FHM (UK) and others are all geared towards fashion for heterosexual men, every cosmetics company either has or is coming out with a men's skincare line, and men in popular culture such as actors and athletes are in many cases treated a fashion icons. I'll acknowledge that this norm may be slow from moving from the big cities to the small cities and then out to the country, but it's a norm nonetheless.
This statement is correct, but the example of caring about one's personal appearance (and aroma) is not one of these differences.The truth is that there are huge non-cultural differences in the behaviour of women and men.
You don't even have to be "enlightened" to see that
I fail to see a single post in which anyone is expressing hurt or doubt in their male identity, perhaps you can identify which posts you see as expressing this idea?Don't you think that it's kind of funny that our oh so "enlightened" gentlemen of all people seem to be hurt the most in their male identity here?
BN sales: http://www.basenotes.net/threads/300...avidoff-Bombay.
Off-BN sales (super rare CREED): http://flacon.ambaric.net/viewtopic.php?t=95
But that's really neither here nor there. Sure, one could find examples of women finding a perfume collection to be different for a man, and perhaps they'd find it in and of itself effeminate. However I would argue that it's all in the man himself and how he carries himself that will create and/or foster this notion. For example, the way I carry myself, the way I dress, my confidence, etc. is so obviously heterosexual that I can wear Insolence EdP, I can tell someone I'm wearing Insolence, and no one is going to bat an eye or think I'm anything but heterosexual. Perhaps what's really at play is a generational issue here. I feel like I'm older then most members here (mid-30s), I'm married (to a woman), and I'm confident in my sexual identity. What's more, the notion of someone thinking I'm gay, should someone think this, does not bother me because I know there is nothing wrong with being gay and there's nothing to be ashamed about being gay. Who cares? Younger men not confident in their sexual identities are going to be more worried about how others perceive their sexuality (i.e. the OP who even started the topic) and how their interests might cause others to judge their sexuality. This insecurity, this lack of confidence, in and of itself will come off as more effeminate that a perfume collection ever will.
I dunno, I pretty much live football (and the New England Patriots, GO PATS!)....In all likelihood, I'm probably the biggest NBA and NFL fan on the board, and my description of Fantasy Leagues would be almost entirely contrary to that one.
Last edited by nineXseven; 27th April 2011 at 06:13 PM.
Absolutely. For some people it's a hobby like millions of others.
Too much of a good thing can make you wonderful ~ Mae West
Collecting clothes may be dumb then too. Or buying several types of jam. Wtf was I thinking. I hope I can gain some straight man points back by watching some soccer.
btw, i'm straight and proud by all due respect - this is not about gender or querness, not from my side, it's about perfumery as a business and by what circumstances peoples curiosity can be exploited such far to serve them with more than 10 lifetimes supply of a completely useless luxury product ...
I'm not convinced yet that perfume is collected due to its smell. There is no ordering scheme, neither some valid categories to sort things and the same time differenciate. All that "notes" - come on, that's for the naive to play with ... .
Some people collect songs, buy them from Itunes, and amass an auditory library. Nobody thinks, "oh listening to music is dumb". Nobody thinks "listening to music is gay".
To me this is the same thing, one version is an auditory sensory thing and education, an opportunity to learn and appreciate an auditory language -- and this is an olifactory language. I find the learning aspect of this to be mentally stimulating. Think about listening to a 30 piece band playing music, and trying in your head to separate all the sounds of the string section and naming the the individual instruments. That's what smelling fragrance is like to me. I'm learning the differences between fougeres, gourmands and chypres, and I'm learning things like how mysore sandlewood is not around anymore the same way I once learned about extinct animals, etc.
This fragrance education also and this place also is amazing in that it brings together all kinds of people from all over the world. Every day I post here, I'm happily amused by all the flags under the posters names. We are like the UN here in that our hobby transcends world politics, prejudices, everything. It's beautiful. Maybe the world would be a more peaceful place if olifactory appreciation/arts were a part of the standard education.
That said, this is neither dumb... or "gay" whatever that means. As a straight girl, its nice to meet a man who can appreciate fragrance, just the same way it is to meet a guy who enjoys good food and can cook, or a guy who has a well developed taste in music and books.
Last edited by firehorse; 27th April 2011 at 07:44 PM.
1.) The NATURE of the stuff you are wearing or "collecting": female fragrances / high heels.
2.) The amount of the stuff you buy / the time, energy and money you spend: both men and women may like to smell nice and both may think it's a good idea to wear shoes - but women are much more concerned with raising their attractiveness and therefore spend more time/energy/money with this stuff than men do.
I think that the argument about whether or not it is "dumb" do collect fragrances can't really hinge on the notion of smelling good. You don't need a collection of perfumes to smell good - you just need a decent soap and good laundry detergent/fabric softener.
I have a modest (15 scents) collection - I tend to think of it more as a "wardrobe" if you will. How do I feel amassing even this much scent? I feel a little funny about it. Not in a specific way, but like there's something in the back of my head telling me it isn't typical guy behavior. The reason for this is my acculturation; I'm American, Northeast American, heterosexual, and something in my environment has conditioned me to feel funny about focusing so much on fragrance. Not sure what it is, but it wasn't a broadly open social attitude about gender equality and overlap.
But is my collection a "dumb" thing? Yes and no. I think every time I drop more than $50 on a fragrance, there's a part of that that's dumb. Money is money and it's always better to save or spend wisely on necessities instead of on luxuries. That said, there's something healthy about indulging the need for a luxury, which is inherently positive and, even more beautifully, simple. In this sense, spending dollar amounts on scent is as smart as buying food that tastes good and wearing clothing that is well-made.
“The amount of the stuff you buy / the time, energy and money you spend: both men and women may like to smell nice and both may think it's a good idea to wear shoes - but women are much more concerned with raising their attractiveness and therefore spend more time/energy/money with this stuff than men do.”
Is flat out a ridiculous oversimplification and generalization…again. There are plenty of women in the world who do not subscribe to this thought process, as there are plenty of men that do.
Just to be clear: Freud claimed that children who experience conflict during the anal-period of development, often become 'anal retentive' - that is, they literally withhold feces. These same children grow up to be 'tight' personality wise - often becoming obsessive collectors. So, in a sense, collecting perfumes mirrors collecting (i.e. 'retaining') feces.
Like I said, I'm sorry if I have misread your comment.
Too much of a good thing can make you wonderful ~ Mae West
As to the gay thing... well, once when I was starting out with the collecting and only had 11 bottles I had a party and a gay friend went to use my bathroom. When he came out, he stated to everyone loudly that he had looked into my bathroom cabinet and found that I had eleven bottles of cologne, proving that I was gay!
He kept chanting, "He's gay, He's gay!" over and over. He then grabbed my bottle of Emporio He and went into my bedroom, while all the onlookers were just either laughing or dumbfounded. He then proceeded to stand on top of my bed. He began jumping up and down on my bed while spraying the Armani in the air and screaming, "he's GAY!, he's GAY!"
Honest, that happened. So it's not always just some homophobic construction that people sometimes equate fragrance collecting with homosexuality. It took me a long time after that to "come out" as a straight guy with a huge fragrance collection. I'm no longer scared or scarred by it.
As to the question of it being dumb? No, not at all. People find it kind of bewildering at first, but then when you show them your drobe, they're fascinated with it. Having someone experience hundreds of new fragrances at once provides a barrage of stimulation that a rock collection or postage stamp collection cannot provide. Plus it's a practical collection in that you can use your fragrances daily, and as long as you store them properly, they can last a lifetime. Also, sometimes you get one or two people who pick up your enthusiasm and start collecting themselves.
I remember when I was a freshman in college, I went over to study with a friend who was a couple years older. I saw that he had SIX whole bottles of designer cologne and I looked up to this dude and wanted to be like him. I think I took it a bit far!
"He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative."-- G.K. Chesterton
You should have stopped! "Freedom" is a pretty weighty argument. But as such it isn't too elegant. My frustration, opposed to Yours is the airheaded get-my-next-purchase-attitude presented and cultivated on basenotes. All this vote-the-3/5/10-best/worse-frags-games and coconut-note-competitions. That speaks "freedom" - do You really think so? After a short phase of selfawareness (CDG, ELDO) perfumery went back to business as usual.
Please, mind to list the "notes" of Your fabric softener next time to get scented by just wearing cloths. How does it develop?
I love perfume and I love cock , does this mean Im gay ?
That's really difficult to understand, slvrbckgorilla.
No it's not "oversimplification and generalization".
A girl collecting guns has a rather "manly" hobby.
A man collecting fragrances has a rather "feminine" hobby.
I know: that's really difficult to understand too, slvrbckgorilla.
Yeah the online forum is definitely full of guys turning perfume collecting into a sport. SOmetimes the forums on the so-called "female fragrance" side are better.
You can tell we're on the internet - the first thirty responses to your post were written by people who blatantly had only read the first couple of lines and then started sounding off thoughtlessly.
I think perfume collecting is kind of dumb and definitely has a time-span before you start thinking of it as being so. But I still like it anyway. But as opposed to being an object-based interest, you could make it more an exercise in scent appreciation, which can carry the hobby further out into the real world