Saturday Question: Who/What Sent You Down the Rabbit Hole?

Today’s post is slightly unusual: there will be no “My Answer” since a week ago, in the post for this blog’s 10th anniversary, not only I answered it (and, for those who missed it, even managed do do an interview with the “who” responsible for “what.” But now it’s your turn. (The question was suggested by Brigitte.)

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #49:

Who/What Sent You Down the Rabbit Hole?

Rusty

48 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Who/What Sent You Down the Rabbit Hole?

  1. Essential oils and reading Essence and Alchemy by Mandy Aftel sent me down the rabbit hole. I wanted a perfume that featured carnation like the absolute – floral and subtly spicy. I never did find one but I did find a whole lot more. One of the best things that ever happened to me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Interesting! So, your going back to books (reviews) is kind of going back to roots :)

      Have you tried Golconda from JAR? Not that I would suggest spending that amount of money on a single perfume, but it’s a great carnation, so I’d be curious to know what you thought about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. My rabbit hole story is that I was writing a screenplay about perfumers and realized I knew very little about what they actually do! So I got the book The Perfect Scent, by Chandler Burr, which led me to his book about Luca Turn, The Emperor of Scent, which led me to Turin and Sanchez’ own book, Perfumes: The A-Z Guide. And voila! I was hooked. I had always loved fragrances and had a small rotation of them at any given time (usually 2-3), and my mother had loved fragrances too, but I never really knew much about them. So it was fascinating to read about the classics she had worn, like Chanel No. 5, Opium, White Linen, Norell, and others; and to realize that I had myself stumbled into some of the all-time greats, like Chanel No. 22 and Diorissimo, in my 20s. Down the rabbit-hole I went! I moved on to reading fragrance blogs like this one (thank you, Undina!), so I could learn more; then I started blogging myself, partly just to document my own journey and now because I enjoy hosting a friendly little community. And here we are.

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re too kind, OH. But thank you for your kind words and especially for sticking around and keeping me a great company!

      What has happened to that play? Is it anywhere I can read it?

      I think that it’s wonderful that we have several places – like small salons/drawing rooms – where we all can visit and chat with people who share our interests.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t remember what made me decide to research a perfume, but in doing so I stumbled upon NST. Realizing there was a whole community of people devoted to perfume was eye opening – I had always owned a few bottles but had no idea! I think I was concurrently spending more time trying new recipes, exploring spices and as my nose became more sensitive perfume became more interesting. I ordered a sample pack from The perfumed court and down the rabbit hole I went.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I discovered NST long before I realized there was a community: from time to time, I would read a review for perfume I was interested in or a post about shopping (Robin did them back then), but it wouldn’t even occur to me to read anything else on the site including comments :) (back then I was familiar with chats and forums, but blogs weren’t something I recognized from just regular web pages on some topic.

      Liked by 1 person

      • NST was a big factor in my early involvement. Robin has always seemed like a mystery figure to me. To my knowledge, she’s never really given any details about herself, photo, etc. Yet she was very instrumental in the start of something big.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I guess I should answer my own question.
    My mother was the who.
    A blue bottle in the medicine cabinet was the what
    I was about three or four and snuck daily dabs.
    A year or sos later she bought me my own bottle ( something different) and several others after that so by the time I was six or seven I had my own perfume wardrobe.
    That was more than half a century ago…I have been in this hole a long time.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I wonder: do you know what was in that blue bottle? :)

      I also was interested in perfumes from approximately that age, and, I think, I had my first 3 mini bottles that my parents brought me as a gift from one of the vacations they went without me, but I really vaguely remember what it was, and back then I didn’t really care for how exactly it smelled – I just wanted to use perfume as adults do. I remember though that I liked one of them more than the other two.

      Liked by 1 person

      • To this day I have no idea what perfume it was. But I was obsessed with perfume from a very young age. As soon as I was allowed to travel on my own I would take the bus to department stores to sniff and purchase bottles with my allowance. It’s pretty much been a life long obsession which has somewhat died down over the last year or so.

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I think it was around 2005. I had always loved perfume but somehow stumbled across Now Smell This, and then Makeup Alley. There were some people that described Bond No 9 Chinatown so beautifully, and when I smelled it I was smitten. There was one more though, and I can’t for the life of me remember how I heard about Andy Tauer. I got his sample set, he only had about 4 scents then, and when I smelled L’Air Du desert Marocain I was blown away that a scent like this could exist. And we were off to the races. Sampling galore, although back then there was so much less to sample, which was kind of nice.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I miss those times when a launch from one of a few great brands was an event, and everyone would try to get a sample… And discovering a new niche brand was something wonderful. These days on most occasions you have no idea about the most of the brands people talk about or you see in the “new” sections of the sites that specialize in “niche” perfumery. And even well-known perfumers’ names do not guarantee that it wasn’t a fly-by-night brand or banal creations.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I find the proliferation of brands more overwhelming on Instagram. I used to think I was pretty up to date, but the new companies are endless. I think written bloggers still concentrate more on the brands that get more notice, or maybe some of the more well know indie brands. I’m newer to Instagram, but the vibe to me there seems to be more, more, more, whereas when I read a bloggers review, it feels more like an appreciation. This is probably just my age showing!

        Liked by 2 people

  6. Like cynthia, I think it was around 2005 that I discovered Makeupalley and Perfume of Life while looking on the internet for Byzance. Then I discovered there was a whole world of perfumes other than what was sold in department stores. But like brigitte, I have worn perfume since I was a child, starting with Avon and Jean Nate splash.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I discovered Perfumeland about 5 years later than you (I was much less comfortable with English back then), and Makeupalley went almost completely by me. I registered there at some point and tried looking for swaps, but I don’t remember if I went through with any… Speaking of swaps, when I looked at the site the last time, I didn’t find that functionality any longer – do you know, has it gone away?

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ah Tara C I spent many years on Perfume of Life! I still remember reviews people wrote back then and think of them when I see the scent. I remember the dramas and characters. It was hugely influential on me. I went from knowing nothing to sniffing out Caron (which I adore). I could go on and on. Had a meetup in Melbourne with some POL folk, we were all sniffing each other’s arms in the street after a perfume crawl :)

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I always loved perfumes-I was ten and wearing Arpege lol! B ute was 25 or so when my friend was wearing Eau de Hadrien-I had no idea anything that beautiful existed. I’ve been wearing it for oh about 25 years lol. It still makes me happy. I think I used the internet to find Make Up Alley, maybe 15 years ago or so. And from there I found blogs, complete with lovely enabling people. I love the perfume community-the sharing of fumes, pictures of people’s collections, and the kindness that seems to exist wherever perfume people gather. It’s amazing to me, and has made my life a whole lot more rich.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve loved perfume ever since I first remember smelling my aunt’s Dana Tabu when I was 5 years old. I’ve always owned at least 3 or 4 perfumes ever since I was in 7th grade and bought my first perfume, Faberge’s Tigress. But it was Luca Turin’s book, Perfumes the A-Z guide, that got me interested in learning more about perfumes, which led me to Fragrantica and Basenotes. From there I began to read and learn about niche perfumes. The fragrance that really sent me flying down the rabbithole was Lutens’ Chergui. When I smelled it I knew there was a whole wonderful world of amazing fragrance out there that I needed to find and explore. Chergui was my first niche purchase and I still adore it.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Funny, I had a feeling I just answered that question, or wrote about it here. I thought it was your last post but clearly it wasn’t.
    Discontinuation, is the answer. My favourite perfume ‘Le Feu d’Issey’ was no more and everything smelled the same to me, either sweet or fruity or cute floral.
    On a holiday to see a friend who has always liked perfumes too, she showed me Serge Lutens. I think my first love was Douce Amere, which funnily had some notes like the anis, and certainly the ‘woody-oriental’ group in common, with my former favourite.
    There had been so many of the Lutens perfumes that had captivated me, so I started looking online for more input…
    Funny, I remember an American blogger, when I was in the first years of my perfume habit, writing that she didn’t get the Serge Lutens craze, as she found most of the perfumes not fully finished, lacking in finesse. At the time I didn’t understand, but the last years some Lutens had to go, and when I smell my old favourites, I do think she was right, even if that’s also the charm of those perfumes somehow. A bit like how the shaken camera changed the name of the filming game.
    Obviously, the ones most dear to me have all stayed.

    Liked by 1 person

        • I did find a couple of newer ones that I really love — it’s hard to compare them to my memories of Diorissimo, though. You can actually find my explorations in the “May Muguet Marathon” I’ve done a few times on my own blog, by clicking on my name. Probably my favorites of those I reviewed were Decou-Vert, Muguet Porcelaine, and VCA’s Muguet Blanc. But I also really, really like Muguet Fleuri, and Lily of the Valley & Ivy (Jo Malone).

          Like

    • You wrote something about it in response to Narth’s question about a break in the perfume hobby.

      I liked Le Feu d’Issey Light, though, the regular one was good as well. As to SL’s perfumes… I like many of them but, I think, I don’t care for more than I like. Including those that many others loved.

      I thought about perfumes in my collection… I can’t let go of any because I will regret later.

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  10. Like most here, I loved perfume since I was a child, and as an adult always wore it, but usually only one perfume for years at a time. One day at the end of December 2018, I was browsing a store that sold trinkets, accessories, and some perfumes, and I started wondering what made these special as they were more expensive than mainstream ones. The friendly sales person started explaining to me the background of Lubin and Maison Francis Kurkdjian, and told me that Francis Kurkdjian was a “perfume artist” who had done art installations using scent, etc. I was awed, as I had never thought of perfume as art before but it made total sense—so that phrase pushed me down the rabbit hole and I started fanatically seeking out anything and everything I could find about this fascinating world, which eventually led me to wonderful blogs such as this one. :) Ironically, I haven’t found a Lubin or MFK to love yet. It seems that I missed the golden days of niche perfumery exploration, but hope there will be more to come in the future.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have to describe a two-part fall. Technically, my fall began when I stayed at a B&B and saw a sample shampoo with leopards on the bottle in a courtesy basket: hmm, “Ortigia Ambra Nera.” As the shower filled with a swoon-worthy scent, I resolved to google that name. When I did, I did not go right to the brand website; instead I found a site called “The Non-Blonde” where there was much discussion about amber scents. Most readers here will understand what a trove of perfume reviews was at TNB, and most importantly, information about reformulation and why at some point (to many of us) perfume did not smell fabulous…I could go on… Also, a big push over the edge, as Bridgette and Rickyrebarco mention, was that early on I was fascinated with adult perfumes, in my case, my Mother’s Shalimar, Diorissimo and Je Reviens. As a young child, these 1960’s versions seemed to evoke everything wonderful about being a women.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gaia’s blog was special, I read it for many years.

      Until today, I’ve never heard about Ambra Nera. Did you get it? Do you still like it?

      All women in my family wore perfumes, so it might be something we all have in common – being exposed early to great perfumes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I did get Ambra Nera, by Ortigia Sicilia, quite a few years and many bottles later from that day (lost an Ebay auction once). I do like it and keep it on “the top shelf.” If you would like a sample, Undina, email me. I still love and learn from Gaia’s blog; I hope it will be an encyclopedia one day. :)

        Liked by 1 person

  12. In the retelling something always changes.

    I don’t know what triggered it but I googled “most expensive perfume in the world” (newbie mistake) and the answer was Clive Christian something. One thing led to another and I found myself on NST, lurking first and then eventually signed up and I haven’t been able to shut me up since then 😆. Also, way before this happened, as a pre-teen, I thought I could successfully sneak-spray my sister’s Tatiana; I always wondered why I was found out pretty quickly despite using only ONE SPRAY but yet I managed to defy all expectations and didn’t learn my lesson because I did it a few more times.

    I remember how I found Undina but that is a story for another day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope that day comes because I’m curious :)

      For a while I also didn’t understand why I could hide from either my mom or my grandma that I touched their rare, expensive and tiny parfum bottles :) (especially since with mom’s make-up I was much more successful :) ).

      Have you ever tried that Clive perfume? The brand was despised on the NST for aspirational prices that, I think, I’ve never even smelled anything from the brand (“the pen is mightier than the sword” :) ).

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve tried quite a few of them, years ago, they made an impression for richness and quality of ingredients (like Amouage perhaps) but I didn’t actually like any of them. I have no memories of them and I often remember a bottle I tested once ten years ago.

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  13. Easy! Perfumes worn by a friend which I did not like! I googled them looking for similarities in style, and was hooked on perfume classifications / families from that moment, and quickly started sniffing examples of them all…

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  14. It just.. happened. I had some bad news and I was feeling very down on myself. I was in a mall when I got the news and for reasons I don’t understand I wandered into a perfume shop. Prior to this I’d worn Angel for a couple months and I once ordered CK’s Escape under the illusion that I would smell like the beach (I didn’t). But here I was in the perfume shop answering the SA’s question, what scents did I like? I like tea, I told her, the smell of tea. She sold me J.Lo’s Still which was always a bit too harsh for me but it’s fine now, it’s mellowed. I went home and looked up the notes of Still, and from there I found myself on Perfume of Life having only owned three perfumes in my life! OMG fate. I went INSANE trying everything I possibly could in my city and I went INSANE on Makeupalley swapping and buying like a crazy person. It was wonderful!

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    • That’s an amazing story! You’re one of a few people I know who weren’t pre-conditioned by loving and wearing perfumes long before the onset of the obsession that we lovingly call “hobby” :)

      Like

      • Oh I was definitely not pre-disposed, in fact I was quite anti scent as a young child. I still associate a high pitched ozonic floral scent with department stores and my aversion to this smell (which was freely spritzed everywhere). But I did love many smells in real life, as I think most do?

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