פון מאַרץ 10, 2010, די לעצט פּאָסטן אויף דער אַלט PerfumeCritic.com:
וואָס בין איך אַרויף צו די טעג? איך בין פינישינג אַ דיסערטיישאַן אין שפּראַך און אידענטיטעט פֿאַר מיין דאַקטעראַל שטודיום אין געווענדט לינגגוויסטיקס. איך וויסן, "וואָס דער…טוט וואס מיינען?" That means that I've been locking myself in my office every day over spring break to finish my PhD. It also means that I'm choosing some very specific scents to get me through this process.
My dissertation examines the significance of English language and culture in the lives of queer Japanese men and women. That's not as important as the fact that during the completion of this process I've felt it necessary to use fragrance for cognitive and emotional centering. In other words, smell brings back memories and as such helps me "feel" Japan on a deeper level. It's been my hope that this would help motivate me and put me in a "Japanese frame of mind." Do you ever do this? Do you ever use fragrance to transport you mentally or emotionally?
I lived in Japan from 2002-2006 and so feel as if this experience has played a large part in my overall development. Not to mention that it was while in Japan that my interest in writing about scent blossomed. No pun intended. So what have I been wearing?
אין. On my first day of writing I chose Givenchy's little known Blue Sky for Men (2007). A creation specifically for the Asian markets, I picked up this little baby in Osaka while living there in summer, 2008. At that time, איך געשריבן:
הערות: “Top notes are fig leaf and bergamot; middle notes are cyclamen and magnolia; base notes are [sic] and cedar” from Fragrantica.com .
די באָטטאָם ליין: This is what I had hoped L’Artisan’s Songes might be like – a whispy, ווייך, almost cotton-like aroma. I’m not too sure about the notes listed above, but Blue Sky is what I imagine clouds smell like. Impossible to find stateside, this one is all over Japan right now, though likely not for much longer. Why oh why they don’t release this one in more locations is beyond me – it’s a great scent whose only negative point is the poor longevity.
Why did I choose it? The scent takes me right back to staying at my friend Naoko's house and the numerous amazing visits with friends during that summer. It is cool, ווייך, easy, and very peaceful. סאַדלי, this one is now discontinued and impossible to find.
II. Later that day, after the last of Blue Sky was barely noticeable, I moved on to Soprani's Just Free for Men (2004). Another discovery during that same visit, Just Free's top notes are pineapple, melon, calabrian bergamot, apple and sicilian lemon; middle notes are grenade blossom, לאַוואַנדע, פיאַלקע, neroli and rose; base notes are amber, פּאַטטשאָולי, ebony wood and vetiver (Fragrantica.com). This one is strongly floral, heavy on the citrus and neroli, lasts forever, and absolutely spells summer. Another scent that takes me right back to the Kyoto train station and sweating like a pig while walking through the streets of Gion.
It's interesting that neither of these scents are totally appropriate for the weather where I currently reside, though today's warm front sure makes it feel slightly more appropriate, but I didn't care. אַדדיטיאָנאַללי, these are two of the only scents that I had to have back-ups of. Last summer's visit to Japan allowed me to do just that.
III. Finally, today's scent (and I wonder what I'll be wearing the rest of the week?) איז Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet for Men (2002), a scent I purchased just before my arrival to Japan in 2002 and that I wore like nuts during my first two years there. Notes include mandarin, ווי, coriander, marine notes, ambergris, and moss (Basenotes.com). This one is such an oddball, something akin to a cross between a citrus-flavored flouride treatment at the dentist and mint tea. But for me, it works. And more importantly, it transports me to those first few months of shock and awe at living in the land of the rising sun. It accompanied me to my first sushi lunch date, my first day of work as a teacher in Osaka, and my only real encounter with geisha.
I've been pretty productive over the last few days (35 pages and counting), so perhaps my aroma-centering idea has worked…who knows? All I know is that the power that fragrance has to transport me to another time and place is truly remarkable and yet another reason I am so obsessed with the power of scent.