As you know, I’m not a scientist. I’m an artist. The only lab coat I own was a prop for a movie I made a few years ago… So the following rave is merely observed phenomena and not at all laboratory tested data.
I have a very sluggish metabolism. I messed around with it during my early days playing in rock bands, touring and keeping very unstable hours. The toxicity of my lifestyle totally ruined my thyroid and screwed up my whole engine. So, I get cold and stay cold. My circulation is sluggish and I tire out very easily. My skin is usually cool. Consequently I can wear giant big floral and massively spicy ambers and they behave like law-abiding citizens. They are well under control and no-one gets hurt. I can wear very very intense and even dank marshy fragrances and they purr along like sleeping kittens for hours. Cold florals freeze up on me and create a piercing glare of eye-stabbing shards of ice that cause headaches to erupt in the next suburb. If I wear any sort of aldehyde/acquatic/melon balls, there’s a sudden smashing sound of glass breaking and the perfume has locked up and soap bubbles cascade out of the windows. Hideous and hideouser.
My daughter is a warm-blooded creature. She needs the opposite. If she wears anything with any tropical origins, it’s like a King Kong-sized monster floral nightmare happens. She needs Antarctica, Versailles, Dragonboat, Jasmine Yuzu… any of my cool-you-down-like-a- lemonade-on-the-porch sort of fragrances.
Same thing happens exactly for the men in my family, my Vulcan husband, the radiant God of Mars needs really cold perfumes, the jasmine chypres are amazing on him. Our temperate-zone son needs woods and earthy notes and must stay away from roses and tropical florals at all costs.
I really should start handing out thermometers to my customers in the initial phase of a fragrance consultation to determine what sort of perfumes to offer. Chaud ou froid?
As well, hormonal cycles and general health and well-being really have a large part to play in the way that perfumes interact with a body. I imagine that’s why some of us want a few fragrances from which to choose our scent of the day.
I can’t speak about synthetics as I don’t know where the source materials are derived. With natural perfume however, whenever we spray, dab or drizzle, we are applying the sexual attractants of plants (and in many older fragrances, the sexual glands and secretions of animals).
Perfume has a lot to do with attracting a mate/mates. It’s all about fertility and virility. Not about being clean, that’s the soap’s job. Perfume is a magnet. The molecules in natural perfume speak directly to the primordial primate-within of reproduction, of wilderness, survival in nature, vitality, fecundity, the burgeoning of new life deep down in the roots of all living things. Natural perfume contains fruits and flowers, rain, sunlight, soil and wind, fire and blizzards and the night sky over and under the grasses and roots and leaves and the bark and sap. Life and death and decay and new life returning in endless cycles of seasons flowing inside the juices of all things that were ever pollinated, germinated and grew.
Are you a hot-blooded furry mammal or a frill-necked lizard like me? What happens when you wear a fragrance that goes against your nature?