Early Childhood Years.
Father wears Fahrenheit by Dior, Polo Black, and Lagerfeld Photo by Karl Lagerfeld.
Mother wears Obsession by Calvin Klein, and Deep Red by Hugo Boss.
Both parents share CK One, and Bvlgari Black.
My family smells of L’Eau d’Issey, Night Magic by Avon, more Obsession by Calvin Klein, J’Adore, and Kouros from YSL.
I am caught stealing sprays when the parents aren’t looking – Fahrenheit by Dior proved to be a favourite of mine.
I purchase the first perfume for myself: Bang by Marc Jacobs. I am captivated by the freshness of its spice, its power to turn the desiccated into something smooth, and the provocative imagery of its silver aluminium-like bottle.
I am bit with the fashion bug. I still haven’t recovered.
At this stage, my mother is wearing Prada Candy on my firm and approbative recommendation. My aunt quickly follows suit.
I begin meddling with a second perfume – Burberry London for Men. I am still captivated with spice, although I am unable to identify what it is exactly. Now I realise it’s the boozy warmth of resins, tobacco, and port. I dropped and smashed the bottle one day – it’s the only bottle I’ve ever smashed so far.
I upgrade my eyewear drastically to a pair of thick black square Prada Frames. I save my pennies, and purchase my first Alexander McQueen scarf – electric blue silk. To this day, I have yet to wear it.
I obtain a bottle of Calvin Klein’s Obsession Pour Homme for myself. I love it for its transparent orientalism lifted with citrus, and, of course, the spice. I remember telling my friend it was the scent of raw sugar: “like sugarcane.” I still have no idea what raw sugarcane smells like.
August – My first niche perfume:
As a rather generous birthday gift, I am offered the selection of one perfume from Tom Ford’s Private Blend Collection. Initially intending to purchase Neroli Portofino (as the department store stockist sent pretty postcards of naked models bathing in the stuff) – I am immediately captivated by the glamour of it all. Its excessive luxury of dark bottles, architectural shapes, gold-plated caps, and branding that exuded refinement – I leave with Tobacco Vanille. I am shocked by its price, its dense luxury, and the mere fact that tobacco is an ingredient in perfumery. However, it’s still very true to my tastes. I also leave with a sample of Tuscan Leather. Initially intending to wear it sparingly, I wear it everyday.
I find a stockist of Tom Ford clothing in Melbourne. I am deeply surprised.
I learn of Hermès.
I obtain my first Hermès tie.
I am still wearing Tobacco Vanille religiously.
I become known as the tie collector.
By the end of the year, I begin to itch for some variety. I purchase Terre d’Hermès Pure Parfum in summer, and begin to crave for some zingy citrus. Despite the sales representative telling me that Terre was for more mature men, I promptly told her to leave me alone. After a later trip to the Hermès boutique, I leave with a frosted bottle of Concentre d`Orange Verte – with its herbal breeze and orange zing, I am addicted to it. However, I notice that it doesn’t last as long as my woody scents, and am prompted to start looking online for advice and for answers to my questions. I then discover Fragrantica. I am engrossed in the variety and sheer number of perfume available.
For Christmas, I find myself lusting over Tom Ford’s Black Orchid due to the praises on Fragrantica and its note pyramid. It seems to have everything I like. I am now developing and identifying my tastes. This becomes the first female-marketed perfume that I own.
At the start of this year, I find myself enthralled with perfume, but do not put a label to it.
Terre d’Hermès becomes my signature, but not for long!
I purchase my first oud perfume, YSL’s M7 Oud Absolu. I was told by many that it was a good introductory oud.
I smell Interlude Man by Amouage for the first time, due to a desire to smell a punchier oud. I am terrified immediately.
On the 14th of June, just before Hermès’ closing time, I rush in to purchase Poivre Samarcande. On a whim, I smell Brin de Reglisse. Without a second thought, it is purchased. I am captivated by its minimal brilliance, its balance of all things I love, and Ellena’s laconic styling. It is the best scent I have ever smelled.
In the very same evening, olfactics.wordpress.com is registered. I had to write about this experience.
My first post, ‘Hermessence By Hermès‘ is published. True even to today’s approach – I attempt to tackle the narrative of the scent rather than a mere deconstruction.
I make the promise to myself to write a review every week. It is a slow start gaining readers and followers, but I treated the blog as an academic exercise in order to express my creative thoughts and practise engaging writing. On some level, that is still a function of Olfactics today; an academic exercise.
A review of Vetiver Extreme by Guerlain is posted. It is my first negative review.
Habit Rouge by Guerlain is purchased on the 16th due to the overwhelming positive reviews of critics and amateur reviewers alike. I didn’t enjoy it for 2 weeks, but kept on reassuring myself by reading Basenotes and Fragrantica reviews.
The blog layout is revitalised.
I obtain my first parfum – Bois des Iles from Chanel. Opening the silken thread and wax seal freaks me out.
Chandler Burr’s Hyper-Natural: Scent from Design to Art opens at the National Gallery of Victoria. I obtain tickets to his keynote presentation on the Wednesday night. I realise that there is actually a healthy handful of perfume fans in Australia.
Upon seeing him at the entrance, I am rendered completely frozen and awestruck. I am pushed into him, forcing me to say hello. All I could muster was “I like your books”. I am then invited to a private tour on the Friday. There I met staff from Fragrances of the World, and am offered advice from Chandler Burr on approaching scents and ways to speak about it. I am sure to get his autograph and a photo! On Burr’s recommendation, I purchase Dans Tes Bras from Frederic Malle. I am also shared on his twitter. Very exciting!
I meet Christopher Chong of Amouage.
I begin taking perfume tours around Melbourne for individuals or small groups.
Ambre Sultan is purchased from Serge Lutens – the first of many Serge perfumes.
I begin writing for Australian Perfume Junkies
To my first exam in my final years I wear Shalimar by Guerlain.
I participate as writer for a now defunct student magazine called Blame, I take up position as fragrance reviewer. I also do the occasional food review.
I obtain Mitsouko Parfum – it is a gross understatement in saying that I was emotional. I was overwhelmed. In fact, I cried a little.
I finally publish a post on Burr’s exhibition. Burr loves it.
For Christmas, all I ask is for a bottle of Eau de Fleurs de Cedrat by Guerlain – to ensure I keep cool in summer.
My picture and name is featured in an issue of Esprit Magazine. I am acknowledged as a fragrance blogger.
Upon serendipitously meeting likeminded perfume friends, I develop an even keener interest in the history and internal philosophy of perfume. I am educated on various topics: Caron, Bal a Versailles, amber perfumes, L’Heure Bleue, Vol de Nuit, violets, and Farnesiana … To name a few. I start moving deeply beyond just woods and orientals, and my tastes increase in their breadth of scope. Florals are not to be feared anymore.
I purchase L’Eau d’Hiver from Malle. It becomes a staple, and I start to enjoy the unctuous feel of powdery heliotrope, soft florals, musks, and almond.
The blog begins to see dizzying success.
I fall for Cuir d’Ange – it takes time, but it becomes my favourite leather. It borrows a touch from L’Eau d’Hiver’s tepid-water style.
Olfactics hits 10,000 views.
I obtain a tiny vial of Apres L’Ondee Parfum
I interview Andy Tauer on the blog.
I meet the boys behind Australian brand Criminal Elements.
I finally meet Emma and Rob of Fleurage in the flesh.
I obtain my first (and second, and third) Luten’s Bell Jar. I am teased by their rarity, and besotted with their contents.
For my 18th Birthday, I wear Brin de Reglisse.
As an 18th Birthday gift, I am given Habit Rouge Extrait and a bell jar of Bois Oriental with ‘Liam XVIII’ engraved on it.
I meet the Etat Libre d’Orange distributor for Australia.
I meet Michael Edwards on the 25th and undertake a Fragrance Workshop. He listens to my story so far, and is delighted in hearing that I enjoy Eau d’Hermes, and Habit Rouge. At the workshop he is delighted to hear of my knowledge, and asks to look over some of the information contained in the Fragrances of the World reference book.
I publish my first re-review for Chanel’s 31 Rue Cambon. I rating of 2 jumps up to a 5.
Olfactics hits 20,000 views.
La Fille de Berlin by Serge Lutens is purchased – I learned to love its carnal severity due to me spilling the entire contents of a 3ml vial on my neck. Its crimson wafts led to one of the most memorable days of my perfume wearing life.
I develop a fervid obsession for all things wine.
I graduate from High School – I am doused adequately in Chanel’s Cuir de Russie.
To all of my exams I wear Shalimar by Guerlain.
I rewrite my review for Guerlain’s Shalimar because I feel like I didn’t give it the initial reverence it deserved.
I interview Carlos Huber of Arquiste on the blog. He loves the nuanced and thought-provoking discussion of his works and the climate of the market overall.
I take up a position as Fragrance Evaluator, Trainer and Expert at Men’s Biz – my first order of business is to introduce L’Artisan Parfumeur.
On the 13th I am interviewed about my life so far as a student and blogger. To celebrate the occasion, I purchase Helmut Lang Eau de Parfum.
On the 14th a two-page article is published in one of Melbourne’s leading newspapers focused entirely on my adventure as a perfume blogger and how I fine-tune my nose. My blog traffic surges, and am recognised in public as the ‘perfume guy’ and at work. (Link)
I launch Etat Libre d’Orange at Men’s Biz.
I start preparing to exclusively launch Tauer Perfumes in Australia.
Men’s Biz’s approach to fragrance is entirely revamped following from my advice.
1,000 blog followers reached.
Tauer launches in Australia.
My first Fragrantica column is published on the 18th, it is titled: “The Difficulties of a Niche Market: An Australian Perspective”. It outlines the process of getting Tauer in Australia from my end and Andy’s. (Link)
The Tauer Launch Party proceeds in Melbourne on the 27th – it is a huge success.
Luca Turin visits my blog.
I travel to Sydney to promote Tauer and to head training.
Chanel’s No. 18 finally makes sense to me.
Olfactics hits 40,000 views
I am featured once again in a main newspaper, this time asked to give perspective on perfume acting as an expert. (Link)
I undertake my first formal workshop acting as an impartial trainer.
On the 25th, olfactics.net is registered.
On the 7th I present a lecture to The University of Melbourne, focusing on developing skills in blogging and in academia. To demonstrate this, I discuss the possibility of an objective criterion and paragons in fragrant criticism.
On the 21st I present a Laneway Learning lecture under the Melbourne Winter Sessions for the City Precinct: An attempt to demystify fragrant obfuscation and gobbledygook, the big ideas of perfumery were dissected and a newfound perspective focused on art, philosophy, and science was created.
On the 20th I am the special guest on radio station Joy94.9, discussing all things perfume and philosophy. They call the segment “Scents in the City” (Link)