I’m curious about too many things, which is why I haven’t achieved distinction in anything.
Consider this fascinating article in today’s NYTimes about perfumes: “The Difference Between Perfume, Cologne and Other Fragrances” by Tynan Sink. Here’s an overview, but read the article for key details:
(1) Pure perfume, parfum or extrait de parfum: 15-30 percent perfume oils, potent, noticeable, will last all day and leave your scent on others if you hug them.
(2) Eau de parfum (EDP): 15-20 percent perfume oils, still detectable when you undress at night, but won’t give people headaches or linger on their necks after a hug.
(3) Eau de toilette (EDT): 5-15 percent perfume oils, lighter on the skin, won’t necessarily last until the end of the evening, but can surge back to life unexpectedly on contact with moisture.
(4) Eau de cologne: 2-4 percent perfume oils, umbrella word for masculine scents in North America, cut with more alcohol, lasts only a few hours.
(5) Eau fraiche: 1-3 percent perfume oils (?), mixed mostly with water, good for quick refresher without long-lasting scent.
I was captivated in college by “Les fleurs du mal” (The Flowers of Evil). Baudelaire was the “poète des odeurs” (the poet of odors) and introduced me to the notion of synesthesia — sensory crossover.
I had a faint recollection of associating certain numbers with different colors, and wondered if it came from playing with numbered blocks as a toddler. Also, a lingering memory of intense perception of Christmas tree lights, especially blue, and of street light knifing through Venetian blinds into a darkened room.
As a very small child I ran my finger through the West Texas dust clinging to a car door and tasted it. Later, I asked my dad if it was OK that I had tasted dirt. He said it was OK as long as it was good clean dirt.
(Copyright 2018 James Mansfield Nichols. All rights reserved.)