Where Did My Scented Journey Begin….


Post by Liam


Good Evening Scentspeople!

Detracting from the norm, I wish to tell you about my experience with scent, and how my writing escapades began.

Where Did My Scented Journey Begin

When I was a wee chap I would pinch my father’s fragrances. Polo Black, Fahrenheit by Dior, Bvlgari Black – I would rock up to school with strong officious scents. Whilst my peers and teachers thought this was odd, this didn’t bother me in the slightest.

At 13 or 14, as an early and initial fan of Marc Jacobs’ style, I was thrilled when Bang (the silver bottle) hit the markets. Spice! I have always loved spice! The trio of peppercorns and the resinous notes present in Bang were distinctly different from other scents, and it had this wonderful duality going on: hot spice and cool woods. I finished that bottle and moved on to Burberry’s London (pour homme). Again, this is another spice theme. These two scents acted as a precursor to my obsession and a clear barometer of my taste. Spiced creations with rich interplay.

And then I was treated to a bottle of Tom Ford’s Tobacco Vanille. Warm boozy vanilla and sensual tobacco notes. Dried fruits for weight and tonka bean. An almost edible honey note…

Brin de Reglisse Hermes Liam

Then, visiting the scent section of David Jones late 2013, I spritzed on Terre D’Hermes (parfum), and that was the beginning of the end. I snatched up Terre D’Hermes and wore that as an everyday scent, and journeyed into the Hermes boutique and purchased Eau De Orange Verte. This is where I began to learn the specifics of scent. I was devastated when I couldn’t figure out why this Eau de Cologne would last only a brief moment in time on my skin. This prompted intense research … I was beginning to learn about sillage, evaporation, citrus, orientals … You name it.

Fast forward to June 16 2014. The most important day of my fragrant life. From memory, the day plays out like a perfect vignette. Picture a wet and raining Melbourne day, made romantic with long coats and brollies. I had a collection of about 5 perfumes now, and was even wearing the female marketed Black Orchid by Tom Ford. But, I had yet to find something that grabbed me, and I was determined to find a scent that was truly ‘me’.

Brin de Reglisse by Jean-Claude Ellena for Hermes 2004

Brin de Reglisse Hermes FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Hay, lavender, licorice

I walked into Hermes, went over to the Hermessence scents and picked up a bottle – Brin de Reglisse – and on first sniff my knees began to buckle. It was heaven in scented format. Everything I loved. The sun kissed smell of lavender from Provence, the caramelised spiciness of long black liquorice, a facet of coffee, and a feature of hay and caramel. Everything I loved was captured in scent. It was a study of liquorice. A snapshot of Provence, reminding me of my times in tearooms scented with lavender and refinement.

I was so thrilled by this reaction that I had to tell someone. And so, I started my blog: Olfactics. With only a year of proper experience under my belt, but indeed a lifetime’s experience of wearing scent, I felt I was prepared to tell the world what scent is to me, and how it moves me (or sometimes, fails to!).

Brin still lies close to my heart, right next to Habit Rouge and Portrait of a Lady (and… and… So many more).

So APJ’ers, what scent started your obsession?


Blogger at Olfactics

7 thoughts on “Where Did My Scented Journey Begin….

  1. Hey there Liam,
    The first fragrance my Mum bought me was Aramis but I think my obsession started much earlier with the scents my Mum and all the Aunties wore. They always smelled so powerful and enchanted.
    Portia x


    • I also enthusiastically “borrowed” my Mom’s cosmetics & perfumes. Then I “helped” my Dad buy to her Angel for Christmas when it first came out and no one in our town was wearing it yet (plz don’t stone me haha – she wore it very well- no sillage victims that I remember).
      Eventually I insisted that I also “needed” a “real perfume” and got “Oilily” (marketed towards very young teens in the stores near us).
      In my later teens years I had a mini fragrance wardrobe of department store scents (nothing very classy I’m afraid – the best was probably the original Stella McCartney when it first came out.)
      My real perfume awakening happened when feeling like I didn’t really fit in very well at College in London & (around 2007) somehow stumbled upon Makeupalley & basically the perfume blogging community.
      It’s seared in my memory that after reading an especially vivid & lyrical review about Tabac Blonde on Perfume-Smelling Things I believe…I decided that I could at least smell like a convention-breaking confident flapper (as in the opposite of what I felt like inside)…I bought a bottle that day. And down the perfume rabbit hole I went…with breaks in between but perfume has been part of my life ever since!


      • UGH Apparently pre-coffee fix typos etc. proliferate…and have no idea how to edit my posts! Anyone know? Otherwise please um ignore.

        PS I also love reading about everyone’s perfume discovery journeys! Great post!


  2. What a wonderful story! I love hearing how everyone found their way to the Rabbit Hole. It’s a subject I never tire of. And didn’t your daddy have great taste?!

    My own journey down the hole started when I was three years old, visiting my Aunt Chloe. I don’t remember this part, but I must have noticed her perfume, because I grabbed her wrist and started saying “mmmmm” “mmmmm, pretty, mmmm”. She took me strait to her dressing table, which was scattered all over with jewelry and beautiful bottles and all manner of lovely things. (I do remember that part, and it very definitely marked me, as anyone who sees the top of my dresser can tell)

    She dabbed me with her Joy, literally and figuratively, and I loved it so much, I refused to relinquish the bottle. I carried it all around the entire visit, even when I was being bathed. (Another thing seared in my memory as it was the first time I had seen indoor plumbing!)

    She sent the bottle home with me, and 49 years later, I still love Joy. I am currently having a mad, passionate affair with the EdT, which is much, much rosier than the jasmine bombs of the parfum and EdPs.

    What a great topic, thank you!


  3. Great story. I can’t remember not liking perfume. Mom didn’t wear it really but she’d let me play with the Avon samples and later my cousins and I would try to make our own perfumes by combining my aunts fragrances. It never really worked out too well.
    I always wanted to smell good in high school and wanted good stuff, not Designer Imposter scents. When Poison was released it was only available by mail order and I bought a bottle and never looked back.


  4. For me it happened when I was 17. I walked into this perfume shop was assisted by this very helpful lady. I told her I love fruity scent and she sprayed this fragrance on a strip and I immediately fell in love with it head over heels. I kept that strip in a book. Years later when I read that book again and found that strip, I was stunned that the scent was still there. Still as beautiful. It was Deci Dela by Nina Ricci. Unrelated to this blog post but it was my first experience with fragrances.


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