It is my goal to be different and right. I used to try to be different for the sake of being different, but I now realize that being different and wrong is just stupid and annoying (thanks, Meredith). In truth, there are few opportunities in life for most people to accomplish this in meaningful ways. John Paulson famously was different and right when he bet against the housing market and made a fortune. President Obama famously was both when he voted against the war in Iraq and used this platform to ultimately became President.
Somehow (I don't know how) I became curious about the multi-billion dollar perfume/cologne industry which is predicated on selling the same aspirational scent to everyone. Stick with me here. One simple way to be different and right is to wear a bespoke fragrance that is distinctive and smells great. People are spending their hard-earned dollars on flavored oils that will conjure images created by intensive marketing and advertising. I know if I wear Ralph Lauren Polo Red I will immediately be an 8 Chucker, or better the next time I play polo! Of course, if I wear Tom Ford I will have to fight back the waves of 10's approaching me at the bar. However, I would go a step further, and say that for the man/woman who has everything, they need their own scent! In this week's Loupe, I show you how to smell differently (in a good way) and smell right!
If you don't require the sniffer of a seasoned pro, then you can refine your tastes and produce a scent using the Waft Lab system. The website brings you through a series of questions to help you find your smell. They will ask is the scent for you, or is it a present. Deep thought: I think a present may be a bit much, as perfume/cologne is a very personal thing, despite the fact that it is naturally shared with everyone, the receiver may take the gift the wrong way (like buying someone a scale)! Then you narrow it down based on sex, orientation (masculine, feminine, or unisex), when you plan on wearing it (day or night), the activity you see yourself doing while wearing it (sport, socializing, work, etc.). They delve further into your mood, the potency, specific ingredients that you respond to, and then other colognes/perfume that you know you already like. The net result is a scent engineered just for you. You can even design the bottle and title the scent. There is some excitement and anticipation because you really don't know what you are going to get, or whether you will like it. Of course, I named mine The Loupe! Next time you see me (if you do), feel free to comment on how I smell!
The Scentarium, by Sue Phillips
Maybe determining your scent should be left to a professional since not everyone has a good sense of smell (like I do). It is also true that you may have a different association with the smell than most people do, and therefore you are sending a wrong signal to a friend, colleague, and/or loved one. In this case, you may want to take a visit to Sue Phillips, who may have invented the category of Bespoke Perfumes. She has worked at Elizabeth Arden, Tiffanys, and more. She has designed fragrances for A-listers who want (dare) to be different. Make an appointment and spend an hour in her laboratory in Tribeca. She will give you a quiz that will flush out the general category of scent that suits you. Then she will walk you through the various scents (16 in total), and you will sort through what you like. After which, you will combine 4-6 and make your very own scent. It is a fun process, and she will teach you the history of the scents (she was an adjunct professor), as well as various stories from the perfume world. In the end, you will have your very own fragrance, named, bottled and cataloged for future use! Perhaps, you have a brand that needs its own scent (like La Loupe), or maybe you want to walk into a room and everyone to know (via smell) that you are there!