Scents of Self Turns Two Today!

It’s the week of perfume blog birthdays! First Bonkers About Perfume and Olfactoria’s Travels, and now Scents of Self. It has been two years since I wrote my first post. I frankly cannot believe that anyone would read this blog, and I am deeply grateful to each and every one of you. In honor of this special occasion, I have decided to publicly answer the ten most common questions I have received (in emails or comments) about Scents of Self. If you have any questions that you would like to have answered, ask them in the comments and I will add them to the post!


Question 1: Are you short? You look short.

Answer: Thank you for noticing. At 5’0″, I am indeed short. Until recently, I was a genuine little person (as defined by the National Society of Little People).

Question 2: What is your favorite perfume?

Answer: My favorite perfume is Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, in parfum form.

Question 3: Why are you trying to buy your cat a roomba?

A: I am trying to provide her with a more exciting target than my feet. And because it gives me excuses to post pictures of my adorable kitten, Zelda Fitzgerald. Like this one!

For more information on the “Help Ari Buy Her Kitty a Roomba Fund!”, please click here.

Question 4: What perfume should I wear to attract a man?

Answer: If the man in question is a Vulcan, I recommend Pon Farr for Women. Yes, this is a real thing. The Amazon description states, “Named for the Vulcan mating ritual first introduced in the episode ‘Amok Time’, just a tiny spritz will have men fighting (to the death) for your attention.” So hot!

If the object of your desire is human, however, then I must remind you that men are people just like us and have unique preferences. My current boyfriend likes Serge Lutens Un Bois Vanille, but a past one loved the original Coach Perfume. One piece of advice: never trust a man who wears aquatics.

Question 5: Why are you such an enormous nerd?

Answer: I am the daughter of a physicist. I am also aggressively unathletic and have needed glasses since I was four years old. There was never any other option. I am geeky about the following things: books, Star Trek (both TOS and TNG), Lord of the Rings, America’s Next Top Model, Invader Zim, Pokémon, Jayne Mansfield movies, and, of course, perfume!

Question 6: What is your favorite kind of perfume?

A: I favor Oriental fragrances. I like them sweet and warm, but not overly spicy. I also like green and citrus fragrances. I am less fond of anything fresh, fruity, or with too much jasmine.

Question 7: What do you do when you’re not writing about perfume?

Answer: My “real” job is studying biology at Johns Hopkins University. When I’m not writing about perfume (which is, unfortunately, the vast majority of the time), I am working on organic chemistry homework, watching trashy TV, watching trashy Egyptian TV to practice my Arabic, baking bagels, or hanging out with my boyfriend and/or cat (both of whom are pictured).

Question 8: “Can anyone tell me what you are talking about. Its [sic] quite confusing , here in london we dont [sic] write pointless remarks that are not needed. Thank you verymuch [sic]”.

Answer: Although this comment did not actually contain a question mark, I believe that it was intended as a question. I have to say that I’m not quite sure how to respond to this one. I am aware that my writing style is somewhat rant-y. I could say that I write this way because I am 20 years old and I like to make people laugh. I could point out that I am not a professionally trained writer, and have never claimed to be. But we all know that those are just excuses. The shameful truth is that I am not from London, and I never will be. I hope you can forgive me.

Question 9: Why do you say “y’all” so much?

Answer: Although I am currently living in Baltimore, I am originally from a more southern part of Maryland.

Question 10: Why do you always forget to use your Harajuku Lovers rating system?

Answer: Because I am a failure. Who is not from London.

24 thoughts on “Scents of Self Turns Two Today!

  1. Congratulations on your anniversary! Being tall is overrated in my opinion which I’m always telling my brother 🙂 ,I’m not that short (5’2) but my entire family are very tall Swedes, my brother and father about 6’3. Well, they’re the ones who have trouble fitting into airplane seats and the like and feel obligated to carry my luggage for me!
    I got really curious, is there a special reason you’re practising arabic or just for fun?

    1. Thank you, Eva! I am glad to hear you are getting the most out of your quasi-shortness. I am practicing Arabic because after two years of Arabic classes, I was not able to fit it into my schedule this semester, and I don’t want to fall too far behind.

  2. Happy second birthday, Ari. The end if October seems to be an auspicious time for starting blogs.
    I enjoy your blog very much, you are doing a great job for someone who is short, geeky AND – to make matters worse – not from London. 😉

    1. Thank you so much, Olfactoria! I do my best to overcome my handicaps 🙂
      I really enjoy your blog as well. I’m not surprised so many great blogs were started around this time- I think there’s something about the cold months that turns us introspective.

  3. Everything I love about Scents of Self is contained in this post: your zazy humor, love of Guerlain, and most importantly, STNG!

    Congrats on the two year mark! 🙂

  4. Many happy returns for the “Scents of Self” blog.

    How’s the Kitty + Roomba relationship working out? Are they playing nicely together?

    cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

    1. Thank you, Anna! I have not yet purchased the Roomba, still comparing models. Sometimes, when I see how much fun Zelda can have with something as simple as a green bean or a plastic bag, I worry that a Roomba might be overstimulating for her!

      1. Ha, ha – our Mad Moggy is currently enjoying herself destroying a cardboard box/plastic bag combo. You may be better off with the green bean approach!

        cheerio, Anna in Edinburgh

  5. Hi Ari,

    I can’t believe we are almost blog twins and I only just discovered you! (Thanks for the anniversary link. : – ) ) My motto as a fumehead is: “So many scents, so little skin”, but it could equally well be: “So many hilarious and lovably rant-y posts, so little time to catch up properly with the back catalogue”, if I could just make it a little snappier.

    We appear to be twins in other areas – parking the 30+ age disparity for a moment – namely that we are both short and “agressively unathletic”, haha, myopic, the geeky offspring of academics and fans of ANTM. I also watch Britain and Ireland’s NTM and Germany’s NTM, and pretty much any nationality of NTM I can find on TV.

    “Never trust a man who wears aquatics” – priceless. My mother warned me off men with cleft chins or who wore white shoes off the golf course or unduly chunky gold jewellery. I am sure that if she had ever got properly into perfume she’d have had some little sayings like that about Non-U men’s cologne styles…

    And what’s with the commenter from London? I am not from London either, but have a passing familiarity with the place and I would say that it is the capital of snark – is the Londoner in question forgetting Private Eye?

    1. Blog twins!!!! ♥

      How are the UK and German NTM’s? I really like watching the Israeli NTM, the girls are so delusional. They all think they’re the next Bar Refaeli (I’m not even crazy about the first Bar Refaeli!)

      What’s the deal with cleft chins??? I’ve never thought of them as untrustworthy, but I definitely agree about chunky gold jewelry. On either gender!

      That commenter only left that one comment, and never commented again. I assume it was just a drive-by put-down. It was not even on a particularly snarky or rambling post (it was on the Miss Dior Cherie post). I hate to think what he or she would have thought had they stuck around!

      1. LOL re “drive-by put-down”!!

        The UK and German NTMs are somewhat less bitchy than the US show – I would call it the Rolls Royce edition on cat fight front. There are also more girls with heartwarmingly bad starts in life on the US version and they tend to have worse meltdowns after their makeovers. : – )

  6. I have a few more questions:

    What is that green bottle resting on Zelda? Is it a Xmas-themed medicated shampoo?

    Does Zelda have naturally pink extremities, or is she wearing knitted bootees?

    Why are you learning Arabic in the first place? Do you have a family connection or are you just interested in the culture?

    And do keep the “pointless remarks” coming in the years to come! Scents of Self doesn’t have to make Sense to everyone.. : – )

    1. Delighted to answer!

      1) The green bottle is a bottle of Bath and Body Works Vanilla Bean Noel body wash. Zelda likes to creepily watch me in the bathtub, so she sometimes amuses herself by playing with the various scented products inhabiting the bathroom.

      2) They are booties!!! I’ve had some trouble with her scratching me (and by “trouble”, I mean that I am too afraid to try to cut her nails). The booties were my first solution to her scratching. They stayed on for approximately thirty seconds before she bit them off, but it was long enough to get an adorable picture!

      3) I am learning Arabic because my family has lived in Israel and I intend to live there one day. Although I understand why they feel this way, I get frustrated with the dismissive attitude that many Jewish Israelis have toward Arab-Israelis. I want to be able to show Arabic speakers respect by speaking to them in their own language and not demanding that they speak Hebrew to me.

      1. Thanks for explaining these points! I read your review of Vanilla Bean Noel perfume just the other day but didn’t clock the family resemblance between the bottles. Though the word Noel should have been a clue.

        I wouldn’t have guessed your reason for learning Arabic, but it sounds admirable.

    1. Thank you, Undina! And the answer is noooo! My twitter is an endless cache of kitty pictures. Come to think of it, most perfume bloggers seem to be cat people! I’m not sure why, but I can’t say I’m surprised 🙂

  7. Happy birthday!!!!
    Love your blog, love that you’re geeky, love that you have a H. rating system that you forget to use, but most of all – I love your cat.

    I hope that’s fine for you! 😉
    Keep up the great (and fun) work.

    1. Zazie, that’s more than fine- it makes me delighted! Thank you so much! I am determined to implement the rating system on a mostly-consistent basis from now on!

  8. Oh, but your added snark & geekisms are the reason this perfume blog is my absolute favourite. Never change!

    And was 5′ really considered to be ‘Little People’ status until recently? I’m 5’2 on a good day — I’m sneaky and always wear 4 inch heels.

    Also, kudos for learning Arabic. I will forever regret that I didn’t take the time to do so and I feel like at this point it would be extremely difficult for me to begin learning it. I speak German, very broken awful German w/ a Viennese accent. It is of absolutely no practical value.

    I await more pictures of the lovely kitty Zelda Fitzgerald. She makes me so happy.

    1. Thank you so much, K! You are one of my oldest readers and I can’t thank you enough for sticking around. This blog has been a wonderful escape from a very stressful academic environment.

      5’0″ is not a Little Person, but 4’10” is! I had a growth spurt over the last two years!

      Your German is no less practical than all the people who learn Latin! I would like to learn German too, actually… Germany pays for Jewish tourists to visit (out of guilt, I suppose).

      I promise to provide so many pictures of Zelda that you will wish you never asked!

      1. I sadly have remained at a solid 5’2 since I was 12. Congratulations on that extra inch!

        And quite true. My best friend has a degree in Classics and therefore had to learn Latin. Her husband speaks Japanese and my fiance’ knows Mandarin, so none of us can actually speak to one another in any of the languages we respectively know except for the best friend’s husband who likes to shout random German phrases at me. I was actually unaware of the fact that they would pay for Jewish tourists to visit Germany. I say take full advantage of that.

        Yay! More pictures of Zelda. She is the prettiest of little kitties.

  9. Happy blogoversary from a very new reader. I’ve had fun going back through your archives. It’s the fact that your life (and age) is so very different from mine and that your opinions are expressed in such a lively fashion that makes me interested in returning.
    Always willing to see more pictures of Zelda ( especially if she ever takes to Roomba riding) and the boyfriend is pretty easy on the eyes too.

    1. Ha! I am delighted to have you as a new reader, and now I will try to keep my boyfriend from seeing this comment, lest his head get as big as his arms.

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