What kind of perfume blogs do you prefer?

It occurred to me the other day that I am not a particularly good perfume blogger. Don’t cry for me, Argentina- I’m super proud of this blog, and I think that I generally do a good job with it. The reason that I don’t consider myself much of a perfume blogger is because I’m not very good at describing how perfumes smell. Most of my reviews contain, at best, two or three lines about the actual smell of a given perfume. And this isn’t a quality-over-quantity thing, because those two or three lines are usually something to the extent of, “Oh yeah, and it smells like strawberries.” This definitely isn’t the first (or tenth) blog you’d check if you were looking for accurate, detailed perfume descriptions. My descriptions of perfume are all about how they make me feel, what memories and associations they evoke for me.

All of this navel-gazing got me to wondering: what kind of perfume blogs do you prefer to read? Are you looking for hard-hitting analysis or perfume-related anecdotes? Or, if you’re a perfume blogger yourself, what kind of perfume blogger do you try to be? My reading list encompasses a bit of both, I think. I’m so thankful for the perfume bloggers who are better at describing smells than me (such as the astonishingly detailed Elena of Perfume Shrine), but I also love reading more personal discussions of perfume (Meg at Parfümieren is my favorite scented storyteller).

32 thoughts on “What kind of perfume blogs do you prefer?

  1. Hey Arielle,
    I love to read; books, blogs, newspapers, almost anything. Reading for me is a bit like sexual attraction; it doesn’t have to be perfect or generally agreed to be good, it just has to move me in some way. Maybe it’s insightful, funny, racy, great story, full of information, heartfelt, inspirational, beautifully written or full of imagery, doesn’t matter what the hook is but there has to be one. Different days, moods and sleep amounts will also change my tolerance levels so what would have me riveted one day will leave me cold as a week dead fish in Alaskan winter tomorrow.
    You inspire me, as do a bunch of other bloggers that I won’t name for fear of missing one. It is a treat when you drop into my inbox each day. Something that means I won’t read though is a lack of send to my inbox widget, I’m too lazy to go looking for an RSS feed.
    Personally I just need to get some words out each day and this saves me torturing my friends. Also, doing APJ gives me an excuse for my disgustingly greedy nature when it comes to fragrance.
    Portia xx

    1. I feel the same way, Portia! I’ll read literally anything, whether I agree with it or not. Hell, I even made it through a Twilight book!

  2. I tend to think of perfume blogs in the same way I think of my friends. You need more than one type of friend and you need more than one type of perfume blog. Sometimes you need the friend who will commiserate with you. Other times you need the shopping friend. Then there are the times where you need the friend who tells it like it is, no matter how awful the truth. It’s nice to have the friend you can share a cup of coffee and shoot the breeze with. And sometimes you just need the friend who will brighten your day with a cute picture, a kind word or a bit of wit. Thankfully, there is a perfume blog to suit each of my moods. Most days I visit with multiple perfume bloggers. And other days I start to read and think, “Not today” and just close the window. But I am thankful that on my worst days reading my perfume blogs can lift me out of what ever funk I may be in and on good days, they add that extra bit of cheer.

  3. I like to read a variety, but I do particularly love the more personal ones like yours, Birgit’s, and Portia’s. Portia, I *love* your description of reading above!!!

  4. I like to be entertained along with my perfume wisdom/gossip/reviews. Your blog does the trick, as I enjoy your odd mixture of snark and sweetness. Other favorite voices include Patty, Musette, Angela, and The Candy Perfume Boy.

    1. I am honored to be included in such good company, Lala! I have a real weakness for the funny bloggers, too. I was a terribly serious kid growing up, but now- now I like to laugh!

  5. I’m less interested in knowing how something smells as much as whether or not it’s good, and what type of emotion/atmosphere it evokes. I know what I like when I sniff it, but more often than not if someone describes a perfume as transporting them to a certain place, I’m far more inclined to buy it than reading what the fragrance notes are.

    1. Me too, me too! Which is actually sometimes not a great thing, since I end up with a lot of perfumes that were transportive for someone else, but smell terrible to me!

      1. This has happened to me a few times too, haha, but I think after a while you are able to “profile” another blogger’s taste, even to the point of saying to yourself: “Well, if they love (insert fierce retro chypre, hardcore oud scent, spicy stewed fruit Serge number etc), I’d best give it a miss then.”

    1. Thank you so much, Bryan! I swear I wasn’t intending to fish for compliments (though I’m thrilled to be getting them!!). I just meant to acknowledge one of my weaknesses as a perfume blogger. On the other hand, very few other perfume blogs can claim to have such an extensive array of cat pictures!

  6. I enjoy your blog a lot more than most perfume blogs, and I think it’s because your writing is entertaining in both style and content as well as being about a topic I enjoy (perfume). I think you have more of a “niche” for yourself than I’ve ever managed to find.

    I’m the exact opposite of klytaemnestra above – I want to know the notes, but with amplification. I like being able to imagine exactly how something is going to smell before I buy it – or, knowing how something smells to me, hearing more about how others perceive it. Not very entertaining for the average blog reader, I think. 🙂 But it’s my own puddle and I can play in it as I like! As can you.

    Also, cats.

    1. Thank you so much, Judith! I have indeed cornered the niche of “perfume blogs that are at least 30% cat pictures”. NO ONE CAN TAKE THAT AWAY FROM ME.
      Your puddle is a very valuable one! Perfume bloggers who can give us a good sense of how something smells have a real gift, I think.

  7. Well, I think I found you back when your blog was named something like “Get it Together, Serena” or something like that – and I appreciate the sometimes random stuff that shows up here from time to time – so FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE WOMAN JUST WRITE WHATEVER YOU FEEL LIKE WRITING. Whether it’s Thor bobbleheads or kittehs or perfumes that smell like strawberries or Serious Things.

    In terms of which “kind” of perfume bloggery I like, it depends. If I want a straightforward review with notes and perfumer name and background and where I can find something, the first stop is NST. But I love love love a “how it makes me feel” review too. I like to get the factoids into the reviews I write (though I admit that the “where to find it” often escapes me), but I don’t think it’s a complete review from me if I don’t talk about the notes I notice AND at least the mental images the scent evokes. I likes it that way.

    1. AHHH! AHHH! OKAY! I still can’t believe ANYBODY read “Get it together, Serena”! I just had SO MANY FEELINGS about Gossip Girl.
      NST is the first and last word in straightforward perfume reviews! Robin has created such an incredible perfume resource for us all.

  8. What I enjoy about the blogs I read is the variety of styles. If most blogs had a similar style, even if I liked the style, I would probably only read one or two on a daily basis. Instead I get chuckles, thoughtful commentary, facts, history, stories, sometimes sadness, rants, etc. from my favorite blogs and this keeps me coming back for more.

    I haven’t been reading your blog long, but I like it very much and check in daily!

    1. Thank you so much, vinery1! I’m so glad that you’re enjoying the blog! And I completely agree with you- the great variety among perfume blogs is an utterly positive thing.

  9. just keep writing-it’s so fun and endearing. Many days it just brightens my mind. Perfume blogs reading it’s more than info-it’s a fantastic exchange

    1. Thank you so much, Irina! And it’s so true- the exchange of information and experiences is the very best part about perfume blogs.

  10. I’m like the others who have commented, in that I like variety. Different people have different styles, and the style is what keeps me engaged.

      1. Thank you! (I think you know how much I like the Scents of Self, so I’ll save my praise for another day. But I have to also say how uncanny it is that you chose that word. It’s the one people seem to use to describe *me* in real life. You are very astute, or I am much more obviously “incisive” than I feel. 😉 )

  11. I like three types of perfume blogs: 1) those written by people with technical knowledge, like Elena and Victoria of Bois de Jasmin, who have studied perfumery and can speak from the point of view of a chemist; 2) those with detailed reviews with good descriptions of notes; and 3) bloggers like you, Meg, and Carol of Muse in Wooden Shoes who write eloquently about the emotions that scent can evoke and the journeys it takes you on (and never discount how important that aspect of blogging is!). Taken all together, my reading of these blogs has increased both my knowledge and enjoyment of fragrance.

  12. I agree with Patty. I think the more different each perfume blog is, the less boring perfume blogs get as a collective. I like to write stark reviews about what notes I can detect in the perfume and how they combine with each other to create a mood. But the more personal blogs are witty and lots of fun to read. Even perfume blogs like Ines’ All I Am-A Redhead with book reviews are great.

  13. You honor me, my dear. And I read you because you walk this fascinating line between trenchant social commentary and drop-dead funny. With perfume on top, no less! <3<3<3

  14. I think Tatiana’s friends analogy is spot on, also the fact that your mood on a given day – or a specific information need – will determine which style of blog you head for. The other day I was looking through people’s archives for straight up reviews of a particular scent to decide if I might like it, and favoured those which cut to the chase. Then at other times I might have more leisure to lose myself in the evocative styles of writing found in the 3) category of blog. I agree that Museinwoodenshoes is a good example of a blog which straddles 2) and 3). Mine has a toe in 3) and the rest in 4), a catch-all category which includes “travel and other random stuff with tenous link to perfume (mostly).”

  15. I like variety too (the three categories in Patty’s reply above pretty much sum up the perfume blogosphere).
    However, I always end up reading with more interest those blogs “for the rest of us,” those that are full of images of the olfactory experience, as opposed to detailed lists of notes, or cross-references to perfumes no-one ever heard of.

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