We Write to Taste Life Twice...
We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
― Anais Nin
We make to-do lists, we used to hand write letters, we make notes, we keep agendas but we, who love talking and reading about scent, do not somehow keep scent journals. In fact you can keep a journal about anything you love. Journals are meant to disclose and study your inner self, reveal your subconscious, organize your thoughts, make experiences memorable and keep us at least for some time away from our hectic digitalised world.
You can make your scent journal organized by day or make random notes, it really depends on you, the goal is to start. Below you will find my recommended entry titles to have a simple scent journal which we can make later more sophisticated as we get to know botanical scent better.
Make three simple titles which would ask for straight answers: Essential, New, Past. Those are supposed to encourage you to study scent and create your own notes.
For example, for me, the essential scent is skin in all its variations, it is the initial and most important fragrance as it mingles with any perfume you put on your skin. I can discover dozens of things a day related to this kind of scent, starting from the scent of my daughter’s hair (which is indeed lovely, any mother will confirm) to the scent of my skin which has its own notes when it is not covered by any cosmetic product. It is all about seeing, feeling and paying attention.
New scent can be anything discovered during a certain day: air on the way to work, spices you use to cook, rain in a forest, etc. All it takes is to stop and enjoy a moment.
Past scent is something you experienced before, something which is associated with certain events, people, moments.
Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
― Anton Chekhov
To make it more exciting, write why a certain scent is worth your attention, mention any associations, memories, fragrances, etc. which could have any connection to it. Write whatever flows with the rhythm of your thoughts. Your notes must develop just like botanical fragrances on skin, the top notes are the first impressions, the heart notes are the essence, while the base notes are the memories.
One important thing which is closely related to keeping a scent journal is mindfulness. You will notice that you will start paying more attention to simple things, short moments, unfamiliar people, gestures, words, movements, botanicals, weather, anything which may carry scent, memories and can encourage you to contemplate, observe and write.
the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
a mental state achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
So your scent journal will partly be a Mindfulness Journal. Writing on senses, feelings, an intangible, abstract state of mind and knowing how your body reacts to that will make you more responsive to the outer world. Keeping a journal will help you stay in balance with yourself, reduce stress and will broaden your horizons. Writing is getting forgotten while it is an important ritual.
In our next post we will talk more about the connection between scent and mindfulness, we will look at scent through the prism of three abstract notions which, in our opinion, will help you experience perfume better: solitude, silence and simplicity…