About me.

My username on Basenotes.net and Fragrantica.com is Bigsly (chosen because it popped into my head when I signed up at BN and I thought it would be good for searching purposes). I became interested in personal fragrance (“perfumes”) in late 2007.  Before that, I rarely wore any fragrance and still had some old bottles of Aramis and Stetson lying around in the back of a drawer.  I’ve come to conclude that our olfactory sense is like an “alternate universe,” in that it is quite unlike hearing and seeing.  With smell, it’s not uncommon (for me) to like a fragrance one day while the next it is irritating, or I can hardly detect much at all.  This is one major reason for my sustained interest in this “hobby.”  What I hope to do on this blog is to provide some insights into my olfactory experiences, particularly those with personal fragrance.  If you’d like to share some of your experiences, feel free to leave a comment.

Most of my commentary will involve “men’s” fragrances (being a “guy”), but I do own and wear some “women’s” and unisex ones as well. However, I don’t consider such gender distinctions to be of any importance, other than what be of concern in the context of social conventions, which are not an interest of mine on this blog. I should also mention that “top notes” are of very little interest to me, though apparently many are either misled by them or feel that they are important to the fragrance experience. This is the case within one book, “Perfumes: The Guide,” by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. Turin really likes Coromandel by Chanel whereas Sanchez is at best lukewarm towards Prada (the original women’s EdP), yet within a couple of hours or so, they smell quite similar to me. Instead, I seek fragrances that I still find myself enjoying several hours later. Thus, please keep this in mind when you read my posts.

Another issue is how you experience a fragrance. I often sit for several hours at a time, which means that there is constant exposure, whereas when I walk around more than usual, I notice that I just get hints of the scent now and then. Moreover, one might really enjoy how a fragrance smells on someone else (perhaps experiencing it as the person walks by a few times a day, at most), but never wears it because it is too feminine or masculine (depending on the person’s gender), and so a review of it by that person may be quite misleading to someone who wants to wear it and enjoy it for hours.

DISCLAIMER: I have no affiliations of any kind with any company involved with fragrances, nor have I ever been paid or given free samples in exchange for a review, favorable or otherwise. If I am ever offered something free in order to review it I will mention that in the review itself.

18 responses to “About me.

  1. Rebekka

    A lot of people say that light damages fragrances. I don’t doubt that. But what about light in a room? Synthetic light from a bulb? This is a serious question, and I’m not trolling. Please respond when you get the chance. I’d like to hear your take if light in a room is as damaging to fragrances as sunlight.

    • It’s hard to believe that would make a difference, especially with how synthetic recent scents are. If you kept a bottle directly under a powerful light that might do something, perhaps with top notes, but under “normal” circumstances I can’t imagine it would matter. However, I do keep my bottles away from all light, though that is due to my storage system, and not from a fear of an 80 watt light bulb.

  2. Tim

    Hi !
    This is one of the fragrance blogs which offer real brain food. Enjoying this.
    The “Sonic Youth” issue finally made me subscribe 😉
    All the very best for your journey!
    Tim a.k.a. Eule

  3. EDP

    Hi Bigsly,

    I’ve just discovered your blog and I find it very inspiring.
    Kindest regards,

  4. Mason Morris

    I have a few old fragrances that were bottled under aerosol propellants rather then the current pump spray. I assume most older fragrances sprays used a propellant.

    Do you have any opinion on whether this would help preserve a fragrance as say compared to say a splash or a pump spray?

    I am still mad that I tried to decant an older spray bottle of Charlie for my wife and the whole bottle just foamed out when the top was pierced.

    • Are you sure that Charlie bottle was cologne or could it have been some sort of bath product? I had a very old Tabu bottle like that and it sprayed fine, though it was sold to me as nearly full and there was hardly anything remaining in it. However, it way quite heavy so I can understand why someone might think it was full. Your question about preservation is a good one, but I’m not a chemist so I have no idea, though my guess is that the scent would be preserved well so long as it sprayed out the way it was supposed to, as with my Tabu bottle. Why not post this question on a forum at Basenotes.net or Fragranctica.com?

  5. BoriScorpio

    Hello. I saw a comment/review from you about the new dior sauvage on fragrantica. You mentioned that you “don’t want to walk around breathing in ambroxan all day”. What did you mean by that?

    • Hi, and first of all, I encourage you to go and smell Sauvage for yourself, since it is widely available. For most people, they smell the top notes, like it or dislike it, and don’t think much about base notes (most probably don’t know what that means!). So, it really depends upon what you are seeking, not what I am. You, like me, might make “blind buys” based upon what certain reviewers say, but again, there is no reason to do this with Sauvage (for me it is too expensive to blind buy, but there should be testers at nearly every mall in the USA!). As to ambroxan, based upon what I have read, such as this: http://perfumeshrine.blogspot.com/2010/11/ambroxambroxan-modern-fascination-on.html

      I believe that ambroxan would irritate me if used in more than relatively small amounts, and Sauvage’s page on Fragrantica actually mentions the use of this material. The reviews, when taken as a whole, reinforce this perception (at least mine). Since 2007, I have tried to correlate what I am smelling to what is supposed to be in the scents, and so that is why I believe I would not like a scent with more than a relatively small amount of ambroxan. Why? Again, if my perceptions are correct, it begins to irritate me because it can be rather one-dimensional and persistent. Let’s take an example from a different field; a person tells you a joke and you think it’s funny. However, he keeps telling the same joke or perhaps very similar ones for hours. How would that make you feel? But remember what I’ve said more than once in the past (if you’ve read my blog or posts on sites like Basenotes.net), which is that the best you can probably do for blind buys is to find reviewers who you seem to share perceptions with and think about what it might smell like, along with reading the notes.

      Here’s an example: Spark for Men has notes that sound great, but some say it’s “too synthetic.” Is it too synthetic for you? What I’ve found is that if my overall sensitivity is low then I can enjoy those scents, but that might not be true for everyone. Similarly, I’m sure Sauvage smells “nice” to a whole lot of people and I’d be shocked if it wasn’t a top seller in the USA, but I don’t need any more “nice” scents. I want ones that do something specific, such as a certain kind of chocolate scent. And then there are my main preferences. I’d much rather wear Cuba Prestige, for example, than probably hundreds of much more expensive “fresh,” “sporty,” or citrus/green scents. I like some of those, but I don’t like them as much as I like the more complex, gourmand, and/or oriental scents, and so I wear those kinds of scents no more than once a week. And remember, you can get materials like ambroxan from sites like the Perfumer’s Apprentice. I have done that, diluted the material with vodka (you can use perfumer’s alcohol), in order to study it by itself. If you do that, I suggest sending them an email and asking about how to use it. I remember seeing one ambroxan item that they said to dilute so that it is no more than 5% of your concoction. Hope that helps!

  6. Thank you for your response (Was very helpful) and for taking the time to explain.

  7. Shonk

    Trust me guys…. Bigsly knows his fragrances. I follow his posts on Basenotes.

  8. Paul Johnson

    This blog is such boring reading

    • It certainly may be to you, as I started it mostly to record my thoughts (and how they might change) about scents as I learned more. Why don’t you tell me what kinds of subjects you would like to see addressed? Interestingly, boredom is a negative emotion (a mild one), so you are saying that you experience negative emotions when you read posts here, even though there are a lot of different kinds. I’m very curious to know what kinds of posts would result in you experiencing positive emotions! Then I’ll do some like that if I think they are appropriate and if I have the experience or knowledge to at least make some suggestions.

  9. regene adams

    Hi, I have a bottle of Hillary Duff’s With Love perfume. It has turned, can anything be done? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi, first thing is to make sure it “turned.” I don’t know how many times I’ve had very different perceptions of a scent within the space of say a couple weeks. You can let other people try it, but don’t tell them you think there’s anything wrong with it. Also, with this kind of scent, if it did “turn” it’s probably just some top notes, so give it half an hour to see if the problem goes away. Speaking of which, what kind of of “off” smell do you detect? One thing I think happens sometimes is that the liquid in the tube does “go off,” so spray out ten or so sprays and then try it. The other day I received a bottle of Bvlgari Blv Notte Pour Homme, which must be highly synthetic, and it did smell bad for a while, but then that went away and it smelled like it should. I got it from a hot weather nation and it was in the mail on a hot day, so my guess is that it’s what was in the tube. I didn’t spray it out 10 times, but I’m glad I didn’t because after about half an hour it was fine. Hope this helps!

  10. Gary

    I’ve never smelled a woman’s fragrance I would personally wear they smell way to feminine to me. And I don’t want to walk around smelling my the ladies in the office. To each their own.

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