As a boy of the ’80s, I was introduced to perfume through the iconic Dust of Love; the smell was everywhere — it was announced in the teenage magazines that I read and used for all my friends. But after those years, I stopped looking. perfume. Really. Rather, he came to me.
The fragrance often moves away from my fashion magazines and spills out of me online beauty orders unsolicited and unsolicited packages, as well as perfume wielders that threaten to spray me in department stores. The few times I went to buy perfume were at the beauty counters of those stores, which I never felt totally comfortable approaching; often they left me waiting too long for the service, and I assigned this hesitation to how I presented as a darker Mohawk woman. So those beautiful glass bottles were always on my periphery but never my destiny.
When he buys fragrance, he came from accessible spaces. I spent a regrettable amount of time tracking Bath & Body Works vacation specials so I could buy body lotion centered on Winter Candy Apple, fragrance fog and hand soap during sales.
The offers of large design houses felt too rich for my blood, too far from my understanding. Did I like Sandalwood? Or bergamot? Or none of the above? I hesitated to invest in a bottle of 100 milliliters of something I wasn’t sure I’d like or even use.
Perfume felt too expensive, too difficult to understand, too white and insular, with the noses painted with fragrance rooted in specific French families. After all, this is an industry that uses “Oriental” to classify an entire olfactory group. But fast for today and a slow awareness of the perfume world came to me in a more unexpected place: on my page for you TikTok.
It was a Tracy Wan TikTok (@invisiblestories) in four perfumes that you frequently smell in Toronto. In its quiet and quietly ingenious way, Wan coincided with the fragrances of the types of green cities, including Chloé by Chloé to “the silent introvert with The New Yorker tote reading on the subway” and Santal 33 as the unofficial smell of the western end of Toronto. He felt like punctual evaluations of someone who is an enthusiastic and well-known observer of a specific subject (my two favorite qualities in a person).
@invisibletories Reply to @ Privateoasis about balsamic and resinous perfumes. Hope that helps! #perfumetiktok # balsamicvinegar #decode # fragrance #Explained ♫ Share story (for Vlog) – ↑
With that video, I wanted to know what else Wan could tell me about the smells. She is a writer and odor educator in Canada, and her bio reads “making smell and perfume accessible”. He became my guru of fragrance.
He immediately gravitated to his Decoding Perfume series in TikTok. Each series felt like a mini-lesson that broke a fragrance family like chypre, explaining its origin, what that description evokes and multiple perfumes could prove that it contained that smell. I would note what perfumes he recommended, starting with the gourmand and then leaving my comfort zone in some families of unknown fragrances.
While all other methods of trying to “sell” in perfume didn’t work, I was completely sold by Wan. There was something about his music options, quiet and reflective voice, succinct narration, along with images of perfume bottles and their ingredients, which made me feel like I was in an intimate tête-à-tête with a perfume connoisseur.
Wan herself thinks that TikTok’s appeal is that her content is not transmitted in a slick package. “It is a bit rough around the edges, the edition is sloppy and the green screen effect is unacceptablely horrible, but everyone uses it,” he tells me in a video call. “The level of roughness of the platform helps to deliver some of the most inaccessible parts of the fragrance and takes it down a thread. ”
The most important thing for me (and for me) Bank accountWan tells her viewers where to buy samples. Explain which online sites send small roads and which deliver to and within Canada. TikTok had opened the perfume world for me.
“There’s such a wrong idea that you have to spend $400,” Wan says. “Most people will never use 100 milliliters of a perfume anyway, so why take the shell out for that big purchase when you can rent it as you go?”
Accessibility to fragrance is something that Wan really emphasizes; he explored it through his website Invisible Stories and during his time at the summer school at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in France, trying to dismantle the idea that perfume is a luxury product for people with expensive tastes.
It unpacks your understanding of the barriers to the purchase (from the general lack of odor vocabulary to the dynamics of power in the perfume counter) and illuminates the areas of perfumery that facilitate the fragrance in love.
Wan’s TikTok really opened those heavy doors for me, showing me that I can taste the perfume made by the designers, introducing me to niche and indie brands and educating me in the aroma language so that I can also be dragged elsewhere or unlocking an olfactory memory. I can spread in “beer mix” or “wood and sea salt,” depending on how I want to feel that day and, ironically, feel a little richer for it.
This article first appeared FASHION September issue. More information here.