Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Tauer Advent Give-Away + Quentin Bisch Interview


Ian Denyer's 2011 Perfume documentaries featured many prominent members of the fragrance industry. Jean-Paul Guerlain, Thierry Wasser, Jean-Claude Ellena, Chandler Burr, Roja Dove and several others were all allowed considerable time in the limelight. But if there's one individual from the series whom most people seem to remember it's Quentin Bisch, the young Givaudan trainee who was overcome with emotion in episode 2 when telling the story of how he was accepted onto the world's most famous perfumery course.

A few months ago, I contacted Bisch - whose title is now Fine Fragrance Junior Perfumer - to ask if he'd be interested in answering some questions for Persolaise.com. Although he immediately responded with a Yes, it took a little while for the stars to align and for me to able to publish his insights. Never mind. I believe there's an old adage about lateness and neverness, and I'm sure it applies here.

In our email correspondence, one of the first things I asked him was whether anyone in his family had ever been part of the world of scent creation.

Quentin Bisch: I was born in Strasbourg, north-east of France. At the age of 5 we moved with my family to London since my father had a job there and after two years we went back to France. I really loved that English part of my childhood; lots of memories. My family was not involved in the perfumery industry but my parents made me discover perfumes by their own daily use of perfumes. My mother told me that the day I was born she had her bottle of Shalimar with her, smelling it again and again as an escape from pain and waiting. Lucky me, I was born in a mist of Shalimar!

P: As a child, were there any perfumes which had made a particularly strong impresion on you?

QB: My parent’s perfumes for sure. I remember the smell of my dad coming home from work, smelling of sweat and Derby or Vetiver De Guerlain. My London period was imprinted by Coco, Loulou and Poison, thanks to my mum.

P: Was there a specific incident which led to this realisation that you wanted to become a perfumer?

QB: There is one in particular, indeed. I was 11 years old, it was my very first day of secondary school. My French teacher entered the classroom: the place was soon filled with her perfume. It was incredible, I was captivated. At the end of the class I came to her and asked for the name of her perfume. She reacted badly! I should not ask that kind of question, she was my teacher, I owed her respect etc. I apologised and left, feeling bad! But the following lessons went the same; her perfume became an obsession. I remember she smoked too and the papers she gave us were infused with this magical mix of the perfume and the scent of cigarettes... I finally entered a perfumery shop and after a while found it: it was Opium.

Our relationship evolved within time and there is a lot to say about her. One thing is that she started changing perfumes often and I could guess. I could appreciate the change in her aura, how 'new' she appeared each time she had changed her perfume. It is with her that I realized the power of perfumes, how strong the impression can be, how much charisma it can bring. Therefore I told myself that if someone had created the perfume, why not me?

I discovered that ISIPCA was the classical path to become a perfumer, but only for people who had completed a course in chemistry. As an art-oriented character, I struggled with numbers and logic for three years, all in vain! I finally decided to stop science, abandoning my first aim of getting to ISIPCA. I turned to arts and theatre studies, my other passion. I gathered a team of talented artists and directed several musical shows and performances. Five years in heaven!

I came across some people from the perfumery industry and they all told me the same: to become a perfumer is really complicated, since there are very few places available, and a huge demand for them. The best way was to try to get into the private school of a perfumery company where you are trained and then kept internally to work for the company. During my artistic studies, I heard of the Givaudan school, the oldest and most famous of them all. I wrote a letter to Jean Guichard, director of the school. My adventure began…

P: What were Givaudan’s entry requirements? Did they 'test' your nose?

QB: Jean Guichard doesn't look for a specific background. He is interested in the character, vision and expression of each individual. He’s in charge of a huge legacy: a school that has trained the most famous perfumers. I think he listens to his instincts. He wants to find something in the people he meets... maybe passion. He was not precisely looking for chemistry; he was interested in my artistic background. I had created some perfumes at home, mixing essential oils, counting drops in order to create some accords. I proposed that we could smell them together. The quality of the fragrances I showed him was not key. He was more interested in the process. Why did you create that? How? What was the inspiration? What do you think of the result and how would you go further now? You can’t hide. And he knows if he wants to spend some more time with you or not.

The school takes on new students depending on the needs of the company. It wasn't accepting any new students the year of my first meeting with Jean. I had to apply once again later, being sure to have been closer to raw materials during the meantime. That was Jean’s main advice: to become a perfumer's assistant in order to smell and start to seriously build my olfactory memory.

I met Michel Almairac who gave me the opportunity to join Robertet’s lab in Grasse. I became a perfumer's assistant for one year and learnt a lot! Jean was aware of that and finally called me back for a second interview. After that interview I went with about ten others with Givaudan, meeting perfumers and managers. I waited for some months and one nice day I had a call from Paris. It was on a Thursday around 4 pm. I remember: “Hello, it's Jean Guichard. If you are still interested, we would like to offer you a place at our perfumery school”. Uhh, let me think.... yes!!

P: How is the Givaudan course structured? In broad terms, what are the main topics/subjects covered in each year?

QB: The program lasts three years. The course follows the methods of one of its founders, Jean Carles, who created the school in 1946. At that time the idea was to set a method for learning raw materials. He proposed a classification of natural and synthetic materials into charts so they were distributed in olfactory families (green, woody, spicy, etc.).

The following metaphor Jean uses gives a very good way to understand the program and its goal: it is like learning a new language. When you go to school, you begin with learning your alphabet, then you compose words and then sentences. When you know how to write and speak you study the classics and you start appreciating different styles (Racine, Hugo, Shakespeare, etc). Same here. We start to learn the raw materials which all have a specific smell, a specific volatility. After this first step we mix these materials together in order to create new smells which are more complex, and those we name “accords”. We study how to create floral, fruity, woody accords, checking the effect of each material in use. These accords added together with a certain harmony will create fragrances. Finally we study our classics, trying to understand great perfumes: No 5, L’Heure BleueOne Million etc. The third year is also dedicated to internships within the company where we thoroughly discover Givaudan and its resources (research, analysis, technical perfumery, etc).

P: How are the 'lessons' delivered? Do you sit in a classroom with the other students or do you tend to receive individual attention?

QB: It is less like a lesson given by a teacher, and more like a solitary journey. There are very few students in the school (2-3 per year, when Givaudan decides to take some on) and we are all gathered in the same place. Proximity allows us to share our impressions during the learning, which can be really helpful. Sharing a new perception when you’re stuck on two raw materials that you find particularly close brings another appreciation, another approach to the smell, a new vision you just did not see, which then helps the memorization.

But it is true that at the end, you remain alone with your own work and you own way to do it. Each student has his own speed and rhythm. A single program that we all approach in a unique way.

Apart from the learning of the materials through the charts, the accords and then the classics (80% of the program), we receive intellectual, cultural and artistic stimulation that feeds our creativity: lectures, meetings, exhibitions, enriching discussions with perfumers, evaluators, managers etc.

P: What were some of the main challenges you faced during the early stages of the course?

The first six months are the most important part of the program. The focus is on learning the 500 raw materials. And Jean is pretty clear about that from the beginning: if at the end of this initial period you do not succeed, you must leave the school. After having worked alone, we pass blind tests with Jean where he gives us samples of raw materials. He expects us to name the materials and also to describe them with our own words and list some of the main components with their amount in the composition of the material.

I found it really stressful. I think I had never been that stressed before!

[My thanks to Quentin Bisch for his time and conscientiousness.]

---
We're fast approaching the festive season and I'm very pleased to report that Andy Tauer has asked me to take part in his annual advent calendar of give-aways. This time, the prize is a full bottle of any fragrance from either the Tauer Perfumes range or the Tableau De Parfums brand.

To enter the draw, please read the terms and conditions below and then leave a comment on the subject of perfumes which have changed your life. In Quentin Bisch's case it was his teacher's Opium, or perhaps even the Shalimar which was present at his birth. So what's your life-altering fragrance?

I suspect I won't be able to respond to every single comment, so if you post something that's at least vaguely related to the topic, then you can consider yourself to be in the draw. The winner will be announced here tomorrow.

Good luck! And many thanks to Andy for including me in his Christmas party once again.

Persolaise

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Draw Terms & Conditions

i) the draw will be closed at 6 am (UK time) on Wednesday 5th December; ii) the winner will be selected at random; iii) the winner will be announced on Persolaise.com on Wednesday 5th December; iv) if the winner has not made contact with me by Friday 7th December, an alternative winner may be selected; v) the winner's postal address will be forwarded to Andy Tauer, who will then post the prize to the winner; vi) the winner's address will not be shared with any other parties; vii) readers from anywhere in the world are eligible to enter; viii) relatives of anyone associated with Persolaise.com are not permitted to enter.




232 comments:

  1. Without question, Chanel Coco. I smelled it in the dept store, fell in love w/it and bought a bottle as soon as I had the money. That evening, I met the man who became my husband. Twenty eight years later, it's still his gold standard for great perfume. Thanks to all for the draw opportunity.

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  2. It is not one perfume that changed my life, rather the recognition at a young age that it was fragrance that was responsible for my main memory of people. I could remember names and faces like phone numbers, but remembering WHO the person was and how they interacted with me as a child would become most vivid with the association of a fragrance to the name. I thought everyone just had their own personal smell. Then I discovered the perfume bottles on my female relatives' vanities. So the aloof elementary teacher just happened to splash with Jean Nate'. When I would meet someone else who used Jean Nate', I would expect aloofness. To this day when I walk by someone and am assaulted by Aromatics Elixir, I cringe inside waiting to be screamed at by an unfortunate former suupervisor. Alas, the kindest neighbor wears it as well, and I'm really having to try hard to relax around her!

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  3. For me, it's Fracas' the first "real perfume" I ever wore. Before encountering her, I was used to wan, pretty colognes. Fracas showed me the power of a woman's perfume and the art of the perfumer.

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  4. The perfume that changed my life was one that I gave to someone else. As a child I was charged with buying a Christmas gift for my nemesis, an elderly aunt whose cold, forbidding attitude frightened me. I thought she would hate it (and me), but her eyes lit up when she unwrapped that fancy foil-labeled bottle of 4711 Echt Kolnischwasser. "This is GOOD," she proclaimed with a joy I had never seen on her face before. I knew then the power of fragrance to turn things around and make them magically better.

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  5. I believe the perfume that change my life is Nassomatto black afgano. It was the fragrance that Meade my partner came over to talk to me for the very first time and our love began...:)

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  6. Oh gosh... which perfume changed my life?

    I would say either Estee Lauder Sensuous, which made me seriously interested in perfume, circa 2009, or the original Oscar, which put me in the habit of wearing perfume, circa 1997. :)

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  7. In all honesty: Lonestar Memories by Tauer. I had never smelled anything like it. To think something like that could be housed in a perfume bottle was mind blowing. It was nostalgic (even though I've never been to Texas) yet very modern. I was struck by it, to say the least.

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  8. There are so many perfumes associated with early memories.. but I'd have to say a tiny bottle of Chanel No. 5 that my mom had kept in her dresser. I use to sniff it as a little girl =)

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  9. Mandy Aftel's Amber. I had collected a handful of colognes in my early 20's, but never really developed a deep appreciation for what scent can do for you. I had also collected quite a few little vials of essential oils for aromatherapy, but those scents were a far leap from a perfume. I wound up reading Mandy's Essence and Alchemy, and a whole new world opened up to me, with so many different materials that I had never met in aromatherapy or the colognes I had worn to that point. I decided to see what the hype was about, so ordered some samples from Aftelier, and Amber got me hooked, and introduced me to the endless possibilities and impacts made by quality natural raw materials. My tastes have come a long way from those early days, and scent is now a part of my daily life.

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  10. I suppose my fondest memory associated with perfume as well as the perfume experience which first made me realize the effect of scents as mood altering and recall devices was when I smelled my grandmother's rose scented perfume. Rose is my favorite note to this day as it reminds me of her.

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  11. I don't think it necessarily changed my life, but the old school Samsara sure made it more interesting!

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  12. Mine was Tauer's L'Air du Desert Marocain. This perfume took me to places no other perfume ever had and was the first perfume I could really think of as a work of art, an almost 3D sculpture.and even now when I wear it it gives me an almost out of body experience. I love all his perfumes but none of them has quite the same effect.

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  13. Estee Lauder Knowing changed my life. My first love wore it regularly, and in college I was a complete mess for months after she left me. Over a year later a friend approached me between classes and when she was about six feet away, I suddenly burst into tears. We both sort of panicked, since neither of us had no idea what had just happened. A couple of seconds later, I realized that she was wearing Knowing, and I hadn't smelled it since the breakup. That's when I understood the importance of scent on a somatic level, and I've been fascinated by the olfactory ever since.

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  14. En Passant by Frederic Malle. It goes beyond linking it or not. When I smelled it, I just had an uncontrolled smile, I started laughing and the shop assistant was really surprised of my reaction. I has a spray on my arm and whenever I smelled it during the day, I just started smiling again. It probably reminds me of something unconsciously...

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  15. Yes, it is Shalimar! Not so long ago the man I loved with all my heart decided to leave me. I felt broken, empty, I saw no light in my life. I had to gather the pieces of my soul together to continue living, and I had to live for I am a mother except for being a loving woman. Shalimar helped me a lot. I felt safer, like in a cocoon, it's like it was protecting me against all the world. I felt a little bit stronger. It hurted to live anyway, but i felt something like- if I have a perfume that excites me- than I can continue to live and become myself again sooner or later. Strangely enough, I didn't like Shalimar at first sniff. I had to come through some suffering to fell in love with it!

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  16. "It's not a journey. Every journey ends, but we go on. The world turns and we turn with it. Plans disappear, dreams take over, but wherever I go, there you are: my luck; my fate; my fortune. J.P. Gauliter La Male, inevitable."

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  17. It was Robert Piquet Bandit in my grown-up age. It reflected completely me as a person - it was (and sometimes it is) my second "me". While in my early years as a teenager I fell in love with Kenzo Jungle - it was again a person shaping perfume:)

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  18. Jean-Paul Gaultier Classique it was.That gave me unforgettable moments in my life with fantastic,rich,adventurous and beautiful aura of parfum.

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  19. Miss Dior was my first "real" perfume. It was a gift from my mother when I was a teenager - she probably thought the name indicated a fragrance for young girls. It was my signature for years and obviously shaped my taste: if a perfume is girly or too sweet or "only" lovely it's not for me.

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  20. No doubt, Beyond Paradise for me. A moment I will never forget. Private story ;-)

    Kazzie

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  21. With me it is Reve D'Or. A total classique. So difficult to find these days.

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  22. Lovely interview!! I always am intrigued to know how a perfumer begun his/her journey! I will be looking out on his creations! The perfume that changed my life was Loulou by Cacharel my first "adult" perfume that I used to wear every day for a while!! Thank you for the draw!

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  23. I remember as a child my mother wearing no.5 and being entranced thus started the addiction

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  24. Shalimar was the first perfume that spoke to me - at 17. I wore it for many many years.

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  25. For me, it is the scent of my mother''s Diorissimo and Coco which triggers my fascination toward scents.

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  26. For me is was Amarige--I know it is a perfume that gets bashed these days, but it reminds me of some very special times and wearing it marked the beginning of my love for perfume. JenM

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  27. Habit Rouge! My father used to wear Habit Rouge and when I was small I used to sneak into his bedroom just to smell the cap of the bottle or to spray some on me. I loved this scent and it made me want to explore other scents, thus awakening the love of perfume in me and opening in front of me a whole world of wonders!!!

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  28. I was surrounded by scent from an early age as my father had a pharmacy and cosmetics store. However, it was when I was at college that I really noticed a completely different perfume. I remember walking past a fellow student and being transfixed by the sillage from her perfume. This happened again with a couple of other students. So I eventually had to stop one of them and ask what they were wearing. It was a new perfume called Chanel 19 (I'm showing my age!). It was the start of a love affair.

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  29. Thanks for the nice interview showing some hidden part of being perfumnery student.
    There were several episodes in my life influenced by perfume. I remember how I've learned the perfume's ability to re-call the vivid memories of the past. I found a perfume (I don't know the name anymore and it's an unknown brand) in a pink box and I loved the smell, so I kept smelling it while sitting in a big chair and reading a nice adventure. It felt very cosy, secure and adventurous at once. Lovely memories. The surprise came later when I found I could recall those memories by just smelling the perfume again... :)

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  30. Boucheron Trouble, as i won a contest wearing it :)

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  31. Not exactly life-changing but certainly life-enhancing: Diorissimo. I received it as a present when I was 17 and I wore it all through my early 20s. I used to spray the letters to my then boyfriend with Diorissimo and he still recognizes the scent (he is now my husband).

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  32. Dior's Dune - the first perfume I wore which received a compliment from a boy I fancied like mad!

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  33. Prada and Hypnose - presents at the right time.

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  34. My mother wore Private collection, imbuing clothes and pillows with her presence. I still sometimes wrap myself in her soft woolen shawls to make me feel warm and safe.

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  35. It has to be for me, Feminite du Bois,
    I was a teenager at the time and was seduced by the beautiful bottle( was a Shishedo fragrance then) and the smell was a revelation to me! NOT FLOWERS, but smoke and wood and all the things in life I loved. This is how I wanted to smell, and it was suddenly as if someone else understood.

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  36. Bal a Versaille - since the age of 14.

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  37. Spraying Shalimar for the first time changed my life because it showed me how great perfume could be. I remember that experience in slow motion it was such a revalation.

    Thanks to you and Andy for the draw!

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  38. The pure oil of precious sandalwood how I wish I could've seen the future, I used to practically bathe in the stuff as a late teen/20 something now it's ever so expensive and what you find readily isn't the same. Still go mad over a good sandalwood perfume but this was just my entry point to the delicious world of aroma.

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  39. Ooooh... There are so many, but actually the one that caught me is an unlikely candidate: Lagerfeld Jako (and I'm a girl). When I was a teenager, my mom won a bottle and gave it to me. Wearing it to school taught me something about what sophistication feels like to me. I started really falling down the scented rabbit hole then, after a early teenage life of sweet nothings like Charlie White and Charlie Sunshine. And I still really like Jako! Have a few mls left.

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  40. For me it was Chanel 5 and partly also Shalimar. Before I hadn´t been aware of such vintage eternal masterpieces.

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    Replies
    1. Alica - alica at cleis dot net

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  41. My big life-changer was Jacomo de Jacomo, which I bought in Paris in 1981, my first time away from my family: I couldn't really afford it but knew I had to have it so I bought it anyway, and it started me on a gratifying lifelong obsession with scents.

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  42. As a 16 year old, I worked in a coffee shop. One of the customers would come regularly for coffee before beginning her job as a dance instructor at a nearby studio. She seemed so vibrant and sophisticated, and was a role model for my own developing style. She wore 'Wind Song' by Prince Matchabelli, and I bought a bottle, making it my blossoming adult signature scent. As time passed, my taste expanded, and one day I walked past a perfume counter at the JL Hudson Co. in Detroit, and got a whiff of Zen by Shiseido. I was immediately smitten, and wore that for a number of years. These days, I have too many fragrance loves to list! Thank You for entering me in your Christmas Drawing.

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  43. My first life changing olfactory experience would be exploring my mother's perfume collection when I was a sneaky little child..Her love for L'Heure Bleue and Jean Patou's Joy then had been my first stumble into the rabbit hole..My second push came when I discovered Epices Noires at Frederic Malle's store in Paris when I arrived in France(coup de foudre immediat) and funnily I gifted my mother a bottle and she actually loved it..

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  44. The perfume which changed my life was Apres l'Ondee. I had travelled to Hong Kong on a holiday and had wandered into a departmental store. There, I randomly picked up Apres l'Ondee and gave it a spritz on that cold winter day. The sadness and beauty of the fragrance spoke to me and filled me with such emotion!

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  45. Chanel no 5 always brings back fond memories of my grandmother, she wore this perfume for many years, right up until she passed away last year at 89 year of age. She was a much loved woman and is sadly missed by us all
    @lillyfer85

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  46. I bought my first "real" perfumes in Paris at age 18: Je Reviens and Givenchy III. I felt so grown up!

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  47. Perfume has not drastically changed my life, but it has enriched it significantly!
    The perfume that changed my way to test and enjoy them has been Shalimar.
    The perfumes that led me to the discovery of niche and the perfume blogs have been Songes and ananas fizz....
    Thank you and andy for the draw...

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  48. When I was a very young teenager, my older sister gave me Jolie Madame for Christmas! It was my first "grownup" scent and it was a revelation--not all perfumes had to be sweet, simple flowers. I wanted to be like my sister: sophisticated, living in New York City. Jolie Madame was my first clue that anything was possible.

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  49. As an art student in the 70's I wore musk, patchouli and other sticky brown fragrances, it was only in 1980 after I transferred to an Art History course and was studying in Rome that things changed. I smelt Empriente by Courreges and realised the time had come to move on from faux hippydom into being a woman who could at least aim for style, even if I didn't make it. A moment where I grew up and moved on

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  50. As a teenager the effect Fahrenheit had on the opposite sex changed my view on scent's forever.

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  51. Mom let me play with the samples from the Avon catalog when I was little. That started it. Then I remember my aunt wearing Shalimar. I wanted some of that in the worst way. None of my Avon samples ever smelled like that one.

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  52. The first perfume that I chose at the age of 15 was Trésor. It didn't really change my life, but now among several dozen other perfumes in my collection it still is MY perfume.

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  53. The perfume that changed my life was Rive Gauche by YSL. It was and is my mother's signature perfume. The very smell takes me back to sitting in the floor of my parent's room watching my mother get ready every morning, right down to her red lipstick. She believed in glamour, and for her, Michel Hy's sparkling ode to the rose and aldehydes was the essence if it. It showed me that scent can be both an expression of and an extension of your personality. And it taught me that smelling and looking beautiful was a way of showing respect to yourself and the world around you.

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  54. I don't know that I could name the perfume that changed my life..but the one that set me off on my path of wanting to smell good...is Love's Baby Soft..when I was just a little girl. I treasured and adored it. I have been pursuing scent ever since. I love for my perfume to either dictate or reflect my mood.

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  55. For me, it was Shocking (vintage version!) by Elsa Schiaparelli. I am interested in bottle design and bought it as a collectors item, but fell for the perfume once I smelled it - rich, seductive and enchanting. This really triggered my interest in perfume as well.

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  56. There were a few significant perfumes or perfume moments for me. As a child, I was fascinated by my grandmother's vintage Coty Muguet des Bois and her bottle of Ombré Rose. I have always been drawn to perfume, but as an adult I tired of a lot of the mainstream offerings that had little life to them. One happy day a few years ago searching online brought me to Tauer perfumes. LADM and Une Rose Chypre were my first two purchases, and my life was changed! Perfume became my obsession from then on. Thank you for the draw!

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  57. For me it would be the original Chloe, which was my very first perfume, and set the tone for the perfumes I would love in the future - big and unapologetically 'perfumey.'

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  58. For me it was the original Anna Sui perfume. It's elegant bottle lured me in and the grown up scent was not a disappointment - I still have that first bottle even thought it's been empty for many years as it represents my first true perfume love

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  59. It's maybe a banality to say while entering this draw but actually the perfume that made me understand what perfumery really is, is LDDM by Andy ;)

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  60. A penpal of mine gave me a box with perfume samples when I was 16. Her mother worked at a perfume store in France and I was still living in my native eastern European country. That box had, among other things, Gucci's Envy and Cartier's So Pretty. I never realized perfumed could be so ...pretty and magical until then. That box started my love affair with perfume and I am hoarding now the discontinued beauties I just mentioned.

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  61. Fantastic interview on TRE with Selina...only one book know left on Amazon.
    Paul Cardiff

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  62. I have many fragrant memories, but one of the best was discovering the L'Occitaine shop on my first trip to Paris--this was before the internet and before any shops in the USA. I found a simple jasmine scent that completely captivated me. I wear many wonderful jasmine perfumes now, but that pure, clear jasmine has never been equaled .

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  63. I can't think of any one perfume that changed my life, but journey through life has been marked my many memorable scents - my mom's "everyday" Jean Nate, the glamour of dressing up and Chanel No. 5 or Joy... my own Love's Baby Soft, then Emeraude, then Dune was probably my first "grown up" perfume. So, scent has changed my life, not one in particular, but just scent!

    Nothing else will let me comment, so I am anonymous.
    Laura, ltrittipoe(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  64. My mother wore Fracas on special occasions and I recall watching her get dressed up and as a final flourish, dabbing her pulse points with the perfume.

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  65. I can relate to many perfumes that have been life changing, but the one that springs to mind is Chanel no 5 as I associate it with so many lovely childhood memories. It was my mother's signature scent, and there would always be a bottle on her dressing table.

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  66. Chanel 5 ... I used to change perfumes every now and then, but since I have been wearing Chanel 5, I have never wanted to change again!

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  67. Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab perfume oils taught me that not all perfumes have to smell the same and come from a department store!

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  68. Until I was in my late thirties, I chose fragrances as a sort of accesory, a finishing touch to my clothes, like a scarf or a bracelet. There was really no emotion and if I forgot to put it on before I went to work I hardly noticed. Then one day I smelled a sample of Rose de Rosine and it touched a core of me and I had to have it and to wear it. If I forgot to put it on in the morning, I'd fret inwardly all day, feeling unfinished until I could rush home and spray some on. Rose de Rosine was only the first of dozens of perfumes that I feel strongly about and my life is much richer for them.

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  69. Dzing! The first fine perfume I fell in love with, couldn't stop smelling it - until it faded away.

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  70. The collection of Gobin-Daude perfumes are the ones that started me on my quest. I was finally thinking about changing perfumes after years of wearing Le Feu d'Issey (wish I hadn't used up my last bottle now!) in the Winter and Lime, Basil and Mandarin in the Summer and I went into Browns on South Molton Street (which I never normally do) and they had testers of the full range. I sprayed a bit of each of them on various places and wandered out of the shop and could not stop sniffing myself for the rest of the day. I went back to the shop to buy Jardins Ottomans and Nuit au Desert and they had sold out. It was in trying to track them down that I found Now Smell This and Makeup Alley and started on my odyssey - though I still don't have Nuit au Desert...

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  71. Philosykos - who knew that anything in a bottle could smell so beautiful?

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  72. I used to hate chanel #5... in all it's forms. I was one in an antique store and came across a mini bottle and decided to purchas it for $5. When the lady was ringing me up, she commented on how it was her favorite while I pondered (silently) about what a liar she was because no one could like it! On a brave day, I decided to actually try my purchase, and it was as if all the lights in the house turned on. I finally 'got' chanel #5 and am now a big fan. From that day forward, I have explored other perfumes. My next hurdle is indolic jasmine and tuberose.

    Posted by Charlotte H

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  73. When I was sixteen I visited the island Caprí. There i had my first encounter with niche perfumery. At the little factory store in the Via Camerelle 10 I sniffed the wonderful Mediterraneo
    from Carthusia. I was immediately catched. Even today I still use this fragrance, to remember my vacation on Caprí.

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  74. Lancôme Miracle changed the way I saw perfumes. Thanks to that perfume, which has been with me for twelve years, I started to search info in the internet about notes, noses, etc, and finally I discovered niche perfumes.

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  75. There are several perfumes that left their mark, but mostly recently. I didn't really pay attention to perfume until I was older. But my wife's reaction when I first wore Timbuktu, and later Ambre Sultan, was really something hard to forget. It feels very good to be sniffable!

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  76. Jovan Musk for Men. My dad always wore (too much of) it when he dressed up to go out. But wee little me couldn't get enough of it!

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  77. My grandmother's Diorissimo is my magic perfume, the one that really 'changed my life', as you put it.

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  78. I think (at the time) Joop REALLY opened my eyes. I worked in a department store around 1989. I was 18. All of the colognes were SO 'manly'...everything was wood or just lemon....Anteus was so 'dressy' but still a favourite. I always wanted something that was like flowers and spice for men....until Joop I always had to look for a great fragrance from the women's counter that was 'spicy' enough for a man. It was the 80's....we were all so androgynous. Joop was the answer to my dreams!!! I still keep a bottle, I don't wear it as much but I will always consider it a real turning point in men's fragrance. It really is a classic.

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  79. Andy's Lonestar Memories for me... and a whole new world since then.

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  80. Cristalle in college symbolized independence...AnnieA

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  81. A perfume that has changed my life is the classic Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme, the fat glass bottle with the amber-colored juice and the blue velvet box. I'd first smelt it on a man I was very drawn too... long ago... and then later it turned out to be my future husband's favourite perfume as well. So it's been in my life for quite a while, and has drawn me to experiment with male fragrances more - I now own quite a few of them in my collection:)

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  82. What a fascinating interview! Thank you. Opium left a huge impression on me as a teen. My favorite aunt wore it and surprised with a bottle of my own at 17.

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  83. After many months from my introduction in the world of perfumes, Platinum Egoiste gave me a new dimension of the fougéres. Some people find it too metalic, but personally I feel it classy and modern. This fragrance changed my life in the sense of the taste for the fragrances.

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  84. I cannot say there was a perfume that has changed my life but there definately were perfumes that changed my mind and attitude. One of them was Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens which was very different from everything I had tested before and made me curios about other orris perfumes. I should say that SL's Iris is still in the top-3 best orrises in my private list. Another perfume that has changed my perfume interests was vintage pure perfume Calandre by Paco Rabanne. It was a great discovery for me. This made me interested in vintage perfumery more precisely and since then I have discovered many other masterpieces:) But still Calandre is one of my ever-must-haves. I own different concentrations of this wonderful perfume and all of them are just beautiful.

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  85. A perfume I will not forget is Jessica McClintock (the original). My mother wore this fragrance at every occasion and holiday. When I smelled it, I knew the day was a bit more special than any other day.

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  86. The first fragrance I bought when I started working & earning some spending money of my own was Dior's Eau Sauvage. I wore it many many years before the concept of "unisex" fragrances!
    45 years later it's still one of my summer staples & just 1 spritz can take me back to the late 60's

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  87. the perfume that changed my life was a sample of Strange Invisible Perfumes prima ballerina--it was the first pure perfume I sniffed! So different...

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  88. I was given perfumes - Nina Ricci's L'Air du Temps and later Eau de Givenchy by my father when I was sixteen and eighteen perhaps. He was in a crisis at the time and doubt he could have afforded these gifts. At the time I didn't even understand the beauty of the perfumes although I liked them well enough and certainly was to young to understand the beauty of the gesture. But life is long and slowly I am learning. Life changing moments are often long, so long they last a life time. yes?

    Thank you for the draw.

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  89. My Great Aunt Edith always wore 4711. She used to put a little on fer finger tips and then run her finger through her hair.
    When I was very young I asked why she did it and she always said when you are old enough to wear fragrance I'll tell you.
    When I was 16 she told me why.
    Only a lady should use a little perfume. If you over do it people will think badly of you.
    I've never forgotten..just a little to make me smell nice.

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  90. With me it was no doubt Aromatics Elixir. And it's still bloody good after all this time.

    Mira.

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  91. The mini`s - some full, some empty - that my grandmother`s friend sent me when I was a kid - life-long love was born! :-)

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    Replies
    1. Givenchy III. I got a bottle of Givenchy III as present when I was 17. Had it for a while, then got tired and threw it away. - Something I would not do nowadays...

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  92. I love all perfumes. Please enter me in this fantastic drawing.

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  93. Actually, I have never had a perfume to change my life. I hope one day this will happen.

    The perfume which today changed my mood is Cuir De Lancome.

    Beata

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  94. Could this finnally be my chance to try Rose Vermeille. Is it like Chamade? THat's the frag which totally uppended my life.

    Leez

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  95. I would really appreciate for a perfume to change my life. Maybe it will be a Tauer...???

    Ujalat

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  96. Nobody has mentioned it yet, so let it be my turn. Gold Woman from Amouage. I felt I was transformed when I first wore it.

    Krys S.

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  97. The perfume that changed my life is "Femme",some 45 years ago- worn by my French teacher a real "lady" difficult to meet those days in a communist country
    ever since, I dreamt of knowing and owning special frgrances
    thanks for hosting this draw

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  98. For me it was Comme des Garcons 71 that opened my eyes. Aramis and Chanel no. 5 carried fond connotations as they were the scents my parents wore during my childhood. But 71 was the first fragrance I purchased for myself that really opened my eyes to the conceptuality in perfumery. The fun, modern and odd fragrance got me hooked. My tastes and preferences have grown since that time, but that was the fragrance that opened the door to this wonderful habit.

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  99. Ironically, the perfume that changed my life is Untitled by Maison Martin Margiela - it showed that I could write about perfume, and, what's more that I enjoyed writing about it. My life would be the poorer without it.

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  100. I think I can say that Jeux de Peau has overtaken my life and altered how I see myself -- my students identify it as "my smell," and it is the dominant lingering scent in my office even when I have not worn it for some time.

    Ramon Monegal's Umbra flattened me earlier this year -- bought after one sniff and had it shipped to Texas, where I would not see it for two months after my impulse purchase. Wearing it for the first time was like putting on a K.Hepburn-like armor with steel in my spine.

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  101. I'm in!

    A perfume to change my life ?! Samsara, Guerlain. It was my first step from simple consumer stage to a real perfumista and it happened sometime around 1998, when I decided it was high time I had a perfume chosen by myself, a real signature, instead of wearing whatever family or friends gifted. Don't get me wrong, it's nice to be gifted great perfume, and it happens when people around you have great taste or careful consideration on what to gift you, but it's so much better to go perfume hunting for your olfactory alter-ego. I tried and tried until suddenly it clicked: there she was, Samsara, me in a bottle, an obscene amount of sandalwood and jasmine and an instant coup de foudre. Alas, I betrayed her eventually, but for the time it lasted it was pure love. I treasure fond memories of our love story and I owe Samsara soemthing very, very intimate: the loss of olfactory innocence. I knew nothing of me and perfumes before Samsara, a whole new world unfolded afterwards!

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  102. Calvin Klein's Euphoria for Men. Not because of its quality or brilliance, but it led me to search some internet sites about perfumes, trying to find reviews about it. This led to discovery of some now very well known perfume blogs and sites, which in turn made me even more curious and hungry for perfume knowledge. The rest was history, and thanks to Calvin Klein!

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  103. For me, it was Eau Sauvage. The first "grown up" scent which I wore to make myself feel good, rather than worn to "attract"

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  104. Monsieur de Givenchy - a first sophisticated smell after teenage Brut and Hia Karate (it was the 70s after all!)

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  105. Perfumes which have changed your life:

    Womanity: This perfume was so original and special. It changed the way I perceive perfumes.

    Chanel No.5: Made me undertand why it's such an iconic fragrance and I can't even compare it to our modern perfume releases.

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  106. When I was really small, mom had some of those perfume samples in the little plastic tubes with colored tips (for identification purposes). There was one called Yram by Mary Chess, and she put a bit of that one my wrist so that I could enjoy it, too. I thought it was wonderful! I still remember all of the details of that experience to this day.

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  107. I think I'd have to say White Linen, the first perfume I really loved and the first I received as a gift, when I was 13 or so, beginning a (so far!) lifelong tradition of always having perfume in my life, though I didn't become a full-on obsessive collector till much later :)

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  108. The perfume that changed my life was Oud Mona di Orio. All perfumes by Mona di Orio...

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  109. What a fascinating interview with Mr. Bisch, thank you! I was always obsessed with smells and noticed and loved perfumes on my mother, especially, and my aunts, but I never wore it myself. I remember my mom wearing big, dramatic scents like Boucheron and Must de Cartier in pure parfum. I have fond memories of Youth Dew and Coco from growing up, too. But while I loved the sillage, I never felt I could live up to the size of those fragrances, particuarly as a young person. The first room-filling, abstract Perfume-with-a-capital-P that somehow felt familiar - and yet very strange, too! - was Gucci Rush, which I started wearing when I was in my mid-twenties. It's probably my life-changer.

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  110. 1994 Magie Noire vintage formula given to me by my best friend, to this day i'm still haunted by this scent.

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  111. I entered the world of fragrance when my Mother (who never wore fragrance) bought me a bottle of Royal Secret when I was 13 years old. Hardly a day has gone by since, that I haven't worn a scent.

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  112. My mother always wore (and wears) Mitsouko, a scent that I'll always associate with her and which has made me a lifelong fan of Guerlains and chypres. (Thanks for hosting this day's draw and thanks, as always, to Andy for his amazing Advent generosity!)

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  113. The first "real" perfume I bought at full price was a big bottle of KL back in the 80's. I got a sample of it when I was in Paris, and so associated it with Parisian chic. Then when I got my first well-paying job back in the States,I bought a full bottle with my first paycheck. Boy did I feel sophisticated! also guilty about spending money on a frippery.

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  114. As a working class kid the only perfume in our house was 4711. It was used by Mum for headaches.When I was 17 i discovered Guerlain and spent every penny I had on Vol de Nuit then Mitsouko .

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  115. Santal Blanc was the door in the perfume world. After it I became abnormal person for my friends and family :)

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  116. Hello and thank you for a very interesting interview!
    Perfume that changed my life was Nocturnes de Caron. It was my guide to the world of classic perfumes, the world of Caron house and the world of vintage perfumes. After becoming acquainted with Nocturnes I became a real perfume lover, or, more precisely, perfume fanatic :)

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  117. My first perfume, which I was absolutely in love with and never knew before it feels so good to wear perfume. It loves me this perfume. And this is Cacharel Lou Lou. All the time with me since then.

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  118. Calvin Klein Obsession for Men. It was the first fragrance that I adored and was able to recognise in a crowd. Coincidently 3 men I've been out with have worn it and I still love it to this day.

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  119. I wouldn't say there was a fragrance that changed my life.
    But there are few fragrances that had a big impact. Diorling was one of them. For many reasons it touches me deeply.
    The second one is an obscure floral chypre I am not able to find anywhere. I think it was called Une Fleur and had a gorgeous white porcelain painted bottle. It was my first fragrance.

    Thank you.

    Ccc

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  120. SL's five o'clock au gingembre! My first niche perfume ever (and only one year ago)! It was an amazing discovery, the start of a journey without return.
    Thank you for the draw!

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  121. Estee Lauder's Azuree was life-changing in that it greatly expanded my perfume horizons. I was already falling down the rabbit hole of perfumistahood when I first tried it - I smelled the suede note, and then realized I loved leather in fragrance. Who would have thought? It made me realize that you need to step outside your comfort zone; you may find a new love (that can apply to life as well as fragrance!).

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  122. It was my first perfume, Magie Noire, that sparked my interest in perfume. I've always been fascinated with smells and I love learning how different perfumes affect my mood and outlook for the day.

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  123. lonestar memories - taking me in a new direction (since being given medicinal platinum) - now off the trail and into an old garden shed from my youth !

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  124. Smelly changes in my life started with Azzaro as the first fragrance I bought for myself as a teenager in the middle of 80's. I still use it from time to time. Then Fahrenheit has come and stay till today but it is hard to accept its reformulation Today I explore many niche fragrances with extra love for Musc Ravageur and L'Air Du Desert Marocain, and Jubilation XXV.

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  125. When I was a small boy, my mother let me have a crystal miniature of Shalimar that she received as a gift, I carried it with me for months...

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  126. Perfume that changed my life is Prada Amber Pour Homme. It was the one that began my perfume adventure

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  127. The fragrance that was the most evocative to me was 4711, it seemed to appear in my mothers things when we traveled and so, even to this day reminds me of airplanes and international travel, 8)>

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  128. My mom's scent that evoked a feeling of comfort and content in me. She claims it is Knowing of Estee Lauder. I don't wear it, won't even dare but I love smelling it. I still remember myself and my brother fighting over the shirt she wore to bed infused with her perfume and just holding and smelling it in bed even sharing it with my brother feels me with hope that soon my mom will be back from her travel out of town, and I know I am safe.

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  129. My Melody from Maeurer und Wirtz was one of my first fragrances and I love it so much. Meanwhile I prefer other parfums like Onda from Vero Kern or Victrix from Parfumum Roma. That are fragrances which feel like a second skin (Sorry for my bad English)

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  130. Perfume which have changed my life is Chanel Egoiste. I bought it when I was 19, and since then I hate aquatics and always choose the scent which is different an interesting.

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  131. As a teenager in the 1960s, I was given Ma Griffe by Carven by a friend of my mother's who had brought back to California from Europe. That was my first exposure to really great French perfume, and it spoiled me forever. Since then, no matter what my economic circumstances were, I've always had at least one bottle of really fine French perfume.

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  132. When I discovered the world of niche fragrances the first things I sampled were Divine L'homme Sage and a sample pack from Histoires de Parfums.I was very impressed they made my interest in niche scents bigger.

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  133. Paul Smith Summertime the perfume I wore the day I married my husband :-)

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  134. I received my first grown up perfume as a christmas gift from my older sister when I was 14 or 15 years old. It was a bottle of Emeraude in the lotion formula. I was honored that she thought me worthy of such a sophisticated and mysterious perfume. After I fell down the perfume rabbit-hole a few years ago I obtained a couple vintage bottles. It truly takes me back in time and smells wonderful.

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  135. For me, it was not exactly a perfume which changed my life, but the book Perfume by Suskind. It completely opened my mind.

    Thank you for this draw.

    Paolo.

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  136. This one's easy. Calvin Klein Eternity, again and again and again. The 90s were a magical time for me, and this smell helped make them magical.

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  137. Anything from the old Carons will do for me. The original Poivre, so pure, so strong, so femme. My memory is with me till now.

    Thanks to you for this chance.

    Idangela

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  138. Quentin sounds like a charming young man. I wonder when we will smell his first perfume.

    Life changing fragrance? No question: original Dioressence. The world was different after I tried it.

    Martine

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  139. As a child: the only perfume I really liked was the intoxicating Poison. Unfortunately it was the one perfume my mother hated with a passion. There was no way she would allow a bottle of 'that stuff' in the house. (I now own a bottle and sometimes wear it when I visit her, just to hear her say 'eeewwww, Poison!) ;-)

    As a teen: there was this smell, this perfect smell that was so ME. It haunted me for years. I smelled it every once in a while while walking through the city, but had no idea what it was, how to describe it or who to ask about it. And then one day I was waiting for someone in a department store and randomly picked up a bottle of perfume and smelled it. I nearly jumped in excitement, it was MY smell! It was Jil Sander No. 4.

    As a young adult: I was waiting for a flight and browsing in a duty free shop. Killing time and picking up bottle after bottle of perfume thinking: 'everything smells the same. Everything smells boring. Perfume is boring.' And then I picked up a bottle of Arpege. I couldn't let go of the test strip and kept smelling it the entire flight. Arpege sparked my perfume obsession.

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  140. My life changing perfume was Obsession. From the first time I smelled it in a store I didn't want to wear any other scent. I kept it as my signature for eight or nine years, wearing it day and night, summer and winter. Then I suddenly got tired of it and now I never wear it at all.

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  141. It was a bottle of Poison. A very eccentric friend used to douse cotton balls and use them as car freshened. The car was a cloud of purple sweetness and swoon. Who knew the world could smell so big? My tastes have moved on, but I do still love a little original Poison

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  142. My first sniffing experience was from a lipstick ( Revlon?), very very pink and I think that nowadays I would still recognize it from many others. My first perfume was l'air du temps.

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  143. Maybe in 2013 I will find the perfume which will change my life.

    Please enter me in this wonderful draw.

    M Cottard

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  144. I would say Amouage Jubilation 25, which showed me all the complexity of what a perfume can be, while still being a traditional "perfume." I have an interesting tendency to skew off into interesting smells, rather than perfume-y perfumes, but this is one I can wear (sparingly!) to smell adult and sophisticated and a bit sexy, rather than just weird or interesting.

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  145. Actually, I've been thinking for hours what to write. It's not an easy question.

    But I think I will say this: Dior's Jules. It made me become a man, but it allowed me to keep contact with the child of me.

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  146. Does the smell of the cherries growing in my aunt's orchard count as a perfume?

    If not, I'll say Paris from YSL. Heaven in a bottle.

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  147. A friend came over a few years ago wearing Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 and it was the first time in my life that I remember asking what someone was wearing. That perfume later became my husbands signature scent and started me on a blissfully obsessive perfume journey.

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  148. With me it wasn't a perfume, but a site: my darling, darling MUA, aka Make Up Alley. Such a godsend on godawful days.

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  149. My first perfume love: Mitsouko wich was my signature fragrance for years.

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  150. It was Botrytis Ginestet. Candied fruits, blend of honey and quince. Truly intoxicating.

    Thanks!

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  151. I'd have to say Opium and Coco. It was a long time ago I saw an Opium ad in French Marie Claire and was struck by its intensity, even more so after I got the chance to smell it - it was nothing a sale assistant would recommend to a young girl, (but that's for older women!) but I was smitten. And as to Coco, an American exchange student stayed with my family and after she left, she left behind a couple of samples - Coco, Dana Canoe (this one I have to get a bottle of) and Chanel N5. And that's it :)

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  152. When I was a little girl in the 1960's, I would sneak into my parent's bedroom just to open the round, blue bottle of my mother's Je Reviens EDP. I adored that fragrance and have fond memories of it.

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  153. Rien from ELDO. It changed my life. And it continues to change the life of the people around me ;-)

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  154. I am sure it was about 25 years ago (I was a 13 years old boy then) and it was Old Spice worn by a friend of my parents. He used to visit us with his wife and he always smelled this beautiful, sweet and spicy scent. And it is crucial to know that at those times in my country Old Spice was a rarity only for chosen ones! I was fascinated with the man and his incredibly elegant perfume. After that I knew that an elegant man has to use perfume and that I would use one too as soon as I grow up.

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  155. I have no life-changing events associated with perfume. The fragrance I have the strongest emotional link with is Paris YSL. I have worn it for over 25 years and I still adore it.
    Thank you for hosting this draw by the way.

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  156. Hi Persolaise, your blog seems to eat my comments, but I will try nonetheless.
    Tha fragrance that truly changed my life was Poison. It was 1986, I was 13 and the fragrance had been launched the previous year. My parents had gone to Europe for holidays and I had asked them for some fragrance as a gift. My mother brought me a sample of Poison. I remember how deep, juicy and bewitching I found it. Of course I wore it despite my young age. I think it paved the way for my love of big opulent florals.

    Caro

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  157. Opium. It was the fragrance I used to steal from my mother's dressing table in the 80's, and I am convinced that it is the reason big, spicy orientals will always be close to my heart. I smelled it again recently and honestly wanted to cry. This bitter, powdery thing doesn't have the richness of my first love. I walked out of Selfridges feeling like I'd lost an old friend.

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  158. Aromatics Elixir. 1977. London. On the way to Amsterdam. Nothing was the same after that.

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  159. I suppose with me it was the whole idea of travelling to the past with something like En Avion, with the aldehydes taking off and soraring into the skies above, I found this always to be a mystical scent, and I never tired from it.

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  160. Mine would be Boucheron. I love it.

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  161. mines vanilla my nan used to put the left over pods in a pan with other spices to scent everywhere in the house around these times so love anything vanilla jo malones probs my fav perfume:)

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  162. My grandmother, who basically brought me up, always wore Y from YSL, so yes, that perfume definitely changed my life in many ways.

    Gosia.

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  163. I never imagined that any perfume would have any powerful effect on me, but one day, this happened. And it was a bottle of Jardins De Bagatelle which I actually found in the strangest place: Colombo in Ceylon.

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  164. Even though it was very early in my life, it would have to be a simple bottle of Florida Orange Water, the souvenir perfume. My mom brought it home from our trip to DisneyWorld when I was 4, and it is the first scent that stands out in my mind and got me on the path for loving perfume. I still regard neroli/orange blossom as one of my favorite and most meaningful scents.

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  165. My first own fragrance, Sander for Man by Jil Sander. Two little sample vials of it given to me by my grandmother when i was about seven years old.

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  166. Great interview, the world of perfumers is so fascinating! Thanks for the draw opportunity, I just love Andy's perfumes.

    I have to say that the perfume that changed my life was one that I discovered when I was already well on my way down the road of perfume obsession, and that was Jean Patou's glorious Vacances, the best green floral of all time. Its beauty brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart, and I have never been without it in the nearly 30 years since the Ma Collection reissue. Alas, it is now discontinued, but it remains my gold standard, my ideal of Beauty and how a truly great fragrance can affect the emotions so profoundly.

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  167. I would have to say Chergui - one of my first niche scents and one which set me on a path of wanting to find out more about fragrance.

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  168. L'Heure Bleue was one of my first perfume true loves, but L'Air du Desert Marocain was so amazing and evocative that it sent me right down the rabbit hole. I haven't come back yet!

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  169. I think my inner perfumista was jolted to life by Bvlgari Black. How interesting and beautiful a fragrance and so different from anything else I had ever experienced. It made me curious about perfumers and perfume!

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  170. Just before my High School Prom, my father got paid handsomely for a patent. He would grant me a wish, he said, and I wished for L'heure bleue. I wore it proudly at the Prom.

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  171. Has to be Armani Privé Bois D'Encens. My first "serious" perfume and the one that sent me on a mission to try anything and everything incensey and gave me a hobby/interest that has become my real passion.
    @liamdoherty

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  172. Like Gisela, I was given Miss Dior as a young teen, and it has shaped how I view perfumes. They must be more than simply pretty. I still love Miss Dior in the original version.

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  173. The fragrance which really turned me on to perfume and how fascinating it can be, was Bulgari Black. I love delicious florals, but it's the weird and unusual perfumes that really get me excited! Black opened the door to a whole new art form for me to appreciate.

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  174. I've always worn and enjoyed perfume and always been fussy about the ones I'd wear - I've always avoided very 'girly' floral fragrances - but until I was 40 I hadn't really explored beyond what you would find on the high street or in department stores.

    Then on holiday in France I read Chandler Burr's biography/exploration of Luca Turin and his work - The Emperor of Scent and in it there were descriptions of perfumes that made me rush to find a parfumerie and smell these amazing things. L'Heure Bleue was The One. It made me go back to the parfumeries and try it again the next day. There was something intriguing and hypnotising about it and I could not get it out of my head. That was where my perfume fascination started. Since then there have been many other perfumes that I have discovered that I like more than L'Heure Bleue, but I'll always have a bottle of it, just because of that excitement of discovering that it's possible to make a smell that is a piece of art.

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  175. Vol de Nuit did it for me. I hunted it for years and finally acquired a bottle after the advent of the internet. It really gave me insight into the classic, Old-World perfumes. Thanks for the draw.

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  176. The perfume that changed my life more than any other was Jardin sur le Nil by Hermes. It was the first fragrance that made me want to find out the notes and the perfumer and it was the first fragrance that opened me up to the world of perfume beyond the local department store standards.

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  177. Chanel No. 19. I was 22 years old and heretofore thought Laura Ashley to be the height of feminine aroma. Then an older friend steered me to the Chanel counter, where a saleslady knowingly eyed me, pronounced me far too young for No. 5, and sprayed my wrist with No. 19 edp. And a perfumista was born.

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  178. When I was 25 years old, I started wearing Polo by Ralph Lauren. A family friend gave a small bottle as a gift to my older brother, but he decided not to use it. I just got my first real job out of college, and decided to try it. The ladies at work really liked it, and that is what got me hooked on men's fragrances. 24 years later at age 49, I am still in the game and have a nice collection. I feel naked if I am not wearing any fragrance.

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  179. Not as much a life altering experience per se, but Issey Miyake Le Feu changed my perception of perfume and stirred my deeper interest in it: with the eventual discontinuation of my favourite I first understood the complexity and relativity of perfume personalities. What I considered a lovely fragrance turned into a legendary piece supposedly ahead of its time! And so I learnt that my taste was weird. :) And that I should ignore perfume fashion and trends. Le Feu, with it's rosy iridescence and peppery impishness will always remind me of London, with its free spirit, and the time I got to live there. Don't go with the flow! - say both the town and the fragrance. :)

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  180. The perfume that started it all, I mean drove me into a journey in discoveries and awe, is Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan. I still thank him in my heart and head every time I wear it!

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  181. Mine is Bond No. 9 Chinatown. It is one of the few from the line that I actually love, but it is the one that originally got me searching for perfume blogs and falling down the rabbit hole!

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  182. My grandmother's White Shoulders because it is the first time that I can remember noticing perfume, and it started me on the path of loving and collecting fragrances.

    Thanks!

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  183. Perfumes that have changed my life? I would have to cite Chanel Coco--mostly because my mother wore it and it signified for me sophistication and beauty. A close second would be Coty's Raw Vanilla, which was the first fragrance I owned that taught me to savor the scents wear...

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  184. Even Mitsuko, at current diluted form & a shell of her former self, was enough to awe me the very 1st time I wore it. This is a good answer. As 4 the real answer, it was the perfume my then GF wanted L'eau Par Kenzo, which led me down this road of perdition..

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  185. The perfume that changed my life - Feminite du Bois. It just smelled so different. Thanks.

    Dagney Betty

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  186. Andy's L'Air du desert marocain changed my life. It was my first proof that quality does actually exist!

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  187. I have to admit that most of my life I really never cared for perfume. But sometime in the early 2000s when EBay had some great decants (and sellers), I came across an interesting listing for 27 perfume samples from France. I thought what the hell and placed a bid.
    What I received was a fantastic bag of classic and modern perfumes (Tabac Blonde to Curated by Colette Bless). I realized that I was wrong thinking all perfumes smelled bad and fake, and there were a lot more interesting perfumes out there that I had never known about.
    I still have my Ebay receipt with all the perfumes listed that I received.

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  188. Donna Karan Chaos changed the way I thought about fragrance, and I was bereft when it was discontinued. Searching for a similar scent was the beginning of my journey into the world of perfume. Along the way I developed new loves, but still my heart flutters in a special way when I smell Chaos.

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  189. I think Mitsouko taught me that scent was not associated with gender (and reminded me that gender itself is a social construct), and therefore opened a world of possibilities for me. Thanks for the great draw!

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  190. I recently located a vintage bottle of Eau Sauvage, a cologne I wore as a young man in my 20s, when I was filled with unrelenting optimism and an expectation that I would live forever. While recent formulations did not move me, this old bottle brought back quite a lot of the passion I felt all those years ago. Apparently, youth can be bottled.

    Glenn

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  192. In the 1950s my grandmother had the traditional mirrored tray on her dresser filled with lipsticks, creams and perfumes. She was Dutch, so 4711 always reminds me of her. Growing up I felted cheated that glamor seemed part of an era passed. Now as a grandmother myself, I liked being "glamorous" for my grandchildren...especially with scent.

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  194. I was not exposed to fragrances growing up as neither of my parents wore them much. Vetiver by Guerlain is probably the one that drew me in the most and got me hooked, although it's hard to point to any single fragrance that changed my life.

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  195. Santal Noble by Maître Parfumeur et Gantier was one of the first niche fragrances I smelled, and was what got me hooked on perfume. It spawned my love for woody scents in particular.

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  196. DKNY be delicious i have never found a perfume which compares i was never a perfume fan until the day i smelled this wonderful scent it is also the fragrance i was wearing when i met when i met my boyfriend (he noticed the scent straight away mm! ) which changed my life i say thank you to the perfume

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  197. I cannot cay if one particular perfume changed my life; however, there is one specific perfume that saw me through and out of some of my hopeless and dark moments. Someone reading this might think that I'm only mentioning this specific perfume as an "empty-praise" to its creator, since it is one of Andy's creations. Yet, I hope the reader might know that my praise is genuine, sincere, and wholehearted. The perfume is Une Rose Chypreé (URC). I utilized this wonderfully complex perfume as a method of escape from my anxieties of reality to a place of peace. In this place of peace, I found healing and ever present was Une Rose Chypreé. I would like to thank Andy for helping me in ways that he may never know. I apologize if my comment is vague, but I'd be uncomfortable sharing more publicly. Happy Holidays to you all!

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