Friends, or more often people I've just been introduced to, will shove their wrist in my face and challenge, "What's this one then?" or start firing questions like "what's in that perfume?" Unfortunately, unless it is something I've specifically researched, I generally have to respond, "I really have no idea. Do you like it, though?"
Some of the blame must go to Ian Fleming and Mr Bond. I remember as a small boy watching Connery lecture the table and sommelier on what the wine really was, or the temperature it should be at. Or more prosaically, Basil Fawlty being told "a Bordeaux is a Claret"
When it comes to fragrance, I would really love to be able to do the fairground sideshow trick and, much like your weight, guess your fragrance. This I fear, is not my talent.
One thing I have learned is just say there's ISO E Super in there - it seems to get slightly sad nods all round, like bemoaning the sugar content of a candy bar, but actually liking the rush it gives you.
I had an early sample of the modernist I took around with me and occasionally conducted a secret test that went like this:
- Me: hands over tester strip and says, “be ready for the lime burst!”
- Response: “Probably a bit too much lime?”
- Me: “Thanks, I’ll dial it back a bit in the next version”
- (the modernist has no lime in it)
- Response: "Hmm, ISO E Super??”
- (the modernist has no ISO E Super in it)
- Me: "But do you like it?"