How to Choose Your Perfume

Jude Stewart, Sianne Ngai and Anna Kornbluh at The Paris Review:

Let me start by asking, Why a perfume? Why not several? A lot of people have perfume wardrobes. You can have a depersonalized relationship to perfume and just ask, How do I want to smell, in a performative way?

I like perfume. I got really sucked into it and then I had to pull away because I had a dog whose nose was very sensitive. The irony is I ended up with a boyfriend who’s so romantic that he gets upset when I wear anything other than the scent I wore when we met.

When I first got into perfumes I thought about it all wrong. It was very conceptual, like, I bet I’ll be someone who likes citrus. I was reifying my identity, thinking of myself as a certain kind of person. It turns out I don’t like citrus at all in perfume. I don’t like florals either, especially jasmine or rose. I do like earthy, woody smells. When I leaned into what felt good at the level of sense, it became easier.

more here.