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3 posts categorized "olfactory delights"

September 26, 2006

Pleasure is the flower that passes...

“Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume.” - Christine de Boufflers

The five senses are often taken for granted by those of us who are fortunate to have all intact. In the course of our lives, from the cradle to the grave, we also learn to filter out various aspects in order to maintain a steady hold on life. If we were bombarded by everything to the same capacity as we were the first time, and we were unable to filter it or assign it to one of our mental filing cabinets for future reference, we’d be wrestling with high levels of stress. We achieve filtering via conditioning, adaptation takes place and we’re relatively unscathed.

The most common example that can be given, which was given to me during my psych elective at university, can occur when one relocates to a new urban location. At night, as one prepares for bed, sleep may take longer due to various noises that sound. Some may be sudden, others loud, and these elicit emotions within the person but the person eventually interprets and identifies these new noises, files them away, and gradually adapts to the new environment. Similar examples may apply to other senses such as sight, olfaction, taste, and touch.

Each sense, within the group of five, plays many roles and the one that interests me the most, which has me continually intrigued is that of smell and how this determines many things such as sexual attraction, sexual intercourse, interpersonal relationships outside sex and everyday life.

It’s no surprise that some realtor tippers suggest sweet culinary odors - the kind that relate to pies, cookies and cakes - to clinch that house sale. Everywhere we look, from television, magazines to billboards, perfumes are advertised using beautiful models or celebrities. The universal message within these adverts relate to attractiveness and possible sexual prowess.

I remember my first perfume purchase at the age of seventeen, and I have to admit that the glamour element influenced my choice. For me, it wasn’t a matter of buying something that was more in line with my age. It was more related to attaining a certain aromatic pedigree within a bottle. Today there are celebrities marketing their own fragrances, but decades ago, one mere quote or aside from a glamorous actor or actor was enough to sell a perfume, and is still adequate. In short, there was little need to enlist Nicole Kidman to appear in a million dollar Chanel campaign because Marilyn Monroe said it best when she was quoted saying that she only wore Chanel No 5 to bed (instead of PJ’s).

Chanel No 5 became my perfume of choice for a few years after that, until I found other fragrances to add to my growing list. I think that a quality perfume far outweighs the cheaper variety of fragrances whose top notes smell like insecticides. Charlie, by Revlon may still be around, but it’s the sort of perfume that is bought when one is on a budget and speaking of budgets where perfume is concerned: there ought not be a budget. Skimping on perfume is like shooting oneself in the foot. For example, females are told to invest in underwear by the bucketload, but the thing is underwear is ultimately removed from the body whereas fragrance isn't.
It’s often said that first impressions count, and this quote often relates to our conduct and physical appearance, but fragrance or one’s personal signature makes up a large chunk of the first impression. A person can wear designer clothing, be made up to the nines, and exhibit perfect table manners, but if they smell like an old sock, they’re remembered as smelling like an old sock.

Olfaction can cement our first impression. Clothes often don’t make a huge difference, especially after the post grunge fashion era, and makeup is a matter of personal taste, but smell is like the invisible currency that has the capacity to buy and sell people in the sense of  it consolidating relationships.

Perfume is much like the summation of how we, perhaps, subconsciously, would like to view ourselves. Each fragrant note articulates abstract concepts that perfumers blend together. Reaching those last few drops in a bottle is akin to me having one cigarette left; I feel anxious and edgy to the level where a perfume substitute or cheaper alternative is no option. Actually, it’s a lot like sex to me or alternatively (and something I can never understand totally) giving a strap-on penis a blowjob. Why fellate a plastic penis when the real thing is always better in the sense of it having an actual pulse?

In relation to past relationships and encounters, there’s a tendency for me to remember various people based on the fragrances they wore. Sometimes I’ll walk into a store, walk past a specific counter, and detect particular male cologne. Recollecting the name of the person is instantaneous for me despite their absence. There are more masochistic moments where I’ll see a bottle and walk up, spray the tester, and revel in the scent. It can take me to the dimmed room, or the dance floor, and I’ll reanimate that first kiss. The few (there are others) below illustrate this:

Fahrenheit (Dior), belongs to the moment of my defloration and although the moment didn’t compare with later - better - sexual instances, the sweet oriental hue of the perfume never fails to resuscitate him, the human equivalent of a silverback gorilla beating his chest.

Paco Rabanne (Paco Rabanne) captures the sordid, and unexpected, clinch against a car that confirmed the person’s intentions. This encounter played against the middle notes of the cologne, in various hotel rooms in and around Sydney, and imparted a certain level of stress because a girlfriend of mine at the time had her eye on the same male, making her point clear - that of her not dating him unless he somehow cemented his intentions. He was affluent, in her mind, whereas to me he was a semi-regular fuck who exaggerated his status.  These days, I avoid inhaling Paco Rabanne whenever I can.

Pasha (Cartier) brings to mind an older gent, one who was certain of his preferences and comfortable with his stature. It’s smooth, deep and sensual, and pretty much animates slow explorations, and intense climaxes. What I like about this fragrance is that not every department store bandies it about, and no, there are often no testers sitting on a counter for people to try. This element reminds me of the encounter or the person.

My own perceptions of my own personal perfume wardrobe are:

Tresor (Lancôme): ‘There’s potential for more, however this moment is not the time but I’ll keep it in mind for future reference. In the meantime, absorb the potential.’
Coco (Chanel): ‘Can I interest you in the idea of a sultry tryst?’
Hypnotic Poison (Dior): ‘I’m of the mind that food and sex go together, and I’d like to have you all to myself as a main course.’
Pure Poison (Dior): ‘Look (smell) but don’t touch: not unless I give you the green light.’
Les Baiser du Dragon (Cartier): ‘I’m not mucking about. It’s either all or nothing, a bit like an action potential. What say you?’

Perfume is more distinctive than natural scent and this probably relates to the inability to imitate natural scent (due to the individuality of the wearer or secretor), as well as its unavailability in any store and although this doesn’t minimize natural scents, it is difficult to recall such scents. If attempts are made to save them, the very chemical composition of such scents imparts fragility. Perfumes are manufactured along industrial chemical processes that work to isolate and concentrate certain ingredients, and these ingredients are further cemented by other procedures. I once tried to maintain the soapy scent of a person by electing not to wash (or wear ever again) a top of mine that I wore during a make out session and was greeted with disappointment when the scent faded, but prior to that I’d bury my face in the fabric, deeply inhale and rewind back to the interstate fuck tryst. A large part of me wished he wore a fragrance. Which is why I feel somewhat unnerved when I can’t detect any fragrance on a person.

The absence of fragrance doesn’t mean that no scent exists, far from it, as pheromones are scentless, and implicitly operate to stimulate one’s olfactory centers. Natural pheromones, not the high number of fraudulent pheromones that are advertised on many websites and other places, are highly individual, and reflect the concept of ‘genetic wiring’ more than anything else. In relation to those products that are marketed as pheromones, the research is quite sketchy, particularly when products on websites aren't backed by clinical trials. For all that is known, they can operate in the same way a placebo operates.

All fragrances, without a doubt, have the potential to affect people in a myriad of ways. Each fragrant note is embedded in our evolution, and this is partially the reason why our intrigue with perfumes will never die.

Perfume can open the door to fantasy.

Photo of Sophie Dahl, YSL (Opium perfume) Campaign: Steven Meisel

 

November 21, 2005

The Gift - I

The inspiration for this story originates from concepts, events, and ideas. There is the adage of not having the pleasure to choose one’s family, especially where secrets are concerned, and alongside this there is the Twilight Zone moment that can arise in a person’s life from time to time. Together with these is the Hammer House of Horror, and how I always stayed up to watch it as a girl, despite my mother’s protestations, and one of these films featured the late great Peter Cushing. I don’t remember the name of the film, but in the film he was the owner or manager of an antique shop and he’d sell items to people. These items, due to their various types of enchantments, exacted some form of payback to the buyers or those who received them as gifts. Lastly, another thing that is thought of as a ‘gift’ is that of virginity. Thus, the gift isn’t about sweet romance, and happily ever after. It’s about attaining that sexual right of passage, which isn’t always draped with champagne and roses, and chaos lending a helping hand in times of personal sexual darkness, so that light can shine through. There may be some 'unsavory' sexual concepts within this story, but as I say, 'C'es la Vie'.


The Gift



Fate was kind, and remained glued to its perverted kindness for a decade. Each time a relative or friend crossed paths with Michael, they’d relay the details to Cora, like she needed to be updated on his latest endeavors.
‘Michael dropped by the other day, he asked about you…’ her uncle Joseph said, as she sat with her aunt having her tea leaves read.
‘That’s nice,’ she replied, blinking away her thoughts.
Each mention rewound her back to the early Nineties, their brief interlude and the heat it unleashed in cars, motels and the sometimes vacant house she shared with two other house mates. Cora always found herself back at the department store scanning the glass displays for the right Christmas present, something that Michael didn’t have, and managed to find it at the place she didn’t expect a few blocks away from the glamour den of David Jones.
In the weeks following her tea leaf reading, Cora wasn’t surprised to see her latest relationship be vanquished into the dimension of obscurity. Malcolm, a gentle computer programmer at her office, decided to expand his fishing net with the usual modern excuse of, ‘needing to see other people’, before apologizing and cementing his reassurance with, ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’
‘So much for aunt Helen’s reading,’ she thought, as she lay on the sofa with her king sized Cadbury Cherry Ripe, bag of potato crisps and the TV Guide. They offered something no human could provide, no backchat.
She began channel surfing, pressing the remote like a lost soul seeking a television fix when the newsbreak flashed on Channel Seven.

‘Freak weather has resulted in the disappearance of a local entrepreneur tonight. Michael Visic, out sailing on his new yacht on Sydney Harbour today, has disappeared. Visic’s company recently purchased TeleOne Communications, saving it from receivership. In the financial markets today, the Dow Jones climbed…’

Cora held her breath.
‘It couldn’t be…’

~~


Continue reading "The Gift - I" »

April 29, 2005

Blowjob - Genius Not Required

There are no secrets or are there? Sometimes it is like a conspiracy where one feels they are making no headway with the basic pleasuring blowjob or the art of ‘fellatio’. There are books written on the subject that do happen to advise against the natural no no’s, teeth for one - doesn’t take a genius to figure that one - and then come the gems, the long strokes, short strokes, the variations between the two, the fact that the ‘porno’ tongue flick ‘thing’ (whatever it is) may do little - more often then not it’s a visual stunt - and there are many bits and pieces of advise that are given and ultimately one will be left in the dark recesses of uncertainty.
A penis is not a lollypop, an inanimate object, but this is the idea that is promoted. ‘Suck it like it’s a lollypop, sample it like you would sherbet.’ It doesn’t really work that way. A cock is attached to a human being and within this human being there is a pleasure centre that filters the ‘drivel’. It is only through the human being, through their overrall response that one can gauge whether pleasure is indeed being received. ‘But it’s erect!’, that may very well be but there are many guises an erection can take and how does one know that the human attached to the penis isn’t aiding the ‘act’ by envisioning Linda Lovelace swallowing their sword like an expert sword swallower? That can never be known, some things are sacred in the realm of fantasy but it is also known that the oral gag reflex exists, it’s a natural nerve reflex (thanks to the glossopharyngeal nerve, that’s cranial nerve IX) and although deep throat (the oral equivalent of the limbo dance) or Bee Gees ‘How Deep is Your Love’ (lol) is a frequent desire, sometimes this may not be a realistic option. That’s where the illusion comes in, transforming into the David Copperfield of fellatio - using a hand to grasp the base of the penis and thereby lessening the length and of course great oral action will effectively affix this illusion because of the sensation and it’s the sensation that matters.
Basically? It is up to the person to observe the person attached to that penis to see their arousal and their overrall response- a bit of eye contact does not go astray either. The other person can be asked what turns them on; friction, a bit of tooth (yes that is possible) action, the long lick, heavy duty suction or whatever else works for them.

The ultimate secret to fellatio, something that I have discovered is the following.

A person has to adore their partners phallus, like fellatio, embed themselves in their partners aroused state while they're orally pleasuring their partner.

All the tips, 'techniques' (that never differ from the usual that can be found in just about every Sex Book) won't mean 'Jack' if a partner doesn't like their partner's cock.

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© Anastasia Mavromatis 2005 - 2008