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I have recently participated in a fragrance pass-around. This is like a chain letter, except that you send smellythings — new word alert — from one person to the next; instead of getting a harangue about horrible luck for 20 years, you get fragrances of unknown quality to put on your body! Then you pass them on to the next unsuspecting soul. And with the word, smellythings, I have in mind images of newt eye fluid, bat blood, the frozen tears from maidens locked in towers, and so forth, but upon opening the package, behold! A tightly-packed sample set from Santi Burgas, plus some miscellaneous Jo Malone scents.

I shall post individual reviews at Parfumo and here only note that Santi Burgas recommends that these scents be layered. Unusual, that, and perhaps an admission that the scents could not stand on their own? After all, who buys a full bottle in order to mix it with another bottle (well, ahem, except fellow mad chemists like me — but that was a one-time experiment, I swear, not a way of life)? I admit the idea does appeal to the alchemist in me, but it is sheerly impractical. No, not impractical like a bottle with a butterfly stopper, but impractical as in “waste of money”. If the nose cannot create scents that stand on their own, why should I buy more product to line his or her coffers? That would be throwing good money after bad! Perhaps I am too iconoclastic in my thinking, or too much of a purist, or just a grade-A grouchypants, but the least you can do as a perfumer is create a good scent and not require me to assemble a scent from your incomplete efforts!