Hello everyone. I know it’s been a few weeks, but I had some personal matters to attend to. I hope to be back soon with regular reviews, though there will be some changes to how I do things in the future. One of my goals is to have some of my reviews be shorter, less detailed, and a bit more of an overview in nature. Not all of them, but enough to ease my reviewing schedule and to make things a little simpler for me.
I will also substantially cut down the number of retail links that I provide at the end of each review, particularly for Europe. Up to now, many reviews have had between 20 to 30 direct links to a specific perfume’s purchase page. For the U.K. alone, I would cover all the major department stores, as well as the niche ones. Then, there would be links to stores in numerous other countries, including the Middle East when applicable, as well as extensive discount information for some brands. All of that will change. I will provide one or two retail links for America, and a handful for Europe, limited primarily to the major sites, especially those who ship world-wide. I realise the section will not be quite as helpful as before for a few of you, but I suspect many people skipped it entirely anyway. What most people don’t realise is that it would often take me at least two hours, if not more, to find and input all that information, not to mention fixing the formatting problems that frequently ensued. Two to three hours is a lot to spend each time on a mere purchasing section that isn’t a core part of the review and isn’t used or necessarily appreciated by every reader.
When I started the blog, I would frequently post six reviews a week. Given the growing length of the posts, the retail links, the time to find the photos and more, that number dropped to about four. It may drop further still. I’ve written 517 posts in just under two years, and I’d estimate that at least 450 of those have been reviews, many of which exceed 3,000 words in length. It’s obviously quite a lot, on all counts.
However, another reason for reducing the frequency of my posts is that I’d love to wear fragrances for myself a little more often. My reviewing schedule has taken some of the joy out of perfume, because I’m always analysing, for hours and hours on end, taking notes, and going straight from one review into preparations for the next. Plus, as you may have noticed, there aren’t a ton of fragrances that get rave reviews. Quite frequently, I either really dislike what I’m wearing or feel wholly apathetic about it. Yet, I’m stuck wafting the bloody thing for at least half a day. I rarely scrub a scent, so to go from one fragrance that I dislike to another that I’m indifferent to, then to the next one that is just merely “fine,” and so on, day after day — it takes a toll. So, bottom-line, I’ll be cutting back on some of the reviews so that I can have more than just a handful of nights a month to wear something I love from my own collection.
My approach to the comparative assessments from other sites may also potentially change. Right now, my thought is that discussion of other reviews will be reduced, sometimes briefly summarized, or occasionally skipped entirely. I will provide links to places like Fragrantica or another blog, but I will not go into so much detail on how other people’s experiences may vary from my own.
In truth, I’m not quite sure how I will manage this one. For one thing, my core belief has always been that perfume is a highly individual, personal experience that depends on a whole host of factors, and my experience may not be like that of someone else. Surely it matters if someone has a polar opposite view, just as it does if others have something extremely similar? Moreover, I’ve always wanted each review to be a launching pad from which you could go to learn as much as possible about a particular scent, particularly other people’s opinions of it, and to have all that information in one place.
Nevertheless, I’m not sure that my goal of comprehensive coverage requires me to elaborate in depth on all the similarities or differences in views. Personally, I think it helps to have it spelled out, with full details, but not everyone shares my love of specifics. More importantly, there are definite downsides in terms of the length of each review, and in the amount of time that it adds on my end in terms of research, links, quoting, formatting, and so much more. So, I’m mulling this part over, and I’ll probably decide on a case-by-case basis or as I see fit.
As a whole, I don’t know if I’ll manage to meet these goals, with the exception of the curtailment of the retail section links which is pretty definite. Everything else is going to come crashing straight into the very big wall of my obsessive-compulsive love of details, specifics, and need to weigh every side of an argument. I’ve always said that I don’t have a succinct bone in my body, and I highly doubt that is going to change at this point in my life. So I suspect that my definition of a “cursory, generalized overview” will hardly be the same as most people’s, not by a thousand words at least. Plus, it’s pretty much a sure thing that the perfumes I really love passionately will come with the usual treatise length. Still, if you suddenly see a sharp change in the style of some of the other reviews, you’ll know why.
Obviously, a lot of these issues pertain to time-management, but they’re also intended to bring back some of the joy I initially felt at writing about perfume to begin with. Certain things in the last six months have really taken impacted my feelings about blogging, as well as the perfume world in general, and I’ve almost walked away from the whole thing. Plus, I am not someone who feels the yearning to write for the sake of writing, and perfume is actually not at the top on my list of passions in life. The bottom line is that the negatives have started to outweigh the positives for me. These new measures may only pertain to the process of writing but, if they make things a little easier, it’s a start.