Last night I was on the phone with another natural perfumer, and the talk turned to when we first got turned on to perfumes. I was fortunate enough to be exposed to glorious perfumes in the first big heyday of post-WWII perfume. From what I understand of history, before that, women only received perfume as gifts, but after the war, demand for the beautiful juice was prodded by returning soldiers bring lots of perfume gifts back, and the newly-liberated Rosie the Riveter types deciding they were going to snag a lot of this stuff for themselves with their new paychecks.
So, by age 2, in 1952, I was the happy recipient of nearly-empty bottles of great perfumes, given to me by my mother, relatives,and my mother's friends. A cousin in Paris modeled for Dior, and I'm sure some of my stash came from her (she was 25 years older than me, not a child model ;-)
So here's my funniest story: I'm about three years old. I'm sitting on the floor, lovingly evaluating two of my most precious bottles. I have no idea what they were. They were two of the most glorious scents my little nose had ever experienced. Sigh. Love. I decide, in some Germanic, efficient way, that it's better to have less bottles to clutter up, and so I'll also pour the two together and probably have an even-more-glorious perfume.
Disaster. I can still feel/smell the shock. Horrible swill resulted from the combo. Immediate recognition that I couldn't undo the fiasco. Eyes wide, mouth hanging open, I burst into tears. I think. Maybe not. Maybe I was in too much shock. I felt like crying, I know that. The stun that Ayala (click on Ayala's blog link in the blogroll) felt the other day with her patchouli/cocoa/vetiver = dung scent - magnify that 1000 times in the nose of a child, and have the child regret the disaster, knowing she did it. Boo hoo.
OK, so what a new world it is. The rise of perfumiastas communicating amongst each other via the internet, the wrestling of the mysteries and Closed World of perfume study away from the Biggies ensures that a new, fun, educated population of perfume lovers will forever change the scent world.
Although I studied perfumery on my own via books from age 25, it wasn't until 1991 that I launched my first line, simple 'fumes, packaged simply (no access to "great" bottles due to the lack of internet, local suppliers, etc.). The kids in this picture, if they love perfume, should have a line out by, oh, age 15! LOL. Heck, if the kids can grab on to the computer at age three and be programming soon after, why not perfume? If they have the knack - the nose - they're off and running.
I love it -- that's all I can say -- I love it!