Three young perfumers from Drom, Pierre Constantin-Guéros, Valérie Garnuch-Mentzel, and Dephine Jelk offer liberal advice on dos and donts to perfume afcionados and attempt to debunk a few myths in passing. Guéros for example advises to overlook the shape of the perfume bottle and says, “You’d be surprised to know that a lot of drugstore perfume companies spend more on the juice,”. He does not believe in the alleged all-transforming power of each individual's body chemistry either,
“Unless you eat very spicy food all the time, your body chemistry won’t change a fragrance,” explains Guéros. “That’s a bit of a myth—you’d have to have a trained nose to be able to distinguish how a scent smells differently on two people.”........
Coffee beans to clear the nose is an interesting element of folklore too. And there is more.
Some of what they say is easier to critique than the thorny issue of body chemistry, which some people believe strongly in, but that we personally, have never experienced in a way that completely distorted a fragrance and made it unrecognizable. One would have to take into account questions of cognition and consciousness too when evaluating this issue. Other factors can influence the differentiated perception of a perfume that would have to do more with states of consciousness and expectations. For example, anyone can relate to the experience of picking up different facets of a scent depending on the moment in time and focus.
Regarding what they say about citrus being more volatile than other materials and disappearing more quickly - this is conventional wisdom and it may still hold true for the isolated material, but in reality citrus-based fragrances now manage to be very long lasting. For example, the Fleur d'Oranger 2007 I dabbed on my clothing is still here the next morning and the citrus notes are especially persistent.
SAs can be well-trained but most of the time your run-of-the-mill perfume SA is not very well versed in fragrances.
Pulse points we also find are overrated. And we already attempted to address the myth of the "crushing of the perfume molecules" with chemist Ryan Spoering by substituting a possible explanation based on friction and heat.
And yes, there are some very good drugstore perfumes. Take Canoe by Dana or Old Spice. I have been wearing L'Origan by Coty in a cheap kitschy bottle and it smells like a terrific fruitier and more amber-y version of L'Heure Bleue by Guerlain (in fact L'Origan influenced L'Heure Bleue).
(Image from coolantarctica)