Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bloggers Come and Go, Talking of Jean-Claude Elleno

A week ago, Pat Borow of Olfactarama published a valedictory post in anticipation of her blog’s upcoming fourth anniversary. She cites waning enthusiasm on a personal level, rather than changes in perfumery or the blogosphere, as the reason for her decision. She’s not interested in “keeping on just for the sake of keeping on.”

I respect her decision. On the other hand, I will miss her thoughtful and well-composed commentary and reflections. Pat intends to write occasionally on the aesthetics of smell, taste, books, art, and life. I’ll keep checking in.

Started: July 20, 2008
Ended: June 21, 2012
Posts: 264
Blog run: 3 years, 11 months
Flux density: 5.6 posts per month

The winding down of Olfactarama got me thinking about other smelly sites that have left the scene. I thought I’d take a look back at their trajectories.

Rita Long’s blog TheLeftCoastNose featured her quirky but useful zero to five star rating system for perfumes. She turned off the spigot for good in May, 2010, after less than a year of blogging. The reason? She literally moved on—from San Francisco to Buenos Aires.

Started: Sept 27, 2009
Ended: May 8, 2010
Posts: 81
Blog run: 8 months
Flux density: 10.1 posts per month

Ray Matts, an acquaintance of mine from the fragrance industry, started his eponymous blog in 2010 and posted there for a year. He’s on Twitter now and pursuing other fragrance projects.

Started: Sept 25, 2010
Ended: August 30, 2011
Posts: 11
Blog run: 1 year
Flux density: 0.9 posts per month

Aimée L'Ondée is the nom de web of the lady from Austin, Texas, who wrote at MossyLoomings. She closed the doors on June 26, 2011, leaving this note:
I might as well admit it: as my reluctant and sporadic posting suggests, I have lost the will to blog, folks. I still love perfume, and love reading all my fellow perfumistas' clever and fascinating perspectives on perfume. I love reading about new discoveries and vintage treasures, but I think I may have reached a saturation point in my own life with perfume, and writing about it in this format isn't the joy it used to be.
Started: February 6, 2008
Ended: June 26, 2011
Posts: 90
Blog run: 3 years, 4 months
Flux density: 2.3 posts per month

Life is short, blogging is hard. Hats off to all who set up their tent at the carnival. We’ll miss you, even as the big show rolls on.


Olfacta said...

Thanks for the mention, Avery! I'll be around -- Pat

Carol said...

So nice to see Rita mentioned!

Perfumeshrine said...

Pat will be definitely missed, she was my fav. :-)
It's nice to see Rita mentioned as well.

I have a theory that perfume blogging is quite a bit like falling in love: the infatuation usually lasts about three years for most folks, as much as needed for the fledging offspring to take wings. Or to realize creative differences and part ways. But the beauty of it is that that intense period creates torrid passion and some palpable longing when it's over.

Avery Gilbert said...


Clearly, Rita @LeftCoastNose had no lack of fans!

Avery Gilbert said...


I like your theory!

In trying to account for the rise and fall of individual blogs, I’ve been looking at external factors: limited time, the effort required, lack of audience, etc. Instead, you go directly to internal motivation, namely fragrance infatuation. Not only is this a plausible explanation for why perfumistas start blogging, it comes with a built-in reason for why they quit (and when).

Sort of like programmed cell death in neurobiology . . .

It also provides an aesthetic standard by which readers judge blog quality. Yes, we read for descriptions and evaluations of perfumes, but we also expect a falling-in-love narrative.

Dare I suggest this is why so many fragrance bloggers & readers are women? [No! You’re going to get in trouble!—Ed.]

Perfumeshrine said...


there is something there...

In my experience: Women are after fantasy (hence prose gets them no matter what). Men are after facts (and possibly clear opinions) and tend not to *talk* too much about it. Gay men are after something in between.


It's an interesting discussion.