Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Perfume lexicon

I already publish a perfume glossary, but among the many things on my (out of control) to do list is a lexicon of the slang terms used on the various perfume blogs and forums (or fora, for those of you anxious to preserve the Latin plural form). Here is a start, and I'm hoping that anything I've missed will get added in the future.

Decant worthy: a fragrance that is worth having in some small amount, but that you don't love enough to justify buying a full bottle. See also: how to decant perfume.

Evil Fragrance Twin (EFT): someone who loves all the perfumes you hate, and vice versa. EFTs can be useful — you follow them around and try whatever they can't stand.

Floralated: I'm cheating here as this is not a widely used term. Floralcy is ad-copy-speak for "smells of flowers", as in "a burst of floralcy", and it is a useful term as many fragrances do, in fact, smell of flowers without smelling like any flower in particular. So we need a generic term, but floralcy sounds too much like what it is: ad-copy-speak. I once used florified, March at Perfume Posse suggests the more elegant floralated. If you've a better idea, do comment.

Full bottle worthy (FBW): a fragrance so wonderful you need the full size.

Lemming: lemmings are small rodents, said to look like fat furry hamsters. They are believed to blindly follow their crowd, even to the point of throwing themselves off a cliff if everyone else is doing it. This behavioral pattern is mythical, but the word is used on many fragrance forums and blogs to describe the feeling of intense longing generated by reading posts about a product or fragrance; in more simple terms, it just means to want a perfume. Sometimes converted to the verb form, "to lemm".

Perfumanity: the community of perfumistas (see below); in other words, the portion of humanity that cares seriously about perfume. I believe this was coined by Marina at Perfume Smellin' Things.

Perfumista: someone who cares seriously about fragrance. Some use it as a feminine term, with either perfumeo or perfumisto as the masculine, others (like me) use it as a neuter term. See: Becoming a perfumista.

Pinkified, Pinkification: when fragrances are lightened, sweetened, and fruited-up to make them more girly, as is often done for flankers.

Scrubber: a fragrance so bad it must be removed from skin, the sooner the better.

Skanky: a fragrance with animalic or other "sexy" notes. Skanky has pejorative connotations in "regular" slang, but among many perfumistas, it is meant as a compliment. The use of the term to apply to perfume was popularized by March at Perfume Posse.

WIFFY: this is a term coined by Sara at MakeupAlley. It has never caught on (so I'm cheating again), but it should. It stands (vaguely) for "worth the f-ing freight from France", in other words, a perfume so wonderful you'd pay to have it shipped from Paris.


EO: Essential oil.

Holy Grail (HG): just as the quest for the Holy Grail in Arthurian legend is thought to symbolize man's quest for perfection and wholeness, so in perfume terms, a Holy Grail is a perfume so perfect that it precludes the need to continue searching for new fragrances. It is often used to characterize a favorite scent in a specific category, as in "I've found my HG citrus" or "Iris Silver Mist is my HG iris".

LE: Limited Edition.

SOTD: commonly used on fragrance forums for "Scent of the Day" threads, where you simply post what fragrance you're wearing that day. SOTE is "Scent of the Evening".

Commonly used brand abbreviations:
AdP: Acqua di Parma

AG: Annick Goutal

CBIHP: CB I Hate Perfume

CdG: Comme des Garçons

EL: Estee Lauder

FM: Frederic Malle

LAP: L'Artisan Parfumeur

LV: Lorenzo Villoresi

MPG: Maître Parfumeur et Gantier

OJ: Ormonde Jayne

PdN: Parfums de Nicolaï

PG: Parfumerie Generale

POTL: The Peoples of the Labyrinths (usually refers to their scent Luctor et Emergo)

SJP: Sarah Jessica Parker

SL: Serge Lutens

SMN: Santa Maria Novella

TDC: The Different Company