Colognoisseur Take 2


I started Colognoisseur on February 1, 2014. One of the rules I made for myself was to publish a new piece every day. I did that until I didn’t. On September 16 events caused me to miss my first day of posting. Those circumstances kept me from doing this for a week and a half. When life forces you to take a pause it allows for some reflection.

After about a week I began to think I wouldn’t start again. I spent a day asking myself, “why do I do this?”. Without my knowing, the world of fragrance was out there encouraging me to get back up. The most important answer to that question is I am still fascinated by perfume. The ability to write about it is my way of collecting my thoughts into a thesis for each piece I write. Through every word I learn something more. As a scientist that is as much a reason to keep going as any.

What else was happening is my desk was filling up with some great perfumes. I was still smelling because my curiosity was still intact. Whenever I smell something I like for the first time the very faint outlines of what I’m going to write form in my head. If I stopped, there was a lot of amazing perfume which I was never going to write about.

I was surprised when a couple of perfumers reached out to ask what was going on. They encouraged me to get back to it. I wasn’t surprised when a couple of my most faithful readers knew something was off right away. That I have an audience that enjoys what I write is another reason. It isn’t why I do it but its nice to be appreciated.

As you know I made the decision to start writing again at the beginning of the week. What I found when I sat down to write the first review it was like meeting an old friend after a separation. I was back into it with the same enthusiasm I had previously had. Writing about perfume still provided the same joy it always had.

The short answer is I am going to keep writing about perfume. The difference is I might take a day off here and there. One thing I learned was that initial rule of publishing every day was adding a little bit of stress. I have removed that from my way of thinking about the blog. I’m going to write when I have things to write about. Which will be close to every day anyway. For Colognoisseur Take 2 I’m going to give myself permission to take a break or two.

I am happy to keep writing for all of you who spend a couple minutes of your day reading what I write. I appreciate you all more than I can say.

Mark Behnke

12 thoughts on “Colognoisseur Take 2

  1. When I wrote Best Things in Beauty, it felt like an obligation toward the end. I think if I could have taken guilt-free days off each month, I would still be writing. Writing a daily blog is a lot of work, rewarding but all-consuming. Bloggers must establish a little “me time” to be “whole.” Whether events leave no time for blogging, or you’re just in need of a break, take time off. You deserve it!

  2. Mark, give yourself grace. Write when you can. Selfishly, I’ll ask that you don’t stop. Your words have us vividly conjuring new and interesting scents in our heads long before we ever take a whiff. Meeting you in NYC for a fall ball is on my life’s highlight reel. Thank you for all you do for us. But please know we care about you more than the number of reviews you write. Take care and God bless.

  3. Dearest Mark! You are by far and away my favorite blogger de parfum! Wishing you continued stress-free success in version 2.0. This pandemic has changed the way we all do “life”….permanently. Self care is the best way forward. Thank the gods you haven’t lost your sense of smell. I woke up in hysterics the other night, thinking that I had. Not to many things bring tears to my eyes, you leaving the blogisphere would be tragic!!! Welcome back, Dear Friend!!!

  4. I’m happy you continue to write here. The good thing is you don’t depend on some weird frequency algorithm, instead you built your own social network. Do you long for more engagement or confirmation though? Fact is, we readers come to your place, and we will happily continue to do so. Your story telling reviews, full of knowledge and context, draw us in. Thank you for everything so far, please continue in a care taking way.

  5. Dear Mark,

    I was touched very deeply today when understanding the reason for your absence in your blog. At first I thought you have been at least participating at Pitti Fragranze and I was waiting impatiently a certain time for another or several descriptions of your new discoveries at Pitti.
    But after a while I thought for me: it’s strange, there is no new post for quite a while, there’s something crazy going on…
    I’m very glad to hear that you’re better now, cause you’re by far my preferred perfume blogger because of your clear textual structure, no too long, not too short, the core of the perfume character and the meaning for the whole perfume market and the principal actors, ingredients, creative directors, noses. It’s so inspiring and helpful for me – keep on writing!
    But of course: listen into yourself – body, heart and soul – and perhaps also to Mrs. C 🙂 – and take your time and outtime if it feels good! That’s even much more important than the next good sniffs
    Best regards from Germany
    Henning Doc Z.

  6. You are an outstanding writer and we would have missed your talent and musings…but writing about a new perfume every day, is a high goal to keep up with. Its good to reflect and pause and take some time off, then we realize what we truly love and what is good for us. The most important in all we do, is the joy of doing it and reading your reviews, do reflect that.
    Blessed Be!

  7. It’s good to take a break, and come back refreshed. I just read the Guerlie Girl piece-that was so touching. How elegant was your mom! And how nice she was faithful to her favourite choices.

    Take care, and thank you for continuing to write,



  8. Many of us are rather intent listeners; working to understand the ‘alchemy’ of fragrance creation alongside trends. Your comments ring so delightfully with clarity, spirit and thoughtfulness I hardly ever have any questions. Doc Z captures your je ne sais quoi parfaitement! I see now that I have been most woefully remiss in telling you that I frequently refer back to your insights as I study… sometimes many times many times each week. So pls don’t leave us without your input!! You are most valued…. and treasured for it. Kindly, Cait

  9. Mark, I am a 73 year old woman and I go to your blog every day. In the morning, before newspaper, before email. I appreciate what you do very much. I wish I had told you sooner. COVID has changed all of us who have survived, and it certainly has made me realize that any day I have left in my life is precious. Make each day you have special to yourself, whatever path you choose, and know that you are loved by readers like me, whom you have never even met. Shirley P. S. My favorite columns are your “My Favorites”. Some day when I can afford it, I plan to buy a full bottle of Chanel Coromandel. You are the reason I found it!

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