Monday, March 1, 2010


See that big dip in the second line?

That's (mostly) meeeeee!

“Olfactarama” is down 131% according to Avery Gilbert’s “Smelly Web Index” (pictured).
Is it my reach?  Is it my frequency? Is it because I posted on Tuesday, not Monday, last week? Did my huge drop bring the rest of you solo bloggers down with me? Sorry, y’all. Gonna go do hari-kiri for it on YouTube!
That should get the ratings up. 
Besides, it’s got electrolytes!
Mecca Balsalm -- Why would I want to smell like campfire smoke? There’s already been an Ourzrate Oozerate Ozeraate arrrragh! You know. That stuff CDG makes that’s supposed to evoke a camel-dung campfire on a moonless Saharan night.
“Relocate.” What’s wrong with “move?” “Relocate” is corporatespeak.
“Yeah, the company’s relocating us to Detroit,” said Alicia, 36, with a sigh.
“Caleb and I are relocating to L.A. Right after we’re done with acting school!” squealed Morgan, 22. 
Big difference. Huge.
Went to an Ulta store (what happened to the “3,” by the way?) the other day. Smelled some of the new releases. Without naming names, they were uniformly godawful. I noticed that several had life-size die-cut standup displays featuring the associated celebrity. 
I’ve had these made. They’re insanely expensive. If you’re wondering why so many new fragrances smell like Tropical Punch’s (part of) your answer!
The money has to come from somewhere, folks. 
Sometimes I want to relocate move to, oh, I dunno...Easter Island.

I wonder if they have wi-fi there though.
Rochas “Mystere”. The mystery to me is why a 50 ml bottle of the EDP, albeit discontinued, was going for $187 on fleabay last week.
I have some. It’s a nice, nothing-special chypre. What is up with this?
“Big Love” fans...does anybody else think it’s turning into a silly soap? The pinnacle  was last night’s show, featuring Bill playing a game of ball-on-a-pole with Margene’s new faux-husband himbo, a’ la the wrestling scene in “Women in Love,” Salt Lake City suburb style. Barb stands on the sidelines, mouth hanging open as usual.
Mine was, too, but for an entirely different reason. 

Grasshoppah. What is the sound of one shark jumping?
Bill Maher is back, though, thank you God! With a suspicious lack of fanfare on the part of HBO.
I guess he didn’t pull in the big numbers last year.



The Left Coast Nose said...

Oh, dear. Well, I wouldn't put TOO much store in the analytics-- while I *did* miss you last Monday, I can't imagine that your multitude of fans might not look again your way on Tuesday. (One day last month my site-tracker told me I had six page views-- six. You'd think that just random Ukrainian hackers would generate more traffic than that...)

No common ground with any of the scents this week, sadly, but I will say this A) Yay to Bill is Back and B) Why did they break "Big Love"? This show has been a breathless jumped shark all season now-- nine pounds of poop in an eight-pound bag. Except for Nikki-- they have wedged in her awakening, which is truly poignant, not that with the casino, and the campaign, and the murderous kidnappings, and the blah and the blah and the blah we have any time at all to process it.

Power on, Big O-- your fans are here to greet you!

BitterGrace said...

Don't be discouraged about the numbers. I've been tracking my blog for close to three years, and if there's one thing I've learned it's that traffic waxes and wanes quite mysteriously.

I own two bottles of Mystere, which I like very much but could survive without. Maybe it's time to unload...

Olfacta said...

Hi R and M -- Thanks for the kind words! I'm not all that upset by this. It does make me wonder, though, why bloggers have to be "rated" at all.

I check my sitemeter occasionally, but that's mostly to see the international viewing, which is thrilling to me for some reason.

All stats are flawed. Trying to please the masses is an on-ramp to the mediocracy expressway, imho.

Perfumeshrine said...

well, don't worry. Alexa ratings have a weird rhyme. Avery just wants to gauge the market. Personally I think there are just too many perfume blogs out there by now and attention span is waning. It's natural. Those that have a unique voice will stay. ;)

Singlemalt said...

Mark Twain: Lies,damned lies and statistics.
Bloggers miss a few days and readers miss a few.
Don't worry about the stats.

Avery Gilbert said...


Nooooooo! Don't click the Delete Blog button. Put down the mouse and back away from the computer. That's it. Take a deep cleansing breath. Maybe a little lavender.

OK. You were making me nervous--I don't want a blogocide on my conscience.

FWIW I started the Smelly Blog Indexes because I'm a nerd at heart and I like data. Also because I'm an entrepreneur and I like to know where the market is. And as an author, I like to know whether anyone is reading my stuff and why or why not.

We can say we're writing for ourselves--as if you and I were Emily Dickinson and J.D. Salinger--but who are we kidding? It's fun to have an audience yet there's an edge to it--they can leave at any time.

Blogging is unique in its writerly frustrations because the response is measurable and almost instantaneous. Sometimes you feel like a champion sushi chef, setting out an exquisite little plate to ooohs and aaahs. Other times you feel like you're tossing bread crumbs to the pigeons in Washington Square.

Hang in there. And more sushi please.

Olfacta said...

Hi E! You're right -- it seems that there are more perfume blogs than ever. I try to feature interesting new ones in my blogroll, as you did mine.

Good to hear from you!

Olfacta said...

Hi SM -- Thanks for the kind words.

Olfacta said...

Hello AG -- I should explain that my household -- when it was just me and now that it isn't -- has always worked in media; therefore ruled by ratings. So, a knee-jerk reaction? Maybe. But it's the trends that dictate what I'm going to be doing, where we're going to go, if I can do an FB or a decant. And, in all my experience, trend-measuring leads to a desire to appeal to a broader base, pull in the numbers, whatever you have to do (which is usually dumbing down the product).

And the things you say about the lives of writers are true, too. Of course writers want to be read. My sitemeter lets me know if anyone's appreciating my pearls.

How-ev-ah, this index of yours induces a "ranking" mentality as in: did I "beat" (insert name of other blog here) this week? Am I doing better than so and so?

I suppose I might just not look? But, being human, I can't help it.

And so I think that the "Smelly Web Index" has introduced a kind of competition into an arena that i thought, perhaps somewhat naively, to be cooperative and a relatively safe haven, away from the numbers game.

chayaruchama said...

RANT AWAY, baby.

I feel it, believe me ;-)

There ARE too many blogs, as it is.

I feel supremely guilty for not paying careful, judicious attention to each and every one, all the time...

As if I committed some sort of crime.

[What a true Vatican I-style Carmelite Jewess I turned out to be, huh ? ! ]

No harm done, by any.

Hugs to you ;-)

Rappleyea said...

It's the Olympics - plain and simple. There! Now don't you feel better?

You know I'm a huge fan.... Donna

Olfacta said...

Hi C -- thanks! You're a spirit guide to many of us.

Olfacta said...

Hi D -- The Olympics! One three-thousandth of a second being the difference between Winner and Loser. Good point! And thanks, too.

Rappleyea said...

lol! I couldn't tell by your answer, but I meant that perfumistas and blog readers were *watching* the Olympics rather than reading the last couple of weeks.

Olfacta said...

D --

Oh. Um...duh. Have to admit I didn't watch much. Is Bob Costas turning into Dick Clark or what? But that pair of Chinese ice skaters...I've never seen such perfect synchronicity, and I'm hoping that's the right

The Left Coast Nose said...

@ O & AV I'll weigh in here-- I'm not thrilled with the idea of someone stepping in without asking to take someone else's creative project and turning it into a competition.

(Maybe I should take this comment over to AV's site...)

Rappleyea said...

LOL @ Dick Clark! And the answer is yes!

brian said...

As a writer and a filmmaker, of course I think about audience, but I can't tell you how liberating it's been to not worry about numbers. I actually don't have access to our blog's specific figures and that makes me happy--it's hard for me to describe how liberating this has been for me as a person and an artist. The most frequent question I got when I published my first book was: do you know how many you've sold? It crippled me creatively for quite some time. I can assure you that when I dreamed of being a filmmaker and a writer as a child, I didn't think about numbers. I thought about communication and circulation, affirmation maybe, personal development, but never numbers. Never ratings. I will piss people off with my work and I will make friends. Next issue. I don't think many perfume lovers are blogging for numbers, though we all like to be read presumably and are curious about the people with whom we're making contact. We're remarkably supportive of each other and appreciative of our differences. At this point, I believe it's accomplishment enough to keep thriving in this culture of numbers, polls, bottom lines, and lowest common denominators. I'm so happy to have made connection with people through my writing and my thoughts and personality. I respect the people who read us. They aren't numbers to me. The people I read certainly aren't. I doubt I'm a number to them. I started succeeding in life when I stopped paying attention to numbers. Numbers and statistics are funny things; they dictate behavior as much as track it, which isn't even to address how accurate they are or what exactly they are saying or reflecting, if any one thing can be agreed on. If you answer this with of course it can then we're already in disagreement, so there you go. When I stopped looking at and worrying about figures all kinds of possibilities opened up in my life. In a conference I attended recently in LA, Henry Jenkins discussed online communities and their circulation of information. He made it very clear to me that there is no quantifiable way to track much of anything through online activity (i.e. hits). Online patterns of influence and exchange are blissfully diffuse, an endless flowering of connection and idiosyncratic evolution.

brian said...

Am I the only one who didn't sense a bit of despair in this post? As if.

Elizabeth said...

I love your blog! I'll check in more often now. :-) Mecca Balsam is heavy on the smoke, but I kind of like it. Definitely not a summer scent, though!

Liza said...

Well your stats will now go up by at least one with the addition of me. I found your blog the way one does, by linking around, and I'm hooked. Love your writing, the design, and the content. I'm a long time perfume lover; amateur in the true sense, and having found a world of people who care passionately, know deeply and write beautifully...well, it's heaven for me.

I blog about visual art but tend to ramble off onto any topic that interests me. It was because I plan to write about perfume, but didn't have a clue how to do so, that I began linking around and found you, and I'm so glad I did.

My current favorite perfume is Magie Noire, with a deep love since childhood of Fracas. I've been known to wear Calandre and 1000.

One of my favorite activities is milling around perfume counters and I've been known to follow strange women (or men) around a crowded room begging to be allowed to stand next to them just to bathe in their scent. I'm nice, so nobody's minded so far, thank god.

Cheers, Liza

Olfacta said...

Hi Brian -- I was hoping you'd chime in on this. When the "Smelly Web Index" debuted awhile back, I was sad to see it, as it pits perfume bloggers against each other, and introduces a competitive note to something which had not seemed competitive before. It felt like a refuge from the MBA-driven bottom line world we're all living in, responsible for so much Bad -- bad art, bad movies, bad books and, as for television, let's not even go there.

As a blogger, you get to say what you think, without an editor, or publisher, or script doctor (and I'm sure you'll encounter one of those one day if you haven't already -- making "suggestions." As an artist, it's bliss. I've met so many smart, thoughtful, intelligent people here.

So there's no danger of my joining the rush to mediocrity any time soon. Thanks for your support. It means a lot.

Olfacta said...

Hi Elizabeth -- Thanks, and welcome! Good to know you're here.

Olfacta said...

Hi Liza -- Good to hear from you! There are many good writers in the perfume "blogosphere." Some of my favorites are featured in the links to the left. You have good taste. I just got a little bottle of vintage Magie Noire as part of a set. Will wear it soon -- and I'll check out your visual arts blog too. Welcome!