This time two years ago, I was over the moon because I’d been shortlisted for a Jasmine Award by the Fragrance Foundation. It was for a comedy piece I’d written about perfumes from the pound shop for Basenotes. I didn’t win – there was no way a funny vignette about perfumes no one in their right mind would have wanted to buy could have won, to be honest – but it was a huge honour to have been selected in the first place. It remains one of the high points of my blogging career!
A couple of months after being nominated, however, I caught a cold, and lost my sense of smell completely. As my anosmia progressed, and particularly after it turned into parosmia (after around six months), which made absolutely everything in my life both smell and taste like sewage, I thought my life as a fledgling perfume-writer was over. And, for a while, it was. But, for those of you who have been reading Get Lippie over the long term, you’ll have noticed a few perfume reviews pop up every now and again, and particularly if you’ve been following my instagram, you’ll have (hopefully) noticed my quest to wear my entire fragrance wardrobe one by one, documenting the process via my #LipsNspritz project.
Parosmia is still very much a part of my life (bacon, coffee and chocolate have been the worst casualties, there are others, but those are still the worst parosmia offenders), but I’m happier than I could ever describe that perfume is now back as a part of my life too. I currently only smell about half as well as I used to – my right nostril still doesn’t register smells at all, nearly some two years on – and it’ll probably never get back to where it was back in the days before I damaged my olfactory nerve, but things are better. Much better.
So much better in fact that I’ve just been shortlisted by the Fragrance Foundation for TWO Jasmine Awards! Three pieces that I wrote last year, two of which have parosmia as a central theme, have been nominated in two separate categories, and I couldn’t be a happier blogger if I’d even tried. To be nominated for a Jasmine Award (sometimes referred to as the “Oscars of the beauty world”) is huge honour in itself, but for a perfume writer with a smell-disability – I believe I’m the first anosmic perfume-writer ever to be shortlisted – it is, quite frankly, a bloody miracle. During my darkest days of recovery (and things did get really very dark indeed) I never thought this could happen. But best of all, many of the friends I’ve made through perfume blogging have been shortlisted alongside me too, so win or lose on March 16th – when the winners are announced – it’ll be a fun and happy occasion. I can’t wait!
The pieces that have been nominated are:
Jasmine Independent Voice Soundbite Award:
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Oud Satin Mood – aka the one where I change my mind about the Oud fad (a bit).
Jasmine Independent Voice Literary Award:
A Parosmic At The (An)Osmotheque – a piece written about a trip to the perfume museum in Versailles, where a tiny purple light began to glow in the parosmic darkness;
and its companion piece:
Paradox by 4160 Tuesdays and Get Lippie – which is the tale of how myself and Sarah McCartney created a perfume that a parosmic perfume writer could not only smell, but love.