Saturday, January 7, 2012
The state of Sweden....+ my New Years Resolution
If you follow me on Twitter or spend a lot of time reading comments on other perfume blogs you might have come across me talking about Sweden. It's a great contry in many ways. If we didn't have such generous benefits for parents, allowing most of us to stay home for 1,5 years after having a baby, this blog would never have come into existence. But, in other aspects when it comes to perfume, it's complete and utter wasteland. Niche perfume is not available outside any of the 3 biggest cities (in Stockholm, the capital, I can only name 2 stores that carry any). Most people are afraid of smelling of anything but the most common, boring cleanish bleah you can possible imagine. When I started my latest job I had to sign a paper agreeing not to wear strong perfumes in the workplace, and I am a computer programmer working in an office landscape, it's not like I'm around sensitive bilogical compounds or anything like that.
So why is this? There are several theories going around. It might be due to our history of protestantism, saying that any luxuries and pleasures are a sin. It might be due to politics, our society was mostly built by our social democrat party. Traditionally they have been working for that everyone should have equal opportunities (which I think is a very good thing) but they also come with a view that anything bourgoise or "old money" (or, really, any type of money, because if you have it you're probably cheating on taxes) is bad.
Another possible culprit is the Scandinavian design, dictating that rooms should be airy and spacy, preferable with a minimal amount only white furniture bought at IKEA. When imagining those kind of settings there might be a faint pine scent from the wooden floors but nobody thinks much further than that.
There is also the horrible proverb "Law of Jante" that says "You should not think you're better than anyone else". What it does is justifying looking down on anyone who's trying to accomplish anything out of the ordinary, such as smelling better than the rest. It probably sounds utterly stupid to anyone who's able to think for him/herself, but the impact it has on people here should not be underestimated.
When all of these points are taken into account, you'll realise things are not working in favour of the perfume thing here. So I have made a very grand New Years resulotion for 2012. I'm going to put together a very nice, educational site, aimed at Swedes, written in the most inspiering way imaginable, explaining how come I (and so many others) love perfume so much. I will talk about how it transports me to other times and places. How it makes me connect to every aspect of myself (a nice bottle of perfume costs the same amounr of money as an hour of proffessional therapy, just do the maths there...). I'm going to cut the "fanatic" bit, it's not my intention to scare people, but I'm not planning to loose any edge. Yes, that's what I'm going to do. And you may now wish me luck ;)