Is “good taste” defined by era or style? Are some perfumes – “classic” and thus timeless?

Here we go again: six bloggers, one word – TASTE. This is my take, and I’ve chosen one perfume: Porter Sa Peau, a perfume which Roberto Greco launched in 2020 in collaboration with Master Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux, after working on it together for two years. And timeless – it is!

I chose to focus on TASTE as a noun in personal taste, not a verb. Again. let’s start from definition by Merriam-Webster:

Definition of taste 

1athe special sense that perceives and distinguishes the sweet, sour, bitter, or salty quality of a dissolved substance and is mediated by taste buds on the tongue
bthe objective sweet, sour, bitter, salty, or umami quality of a dissolved substance as perceived by the sense of taste
ca sensation obtained from a substance in the mouth that is typically produced by the stimulation of the sense of taste combined with those of touch and smellFLAVOR
2the distinctive quality of an experience the way we were treated left a bad taste in my mouth [=made me feel disgusted, bitter, etc.]
3aa small amount tasted
ba small amountBIT, especiallya sample of experience her first taste of success
obsoletethe act of tasting
5: individual preference: INCLINATION
6a: critical judgment, discernment, or appreciation
b: manner or aesthetic quality indicative of such discernment or appreciation
Porter Sa Peau
Howling at the moon / Roberto Greco
As you can see, I deliberately tried to avoid the gourmand /flavor connection with scents in this episode of Scent Semantics! I wanted to move away from the palate and discuss aesthetic patterns, more into the direction of personal taste.
There is yet another definition, saying that  “A person’s taste is their choice in the things that they like or buy, for example, their clothes, possessions, (PERFUME too, I say) or music. If you say that someone has good taste, you mean that you approve of their choices. If you say that they have poor taste, you disapprove of their choices.”
I like to adhere to the ancient saying “De gustibus non est disputandum“, but let’s be honest: place and occasion DO matter when we are talking about our perfume choices. I do not like to choke in clouds of brutal attacks of fragrant powerbombs while in a cinema or a restaurant. There’s a social element to taste: taste is also about the arbitrary human ability to judge what is considered beautiful, good, proper, and valuable.  
As much as we observe discussions about different tastes in perfume, the whole concept of aesthetics dates way back to Plato, Hume, and Kant.
Kant spoke about aesthetics as something pure and searched the essence of beauty. Problematizing the matter in social concept does not start with social media at all, although it only seems that social media have augmented our feeling of it being argumented on every possible platform. It has always been discussed, everywhere.
In his book Critique of Judgement, Kant denies any object has beauty as its property and insists that our aesthetic judgment is based on a subjective feeling. Fashion excluded, to Kant the function of fashion is merely a means of social distinction. When you think about perfumes that are “in fashion”, or pushed on social media, you get the feeling of a “must-have” perfume – which simply serves the function to make you feel that you have reached that heavenly point of achieving a social distinction merely by owning a bottle of perfume! Is it aligned with your taste?
Consumerism as well: fed by demand, propelled by mass culture, feeding the pattern of swift but temporary fulfillment, and by all means – a sign of bad taste.  Now, that’s a moment when you see impulsive perfume buying, of perfume bottles massed up and hoarded only to be put on sale in a very short period after the initial thrill.
A taste is something to be worked on, nurtured by education, sustainably grown, and yes, the ultimate goal is to provide you with – joy and pleasure!
Roberto Greco
Roberto Greco
The idea of Porter Sa Peau – perfume (meaning; Wearing One’s Skin), is an extension of the aesthetics of Roberto Greco‘s photographs. This series of photographs focuses on objects distorted by mirrors, and one – named “Reflecting my Narcissus”  has put narcissus as a note in the center of this perfume creation.
Porter Sa Peau Sample
Rodrigo Flores-Roux creates in Porter Sa Peau an aldehydes-laden atmosphere that feels like a reflection of vintage perfume memories set deeply in our collective memory.
Addictive, musky floral, push-and-pull opening delicately opens way to yellow florals and slightly fruity nuances. And yet, above all, this perfume does feel comforting, like a skin-to-skin touch that embraces you and takes you to a safe place, but with a luxurious touch of orris and soft suede, matching the grainy feeling of photographs. Powderiness and gentle muskiness are finely balanced with their opposites, finely tuned animalic and green tones, with an undercurrent of salty&warm skin infused by a very refined, although somewhat dirty-skin ambergris accord.
This tastes well, in all the possible meanings of the word, and I loved wearing my skin (Porter Sa Peau) from the first spray!
It’s been two years since I first tested it – and I’m still thinking about Porter Sa Peau.
Reflecting my Narcissus Porter Sa Peau photo
Reflecting My Narcissus / Roberto Greco
As  I don’t do Valentine Day’s lists, top tens that speak of love, etc. allow me to suggest a healthy and tasty dose of self-love and self-appreciation, as expressed in Porter Sa Peau. Or simply, wear your (perfumed) skin with pride and grace; finding compassion and patience for ourselves can only make us more likely to give the same to others. Porter Sa Peau with pride, honor yourself!
Notes (as listed by the brand): angelica, hawthorn, aldehydes, sage, iris, jasmine, narcissus, rose, ylang-ylang, ambergris, oakmoss, musk, patchouli, sandalwood, vetiver, leather, balms. Roberto Greco Porter Sa Peau is a limited edition perfume (500 pieces). 
Scent Semantics
Please do check out the rest of our Scent Semantics crew, blogging about TASTE:
Daisy also created a LinkTree which has us all organized in one place!
The Plum Girl
Elena Cvjetkovic
Photos: The Plum Girl, Roberto Greco
Sample of Porter Sa Peau was kindly provided by Roberto Greco, via Cafleurebon. Opinions – as always – are of my own.


  1. WOW Elena,
    That photograph by the brand is so ethereal. I bet the perfume is amazing. Narcissus is one of my favourite notes too.
    Portia xx

  2. I adored your take on taste, Elena! I too tried to go more in the direction of thinking of taste as a noun, and an aesthetic, critical stance. I love that you mentioned that taste can be cultivated and nurtured. Speaking of nurturing, I’ve added Porter sa peau to my “must smell list.” Have you smelled the latest Arquiste yet? I was just thinking, “Same perfumer, different peau!”

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