Thursday, 31 October 2019

Bonkers turned Ten the other day!

I know, I know, another nonchalantly asynchronous blog anniversary - the actual date being 25th October (I am pretty sure, but will just check...). I don't think readers will mind though, indeed I am not at all sure I even deserve an anniversary owing to the spasmodic and infrequent nature of my posts this year: a measly 16 to date in total. Still and all, it is a bit over a month at the current rate till I will reach two million page views, and I have written 678 posts in the past ten years. (679 now...) That does sound like quite a lot, actually(!), especially when I reckon up how long each one takes.

Meanwhile, I could have accepted various offers from would-be guest posters down the years, most recently one from the PR of a company that makes 'fermented skin products'. I was offered $35 for the privilege, but turned her down. I know I hardly post myself, but if you started to see features on beauty in a completely different - and doubtless conspicuously advertorial - style by someone called Mindy (not her real name, but you get the idea) you would probably smell a rat.

The thing about not posting very much, however, is that people naturally drift off after a while, unsure whether you will ever get your act together again. I understand that blogs may be somewhat on the decline anyway, and Instagram in the ascendent, but I am not going to start blogging on there in my twilight years, as it were - OR in bitesize snippets on Twitter, though I have seen that done. The format on that occasion proved spectacular, in a relentlessly bludgeoning kind of a way.

Now I do get a few comments from genuine perfume lovers still, but the vast majority are bot-driven(?) gibberish from spammers of every stripe. Some of these are funny though, so here is a small selection, reproduced verbatim:

"Thank you for the good write up. It in fact was an amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you. However, how could we communicate?"

"Yes finally someone writes about url shorten." (I didn't!)

"Hurrah that's what I was exploring for, what a data! present here at this blog, thanks admin of this website."

If I am honest, I do find the slew of spam comments depressing, even if, for the most part, they are intercepted and await my moderation. I know that if Blogger was not such a cantankerous and unuser-friendly format, I might get a few more real people making it through, but I am not going to jump ship to Wordpress at this late stage either.

Rather, I will continue to sputter on, not unlike the tramps in Waiting for Godot:

"I can't go on. I'll go on."

My blogging helper and familiar!

For I do love perfume and wear it most days. It's the sadly discontinued Guerlain Plus Que Jamais today, rather aptly, as it was always my kneejerk choice whenever anyone asked me what my favourite scent was. And maybe it still is, though there are numerous others biting at its heels, not least HOCB Immortal Beloved, and now Bengale Rouge.

And of course there are the great friends in this community, my regular exchanges with whom mean the world to me (you know who you are!).

Then behind the scenes I continue to convert more of my 'civilian'* friends to niche fragrance. One in particular doesn't have a clue what they are wearing on any given occasion - the samples they've been given are all simply called 'sprays'- but the main thing is that they are 'spraying' at all(!).

So, you know, there is still a degree of scented goings on in my life. But while I do genuinely think that some of my early posts were proper reviews with perfume (more or less!) firmly centre stage - eg this seasonal one of L'Etat Libre d'Orange's pumpkin-forward Like This or this ode to body odour and libraries that is my take on Miller Harris's L'Air de Rien - I would be the first to concede that fragrance has become an increasingly tangential theme over time, such that I doubt very much whether anyone would stop by Bonkers these days for a real review of a new release.

But that's okay. I think Nature is quietly trying to tell me that I am if anything a travel writer who happens to like fragrance. I have been doing a fair bit of travelling lately in fact - interspersed with bursts of renovations and repairs to two houses! - and that is my main focus.

One of those black eyes is genuine!

In summary therefore, I am definitely slowing down in blogging terms, but am not at a complete stop yet...and if you don't mind the topic veering a bit to the left and right of perfume per se, you can look forward to more 'added agreeable' from the admin of this website for a bit longer at least...;)

*(copyright Tara of A Bottled Rose)


Anonymous said...

I love reading Bonkers just because your posts are different from anyone else's! They are always so interesting and funny, and I don't mind if you don't even mention perfume. Then there's always the possibility that your little familiar might feature. I am so glad I discovered you. Here's to another ten years of Bonkers!

Tara said...

I don't think your posting rate is that bad at all V. I couldn't write about a perfume a week the way I used to. I think branching out as you have, is the way to go. You have a unique voice and style and that can make any topic interesting and entertaining. In any case, ten years and 679 posts really is impressive. Many congratulations!

I must also add that I don't know anyone who has done such a great job of converting those civilians :)

Vanessa said...

Hi Jillie,

Thanks so much for your kind comments and encouragement. It is great that you are still reading, despite my erratic posting - and themes!

And I hope your cold/flu thing has finally turned a corner.

Vanessa said...

Hi Tara,

Haha, thanks for your commendation on my civilian conversion rate - more impressive than my posting rate, but I realise now that even that isn't so bad as I thought.

I have accepted that I can't write so much about perfume - or so relatively coherently, as I once did - and my imagination will go where it goes. If people come along too, such as your good self and Jillie above, I count that as a bonus.

Odiferess said...

Hi Vanessa,
Very glad indeed that you are still blogging, and 16 posts is quite a phenomenon after 10 years on the smelly stuff. Here's to many more!
Now, plea stop by my store where u will fine many qwality oil smell like designer sent.

Hamamelis said...

Anything you write about provides a grin and often a big laugh! Hope you can find it in yourself to go on blogging, I find it such a shame that the online world is slowly but surely being instammagrised. I love the written word. So many congrats and please keep going, whilst smelling great. Big Bengal Rouge love here too!

Vanessa said...

Hi Odiferess,

Hahahaha, I love your comment. I'll be right over to check out your wares. ;)

I do feel a bit of a failure for having dwindled from the two posts a week of my 'heyday', or even the one a week of my post-heyday, but you can't force these things, and I have had a lot of other things going on one way and another.

Vanessa said...

Hi Hamamelis,

Haha, I love your coinage of 'Instagrammised' - or your spoonerised version of 'Instammagrised', indeed! It does seem to be a very strong trend at the moment...Maybe people are becoming more time poor and more visual.

Glad you love Bengale Rouge too!

Unknown said...

I'm glad you're carrying on with your blog. I came for perfume temptation but I've stayed for the beautifully evocative stories about your travels and travails over the years with the added bonus of photos of your feline friend. I'm human, honest!

Undina said...

What a wonderful anniversary! I’m sad a little about instagrammization and vlogization of what used to be our Blogosphere but nothing stays unchanged, and, as I get older, I find some perverse satisfaction from the following generations’ realization of that fact. I love your posts: in addition to everything else, they keep improving at least my passive vocabulary :)
Don’t push yourself if you don’t feel like writing but please do if you want to but procrastinate or are tempted to post an Instagram picture or a FB update instead.
Once again - happy anniversary, and keep them coming! (And in case you were wondering what I meant by “them,” you can read it any way you want - posts, anniversaries or us (as in “if you build it...”)).

teardrop said...

Happy Anniversary, Vanessa! I'm pretty sure I've been reading your blog for most of those ten years & it's still one of my favourites, however frequently or infrequently you write. And it's always a joy to see a Truffle pic! :)
Rest assured I'll be reading for as long as you're writing. I came here for the perfume, but I stayed for the witty & whimsical style. Here's to at least another ten years!

AustralianPerfumeJunkies said...

WOW! 2 million views is a LOT! Congratulations on that too.
Chiming in to say write what you like, it's your voice that resonates through the posts that makes it so engaging for me. Perfume is definitely the second or less reason I read you.
Portia xx

Anonymous said...

Coming out of lurkdom to say Happy Anniversary!
I love reading your posts no matter how erratic they are.

Vanessa said...

Hello Unknown!

Very sorry for the long delay in replying to these comments, but have been on the move since the morning of 2nd in fact, and am just sitting down to catch up with things now I am at journey's end in France.

Thank you for sticking with Bonkers through its gradual evolution - it is heartening to know people don't necessarily think I have 'failed' at being a blogger because I haven't stuck faithfully to the original topic.

And special thanks for 'de-lurking' to tell me so. You certainly sound very human to me!

Vanessa said...

Hi Undina,

Again, apologies for the delayed reply (see my explanation above to Unknown).

Thank you too for being unfazed by my spontaneous approach to both the timing and subject matter of my posts. And yes, you have noticed that I am drifting off to Instagram a little bit round the margins with my @flittersniffer handle, as it is less labour intensive to connect with people through a quick post there or on Facebook. And only about one in 40 posts concerns perfume over there!

I am chuffed that you feel I am adding anything to your vocabulary, which is already exceptionally broad by any yardstick. For example, I am going to have to remind myself of the rest of that 'build it' saying you quote, which I have heard but can't quite bring to mind! 'They will come' or something? Ah, would that it were that easy to attract readers, especially on the clunky old Blogger platform, but thanks!

Vanessa said...

Hi teardrop,

Always lovely to hear from you and to know that you are still following the increasingly sketchy trajectory which Bonkers is on nowadays. It is incredible to think you have been around reading for all that time - your stickability is much appreciated, and is an incentive to me to carry on!

Vanessa said...

Hi Portia,

Thanks for your kind comments about my 'authorial voice' being the main hook for you, and, it seems, for other readers who aren't too fussed what the topic is. Your opinion means a lot, with you being such a 'behemoth blogger' yourself.

I keep wanting to - and then stop myself from doing so - write a post about surfing the second hand ads for sofas, as some of the pictures are so extraordinary. Maybe I will give into my urges one day after all. ;)


Vanessa said...

Hi Anonymous,

Sorry I can't be more specific in my greeting, but at least I am able to formally distinguish you from 'Unknown', hehe.

I love your coinage of 'lurkdom'! And I also love your choice of 'erratic' to describe my sporadic and unscheduled posts. I think it's a great word to describe me generally indeed, not just my blogging frequency, so thanks for that too! ;)

teardrop said...

The full quote is "If you build it, they will come", it's from the movie Field of Dreams.

I'm intrigued by the sofa pics, bring 'em on! :)

Vanessa said...

Hi teardrop,

(Belated!) thanks for that. I feel encouraged to do the sofa post after all...