Out of Office: My Cologne-Collecting Hobby


Out of Office: My Cologne-Collecting Hobby

Life continues to go on, and the idea of normalcy is being upended. In this series, we’ve looked at how some of our team members have developed new hobbies to pass the time during the COVID-19 pandemic. But in this post, Blaine shares how his existing hobby and its associated habits have been the familiar thread that’s run through a very unfamiliar season.

Bringing Consistency to Times of Change

What do you find so fulfilling or rewarding about this hobby?

Around 2008, I began collecting cologne, and since then, I’ve accumulated over 100 bottles. It’s really like any other collection. The items increase in value the longer you hold onto them. There are certain types that become discontinued and others get reformulated, so their value really increases when those situations happen.

How is this hobby helping you during this time of quarantine and social distancing?

I wear a fragrance every day and have continued to do so in “quarantine”. It does help keep some sense of normalcy in my life, I think.

How does this hobby help you in your day-to-day role at InterWorks?

As silly as it sounds, I think fragrance can really affect someone’s mood, and depending on the situation, the right smell can really put you in the right mindset. Obviously, I have a few options available, but they are all unique and can really be categorized by what type of situation I’m going to be in. Whether it’s an office situation, meeting, etc., there are certain fragrances that make me feel more professional. Others are more geared towards nighttime or going out, others for gym or active situations, etc. Then temperature and season also come into play … some are geared more towards colder winter months and others for summertime and hot seasons.

Finding Freedom and an Outlet

Why is it important to have hobbies/personal projects?

I think having something to take your mind away from work, home or the daily grind of life is important as an outlet for stress. The majority of my time is consumed by work, family duties and youth baseball. It’s nice when you have time to relax and work on something you enjoy vs. something you’re responsible for or compelled to do.

What has this taught you about yourself? What can hobbies in general teach us about ourselves?

Well, when I initially started out, I knew very little: something either smelled nice or it didn’t. I’m now to the point where I’ve gotten my nose on so many different parfums that it’s easy to tell the quality and ingredients used to create most colognes, even down to the individual notes. It’s kind of fun smelling someone with a fragrance and most of the time being able to ask, “Are you wearing <SPECIFIC FRAGRANCE>?” or suggest, “If you like A, you should try B.”  Like I said before, I think hobbies can teach us that we all need an outlet. We all need time to spend on something that doesn’t involve pressure, a deadline or really any obligation.

More About the Author

Blaine Stephens

Strategic Account Manager
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Out of Office: My Cologne-Collecting Hobby Life continues to go on, and the idea of normalcy is being upended. In this series, we’ve looked at how some of our team members ...

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