In 2016, can we agree not to use the word “passion”?


Has anyone noticed that unless one has a passion these days, it’s like there is something wrong with you.  It’s as if one MUST have a passion.  I blame the media for this… the talk shows, the celebrity interviews and Facebook. In my books, not having a passion is just fine.

When I give my perfume lectures, often someone will walk up to me at the end of my talk, extend their hand and say, “You’re so lucky… you have found your passion!” Actually, my interest in perfume has evolved in the past 10 years.   It started as an obsession, I’ll give you that.  But it quickly became an intellectual pursuit.  I’m reminded of something Denyse Beaulieu of Grain de musc said in an interview and I’m paraphrasing, “writing perfume reviews looks hard, so let’s do this”.  I felt the same way and I still find them difficult but rewarding when I feel that I have done them well.

In many respects, passion is over-rated.  If everyone ran off and followed their passion, life as we know would cease to exist.  Our world is based on people doing, for the most part, monotonous, repetitive jobs to the best of their abilities.  If all the factory workers around the world decided to become artists or actors or poets, good luck trying to manufacture an iPad!

I don’t think perfume was ever a passion.  I’m enthusiastic about it in that I’m always enthusiastic and optimistic about the future.  I find it difficult to look back and think to myself that my best years are behind me.  I can’t live like that.  I’m still hoping to fall in love.  I’m still hoping to meet that sexual bomb that makes all past lovers look like amateurs.  I’m still hoping to write my memoirs.  I’m still hoping to live a hermit’s life in a log cabin in the woods with central heating, 4 cats, high-speed Internet, a large-screen tv with a massive collection of vintage films, and great restaurants nearby that deliver!  And… I’m still hoping to discover perfumes that are so beautifully put together and with such great-quality materials that they make me want to wear them over and over again as I live my wonderful, perfect life.

I guess I’m moving through what I refer to as the transition week.  Christmas DOES always make me look back with a certain longing but as the week progresses, I get over my nostalgic funk and I start to look forward with hope and optimism.

Happy New Year everyone!


A statue of Janus, the God of beginnings and transitions.

Leave a comment


  1. ljodoin

     /  December 30, 2015

    Bonne année, Normand!

  2. Bonne année, Normand ! Ce texte est un bon début, merci.

  3. Cette réflexion sur avoir ou ne pas avoir de passion est très perspicace. Je me suis déjà posé la même question. Il m’est arrivé d’envier les passionnés. Le film français “le dîner de cons” se moque bien des qui ont une certaine forme de passion.

    • C’est ça! Il y a tellement de pression à se trouver des passions, c’est débile. Les gens peuvent être intéressants mais sans avoir une passion.

      Merci pour le commentaire.

  4. FiveoaksBouquet

     /  December 31, 2015

    Normand, you won’t be a hermit for long in that cabin. Everyone is going to want to come and visit you! 😀

    I agree media hype has overdone it with the word “passion” to describe peoples’ interests in various areas. I’ve loved perfume all my life and it’s been more of a steady burn–no flame and crash to it. But I am definitely subject to enthusiasms!

    Happy New Year–all the best for 2016!

    • That is exactly my point. I’ve met people over the years that seem to be passionate about all kinds of subjects… for awhile. They fall in and out of love too, like I change my shirt. But it’s the long-term people who are most interesting because they have taken the time and have acquired the experience required to really understand a subject. They’re the ones I want next to me at a party.

      No problem with enthusiasms!

      Happy New Year to you too!



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