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Yale supp. essay- "'A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting'"


pinkcheetah 2 / 13  
Dec 31, 2011   #1
This is my Yale supplemental essay, in progress. Please help me out and I'll return the favor to you if you tell me which essay to look at! Thanks so much!

(Also, I'm having some trouble transitioning to the last paragraph, any suggestions?)

The prompt is: You have already told us about yourself in the Common Application, with its list of activities, Short Answer, and Personal Essay. In this required second essay, tell us something that you would like us to know about you that we might not get from the rest of your application - or something that you would like a chance to say more about. (~500 words)

When I was young, my mother would look through her jewelry collection and I'd go through her perfume samples. Creed's Silver Mountain Water called to me one day and though I tried to gently open the small bottle, I poured the fragrance all over my hands and wrists. Later that day we went to the synagogue to help with some baking and all of the older women complemented my mother on her perfume. "What are you wearing?" they asked, "It smells delightful." I blushed and giggled as I shied away behind my mom's legs. My fascination with the fragrance of each woman began, although I was told to wait several years before I could begin my own experimentation.

My search began in middle school, when wearing a fragrance became more common. I tried body sprays and scented lotions from Bath and Body Works. I always liked the sweetest scents: Coconut Lime Verbena, Sun Ripened Raspberry and Warm Vanilla Sugar. Soon, I bought my first real perfume, Hanae Mori Butterfly, a sugar sweet bright scent. Over the next few years, I limited myself to one perfume at a time as I soon became addicted to the beautiful scents. To satisfy my desire to smell and purchase perfumes, I started giving them as gifts, only to realize that buying perfume is a very personal purchase.

A scent reflects who you see yourself as and how you want to present yourself. Are you a Chanel Chance Eau Tendre? A spring flowery fragrance with bright hints of grapefruit and quince: "intoxicatingly innocent" as Sephora says. Or maybe you're a Viktor and Rolf Eau Mega? A warm sweet fruity perfume with hints of pear and basil: "glamorous, chic and sophisticated" says Nordstrom. Perhaps you're a Miss Dior Cherie, one of my favorite scents? A modern luxurious blend of mandarin, caramel popcorn, patchouli, and musk: "chic and youthful", Ulta describes.

I'm all of these... and many more. My collection lives within several rooms of my house: my bathroom, the kitchen bathroom and even the dining room. Perfume is my drug and when I feel drab, I need a spritz. As I've grown older, my perfume preferences have changed. I like less sugary sweet, and more depth and complexity. I go crazy over perfumes with many layers that change as the day wears on.

My perfume preferences show other aspects of me, too. When I was younger, I liked more clear, precise things -- especially those that were "sugary sweet" or happy. Now, I love complex ideas with many layers. Sometimes I'll sit and get lost in my thoughts for hours, using Wikipedia as an easy tool to further my understandings. I get lost in what I call, wikiloops, endless circles of clicking and following new links.

Each of my perfumes reflects me. Each in a different way. Sometimes I layer the scents, mixing two familiar perfumes into a new one, while other days I like to wear the pure perfume, uninterrupted. My fragrance is a part of me reflecting who I am and who I want to be seen as. I have serious scents and fun scents, intriguing scents and simpler scents. After all, Christian Dior once said, "A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting," and I wholeheartedly agree.
ags012 1 / 1  
Dec 31, 2011   #2
I think the transition into your last paragraph is fine. However, you may want to work on a transition into your third paragraph. Also in general, you may not want to use contractions in formal writing (like I'd instead of I would). There are a bunch of quotes in your essay, so maybe tone down other people's words and say them in your own way yourself. As your perfume preference change, did you change? It might be intriguing to talk about. Overall, this is an extremely interesting topic, and it was a good read (:
ninjahatori 3 / 13  
Dec 31, 2011   #3
I absolutely love the transition from layered fragrance of a perfume to your intellectual development.

And, it's just my opinion, don't you think that the first line of the second last para reminds the reader that this is an essay, while the rest of the writing flows rather naturally?

And creed's something something called to you one day is a little weird, because the previous sentence was in the active voice, and suddenly you make yourself passive. Just seems a little jarring.

And second para, first line, you meantion search...which is rather surprising because the last para was about experimentation. try fiddling or some other word. Search kind of seems like you are looking for something specific.

My 2 cents.

Overall, brilliant essay. I'm sure you'll get in somewhere great, if not yale.
shayshay3194 5 / 9  
Dec 31, 2011   #4
I like the story you used at the beginning of the essay; it really draws the reader in.

I think you could combine the 4th and 5th paragraphs, because they're kind of reiterating the same ideas. You could go more in depth about how your maturing perfume taste reflect your maturing personality - life doesn't have to be all sugary & black and white, you now appreciate the gray, complex areas, etc.

I didn't think your jump to the six paragraph was distracting, transition wise. Depending on what you do with the 4th and 5th paragraphs, it might naturally flow better. I think its fine as is, though.

I hope this helped & that you get accepted!

Could you look at my Common App essay, if you get a chance? Thanks!
Shereen 1 / 5  
Dec 31, 2011   #5
This is a brilliant essay very well written and you effectively have captured my attention!
It also answers the prompt in a rather unique way,I wouldnt change a thing to be honest :)
OP pinkcheetah 2 / 13  
Dec 31, 2011   #6
Hi everyone and thanks for all the help. I went through and edited the essay. Major changes were eliminating the contractions, moving the first sentence of paragraph 3 to the end of the 2nd, merging the 4th and 5th paragraphs. I purposefully elected to keep the quotes (thinking that it added flavor and I didn't want to outright say that I was those things) andto keep the second sentence in passive voice, not knowing a natural way to rephrase it. Thanks for all you're help and if there's anything else that you notice, please let me know!

When I was young, my mother would look through her jewelry collection and I would go through her perfume samples. One day, Creed's Silver Mountain Water called to me and though I tried to gently open the small bottle, I poured the fragrance all over my hands and wrists. Later that day we went to the synagogue to help with some baking and all of the older women complemented my mother on her perfume. "What are you wearing? It's wonderful," they asked. I blushed and giggled as I shied away behind my mom's legs. My fascination with the fragrance of each woman began, although I was told to wait several years before I could begin my own experimentation.

My perfume trials began in middle school, when wearing a fragrance became more common. I tried body sprays and scented lotions from Bath and Body Works. I always liked the sweetest scents: Coconut Lime Verbena, Sun Ripened Raspberry and Warm Vanilla Sugar. Soon, I bought my first real perfume, Hanae Mori Butterfly, a sugar sweet bright scent. Over the next few years, I limited myself to one perfume at a time as I soon became addicted to the beautiful scents. To satisfy my desire to smell and purchase perfumes, I started giving them as gifts, only to realize that buying perfume is a very personal purchase. A scent reflects who you see yourself as and how you want to present yourself.

Are you a Chanel Chance Eau Tendre? A spring flowery fragrance with bright hints of grapefruit and quince: "intoxicatingly innocent" as Sephora says. Or maybe you see yourself as a Viktor and Rolf Eau Mega? A warm sweet fruity perfume with hints of pear and basil: "glamorous, chic and sophisticated" says Nordstrom. Perhaps you are a Miss Dior Cherie, one of my favorite scents? A modern luxurious blend of mandarin, caramel popcorn, patchouli, and musk: "chic and youthful", Ulta describes.

I am all of these... and many more. My collection lives within several rooms of my house: my bathroom, the kitchen bathroom and even the dining room. Perfume is my drug and when I feel drab, I need a spritz. As I have grown older, my perfume preferences have changed. When I was younger, I liked more clear, precise things -- especially those that were "sugary sweet" or happy. Now, I like things less sugary sweet, and prefer more depth and complexity. I go crazy over perfumes with many layers that change as the day wears on. I love complex ideas with many layers, too. Sometimes I'll sit and get lost in my thoughts for hours, using Wikipedia as an easy tool to further my understandings. I get lost in what I call, wikiloops, endless circles of clicking and following new links.

Each of my perfumes reflects me. Each in a different way. Sometimes I layer the scents, mixing two familiar perfumes into a new one, while other days I like to wear the pure perfume, uninterrupted. My fragrance is a part of me reflecting who I am and who I want to be seen as. I have serious scents and fun scents, intriguing scents and simpler scents. After all, Christian Dior once said, "A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting," and I wholeheartedly agree.
Pradodiana1 3 / 17  
Dec 31, 2011   #7
Thank you so much for helping with my essay!
I really don't know how to fix this one, it is just so good already that I have had to read it three times to find a problem with it.

In my re-reading, I found that the quotes you left made you sound like you are superficial. Sure, you are intoxicatingly inocent, but how will that help you get through college or save the universe like superman??? lol. Just saying that you might want to point at some of your better qualities like the fact that you are incredibly creative and can think outside the box (like, connecting perfumes to growing up), instead of showing that you are chick and youthful.

The transition in the second to last paragraph is not a problem, however talking about wikiloops might be. Why not talk about how you like to explore challenging subjects in school or something like how you went from taking regular English to advanced comp (by the way, did you do this? It seems like you are taking a course like advanced comp cause you are so so so sooo creative!)
OP pinkcheetah 2 / 13  
Dec 31, 2011   #8
Thanks so much Pradodiana1! That actually makes a lot of sense and I'm working on re-working those sections now, especially what you said about the quotes. And thanks for all the complements!
Pradodiana1 3 / 17  
Dec 31, 2011   #9
You're welcome! I'll be checking back so if you post again tonight I'd be happy to help! I am also working on fixing mine with the advice you gave me, would you mind looking at it again when I re-post it in like half an hour?
birdcages 2 / 11  
Dec 31, 2011   #10
I really like it - it's creative and a light read that does show a lot of your personality.

I'm not a fan of the third paragraph, actually. It sounds awkward and fragmented, imo. Maybe change it to -
Are you a Chanel Chance Eau Tendre? Sephora describes it as a spring flowery fragrance with bright hints of grapefruit and quince, "intoxicatingly innocent." Or maybe you see yourself as a Viktor and Rolf Eau Mega, a warm sweet fruity perfume with hints of pear and basil that make it "glamorous, chic and sophisticated," according to Nordstrom. Perhaps you are a Miss Dior Cherie, one of my favorite scents? It's "chic and youthful," Ulta says, describing its modern luxurious blend of mandarin, caramel popcorn, patchouli, and musk.

But I agree with the poster above me - describing yourself as glamorous and chic sounds a little shallow (although I actually love Victor and Rolf Eau Mega! haha)

I like the thing about Wiki - like Yale said, they're interested in things that your CommonApp doesn't show, and I think it's good that you show that you like to dig for information.

Help me with my personal statement, please? :)


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