ScentBound is Back

It’s almost two years since I last wrote for ScentBound. My last entry was on April 19th, 2014. I didn’t plan for it to be my last, nor did I know that it was going to be. It just happened.

What happened was that I just stopped writing. Gradually, I had grown tired of what I was doing and lost motivation to keep going.

I started ScenBound as a project where I can share my passion about perfume with whoever would read it and even though my passion for perfume hadn’t gone away, my passion for writing about perfume had disappeared.

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There were two reasons why my passion went away, and they are entirely my fault: lack of vision and lack of purpose.

I had no idea what I wanted ScentBound to be. Yes, it was a blog about perfume, but I hadn’t thought about it much beyond this. I hadn’t developed any vision for the site.

In the beginning, having no vision was just fine. I was experimenting. I enjoyed writing about perfume and that’s what I did.

As the site grew, however, I started feeling some sense of unease. I had created something, which was going well but I had no idea where it was going. For me, ScentBound was like my child who was reaching puberty, staring me in the face and asking me existential questions:

“Who am I?”
“What is my purpose for existence?”

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I didn’t know the answer. I had no idea what I wanted the grown up ScentBound to be. It started as a site for fragrance reviews, but I had reached a point where doing just that had become uninspiring. I felt like I was betraying ScentBound and its readers. I had to step back to see the big picture and chart a course.

Answering the question is not hard. Knowing why you gave that answer is hard.

Planning your website`s vision seems like a pretty straightforward exercise. It`s not much more than just answering one of those questions people get asked at interviews: where do you see yourself in five years.

Answering the question is not hard. Knowing why you gave that answer is hard.

And here I was: answering the question where I wanted ScentBound to be in five years and not knowing why I wanted it to be there. I didn`t know what the purpose of the site was.

Plugging away and writing reviews didn`t help me find the answer. I needed to do what university professors do to solve important problems in their field of research: take a sabbatical.

view-821049_640Now, before you draw any conclusions, let me be clear about something. I wish I could say that I went away on a remote Greek island where I lived for a year tormented by the question of the purpose my website was going to have. I wish I could say I was like Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love, traveling on three continents to discover the meaning of life.

No, my sabbatical was much less glamorous. I stayed at home, went to work and occasionally ate pizza (Veggie Lovers with pepperoni). I went on with my life, just like I would but with ScentBound out of it.

At first, I didn`t miss writing about perfume. At this point, I was kind of disappointed with anything new coming out, so I didn`t feel compelled to explore or comment on anything.

Then, slowly, I forgot about ScentBound. Occasionally, something would spark some nostalgia and remind me of the days when I enjoyed writing about perfume. In moments like these, I would tell myself that I should go back and revive the site. As soon as this thought emerged in my head, however, another one would pop up: what is the purpose of doing this anyway? My inability to answer this question would put a damper on any nostalgic feelings giving birth to my desire to revive the blog again.

Then, February 22, 2016 came. There wasn’t anything special about the day and, in the same spirit, that website I had created about perfumes popped up in my head.

Out of curiosity, I logged into WordPress and to my surprise, ScentBound was still alive and kicking. I browsed through the articles I had written, read some of the comments people had left, and I caught myself smiling to myself.

It’s a funny feeling when at the same time you feel happiness and embarrassment. Browsing through what I had built and that even though I hadn’t touched it for over two years, people still found it useful made me happy. At the same time, I was embarrassed. I felt like a father who had abandoned his child just to find out years later that despite his absence, the child has somehow had made his way through life.

At this moment, I knew the answer to my questions from two years ago. It’s an answer that has always been there, lurking from every comment, hiding in every post, peeking through every “like.”

I knew that the purpose of ScentBound was to bring happiness to all its readers. ScentBound is going to be a place where you can read about fragrances, learn about perfume and share your opinion about fragrance. ScentBound is going to be a community of people that share one passion and can freely explore it among friends.

Since the purpose of ScentBound is to serve you, then it is not my website but yours. Yes, I’ll do a big part of the writing but so can you – through your comments, discussions, and guest posts if you wish so. If ScentBound is our community, then it’s up to us to make it a happy place.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to delineate responsibility if the website doesn’t work out. It still is primarily my job to make it a success. I want to be clear, however, that you as a reader and follower of ScentBound have the right to demand the best of it and also help make it a success.

I don’t want to drag on this post for too long, but I wanted to share with you the story of how ScentBound died and came back to life.

I also want to thank you for your support, and I hope to see you here again in the days to come.

Some Practical Issues

1. You’ll notice that I have updated the domain name from ScentBound.com to ScentBound.me. While I was away, my original domain name expired and was later taken over by internet pirates.

I don’t know the details, but I found out that the original domain seems to be part of some private blog network (PBN) used to build links to other websites. This practice is not uncommon, and unfortunately, I don’t have control over ScentBound.com.

Please note that the new domain is ScentBound.me.

2. In the coming months, I’ll be transitioning the site to a new hosting service provider in an attempt to improve performance and user experience. During this transition, the site may not be available for some time. Hopefully, this transition will be seamless, and you won’t experience any interruptions.

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