We hear it all the time. “Taste is subjective.” And this is quite true. I actually didn’t realize how subjective taste actually is, until I got into posting my DIY e-liquid recipes. I always thought everyone liked certain flavors, and those who didn’t, had something “wrong” with their palates. But as time went on, I understood how it’s not necessarily taste that’s subjective, but perception. Many people all “taste” the same things. This is objective. If you vape a strawberry flavoring, then it’s a fact, you’re “tasting” strawberry. But you might perceive it differently. You might perceive it to be a watermelon, or starfruit. And because of that, it might change your preference towards the ingredient. Another example – Sweetness is something everyone tastes (if you have a working tongue). Something can be undeniably sweet, such as an e-liquid with only sucralose. But you might not “enjoy” that sweetness, thus giving you a negative opinion about it. So saying “Taste is subjective” is not really telling the whole story, and in fact, a wrong statement. It should really say, “Your opinion about what you perceive you taste, is subjective.” But of course, that isn’t as catchy.
My question is, is there anyway to create a “perfect” e-juice? I’m always looking for ways to have my recipes received positively by the largest number of people possible. But there’s a pretty thick line between someone enjoying something, and someone LOVING something. I like TicTacs, they’re good. But I’m not clamoring for tiny minty morsels all hours of the day. And there are millions of products out there, that I have this attitude towards. Only a small handful of things out there, that I consider “perfect”. So if we take that into account, and then divide that number with all the number of vapers out there, it seems like its almost impossible to get EVERYONE to view something as “perfect”. But what if we could? What would that juice look like? What are the parameters that need to be put in place to reach this? What goals?
Now that we’ve had a philosophical debate on whether something like this is even possible, I want to further push this idea into practicality. If a perfect e-juice existed, what are the points it needs to hit, to retain such a title? Well these are some of the points, for me, that this recipe would need to hit, for me to view as perfect.
- This is the first and most important point for me. The flavor needs to be enjoyable. But not just “this is nice”. I need to be immersed in the experience, completely giving myself into the flavor, every single time it’s consumed. It doesn’t need to be the most enjoyable thing in existence, but it needs to be enthralling, that I don’t want to do, or think, about anything else, except for experience the flavor is giving me. This is the foundation for every other point to follow, and by that, the most difficult to attain. And when thinking deeply about it, I don’t even know where to start. What is my favorite flavor profile? I enjoy strawberry and creams. But do I enjoy it enough for me to be lost in its flavor? If the “perfect” strawberry and cream was available, would that be enough? Or would a completely new flavor need to emerge for it to transcend my senses? These are the types of questions we should ask ourselves, any time we create!
- This next point is very important as well. In my opinion, a perfect recipe would need to essentially “addict” the audience. Not just leaving them wanting more, but craving it so intensely, that nothing lesser would ever suffice. Now putting ethics aside, I can’t imagine calling a recipe perfect if I didn’t want to pick it right back up, as soon as I put it down.
- This is a point that I think has the hardest time standing, but I wanted to add it anyway. But to me, a perfect e-liquid doesn’t need to be complex. The reason I say this, is because if there was a Strawberry recipe, that was able to hit those two points above, and it was simple, I don’t think it really matters how complex it is. I think complexity only makes it more difficult to hit those two critical points. That said, if there’s a complex juice that DOES hit those two points, does that make it more “perfect” than an e-liquid that hits those points as well, but is a bit more simple? To me, it complexity doesn’t matter, unless it’s absolutely needed to produce a flavor that hits those points. So this just goes to show you that you don’t need to worry about making the most intricate recipe possible. You can reach peak enjoyability, with a simple, and easy, recipe.
- The last point I have is longevity. A perfect recipe needs to be at a maximum of enjoyment, and be insatiable, till the end of time. It can NEVER lose those two points. Perfection is a definite thing, so if a flavor hits those two points, but only for a little while, then it’s not perfect. It needs to be 100% for infinity.
Now of course, this article is a bit ridiculous. For one, there’s no way to measure any of those points, especially the last one. But speaking hypothetically helps us align our goals for our own works. If we’re not striving for “perfection” every time we go to create something, then what are we living for? And if we don’t know the goals to reach perfection, then we’re lost. And that’s the point of this article for me. To help me, and hopefully you, gain an understanding of what we should be trying to achieve. At the end of the day, my job is to help you create better recipes. And now that we know what a “perfect” juice entails, we can start to put in the work to help us attain that goal.