Monthly Archives: September 2018

PERFUME : :: : IN SEARCH OF YOUR SIGNATURE SCENT

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out March 21st

 

 

 

I do quite like this new title.

 

 

Hope you do too.

 

 

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SOMETIMES THE BEST PERFUMES JUST DON’T MAKE IT: : METALLICA/METALYS by GUERLAIN (2000)

The Black Narcissus

guerlain metallica

coral carnation

I have written about Metallica, Guerlain’s dreamily beautiful semi-oriental of carnation, orange blossom and spiced, cushioned balsam vanillas before (in my lengthy treatise on carnations).

But this morning, upon lazily waking up in the p.m and reaching out onto my dresser, I found that, instinctively spraying myself with Olivia’s very generous decant of this now rare and discontinued Guerlain (she and I have very similar appreciations in perfume, which is how we ended up meeting at my Vanilla talk at Perfume Lovers London), I raised up the back of my hand and I sighed……

How is it that such genuinely mysterious, and quite mesmerizing, scents just fall away by the wayside? Perfumes you can’t quite prise apart, that are beautifully, intuitively anti-intuitive and hermetically unseamed. That blossom like fresh, living and breathing flower petals on the skin, while below, in the dusky musks of their hollows, reveal  tantalizing glimpses…

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JOY by DIOR (2018)

 

 

joy-by-dior-so-bad

 

 

A SINISTER AND REPUGNANT SLICK OF AROMACHEMICALS NOT FIT FOR THE HUMAN BODY

 

: A SHAME ON THE PERFUME INDUSTRY.

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the state of things

 

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Hello.

 

I just thought I would check in to this unfamiliar place seeing that I don’t at present have the time to come here anymore.

 

I am currently about 95% finished with the initial text for my perfume guide, which has been an incredibly demanding, new, thrilling, and exhausting experience that I don’t even know how much I can actually talk about ( for a person as fiercely independent, rebellious and difficult as myself all of this has been entirely unchartered territory :  I am having to learn to work as a ‘team person’ and relinquish control – for an aesthetic control freak a very difficult thing to do: there are demands, legal obligations, deadlines…. all while doing a pressurized teaching job).

 

 

Sometimes I watch the whole process from afar like some abstract performance art piece ( it is only very recently that I have actually realized it is all real): me as a commercial reality, sold in a shop rather than this malleable, deletable digital presence.

 

 

Life has changed immeasurably. We have no time to go anywhere or do anything else ( Duncan is helping me with it all and that aspect of the ‘process’ has been my favourite, even if the house has turned into a gay pigsty – see picture). It feels, a little, like having your head in a vice/vise,  and sometimes it has actually all been quite insanity inducing.

 

 

 

But even though I have overshot deadlines and possibly tried the patience of my publisher with my dillying and dallying, the main text will be finished by this weekend, and then the whole EDITING process will begin in which I have to willingly kill my own darlings ( the book, as it is now, is way too long to fit physical realities).

 

 

By November it should be done.  Just  to remind you, this is not The Black Narcissus attempts the ‘ Proustian novel ‘ but more like a luxurious ‘pop bijou’ to be read in the toilet : a book with bite sized reviews for the perfume newbie as much as the confirmed perfumist. I have no idea how it will be received ( it comes out March 21st – title still not decided (!))and we will see then if anyone buys it : there will be events in London : perhaps I can meet you at one of them? but I am just riding the wave right now to see where it takes me.

 

 

When it is all done and dusted, though, much as I am enjoying the novelty of the experience,  I am still looking forward to having autonomy:  no word limit, to be able to read the New York Times all the way through in bed, and to just ramble and roam on here to my pretentious heart’s content.

 

 

 

 

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AND HER TINY MOUTH PUKED: : ::: : : : : : POUPEE…………………………by ROCHAS

4A3A0AB9-081A-40BE-BE16-2126B26CA045.jpegIt’s a dark rainy day so indulge me

The Black Narcissus

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broken-doll

broken_doll_by_hardnox757

Poupee was a peculiar little oddity that was released and quickly disappeared by the house of Rochas in 2004.

Rochas-Poupee-W500

Liking the bottle and the box one day when coming across it browsing in the cheap-end bargain bin perfume section of some Japanese supermarket, I just couldn’t help reaching into my pocket, unsmelled, and buying it (that textural, felt orange flacon cap is really quite appealing to me). I also bought another one for my friend Claire just for good measure (‘Thanks for the er…….bizarre and insane little perfume’, I think she wrote in a letter sent sometime afterwards…..’I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it’.)

Neither were most people, apparently. Failing on the US market immediately because of the name (no-one seemed to know that it signified doll, and imagined instead that it evoked something more akin to ‘droppings’ or ‘doo-doo’),   this sweet, and pink-laced little creation was…

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THE DEADLIEST RUSSIAN POISONED PERFUME BOTTLE

 

 

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Oh. My. God.

 

 

 

Novichok, the poison that was smuggled into the UK to kill Russian ex-double agents (but ended up killing an innocent bystander) was carried inside a NINA RICCI PERFUME BOTTLE.

 

 

 

https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/planes-trains-and-fake-perfume-how-novichok-arrived-in-britain-1.1133535

 

 

 

 

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The sheer horror of it: finding an abandoned ‘perfume bottle’ in a charity bin, giving it to your partner, and then letting her unknowingly spray on a lethal nerve agent, directly onto the skin (she died a week later…).

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PATRICK SUSKIND’S PERFUME BECOMES A REALITY

The Black Narcissus

Unknown

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According to an article I read in the newspaper the other day, it seems that it will soon be possible, at a price, to bottle the scent of our loved ones. Our deceased, dead, loved ones.

A French fragrance company has  devised a way to steep their scent – from clothes, their pillows and sheets they have slept in – extract the unique smell; and capture that fragrance, peculiar to the person alone, in a perfume.

I’m not quite sure how I feel about this. We all know how searingly evocative smell (and perfume) can be in its associative power to bring a person momentarily back to life or make the absent present – and I of course understand perfectly how the poignant smell of an unwashed item of clothing, or a used and unlaundered pillow case could be heart-piercingly painful when inhaled in a moment of grief: the desire…

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