There are a lot of wacky perfume names out there, but Sycophant strikes me as one of the most hilarious. So when a friend of Duncan’s, ordering some vinyl from an independent US record and book shop, kindly asked if I would like to get some fumes – all tied up with actual book releases
how could I possibly resist ?
Choosing the above unhesitatingly just because it made me laugh ( only 13 dollars for the ‘pure perfume’), other possibilities from the Kick Books range include
which I also went for for the boring and simple reason that I have always wanted to go there
In fact, curious packaging aside, the Maldives perfume makes absolutely zero impression on me. I was hankering after something tropical but instead it smells just like a pale and nondescript mouldy rose. Rubbish ( it will look good in the house though).
Its sycophantic stablemate is not much better in olfactory sensibility or intelligence ( are people, myself included, going actually for the smell , or just the novelty value?) Whatis happening here, clearly, is that people’s sense of irony, visual and intellectual selectivity – all very Grindhouse Tarantino / Rodriguez 50’s kitsch – are being appealed to when the smells themselves, sidelined, are at the brain stem level of sophistication ; this sounds snobby and arrogant I know, but you sometimes forget that the vast majority of people are simply not scent literate. It’s the amusing or even titillating label on the bottle
that brings in the chortling and inquisitive punters.
Funnily enough though, despite saying this, I might actually wear Sycophant to work. It’s actually really rather pleasant : a sort of muguet meets Body Shop Oceanus meets modern Chloe by way of turn of the century cleaner than thou floral :the kind of scent that is still very popular in Japan, – particularly for men, believe it or not – shampoo fresh and unaggressive – and though I don’t have an obsequious bone in my body, a touch of this grime-eroding fragrance on the wrists under my work uniform, as I bow and acquiesce to the best of my ability each day will, I think, work kind of perfectly
( why does this perfume come with black and red dice ?)