Classical perfumery is wounded. The IFRA barbarians are at the gate. The chypre has left the building, orientals have deflated into gourmands, leather is now ‘notes of suede’ and flowers have lost their bite but gained a sweet-tooth. Flankers of flankers of perfumes that were originally designed to be flankable in the first place are released weekly. Niche has been around long enough to have been reformulated and re-reformulated and therefore diminished. Designer lines copy niche strategies
Notes describe qualities of a fragrance. They offer a side door into the discussion of perfume with points of comparison. If you have smelled a lemon, then a "lemon" note will make sense to you. Notes are used like similes. A “rose” note smells like rose. Bvlgari Black smells like rubber. (I exclude imagistic description couched as notes, typically in product description, eg. notes of burly arctic breeze or forlorn longing.)
Parfumo, Fragrantica, Basenotes, MakeupAlley…
By the late 70s, perfume came from large corporate brands (eg. Estée Lauder, Coty), commercial fashion brands (eg. Halston, Pierre Cardin, Calvin Klein) and the old guard like Caron and Guerlain. The common thread is that investors saw perfume as a cash cow and designer-celebrity culture was a cheap ticket to the show. The perfumer was in the closet, the consumer rabidly craved identifiability in branding and the ‘coarsening of culture’ argument had been laughed into submission. Culturally we
what about ads in journals and billbords?
These are random samples pulled from my collection. They are not based on season, only chosen randomly to remind us of the beauty that awaits if we choose to indulge ourselves.
Draw 1: Dior Aqua Fahrenheit
Draw 2: Original Penguin Rocks
Draw 3: Jil Sander Man
Draw 4: YSL Pour Homme
Draw 5: Cartier Zeste de Soleil
Draw 6: Tom Ford Noir de Noir
Draw 7: Miller Harris Vetiver Bourbon
Draw 8: Guerlain Homme L'eau Boisee
Draw 9: John Varvatos
Basenotes is an online guide to perfume and fragrance, featuring news, a database of fragrances, perfume glossary, fragrance forums, user reviews and more.