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  1. Gender, Pack and the Aquatic Fragrance

    I find the discussion of gender and perfume fascinating but frustrating. However well-considered an understanding or a finding might be, it’s hard to consider in terms of evidence. Gender is as basic as language, but where is it? Where do you find gender? Fragrance is easy to ‘place’, but how do you discuss it? What does it mean?

    It's possible to make truthful generalities about groups of people, but I am cautious about the size of the brushstrokes. I especially love generalizing ...
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  2. Diorellish, or The Perfume Formerly Known as Diorella

    Diorellish (the the current reformulation of Diorella) smells OK. On first impression, it smells a bit like Diorella, the lateral borders being in about the same places, but the depth isn't there. Graph Diorellish in two dimensions and the X-axis appears mostly intact; the general shape of Diorella can be seen. But on the Y-axis, the lack of depth would distinguish it instantly from the actual Edmond Roudnitska classic.

    This sort of reformulation, which deliberatly avoids nuance ...
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  3. Mario Valentino Ocean Rain (1990) or, On Diorissimo: Edmond Roudnitska's Manifesto

    Roudnitska is known for his perfumes, for his influence on the state of the art of perfumery and, more than many other noses, for his discussion of the art of perfumery. I don’t know all his work. I’m not an historian and there has been very little critical analysis of perfumery as an art form. There isn’t much to draw on for those who would like to know more. The eternal proviso that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing comes to mind. Still, I’d like to write about Ocean Rain.
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  4. The Gourmand Apocalypse

    The ‘foodie‘ focus of modern perfume started in the late 19th century, coincidentally at the start of chemically synthetic perfumery. We tend to highlight the abstract perfumes from this era, such as the fougère, the chypre and the oriental. The fougère has long been defined by its lack of food scent and proudly accepts “soapy” jibes. But the chypre contains citrus, albeit the rarely eaten bergamot orange, in it's basic composition. More than the fougère, the chypre at least leans toward the ...
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  5. The Problem of the Fruity-Floral

    The problem of the fruity floral isn't a problem of genre. It's a problem of abstraction. Abstraction is critical to the art of perfumery because it is key to separating notes and building accords.

    I use the word abstraction a lot in talking about perfume, so I should explain my meaning. Abstraction is considering an idea or thing without its associations or known characteristics. It is freedom from representation. It is concept over character.

    I find perfumery implicitly ...
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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000