Blog Comments

  1. Hojji77's Avatar
    Magnificent selections! Your take on Duras--fragrance issues entirely aside--is very right and elegantly concise...

    Of the titles you offer I am only really versed in a few. For some reason I have never liked John Irving and punted on those books before I got very far--this was a long time ago. I also stalled on the lower slopes of the Magic Mountain; I'm rotten, or at least have become rotten, on long novels, and this ADD quality is perhaps why I began focusing on poetry instead.

    The Cherry Orchard on a literal level makes me want to do do cherries (M7) or Russia (Cuir de Russie) but neither of those work on a level beyond the joke. I'm going to go with vintage Ungaro III for its aura of sad and ineluctable decline with a glimmer of humor...and also for its vanishing act...

    Valis I have not read; I couldn't abide PKD's prose style in Electric Sheep and that put me off anything else. But in this vein of speculative fiction more generally I'm tempted toward Kerosene's Copper Skies for its astringent yet elegaic possibilities.

    Play It As It Lays: Brilliant problem, one that I must think about further. Right now I got nothing, but it beckons.

    Have you ever read:

    How German Is It (Walter Abish)

    The Alexandria Quartet (Lawrence Durrell--from back in the days when I could make it through massive novels. I revisited it a decade ago and it seemed rather embarrassingly overwrought, but the perfume possibilities are endless)
  2. anomie et ivoire's Avatar
    I'll take the challenge, but you've chosen some that fantastically transcend all possibility of just one or two scents, at least TMN.

    L'amant ... probably seems like it's just to match the title, but Coty's L'Aimant in vintage parfum fits the "past present time" of the novel--when the writer is a young girl and cannot yet appreciate the full extent of her love as it unfolds. For another kind of obvious but I think suitable suggestion (sometimes the first thought is best with these...) vintage YSL Opium could represent her grown/future self's nostalgia enshrining memory (also Opium was released not too far from when the novel was). Opium sums up all of the well-meaning romanticizing of orientalism inherent in this work while Coty's aldehydic classic suggests a growing up too fast air.

    The Sound and the Fury ... difficult to associate a perfume-type scent with this book ... but vintage Arpege for the dusty gothic faded grandeur, plainspoken yet also dizzying virtuosity.

    Neuromancer I'm not well-versed enough in the extensive world of niche (that is so far, barely at all) to pick a fitting match for this one, but CDG Odeur 71 could work on the more matchy-matchy tech-atmospheric end while strangely, the excesses and post-modern assault on the senses/hacker prank-like Angel or A*Men might also do.

    Bonjour Tristesse ... Mon Peche de Lanvin "sin is a sin is a sin" don't they say? ... is in.

    Death in Venice ... Mitsouko because it smells medicinal, a bit like disinfectant but beautiful ... mixed with L'Heure Bleue (said to be Duchess of Windsor so and so's sig mix, but I can't be bothered with royalty, unless if only fictive and mostly satirical!). Some strange and unsettling bit of youth must be thrown in there, should keep it Guerlain: Chant D'Aromes (never have smelled it, heard it would fit the purpose).

    'Tis Pity She's a Whore ... I've never read this (tis a pity that!) nor seen it performed. Having now looked it up on wiki: perhaps too obvious a suggestion, but original Dior Poison (pre-reform, super damascone-laden for a blooded wine scent full of danger, forbiddenness, high drama).

    Tess of the D'Ubervilles Nina Ricci Fille D'Eve or maybe any other of the Germaine Cellier compositions: her nature vs. progress struggle in fragrance works for Tess. Niki de Saint Phalle also: earth mother but cold and out of control.

    Some I can't decide on:

    The Hotel New Hampshire and The World According to Garp
    The Magic Mountain
    The Cherry Orchard
    Valis
    Play It As It Lays
    Updated 1st September 2012 at 03:27 PM by anomie et ivoire
  3. anomie et ivoire's Avatar
    Barnes is so heavily gothic, but her intensity fits the double bind of fraught display- piece-meets-existential invisibility of women in her time, further complicated and undermined by being lesbian. Leaving behind one's mother country and rejecting the safety of men was choosing insanity in those days (some still think it is?). I am partial to frightening intensity in writing though: it creates a rhythm and mood behind words like a good hook makes lyrics obsolete. Not all the time of course! But such heaviness usually shows up when someone who should probably be solely a poet writes prose (Barnes for sure IMO). The poetic form would dash the explanatory apologetics of paragraphs, pages, and narrative. The same happens with Nin in that way, though her pornography is where she does the poetry.

    I both love and hate Nin but find her more of a compelling trainwreck than a favorite (same for her man Henry Miller, Hemmingway, Burroughs, most of those Live Big to Have Something to Write types).

    Barnes, by comparison, strikes me as a natural writerly writer (vs. Nin's sensualism that would be better expressed in action) and one who didn't do things to shock but was dismayed that society could be so shocked by her merely existing. To bring this back to perfume, Barnes was like a classic chypre today: why do people find them so "old lady" and perplexing? Nin was a niche offering: "look, I transgress! And I can do cheap but not for cheap!"

    I appreciated your pointing out Turin's reviews being Apollonian and Sanchez' mostly Dionysian: and hers in the best sense-even one about falling in love with a scent while drunk. So much the realer.
    Updated 1st September 2012 at 06:12 AM by anomie et ivoire
  4. Hojji77's Avatar
    Ok, I would be interested in what you might propose for any of the following. I'm making you do the heavy lifting because your vocabulary, especially in feminines, is far wider then mine.

    L'amant

    The Sound and the Fury

    Neuromancer

    Bonjour Tristesse

    Death in Venice

    'Tis Pity She's a Whore

    Tess of the D'Urbevilles
  5. Hojji77's Avatar
    I have never had any idea how to read Djuna Barnes. I admire the intensity, but I have always come away feeling confused and mildly repelled by all that churning of thought and feeling; want to tell her to lighten up and draw a breath. I know that's probably not the point though.

    A similar feeling inhabits my reaction to the "real" novels of Anais Nin, although perhaps not to the same extent. I think I like her pornography better because the strictness and compactness of the form, and perhaps her emotional distance from the subject matter, actually grant her greater clarity.

    This has nothing at all to do with perfume...
  6. anomie et ivoire's Avatar
    Thanks for the encouragement all!

    Update: I won't be doing this blog after all, unless elsewhere on the web. I'll post the reviews on Goodreads and link them here.
    Sorry for the false start, but eh oh well.
    Updated 21st August 2012 at 07:46 AM by anomie et ivoire
  7. mr. reasonable's Avatar
    They are very different - Patrica de Nicolai is quite capable of creating excellent work in different styles
  8. mr. reasonable's Avatar
    I like all three so can't help here, really, much as I would like to. Good luck.
  9. teardrop's Avatar
    Sounds interesting, l look forward to reading!
  10. rubegon's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by anomie et ivoire
    Casual request for opinion: might someone who dislikes NY like Odalisque and Sacrébleu or any other PDN? Gonna browse notes and see...
    Absolutely - she's the last active (I think?) Guerlain family perfumer, the president of the Osmotheque ... she's got some range. Her style is not as soft as the classic Guerlain style - the guerlinade has a smoothening effect that unifies many of the iconic compositions of the family over the generations. PdN's style is a bit harsher, more strident, by comparison, but the compositions are unique, and each has something to say. They tend to be polarizing, so even if you hate NY, there's a very good chance you'll find something in the range you love.

    I haven't really explored the femme range. I love NY and like Vanille Tonka quite a lot. I want to try the colognes. Next time I'm in Paris I'm going to check them all out and probably walk out with a liter of one of them.
  11. anomie et ivoire's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Alityke
    Don't usually read the blogs but this piqued my interest.

    I'm tapping my fingers impatiently

    Ali
    X
    Thanks everyone! Sorry to have pre-announced, probably kind of dramatic. But I had the idea and if I don't make note of things they often go by the wayside. There seem to be some pretty good blogs hidden around BN. Interesting exhaustive lists on things like female perfumers or potential allergen ingredients.

    Also Hojji, I like your blog! I'll start reading/commenting soon. Very interesting considerations you explore.
  12. Alityke's Avatar
    Don't usually read the blogs but this piqued my interest.

    I'm tapping my fingers impatiently

    Ali
    X
  13. Hojji77's Avatar
    With great anticipation.
  14. Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
    Looking forward to it, Anomie et Ivoire.
  15. anomie et ivoire's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable
    Sacrébleu & Odalisque are also worth a look if you are exploring PDN. It's great they they offer 30ml. bottles - I wish more did that
    Ah yes, I ended up hating PDN NY, only because it was far too citrusy and probably much more for a man. Really smelled like a steam-ironed Guerlain, but I guess that's Nicolai's Guerlain blood?

    Casual request for opinion: might someone who dislikes NY like Odalisque and Sacrébleu or any other PDN? Gonna browse notes and see...

    Like most who start to develop any of their own taste, I have found that I do not agree with most of Turin's assessments, though I always enjoy the scientific angle he brings to analysis. Sanchez' literary, unpretentious tastes are a lot more interesting.

    But hey, The Guide is good fun. Sort of like those Robert Christgau record review books from the 70s and 80s though: it dismisses a lot of stuff on the basis of pet peeves and minor quibbles. Better would be a perfume critic equivalent of Greil Marcus or even a Lester Bangs; essayistic and fair or ecstatically biased.
  16. RHINORAY2's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by anomie et ivoire
    The way Turin/Sanchez present info made me want to learn everything. The chemistry and history aspects fascinated me most at first, but now I'm on to pure sensory delight.

    That's one cool son you have! Can't wait to try PDN NY and Patchouli Intense.
    Everyone in my life thinks this hobby is nuts too, especially as it's sort of out of character for me (always a vintage fashion nut but anti-makeup and almost hippie-like natural). So we've both boarded the mother ship here at Basenotes...
    Thanks He's a great son and my daughter is just as wonderful. She's a looking for work FIT Fashion Design graduate. I started him off with Encre Noir and Burberry London My daughter is keen on Bulgari Rose Essentielle.
  17. mr. reasonable's Avatar
    Sacrébleu & Odalisque are also worth a look if you are exploring PDN. It's great they they offer 30ml. bottles - I wish more did that
  18. anomie et ivoire's Avatar
    The way Turin/Sanchez present info made me want to learn everything. The chemistry and history aspects fascinated me most at first, but now I'm on to pure sensory delight.

    That's one cool son you have! Can't wait to try PDN NY and Patchouli Intense.
    Everyone in my life thinks this hobby is nuts too, especially as it's sort of out of character for me (always a vintage fashion nut but anti-makeup and almost hippie-like natural). So we've both boarded the mother ship here at Basenotes...


    Quote Originally Posted by RHINORAY2
    My son bought me Turin and Sanchez's book for Fathers Day. Just spent more money on frags, my wife thinks I'm nuts, but I'm hooked. Tried PDN "New York", "Patcholi Intense" and just ordered "Eau de Gurlain". The PDN's are excellent.
  19. RHINORAY2's Avatar
    My son bought me Turin and Sanchez's book for Fathers Day. Just spent more money on frags, my wife thinks I'm nuts, but I'm hooked. Tried PDN "New York", "Patcholi Intense" and just ordered "Eau de Gurlain". The PDN's are excellent.



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