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Philosophy of Fragrance

Ideas about the theory of scent, its social and cultural ramifications.

  1. Occupy Perfume Counters (Occupy PC, or OPC)

    [Please do not take the initial premise (in the title of this post) seriously. I am just trying to dramatize a situation and make a point.]

    Some radical perfumistas are occupying perfume counters across the country, and even the world, because they are frustrated by the trends they see in the perfume industry leading to downgrading the quality of fragrances and pricing their products beyond the reach of “the 99 percent.”

    In the meantime, many in the media are pointing
    ...

    Updated 27th October 2011 at 07:12 AM by JaimeB

    Categories
    Philosophy of Fragrance , The Fragrance Industry , Personal Reflections , Perfume History
  2. Does This Fragrance Make Me Smell Fat?

    So some dudes on Basenotes have occasionally used the phrase "old man's fragrance." I read this, and I think, "Wow, this expression is carrying an awful lot of freight!"

    What do I mean by that? Well, I mean that there are a lot of unconscious assumptions behind this statement. Maybe I should detail some of these, first of all, just for fun, but secondly, to deconstruct some unexamined ideas that show some pretty shocking attitudes — attitudes that people wouldn't
    ...

    Updated 14th September 2011 at 09:52 PM by JaimeB

    Categories
    Philosophy of Fragrance , Personal Reflections
  3. What is the significance of fragrance for you? A response.

    A long and complicated answer, maybe of meaning only to the OP, or perhaps not even to him...

    lyrictenororbust:

    It is interesting that you come at your question through Hegel's disagreement with Kant about the noumena. Kant believed that all we can know about things-in-themselves is that they exist; all the rest of our knowledge is of the phenomena, the extent to which they are present to the mind through their appearance, and not the thing-which-appears as it is in itself.
    ...

    Updated 18th July 2011 at 08:07 AM by JaimeB

    Categories
    Philosophy of Fragrance , The Art of Perfumery
  4. Samples from the Osmothèque, and the Uses of the Past

    A friend of mine returned recently from trip to Europe during which he visited a very special museum called the Osmothèque in Versailles, near Paris. Its mission is the conservation of perfumes and their formulae. I am sure that many Basenoters have already heard or read about it. It is located near ISIPCA (Institut supérieur international du parfum, de la cosmétique et de l'aromatique alimentaire), a school for students of perfumery, cosmetics, and food flavor technology. Founded in 1984 by a ...
  5. Fragrance and Ethnocentrism

    This may be a bit of a difficult topic, but it’s one I feel I’ve been wanting to address for a long time, and so I’m going to give it a try. As a preface, let me just recommend that if you’re feeling defensive about your own cultural perspective, perhaps you ought to leave this post for now and come back to it when you think you can take a more impartial view of it.

    Well, a long time ago now, I started a thread in which I inquired how closely the whole project of fragrance-making was
    ...
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