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Red's Lumberyard

Flagrance Fashion Faux Pas!

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The Humor of Bad Taste and The Bad Taste of Humor - An Age-Old Dilemma

Inspired by a forthright discussion with some of the ladies here at Basenotes, two of my favorite characters explore a thorny question of social cohesion versus individual freedom of expression. Two brothers on very different paths in life, but still united by their love of fragrance, and perhaps by their unspoken respect for each other. I'm not sure if they ever actually get an answer, but maybe they shed some light on the question. Any resemblance to aspects of my own personality is purely coincidental.


"Coffee's here!"

"Thanks, Snake. Just set it down right there."

"Don't wanna get any on your new laptop, do ya?"

"Absolutely not! But I must insist that you address my new love as MacBook Air. She's very sensitive, you know."

"She? Better watch out, Romeo. If word gets back....."

"Oh, phooey. Silvio already knows about us. We're a threesome. Maybe a foursome - since he MAY just be getting his own for Christmas. And you can forget any thoughts of blackmail. Please feel free to keep the coffee change."

"Damn you, Joey. Didn't think you'd notice."

"Well, if you were spending it on meth, I certainly would. But since I know that you'll be buying fragrance, it's money well spent on keeping you clean. Or cleaning you up. Whatever. Although I would prefer that you used it toward a new jean jacket. That one is simply getting too familiar."

"But it has authenticity in spades!"

"True. Call the museum. Immediately."

"Go ahead, laugh it up. I've got an early bottle lined up. I'm getting it a month before launch."

"Don't tell me. It's an A*Men flanker. Maybe the new Hermčs? Not sure how you would have pulled that off, but you've been showing better taste of late."

"Nope. It's that new one from PDRF."

"Oh my God! That cheap rip-off of ELDO? I forgot - what's that stand...."

"People's Democratic Republic of Fragrance."

"Horrors. Snake - this is not good. Not good at all. I'm deadly serious. They're supposedly the Farrelly brothers of fragrance. Maybe Troma. I tremble to ask what it's called."

"Panty Dropper!"



"Must. Remain. Speechless."

"Oh, come on. It's a joke. You're just jealous you aren't getting a bottle."

"No, I'm checking my pulse. I think I'm dead now, and I've gone to hell. Yes, that's it. Now is the moment when I have to apologize to every woman who ever lived."

"Crap, Joey. It's not that bad. People who've smelled it say it's a damn good scent."

"I don't care if it's vintage Antaeus. I won't have my brother owning a bottle of that stuff. You are one smart cookie, bro. Name your price - I have checkbook in tow. You want vintage Guerlain? Name it."

"You're serious."

"Absolutely. This is my Natalie Portman moment. Do you have any idea how despised that term is by women?"

"Oh, bullshit. I use it all the time. Nobody ever said a thing."

"That doesn't mean they like it. Get a clue, Sherlock. I'm here to break it to you. "Panty dropper" is the anti-panty dropper. It makes women run for the dark hills and say "Ravage me, psychotic inbred baldies! The world's biggest loser is after me! Make him go away!"

"Holy shit! You mean it?"

"Of course I mean it. You saw me close my new laptop?"

"You mean MacBook Air."

"Whatever. The point is, there is an infinitesimal chance that the Illuminati actually exist, and another infinitesimal chance that they secretly run Apple, and a further infinitesimal chance that they are listening on my computer. That they might actually HEAR me say that word. And tell ANYBODY. I'm in the fashion industry. Women are my world. Demeaning them isn't what I'm about."

"Wow. Sorry, bro. I didn't know."

"It's OK. I mean, I've seen it on the web, and nobody ever responds. So it's not like you would know."

"Hey, glad you told me. Just relax. I can back out of my spot - no problem."

"Thank you, dear brother. You don't know what this means to me. I know I have ownership issues, but I'm just not ready to deal on this one. I think my pulse rate is going down. Yes. Oh, my. You almost gave me a heart attack, Snake. Not your fault - just... just saying."

"But you gotta admit that it's funny as hell."

"Snake - hear me out. You remember the Hindenburg, right?"


"Well, you can always get a laugh with that line - 'Oh, the humanity!' Correct?"


"Yes, but if the world was half made up of people whose great-grandparents died in that one, how would they feel?"


"Exactly. Not funny. Maybe a little funny once in a while, but not like the rest of the people who don't have a clue, and go on thinking it's always hilarious."

"OK. I'll admit you're right. But if we don't laugh at anything that bothers somebody, the world's gonna turn into some really humorless place. I don' wanna live there."

"I'm with you, Snake. It's like the term 'trailer park' for me and you. I get that a lot in the industry. Sometimes it's just funny as hell. And sometimes it hurts a bit. I feel like taking people to visit Gran. But then I tell myself that it's my bond to Coco - and a lot of other people who have roots. I wouldn't trade those roots for anything."

"So what's the answer?"

"My opinion? There's no easy answer. Sometimes appropriate is just hard to define. I think you could lose the term completely, to good effect. But I can assure you that owning a bottle of that stuff isn't going to impress the wife."

"Well, actually, I had that part all figured out."

"REALLY. This, I've got to hear."

"You know how Japanese wives love to try to outdo each other on whose husband is the worst? Keiko would have been queen of the club for a year on me owning a cologne called 'Panty Dropper'! Heck - nobody could top it."

"Snake - there are two sides to every argument. Somehow, you always manage to find a third."

"What can I say? It's a gift!"


Thus, having debated the merits and demerits of the term, it shall henceforth be removed from the author's lexicon, joining other words which are known only by their initials. May it rest peacefully, to be discovered someday by linguistic data archaeologists in the Hooter's Dictionary of Fragrance Terminology, or perhaps Uncyclopedia.

Updated 3rd May 2018 at 06:30 PM by Redneck Perfumisto (Image uploaded to Basenotes)

Opinion , Miscellaneous


  1. teardrop's Avatar
    Brilliantly put, Red! l must say l find the term extremely tiresome, but l content myself with the fact that the guys who use it have an attitude to women which ensures that they never "get laid". At least not by anyone with any class, anyway.
  2. Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
    Thank you for the kind words, teardrop! While I'm forced to admit that I dabbled in the term for its humorous effects, I believe at this point that I set a bad example. I hope that my public apology - even if long-winded and indirect (and using the term for one final laugh, admittedly) - might lead others to join me in abandoning its use.

    And to my friends who are reading this, I will only add one more thing to teardrop's comments....


    PS, teardrop - My character Joey insists that I tell you that he completely adores your avatar!
  3. teardrop's Avatar
    Why thankyou, Joey!
    l must admit l didn't realise you were guilty of this crime yourself, l thought you were gently poking fun at those who are! But apology accepted, l guess we all live & learn- hopefully!
  4. Redneck Perfumisto's Avatar
    I certainly hope!

    While I never used the term in its strictest and most shockingly casual sense, the problem with using any term humorously is that it tends to perpetuate it - no matter how unintended that is. The fact that the term was first used in a very enthusiastic n00b post by a beloved younger member is probably what kept it from being deleted, and gave it that initial aura of cute idiocy which made others pick it up. Unfortunately, in the process of making fun of it, I probably induced several more of our resident jokers to lampoon it, to be followed by increasingly casual usage. I think it got to the point where it became obvious that it simply wasn't a good idea to use it at all, lest casual cases become a fixture at Basenotes.

    Let's see what happens. Hopefully we can just forget that it ever came through here!


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