Victor Hugo, hélas!
by, 17th August 2012 at 11:48 PM (1385 Views)
At Sephora this morning I put on some Azzaro (the original yellow stuff). I had been interested in Azzaro because of its conceptual descent from Aramis, which I love, but the experience was a difficult one. With Aramis, I am brought to mind of some majestic jungle cat pissing on whatever it is they piss on to mark their territory: The smell is pure alpha male, no sentimentality and no apologies. Azzaro gives me the same cat relieving himself on my grandmother's jewelry case. That is to say, despite its swagger, there's something oddly soft and mumsy underneath this frag, a mellow pastel, that undermines its premise and disturbs me. Yet I can tell that in its way it is a great bottle: multilayered, quizzical, elusive.
That brings me to the title of this post, which is what André Gide said when asked to name the greatest French poet. I had a similar experience not long ago when given ten seconds to name the three greatest figures in post-WWII American music--I came up with Bob Dylan, James Brown, and Hank Williams. They're reasonable-enough choices, and I might respond the same way even if given more time, but I don't really love any of them.
What about fragrance? Are there scents you genuinely acknowledge to be in some way "great," but that you don't actually like? For me, in addition to Azzaro, I might name Chanel No. 5 and GIT, but the list might get long if I thought about it...
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