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This was the lecture that the Baron de Charlus delivered to the Society of Perfumes in Paris concerning Versailles Pour Homme: "Messieurs and mesdames, this is not so much a rare and discontinued gem, more a case of the Emperor wearing no clothes. It is sad that I, such a kindly man, should find myself forced to prick the bubble of misguided rapture which so many souls have been deluded into adopting towards this fragrance.
There is about Versailles Pour Homme a certain off-note, a sort of vegetal distemper, possibly belonging to the dusty kitchen garden dreams of pimento or capsicum, that renders it utterly unsuited for more than a median ranking in the realms of fine, spicy gentleman's colognes. Why, in this regard it is surpassed by so many other scents, including the much-maligned Quorum and even, quite possibly, by the brown ruminations of Marbert Man (with which Versailles Pour Homme shares definite affinities).
You may choose to think that my judgement merely reflects the subjective waywardness of a fractious dilettante. I assure you it does not. What I have just told you is an objective truth about perfumery!"
The Baron's address so astonished and angered his audience that he was obliged to hurriedly leave the building under a police escort.
17 April, 2008