Originally Posted by ifconfig
Hi Turkish Hooker!
Hmm... apparently, you have no use for metaphor.
Heya - I'll have no cheap shots at my name, you!
I love metaphor when it's useful. The purpose of a metaphor is to give the reader an understanding that is *more* precise, *more* concrete and *more* visceral than what can be done by directly describing the thing in question. Burr's metaphors do nothing but cloud up and obfuscate matters. When writing about scent, the language should reflect smells. Images and ideas that are not in any way linked with the sense of smell have no place in a perfume review. It's lazy, inaccurate writing, and I defy anyone to tell me anything concrete about a fragrance going solely off one of his reviews.
I mean, come on a lovely flowery scent? That narrows it down to one of 700,000 fragrances out there. And rather a stunning ingenue? That could mean anything. You could say that about such opposite fragrances as Fresh Sugar or Bvlgari Black. Same with the celluloid color swirl metaphor one could go into just such a pop art acid trip from any number of fragrances I want to know what makes this one different, and most importantly, what it smells like, not what personal, unrelated imagery it calls up for him. If I wanted nondescript, flowery, vague language, Id read perfume ads.
Can you imagine if someone in a publication as prestigious as the Times reviewed a movie without ever telling you what the ambition of the plotline was or who the characters were, who played them, or even what basic genre the film was going for? If you left the article feeling like you still have no idea what the movie is, wouldnt you feel a bit cheated?
I can't speak for the Times editors, but were I one and approached by a best-selling author, writer of articles in such magazines as National Review, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic, oh, I don't know, I think I'd give said author the benefit of the doubt, more than I would say, a forum poster, for example.
I'll check out Columbina's blog, sounds interesting!
As a woman who works in the publishing industry, I must say that someone having been published before, even as a bestseller, has next to nothing to do with the quality of their writing. Times editors especially are approached by more bestselling authors than you can possibly know; I promise you that. There are millions of writers out there. Simply being published does not make Mr. Burr special.
The point is that good writing doesn't *need* the benefit of the doubt or any kind of qualifier or excuse. It stands on its own. If you leave the byline off the article, it should read just as spectacularly as when you know who the writer is and admire him or her.
Just read Columbinas reviews then I think youll understand what Im talking about and why Burrs lack of specificity and concrete facts is so apparent. Like others have noted in this thread, even if a reviewer doesnt like a fragrance, he or she should give the reader enough information about the product that they may end up excited to try the same fragrance that turned the reviewers stomach.