Originally Posted by pluran
I think most people on Basenotes form their own opinions. I have heard Roja Dove speak. I like what he has to say, but it's largely pretentious, and I prefer to read Luca Turin for a variety of reasons, not just for his perceptions and descriptions of fragrances. :-)
With regard to pretension
, and opinion, how fascinating that this discussion has illustrated so deftly just how individual perceptions may vary. "Pretension," being a style effect deployed by those with much to prove, mostly to themselves, as the behaviour is seldom effective on others recipient, is a word I may have forgotten to include in the description of my meeting with Mr. Roja Dove: Had I my wits about me (I'm currently ailing and bed bound, which would explain my hours long presence on basenotes over the course of the last few days) I would have used it. It would have gone this way: "One of the most remarkable things about Mr. Roja Dove is his complete lack of pretension. His manners and speaking patterns come clearly from the heart. Obviously, this Gentleman is a true born Romantic, of which tribe there are, nowadays, scarce few veritable members."
Furthermore, and in keeping with the term "Pretension," I'm afraid I could have made that word the main source of any analysis I would make of Luca Turin: His writings, his manners
: There isn't much about Luca Turin that I personally don't find staunchly rooted in pretension. Isn't it amusing how all of us have different takes on these sorts of projective behaviours? By example: Recently, prompted by this thread, I went on to a contributors' profile page and read all of the reviews that particular member had written. I don't often do this, but, as stated above, I'm ailing and unwell and somewhat bed bound at the moment with much time to kill. No one need point out that my own reviews, read by others, must seem to seethe in "pretension" and all manner of other flowery affairs; many, though, people who actually know me, will attest to the fact that they merely read as I speak: These unfailingly will emit the same comment when subjected to reading reviews: "They just read like a transcript of you talking."
I confess, I do write them in a kind of mental stream, often in a spasm,
(witness H.O.T. Always
) off of the top of my head, and rarely do I stop to ponder: I will proof read briefly, and on I go to press "submit." The result, to many, I am sure would read out as much pretentious drivel. Interestingly, this was precisely the effect I flared when reading the reviews of one contributor to this thread, who, apparently unknowingly lays it all out there very plainly, waxing on about personal possessions and pass times, denouncing the ever burgeoning sect of "Nouveaux Riches," hinting at self-perceived superiority in sexual prouesses
and, as the French would say, "J'en passe."
Pretension is perceived differently by all. The world over, we have become tribal: like sects. In mine, for instance, the current pretention du jour
would consist of appearing publicly as a "Nouveau Pauvre."
We do all have a very secret grand old time making sure it's clear to all that we're still driving our old cars, wearing our old clothes to shreds, and patching our roofs rather than buying a new home. Our briefcases may be alligator, but they are worn and beat up and scarred and scratched. Our blazers and suits may be bespoke, but they're all grating at the seam edges of perfectly wrought pocket flaps. The club, for instance, the one to which I allude above, has a very strict policy for new membership applications: Candidates must collect no less than three three written endorsements from members with at least five years tenure before being granted an interview. Just last week, I sat through one of these. When the candidate left the building, we all had a huddle: I am on the board, and the board has 15 members. During the discussion that followed, I said nothing. Usually, during these post interview discussions, certain board members will wince and raise their brows, clearly hoping I will find the mercy in my heart to finally shut up. After they had all compared notes and were preparing to cast their votes, someone looked my way and said: "You've been awfully quiet. We haven't heard one word out of you."
My response: "I've nothing to say, really."
One member, who always comments on my suits, chimed in: "What did you think of his suit?"
Everybody looked eagerly at me as I inhaled to respond, simultaneously filling out my vote card, all clearly anticipated a long involved analytical diatribe. I gave a four word retort: "It was Tom Ford."
Then, I checked "Negative" before inserting the card into its' envelope, sealing it, and standing up to insert it into the wood box.
Everyone just kept staring at me, saying nothing, until finally someone said: "And?"
to which I replied: "Tom Ford."
I could tell that the tone in my voice was enough for all other fourteen board members to understand my implication, even though I'm certain more than half of them had no idea who Tom Ford is. The point being: As my mother would say: "A chacun son mauvais gout"
-- a saying I adore. Direct translation: "To each his own bad taste."