Cough....cough....Oh, Dear! Excuse me one moment. I'm afraid I'll need my gas masque if I'm to spend any amount of time in here. Right. There we are. Good Evening passengers. Thank you for joining me here on AIR MDM. I'm pleased that you all have become acquainted. Baring for the moment the usual festivities we have planned for in flight entertainment, I'm happy to announce that we have the great pleasure and honour this evening to welcome the illustrious and much loved Dr. Redneck Perfumistico himself, who has very kindly agreed to join us on our flight, in spite of his very busy schedule, and professional demands that take him to all four corners of This Square Earth. I am, to say the very least, delighted to have the privilege of his company and I look very much forward to the insights all of us may gain through this Fine Doctor's encyclopedic knowledge of chemistry, and all other facets of perfumery which may escape some of us, enraptured as we are by the delightful scents that emanate from our cherished crystal flacons. How we love them. We will set an alarm in the deepest, darkest hours of the night to work an auction online in order that we obtain that precious bottle. We will travel any length to procure our olfactory pleasures. In the grand and lofty scheme of Adoration, I believe I can safely speak for everyone on board this evening, we adore perfume. We go to bed with it. We wake up with it. We face the world with it: I, myself, will not leave my house without at least 7ml of three different comps in the various pockets of my garments: How will I know what the day will bring? How will any of us know? And what about the night? As the elegant, exquisitely dressed and highly civilized people of days gone by would change their ensembles two to three times per day, we, dear friends, continue their tradition, keeping its flame alive, by changing perfumes. Before I announce our first subject of discussion, I would very much like to recount to all of you an epiphany I recently had upon arrival from our last journey, "En Avion to Nowhere." As you all know, I myself have been an unwavering devotee of Guerlain for most of my adult life. As I am somewhat advanced in years, that time frame would calculate out numerically at around 30. For 30 years I have been loyal to the house of Guerlain in all things scented: Of their perfumes I have made a kind of philosophy: A Philokalia of scented enchantment. I have bathed in them, moisturized in them, powdered in them, spritzed and splashed in them, dabbed them, even drank them, there isn't much that can be done with scent that I have not attempted with any number of Guerlains. Over the course of my life, I have worn Vetyver, Habit Rouge, Jicky, and mostly, as all of you know, Mouchoir de Monsieur. For many years I have been on an automatic renewal system at Guerlain that would deliver to me yearly 2000ml of Eau du Coq, 1000ml of Mouchoir de Monsieur, and 250ml of Jicky parfum with no questions asked, and no documents signed: These bottles would arrive at my office, and off I would go with them, along with many gifts that have come along with them from the fine people at Guerlain: 30ml flacons of Jicky, 100ml spray bottles of Mouchoir de Monsieur, and other lovely things. I remember that I bought my first bottle of Jicky at the small Guerlain boutique on rue du Faubourg Saint Honore at the tender age of 17: With my red, short haired dachshund, I wandered in and asked if I could smell this perfume in the window, because, strangely, it had my name on it: Thus began the love affair. I remember the day as if it were yesterday: It was the height of summer, during the endless, blinding brightness of Paris, and with great pride I wore what would look today very much like a comic book prison uniform, all stripes: It was the Eighties, and this, I thought, was the very height of chic: I felt empowered to enter this marble boutique, where I had many times been before, accompanied by my mother, only because I had pockets full of large 500 franc notes, a Yohji Yamamoto suit, and a perfectly groomed, impeccably behaved show dog: "They'll never suspect that I'm only 17," I remember thinking. The year was 1982. Today, we have made it all the way to 2012, and that does in fact make 30 years. Now, I've closets and closets full of Jicky: Every size quadrilobe that was ever made, about 2500ml of the special order Parfum de Toilette in reserve, Walls of black and gold "travel flacons" of
Mouchoir de Monsieur, stacked like bricks, as well as a spanking new 1000ml bottle delivered just last week. What I don't have, is a desire to wear them. When I walked into Guerlain that fateful day, I did so in a cloud of "Pour un Homme de Caron." To me, this was the most sophisticated thing. I loved it so. I loved it so, that is, until I experienced Jicky. In those days, Jicky made Pour un Homme smell like drugstore lavender water. I was immediately hooked, and never again did I look back, until now. Just as 1982 marked the year that I became Guerlain, 2012 marks the one where I move on, and become....something else. Aided by the advent of the internet, I have been able to fill an entire cave with cellophane sealed vintage perfume: I have calculated that, including this morning's auction win, I am now in possession of over 10,000ml of an extraordinary vintage juice, which, as of a few weeks ago, I have been wearing, and the pleasure it has given me has been infinite. Recently, I had a heart to heart with some higher ups at Guerlain: "You are meant to be the top of the barrel. Not the bottom. Everybody else is toiling under the same restrictions as you: Explain to me, then, how Serge can make an eau de toilette that lasts twelve hours on skin, whilst you continue to sell this very same concentration that is gone without a trace within 30 minutes, and that's on a good day." I'm afraid they had little to say in retort. "Restrictions. Restrictions. Restrictions." was all I remember hearing from them, along with unending niceties, and offers of gifts, all of which I refused. Recently, I read, for example, that all these beautiful perfumes of old can no longer be made because, among other horrors, they cause cancer. Upon computing that data, I thought: "Well, my mother positively bathed in perfume: The bath oils. The Eaux de Colognes. The After Bath Scented Powder. The Eaux de Toilettes. The Extracts...." That was until I remembered: It has been 23 years that I have been bereft of my Dear Mother, and her delicate sillage of Nina Ricci. The death of the Mother: Not something one "gets over." We just change. And, as luck would have it, what precisely was the cause of her death? Cancer. So, on that note, I would like to introduce the following topic upon which we all may wish to ponder. With the help of Dr. Perfumistico, we may be able to bring some clarity to this conundrum. For that which concerns myself, I assert: There are few things on this earth that give unto me the pleasure that perfume brings. I have had thus far an intoxicatingly beautiful life. It has been said by many that mine own would make the stuff of Hollywood Dreams, Paperback Best Seller, Televised Soap Opera, and, more embarrassingly, Reality TV: It is a fact that I have refused three such offers: Two to be the subject of one, and another to be a participant. If this plain crashes, I will die a happy man. I consider every new day a gift, and I am grateful for it. In other words: Loud and clear I proclaim, Give me Sillage, or give me Death: An assertion I mean quite earnestly and in no imprecise terms. Ladies and Gentleman, with this I announce our first topic of discussion: THE EFFLUVIA OF DEATH With that, it is my pleasure to hand the floor over to our much honoured guest, the one, the only: Dr. Redneck Perfumistico himself. Please, do give him the warmest of welcomes. Do also be aware that very well endowed Genies are standing by to manhandle and boot out any of you GD's who "start." Yes: That means you.