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  1. #1

    Default Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    I found this little tidbit in the Wikipedia article concerning etiquette in Canada and the United States ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etiquet..._United_States )


    "Perfume, aftershave and other scents should be used sparingly. A scent applied in the appropriate amount early in the morning should be almost gone by lunchtime."


    Now this was news to me. I usually like to be able to smell my frag (independent of sillage) when I get home from work. I don't reapply during the day.




    What do other BNers think of this etiquette 'rule'?



    -ben
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  2. #2
    linnea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    I am definitely a fan of "less is more". I've been turned off from several scents by being locked in elevators with people who were unscrupulous about applying their cologne or perfume.

    I figure that I only want someone to smell my perfume if they're in close proximity (i.e., hugging me).



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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    I'm with you Ben. Gone by lunchtime? Like breakfast is? No thanks, I'm a fragrant-through-three-complete-meals scent choosing man myself.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB
    I'm with you Ben. Gone by lunchtime? Like breakfast is? No thanks, I'm a fragrant-through-three-complete-meals scent choosing man myself.
    --Chris

    Right on.

    Although I should make it clear that by noticeable, I mean noticeable by ME. I doubt that anyone could smell my perfume by 5 o'clock without hugging me. The exceptions to this rule are the frags that just won't die, e.g., Gaultier2, Kouros, Body Kouros, etc- these are frags that seem just as strong at the end of the day as they smelled in the morning (regardless of application).


    Maybe I'm just reading into this too much.

    -ben
    Nihil Obstat Ben


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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    I like to be able to sense my fragrance after more than five or six hours or so, but I don't expect it because I apply with others in mind as well as my own enjoyment.

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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    If the question is: is this a rule of etiquette? rather than the easier question of what do we all like? (which I think most of us know the answer to) then my answer is that no, it isn't a rule of etiquette, certainly not where I live. Longer lasting scents are not against some imaginary Emily Post's rule book that encodes the principles or customs we all live by.

    On the other hand, twenty foot sillage is against the rules of etiquette, as many have said here many times. (Of course an individual can choose to ignore such unwritten rules, but there are social costs to be paid by so doing.)

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    Tuner_Watson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    We should remember where Wikipedia articles come from. If I cared enough, I could go change that sentence right now.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Tuner_Watson
    We should remember where Wikipedia articles come from. If I cared enough, I could go change that sentence right now.
    I've been wondering that. Where do the articles come from?
    Awesomeguy

  9. #9

    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by rosbergs3
    I've been wondering that. Where do the articles come from?
    From people like you and me. Any man's opinion made into facts might pop up there.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by shifts
    From people like you and me. Any man's opinion made into facts might pop up there.
    But theres allways people who know the issues, so they might just correct them if they please. If not, it sounds like all the articles in there would be just made up, and that only idiots write in there. Which isnt off course the issue.

    Clearly you shouldnt think that everything is the "word of god".

  11. #11

    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Peace
    But theres allways people who know the issues, so they might just correct them if they please. If not, it sounds like all the articles in there would be just made up, and that only idiots write in there. Which isnt off course the issue.

    Clearly you shouldnt think that everything is the "word of god".

    Regardless of the 'authority' of the person who originally wrote that section of the Wiki article, I thought we could revisit the etiquette of sillage. I have noticed many, many references to perfume use in popular culture, all of them negative. Part of it stems from the cheap, harsh frags put out by the gallon these days.

    I'm surprised by how many times I hear negative comments about perfume wearers, and how rarely I hear people criticise body odor or other, potentially more offensive olfactive faux pas.


    -ben
    Nihil Obstat Ben


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  12. #12

    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by greyhueofdoubt

    I'm surprised by how many times I hear negative comments about perfume wearers, and how rarely I hear people criticise body odor or other, potentially more offensive olfactive faux pas.


    -ben
    Could it be because something like body odor doesnt make people who have, lets say asthma, to suffocate?

    Question

    How many here would stop using fragrances in there work place, if someone there asked you to do so? If they would bother them.

    I would do it in a instant. And I totally agree on the sillage thing. Nothing is more horrible than to sit in a meeting at work, to be in elevator, with a person how just stinks of fragrances. I dont know how people have the idea that the more you put on, the better you will smell. I have found it to be the exact opposite with 95 % frags I have tested. If you cant smell nothing but the fragrance, then in 5minutes you wont ewen smell the notes. Just a blurr of horrid fumes.

    But if you use slightly, and let it "pop out" from time to time. Then that classy.

    Over sillage=drunked loud mouth idiot

    Applying with discreet=Gandhi

    And by that, we just answered this

    Quote Originally Posted by greyhueofdoubt

    I'm surprised by how many times I hear negative comments about perfume wearers

    that why you might hear negative comments. Because many people would think that by using too much, the person doesnt really care about other people and there space. Lets put it this way. How many hear would be pissed if they couldnt enjoy there Creeds and L'artisans in work etc, if you could only smell Axe in the air?
    Last edited by Peace; 30th December 2006 at 03:27 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    i stop at 3 sprays, no matter how light/subtle a scent is.

    i only go 1-2 for the heavier stuff (dreamer, yang) so you can say i have a light trigger finger.

    i absolutely detest when people overdose on perfume or cologne, even if its a nice scent (it usually isn't). my poor nose is weak and can't handle much. fragrance overdose causes it burn

    keep your fragrance to yourself and a small radius around you and i will be happy.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    To have someone comment that the particlar scent you are wearing is nice and they are standing next to you is good. To have someone comment and ask if you had been there because they could smell your scent and you had already been gone 10 minutes is bad.

    I do want to be able to smell the scent I put on throughout the day, but I do not want to overpower others I work with. I think there is a fine line there and as long as I am not at the extreme ends I feel it is OK.

    Body odor is vile. It is important to have your body and your clothes clean. It is a quick turn-off to smell someone that reeks. And putting on fragrance after a lunchtime exercise does not help.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    I am very sensitive to fragrance. Therefore if I am in a movie for 2 hours and the people near me are just reeking of fragrance I get up and move from that seat. I start to cough and it is impossible to sit within 3 feet of some of these harsh fragrances.

    When people come into my store some are so full of a scent that it lingers and overpowers the store for a few hours. That is way too much for my taste.

    For etiquette purposes and my tastes I would prefer people to wear fragrances that are only noticeable if you are within a close proximity of their body. Some softer fragrances are more acceptable. The cloying varieties give me headaches.

    I remember going to restaurants and they smelled like Giorgio... it was banned years later. Cell phones are being banned in public places now with signs. They are too intrusive. That is what I would say about wearing fragrance; don't be so in my face.

    There are occasions when I have asked someone what they are wearing as it was so beautiful..
    JoAnne Bassett, Perfumer
    http://www.JoAnneBassett.com

  16. #16
    LeMâle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    I've changed it to say something I think more of us can agree upon. I hope it's acceptable.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by greyhueofdoubt
    I found this little tidbit in the Wikipedia article concerning etiquette in Canada and the United States ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etiquet..._United_States )






    Now this was news to me. I usually like to be able to smell my frag (independent of sillage) when I get home from work. I don't reapply during the day.




    What do other BNers think of this etiquette 'rule'?



    -ben
    Of course, I counsel moderation in all things, except perhaps in the use of fragrances...

    I think one needs to take the opinions of others into account, and that one should never consciously offend. Having said that, though, I feel that some people don't like fragrances, and that some who counsel not using scents or using them very sparingly are just trying to force others to follow their own tastes.

    I want to wear enough that people standing relatively close by can enjoy my scent with me, but not so much that people who don't want to smell it don't have room to avoid doing so. In other words, there should be somewhere not too far away from me where they wouldn't detect it much.

    I can't help that there are people who, for whatever reason, detest scents; I can also try to respect their needs. None of that, however, means that I need to let them completely control my own needs and desires. How about some "breathing room;" a little coexistence, maybe?
    Yr good bud,

    JaimeB

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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    The Wikipedia article is, I think, aimed primarily at readers who are not familiar with the norms and conventions of North America and seems to favor guidance that will not get readers into trouble during their travels. As with many things--conversation topics, swearing, etc.--natives can get away with more because they understand the subtleties, and newcomers often should err on the side of caution. I think the edit is good, and might add something else along the lines of what was there earlier, couched as an example of something unlikely to offend anyone, because "moderation" means different things to different people and in different cultures.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    For me, the amount/intensity of a scent on another should not appear as though the wearer swam through a river of it just prior to putting on clothes. I have been totally overpowered by some folks who seem to wear a full ounce of their particular scent, even if it is one I really like. But more often it is one which would have been downright nasty even in tiny amounts.

    I recall shaking hands years ago with some guy who had the intense smell of some unknown foul scent covering the palm of his right hand so thickly had that I had to immediately go home and use unscented dish detergent and lots of hot water followed by pure fresh squeezed lemon juice to remove it from mine. Smelled like the heavy, cloying scent used by funeral parlors to hide the smell of decomposition, and this guy wasn't in the funeral business.

    Subtle does it for me, either on me or on others. I just move far away from the dousers, without comment or gesture, when they invade my space.
    Last edited by kbe; 31st December 2006 at 01:44 AM.
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    Like days of old. Lighting the spark of love that fills me
    with dreams untold..--Twilight Time

  20. #20
    Eluard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    So many of the above posts are spot-on, and are all saying something important. So I thought I'd try to codify the principles involved.

    Fragrance etiquette is just an extension of the general etiquette to respect other people's personal space. If someone enters into my personal space they should expect to smell what I'm wearing. But someone who is not in my personal space has the right not to smell what I am wearing, nor I to smell them. Just so, I do not want to have them invade my space by hearing their conversation on their cell phone. They should be quiet and discreet, not full voiced as though they are in their bathroom. Similarly, if I am on a train I do not want to hear some guys iPod so loudly that I can't listen to mine (we have all had that right? the death metal reduced to a tiny rattle but audible from 20 feet away). Nor do I want to hear some guy's car driving past my home fitted out with a super boombox sound sysytem, so that I can hear the thump-thump of some god-awful rap tirade for several minutes as it approaches and passes.

    The same principles apply to cigarette smoke, and so much else.

    Conversely, fragrance wowsers have no right to prevent others from wearing their cologne, pursuant to the restrictions above. There is no general right to never, ever smell what someone else is wearing.

    All of this depends on the understanding of the diameter of one's personal space. This varies, but is generally, in Western culture, about 10 feet in diameter. In crowded buses and trains it shrinks to pretty much nothing: you forfeit it to get home or to work. It can be measured pretty accurately however, by seeing the distance at which people become uncomfortable. (When I was a Psych student long a go we did experiments with proxemic behaviour, which shows how uncomfortable people become when their space is invaded. Try this: get on a bus in which just one person is seated and sit next to them, ignoring the many other vacant seats. It may well start a fight.

    HTH

  21. #21

    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Eluard says what I meant to say, but only better

    Btw. I couldnt find the wikipedia etiquet thing, is it on the section where the talk about the usual USA etiquet, or where?

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard
    So many of the above posts are spot-on, and are all saying something important. So I thought I'd try to codify the principles involved.

    Fragrance etiquette is just an extension of the general etiquette to respect other people's personal space. If someone enters into my personal space they should expect to smell what I'm wearing. But someone who is not in my personal space has the right not to smell what I am wearing, nor I to smell them. Just so, I do not want to have them invade my space by hearing their conversation on their cell phone. They should be quiet and discreet, not full voiced as though they are in their bathroom. Similarly, if I am on a train I do not want to hear some guys iPod so loudly that I can't listen to mine (we have all had that right? the death metal reduced to a tiny rattle but audible from 20 feet away). Nor do I want to hear some guy's car driving past my home fitted out with a super boombox sound sysytem, so that I can hear the thump-thump of some god-awful rap tirade for several minutes as it approaches and passes.

    The same principles apply to cigarette smoke, and so much else.

    Conversely, fragrance wowsers have no right to prevent others from wearing their cologne, pursuant to the restrictions above. There is no general right to never, ever smell what someone else is wearing.

    All of this depends on the understanding of the diameter of one's personal space. This varies, but is generally, in Western culture, about 10 feet in diameter. In crowded buses and trains it shrinks to pretty much nothing: you forfeit it to get home or to work. It can be measured pretty accurately however, by seeing the distance at which people become uncomfortable. (When I was a Psych student long a go we did experiments with proxemic behaviour, which shows how uncomfortable people become when their space is invaded. Try this: get on a bus in which just one person is seated and sit next to them, ignoring the many other vacant seats. It may well start a fight.

    HTH
    Good points Eluard. The invasiveness of scent is definitely of the same family of invasiveness as tobacco smoke, inappropriately loud conversations on or off the phone, for too-loud music etc. It seems some folks either have no clue they are out of line in 'extending' their personal space and all that they do in it to overlap or absolutely obliterate anothers personal space or they do not care that they do such or, worse yet, do it knowingly with an in-your-face mean spirit

    I was driving on vacation in a large Southern California city a few years ago when suddenly my rental car seemed to be vibrating everywhere at once. I felt my hair, skin and clothes vibrate to a non-directional low frequency beat that actually made me feel physically sick and as though I was going to pass out. It had to have been in the range of what the military or police would use as a 'sound weapon'. It was coming from a car behind me (I think!) and in the traffic the driver stayed right behind me for 4 blocks and through 3 traffic red lights. I finally pulled over to the curb and watched in amazement as this mobile audio weapon drifted by and finally out of hearing range. Why the driver was immune to that god-awful sound I will never know I guess. It took several minutes before the sound-induced sickness and disorientation left me. I have never had any sound experience before or since affect me in such a negative way.

    Fortunately, heavily applied scent on others does not have such an effect, just an annoyance that I can most of the time simply remove myself from quickly.
    Deep in the dark your kiss will thrill me
    Like days of old. Lighting the spark of love that fills me
    with dreams untold..--Twilight Time

  23. #23

    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Little off topic

    I have too seen and heard the cars that blast music too loud. In Finland its pretty normal that these people that we call "Amis" (Usually people whos topics of discussion are about booze, cars, speakers etc) blast there music out so loud, that walls in my room shake.

    There was infact a study some time ago, that when these people sit in there cars and lissen to this music, it actually makes them pay attention less and makes there brain activity lessen=more car crashes. I think that the study actually used the pharse "It makes these people more stupid"

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by kbe
    I was driving on vacation in a large Southern California city a few years ago when suddenly my rental car seemed to be vibrating everywhere at once. I felt my hair, skin and clothes vibrate to a non-directional low frequency beat that actually made me feel physically sick and as though I was going to pass out. It had to have been in the range of what the military or police would use as a 'sound weapon'. It was coming from a car behind me (I think!) and in the traffic the driver stayed right behind me for 4 blocks and through 3 traffic red lights. I finally pulled over to the curb and watched in amazement as this mobile audio weapon drifted by and finally out of hearing range. Why the driver was immune to that god-awful sound I will never know I guess. It took several minutes before the sound-induced sickness and disorientation left me. I have never had any sound experience before or since affect me in such a negative way.

    Fortunately, heavily applied scent on others does not have such an effect, just an annoyance that I can most of the time simply remove myself from quickly.
    Yes, I have had this too — though not to the extreme you experienced. You can actually feel the nausea before you can consciously hear the sound.

    It's a little sad that fragrance wowsers are so concerned about the effects of a stray perfume, but unconcerned at the invasive noise pollution that will lead to a generation of deaf, middle-aged, unemployable adults.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard
    It's a little sad that fragrance wowsers are so concerned about the effects of a stray perfume, but unconcerned at the invasive noise pollution that will lead to a generation of deaf, middle-aged, unemployable adults.
    ???

    Are you suggesting we should ignore the effects of people who bathe in scents because there are other annoyances in the world? That's akin to saying it's sad that there are people who are concerned about littering in the streets when there are children starving in Ethiopia ie. they have no relationship whatsoever.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    In the Wikipedia entry there seems to be confusion between sillage and longevity. The knack is getting the balance between the two. I always go for maximum longevity with minimum sillage.

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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Well, as an "over sprayer", all I can say is that I disagree.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by kbe
    I recall shaking hands years ago with some guy who had the intense smell of some unknown foul scent covering the palm of his right hand so thickly had that I had to immediately go home and use unscented dish detergent and lots of hot water followed by pure fresh squeezed lemon juice to remove it from mine. Smelled like the heavy, cloying scent used by funeral parlors to hide the smell of decomposition, and this guy wasn't in the funeral business.

    Subtle does it for me, either on me or on others. I just move far away from the dousers, without comment or gesture, when they invade my space.
    this is where you'll find that 4711 splash cuts right through everything on your hands and freshens with an unobstrusive scent. After I lose track of what sample is where, I go throught the 4711 ritual bath and I can start fresh.

    what 200!??

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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    An interesting thread topic, no doubt. I agree that the assaultive quality of fragrance over-application can sometimes be unendurable. However, I will not compound the problem by taking the wearer to task for their over-indulgence--not that anyone has said they'll do that: the wearer may not have class, but I like to think I do. I'll simply bear the assault and leave at the earliest opportunity.

    I would tell a friend though; after all, what are friends for? :-)
    De gustibus non est disputandum

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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Unfortunately the scents that are down front with people trying to spritz you in some of the malls, the top note should read: "get me to the cash register now."

    I think the marketing people don't care what people smell like after the purchase.

    I think the first occurence of olfactory gland and designer sludge meeting must meet the "hurry to the register and is this the biggest bottle you have"?test:

  31. #31

    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Something that occurred to me is that the most popular scents (and thus the perfumes that most people statistically would be complaining about) are rather terrible.

    There are popular perfumes out there (Liz Arden's entire line, Happy, Polo for women, etc.) that truly are offensive to me. Not only that, but they are gross even in small quantities. They are also cheap and well-advertised, which is why I can recognize more scents that I hate than ones that I like.

    As a basenoter with a nuanced wardrobe (and high horse), I think that my fragrances should be in a different category from most mass-market stuff. A few sprays of GIT cannot be equated in any way to a few sprays of e.g. Bora Bora.

    And that's what I think. YMMV. And I have heard that maybe one person's GIT is another person's Bora Bora, but I personally don't buy it. We could reduce that to "one man's Deux Magots is another man's McDonalds' or "one man's Brahms is another man's Britney", but that would be pointless. That proves nothing except that some people have terrible taste. Relativism has a curve of diminishing returns, and I think we should admit that we've arrived at that point.


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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by greyhueofdoubt
    Relativism has a curve of diminishing returns, and I think we should admit that we've arrived at that point.


    -ben
    very well expressed and I agree.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

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    Default Re: Interesting: Fragrance etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Joy
    ???

    Are you suggesting we should ignore the effects of people who bathe in scents because there are other annoyances in the world? That's akin to saying it's sad that there are people who are concerned about littering in the streets when there are children starving in Ethiopia ie. they have no relationship whatsoever.
    I am not saying that we should ignore the effects of those who bathe in scents — I'm explicitly saying that it's a breach of etiquette. By "fragrance wowsers" I mean those who are so concerned about smelling someone else's fragrance under any circumstances that they are willing to try to ban them wholesale.

    And on the question of complaining about one thing while doing nothing about another, I must point out that people ARE trying to do something about starvation in Ethiopia AND littering. But I don't agree that banning fragrance wearing because it is invasive and doing nothing about the invasiveness of many car sound systems IS like the Ethiopia example. The cases I'm speaking of ARE related: they are both examples of the same breach of etiquette (in fact wasn't that the ENTIRE point of what I wrote, trying to sum up other people's points).

    Like Ifconfig my attitude is just to walk away from people who are wearing too much scent — I wouldn't comment, because I regard it as a relatively trivial matter. But I strongly dislike the far more invasive noise pollution that no one seems motivated to even comment on (I don't mean here). Surely there is something a little eye-brow raising about the complete silence on the noise-pollution issue, when it is so blatantly a public health problem in the making?

    Hope this clarifies
    Last edited by Eluard; 5th January 2007 at 04:40 AM.

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