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  1. #1
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    Default Sixteen questions and answers on scents by Chandler Burr (Part 2 of 2)

    Continuing from this thread: http://basenotespro.com/comm/showthread.php?t=198027

    To recap:
    Back on the basenotesemergency board, I posted an article titled 'Eau-La-La' in the May 2007 issue of O magazine (Oprah Winfrey's magazine) by Chandler Burr (NY Times perfume critic) with sixteen (16) questions and answers on fragrances. The article was written in an educational 'Fragrance 101' style, rather than Mr. Burr's normal 'critique' columns. It was interesting to read some things I already knew, read new stuff (that I agreed and disagreed with) and hear other Basenoters comments.

    Enjoy!

    Mike

    __________________________________________________

    #9: Why do some people wear too much scent?

    Because they simply like it strong – just as some people like the TV volume turned up high – and/or because their sense of smell isn’t as acute as other people’s. And the sense of smell diminishes with age, which is why older people often wear too much.

    #10: Can I layer light fragrances or somehow boost their scent?

    You mean like wearing Bulgari Green Tea over Chanel Cristalle? What, are you kidding? Would you wear a Prada blouse over a Gucci blouse?

    #11: What makes perfume so expensive?

    Sometimes you’re paying for astonishingly wonderful raw materials, flowers and essences or rare roots and resins, and difficult-to-make expensive synthetic molecules with great scents. And sometimes you’re paying for a $10 million TV advertising campaign or a bottle that turned out to be hard to make. You’ll never know which.

    #12: Is it embarrassing to still love Chanel No. 5?

    Hell, no! I don’t think its embarrassing to love Jean Nate. Chanel No. 5 has remained more wearable than most, but it does show its age. This is not an argument against it. In fact, it’s the opposite. There’s a regal correctness to No. 5 you’re not going to get in a Comme des Garcons, and an edge in the Comme de Garcons you won’t get in No. 5. Just understand what you’re communicating with each one.

    #13: Why are fragrances classified by season? And should I change mine seasonally?

    I think the classification is mostly marketing. I’ll concede that there are a few seasonal scents: pine tree and cinnamon at Christmas, flowers and the scent of green stem in the spring, hay in summer, dead leaves in fall. The natural world can inform our choice of perfumes, but I’d actually argue for wearing the fragrance equivalent of a parka to the beach. Etro’s Messe de Minuit carries the scent of an old European church at holiday time – musty altar wood, incense, even mildew – and it might just be the thing to make everyone stop and say, ‘Huh!?..’ on a hot day. All of Anna Sui’s bursts of summery fizziness would have the same effect in the dark of winter.

    #14: Is it ever inappropriate to wear fragrance?

    Yes, on an airplane. The best scent for a flight is a good deodorant. About restaurants: There’s nothing wrong at all with a discreet perfume at dinner, and in some cases, it absolutely can enhance the meal. Hermes Ambre Narguile is excellent for French cuisine; if you’re going to a sushi place, either Bulgari’s purified, crystalline Eau Parfumee au the Vert or Fresh Sake will be perfect. The Escada scents are great with Italian because they have a light fruitiness that graces the Mediterranean spices. Avoid Giorgio and Fracas with any cuisine; they demand way too much attention.

    #15: Do you think the idea of having a signature scent is dead?

    Nope. But that’s a different question from whether you should have one – which would mean wearing it and no other, decade in and decade out. With all the great, terrific, innovative, fun stuff out there, that’s a tough choice. On the other hand, there’s a seriously deep satisfaction in coming up behind someone who’s wearing Guerlain Rose Barbare and saying, ‘I knew it was you. You always have that great smell.”

    #16: Can fragrance damage my jewelry?

    It will have no permanent effect on silver, gold or stones, although a layer of perfume will dull the shine. But never get scents on your pearls; it can eat away at the gems surface.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Sixteen questions and answers on scents by Chandler Burr (Part 2 of 2)

    thanks for sharing

    hmmm i thought silver does get affected by perfume... it gets affected by water so shouldnt it be the same for alcohol?

    i really want to like chanel no 5... its just not working!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Sixteen questions and answers on scents by Chandler Burr (Part 2 of 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Continuing from this thread: http://basenotespro.com/comm/showthread.php?t=198027


    #10: Can I layer light fragrances or somehow boost their scent?

    You mean like wearing Bulgari Green Tea over Chanel Cristalle? What, are you kidding? Would you wear a Prada blouse over a Gucci blouse?

    .
    well I disagree with this, you can make an intresting blends if you have the smart match.
    it doesn't have to be 'a blouse over a blouse ' as he stated above it can be a tie or a scarf over the blouse...it just like having your personal touch.

    I mean I love to wear M7 body moistrizer before applying Hermes Ambre Narguile ..it makes it more human rather than the smell of the moorish bazzar,
    ... I like to add a light animalic accent to Bulgari ph by applying white musk from the body shop over it,
    even Body Kouros smells great when I apply Le Male JPG body Spray before it or I apply few drops of pure Oud Oil.. & YSL L'homme becomes fresher with few spritz of Herba Fresca by Guirlaine.... I've recived alot of complements over my private blends & they work well.

    sometimes I feel that Mr. Burr acts as the man who knows everything & his point view is a true statement that you can't argue about.
    Last edited by tariq; 20th August 2007 at 12:38 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sixteen questions and answers on scents by Chandler Burr (Part 2 of 2)

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Sixteen questions and answers on scents by Chandler Burr (Part 2 of 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by tariq View Post
    well I disagree with this, you can make an intresting blends if you have the smart match.
    it doesn't have to be 'a blouse over a blouse ' as he stated above it can be a tie or a scarf over the blouse...it just like having your personal touch.
    When I originally posted this on the emergency board, this was the most hotly debated part of his article. I agree with you, layering (when done right) can be very wonderful.

    Remember, Mr. Burr is a critic. He is paid to express his professional opinion about scents (similar to how movie critics talk about movies they see), so we don't have to always agree with him.

    Conversely, put yourself in the place of the perfumers themselves. You have spent (sometimes) YEARS perfecting a scent, trying it out, sniffing many many variations again and again and again, until you find the perfect combination of scents. Once you find it, it has to be approved by the companys upper management, and then re-done sometimes more and more. Once it is finally released, you might be a little 'touchy' about people layering another scent all over your new creation. I can empathize with some people being against layering, looking at it from this point of view.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Sixteen questions and answers on scents by Chandler Burr (Part 2 of 2)

    Thanks for the post mikeperez. Hmmm... I've recently discovered Ambre Narguile, now I must try it with food.
    I'm simplifying my life. For Sale Thread (some niche, some designer):
    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=222407

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sixteen questions and answers on scents by Chandler Burr (Part 2 of 2)

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    ...Conversely, put yourself in the place of the perfumers themselves. You have spent (sometimes) YEARS perfecting a scent, trying it out, sniffing many many variations again and again and again, until you find the perfect combination of scents. Once you find it, it has to be approved by the companys upper management, and then re-done sometimes more and more. Once it is finally released, you might be a little 'touchy' about people layering another scent all over your new creation. I can empathize with some people being against layering, looking at it from this point of view.
    How true Mike!
    Not only does their passion for their work of art come into play, but also the basic fact of life that this must bring in $$$ from the most perfume lovers possible. Not an easy play I think!!
    But that doesn't stop all of us mixing & matching to make OUR "odeur parfaite". I can definitely relate to the "hotly debated" part of the opinions of each of us on this topic.
    Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all. W.SOMERSET MAUGHAM

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Sixteen questions and answers on scents by Chandler Burr (Part 2 of 2)

    On the flip side - there are perfumers who actually encourage layering.

    Yesterday I was on the Jo Malone website, and when you view any fragrance of theirs at the bottom of the page it lists what other colognes she recommends you layer them with. I think this is the first time I've ever seen this.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Sixteen questions and answers on scents by Chandler Burr (Part 2 of 2)

    Funny you should mention this about Jo Malone, Mike.
    As it happens, today I was looking for some info about one of her frags that I received as a sample, and noticed the same thing about the layering.
    Quite interesting that.
    Beauty is an ecstasy; it is as simple as hunger. There is really nothing to be said about it. It is like the perfume of a rose: you can smell it and that is all. W.SOMERSET MAUGHAM

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