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  1. #1
    zztopp's Avatar
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    Default Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    I just read this hilarious writeup by Luca Turin:

    "Obviously, perfume culture itself is to a great degree gay culture, though some people think you're not supposed to say it. Gay guys were bored with all these stupid hairy-chested male fragrances and went out and bought Alpona, by Caron, which is wonderful. Actually, there aren't many gay perfumers. It's weird. Jean Guerlain said, 'I composed Chamade for my then girlfriend,' and I thought, 'Right.' Turned out it was true. I mean, it's not weird in that the Grasse milieu is still completely homophobic-I know one young guy who was not taken in perfume school simply because he was gay. Mind you, he was also a raging pain in the ass, but so what? The thing is, all their customers are gay, and you'd think it would be to their advantage to have a few around 'in house.' But instead they get Englishmen. Fashion is gay. We're living under a gay dictatorship; I'm sick of it. Look at that vile Gaultier's Le Male, what do I care about that stuff? Put it this way: I love Old Spice-you go back to the time of freshly shaven Daddy. What's wrong with that?"

    If I understand correctly, is Luca Turin implying that being gay promotes creativity in perfumery? Are there any gay perfumers?

    The full article, where Turin compares French and English perfumery, and looks down on italian perfumery amongst other things, is at :

    http://www.chandlerburr.com/newsite/...excerpts/5.php
    Last edited by zztopp; 1st September 2007 at 05:47 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    So, if this is all true, what does it make Luca Turin, who famously rhapsodizes about perfume?
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  3. #3
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    Thumbs down Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    I just finished his book - The Secret Of Scent - this morning! I must say I enjoyed this a little less.
    After reading the quote a couple times, I seem to get:

    1. Gays have good taste in perfume.

    2. Perfumers aren't gay, but should be, because fashion - and thus perfume - is gay.

    3. It's a bad thing that fashion is gay.

    A contradictory, stereotyping, and possibly homophobic message.
    I hope he sticks to writing about perfume chemistry rather than perfume sociology in future...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    I don't think discussing gayness would belong to the discussion of scents. I don't care if any of you are gay, and also, do hope that you are not interested in my sexual orientation.

    As to Luca Turin, he should push up his article.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Luca Turin, simply put, is an ASS!

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    I just read this hilarious writeup by Luca Turin:....
    (yawning a big yawn...) Good Morning to you, zztopp! If you find this writeup hilarious, I recommend reading

    Chandler Burr / The Emperor of Scent, Random House 2002.

    This is fairly old stuff, and the author is not Turin but Chandler Burr. He has obviously been quoting himself from one of the last chapters, "VII Russia", of his own book - a good book, if I may add.
    Last edited by narcus; 1st September 2007 at 09:07 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Parfume can´t judged by gayness hahaha...maybe gay people got another feeling to parfum or fashion...is like you sayin a white man can jump...the black people got the longest d... !!!
    It depends on a person how creativ he or she is (he can be hetro, gay, black or white, rich or poor).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    "All their customers are gay." ???? I beg to differ!

    Also, what is that stuff about Old Spice and Le Male at the end supposed to mean? The whole thing was poorly written and unclear, whether you agree or not. I've never been impressed with any Turin writings, actually, and this just cements my view.
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 1st September 2007 at 09:02 AM.
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  9. #9

    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    I´m so glad that Bois du Portugal was created from a real man (Mr. Creed) :-)

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by LiveJazz View Post
    "All their customers are gay." ???? I beg to differ! ...The whole thing was poorly written and unclear, whether you agree or not. I've never been impressed with any Turin writings, actually, and this just cements my view.
    Please get it out of your heads, men. Turin has not written such a thing ! Burr is the author, and he wrote that in 2002 at the latest. That becomes evident, if you go to the source quoted. The link itself refers to 'Emperor / excerpt...' A lot of changes have happened, and have been published since then including new kinds of perfumes worn by men. Burr has not been clear where and when Turin may have spoken about the subject, probably in the late nineties (98, if I try to pin it down), and that is about ten years ago. This century, I believe, has different subjects to get excited about. None of the critics here seem to know much about Turin's (first) Perfume Guide. Read a couple of his own recommendations from 1990-91 and you will learn how relaxed he approached perfume and gender questions already then.
    Last edited by narcus; 1st September 2007 at 11:02 AM. Reason: I include including
    'Il mondo dei profumi č un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    Please get it out of your heads, men, that Turin should have written that - Burr is the author!
    But the words he's quoting are supposedly Turin's: see the rest of the article the OP linked to.
    Are you saying Burr made these quotes up? If so, has Turin commented on this falsification?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    Please get it out of your heads, men, that Turin should have written that - Burr is the author!
    Oh, well I still never liked Turin all that much. As for Burr, I read about 3 of his reviews and never bothered again. I find that I get more out of the excellent reviews on this site. And isn't that Burr quoting Turin? Either way...
    Last edited by LiveJazz; 1st September 2007 at 09:05 AM.
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  13. #13

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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    what does wanting to smell good have to do with sexual preference?

  14. #14

    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    "Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?"

    i'm afraid this is utter rubbish

  15. #15

    Cool Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sandy View Post
    I don't think discussing gayness would belong to the discussion of scents. I don't care if any of you are gay, and also, do hope that you are not interested in my sexual orientation.

    As to Luca Turin, he should push up his article.
    Very much agree.
    We had somy threads like this, and to be gay doesn´t have nothing to do with perfumes or such.
    I'm gay and I love perfumes, but my partner doesn´t use it at all.
    I pass this thread as in the past everything went sharp, and it's actually unconfortable,as usual, because so many people talk about that they doesn't know about.

    Luis Miranda
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  16. #16

    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    I don't know who's gay and who's not. (I am, and that's all I need to know.)

    Can you imagine Burr writing something such as "We're suffering a black dictatorship in the world of jazz music?" Why should this be any different, then?

    Last time I checked, a lot of straight guys I know (and no, I don't mean Basenotes aficionados -- we're a rare breed, we Basenoters, no matter the orientation) like scents but can't admit it, least of all in Oklahoma City or Dallas or Birmingham or other "red state" places like this.

    Gay guys (outside Basenotes, that is) just tend to be more honest/up-front about this stuff. We should ALL be more like Basenoters, no matter our preference, be it chickies or dickies or both.
    Last edited by tvlampboy; 1st September 2007 at 10:15 PM.

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  17. #17

    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Having read the whole article- these are my thoughts:

    At the moment described, Turin is full of himself - his perfumes are being launched. As a critic it is his job to have opinions and these may be flowing even more than usual. He is clearly very passionate about perfume. He is speaking with Burr, who is gay. He has been working closely with Burr for some time.

    He is busily making generalisations about various nationalities. He also makes generalisations about the perfume industry and gay people. It is stream-of-consciousness stuff and full of contradictions.

    I detect no malice, no homophobia in this. He is speaking openly about sexuality and fashion/perfume.I find it stimulating, engaging and interesting as most of Turins output (not Burr's which I find to be mostly mainstream journo rubbish).
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  18. #18
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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    I just read this hilarious writeup by Luca Turin:

    "Obviously, perfume culture itself is to a great degree gay culture, though some people think you're not supposed to say it. Gay guys were bored with all these stupid hairy-chested male fragrances and went out and bought Alpona, by Caron, which is wonderful. Actually, there aren't many gay perfumers. It's weird. Jean Guerlain said, 'I composed Chamade for my then girlfriend,' and I thought, 'Right.' Turned out it was true. I mean, it's not weird in that the Grasse milieu is still completely homophobic-I know one young guy who was not taken in perfume school simply because he was gay. Mind you, he was also a raging pain in the ass, but so what? The thing is, all their customers are gay, and you'd think it would be to their advantage to have a few around 'in house.' But instead they get Englishmen. Fashion is gay. We're living under a gay dictatorship; I'm sick of it. Look at that vile Gaultier's Le Male, what do I care about that stuff? Put it this way: I love Old Spice-you go back to the time of freshly shaven Daddy. What's wrong with that?"

    If I understand correctly, is Luca Turin implying that being gay promotes creativity in perfumery? Are there any gay perfumers?

    The full article, where Turin compares French and English perfumery, and looks down on italian perfumery amongst other things, is at :

    http://www.chandlerburr.com/newsite/...excerpts/5.php
    The topic of gay culture and perfume culture has been discussed a few times here on Basenotes - each time we get wildly different viewpoints from everyone (which, is one reason why I love Basenotes...) along with highly charged, sometimes controversial (sometimes immature and childish) replies. So, I will try not to add 'fuel to the fire' in my reply. Perhaps everyone else participating in this thread could exercise some restraint also - so as not to offend other Basenoters. Sound good to you? Great!

    To address zztopp's original first question at the top of this thread: 'If I understand correctly, is Luca Turin implying that being gay promotes creativity in perfumery?' My answer is: maybe, he is. I read The Emperor of Scent last month, where zztopp's quote is taken from. Neither Luca Turin (nor its openly gay author Chandler Burr) come across, to me, as homophobic, in the leastl. On the contrary, Turin seems extremely comfortable with his sexuality (From the Emperor of the Scent Page 12, fourth sentence down - mid paragraph: 'When I wrote the perfume guide, most of my readers were gay men, and most of my acquaintances assumed I was gay, which I'm not, not that I gave a damn.') I think Turin sees that in some way, perfume/scents are popular with gay men. I think he is right. Of course, perfume/scents are also popular with non-gay men - but not the majority of non-gay men. So, IMO, Turin is saying: Hey, perfume companies - hire some gay perfumers (not just non-gay perfumers) to create some of your colognes. Perhaps the perfume companies might not get more creative perfumers if they hire a gay perfumer solely based upon his sexuality, but it would give the companies a different 'perspective'. Let's face it, being gay and being creative are not one-and-the-same...I can attest to this personally. However, gay men and non-gay men (generally) have different approaches towards many creative things, perfumery included.

    Zztopp's second question was, 'Are there any gay perfumers?' Well, of course, there are. There are gay teachers, gay senators (smile), gay firefighters - so of course there are gay perfumers. There are lesbian perfumers too! I am sure there are transsexual perfumers. Many gays/lesbians//transsexuals are 'in the closet' just like many Hollywood actors who are extremely popular, are 'in the closet' - but this does not change the fact that they exist. Andy Tauer is gay; Christophe Laudamiel and Christoph Hornetz [the ones that did that Perfume the Movie coffret by Thierry Mugler], are gay and furthermore, so is Thierry Mugler, the man himself; Christopher Brosius [owner of CBIHP line] is gay; Marc Jacobs, Helmut Lang, Hedi Slimane, Narciso Rodriguez, Calvin Klein and Tom Ford are all gay [although technically, they're not perfumers - but they have a lot to do with the scents that they helped create]. If I had to guess, I would think Serge Lutens and Edouard and Fabrice (the Le Labo founders) are gay (from the various articles and pictures I've read of them). What is my point: There are gay perfumers and Turin was openly discussing that in his view, some perfume companies want to ignore this fact and avoid hiring openly gay perfumers, because of stupidity and homophobia.

    One more thing guys:

    I'm gay (whether you give a damn, or not) and I love and hate many different scents. Whether a transsexual created them, or whether a heterosexual man created them, or whether....well, you get my drift.

    I think Turin feels the same way.

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    ...I think Turin feels the same way.
    Are you sure? I have read more than a few ironical comments about Turins preference for perfumes by Miss Becker, like Tommy Girl and Beyond Paradise.

    Kidding aside - to me, your thoughtful post is informative, and invites to enter into a discussion of a more mature nature. I agree with a few important things you said. I also see inconsistencies in the material quoted by the OP. Within the context of the book these matters are rather unimportant. I never had second thoughts about this particular chapter, but it seems that these final pages are loaded with bits and pieces, material CB had collected during months or years, and now just dumped, to bring it all to an end. - - - However I wonder whether this is the ideal forum to pursue subject questions much longer. Discussing ways of living, and people from the fashion and perfume industries, seems a bit off topic for the men's fragrance board.
    Last edited by narcus; 1st September 2007 at 03:28 PM.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    --

    Thanks for your post mikeperez!
    Last edited by zztopp; 1st September 2007 at 05:27 PM.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    I don't like the dichotomic approach: GAY - NOT GAY
    BLACK - WHITE
    True - Lie
    Life - Death

    It's not true-life categories. In real, there are lots of shades, lots of feelings..And it's natural.
    F.e. Madonna. When she was younger, her sexuality was more colorful. At one period of her life she did one things now she is happily married mother..

    Why gay culter is connected with creativity? Because they break rules.
    What is creation? It is breaking the rules, breaking what has been already created.
    They cross one boundary (homo-hetero), and it's easier to cross this boundary in other spheres f.e. creating perfumes
    Last edited by DreamerII; 1st September 2007 at 05:30 PM.
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  22. #22
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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    this will come as a surprise to the generations of Indian Muslims, especially the ones Luca prostrated himself to.
    I have their webpage somewhere.

    which culture is he refering to? White European culture? It's not the fans of P Diddy.

    as applied by neo-cons to entertainers I'll add Luca, shut up and sniff.
    Last edited by fredricktoo; 1st September 2007 at 05:36 PM.
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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    The topic of gay culture and perfume culture has been discussed a few times here on Basenotes - each time we get wildly different viewpoints from everyone (which, is one reason why I love Basenotes...) along with highly charged, sometimes controversial (sometimes immature and childish) replies. So, I will try not to add 'fuel to the fire' in my reply. Perhaps everyone else participating in this thread could exercise some restraint also - so as not to offend other Basenoters. Sound good to you? Great!

    To address zztopp's original first question at the top of this thread: 'If I understand correctly, is Luca Turin implying that being gay promotes creativity in perfumery?' My answer is: maybe, he is. I read The Emperor of Scent last month, where zztopp's quote is taken from. Neither Luca Turin (nor its openly gay author Chandler Burr) come across, to me, as homophobic, in the leastl. On the contrary, Turin seems extremely comfortable with his sexuality (From the Emperor of the Scent Page 12, fourth sentence down - mid paragraph: 'When I wrote the perfume guide, most of my readers were gay men, and most of my acquaintances assumed I was gay, which I'm not, not that I gave a damn.') I think Turin sees that in some way, perfume/scents are popular with gay men. I think he is right. Of course, perfume/scents are also popular with non-gay men - but not the majority of non-gay men. So, IMO, Turin is saying: Hey, perfume companies - hire some gay perfumers (not just non-gay perfumers) to create some of your colognes. Perhaps the perfume companies might not get more creative perfumers if they hire a gay perfumer solely based upon his sexuality, but it would give the companies a different 'perspective'. Let's face it, being gay and being creative are not one-and-the-same...I can attest to this personally. However, gay men and non-gay men (generally) have different approaches towards many creative things, perfumery included.

    Zztopp's second question was, 'Are there any gay perfumers?' Well, of course, there are. There are gay teachers, gay senators (smile), gay firefighters - so of course there are gay perfumers. There are lesbian perfumers too! I am sure there are transsexual perfumers. Many gays/lesbians//transsexuals are 'in the closet' just like many Hollywood actors who are extremely popular, are 'in the closet' - but this does not change the fact that they exist. Andy Tauer is gay; Christophe Laudamiel and Christoph Hornetz [the ones that did that Perfume the Movie coffret by Thierry Mugler], are gay and furthermore, so is Thierry Mugler, the man himself; Christopher Brosius [owner of CBIHP line] is gay; Marc Jacobs, Helmut Lang, Hedi Slimane, Narciso Rodriguez, Calvin Klein and Tom Ford are all gay [although technically, they're not perfumers - but they have a lot to do with the scents that they helped create]. If I had to guess, I would think Serge Lutens and Edouard and Fabrice (the Le Labo founders) are gay (from the various articles and pictures I've read of them). What is my point: There are gay perfumers and Turin was openly discussing that in his view, some perfume companies want to ignore this fact and avoid hiring openly gay perfumers, because of stupidity and homophobia.

    One more thing guys:

    I'm gay (whether you give a damn, or not) and I love and hate many different scents. Whether a transsexual created them, or whether a heterosexual man created them, or whether....well, you get my drift.

    I think Turin feels the same way.
    I couldn 't agree more with you!
    homophobia and strong resentment against homosexuality are a sign of repressed homosexual tendencies.
    homophobia here should be censored! we live in a world of hypocrisy! my best friend who 's gay wouldn 't be able to count the times he 's committed homosexual acts with supposedly straight guys or married men! people hate openly gay men and transgenders, in psychology it 's the "mirror effect".
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    I just read this hilarious writeup by Luca Turin:

    We're living under a gay dictatorship; I'm sick of it
    aren 't these kind of homophobic comments against the rules here?
    Last edited by Aline et Valcour; 1st September 2007 at 05:44 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aline et Valcour View Post
    aren 't these kind of homophobic comments against the rules here?
    This type of quoted comment is not against the rules, no.
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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    This type of quoted comment is not against the rules, no.
    freedom of expression, I m fine with that but don 't hate me and stop threatening to ban me by private messages if I expose what you call quoted comments as homophobic, have a good long weekend!
    Last edited by Aline et Valcour; 1st September 2007 at 06:05 PM.

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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aline et Valcour View Post
    freedom of expression, I m fine with that but don 't hate me if I expose what you call quoted comments as homophobic, have a good long weekend!
    I think members and readers will consider the source when you do.
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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    I think members and readers will consider the source when you do.
    finally we agree because they should, they shouldn 't rely on biased moderation or me to have an idea of what is what.



    EDIT: I re-read ZZ 's post, the whole context was NOT homophobic, I apologize but man DustB and ZZ it 's solid, you two...uh? lol
    Last edited by Aline et Valcour; 1st September 2007 at 06:26 PM.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Luca Turin likes gay people and has spent massive amounts of time working around them. The quote from the book, while verbatim, is actually fragmented and ultimately taken out of context if you understand the bigger picture. If you asked Turin what he actually meant you'd get something extremely different. I see no purpose in perpetuating this kind of thread (they never amount to anything) but I'm sure people will.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Well, to label ZZ as homophobic is a little hypocritical if you ask me. Perhaps I am wrong, but I think ZZ was QUESTIONING the logic in the referenced article. I read his questions to be sarcastic, not literal.

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    Default Re: Perfume culture = gay culture ?

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    Luca Turin likes gay people and has spent massive amounts of time working around them. The quote from the book, while verbatim, is actually fragmented and ultimately taken out of context if you understand the bigger picture. If you asked Turin what he actually meant you'd get something extremely different. I see no purpose in perpetuating this kind of thread (they never amount to anything) but I'm sure people will.
    There is a link to the whole page to get the whole context. You have read the book so perhaps you can tell us whether Luca Turin means differently or not.

    This thread is about two distinct questions: Does being gay promotes creativity in perfumery? & Are there any gay perfumers?. Nothing more, nothing less . Only mikeperez and a few others answered with a modicum of understanding of the issue at hand. Mikeperez's indepth answer provided a lot of insight (for me atleast) as did Luca Turins' original comments, which when stripped of their biting humor, states the discrimination which gay perfumers faced in the french perfume industry and actually advocates their creativity. My own personal opinion is that sometimes gay perfumers can bring an "outside the box" thinking which can create disruptive change in the industry. I have known for a long time that Tom Ford is gay, and I sure as hell enjoy almost all the perfumes he has directed. Ofcourse perfumers dont have to be gay to be creative .. a "hetero" perfumer who is very much intune with current trends and has inculcated a creative bend within himself or his team can bring drastic change and innovation to the industry.

    Aline et Valcour, or should I say bois et musc/voyegueruse imaginaire, the only homophobia going on is (was?) in the perfume industry of the land of the Les Bleus. I appreciate your incessant quoting of mikeperez's half page answer .. as always, your posts are a pleasure to read and promote discussion :wave:
    Last edited by zztopp; 1st September 2007 at 06:29 PM.
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Loving perfume on the Internet since 2000