I should clarify that Luca is the Pope of Perfume, definitely not me. Also, David, Terre d'Hermes is as sublime a masculine as it's possible to buy. Basically flawless. And next time you go to Takashimaya you can take "The Perfect Scent" and read that stupid woman the section in which I describe exactly how Celine Ellena created Sel de Vetiver, pg 188 of the paperback.
Thanks for dropping by Chandler and T.Rex well done for doing such a great job of being a "Basenotes Ambassador"
Last edited by jathanas; 12th March 2009 at 03:20 AM.
The only reason I said getting TdH was lame was because I was in NEW YORK CITY where I could buy anything from Comme des Garçons to Serge Lutens to anything from the entire Guerlain line (Bergdorf's) and I got something that's pretty widely available everywhere in the US. There's nothing lame about the smell of TdH. It's gorgeous stuff. I was just thinking I should have gotten something more obscure when I had the chance.
OMG, Chandler, I love you! Your books are incredible. Emperor changed my life (and indirectly wrecked my finances). No exaggeration.
Yes, I'm a Chandler Burr fanboy, so what?
Last edited by andylama; 12th March 2009 at 04:46 AM.
excellent account T. Rex! It reminds me a lot of my NYC sniff-a-thon I went on a year ago. Love for fragrances changes the idea of traveling so much. And kudos to your friend for going along with it all! Lucky him! I took two friends around Manhattan with me on my NYC adventure and I created two converts for sure
And Chandler, great to see you posting here (if you are still reading this). Your review of Bigarrade Concentree (or was it Cologne Bigarrade?) certainly gave me a big nudge in seeking out niche fragrances.
I still can't believe this thread is real. Rexie comes back online with the trip report of a lifetime, the author who turned me into a perfumista shows up, and Brielle takes out the wicked witch. And throw in some Terre d'Hermes for good measure!
Bless you for dropping in, Chandler!
But think about it. Coming to NYC? Meeting Chandler? Schooling the dragon lady on Sel de Vetiver? And buying a classic scent by the star of Chandler's book? It's such an amazingly cool combination. Terre Rex - hail to the king!
Chandler, reading your description of Jardin en Mediterranee in the New Yorker was the thing that opened my eyes to niche fragrances, before then I'd only ever worn fashion house brands and didn't really appreciate there was a world of magical perfumes out there waiting to be discovered and bought.
So on one hand, I owe my entire fragrance wardrobe to you. On the other hand, I'd say you owe me about $2000 that I wouldn't have spent if it weren't for having read your article...
Althought it wasn't exactly a "blind buy", you did have, Chandler, some influence in my purchase of M7 Fresh.
Last edited by Delmar; 12th March 2009 at 04:24 PM.
Jonnyt, I think we’re all in constant danger of anti-snobbery: we come to eschew the fashion brands in favor of niches just because they’re fashion brands. This is wrong. In a few weeks I’m going to demolish a fashion flanker that is truly cynical and of zero quality, but in the context of praising the original, which is a subtle, real beauty. I’m also (off the record) going to give Britney Spears a very good review; it was made by an excellent perfumer every bit as talented as the perfumers who do Ormonde Jayne’s and DelRa’s things. Moreoever, remember that these are in fact mostly the same guys (!); the perfumers do both niche and mass. Yes, Harry Fremont is a fashion, i.e. mass luxury, perfumer; I don’t see Harry doing something for biehl. parfumkunstwerke. But Harry is an *excellent fashion guy. Second point is that J’adore and Pleasures, both excellent, are just as good as the sublime Bigarade Concentree; the style differs, and the aesthetics differ, and the audience and intent differ (and god knows the creative process differs), but all three are crafted by artists. It happens that Giacobetti simply does more niche, but I think it’s a mistake to think that makes her automatically better. Thank god for the Kurkdjians, Lies, and Maisondieus, because certainly where the niche outdo the fashion is in creativity and imagination (Lipstick Rose-love the humor, expertly done), but all of it—fashion brands and niche explicitly included—is absolutely case by case in my opinion.
And I’ll give you the $2,000 once The Times is doing better financially....! Sigh. I feel so bad about the state of this great paper.
Stereotomy, coincidence that you ask <<Apart from a lot of praise on Basenotes, Terre d'Hermès also gets a lot of flak for its heavy reliance on Iso E Super for the cedar-like base. Don't you feel that by using one aromachemical so heavily, it takes away the originality of the scent?>> I’ve spent the past 2 days talking to perfumers about this because I’m giving a presentation next Tuesday at the School for Visual Arts about olfactory design http://dcrit.sva.edu/ (it’s closed to the public, unfortunately), and I’m presenting a series of revolutionary synthetic molecules, Hedione, Karanal, Calone, Iso-E Super. Perfumers, like everyone, say different things depending on their moods, but I think that if pressed they would all admit that there are formulae that successfully employ a huge amount of a single material (and they well may have made one, despite their sometimes--hypocritically-- using it to denigrate a colleague's work), and that honestly it doesn’t matter at all whether or not a single molecule or natural comprises a large proportion of the formula. That’s certainly the position I take. Synthetic X, even slightly modified, can in my view become a terrific, and entirely legitimate, perfume. I’m starting to think that one important school of future perfumery may be single molecules as the imposing structural cores of perfumes with a light skein of ornamental materials meant merely to frame, and show off, the synthetic.
I see what you mean. I'm sure that, like you've mentioned before (I can't remember if it was in The Perfect Scent or in one of your columns) that you smelled a hay absolute that totally blew you away. I thought to myself, GOSH I would love to be able to spend a day in the labs of perfumers office, smelling perfume absolutes because sadly these are scents that will never, ever, reach my nose - well, not blended. And let's face it, some of them probably smell fantastic all by themselves. Of course, this might not always be cost effective - but the idea (the concept) sounds exciting.
As art, I can appreciate the idea over the actual materials used...but with all the talk of "economy" lately, it's hard to justify paying for that idea. Especially when I've got bottles of those synthetics kicking around that I paid almost nothing for.
Last edited by jonnyt; 13th March 2009 at 10:59 AM. Reason: spelling
This post was so adorable I'm glad I stopped to read it in my bad mood lol