Thread: Briefs we submitted
Trust me, Ed - Punk Steam would sell like hotcakes! Not sure who, but if you can have a Star Trek cologne.... or three...
Yes, Quarry is a treasure. But it does make me curious if we "peeps" will be allowed to throw our skills, pro bono, behind the winning entries. There are so many fragrances on here that I would simply love to support in the most fanboi ways.
Last edited by Redneck Perfumisto; 5th January 2010 at 03:13 AM. Reason: :grim: is a really terrible smilie - and doesn't work, either
Ruggles - I hope somebody at 23, rue Boissy d'Anglas, 75008, Paris, has the wisdom to print out your brief and anonymously place it in the inbox of a certain parfumeur, who is capable of doing it justice. The next time he is asked to do an extrême version of this or a concentré of that, he can pull out your brief, hand it back to the lady, and smile.
Whether it is chosen or not doesn't really matter. I was going to ask you to show the other two, but they cannot possibly be better, so I won't.
So far, yours is the only brief that has made me cry. I think that has to mean something.
Oh, this is terrible. I like every one more than the ones before it. Which means I like mine the least.
Blkbrd, I think you've perfectly nailed the problem with most mainstream masculines. I want to smell every single fragrance that's been described in this thread, but I most want to wear your #3.
I'm really thrilled with everyone's fine contributions, so many different creative approaches/angles were used.
And thanks for the kind words Redneck and the_good_life.
How will they ever choose just one?
I'm amazed you guys ... just amazed and blown away.
You are all winners to me.
I've trademarked the color bleu
What an amazing thread! Kudos to each and every contributor. I knew the quality of submissions would be high but dammit I want to own a bottle of each! There may eventually be only three winners, lthough in my opinion they should only be judged as first among equals. Well done Basenoters.
Last edited by kbe; 7th January 2010 at 01:45 AM.
Things are things because of Mind--Zen Buddhist saying
Aren't they picking three, not just one?
You are quite right 30 Roses. Doggon it I knew that too...I have corrected my post.
Things are things because of Mind--Zen Buddhist saying
I wasn't planning on posting the two briefs I submitted, given how impressive everyone else's are, but being all the dunce I can be, I sent them off without including my username. =L
So here, for the record, are kb2003's ideas:
1: Big Country
This fragrance is inspired by my experience growing up in West-Central Texas, at the center of an area nestled between the rolling green Hill Country to the southeast, the once oil-rich Permian Basin to the west, and the high plains of the Llano Estacado to the north. This region is sometimes referred to colloquially as “the Big Country.”
At a glance, the Big Country is not a lovely or exotic place. It is a place of simplicity and ruggedness, of cattle ranching and sporadic petroleum drilling, and as a result of the virtually flat topography, it imparts a sense of limitless space. I often recall long drives through this unending landscape, sweating in the dry heat, gazing into a huge swath of azure at the occasional oil derrick or grain silo or spindly mesquite tree floating past the window. That vastness in particular is what I have always found so striking and, indeed, beautiful about it.
What I envision is a fragrance that expresses the geographic austerity of traveling a Big Country highway, stretching as far as the eye can see, from day into night.
I imagine notes of dry, sweet prairie grass and petrol – not the vaguely narcotic toxicity of a fuel pump, but rather a faint trail of quickly evaporating kerosene, akin to the petrol note in some aged Rieslings; the sharp spiciness of freshly cut mesquite logs and dry bay leaves; and finally a dusty, smoky accord that suggests the wood being lit at a distant campfire (or perhaps more authentically, a distant barbecue).
More important than any of the individual notes I am imagining, however, is that the signature characteristic of the fragrance is a sense of airiness, both light and dark, as if each element arrives and departs courtesy of a constant, indifferent breeze.
It may seem rather masculine in spirit, but I intend “Big Country” to be worn by both genders. Ideally, this fragrance would stand apart from anything remotely formal, sophisticated, or sexy, as well as from ‘exotic’ or ‘wild’ scents inspired by deserts or jungles. Instead, I would want the fragrance to create an impression of tranquility and expansiveness, at once unfussy and authentic.
2: Hot Vanilla
This fragrance is an expression of a simple image that made a strong impression on me this winter. On a bitterly cold day in New York, I looked up at the metal skeleton of a new building under construction and saw the silhouette of a welder at work. His entire workspace was surrounded by a heavy white sheet to block the wind, but the ultra-bright, vaguely pink light from the torch cast a vivid glow throughout the makeshift booth and presented the welder’s outline, like a kind of reversed shadow play.
“Hot Vanilla” is modeled on that arrangement, structured as a cool, pale sheet lit from behind by a burning hot core. For the outer element, I see a soft but substantial layer of vanilla, stiffened up a bit by a bitter almond note. I see this layer draped around a powerful heart of cayenne pepper with accents of bittersweet galangal and a faintly metallic accord. In the base, I imagine a mix of vetiver and myrrh, and a hint of burnt incense.
The fragrance (to be worn by both genders) would be characterized by a fluctuating balance of coolness and heat that results from the arrangement of these notes. Clearly I also intend for the scent to have a certain gourmand quality, but one that is distanced and hyper-real, like a meal made to be photographed but not eaten.
Thanks, for posting, kb2003, especially Big Country. I grew up in San antonio and went to college in Austin. I've lived in much greener pastures for more than 30 years. But a few years ago, I visited Texas in the summer and drove from Austin to San Antonio. I remember thinking, "It's not as pretty as where I live now, but it just looks like home." If the perfumer can capture this sense, I'll have to buy about a gallon.
Man, these are great! Yeah - I agree - Big Country is nice. It's in a very sweet spot relative to several genres I like, but doesn't come too close to anything I have. Also, as a plains person, it's talking to me. It almost strikes me as a very wearable relative of Lonestar Memories, which I wanted to love really badly but couldn't. This could be really nice if the petrol note came in at just the right level. But I'm a gourmand lover, so I have to go with Hot Vanilla. What can I say - there's no such thing as too much vanilla. And I like this particular contrast combination. I could definitely see it.
OK, people - keep 'em coming! This is great!
Hirch_duckfinder Etat Libre d'Orange may briefly be interested without the wash
Things are things because of Mind--Zen Buddhist saying
Finally … time to read and write here.
ECaruthers’ Coastal Song tickles my fancy. Even though I've not been to California, I like the duality of wet and dry and anything that evokes the most dramatic of Earth's environs. So, not surprisingly, jrd4t's countryside composition smells good to my imagination, too. I'm not sure whether it's a scent I would wear, but might like on paper or on a man.
I like your use of the words rustic and historic, Redneck. Sort of sounds like you're describing artisanal bread. Your notion of a Voyage of Discovery touches me, too. A book I read before I became a perfumista, called The Plant Hunters, relates the cataloguing of plant species by explorers, primary men hailing from Great Britain. On this subject, I believe romanticism is well earned. (On a side note, I'm reminded of a Marcel Proust quote: The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.) The thoroughness of your concepts must be appreciated by the aromachemist—virtual GPS coordinates for where to start.
30Roses, given the weather, it's a little hard to embrace an icicle fragrance today, however, a high-quality fragrance that's blue/gray/white, cold and not masculine sounds like something new. I'd like to see if a perfumer could come up with something that smells icy blue without smelling cheap or like a pharmacy item.
With cold fingers and toes, I’m looking longingly at Hot Vanilla. I don't have much tolerance for heat from spices, except when tempered by a certain amount of sweetness. Don't know if the bittersweet or metallic accords would work for female me though.
kbe, I, too, have known those fleeting moments where one feels literally like “star stuff,” as
Carl Sagan would put it. Can't imagine how a perfumer might interpret that, but it is certainly setting the bar high.
Re: Her Purse. Redneck, you're right, Son Sac à Main ain't gonna cut it. Valise looks like Vaseline. I can also imagine Family Guy’s Stewie making some kind of “coin purse” innuendo. Your idea of pronounced, waxy lipstick notes is a nice idea.
IMAGINING THE PERFUMER’S PERSPECTIVE: Being a graphic artist, I've had to interpret other’s desires as to what they wanted portrayed in their advertising, on their publication’s cover, and to their readers. I appreciate that the dictator of an idea must impart clear direction, then that person has to give the artist space to do their work, and lastly, this person must not cling too mightily to their ego. The work is theirs, but the product belongs to the client and their customers. When the process is understood and its participants’ roles are respected, the likelihood of success is greater. (Whoever gets to work from the chosen briefs, I wish them well.)
Dimitri understands how an artist sprouts the seeds other provide. That's why he writes, “I would like to keep the brief open to interpretation.” I like the way you think, D, “inspired by botany in a Brothers Grimm sense.” (Can't help but hear Julie Andrews when I read “Paper packages tied up with string” … these are a few of my favorite …)
Welcome to posting, blkbrd. Your compositions are beautifully presented. I'm interested in your calling attention to a flower I'm not familiar with, lantana. The word itself sounds like a popular perfume name.
Some of you folks’ ideas fall outside my female range of perception, but I appreciate how they express a need that no existing fragrance has been able to satisfy.
Being a pessimist by nature and nurture, I find it hard to believe anything can even come of our dreams and, secondly, I expect to be disappointed by the results, cuz nothing can measure up to the best-imagined scents. Therefore, if anything even remotely positive comes of the BN fragrance project, I will be most excited (this is the benefit of being a pessimist).
Here Are 3 Of The Briefs I Submitted. I Had A Great Time Wile Doing This I Wish I Was More In-Depth Like The Wonderful Briefs Submitted!!!
Epiphany by Fred Miller for Women (BN: LilKCCeleb)
Top - Peach, Gardenia, White Rose
Mid - Grapefruit, Hawaiian White Ginger
Base - Vanilla Bean
Epiphany (The Fragrance)
Fresh. Fruity. Sweet. Clean. All these words can be used (along with others) to describe Epiphany. The freshness starts with WHITE ROSE, then a slightly noticeable GARDENIA flower takes it place to invite the nose into the sweetness, which is fully with a small amount (1-3%) of PEACH. The PEACH note is was a great addition to Epiphany. Along with the sweetness, the freshness of the HAWAIIAN WHITE GINGER flower makes it appearance, which balances out the citrusy note, GRAPEFRUIT. The tangy GRAPEFRUIT sticks around for a while before Epiphany goes into it's final stage, when delivers VANILLA BEAN.
Epiphany was named by a friend of mine. When I did this scent, it was as a test and I asked her to help me find a name. After hours of smelling it, she said Epiphany. I love that name because when she named it, I realized how much my work was appreciated by others and how far my talents and the level of my talents could take me. I think the grapefruit had a lot to do with it also because its something refreshing.
Addiction For Men by Fred Miller (BN: LilKCCeleb)
Top - Coconut, Grapefruit, Vanilla Bean
Mid - White Amber
Base - Musk, Patchouli, Bay Rum
Ideal For: Spring & Summer
Addiction For Men (The Fragrance)
When I smell Addiction for men, I think of a liqueur, island type drink because of the BAY RUM in the base. With that said, you can detect the GRAPEFRUIT in the top, but it's not over-powering to where you will smell like a big sour grapefruit all day. I felt that the COCONUT had a island feel to it and that it would mix well with the GRAPEFRUIT, which could somewhat be island-like as well, to which they blended perfectly together. The VANILLA BEAN balances the GRAPEFRUIT & COCONUT so its tolerable to ones nose. The heart of Addiction is WHITE AMBER. This was chosen because it is slightly sweet and I presumed that it would help with the COCONUT & VANILLA BEAN in the top of the fragrance. In the basenotes of the fragrance I chose MUSK in a small percentage because I wanted Addiction to have a little longevity to it. Although the musk is not very detectable, but that's the way I wanted it. The PATCHOULI takes it role very well in Addiction. You can detect that it is there but you can smell the BAY RUM as well. So if one would have to call it a new fragrance of the two, Bay Rum Patchouli would be appropriate.
Addiction for Women by Fred Miller (BN: LilKCCeleb)
Top - Bubble Gum, Red Apple, Pineapple, Grapefruit, Coconut
Mid - White Amber, Honeysuckle
Base - Musk, Patchouli, Bay Rum
Ideal For: Spring, Summer
Addiction for Women (The Fragrance)
Addiction for Women smells like a sweet island drink. The sweetness comes from its BUBBLE GUM, RED APPLE, & PINEAPPLE notes. GRAPEFRUIT is noticeable but it's kind of shadowed by the COCONUT note. It follows in the footsteps of its male version, Addiction for Men. Still island-like and boozy but not a full fledged liquor scent, maybe more like a sweet margarita. This version is much sweeter than the male version because of the sweet notes added with another semi-sweet note, WHITE AMBER, to give it more sweetness. It's not a candy type of sweet because the HONEYSUCKLE adds balance to the fragrance. The HONEYSUCKLE, I didn't want it to become so dominant in the fragrance so it's there for freshness in the heart of the fragrance. The base of Addiction for Women shares the same notes of the male version. I decided to keep it that way so that the fragrances would be related, and people could tell & notice that they are related. The MUSK was once again added for longevity. The PATCHOULI and BAY RUM are there to cover the MUSK. The BAY RUM gives Addiction for Women it's island, boozy sensation.
I'm in the middle of publishing the briefs to the site, they should all be up later tonight.
This is my women's fragrance brief:
And this is my men's:
Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 7th January 2010 at 05:36 PM.
Wow, thanks for the comments everyone.
Ecaruthers - you summed up the emotional undercurrent of the Big Country concept perfectly. I think geographic references are such a powerful inspiration for perfumes, as many of the briefs in this thread indicate, and I'm glad not to be the only one who can see the beauty in less-than-idyllic places.
Redneck Perfumisto - I'm encouraged Hot Vanilla didn't strike you as too esoteric or clash-y. I didn't consider this one as carefully as Big Country (in terms of the actual notes I would suggest), so I worried about considerable discordance among them, even though a specific type of contrast is the major theme.
Quarry – I hear you on the challenge of bittersweet and metallic in a supposedly sweet gourmand. The galangal is my attempt at adding a light earthiness to the core while avoiding a louder note like ginger (in cooking, I often subsitute ginger for galangal when the latter isn't available, and it always throws off the final flavor balance). But I also imagine the primary vanilla note being fairly substantial throughout the longevity of the fragrance, as the other notes mingle behind it. ELd’O Fat Electrician, with its strong vanilla against a shimmery vetiver-myrrh backdrop, is very close to the dynamic I’m looking for.
I’m equally impressed by everyone else’s briefs as well. A few favorites after poring over these:
jrd4t, the countryside imagery is simply lovely, and I like that you only created an atmosphere with the images and characteristic smells rather than getting into the nitty-gritty that we really ought to leave to the perfumer (unlike the more detail-obsessed among us, myself included!).
Dmitri, first of all, I’m a big fan of your blog, and your review of Ambre Gris convinced me to buy a bottle blind – with no regrets! Anyhow, kudos to you for finding such amazing images to illustrate your awesome ‘poison apple’ concept. I think yours, jrd4t’s, and the_good_life’s ‘steampunk’ concept would all appeal strongly to the growing hipster taste for an antiquated, ‘authentic,’ organic, distinctly un-urban aesthetic thrust into an urban environment. Anachronism, irony, etc. Witness the urban revival of classic outdoorsy brands like Woolrich, Barbour, Pendleton, Sperry, etc., and in the fragrance realm, the success of D.S. & Durga.
blkbrd, fantastic descriptions, and I would be the first in line to buy your 3rd concept. As for the lantana-based concept: many of my female friends from California have mentioned loving how lantana flower smells. I think you’ve really hit on something.
And finally, Ruggles, I am suddenly dying to experience something that smells of that color combination and a Nick Drake song.
Thanks to everyone who posted their briefs for sharing!
As someone who has her perfumer-training-wheels on I find Ruggles' briefs the most immediately inspirational; something I could start working with straight away. Wonder what the winning ones will be! And I'd love to know what the industry noses think of them. Guess I'll find out (I paid my CPL-day a while ago to make sure I'd get in there. Did not want to miss this!).
Two stand out so far for me. The first from Dimitri:
I'd buy this blind, right now, if it existed. I LOVE the idea of the poison apple and what it would smell like. I just love this whole concept. Love. Love. LOVE....the poison apple from “Snow White” might have smelled and tasted like... the idea of casting a poisonous/enchanted veil over something natural and alluring...
An age where women administered deadly nightshade to their eyes in an effort to dilate their
pupils... beauty and innocence vs premeditation and witchery.
I also very much want to try Big Country.
Dry, sweet prairie grass and petrol. I'd be all over that.notes of dry, sweet prairie grass and petrol – not the vaguely narcotic toxicity of a fuel pump, but rather a faint trail of quickly evaporating kerosene, akin to the petrol note in some aged Rieslings; the sharp spiciness of freshly cut mesquite logs and dry bay leaves; and finally a dusty, smoky accord that suggests the wood being lit at a distant campfire (or perhaps more authentically, a distant barbecue).
I have been thinking about a brief of my own but have not written anything specific yet. All I know what I want, tho...just need to turn it into words that make sense. I want something simple and mostly linear. A soft gourmand that avoids overt (or, in my ideal world, any) sweetness (a non-sweet gourmand is possibly my HG - not everything 'foody' is 'sweet'!), something comforting, maternal, domestic, soft like an earlobe. Something milky. Not florals that are meant to evoke milk, but milk itself, cream, unsalted butter, custard, unbuttered, unsyruped buckwheat pancakes, soft, soft almond (or hazelnut?), childhood. No florals allowed. Some unsweet, subtle fruit note would be allowed. Apricot. The feeling of this frag would be straight-up comfort. It would evoke a simple, uncomplicated emotional response.
Will try to come up with something that makes sense.
"It's now very common to hear people say "I'm rather offended by that." As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. 'I find that offensive.' It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that.' Well so fucking what." - Stephen Fry
For anybody worrying about too much constraint on the interpretation of our briefs, you will be pleased by the words of one of our perfumers, Beverly Bayne, here:
I know we all believe in many things (or nothing at all), but at the moment I'm strongly believing in our little steampunk universe, among others.How do you feel about creating a fragrance for Basenoters?
Yes, it's going to be totally unique and we'll be able to do something really creative and not worry too much about costs and constraints, so it will be very interesting.
Whaaa? Grant posted our briefs? Really?
Thank you for your kind words, RP. I am flattered that you liked it.
Here are all of the briefs we were sent to the competition email address in December.
We'd love to hear your views on them, so please leave a comment on the briefs you like the most.
Finally, a big thank you to all who submitted, you are a talented bunch
If you haven't done so, please read the three interviews with the three perfumers who are going to be making the three fragrances.