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  1. #1

    Default Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    If perfumery is art, what about kitsch? What is kitsch? Kitsch is thoroughly defined there:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kitsch

    Kitsch is an antagonist to creativeness, it deals with preconceived emotions that are triggered by unoriginal icons. The recipient doesn't feel the original emotion but enjoys kitsch as a provocation of generic patterns of action - including the expression of that very emotion: "How cute it is!"

    Could You name a kitschy fragrance?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Escada Sunset Heat
    Escada Moon Sparkle
    and most Escada summer offerings for men and women. Fun stuff, but not much more.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bossa Nova View Post
    Escada Sunset Heat
    Escada Moon Sparkle
    and most Escada summer offerings for men and women. Fun stuff, but not much more.
    Could You describe what exactly makes it kitsch? In fragrance we have a diffuse zone between artisanal or even artsy concoctions and bold generic stuff that unpretentious does it's duty. Kitsch would be different to both. In that it pretends to be artsy but isn't because of a lack of originality for instance.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Hai Karate might be a good runner. Conceived during the 1960's, each bottle of Hai Karate came with a small self-defense instruction booklet, to help wearers defend themselves against women.

    As MAD Magazine was all the rage (with 12 year olds) ... the "nerd" image of Alfred E. Newman was widely recognized. Stereotypical nerdy guys were used in the ads, along with sexy women after said nerd when he donned the HK.

    If that ain't kitsch, nothin' is, brother.
    [URL="http://www.basenotes.net/fragrancereviews/38140"][B]Actias luna's fragrance reviews[/B][/URL] | Now blogging with [i]AromiErotici, Carrie Meredith, Mimi Gardenia, Sugandaraja, Asha, bluesoul, shamu1, Redneck Perfumisto and Daly Beauty[/i] at [URL="http://aromierotici.blogspot.com/"][B]Il Mondo di Odore[/B][/URL] [URL="http://www.ebsqart.com/Artist/Kathleen-Harper/3794/Art-Portfolio/1/"]
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Yes, Hai Karate was the ultimate. Outrageously kitschy, and not even good. Barf, barf, barf!!!

    My current kitschy fave is Harajuku Lovers. Some of the scents seem to have been designed by the people who make Skittles and the evil candy corn. To be honest, a couple of them are excellent scents, IMO, but the bottles just make me laugh and roll my eyes. And the marketing seems to be aimed straight at the kitsch-receptive audience. I'm just waiting for them to be offered with Hello Kitty inflatable pool toys or something like that.
    * * * *

  6. #6

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    OMG Hello Kitty (*note the HK = Hai Karate!?!? coincidence???!!! I don't think so) pooltoys=awesome!!!!!
    But yes, Harajuku Lovers IS quite the kitschy line.
    Last edited by actiasluna; 28th August 2010 at 02:19 AM.
    [URL="http://www.basenotes.net/fragrancereviews/38140"][B]Actias luna's fragrance reviews[/B][/URL] | Now blogging with [i]AromiErotici, Carrie Meredith, Mimi Gardenia, Sugandaraja, Asha, bluesoul, shamu1, Redneck Perfumisto and Daly Beauty[/i] at [URL="http://aromierotici.blogspot.com/"][B]Il Mondo di Odore[/B][/URL] [URL="http://www.ebsqart.com/Artist/Kathleen-Harper/3794/Art-Portfolio/1/"]
    [B]Art[/B]: Actias luna's other hobby[/URL] - along with some impromptu [URL="http://www.basenotes.net/threads/268480-Why-Mouchoir-de-Monsieur-Act-III-Resumed"]"performance writing"[/URL] here on Basenotes!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Yeah the first fragrance that popped in my mind when I read the title was the Hello Kitty fragrance, Momoberry


  8. #8

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    I think more modern and "polished" versions can be named too and imho good examples are the DK Be Delicious line and Juicy Couture.
    If we take it up one more notch, I even see some corners of L'Artisan as kitschy, albeit with mostly better juices.
    O.K. you can stone me now.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    I'll second everything said above. I forgot who does it, but isn't there one called "To Twirl All Girly"?

    And I think you could make a case for Marc Jacobs Bang as kitsch, at least the bottle.
    Has everyone checked out my Top 100 Blog??

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Bond No.9 entire line. I think I'm seriously put off by their packaging.

  11. #11
    fountain
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    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    fahrenheit and lagerfeld classic

  12. #12

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    Bond No.9 entire line. I think I'm seriously put off by their packaging.
    That's some point. In perfumery the packaging and advertising is kitsch as kitsch can. Advertising, the non-olfactory appeal should evoke certain feelings that the marketing squad thinks are salutary for sales. The juice is only casually connected to that.

    Bond #9 leanes against the Creed line. From the same shape of the bottle up to the up market attitude. They use a more juvenile color scheme though.

    But what about the juice itself? One may think of the "fresh" genre for instance. Or, as an other more specific example, the attemt to evoke Caribian feelings by using coconut aroma.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    I don't know if it really fits the dictionary definition, and even if it does it is kitsch with a very sophisticated sense of irony, but Editions de Parfums Lipstick Rose is an absolute marvel. The name says it all. Yes, it smells like some lipstick my mother may have worn, but in the right hands - on a woman who can carry it off - it's just great. I think TS or LT said something along the lines of it being rare to find a perfume with a sense of humour . . . I love it.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    I think perfumery as a whole is overloaded with kitsch in its bottles and in its ad copy. In fact, I rarely run across ad copy that isn't loaded with overenthusiastic purple prose.

    But, as for the scent... It's hard to say just what's kitchy. The closest I can come is some of the sillier representational fragrances from Demeter, like "Lobster" and "Fuzzy Navel".

  15. #15

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)


    I've always found Francis Kurkdjian's Fleur du Male to be pure kitsch: starting with its name, a play on Charles Baudelaire's poem's Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil) to the white, homo-erotic bottle and then the juice itself: high camp, cleanliness.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sugandaraja View Post
    I think perfumery as a whole is overloaded with kitsch in its bottles and in its ad copy. In fact, I rarely run across ad copy that isn't loaded with overenthusiastic purple prose.

    But, as for the scent... It's hard to say just what's kitchy. The closest I can come is some of the sillier representational fragrances from Demeter, like "Lobster" and "Fuzzy Navel".
    I agree. When I think kitsch, I also have images of Tiki-themed bars and early '60s limbo parties.... most Comptoir Sud Pacifique scents I have tried, the Tommy Bahama line... anything smelling like pina coladas, such as Creed Virgin Island Water, are kitsch.

    The kitschiest name for a fragrance is Bronze Goddess.

    I also agree that Bond No. 9 bottles are kitsch.
    Last edited by Furriner; 28th August 2010 at 01:13 PM.
    I don't know much about medicine, but I know what I like. -- S.J. Perelman

  17. #17

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Almost everything from Etat Libre d'Orange.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Quote Originally Posted by irrbloss View Post
    Almost everything from Etat Libre d'Orange.
    I think they WANT to be kitsch, and that's why they fail. Kitsch is unaware and unintentional, and EldO is nothing if not knowing and calculating.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    I think maybe Drakkar Noir is becoming a kitschy scent. If you wore Drakkar now when going out/clubbing you would get some raised eyebrows and people asking: You wear that as a joke, right? It's just too strong, too synthetic, trying too hard.

    Of course you could also argue that wearing it now is not kitsch but retro. Defining kitsch is hard..

  20. #20

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    A really good question and an excellent thinking/discussion point. There will never be a definitive answer as everybody has different boundries for kitsch.

    A very important part of the definition of kitsch is that it makes us aware of the commonality of (for example) people thinking a fluffy kitten is cute whether or not we think the actual kitten portrayed is cute and whether or not the portrayal of the kitten actually moves us. They wouldn't have put the kitten on the chocolate box if people didn't think fluffy kittens were cute...

    In terms of fragrances, I think it is actually quite difficult to get away with kitsch in perfume. I do think Bond no. 9 are an excellent candidate - there are a number which "refer heavilly" to other things already created but with cheaper, nastier ingredients. They have gaudy packaging and add nothing of depth or value to the discourse. Many celebrity fragrances may also fall into this catagory.

    However, I think most modern or "conceptual" art is far more vacuous than a "kitsch" garden decoration which after all, has a use and presumably brightens somebody's life a little. There are fragrances which fall into this catagory too...
    "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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  21. #21

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bossa Nova View Post
    Escada Sunset Heat
    Escada Moon Sparkle
    and most Escada summer offerings for men and women. Fun stuff, but not much more.
    Oh yes, Escadas "fruit salads" with silliest names (Sexy Graffiti, Ibiza Hippie) under the sun!
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  22. #22
    fountain
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    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Guyer View Post

    I've always found Francis Kurkdjian's Fleur du Male to be pure kitsch: starting with its name, a play on Charles Baudelaire's poem's Les Fleurs du Mal (The Flowers of Evil) to the white, homo-erotic bottle and then the juice itself: high camp, cleanliness.
    damn right

  23. #23

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Quote Originally Posted by hirch_duckfinder View Post
    ... a fluffy kitten is cute whether or not we think the actual kitten portrayed is cute and whether or not the portrayal of the kitten actually moves us. They wouldn't have put the kitten on the chocolate box if people didn't think fluffy kittens were cute...
    Yeah, hard to tell. What in a scent - for itself letting the ads and descriptions, even the notes aside - could be considered kitsch? If we don't know that, what about art?

    The people having tons of Creed-experience and hence a vast amount of upper class taste fumble around with notes that they take from a scent. What about good notes and bad notes. Which notes are boring, and which are kitsch?

    Is perfumery an art that structured, well defined that certain takes on something can be neglected as kitsch?

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Quote Originally Posted by Diamondflame View Post
    Bond No.9 entire line. I think I'm seriously put off by their packaging.
    For me the kitsch of Bond is the same, but the effect is quite the opposite. I agree - many scents and bottle designs are kitschy - but in such an intentionally humorous way that it's hip. I just love that aspect of Bond. I swear, I'll bring my subway token-covered bottle of Wall Street with me when I go see the sequel to the movie. I might even spray my bottle around in the dark!

    Quote Originally Posted by WildThingy View Post
    Yeah, hard to tell. What in a scent - for itself letting the ads and descriptions, even the notes aside - could be considered kitsch? If we don't know that, what about art?

    The people having tons of Creed-experience and hence a vast amount of upper class taste fumble around with notes that they take from a scent. What about good notes and bad notes. Which notes are boring, and which are kitsch?

    Is perfumery an art that structured, well defined that certain takes on something can be neglected as kitsch?
    It's weird with notes - I think it's so personal. One person's kitsch is another person's mainstream. Take the candy floss down under Oriental Lounge. Yes, it strikes many as kitschy. But it's great! It's like a classic ambery feminine with a "Like, let's hook up!" candy note sweetening it. And to all those people who go "Huh?" at the idea that candy floss has become kitschy, it's not even a question.

    I think there are stages, where things transition from popular to boring and then dated and then retro. Depending on one's point of view, kitschiness enters somewhere around boring, but I think a lot of people have to be "not bored" for it to still have enough popularity to be kitschy. Hello Kitty is kitschy, but Dakko Chan is so dated and subject to historical and sociological debate, that it simply can't be kitschy in our current time.

    Great subject, BTW.
    * * * *

  25. #25

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Sure. Easy. Any fragrance that has pop-culture, fad-type, ties...

    Twilight (yeah...the book/movie)
    "Shirtless Kirk" (yeah...the SHAT Kirk)
    "PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN" cologne (by Air Val...) ...yes, really.
    "L.A. Style" by Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen...yeah I know I'm getting into "celebrity fragrance" territory, but those girls are way too much of a fad...and too young.
    Any music-band fragrance.

    Most kid-marketed fragrances are going to be pretty kitschy too...but I'll give them a break on that.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Any of the Katie Price fragrance range is kitsch frankly.

    Dreadfully cheesy saccharine sweet nonsense designed to appeal to the desperate and lonely who think Katie Price is the embodiment of the modern woman.

    Kitsch? Oh yes.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  27. #27

    Default Re: Kitsch In Perfumery (scentwise)

    Drakkar Dynamik

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