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  1. #91
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Interesting that rogalal had his E02 (Mugler Cologne) moment!
    Honestly, this has gotten me really interested in how time effects perfumes. I had read somewhere here (outtakes from Chandler's book about Ellena??) that a perfume formula has to sit for weeks before it smells anything like it's supposed to. If I recall, the story was more about briefs and perfumers sending off samples without smelling their end results, but I wonder if that happens in regular production.

    Irena? Chandler? Does anyone know if, as a part of fragrance manufacturing, they have to let it sit until it opens up and smells right? From a business standpoint, I honestly don't think they would, given that storage is expensive and by the time it's passed through shipping and warehousing and more shipping and more distribution, it's good to go by the time it could hit a store shelf.

    It occurs to me that, by the virtue of the way this is set up (new product direct from the manufacturers instead of decanted product from a third party), that this is the first time most of us have ever smelled "fresh" perfume, which may not have had the time to mature into itself.

    Given that, what ingredients take time to mature? Is it topnotes like natural citruses or chemical bases or natural flowers or what?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    To me, S01E05 smells almost identical to Hermès Eau de Gentiane Blanche.
    That's an interesting one. I can honestly say that Gentiane Blanche would never have occurred to me. GB is so perfectly Ellena, like a nonexistant vegetable mixed with an imaginary flower mixed with pepper. To me, it doesn't smell like a color or a photorealistic thing, but more like an intricate drawing of something completely imaginary.
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  2. #92
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Honestly, this has gotten me really interested in how time effects perfumes. I had read somewhere here (outtakes from Chandler's book about Ellena??) that a perfume formula has to sit for weeks before it smells anything like it's supposed to. If I recall, the story was more about briefs and perfumers sending off samples without smelling their end results, but I wonder if that happens in regular production.

    Irena? Chandler? Does anyone know if, as a part of fragrance manufacturing, they have to let it sit until it opens up and smells right? From a business standpoint, I honestly don't think they would, given that storage is expensive and by the time it's passed through shipping and warehousing and more shipping and more distribution, it's good to go by the time it could hit a store shelf.

    It occurs to me that, by the virtue of the way this is set up (new product direct from the manufacturers instead of decanted product from a third party), that this is the first time most of us have ever smelled "fresh" perfume, which may not have had the time to mature into itself.

    Given that, what ingredients take time to mature? Is it topnotes like natural citruses or chemical bases or natural flowers or what?
    I have suspected that there are maceration issues in all of these untitled fragrances. But I think that there is even a further (and more important) issue in this case....

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    That's an interesting one. I can honestly say that Gentiane Blanche would never have occurred to me. GB is so perfectly Ellena, like a nonexistant vegetable mixed with an imaginary flower mixed with pepper. To me, it doesn't smell like a color or a photorealistic thing, but more like an intricate drawing of something completely imaginary.
    Yes - and (from my peculiar viewpoint) I'm surprised that nobody else is seeing this. But my current theory is that it's another case of personal hyperosmia. I'm positive that I'm hyperosmic on at least two non-musk chemicals. One is a very popular synthetic violet - the one that is used in Creed's Love in Black. The other is whatever is the main component of Eau de Gentiane Blanche. The reason I never bought that one was that the chemical was just too strong for me - it almost felt like it was burning my nostrils. I found it crazy that an EdC like EdGB had such amazing longevity. I have never smelled that chemical so clearly in any other fragrance. It is literally like mustard to me, which is why the condiment thing almost seemed to confirm it. So when I smelled it quite clearly in S01E05, with only tiny variations in the rest of the fragrance, I was sure that it had to be EdGB.

    If I had to make an analogy, it would be that stupidly cute meme, "The Dog". Those ridiculous close-up photos of puppies, where the tip of the face overwhelms everything. I suspect that to normal noses, these fragrances smell fairly distinct, like differently marked beagles, or even a beagle and a basset. But up close, to my distorting nose, they seem nearly identical. This also seems to explain why some of the things Chandler has been saying, simply make no sense to me. The monotone, textured white-out of this fragrance to my nose, leaves little room for a shadow effect, even distributed.
    * * * *

  3. #93

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    I may need to bow out here, but I want to thank the intelligent and interesting people on this thread for a good ride.

    I have well intended feedback for Mr. Burr.

    1. I think it might be helpful to engage an art historian in this project. Your idea of using the language of art history to describe scent is original and has interesting possibilities. I think that your comparison of the creation of Roudnitska's LOTV and photo-realism is inspired. I don't see how this extends to Eau Lierrre. To the best of my knowledge, the scent of ivy comes from its berries. To be photo-realistic, a painting starts with a photo, which is very painstakingly reproduced on canvas using a grid system. Roudnitska created sort of an olfactory grid to create his LOTV.

    Let's take a quick look at John Constable's The Glebe Farm: http://www.artchive.com/artchive/c/c...glebe.jpg.html

    There's some ivy in Constable's 1830 Romantic painting. Constable moved the landscape in new directions, creating rapid sketches as the light shifted. He didn't use a camera and create a grid from the resulting photograph. Many movements in art rely on the artist seeing an object and then using one of many methods to capture the object on canvas. Constable lovingly captured the beauty of his home area, which was his primary subject.

    In 1887, Van Gogh painted Undergrowth, with ivy
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Va...mit_Efeu1.jpeg

    Van Gogh moved to a more expressionist style toward the end of his life. He was mingling the objects, trees and ivy, and his own complex emotional world.

    Gorky's Dark Green Painting (1948) is a bridge that wonderfully defies categorization. There's some surrealism, but he is also moving toward a non-objective canvas. This piece was carefully planned, with a detailed grid before it was painted. There is a world here, but it is of Gorky's imagination.

    http://chelseamia.corriere.it/Blog_G...mb-360x282.jpg

    Finally, on to abstract expressionism - This is a detail from Pollock's Full Fathom Five (1947) Pollock was said to have broken through to a new type of painting. This painting is abstract, there are no objects in it.

    http://arpeggia.tumblr.com/post/34540163427

    The photo-realists were among a group of artists who did not wish to create abstract work. Sometime around 1960 they started producing paintings that were very objective.

    Here is a piece by Chuck Close, showing his grid
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chuck_Close_2.jpg

    So, to say that Une Rose or Eau Lierre are so photorealistic that they move toward abstract expressionism does not make sense to me. To the best of my recollection you have called Eau Lierre contemporary romantic, photorealism, figurative, and literal. To say that Une Rose is neon so it is Pop Art also doesn't make sense to me. Pop art took objects from mass culture like comics, and used them to challenge the traditions of fine art. Often the colors were bright, but so were Gaugan's, Matisse's and some ancient Roman mosaics.

    I intend no dis-respect and as both an art and fragrance lover wish you the best with this very challenging integration of terms.

    2. Again, as well intended feedback, I would urge you to branch out in perfume selection. The holiday's are coming. Why not branch out into an ambery oriental?
    Last edited by Babsvs; 2nd November 2012 at 07:29 AM.

  4. #94

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Honestly, this has gotten me really interested in how time effects perfumes. I had read somewhere here (outtakes from Chandler's book about Ellena??) that a perfume formula has to sit for weeks before it smells anything like it's supposed to. If I recall, the story was more about briefs and perfumers sending off samples without smelling their end results, but I wonder if that happens in regular production.

    Irena? Chandler? Does anyone know if, as a part of fragrance manufacturing, they have to let it sit until it opens up and smells right? From a business standpoint, I honestly don't think they would, given that storage is expensive and by the time it's passed through shipping and warehousing and more shipping and more distribution, it's good to go by the time it could hit a store shelf.

    It occurs to me that, by the virtue of the way this is set up (new product direct from the manufacturers instead of decanted product from a third party), that this is the first time most of us have ever smelled "fresh" perfume, which may not have had the time to mature into itself.

    Given that, what ingredients take time to mature? Is it topnotes like natural citruses or chemical bases or natural flowers or what?
    It depends on the formula and the manufacturer. I would say that most fixative base notes, especially bigger molecules like musks, but also bigger woody amber molecules, take a longer time to set. The citruses and aldehydes are best smelled fresh due to oxidation.

    I thinks the issues with this project are very very interesting because they reveal so many interesting questions like:

    Can perfume that has been constructed well to just 'perfume' even be perceived as art due to the biochemical complications like anosmia, oxidation, formulation etc. (I mean imagine the MonaLisa drastically changing its colors and composition depending on the viewer and the museum where it would be displayed)

    Octavian wrote something along those lines that perfume art can only be art when set in a conceptual art context like with Martynka Wawrzyniak's 'smell me' project.
    http://1000fragrances.blogspot.co.uk...yniak-and.html

    When it comes to what I smell, my motto is:
    I always trust my nose and I never trust my nose.
    @SomethingSmelly

  5. #95
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    I thinks the issues with this project are very very interesting because they reveal so many interesting questions like:

    Can perfume that has been constructed well to just 'perfume' even be perceived as art due to the biochemical complications like anosmia, oxidation, formulation etc. (I mean imagine the MonaLisa drastically changing its colors and composition depending on the viewer and the museum where it would be displayed)
    Very interesting!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Octavian wrote something along those lines that perfume art can only be art when set in a conceptual art context like with Martynka Wawrzyniak's 'smell me' project.
    http://1000fragrances.blogspot.co.uk...yniak-and.html
    Also very interesting!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    When it comes to what I smell, my motto is:
    I always trust my nose and I never trust my nose.
    &&
    * * * *

  6. #96

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    I have suspected that there are maceration issues in all of these untitled fragrances. But I think that there is even a further (and more important) issue in this case....



    Yes - and (from my peculiar viewpoint) I'm surprised that nobody else is seeing this. But my current theory is that it's another case of personal hyperosmia. I'm positive that I'm hyperosmic on at least two non-musk chemicals. One is a very popular synthetic violet - the one that is used in Creed's Love in Black. The other is whatever is the main component of Eau de Gentiane Blanche. The reason I never bought that one was that the chemical was just too strong for me - it almost felt like it was burning my nostrils. I found it crazy that an EdC like EdGB had such amazing longevity. I have never smelled that chemical so clearly in any other fragrance. It is literally like mustard to me, which is why the condiment thing almost seemed to confirm it. So when I smelled it quite clearly in S01E05, with only tiny variations in the rest of the fragrance, I was sure that it had to be EdGB.

    If I had to make an analogy, it would be that stupidly cute meme, "The Dog". Those ridiculous close-up photos of puppies, where the tip of the face overwhelms everything. I suspect that to normal noses, these fragrances smell fairly distinct, like differently marked beagles, or even a beagle and a basset. But up close, to my distorting nose, they seem nearly identical. This also seems to explain why some of the things Chandler has been saying, simply make no sense to me. The monotone, textured white-out of this fragrance to my nose, leaves little room for a shadow effect, even distributed.
    This is very interesting. I found E05 very difficult to smell. I grew up in a house that had ivy on brick, but did not smell this at all in E05. I smelled cucumber, citrus and salt. I had a really hard time smelling anything in the middle. If I put my nose directly on my skin I got a vegetal smell. I know that I don't smell some musks, which is in some ways a great thing. To me Jicky is a lovely somewhat oriental soft fern fragrance. I did get the wood at the bottom of Eau de Lierre. I think your comments about what we don't smell, what we smell differently, or too much are interesting.

    For Yuzu Rouge, I smelled Yuzu, tea, and other citrus. I didn't smell nutmeg, which I definately know I smell from cooking with it. Maybe it's the way the juices ages. Interesting conundrum.

  7. #97
    rogalal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    It's interesting- with all this talk of the basic perception of scents, it made me think...

    With visual art, we assume that we all look at a painting and see the same thing. I'll use my avatar, Edward Ruscha's Oof,from the NY MOMA:



    Aside from people with color-blindness, we can all see the big dark blue canvas with the yellow OOF. Even if our brains are different and we're technically seeing dark blue and yellow in different ways, it doesn't matter because we were all taught as little children what blue and yellow looked like and we can all look at that painting and see blue and yellow.

    Perfume is MUCH more difficult to discuss because we weren't taught as little children to recognize tomato leaf or hedione or some fraction of cassis. So we're at a place where we can't even agree that the canvas is blue.
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  8. #98

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    It's interesting- with all this talk of the basic perception of scents, it made me think...

    With visual art, we assume that we all look at a painting and see the same thing. I'll use my avatar, Edward Ruscha's Oof,from the NY MOMA:



    Aside from people with color-blindness, we can all see the big dark blue canvas with the yellow OOF. Even if our brains are different and we're technically seeing dark blue and yellow in different ways, it doesn't matter because we were all taught as little children what blue and yellow looked like and we can all look at that painting and see blue and yellow.

    Perfume is MUCH more difficult to discuss because we weren't taught as little children to recognize tomato leaf or hedione or some fraction of cassis. So we're at a place where we can't even agree that the canvas is blue.
    Totally agree about the lack of olfatory education. Also think that art history has an academic tradition and vocabulary that I freely admit I am not objective about. I love the academics of art history. I think that combining art history and scent is a great idea. I just think that the accepted scholarship of art history needs to play into the process.

    Maybe the issue is that as children we were lucky if we were taught any of the arts.

  9. #99

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Totally agree, great points @rogalal & @Babsvs! That's why I am a bit disappointed in this project: I was hoping CB would teach us the basics of olfactory art or start a platform for agreement on the 'colors'. I miss an olfactory art dictionary.
    @SomethingSmelly

  10. #100
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Have been following your discussion --each month -- with interest.

    SoS, thanks for the guts you have shown in #80. Exactly my thoughts: more hosts with the multitude of their olfactory perceptions are the only way out. Enough of insipid, pale, washed out spineless musks. Makes me think twice about "We have no taste" slogan on the bag of ice. :-)

    SMM, thanks for your input. Kiss the poodles for me, willya please?
    Last edited by Twolf; 3rd November 2012 at 10:55 AM.

  11. #101
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Even if our brains are different and we're technically seeing dark blue and yellow in different ways, it doesn't matter because we were all taught as little children what blue and yellow looked like and we can all look at that painting and see blue and yellow.
    The training is the important part. Mos older cultures don't distinguish between blue and green and use the same word for both, and many in these cultures can't see the difference between them (also listen to this: http://www.radiolab.org/2012/may/21/sky-isnt-blue). Hearing works the same way. The Japanese language doesn't have an L, and many Japanese can't hear the difference between the English "L" and "R". Tamil has a third liquid consonant -- ask someone from Tamil Nadu to pronounce all three and you won't hear much difference.

    It took me a while to figure out what people here were referring to when they said a perfume had a "cumin" note, which doesn't smell like cumin at all, at least not to me.
    Last edited by ROtto; 3rd November 2012 at 07:55 PM.

  12. #102
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by ROtto View Post
    The training is the important part. Mos older cultures don't distinguish between blue and green and use the same word for both, and many in these cultures can't see the difference between them (also listen to this: http://www.radiolab.org/2012/may/21/sky-isnt-blue). Hearing works the same way. The Japanese language doesn't have an L, and many Japanese can't hear the difference between the English "L" and "R". Tamil has a third liquid consonant -- ask someone from Tamil Nadu to pronounce all three and you won't hear much difference.

    It took me a while to figure out what people here were referring to when they said a perfume had a "cumin" note, which doesn't smell like cumin at all, at least not to me.
    Good points. I recently saw a science program where they insisted that some people are born with a 4th color receptor in their eyes which allows them to see a color they call "reddish" mixed into the spectrum in the sky, which others see as pure blue. Like a color between the cracks. Apparently there wasn't really a word for blue in the West until a blue pigment was developed in the Middle Ages. (Red, golden, purple, brown and green dyes are much easier to create with natural ingredients than blue.) Hence, Homer speaks of the "wine-dark sea" and the sky is described as white or "light-colored." Just shows how much our assumptions are based on cultural experience and/or genetic differences.

  13. #103

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

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  14. #104

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by L'Homme Blanc Individuel View Post
    with eyes closed, my mind wanders and I find myself in a grassy field. It's a perfect spring day, and I am on my back, lying on a dry patch of otherwise damp grass. There are dandelions everywhere, and the sun is shining. And then something strange happens. Am I... smelling... lunch?

    Do I smell a fast-food burger wrapper? The yellowness of this scent reminds me of being a kid and getting a McDonalds burger, wrapped in yellow paper with their logo all over it. Is it a hint of mustard that I'm smelling?!? A hint of mustard and pickles? Onion? I can't believe I'm having that thought, but now I can't stop from thinking about it.
    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    I wore EO5 again today with this in mind. I think the pickle association is probably coming from the dill. And today I swear I smell a touch of fennel, which is combining with the bile undertones of the tomato leaf to smell an awful lot like onion breath.

    This actually gave me a lot to think about. On a larger scale, I've always seen perfume as both art and craft. Art in the sense that it's interpretable and craft in the sense that there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. In my mind, one of the principle points of perfumery is to create something that smells good, at least to someone. And when I've smelled scents like EO5 in the past, I've usually considered them failures because they have parts that smell bad. As an example, I remember writing scathing things about Varvatos Artisan because it had this same bile tomato undercurrent mixing with fennel (though it also had a very subtle fecal quality that made the dark undertones smell to me like flu diarrhea *shudder* ).

    I can honestly say that it had never even occurred to me until today that a perfumer would knowingly include disgusting undertones like these in their perfumes,intentionally and on purpose. I had always considered them a failure on the perfumer's part, not adequately masking the gross bits.

    It seems like Chandler may be saying that it's the intentional balance between the tasty bits and the gross bits (symbolizing dark vs light) that he finds compelling and artful about EO5 (using Jicky as an acceptable root for the idea). And I find that fascinating. Somehow, I've accepted civet and castoreum and other bad smells as artful, but modern "niche" gross smells like the onions here or the pee in Guerlain's Pamplelune I've never even considered in the same light.
    And that's where he loses me.

    Yes, perfume is art, but what sort of art is it? Is perfume the sort of art to be shown in city plazas, or hung on a wall? Is it the sort of installation where a crowd of people gather to discuss what it is? "Is that a screwdriver suspended from the ceiling by dental floss...?"

    No.

    Perfume is art with a specific purpose. It is made to be worn.

    I don't understand the idea of a jacket made with intentionally ugly parts. I understand edgy. I understand abstract. I understand the unexpected. But I don't understand choosing to smell like things I wouldn't want to smell like. Specifically, I'm talking about condiments from my lunch. Pickles. Onions. LOVE 'EM! Mustard? Relish? THOSE TOO! ...and how about in a perfume? BLETCH!

    I was so into this scent at first. I literally closed my eyes and leaned back in my chair, almost as if disappearing into a moment, finding myself transported to a grassy field on a nice day. But as I sat there, attempting to enjoy a moment, I couldn't help wanting to brush imaginary burger wrappers off myself. I couldn't feel them, but I could smell them everywhere.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by rogalal View Post
    Check out this article from Luca Turin: http://doublebasenotes.blogspot.com/...uca-turin.html
    where he talks about receiving a shipment of Guerlains fresh from the factory and how he'd never really believed in, until then, the idea that perfumes drastically change in their first 6 months. This goes a long way to explain the Mugler Cologne questions, and could also have a hand in the discrepancies you're finding now.
    MIND = BLOWN.

    Not so much by the article as by the concept itself being true. I forget that a perfume is not a thing. Rather, it is a combination of many things, and that combination evolves as the composition ages. Yes? No? Maybe? Sometimes more so than others? Food for thought, but hold the condiments (in the perfumes, anyway).

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    If anything, this project has taught me just how much of a lie the *LABEL ITSELF* is - no matter what associations we bring to the table. Labels don't just distort our judgement - they actually lie about the constancy of content, simply by doing their legitimate job.
    This has been the biggest disappointment in this experiment thus far. I absolutely adore the idea of a curator taking us on a journey through a museum of scents without labels. But why oh why must the scents be so similar?!? I'm not complaining about the choices - just the sameness of the choices. Yes, yes, they're each unique just as each snowflake is unique, but there's an element of sameness in the snow. It's as if the museum of scents is holding an exhibition of a particular genre and we're limited to that. But the only limitations our curator has are those he chose. Why choose any?
    I have a 100ml Gucci Pour Homme 2003 that I'll swap for Reflection Man or De Bachmakov. PM me if interested.

  15. #105
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    I agree that this thing has not gone off perfectly. In fact, I think that a hiatus may be useful just in offering the chance to recalibrate. There are a lot of risks in this first large-scale sniff event by Chandler, and rediscovering the reality of maceration, etc., seems to be one of them.

    But there are even more issues with perfume as art. I am fully convinced of the following things:

    - Perfume is art that changes more easily than many - that requires not just restoration, but re-creation, to exist.

    - It is possible for artistically significant aspects to fade, disappear, or not have yet come into existence.

    - All viewers of the art are astigmatic to a very high degree.

    - Continuing the analogy, partial color-blindness and wavelength-dependent photosensitivity are the norm.

    - Interestingly, it almost seems like we see each other's sensory defects more easily than we see our own.

    - The language of the sense is poorly developed, and the application of the language of the arts suffers because of it.

    - The assertion that the standard chronology of art history applies to fragrance is highly plausible, but I would like to see more and more proof. That proof will arise by consensus of freely diverging opinions. We already see diverging opinions about interpretation of works in that context. VERY GOOD. Otherwise, it risks a lack of rigor.

    - The role of components is not strictly analogous to those used in the visual arts. Chandler has rightfully dragged us away from reducing things to a chronological laundry list of notes and components. However, the odors of individual components are intrinsically useful, either as language constructs themselves, or in deducing better language constructs. Beyond their mathematically constructive utility as small vectors, they are more than just paint colors - they are patterns in themselves, and they interact to a huge degree in ways that are partially determined by their own natures. Higher constructs cannot be discussed without speaking about the parts - at least, not with any rigor. To borrow from Chanel: "Inevitable."

    - Spatial and geometric analogies are useful in fragrance, but they are arbitrary, and we need to be careful about using them to communicate, because not only are they not "real" - they are not even canonical in any valid way. Temporal concepts are more realistic, but even those are readily distorted in going to language, and must be used carefully.

    - The beauty of fragrance is highly dependent upon shared experience of the sense, and also upon previous memories. This is why metaphor works so well - when both ends have the key - as a communication medium when talking about the beauty of scent, but not about it's construction. Borrowing from a conversation that I had with Pascal Gaurin, it is more useful to describe something as having the odor of a particular spice, than to say it smells like Grandma's kitchen. Both perfumers and perfumistas can readily see the truth of that statement. However, who among us has not "gotten" the beauty of a scent when a metaphor was presented to us? Who among us has not been in awe of some of Luca Turin's brilliant olfactory descriptions of certain masterpieces? Marketing, critics, and the "perfume lover" in us, all see the importance and utility of communication by such means, because metaphor encapsulates multiple nuances that are otherwise difficult to encode in the language, much less in a compact way. And I will argue that these shared, complex descriptions which transmit by simple yet inexact phraseology, may actually be a remarkably compact and yet more precise mathematical "fit" of the beauty of fragrance, than what we can do with arbitrary visualizations, translated into words. I almost want to congratulate marketing for their rigor, which in retrospect seems greater than any description of "roundness" or "brightness" that we can muster, no matter how well-communicated or brilliantly worded.

    Summing up, I feel that this project has been incredibly worthwhile - not so much for agreeing with Chandler, but in beginning a fascinating and important conversation. He's lighting a spark - and I'm thrilled that it seems to be catching. I'm also looking forward to the museum opening - HUGELY.
    * * * *

  16. #106
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Great summary, Red!

    I was thinking about this also and had a couple of small revelations.

    We're still in a place where 99.999999999% of people don't even think of perfumes as art, and the mere fact that a few of us are trying to critique it as such IS one of the big points of this exercise, whether we agree or like the perfumes or not.

    Also, in terms of art criticism, it kind of doesn't matter if there are maturation issues. If nothing else, it makes it so that playing the "which perfume is this" game is pointless - potentially putting the focus back on the conversation, which in this case is a good thing.
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  17. #107

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    I agree that this thing has not gone off perfectly.

    - The assertion that the standard chronology of art history applies to fragrance is highly plausible, but I would like to see more and more proof. That proof will arise by consensus of freely diverging opinions. We already see diverging opinions about interpretation of works in that context. VERY GOOD. Otherwise, it risks a lack of rigor.
    I cannot see this working if the art history is not used correctly. This is a quote from Chandler Burr in the article "NY Museum Stages First Scent Exhibit" by Dr. Blake Gopnik, PhD, Art History[Oxford University]:

    Burr recalls how he’d always thought “a painting is a painting,” until an accidental encounter with a connoisseur showed him how much a trained eye could unpack from a single van Gogh. “It was a huge shock to me that he saw a hundred times more in this painting than I did,” Burr says.

    If art history is to be applied to fragrance, the art history must not stray from the field's accepted scholarship.

    Dr. Podnik goes on to say:

    He [Burr] suggests another sniff [of Eau de Protection]. Okay, this time the rose becomes clear. But still no metal—maybe a touch of steely astringency—and certainly no blood. Still basically perfume, if maybe a perfume that’s rather different from others. “It’s weird! It’s strange!” Burr insists. “If an alarm bell doesn’t go off when you smell this, you have a neurological problem.” Or maybe you’re just an untutored philistine of fragrance, as impervious to scent’s subtleties as a perfumer might be to the difference between, say, synthetic and analytic cubism.

    Perhaps Dr. Podnik is suggesting that each of the arts, i.e music, art, architecture, perfume require detailed knowledge and serious study. In this example, Mr. Burr is attempting to get Dr. Podnik to smell specific notes (blood, rose, metal). This is not Dr. Podnik's field, and he smells only the rose.

    Mr. Burr is not discussing the fragrance to this art historican in art historical terms. He he talking about it in the standard language of perfume, as notes.
    Last edited by Babsvs; 5th November 2012 at 01:41 AM.

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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by Babsvs View Post
    I cannot see this working if the art history is not used correctly. This is a quote from Chandler Burr in the article "NY Museum Stages First Scent Exhibit" by Dr. Blake Gopnik, PhD, Art History[Oxford University]:

    Burr recalls how he’d always thought “a painting is a painting,” until an accidental encounter with a connoisseur showed him how much a trained eye could unpack from a single van Gogh. “It was a huge shock to me that he saw a hundred times more in this painting than I did,” Burr says.

    If art history is to be applied to fragrance, the art history must not stray from the field's accepted scholarship.

    Dr. Podnik goes on to say:

    He [Burr] suggests another sniff [of Eau de Protection]. Okay, this time the rose becomes clear. But still no metal—maybe a touch of steely astringency—and certainly no blood. Still basically perfume, if maybe a perfume that’s rather different from others. “It’s weird! It’s strange!” Burr insists. “If an alarm bell doesn’t go off when you smell this, you have a neurological problem.” Or maybe you’re just an untutored philistine of fragrance, as impervious to scent’s subtleties as a perfumer might be to the difference between, say, synthetic and analytic cubism.

    Perhaps Dr. Podnik is suggesting that each of the arts, i.e music, art, architecture, perfume require detailed knowledge and serious study. In this example, Mr. Burr is attempting to get Dr. Podnik to smell specific notes (blood, rose, metal). This is not Dr. Podnik's field, and he smells only the rose.

    Mr. Burr is not discussing the fragrance to this art historican in art historical terms. He [is] talking about it in the standard language of perfume, as notes.
    Excellent points - I think this shows *exactly* the places were you and I see problems. I don't think these problems are showstoppers - not at all. I just think that the task at hand is bigger and more complex than simply taking fragrance and adding art history like a dash of salt. In fact, I would liken the bringing of art history to the world of olfaction, to moving a *potentially* cross-platform computer language to a completely novel and highly problematic platform. NOT. EASY. And not done by ignoring the peculiarities of the platform.

    I think that bringing art history and fragrance together is more than possible - it's inevitable. But I also think it's going to take two or three scholastic generations merely to get on a strong footing. Perfumers take 7 years to train - add in art history and do the math. And say a prayer for anybody who chooses to tackle the neurological aspects of the art.

    Perhaps the art historians, olfactory scientists, and perfumers need to start taking their sabbaticals with each other. I hope that Chandler can create an environment in which this sort of interdisciplinary dialogue can begin to happen.

    It's very exciting. AND - even if the initial applications of art historical criticism to olfaction end up in chaos and controversy - as long as everybody comes out of it agreeing that the question is important and answerable, then it's progress, IMO. I can think of nothing better than unending controversy over Chandler's initial ideas. It's like the publication of Turin's book - greeted with a storm of argument, yet we can look back and see how much those arguments benefitted us all. Same for Turin's revival of the vibrational hypothesis - the contest has breathed new life into the field, and recent results are just plain exciting.
    * * * *

  19. #109

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post

    I think that bringing art history and fragrance together is more than possible - it's inevitable. But I also think it's going to take two or three scholastic generations merely to get on a strong footing. Perfumers take 7 years to train - add in art history and do the math. And say a prayer for anybody who chooses to tackle the neurological aspects of the art.
    Well said. The training to be a serious art historian takes about 8 years. A serious art historian needs a BAFA not a BA, so that means abut 30 semester hours of art history, about 18 semester hours of studio art for art majors (torture!), 12 semester hours of an appropriate foreign language, plus courses in western civilization and music history. A fair number of art history majors (like me) find it really difficult to compete with the talented artists in the art studio classes so there is a lot of juggling involved to try not to have 18 hours of the gentle art historian's "C" on your transcript.

    After that comes about four years in order to get a PhD.

  20. #110

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Following this discussion (and the earlier ones) with interest, altho I haven't ordered any of the perfumes - will drop in and give the Diptyque another sniff.

    Without wishing to be 'coy' - I just don't have the time to write a lot at the moment - a couple of thoughts.

    1. I do wish the selection was more diverse. I believe Mr. Burr has a very modern American taste when it comes to fragrance and perhaps that is a plus given his home base and the potential audience - dragging a predominantly North American audience into this experiment. Or maybe he's just starting with light stuff and by the end there will be some chypres and orientals etc. altho by then I suspect the chypre will have ceased to exist entirely if IFRA and the EU regulators have anything to do with it.

    2. The discussion on 'art history' and that whole side is all fine and good but strikes me as a little academic. Perfume, like music, is alive. I can understand the idea of using terms that relate to visual arts, generally 'static' pieces e.g. oils, water colors, sketches etc. and how the degree of understanding of craft and context et al will aid interpretation of these, but I would say music is probably just as useful and possibly even more relevant because it occupies both a static form (a recording, altho even then the piece evolves within that recording from start to finish) and an experiential one where a piece is performed live and interpreted differently each time it is performed and thus is subject to outside influences in the same way as temperature and other external physical factors will impact on how a fragrance is perceived by the wearer, or someone smelling it worn by someone else.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that there is a dimension to perfume and music that a piece of physical art does not possess - it breathes and it evolves over a period of time - it does not rest in a frame. In terms of definition, trying to pin recognized art history terms like 'post modern', 'abstract', 'romantic' onto a composition that might draw on ideas that span a century of perfume making seems a little odd to me but I guess it's as good as any - no serious quibble but when people get too literal and pedantic my eyes glaze over.
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 18th November 2012 at 03:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Obviously CB has chosen his theme for this season: eau de colognes. Perhaps next season he'll swing all the way to the other side of the spectrum with orientals, or maybe he'll go gradual with chypres or fougeres, etc.

  22. #112

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    I need to apologize to the fine people on this board and to Mr. Burr as well. I can be very passionate about the things I love, and that passion makes me unbearable and sour.

    My apologies,

    Barbara

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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by Babsvs View Post
    I need to apologize to the fine people on this board and to Mr. Burr as well. I can be very passionate about the things I love, and that passion makes me unbearable and sour.

    My apologies,

    Barbara
    No need to apologize, Barbara; you've given us your honest opinions, and there should never be a need to apologize for that. Unbearable and sour? I think not! Protective of a field you love? Perhaps.

    I often find myself in a similar situation regarding chemistry here. After studying for a decade, and then working for over 25 years in the chemical industry, I sometimes feel a bit protective when people talk about it rather loosely here. I've learned with time to bite my tongue and let the loose, the harmless, and the well-intentioned errors all slide without comment. Not so much from giving up, but rather because - honestly - there is SO much more *enthusiasm* about chemistry here, than there is in almost any other public venue (except perhaps druggie forums, which are basically the dark side of our force). People here actually care what an aldehyde is - something that I find remarkable! People here are quite eager to learn about chemistry, and they are equally eager to learn about art.

    I think you should feel happy and welcome to give your opinions, just as much as Chandler and the rest of us give ours. And given your highly relevant training and background, I think that all of us would be very grateful to continue hearing from you!
    * * * *

  24. #114

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by Babsvs View Post
    I need to apologize to the fine people on this board and to Mr. Burr as well. I can be very passionate about the things I love, and that passion makes me unbearable and sour.

    My apologies,

    Barbara
    I second, Red - please don't stop now.

    Perfumers do have a language that they can use amongst themselves with a degree of accuracy - I have seen this mentioned by a few, and I think that is because certain terms and descriptions have become 'standard' within this quite small circle, and the fact that most of the pros have worked or trained within the same few companies.

    However, when it comes to the more general area of historical and 'regional' criticism or evaluation perfumery doesn't have anywhere near the same vocab or recognisable frames of reference as visual arts or music - it all gets a bit self conscious. Given that it was only in the last 12 months that France 'officially' recognised perfumery as an art, it's hardly surprising that there is some catching up to do and I think this series of Chandler Burr's and the discussions growing out of it are valuable.

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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    However, when it comes to the more general area of historical and 'regional' criticism or evaluation perfumery doesn't have anywhere near the same vocab or recognisable frames of reference as visual arts or music - it all gets a bit self conscious. Given that it was only in the last 12 months that France 'officially' recognised perfumery as an art, it's hardly surprising that there is some catching up to do and I think this series of Chandler Burr's and the discussions growing out of it are valuable.
    Very well-said!!!
    * * * *

  26. #116

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Thanks for your encouragement. Given that we are in wait mode, I will try to start up an art historical discussion of a particular scent. I was thinking of something with some wintery depth that most people are familiar with. Any suggestions?

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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Based on what Chandler has told me will be in the catalog for the exhibit I think that will be another piece of work to help define and frame future discussion.
    I can't wait to see the catalog and hope it lives up to my expectations.
    I'll know in a couple weeks.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

  28. #118

    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Quote Originally Posted by Somerville Metro Man View Post
    Based on what Chandler has told me will be in the catalog for the exhibit I think that will be another piece of work to help define and frame future discussion.
    I can't wait to see the catalog and hope it lives up to my expectations.
    I'll know in a couple weeks.
    Not sure what you're saying Metro Man. Don't want to rock the boat. Does he want us to wait for him before we have any further chats?

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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    Just saying that I am looking forward to the catalog as a potential reference.
    Never any comment or sentiment meant to curtail any conversation.
    Plus waiting for Chandler is a lot like waiting for Godot although Chandler does eventually show up.
    so play away Estragon with whatever conversation you had in mind.
    More writing on fragrance by me to be found at http://www.cafleurebon.com/

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    Default Re: Chandler Burr Untitled S01E05

    I don't think art history and perfume work well together,right now, because perfume is fleeting and physical arts are not. How can you study a perfume made 300 years ago? You can't. So you don't know if what follows is a reaction to it or a continuation of a theme.

    It would have to be built up and people need to develop a shared understanding of what something means. Also throwing around terms like Romantic without explaining what the Romantic attributes are and how to translate them to perfume makes no sense to me either.

    Sometimes I just want to enjoy perfume without getting too analytical about it. Also a analytical expose on a painting never changed whether I enjoyed it or not, I might understand better why I didn't like it but I never suddenly wanted it on my wall.
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    Currently wearing: Chypré Fruité by Montale

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