Wow, that's a very nice little club you guys have there!
Here is a conversation that took place last Thursday on the question of whether the "personalization" of this fragrance by Angelo Orazio Pregoni really makes a difference or not. See for yourself.
You can also watch it here: http://youtu.be/Flv2oTXRbHU
If you are totally confused about the pee thing, read this thread first.
With BN members Sorcery of Scent, Kevin Guyer, Redneck Perfumisto, firehorse, Fleurine, hobbes22 (both of him), and myself.
The next day, I also gave it a full wearing. It is the first O'Driù I have experienced that references commerical/contemporary men's scents. I would guess that this is kind of the point--something that appears traditional from the outside but has an eccentric secret at its heart. The composition is built upon a very satisfying woody-ambery-musky foundation that reminds me of a more piquant version of Musc Ravageur. As you can probably tell by the reactions here, people respond to it very positively--even when they know what's in there!
In total, I think it's a superb scent. It's atypical for this line but makes perfect sense. I still think a huge part of its appeal is simply as a performance art piece. Wearing it on the subway and at my office, I had to confront a whole second phase of the performance: the self-awareness and the nagging question of whether anyone would ever guess. There was also a persistent conflict of emotion: a kind of remorse for the people around me who were also smelling it and a perverse kind of entertainment that they were. This is a very strange experiment indeed.
Last edited by Beranium Chotato; 16th December 2012 at 01:24 AM.
Wow, that's a very nice little club you guys have there!
We also tried to authenticate a potentially fake vintage Après L'Ondée, but our expert (Sorcery of Scent) was sadly unable to smell it through the computer.
Great stuff there Brian, looks like you all had a great time with the "great experiment"! I guess I will have to see what my own verdict is tomorrow afternoon...
Current Top Favorites:
1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
4) Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
4) Lalfeorosa (O'driù) - tie
6) Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie
It was an awesome evening, I'm so glad I was part of it. I'm wondering how different the new version of Bel Ami is from the original. Anyone care to chime in?
BTW, I preferred the pee tainted version of O'D - it seemed more vivid.
Its interesting how you mention the "Second phase" that initializes when getting in public and suddenly being consciously aware of your perfume and surroundings. It sorta heightens some of your senses doesn't it?
I think thats a quality he was going for when composing this.
That 6th sense cajoled into existence.
Performance art, indeed.
Thanks for posting Brian, and more importantly thanks for getting my buddy Kevin Guyer to post again here on BN
Next time I'm in the Big Apple we'll get together so save me some urine enhanced O'Driu, will you?
"All problems are illusions of the mind."
-- Eckhart Tolle
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To me, Musc Tonkin is the new benchmark musk. An absolutely breathtaking scent.
Last edited by Beranium Chotato; 16th December 2012 at 03:02 AM.
What a wonderful meeting it must have been! More reports please. Is ISM really that different?
I will admit now that when I posted that poll I was extremely skeptical that this wasn't a joke on absurd fumeheads who might cover themselves with anything that someone pronounced as ultra-niche/artistic/revolutionary/expensive. But I have been proven wrong.
And it smells great.
Last edited by Beranium Chotato; 16th December 2012 at 03:35 AM.
Yes - very intense sniffing. Highly educational all the way around. The Google+ hangout really worked well - we did three people in a row. I would like to try it in the future with multiple cyber-members simultaneously. For larger meet-ups like this, I recommend using an external speaker for the guests, and possibly a table-mike for sound. But a big laptop in full-screen mode gives a nice picture of a single participant - we know that much.
There were many more fragrances sniffed and discussed. Amazing.
I think that the only person who really got the full artistic experience was Brian. The rest of us were basically vicarious enablers. It will really only be when we get our own bottles and make our own decisions that we actually engage the art fully. I am very thankful for this opportunity, because in some ways it relieves my curiosity, while still allowing me the choice of NOT augmenting the fragrance. So it's basically a cheat.
Hopefully the next statement won't violate the "hot topics" rule - it's not meant as a debate - just my personal thoughts on how I want to deal with the artistic aspects of this fragrance.
I think that I may choose to buy it and never spray nor open my bottle at all. That would be my artistic statement of appreciation and support of the nuns who understood Serrano's work, and what it says about humanity and the world (which is not nice, but IMO quite true). I have no idea what Pregoni chooses to say by his use of the nun motif for the bottle - I can only decide what I choose to say. I believe that the beauty and untainted purity of those who choose restraint against natural will is good, even though I may not choose that for myself. It would be a symbol of my respect for their choice.
The connection to Serrano and the nun bottle just blew my mind.
What a great group - what a great time! I wish I could have been there to meet everyone face to face.
As for Secraction, I still think it may be a joke on one level. But I think your experience of it is really independent of that, isn't it?
If you ultimately find out that Pregoni was just taking the piss out of niche fumeheads without having given it much more thought than that - does it change how you feel about it? The second order experience of it that's contained within your head should still be the same. Or does it all fall in on itself and leave you just wearing your own urine? Does the artists intent matter?
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It is a conundrum to think that you can take fragrance seriously as art and yet never offend anyone.
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Obviously, my only recourse would be to go to Italy and shoplift that bottle of Londa 1005 I always wanted. Give a little, take a little--it all comes out in the end.
That's a joke, btw.
No it's not.
Yes it is.
Last edited by Beranium Chotato; 17th December 2012 at 04:24 AM.
^ I find Sister Wendy's clarity of thinking remarkable. I learned something from this as video as well. The reason Serrano's P* C* was so affecting to me as a work of art was because of it being disturbing, exactly as she defines that quality. When I saw P* C* at first, I was outraged. And yet, that anger was disturbed by my ideas of freedom of expression, and by the fact that I didn't understand the point. The guy wasn't howlingly anti-religious. Why did he do it? He had to have some reason. And when I first read about certain nuns defending the work, and their NOT being outraged, I thought that they had to be looney tunes.
That's the point. The art disturbed me. The art changed me. Combined with the words of a woman who is, essentially, the world's curator of P* C*, I learned something, and came to accept her point of view. I'm surprised - I actually came to some of the same nuances of her viewpoint, without knowing she held them.
I think Sister Wendy is just awesome. I do hold that photograph in higher regard than her, but not because I'm non-religious and find some sort of amusement in desecration. I would imagine that, as a nun, one has a particularly front row view of people who appropriate religion and religious figures for their own purposes--who, essentially, shape a figure like Christ into something he is not for their own ends. I remember watching these TV evangelists when I was growing up who were judgmental, hateful, materialistic, and absolutely certain of their own righteousness, and they were contemporary to that photograph. I always interpreted it as the ultimate, almost palpable reminder of what Christ actually stood for (i.e., none of those things). It seemed a complete punch in the face to that sort of hypocrisy--a depiction of humility and suffering that was anvil-like, irrefutable, and necessary. I think it's also aesthetically beautiful, which of course is ironic but also totally appropriate.
That photograph is still protested today. I don't know if Serrano has ever come forward and said that it means this or it means that, but I don't think it would matter. Works of art do have a life of their own beyond the artist's intentions, even successful works of art. And that right there might be the answer to Rubegon's question of whether it would matter to me if Pregoni came out and explained what it meant and the joke was on me. Haha, you wore your urine. Well, haha, this work is no longer defined solely by the artist. In this case, literally, it is partly mine.
Was the use of civet or castoreum in perfume shocking in the past? I don't know - probably not. But they enhanced perfume in a real way - the same but better, more intense. This is like that, but with the intensity completely in your mind - still just as real.
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You guys rule! No doubts! This was an amazing meeting with great discussions. I (virtually) know most of you from quite a long time now but seeing you on the screen it was like I've been knowing you since forever.
Personally, like I've said in other threads, I find SECRACTION to be a big winner under all aspects. Communication, composition, design, concept....The fragrance is superb (both the "augmented" version and the "regular"). Yes, it brings controversy but, a healthy dose of it.
Please, let me spend a few more words on that amazing individual that is Brian Chambers! YOU INCARNATE THE TRUE SPIRIT OF FRAGRANCE! Genuine, passionate, openminded and, most of all, a friend!
WE LOVE YOU, BRIAN!
I'd like to mention that the original juice comes with a dropper, while the container in which the final urine-enhanced version is meant to be filled has a sprayer. I did find that dropping one and spraying the other had an effect on the comparison.
I find the new version of Bel Ami radically different from the old. The vintage is all smoky birch tar to my nose, and probably other leather ingredients like safrinole or something. Luca Turin loves birch tar, so it's no wonder he likes it. The new stuff is much rounder and milder, with hardly any smokey-tarry notes to be found. It's got a distinct spice accord like cinnamon and cardamom. I hate birch tar, and really enjoy the new Bel Ami. I don't find the two Bel Ami formulae particularly similar.
My first wearing of Secraction, I went to an event for the fledgling Institute for Art and Olfaction at Scent Bar. Of course it was perfect for that crowd and everyone leaned in to catch the drydown.
But actually I found the scent to be quite challenging about four hours in, once the lovely rose and cinnamon had burnt off; that castoreum overdose is no joke. It's quite urinaceous and my pee drop surely didn't help. After that edgy hour it became a tamer vanilla patchouli pleasantry.
Thanks to this thread I just blind bought Musc Tonkin. Oh, well...
Fantastic video, I felt right at home with you guys
TBH I really wasn't offended or titillated or challenged at all when the O'Driu one was first mentioned - try a drop of urine in fragrance and see what effect it has on the scent, yeh, okay etc. etc. but I hadn't really considered the second part of the equation, the 'performance', that hedonist so aptly described . . . being amongst people with the knowledge that one is wearing it. That's sort of interesting. Mind you, let's be frank - if the talk about spatter from urinals and so on is to be believed then I imagine there are probably a host of well groomed and otherwise perfectly presentable people wandering around sporting more than a drop on their person on any given day.
No - the pee thing was a red herring for me, boys and girls. I was waiting to see what the verdict might be with verifying that damned Apres l'Ondee Extrait!!!!!!!
That, surely, was of far greater import than mildly 'attenuating' (I hesitate to use the word 'enhancing' out of deference to the personal taste of those who chose 'A' - I'm that kinda guy, ya know) Mr. Pregoni's latest (obviously fine, here the 'A's and the 'B's seemed to agree) piece of work
P.S. It was absolutely wonderful to see the great, the one and only Sorcery of Scent sitting in on the earlier part of the conversation. I really miss his contribution to basenotes, but it seems a lot of the good people have gone - why is that?
Last edited by mr. reasonable; 16th December 2012 at 09:50 AM.
What an amazing reunion, I envy you all so much right now.
Last edited by Brian_Towers; 16th December 2012 at 12:51 PM.
We want a niche forum.
Managing a community like this cannot be easy. There are legitimate grifters out there who prey on people in the Marketplace. There are people with mental illness and the question of whether they can be accommodated. There is an indepletable wellspring of histrionics. My observation from the sidelines is that managing a community of quality posters is like having a classroom full of gifted kids. They are going to be a handful, they will questin authority, and they require a great deal more finesse than a seemingly endless catalog of esoteric and bureaucratic rules could ever address. Whether they are worth that effort is a question that Basenotes has to answer for itself, but I for one dream of a day when all the great posters of the past--Sorcery of Scent, hillaire, Offscenter, etc.--swim back home where they belong to waters that are no longer hostile.
I've already seen some positive movement in that direction. Just this thread still being up is evidence!
Last edited by Beranium Chotato; 17th December 2012 at 04:21 AM.
It feels to me that basenotes is in a sort of limbo. I still prefer things here to the uneasy mix of forced jollity and bitchy cliquey-ness of the other forums a number of people have migrated to. As long as we can still have provocative, intelligent conversation about the industry (and laugh at ourselves) then this place can maintain some sort of integrity. I don't see Luca Turin or some of the perfumers dropping in to the other places to chat (this fact is probably lost on the Beavis & Butthead Brigade) so it's clear basenotes still has a role to play - let's just hope we keep the interesting people engaged here, the ones with opinions and insight to share, and make an earnest attempt to act like grown-ups - some of the time, at least
Please respect the rule about not discussing moderation on the forum.
Such a lovely night! And a wonderful generous host. My favorite scent of the evening was that funky Musc Tonkin. Get it while you can if you are BRAVE. Other highlights were the Slumberhouse full line, Demeter Ginger Ale, ummmm.... 180 ans sampling, not to forget the THREE DROPS of DJEDI on BC's arm, that we all smelled over and over again. Now if I can just pickup another bottle of that one. The Skype guests esp. Sorcery of Scent were also incredible. Apres L'Ondee extrait headed to Perth Australia for authentication, FYI.
Last edited by Fleurine; 16th December 2012 at 04:40 PM.
Dans La Nuit Vers Le Jour Sans Adieu Je Reviens Vers Toi.
It was a wonderful night. If the Mayan apocalypse happens in a couple days, I'm happy that I got to smell so many wonderful rare and beautiful fragrances with beautiful people. So many hi-lites of the night. What a shame Sorcery of Scent is no longer here, such a valuable member of the fragrance community.
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