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  1. #1

    Default Minimalist Compositions

    I'm sure you've all seen the ridiculous Helvetica perfume by now which (I hope) is a joke, but I've had a few days lately where the thought of a heavy, oppressive perfume has been unappealing. Consequently, I've been revisiting some stripped down, minimalist scents as an alternative.


    CdG's Odeur 53 has been working: the dryer-sheet aesthetic of galaxolides and the weird industrial notes hum along at a low level throughout most of the day. Yet the irony is that this is, in fact, a relatively convoluted formula.


    So, what perfumes do you turn to for minimalism? How do you reconcile a stripped-down composition with a higher price tag? How does the melancholic watercolor aesthetic of, say, a Hermessence stack up against the brawn of other scents? Is the recent drive toward minimalist perfume (MFK, Biehl, Escentric) tied somehow to our cultural moment?

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions



    I chose a very odd minimalist counterpart to your choice today, kind of a neat (anti)symmetry, too - from CdG to CREED®. Seriously - this time it was Original Vetiver, with laundry musks and just a hint of vetiver. Your description of Odeur 53 reminded me of that. I really think OV - so reminiscent to me of Guerlain's Vetiver Pour Elle - doesn't get enough credit. But then, it doesn't cater to the pick-up artist, or the flashy guy trying to impress the ladies. If anything, it approaches others in the most congenial, deferential and professional way.

    I'll quote Kevin Guyer. I don't remember the stylistic context, but it was spot-on.

    Less is more.

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    When I'm in the mood for a minimalist composition I seem to gravitate toward Vertical Limit.

    vertical_limit.jpg
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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    I was intrigued by this one recently:

    Eau de Polder


    It was conceived more as an art project, but had a minimal yet encompassing aesthetic to it. It's an oil, so it's somewhat less transparent than others, but it certainly got my interest. I guess it sort of fits into the grass aesthetic that was popular in the '90s for a minute (Gap Grass etc), but the oil is prominent.

    For what it's worth, the concept of the scent is absolutely fascinating. A polder is a specific geographical terrain, and while researching it for a review, I stumbled upon this haunting set of images: http://cargocollective.com/MarOne/POLDER-GEIST
    Last edited by deadidol; 28th November 2013 at 04:44 PM.

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    I was intrigued by this one recently:

    Eau de Polder


    It was conceived more as an art project, but had a minimal yet encompassing aesthetic to it. It's an oil, so it's somewhat less transparent than others, but it certainly got my interest. I guess it sort of fits into the grass aesthetic that was popular in the '90s for a minute (Gap Grass etc), but the oil is prominent.
    Extremely cool bottle!!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    When I'm in the mood for a minimalist composition I seem to gravitate toward Vertical Limit.

    vertical_limit.jpg
    (919)
    Is this available anywhere? Seems like it is LOOOONG gone!
    * * * *

  6. #6

    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Perhaps this might be of interest:

    images[1].jpg

    Les Liquides Imaginaires-Tumulte(Eau Dela)
    Top: Pomelo
    Mid: Coconut
    Base: Cedar, Patchouli and Sandalwood
    Please cancel my subscription to your issues.
    Currently wearing: Lui by Mazzolari

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    I invariably gravitate towards something of a more multidimensional nature, but if the mood takes my minimalist option is usually Nasomatto Silver Musk.






    The note pyramid seems to be a cloak and dagger affair, with nothing official ever being revealed to my knowledge. A veil of clean musk with the feel of an expensive body wash. Great packaging, cringeworthy description - "The fragrance aims to evoke superhero magnetism. It is the result of a quest for mercurial liquid love sensation".

    Over and out

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post


    Is this available anywhere? Seems like it is LOOOONG gone!
    Becoming increasingly difficult. Can still be found in the NYC wholesale fragrance district for a pittance, but a lot of patience is required in those shops!
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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    I'm a big sucker for minimalist compositions but, at the same time, it seems there are very few that really fits this category with honesty and artistry. As a matter of fact, most of the time, minimalist means *too little* or *on a diet* and that's exactly why when I face something supposed to be minimalistic, the first thing I'm looking for is originality. If you present a single accord, it has to be prticularly good or novel, IMO.

    In this context I think many CDGs are still unbeatable when it comes to the artistry/minimalist binomial. Standard (CDG for Artek) or Odeur 71 are two of my favorites in this genre.

    Re your question about this genre being tied to our cultural moment, I think it's all about *waves*. Beside certain brands which have always been identified with this genre (CDG / Hermessence / Heeley...just to name a few) we've experienced a big trend of minimalistic stuff during the late 90s /early 00s, then we witnessed a comeback of thicker and more complex fragrances but now it seems there's also a comeback of more *restrained / minimalist* stuff (Les Liquides Imaginaires, Escentric Molecules, some of the Nu_Be's offering). Just like with every other form of art or fashion, it's a lot about recycling / revisiting previous ideas and/or trends.


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  10. #10

    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Great suggestions so far, all!

    Redneck: I know that I've smelled that Creed at one point or another, but seem to have forgotten it. Vetiver can go quite big on me, but this has more of the thinned out, slightly scratchy profile doesn't it? Or perhaps that's the association that I'm forcing onto it.

    Hednic: Vertical Limit seems like it's the kind of thing you might stumble across accidentally, so I'll keep an eye out for that one!

    Trex: How prominent is that coconut? I'm a little weary of that note (the whole tropical / piña colada effect is skeery), but when used right, I could see it working. I wore Pear + Olive a couple of days ago (not one of my favorites from that line) and the massoia bark gives off a similar effect. In fact, I'd be inclined to approach that scent as minimalist, but there really is a lot going on in it.

    Jon: Silver Musk is very close to the kind of aesthetic I have in mind, and parallels can be drawn between it and the Odeurs from CdG. Interestingly, the Nasamatto perfumer is the one responsible for Eau de Polder as well. But Silver Musk raises another question about the genre (see below).

    Alfarom: I was thinking Artek Standard as well, and I agree that CdG really have this aesthetic nailed. Even their EdP, despite a couple of prominent notes, might fall into this category. What's so amazing about their creations is how they seem to balance all of these things (unusual components, impressions of industrialism, taste)—they really stand alone as far as execution goes, don't they?

    And yes, it absolutely makes sense that these things come in waves, but I'm also curious as to how such waves are triggered / respond to other waves (i.e. MFK has been rabbiting on about minimalism and these hedione and water compositions for a while now, seemingly ignoring AplS—which is arguably his best work).

    This also raises the question of how we define a minimalist aesthetic? For something like CdG, I'd argue that there's an overall minimalism to their compositions, yet they're quite complex formulas (Odeur 71 for example). Le Labo will strip back the components of their creations (Guaiac 10), but minimalism doesn't really map onto that particular aesthetic (aside from something like Labdanum 18 or Musk 25). I've heard people describe minimalist aesthetics as a "your skin but better" approach, but in the arts, we're inclined to think of minimalism more as a theme of reduction and focus (Raymond Carver, Frank Stella, La Monte Young). So, in perfumery, might we approach a minimal aesthetic as something that centers on a single note / material as a feature? For me, I think I lean more toward the "minimally there" approach of a light musk or an impression of a scent, but I could absolutely understand how some might turn to a solinote as a minimalist study of a note as well.
    Last edited by deadidol; 28th November 2013 at 04:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post

    Alfarom: I was thinking Artek Standard as well, and I agree that CdG really have this aesthetic nailed. Even their EdP, despite a couple of prominent notes, might fall into this category. What's so amazing about their creations is how they seem to balance all of these things (unusual components, impressions of industrialism, taste)—they really stand alone as far as execution goes, don't they?
    I think they also nailed a certain sense for restraint which, while surely being a remarkable part of their aesthetic, it also paradoxically adds character to most of their stuff. It's quite easy to be striking with something super-bombastic but it's not that easy when you achieve this goal with a nice sense of restraint.


    This also raises the question of how we define a minimalist aesthetic? For something like CdG, I'd argue that there's an overall minimalism to their compositions, yet they're quite complex formulas (Odeur 71) for example. Le Labo will strip back the components of their creations (Guaiac 10, for example), but minimalism doesn't really map onto their aesthetic (aside from something like Labdanum 18 or Musk 25). I've heard people describe minimalist aesthetics as a "your skin but better" approach, but in the arts, we're inclined to think of minimalism more as a theme of reduction and focus (Raymond Carver, Frank Stella, La Monte Young). So, in perfumery, might we approach a minimal aesthetic as something that centers on a single note / material as a feature? For me, I think I lean more toward the "minimally there" approach of a light musk or an impression of a scent, but I could absolutely understand how some might turn a solinote as a minimalist study of a note as well.
    I think the concept of minimalism can be pretty subjective. Personally I can associate it both to the *minimally there* and the *focused on a single note*. I give you my personal motivations for this. If you take music in example, you can surely describe minimalistic an artist such as Rioji Ikeda whose sound is basically all about an incredilbe multitude of glitches and silences. Barely perceptible in some of his compositions but, at the same time, not necessarely minimalistic in the meaning of *simple*. On the other hand, the wall of sound generated by, say, Merzbow and the likes, while being thicker, louder and room-filling, it feels definitely minimalistic. In this context I'd say I find Sahara Noir to be minimalistic while, say, Apres L'Ondee it's not...this is just to say that the former is loud and minimal and the latter is barely perceptible, faint and restrained but not necessarely minimalistic.

    On a side note, Helmut Lang EDC could be one to add to your list.
    Last edited by alfarom; 28th November 2013 at 04:57 PM.


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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Minimilist seems to equate with one-dimensional. Not great for any fragrance I would have thought.

    Any Tom, Dick or Harry could produce a fragrance like this.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    I think the concept of minimalism can be pretty subjective. Personally I can associate it both to the *minimally there* and the *focused on a single note*. I give you my personal motivations for this. If you take music in example, you can surely describe minimalistic and artist such as Rioji Ikeda whose sound is basically all about an incredilbe multitude of glitches and silences. Barely perceptible in some of his compositions but, at the same time, not necessarely minimalistic in the meaning of *simple*. On the other hand, the wall of sound generated by, say, Merzbow and the likes, while being thicker, louder and room-filling, it feels definitely minimalistic. In this context I'd say I find Sahara Noir to be minimalistic while, say, Apres L'Ondee it's not...this is just to say that the former is loud and minimal and the latter is barely perceptible, faint and restrained but not necessarely minimalistic.

    On a side note, Helmut Lang EDC could be one to add to your list.
    We're certainly thinking in parallels here as Sahara Noir entered my mind as a minimalist study of frankincense, but then I thought about the lack of space in that scent and held back. I'm writing about Stephane Mallarmé right now—specifically his championing of a new, "pure" aesthetic language that was largely built upon the idea of space and gaps between words. Sahara Noir, in this respect, is closer to Merzbow than anything in that there's constant underlying hum to the scent with little breathing room, but it's not unusually complex. Certain solifores might venture down this path, too and one of Chandler Burr's recent "untitled" scents—Isle Ryder by DS&Durga—has a certain diaphanousness to it that makes it a contender also. The spectrum, it seems, is quite wide.
    Last edited by deadidol; 28th November 2013 at 05:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Yes, it is wide mostly because I believe minimalist as a general concept, can be very subjective. I mean, it surely should go somehow by the principle that *less is more* but where *less* can mean a lot of different things depending on one's personal parameters.


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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    Minimilist seems to equate with one-dimensional. Not great for any fragrance I would have thought.

    Any Tom, Dick or Harry could produce a fragrance like this.
    Especially when it's JUST WATER!!!

    http://www.nstperfume.com/2013/11/25...new-fragrance/

    http://helvetica-the-perfume.myshopify.com/



    I agree - one-dimensionality (or even zero-dimensionality) is a great way to distinguish transparent/unworthy from transparent/worthy. And it is FAR easier to create the former than the latter.

    I think what ultimately distinguishes transparent art that remains real art is the ability to deal with the logical complexity of arriving at novel solutions which are sparse but non-trivial. Helvetica - far from non-trivial - simply becomes a platform from which to view such art, but it's outside of it - as it should be. Helvetica is more art criticism than art. It's like a really scant coffee-table book about transparent perfumes, made into an icon. It's like an ode to the beauty of zero, but it's not a new zero. It's the Eau d'IFRA joke stripped of the belly-laugh, leaving the smirking sigh of accepting nothing fragrances. The Stockholm syndrome of perfumery in imperial bureaucratic decline.
    * * * *

  16. #16

    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    Any Tom, Dick or Harry could produce a fragrance like this.
    I'm not so sure that's true, Kaern, especially given the kind of complexity that goes into something like Odeur 71 (71 components)! Isn't that a bit like the "my child could paint a Pollack" approach? I think there are very calculated decisions that need to be made with minimalism in all the arts (olfaction included) that go beyond a simple "just put one thing in it."

    I mean, clearly something like Molecule 01 is doing something very dodgy by attaching a BS pheromone myth to Iso E Super, but part of me isn't as angry about what they did as I feel I should be. Yes, anyone could make that (I have), and yes, it's stringing people along, but the artistic choice to feature such a key industry component in this manner was (somewhat?) brilliant—even if the scammy part is unavoidable.

    I find minimalism to be much more than something anyone could do.
    Last edited by deadidol; 28th November 2013 at 05:41 PM.

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Becoming increasingly difficult. Can still be found in the NYC wholesale fragrance district for a pittance, but a lot of patience is required in those shops!
    (928)
    Thanks, Hednic! I will keep my eyes open for VL - especially if I ever find myself back there. Just for concreteness, what intersection puts me in the heart of the district? It was a serious "stumble-upon" last time!!!
    * * * *

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Hmmm, minimalism in fragrances. Let's see:

    Whenever I want something very simple, I almost always reach for my bottle of Menthe Fraiche by James Heeley. It's basically just super high quality bergamot and some mint. I find it is great as a fragrance "snack," and tend to use it when I want something for just a few hours before applying something else, or if I just don't feel like wearing much that day.

    I'd agree that Original Vetiver is also minimalistic, and that's what makes it so great.

    And to your point about Pear and Olive deadidol, I agree that some may find that minimalistic, but there is a lot going on when you study it. I get a whiff of white florals when I inhale deeply, which definitely isn't something I hear most people saying. That being said, the overall structure is pretty "light" by anyone's standards, especially Josh's.

    I probably can think of more, but I'll keep that as my list for now.

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    I'm not so sure that's true, Kaern, especially given the kind of complexity that goes into something like Odeur 71 (71 components)! Isn't that a bit like the "my child could paint a Pollack" approach? I think there are very calculated decisions that need to be made with minimalism in all the arts (olfaction included) that go beyond a simple "just put one thing in it."
    a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y-a-g-r-e-e

    I mean, clearly something like Molecule 01 is doing something very dodgy by attaching a BS pheromone myth to Iso E Super, but part of me isn't as angry about what they did as I feel I should be. Yes, anyone could make that (I have), and yes, it's stringing people along, but the artistic choice to feature such a ket industry component in this manner was (somewhat?) brilliant—even if the scammy part is unavoidable.
    I'm not THAT technical to know for sure but Luca Turin claims Molecule 01 to be actually a whole composition and NOT just bottled IES.

    I find minimalism to be much more than something anyone could do.
    This is what minimalism should be. Problem is that, too often, anything that's too simple to be called *simple* goes automathically under the minimlistic disguise to sound, in a way or another, cool.


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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    I think what ultimately distinguishes transparent art that remains real art is the ability to deal with the logical complexity of arriving at novel solutions which are sparse but non-trivial. Helvetica - far from non-trivial - simply becomes a platform from which to view such art, but it's outside of it - as it should be. Helvetica is more art criticism than art. It's like a really scant coffee-table book about transparent perfumes, made into an icon. It's like an ode to the beauty of zero, but it's not a new zero. It's the Eau d'IFRA joke stripped of the belly-laugh, leaving the smirking sigh of accepting nothing fragrances. The Stockholm syndrome of perfumery in imperial bureaucratic decline.
    The Helvetica scent is just bad form. It's a very poor attempt to exploit artistic intentionality—which is ordinarily quite valid—but it's nothing more than crass commercialism of the worst kind. I can't help but wish the fleas of a thousand camels to infest the crotch of whoever came up with this idea. (Although I can't help but think this isn't that different [and perhaps a commentary on] the kinds of garbage unleashed onto the public in the form of flankers and what not.)

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    I'm not so sure that's true, Kaern, especially given the kind of complexity that goes into something like Odeur 71 (71 components)! Isn't that a bit like the "my child could paint a Pollack" approach? I think there are very calculated decisions that need to be made with minimalism in all the arts (olfaction included) that go beyond a simple "just put one thing in it."

    I mean, clearly something like Molecule 01 is doing something very dodgy by attaching a BS pheromone myth to Iso E Super, but part of me isn't as angry about what they did as I feel I should be. Yes, anyone could make that (I have), and yes, it's stringing people along, but the artistic choice to feature such a ket industry component in this manner was (somewhat?) brilliant—even if the scammy part is unavoidable.

    I find minimalism to be much more than something anyone could do.
    Haiku as a form is the immediate disproving counterexample. I think that Ellena's obsession with Japonica (big J) proves that he gets the core of where art lies in the realm of the transparent and minimal. When the complexity of pulling something out equals the complexity of adding something else, I think it shows you're on track. The designers at Google and Apple clearly get that, too.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    The Helvetica scent is just bad form. It's a very poor attempt to exploit artistic intentionality—which is ordinarily quite valid—but it's nothing more than crass commercialism of the worst kind. I can't help but wish the fleas of a thousand camels to infest the crotch of whoever came up with this idea. (Although I can't help but think this isn't that different [and perhaps a commentary on] the kinds of garbage unleashed onto the public in the form of flankers and what not.)
    It might have been more interesting as a museum piece. Although, I have to say, the crass commercialism done right becomes a comment in itself. Were the "pop-up niche" bottles done with more intent and irony, that part might even get more of a pass from me.
    * * * *

  22. #22

    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Haiku as a form is the immediate disproving counterexample. I think that Ellena's obsession with Japonica (big J) proves that he gets the core of where art lies in the realm of the transparent and minimal. When the complexity of pulling something out equals the complexity of adding something else, I think it shows you're on track. The designers at Google and Apple clearly get that, too.
    There is an orientalist component at work here (in an Edward Said sense), but I wonder too how minimalism has the capacity to both cite as well as exploit through cultural appropriation?

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    I'm not THAT technical to know for sure but Luca Turin claims Molecule 01 to be actually a whole composition and NOT just bottled IES.
    The re-creation of the scent of Iso E Super® as a fragrance would not only be technically interesting, if the authors chose to self-impose a great deal of technical constraint (say, start out at great "chemical distance"), but also much more of an artistic statement.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    There is an orientalist component at work here (in an Edward Said sense), but I wonder too how minimalism has the capacity to both cite as well as exploit through cultural appropriation?
    I agree. I see more citation than exploitation in Ellena - I see him as being far beyond even some kind of more honest but still blindered neo-Japonism. I really think he gets it, and it actually makes me feel good about the modern French attitude toward the East. That attitude (at least in the people I pay attention to) has humility which was absent from more colonial times, and to me that makes all the difference. I'm not saying that Europe or France are without the old baggage, but I think that most of the thought leaders and people are beyond it. Much of that comes from my wife and I traveling in Europe and other places.

    I've learned to be forgiving about the exploitative aspects of Western understanding of the East, and vice versa. I think the intent is always to cite, but it is in the rush to reach a conclusion that we exploit. Since reaching conclusions is inevitable, I just choose to forgive the incompleteness, the misinterpretation, and the local agendas that lead to distortion.

    Cultures all make valid choices which - over time - lead to different solutions - separate beauties. Age gives us insight into it, but youth has a certain innocence and honesty that I think is very teaching. Even though the adoption of Eastern art appreciation by Western youth made somebody a lot of money, I see a certain honesty in the acceptance by youth that almost precludes exploitation.

    Maybe I'm just an old fool, but I think Orientalism in the Said sense is dying. The world is falling for its internally divergent beauties, and now sees the need to preserve them, less and less from the point of view of provincialism and fear, and more because they simply matter as something not to be lost. I love to say that everything in Star Trek becomes true, and that is perhaps even more important in the non-material senses.
    Last edited by Redneck Perfumisto; 28th November 2013 at 06:21 PM.
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  24. #24

    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Maybe I'm just an old fool, but I think Orientalism in the Said sense is dying. The world is falling for its internally divergent beauties, and now sees the need to preserve them, less and less from the point of view of provincialism and fear, and more because they simply matter as something not to be lost.
    It did its job, raising some necessary critical concerns and is germane to the discussion of minimalism, but I do agree that there's a citation that can be respectfully negotiated without venturing into more questionable territories. I find that line to be crossed in something like Kilian's Bamboo Harmony—not just because it's a poor scent, objectively speaking (it really is very, very bad)—but more that it's playing up a set of aesthetics designed to capitalize on cultural ideals for a Western market. The scent itself is stripped back for sure, the marketing behind it is (how should I say this) "fully loaded."

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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Thanks, Hednic! I will keep my eyes open for VL - especially if I ever find myself back there. Just for concreteness, what intersection puts me in the heart of the district? It was a serious "stumble-upon" last time!!!
    Broadway at 30th should put you smack dab in the middle.
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  26. #26

    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    I'd actually be interested in hearing from some of the DIY folks about this subject, too. I wonder if I can lure some of them in?

  27. #27

    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    I am a dabbler in DIY and simple minimal compositions can be satisfying BUT they leave no hiding place for the quality of your materials.
    As others on the DIY board have remarked to me and they are quite correct, a simple formula of 3 natural materials may contain 100's of aromachemicals. So not really so simple.

    I would recommend some of the simpler compositions from Profumo.it who is a friend of Basenotes
    Muschio di Quercia: Oak Moss, Veteryl Acetate and Mysore Sandalwood or
    Chillum: Tobacco, Ginger and Mysore Sandalwood.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe C View Post
    I am a dabbler in DIY and simple minimal compositions can be satisfying BUT they leave no hiding place for the quality of your materials.
    As others on the DIY board have remarked to me and they are quite correct, a simple formula of 3 natural materials may contain 100's of aromachemicals. So not really so simple.
    I'm also a dabbler, Joe and I've had success with taking a beautiful featured note and accentuating it with some chems. There's a great frankincense/cedar co-extraction, for example, that stands alone (IMO) as a beautiful material. It doesn't take much to prop it up as a central focus, but requires some dexterity to create "space" around it.

  29. #29
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    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    It did its job, raising some necessary critical concerns and is germane to the discussion of minimalism, but I do agree that there's a citation that can be respectfully negotiated without venturing into more questionable territories. I find that line to be crossed in something like Kilian's Bamboo Harmony—not just because it's a poor scent, objectively speaking (it really is very, very bad)—but more that it's playing up a set of aesthetics designed to capitalize on cultural ideals for a Western market. The scent itself is stripped back for sure, the marketing behind it is (how should I say this) "fully loaded."
    Word! Compare to Rose Ikebana, where the huge reference to chadō (tea ceremony) by inclusion of matcha (special tea) was not even noted. But Hermès has always been huge on restraint, and their aesthetics seem to have a very natural overlap with real Japanese tastes. I don't fault Kilian - it's an effort - it is only in the rush to conclude that we err. To truly understand requires appreciation of the haiku masters who took years to complete three lines, or the zen gardens that require more study to design than the patience of the beautifully exemplary oji-san, who spend hours contemplating them, while tourists and modern Japanese move on.

    Which brings me to a minimal gem that gets no respect. Creed Les Floralies, which has an interesting Japan backstory. So delicate as to be uncommercializable. Somebody really got Japan when they made that stuff. It's a Japanese Windsor, and nobody knows about it. I hope they re-release it someday for the 10 people who will appreciate it. The Creed Boutique had it for a while.

    Even if you pay attention to something, it's easy to miss the totality. I pay a lot of attention to ikebana because of my wife and her friends, but I just saw some that had qualities I simply thought were impossible (I don't want to say grandiosity, but almost). Cultural learning is never-ending if you're honest about it.
    * * * *

  30. #30

    Default Re: Minimalist Compositions

    A peculiarity of the real minimalism in each human field is the art to express a lot (and in a complete way) by the implementation of few well combined elements. Is difficult for sure to say a lot in the universe of perfumery combining few notes in a transparent and balanced way (elements which must be complex "di per se" and able to mix fairly their proper nuances with the characteristics of some diverse notes) as well as is hard, probably harder, to combine in a perfect orchestra a moltitude of diverse elements, some reciprocally opposite or dissonant. Minimalism in perfumery to me just means ability to find out all the potentialities a single natural note can express and to put on its side a couple of different notes around that are able to root up and draw naturally out at best those potentialities of the previous note. Taking it for granted i detect minimalism in such fragrances as Terre de L'Encense by Cloon Keen Atelier or Eau Lente where single elements with a moltitude of nuances are combined together with balance in a multifaceted final blend. I can quote also fragrances as some Torre of Tuscany (for instance Corpi Caldi, Berkana or Colonia Toscana), Cedre Santaraque Parfumerie Generale, or Grayland Montale, Hinoki, some Dyptique, some CDG for sure, the great Kenzoair, my lovely Vetyver Etro (basically rooty/earthy vetiver and tobacco), Musc Acampora, Meo Fusciuni # 2 Nota di Viaggio, some tea based compositions around and all those diaphanous concoctions featuring a bunch of few elements as wet woods, citrus and aquatic flowers in a perfect ethereal olfactory harmony.
    Ps: a composition is far more properly minimalist in my opinion whether the elements tend to be arid, stark, transparent or fluidy. On this sphere minimalism can also actually mean "multifaceted sharpness" with the minimum amount of harmonious elements, a tad smoky/misty a tad aqueous and gray, yes a bit as losing yourself somewhere on the north Cina's desolate green mointains territory in the middle of the shadowy and gasseous winter haze.
    Last edited by Darvant; 29th November 2013 at 06:22 AM.
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