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  1. #1
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    Default Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker


    Hi guys…

    this is just to bring back to your attention one of the most interesting and exciting projects based around the synesthesia between music, video and fragrance.

    There was an introductory article posted some time ago on the Basenotes's news section but it looks it's gone pretty unnoticed. I've just received the whole line of fragrances and I've to say I'm more than simply impressed. Perfumer Geza Schoen teamed up with experimental musicians Kid Frost, Tim Hecker and Steve Goodman aka Kode9 to give birth to three Eau De Parfums based around pieces of music and visuals. Read more about these here….

    http://www.basenotes.net/content/297...by-Geza-Schoen


    …and here…


    http://ephemera.pl/perfume.html

    My full report will follow pretty soon...


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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Interesting information. Nicely designed bottles also.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    I don't really care for the work of Geza Schoen, but I will sample anything regardless - you never know when a nose is going to change your mind.

    Never heard of Kode9, Ben Frost, or Tim Hecker before this thread. Obviously these are household names among a younger audience.
    So these scents must be marketed to a specific age group, which I'm not included. They must think my age group wouldn't be interested.
    Last edited by thebeck; 13th January 2015 at 11:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    I find his work hit or miss. Love what he did with Ormonde Jayne but not EM. Interested in smelling this and his three with Biehl.

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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by thebeck View Post
    I don't really care for the work of Geza Schoen, but I will sample anything regardless - you never know when a nose is going to change your mind.
    Well, he did have some hits... Tzora, CC 1872 and X for Men,Kinski, Ormonde Man... I'm getting samples of the Biehl line this week and gs02 is on the list - from reading about it it sounds like it could be interesting as well. But this new experimental line just seems like a gimmick, art for the sake of art...? The audio tracks seem more suitable to a soundtrack for a sci-fi movie (especially Noise), and Base is just disturbing - I don't get the mouse clicks in this piece. As soon as you start getting sucked into this dark gloomy world, the mouse click snaps you right back into reality.

    This line is not high on my to-try list, but I'd be curious to read reviews from others nevertheless.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Tried all three a few weeks ago and I enjoyed them. Really cool concept and was really impressed by the scents and presentation. The musicians' work (not just in this project, but overall) is brilliant too by the way if you're into experimental electronic, noise, and ambient.

    Definitely worth checking out if you like abstract synthetic fragrances. Drone and Noise have the feel of a hot microphone/warm electronic smell (for those who have played music or are musicians you'll know the smell). Drone is a green/floral incense. Noise reminded me of CdG 2Man: lots of woods and incense but Schoen cuts it with bright jasmine and florals. Bass has a real heavy booze note, of whiskey, but also remains dry, like the other two.

    They aren't that weird or odd at all. I was expecting something more strange in the vein of CdG's Synthetic Series. Very wearable, IMO.

    I could see how it seems like a gimmick but the institution and musicians (pretty sure all of them or maybe two are PhDs) involved are pretty well respected.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by repose View Post
    Tried all three a few weeks ago and I enjoyed them. Really cool concept and was really impressed by the scents and presentation. The musicians' work (not just in this project, but overall) is brilliant too by the way if you're into experimental electronic, noise, and ambient.

    Definitely worth checking out if you like abstract synthetic fragrances. Drone and Noise have the feel of a hot microphone/warm electronic smell (for those who have played music or are musicians you'll know the smell). Drone is a green/floral incense. Noise reminded me of CdG 2Man: lots of woods and incense but Schoen cuts it with bright jasmine and florals. Bass has a real heavy booze note, of whiskey, but also remains dry, like the other two.

    They aren't that weird or odd at all. I was expecting something more strange in the vein of CdG's Synthetic Series. Very wearable, IMO.

    I could see how it seems like a gimmick but the institution and musicians (pretty sure all of them or maybe two are PhDs) involved are pretty well respected.
    Applause! Probably the best comment I've read on Basenotes from quite a while. I've also to agree with everything you said. The fragrances are extremely solid as well as the concept and all the artists involved. The Unsound Festival (which is the *entity* behind all this) is one of the most respected events for certain kinds of music. Same for the musicians who contributed with their musical patterns. Nothing confusing or messy here.
    Last edited by alfarom; 15th January 2015 at 03:32 PM.


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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Enjoyed the music, but I doubt I'll ever get my nose on the scents. Nevertheless, I look forward to your report.
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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    here's my full report on the project and the fragrances…all full bottle worthy in my book…

    http://neroprofumo.blogspot.it/2015/...l-of-bass.html


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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    here's my full report on the project and the fragrances…all full bottle worthy in my book…

    http://neroprofumo.blogspot.it/2015/...l-of-bass.html
    Okay, You've got me curious with your reviews on the actual scents.

    It's probably just because I'm too old to relate to the project. Way too artsy fartsy for me. Scents have never been about transporting me to another far land, or world, or whatever...... It's simply, does it smell good or not? I saw and listened to the sound/visuals. Couldn't even make it half way thru before hitting the stop button. Left a bad impression in my mind about what the scents will be like. I'll have to sample and try not to remember the sound/visual. You'll have to please understand that I've listened to real instruments my whole life, and just loathe electronic music and instruments. Hell, I can't even stand transistor amplification. I listen to only vacuum tube amplification and vinyl. I can't even rap my head around anything digital. I'm an analog man. Sorry I'm just too old too change.

    I really like that they're offering a 3x15ml trio for $113.49. Now that's a class act I would like other houses start offering.

    My favorite fragrance brief to a nose: Make it smell good, last long, and have good sillage, and I'll tell you when it's right. All these artsy projects are just lame to me, not just this one. Somehow I just can't visualize this conversation taking place. Oh my is that Drone you're wearing? Wasn't that a fabulous collaboration? This one I can - Oh you smell good today, what is that you're wearing? I'm wearing Drone from the house of Ephemera.

    Here's something from Brooklyn Perfume Company Website about their Sandlewood scent. This is the kind of perfume stories I enjoy.

    Perfume Notes by James Peterson

    "As a young child, my mother was cleaning out a closet and pulled out an old sandalwood fan that her mother bought in the 1920s. It had a distinct dry dusty aroma that today I might call “powdery.” It took me years of searching to discover that sandalwood oil smells nothing of the raw wood. It took me even longer to distinguish one sandalwood from another and to determine which is the best. I finally tracked down a sandalwood oil that I now use as a model—a batch of original Mysore oil from the 1930s.

    Once I smelled this glorious and authentic sandalwood oil, I realized that most sandalwood is but a poor imitation. While many of these perfumes are quite pleasant, they can often be cloying and overly sweet. It seems that many potential buyers of sandalwood perfume assume it is sweet when, in fact, it’s green and woody.

    I set out to make a sandalwood that resembled as much as possible my antique treasure. After a ridiculous amount of struggle, I think I’ve come up with something pretty good, if not an exact replica of my “gold standard.”

    Brooklyn Perfume Company’s sandalwood perfume is designed to amplify the smell of sandalwood oil, otherwise quite subtle. Our sandalwood has a deep woody background accented with a small amount of vetiver. Vetiver gives perfumes a bright green woody quality that freshens what otherwise might be a heavy mixture. This touch of green aroma is characteristic of the best sandalwood.

    Sandalwood oil has been used for millennia and is made by distilling the wood of the tree to come up with a viscous, golden, and aromatic liquid. It has a slightly sweet (but never cloying) and balsamic somewhat animalic aroma. The best sandalwood, and that used in Brooklyn Perfume Company’s, comes from eastern India in the region of Mysore. Traditional sandalwood comes from old wild and practically extinct trees, but that used in our perfume is made from sustainable harvested trees. It has been well aged to develop an even deeper aroma.

    Good sandalwood perfumes—those that actually resemble the wood and not some fantasy of it—are best worn in the evening when their soft toasty aromas can blend with rich surroundings, perhaps scented by perfumes others are wearing"


    I'm sorry after reading that I got so excited I had to post another great story from the same company.

    Amber
    Perfume Notes by James Peterson

    Most people are confused by mentions of amber since we associate it with the beautiful golden orbs used for jewelry. In most cases, so-called amber comes from other sources.

    In fact, the word “amber” can mean three things. Most common is an accord between labdanum (sweet, earthy and balsamic), and vanilla. An accord is when two or more substances combine to create an aroma that is unlike each of its components. Amber of this type, while rarely used alone, gives a lovely balsamic sweetness to many creations.

    Second, “amber,” sometimes spelled “ambra,” can mean ambergris. Ambra--or ambergris—is excreted by whales (no one’s sure from which end) and ends up, looking like rocks, on beaches after years in the ocean. It is tinctured in alcohol and allowed to rest in the sunlight for several months before it can be used. It works as a fixative (an ingredient that causes the perfume to last longer) and an exultant (an ingredient that helps the perfume radiate) in very small amounts in the very finest creations.

    Last, “amber” can mean fossilized amber. Fossilized amber is the kind of amber we’ve all seen as jewelry. Amber chips and dust residue from making jewelry is distilled to produce a distinctive thick liquid—almost a semi-solid--with a powerful aroma of woods (with somewhat burnt tones) and resins. This is the kind of amber used for this perfume. It’s very unusual to find this substance in perfume, much less as its main theme.

    Because fossilized amber is very strong, it’s combined with other aromatic compounds, primarily vanilla absolute, to soften its effect. The resulting perfume, while not to everyone’s taste, often acts as a powerful aphrodisiac, probably because it contains pheromone-like substances.

    I witnessed this effect when I brought along a sample one afternoon when I was meeting a French couple for lunch. After they each got a sniff, they looked at each other rather intensely, and as soon as lunch was over, cancelled their afternoon plans and ran back to their hotel room.

    There is much debate as to the existence of pheromones and whether there are such things as aphrodisiacs. It seems to me, that since pheromones are so essential to the mating activities of most mammals, that they can exhibit a similar function in humans. And while I won’t claim that I’ve created authentic aphrodisiacs, I have discovered that my various perfumes “excite” people and draw them to one another. In particular, it seems that those compounds that exhibit a bit of “funk,” are pheromonic. Such aromas, many of which control animal behavior, are found in woods, musk, civet (a smelly compound released by a civet cat), ambergris, jasmine and other flowers designed to attract bees and other insects. Brooklyn Perfume Company’s amber contains many compounds that are arguably pheromonic.




    That's interesting to me. What the nose is trying to achieve and the materials he's going to use to achieve his goal. Simple like analog, vacuum tubes, and vinyl. Zero artsy fartsy goobledygook. Just an interesting story with interesting information pertinent to the actual scent.
    Last edited by thebeck; 5th January 2015 at 03:38 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    ^^^ That's surely interesting but it's completely another approach. It's like saying the only good music is the melodic one or classic or opera. Personally I'm both interested in long lasting perfume as well as the most fleeting ones as long as I like the smell / concept / brand but here it's completely another story. Longevity and sillage you will see by yourself and while I can understand how this project might sound like gimmick to those not involved with certain kinds of music, all I can say is this is anything but *artsy fartsy goobledygook*.

    In my personal experience, one approach doesn't automatically exclude the other. Openmindedness before all.
    Last edited by alfarom; 5th January 2015 at 05:26 PM.


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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    ^^^ That's surely interesting but it's completely another approach. It's like saying the only good music is the melodic one or classic or opera. Personally I'm both interested in long lasting perfume as well as the most fleeting onse as long as I like the smell / concept / brand but here it's completely another story. Longevity and sillage you will see by yourself and while I can understand how this project might sound like gimmick to those not involved with certain kinds of music, all I can say is this is anything but *artsy fartsy goobledygook*.

    In my personal experience, one approach doesn't automatically exclude the other. Openmindedness before all.
    The fragrances might be fantastic. I'm surely open minded enough to sample, and even purchase a bottle, or trio. I'm just opposed to this type of collaboration regarding the art of producing a scent. The longevity was part of my brief to the nose. Yours may be different, and that's good. I just don't think fragrances need to be taken to an artificial art form. It's really not that complex of an art, except the infinite combinations in the perfumers palette to create something inviting. That's were the art comes in, having the knowledge and artistic sense to pull it all together. I still don't know why a perfumer would need or want this type of collaboration to create a scent. Seems pointless to me.

    As far as the electronic noise created by the various artists - May I quote Tony Bennett, "There's only two kinds of music, good and bad". His quote, not mine, but I do wholeheartedly agree. Simple again, not complex at all.

    It wouldn't change my mind about the collaboration if they were using my favorite music to come up with inspiration. Like my above examples from Brooklyn Perfume Company. James Peterson has a real handle on what he wants, and tells us in terms any one can can relate to......
    Last edited by thebeck; 5th January 2015 at 05:40 PM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by thebeck View Post
    As far as the electronic noise created by the various artists - May I quote Tony Bennett, "There's only two kinds of music, good and bad". His quote, not mine, but I do wholeheartedly agree.
    Definitley Same for fragrance, food, movies, art…basically anything

    Last edited by alfarom; 5th January 2015 at 05:24 PM.


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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    I watched your Tim Hecker video. I'm sorry I didn't understand what I was watching.

    This is the kind of video I understand.

    And the man is using a vacuum tube amp to boot.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NU5xA6ty0a4
    Last edited by thebeck; 5th January 2015 at 07:25 PM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    here's my full report on the project and the fragrances…all full bottle worthy in my book…
    Thanks so much for introducing these, Alfarom! I'm intrigued by the concept and overall approach to this project. The audio is quite evocative and seems well suited to the kind of aesthetic that Schoen leans toward. Always impressive to see works that function both discretely as well as cumulatively with linked projects. 2015 is off to a good start, it seems!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by deadidol View Post
    Thanks so much for introducing these, Alfarom! I'm intrigued by the concept and overall approach to this project. The audio is quite evocative and seems well suited to the kind of aesthetic that Schoen leans toward. Always impressive to see works that function both discretely as well as cumulatively with linked projects. 2015 is off to a good start, it seems!
    Apparently, there are more projects to come by the same curators and if both the process and the final result is as good as this one, I'll be more than glad to welcome them.


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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    That's really interesting. I'll have to look into these as I'm a big fan of Ben Frost and Tim Hecker.


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    Default Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    here's my full report on the project and the fragrances…all full bottle worthy in my book…

    http://neroprofumo.blogspot.it/2015/...l-of-bass.html
    Excellent article! Thanks for sharing. I haven't been this excited about fragrances in a long time. What a brilliant concept!

    Next I would like to see a fragrance inspired by A David Lynch film.


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    Last edited by Hawky454; 5th January 2015 at 11:13 PM.
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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    I don't like Geza Schoen since he tried to sell us pure Iso E Super as a perfume.

    The whole concept looks like a marketing gag to me. Synesthesia? You can bottle everything that is on the darker side and call it "Bass". I haven't tried the perfumes but I have the feeling that there is a lot of suggestion going on to sell synthetic crap as "art". Sorry fo being a curmudgeon!
    Last edited by hoschhti; 6th January 2015 at 09:08 AM.
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Samples ordered. Will come back with impressions once they arrive.
    Thanks, Alfarom !

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Interested in sampling these.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post

    In my personal experience, one approach doesn't automatically exclude the other. Openmindedness before all.
    Ditto!
    Thanks for the info, Alfarom. As someone who loves conjuring up her personal, homemade synaesthesias with sound, colour and perfumes, I am always thrilled by this kind of projects.
    Based only on music and notes my preference goes to Bass.
    Last edited by iodine; 6th January 2015 at 09:46 AM.
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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    And the perfumes sound like just the sort of scents I'm into too...

    Enjoyed your report, thanks!
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  25. #25

    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    I find this quite interesting as a project, all the more so since I'm getting involved in sensory studies academically (with a focus on smell), but the approach, in terms of synesthetic art, does seem a bit flimsy if you compare it with the research effort that someone like Sissel Tolaas invests into her projects (which work at the intersections of science, art and commerce). It's a bit like: here's a soundtrack and some of the creator's associations and based on that Schoen does a metaphorical take on a standard scent formula. I would like to know more about how close a collaboration and exchange took place between the artists beyond a couple of emails and whether one could not take synesthetic concepts further conceptually (e.g. in terms of corresponding frequencies, vibrations, wavelenghts of sound, vision, smell - Turin's theory would come in handy here). Though Schoen's marketing has always impressed me more than his perfumes I will probably order the samples out of sheer curiosity and professional interest.

    @thebeck: Each to his own, but Peterson's stories sound like highly contrived marketing blurbs to me (which doesn't mean the stuff doesn't smell nice). I think it's perfectly fine to look at perfume functionally, just as you would consider a painting for how it matches the interior design of your living room. But that doesn't mean it can't also be be viewed through the lens of art and aesthetics - which is a given for paintings in our society, and could equally be so when it comes to olfatory creations. Apart from the fact that our culture privileges sight over smell and thus has not developed a vocabulary, body of criticism etc. pp. of olfactory art, I find little difference between what Monet and Aimée Guerlain did with their respective oils.
    Currently wearing: Mellis by Annette Neuffer

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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Well, honestly, Sissel Tolaas is quite unbeatable at these kind of projects. With that said though, when she decided to release her own perfumes, she wanted Geza Schoen to compose them...


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  27. #27

    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by alfarom View Post
    Well, honestly, Sissel Tolaas is quite unbeatable at these kind of projects. With that said though, when she decided to release her own perfumes, she wanted Geza Schoen to compose them...
    Berliner Mischpoke . No doubt he's a good nose, just not my style.
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  28. #28

    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    I find little difference between what Monet and Aimée Guerlain did with their respective oils.
    Love it!
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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    berliner mischpoke :d
    lol!


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    Default Re: Ephemera: Geza Schoen + Kode9 + Ben Frost + Tim Hecker

    Quote Originally Posted by the_good_life View Post
    I find this quite interesting as a project, all the more so since I'm getting involved in sensory studies academically (with a focus on smell), but the approach, in terms of synesthetic art, does seem a bit flimsy if you compare it with the research effort that someone like Sissel Tolaas invests into her projects (which work at the intersections of science, art and commerce). It's a bit like: here's a soundtrack and some of the creator's associations and based on that Schoen does a metaphorical take on a standard scent formula. I would like to know more about how close a collaboration and exchange took place between the artists beyond a couple of emails and whether one could not take synesthetic concepts further conceptually (e.g. in terms of corresponding frequencies, vibrations, wavelenghts of sound, vision, smell - Turin's theory would come in handy here). Though Schoen's marketing has always impressed me more than his perfumes I will probably order the samples out of sheer curiosity and professional interest.

    @thebeck: Each to his own, but Peterson's stories sound like highly contrived marketing blurbs to me (which doesn't mean the stuff doesn't smell nice). I think it's perfectly fine to look at perfume functionally, just as you would consider a painting for how it matches the interior design of your living room. But that doesn't mean it can't also be be viewed through the lens of art and aesthetics - which is a given for paintings in our society, and could equally be so when it comes to olfatory creations. Apart from the fact that our culture privileges sight over smell and thus has not developed a vocabulary, body of criticism etc. pp. of olfactory art, I find little difference between what Monet and Aimée Guerlain did with their respective oils.
    Very thoughtful. I totally agree with you. My main point was it's just too artsy fartsy for an old fart like me. The first music video (a short film integrating song and imagery)came out around 1981. I still can't stand them to this day. I don't care for mixed media. I'm basically a purist. When I see a video of a band playing, that's all I want to see. No added imagery. It's fine and dandy when artists want to experiment with mixed media, but for purists - we just don't get it. Thank you all for letting me air my frustrations. I know the world will march on, but I don't have to like what I see...

    As far as the juice goes - if it's good, I don't care what type of inspiration or collaboration a perfumer used to create it. I drop my personal issues, pull out my wallet. Good juice overrides all my prejudices.

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