Saturday, August 18, 2007

Does this post smell funny? (2)

It's been a while since we heard from our good friend Chandler Burr, perfume critic at the New York Times.

http://gaelstat.blogspot.com/2007/03/does-this-post-smell-funny.html

But, you will be relieved to know that a recent search revealed that he is still hard at work, churning out appalling prose at an amazing rate. Two recent examples:

Dirty is vastly underrated as a perfume aesthetic. There are, of course, several kinds of dirty. Exhibit A is Agent Provocateur, a lingerie concern that, like Victoria's Secret, professes to sell sex. But while Victoria's Secret is that great Middle American Walt Disney of sex, Agent is slightly grittier, dirtier. Or it professes to be; sex packaged by marketers tends to promise the real thing but is in fact so sterile you couldn't even catch the other person's cold. It's dirt without germs, an idea of intimacy without actually experiencing it. The surprise is that this turns out to be an excellent concept for a perfume. The brilliance of Agent Provocateur, the company's rather astonishing first perfume, is that it doesn't actually smell like unwashed panties. It's better than that: it just reminds you of them. It smells like crushed raspberries and black plums on hot skin. Expertly constructed by the perfumer Christian Provenzano, the juice lasts beautifully, diffuses perfectly and could raise the fertility rate in Manhattan without raising laundry bills. It's like a photo of a thong and cheeky ouverts. All image, no dirt.

link to the full article from which the above is taken (you may need to register, but it's free)

Oh, OK, here's one more:

Marc Jacobs recently put out a line of scents, most of which interpret fresh: Ivy, for example, is a lovely piece of olfactory sculpture by Richard Herpin that has the slightly alarming, mossy, humid, almost poisonous green odor of a hyperrealist photo by Mapplethorpe. Then there's Marc Jacobs Rain, which could, in theory, evoke the scent of static electricity from the lightning and silicate dust that a storm kicks up on the prairie, or even the smell of tropical rain on hot, green rot. Sadly, this fragrance is neither. This is a Calgon concept of rain, basically a kind of Febreze for humans.

To be fair, this article was dated April 1st

But taking aim at Chandler starts to feel mean-spirited, after a while. Too much like shooting fish in a barrel. I wonder if he is aware of the annual Bulwer-Lytton contest?

1 comment:

O'Donovan said...

David! You darling.

> The brilliance of Agent Provocateur, the company's rather astonishing first perfume, is that it doesn't actually smell like unwashed panties.

This is our new standard for brilliance?

"Well, the cinematography was all over the map, the script was a disaster and Alan Rickman was chewing the scenery."

"Yeah, but it didn't smell like unwashed panties."

"You're right! So ... it's brilliant!"

"Brilliant!"

Oh, my god. It's a Guiness ad.

> the slightly alarming, mossy, humid, almost poisonous green odor of a hyperrealist photo by Mapplethorpe.

I've never gotten close enough to smell a Mapplethorpe photo. He could be right.

I doubt it, but ...

And I admit I laughed along with this phrase: "basically a kind of Febreze for humans."