"Turning Up Our Noses" is an interesting read in December's Prospect Magazine:
It is strange that, in a culture so desensitised to smell, most women still wear perfume almost every day, and, according to Evelyn Lauder, about 50 new fragrances are produced each year. Two millennia ago, Pliny made the same observation, complaining about the time and money wasted on perfume given that the wearer doesn't even derive much pleasure from it him or herself.
50 new fragrances? Somebody apparently lost count very early in the year.
The LA Times has a profile on perfumer Neal Harris and his company ScentEvents:
For last year's Los Angeles premiere of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Warner Bros. executives wanted to infuse the air outside the theater and inside the lobby with the rich fragrance of Wonka bars...
Harris settled on one that smelled "like a very realistic milk chocolate candy bar." To demonstrate how it could be spread throughout a large area by means of a scent diffuser, he filled an entire floor of Warner Bros.' Burbank offices with the fragrance. It worked — employees recall following it to the source in hopes of finding actual candy.
Read the rest here.
Maybe that '50 new scents' is accurate, R – it would explain why so many youthful fruity florals smell so indistinguishable from each other!
The “50 new scents” grated on me too. ESPECIALLY as a journo from Prospect Magazine contacted me and asked “Hoe many fragrances are launched each year – is it about 50?” I replied with It's closer to 400 (and gave her links to the last five years worth of launched in the BN db to back it up)
What is even stranger is that the comment comes from Eveyln Lauder. This year so far Lauder Companies have launched about 20 scents between them ( http://www.basenotes.net/launch/2006&Parent=Lauder )
I'm guessing that the quote was taken from an interview about 10-15 years ago!
LOL — 50 vats, 500 perfume names…
G, I keep hearing it is over 600 for this year. Perhaps she said 500 and it is a misprint? Or, perhaps you're right and it is just a very, very old quote.
600 is probably about right. I've got almost 400 in the db for this year but I know I'm missing loads and loads and loads. Its very tough keeping up these days and I dont know how you manage it so well
Thanks G, but I seriously doubt I end up listing anywhere near as many as you do. You've got complete listings for brands that aren't even on my radar.
But any way you slice it, even 400 is too many fragrance releases for one year. 600 is insanity.
Great article. I googled the author (Lara Feigel) and she has also written an anthology of smell in literature called “A Nosegay”. But it's not on Amazon in the US, only in the UK. Any UK NST readers – have you seen this? Thoughts?
Sorry I won't be able to help, but am going to go look at that book now myself!
The description on Amazon UK looks interesting. I think we should take a closer look at this book. Apparently it was published only a month ago.
It's actually just been published in the UK today and it looks great – I've just bought a copy! There's a whole chapter called 'The Smell Industry' about perfume with quotes from Coco Chanel and interesting perfume facts and then lots of literary and humorous quotes.
Sounds like quite a thorough book. I notice incidentally that the publishers of “A Nosegay” are the same people behind Patrick Suskind's new book “On Love and Death”.
Is this is a coincidence?
And I didn't know Suskind had a new book out, thanks…actually, I know nothing about him other than Perfume. Should check him out on Amazon.