All winter, when I should have been sleeping, I was reading perfume blogs. I would lose myself in a sybaritic rapture, the clock on my screen racing toward morning as I played a bait-and-switch game with my senses, taking in words that describe smells by calling on images, textures, music. The sensory pileup felt good. The blogs tell me that scents ring, sing and lash out in fury; they also cradle, buffer, withhold. I believe them.
— From Good Vibrations in the New York Times.
I like her writing a lot … she acknowledges we all can become a bit overblown and royal: “When perfume writing gets too mandarin…” And I appreciate her branching out beyond scent to a broader definition of 'synesthesia.' What makes me illogically sad is that this (the love of the rare and unreachable perfume) truly is no longer a small, private enclave-ish pursuit. The exploding numbers of releases (and media coverage) have shown for a long while now that the marketers are hot on the perfumed trail. It will be more and more difficult to get those three drops of vintage Vent Vert, dammit, as it becomes the hip thing to do. oh well, xoxo
What is amazing about perfume writing is in the way it renders an otherwise sensual world a textual, “textural” feel. What I get from Heffernan's piece is that as the gradual loss of more “rarefied” pursuits or that “small private enclave” as Mireille calls it inches in, perfume lovers still have the choice to encounter perfume in thier interior lives — those private moments which no greedy, drooling perfume capitalists could invade, nor commercialize.
whiffnotes, that actually makes me feel better. thank you. xoxo
You are welcome!
I like her writing too, M, and I know what you mean — almost nothing is a small, private enclave-ish pursuit anymore.
HA — I was the only website that got a mention but not a link! So phooey on the NYT
I'm afraid I fell asleep in the middle and only woke up for the last paragraph (badly researched and therefore incomplete).
You know, it is badly researched — just did a google search on the phrase “cotton candy that has caught on fire and sizzled down to a black gooey mess”, which she claims comes from “A Pink Sugar detractor on another site” — but nope, those are my words!!
Perhaps they could print a correction… *and* give the link for this site while they're at it! Hmph!
LOL — it is sad but true that all I want is the link juice
Robin, about something else. Do you find it difficult to obtain samples of Serge Lutens? I do. They don't send anything to CZ because it might be stolen. Maybe it is time for the next step: trading samples. Where do I start?
Oh well, already found the how-to-review.
You can get them in the US from the various decanters like The Perfumed Court, so it isn't quite so hard here assuming you're willing to pay.
You can have my NYT link juice if you like! — my servers have been down the whole time pretty much since the article was published
Grant! As it happens, was just trying to get onto basenotes. Am so very sorry!
Robin – you're linked now. I just got around to reading the article. It's in paragraph 4. Hopefully you won't share the fate of Basenotes.
The author emailed to let me know and to apologize, isn't that nice???