SO, I was bumming around in Barnes and Noble last night waiting for my husband’s history class to come back from a 4-day tour of Civil War battlefields so we could get in the car and drive back home to be together for the first time in a little under two weeks, and I came upon an article in the June issue of Allure that irritated me a little—ok, a lot! (that was way too long a sentence, I know) In this brief article, the journalist writes [and I respond in parentheses]:
At what point did we start wanting our perfume to conjure a poisonously scheming man-eater or an underwear-clad model? [um, what? Haven’t perfumes always had something to do with sex, or at least with ‘allure’?] Apparently, perfumers have been asking themselves the same questions, [have they now…?] because this summer heralds the return of the pure floral scent [has it ever been away?]. “These florals smell like nature, like a natural flower,” explains perfumer Frédéric Malle [in the first sentence that actually means anything in this article]. "They convey a kind of organic simplicity” (p. 129, June 2010 issue)
The journalist then goes on to recommend that women who like simple scents should go for lighter soliflores, while “those who like richer fragrances” should consider tuberose or gardenia. BORING.
This makes me a little angry. I mean, mainstream perfume has been moving away from complexity and ‘dangerous’ smells for almost two decades now. This is not some major ‘turn’ in the industry—people have been wanting to smell like flowers and nothing else (well, with a little candy sweetness thrown in) for way too long now. I take exception with the journalist’s attitude about perfume in general, and I feel she may have twisted Malle’s words to make them fit into her own slant on perfumes as something monstrous, decadent, and ‘untrue to nature.’ Well, damn it, of course perfumes are not true to nature—we wouldn’t want them to be in most cases! They are works of art, expressions of something other than just ‘holding a mirror up to nature’. Organic is all well and good, but….aw, I don’t know. What do you all think?
gardenia pic courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
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